April is Autism Acceptance Month and we want to highlight autistic voices so that people on the spectrum get to control the narrative about Autism.
This guest post is by ‘thegirlwithacoloredmind’, who in her own words is a self-taught artist from Las Vegas working in the Food and Beverage industry. She uses Avaz AAC to communicates and talks about attitudes of the society towards AAC users. She also tell us about how community support helped her understand her condition better.
I’m Autistic, Yes! But I’m not an Autism Expert. It’s hard for me to sometimes understand my own condition. So, I’m learning to just accept what it is.
I know Autism can look different for everyone and if you’ve met one person, you’ve met one person with Autism Honestly, that’s one of the most annoying things, to be compared to the next Autistic person – How come you’re not like so and so?
I have been compared to other people’s kids and I feel I’m different. So, especially when it comes to people who use communication devices, I do wish they got better representation. They don’t always get the same opportunity as someone who’s Autistic and can speak. I feel it’s getting better but we’re not there yet.
The World Around Me
I think the challenges people on the spectrum face in society today, I’m only speaking for myself at least, we’re still forced to live in a place not really made for us. Society tries to make it more manageable but it’s not really solving the root issue. You still live in a place built for people who don’t have some of the issues you face on a daily basis. You are constantly left to always do extra things to make your quality of life just maybe a fraction of even close to someone who doesn’t have any disabilities. It can be exhausting trying to manage and I just learn to deal with society’s expectations the best way I can for the sake of my own mental health and sanity.
Normalizing AAC Use
I wouldn’t call it a lack of acceptance but a lack of understanding and lack of education. It happens all of the time. I’m autistic but I also have communication difficulties and ADHD. So, sometimes when you try to get help with different things, people can’t relate to you. So. they don’t know how to properly address or deal with you correctly. I think it’s primarily because they haven’t had enough exposure to neurodiverse people.
I have two positive experiences which helped me embrace my condition.
The first is from a mom whose daughter has autism. I painted for her and I learned stuff from her because she was the first person on social media I saw publicly post about Autism. Jamie (@thebisants) was pretty bold in the things she said and she started posting before it was a thing. It made me feel that having Autism is not that bad after all.
The second one is with a speech therapist (@ss.ssalinas). When I first started seeing her, she gave me this paper and it was this cartoon thing with a girl on ASD. I thought it was nice that she tried to explain more about my condition to me and incorporate it into therapy. It didn’t really help me understand everything since I have receptive and expressive issues. However, it did help me learn more than before.
So these little things people do are important and when neurotypicals show understanding, it definitely makes the world a better place.
My Expectations Are High,And My Standards Don’t Settle
Im Autistic and Dyslexic. I have ADHD and speech/language disorder.
“I am the painter making this mess a masterpiece-abr”
Hope you enjoyed this guest blog by @_thegirlwithacoloredmind about Autism Acceptance. Please share your feedback in the comment section below.