Autism Insights, My Journey

Why I like Autism Acceptance Month Better!

Reflections on the Month of April and Why I’m on board for Autism Acceptance instead!

This month has always been an interesting one for me; in that it’s become a mixed bag of emotions. For on the one hand I’ve wanted to stay quiet and hidden until the month is over; so that the extra attention and questions over what Autism is or how my experiences may compare to another are diverted elsewhere. On the other, yes it is a great chance to really do my part and support everyone who too is celebrating being Autistic and working towards acceptance rather than awareness but in order to do so in the past at least it’s meant becoming more comfortable with what it means to me and embracing that rather than hiding from it or wishing away the month. A journey I am still very much on today and a role that through this blog is definitely a new experience- after all, I’m still learning what is the right terminology myself and how I feel about it.

Always Aware: 

The next is fairly obvious, but for me it’s never been any different than the other twelve months or 364 days of the year. In fact, for me the only difference is that in the past it’s been a greater indication of exactly how far I’ve come into accepting it myself and has challenged me to reflect more deeply on what it’s meant to me and my own progress (which has been at a moderately hesitant pace depending on how my years been going so far. Either way (and whether I accept it or not at times) it’s a part of me no matter what; and whether it’s the month of April or not because a) I am always aware of it and b) much like my brown eyes; smile and quiet demeanour so too does being Autistic make-up who I am, so therefore it’s something I’m always aware of.

Which for the most part doesn’t really bother me; in fact I can now recognize that it’s helped create this blog; find wonderful people to connect with and given me some amazing friends. It’s also helped me embrace what comes from learning at a different pace and find acceptance in myself.  There still may be times I struggle to understand things and am painfully aware of what insight I am be lacking but I’ve found by being gentle and perhaps using this month to give myself extra understanding I can more easily embrace the journey and integrate the strengths of being Autistic into my own story.

This really is why I’m on board with changing it to “Autism Acceptance Month” because when it comes to truly embracing what it means to be Autistic and embracing one’s strengths and recognizing weaknesses it is an ongoing process one that takes a tremendous amount of patience, effort and acceptance throughout the whole year; but especially when it’s come to an experience that may be new or challenging than acceptance is the far easier and helpful route. I’m also hopeful that by choosing the acceptance- even if it’s just to help me- embrace exactly where I’m at in this journey and be more comfortable and understanding during the month of April and the experiences it may bring.

Stay open, accepting and understanding (always):

Kylie

Feature image from: google.com/autismacceptancemonth

First image from: google.com/neurodiversity-logo