It is Autism Awareness Week and Month in April. What that means may depend on the individual and how you may look at it, but me for as an advocate it’s interesting experience approaching this month, and realizing that indeed many may already be aware of what this month represents, whether that’s inside the #ActuallyAutistic community or those who may know someone on the spectrum looking to gain understanding.
It’s also a time to be reflective, to carefully consider our messages and share our resources in which you will see a lot of that out there too. As for myself, a lot of what I’ve already intended to share is already out there on the blog, as I chronic my experiences navigating everyday life on the Autism Spectrum, but I know I am not alone in this and that it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and, bravery to share one’s experiences out there…on the World Wide Web. So that’s why for this week’s blogpost I encourage us all to practice kindness and share five ways you can support show your support this April.
Five Ways You Can Show Your Support, and Be Kind:
1. Feel free to support others #ActuallyAutistic individuals who blog, YouTube, post and share their stories: While I always appreciate your support over here on life of the spectrum. I am not the only one out there sharing her experiences online. In fact, there are many of us, and some I consider my closest online friends and fellow advocates sharing as well. So I encourage you to check them out.
2. Let us know what you like: If you like what you read, see or watch online don’t be afraid to leave a positive comment, like it or let the creator know. We all put a lot of work into creating content and sharing our messages with you (as you might if you were spreading your own message online). So, it’s always nice to receive positive feedback and know that our efforts are being appreciated, it also goes a long way.
3. Practice kindness: This goes for all of us, my fellow advocates who are continuing to share, support and inform others (as we always do not just in April, but the whole year through), and those who may be looking to understand more themselves, we all can do this one and who knows you might be surprised at how it works. So, be kind because as they say you can attract more bees with honey than you can with Vinegar.
4. Consider Understanding: Consider that we are all looking to understand each other better, and come to a common understanding. It may seem like a big ask. I know that it can be a challenge considering that we all have different perspectives, understanding, backgrounds and experiences, but even just considering that is an important step forward. So, before jumping to conclusions or assumptions… consider where you are coming, where they might be coming from and then carefully consider your approach (if any is needed to respond).
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions: This goes with the first one, in that there’s plenty of voices out there willing to share what it’s actually like being Autistic. There’s also information out there by experts, which may have some value, but to get a real perspective on what it’s like you will find no better experts than those who are living it. So, if you are curious ask, I know I won’t mind sharing more and perhaps some of my fellow advocates would feel the same way. Again, just ask.
So, there you have it. I hope this weeks’ blogpost finds you well and that these suggestions help you practice kindness to everyone, this Autism Awareness Month (and week).
Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash
Feature Photo by Randalyn Hill on Unsplash