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Autism Acceptance Month

RWC tutor Leslie Rivera gives readers facts and information about autism.

Did you know April is Autism Acceptance month? It started in 2008, where it was initially called Autism Awareness Month. It was changed in 2021, because the goal shifted from becoming aware of autism to accepting autism in our community. The word “awareness” implies need of caution and fear, whereas “acceptance” promotes the need to understanding of what the autism spectrum is. It is important that the narrative of autism is influenced by accurate information and by the voices of those who have autism.

Facts about Autism:

  • It is a spectrum, not everyone experiences the same symptoms

  • Girls get diagnosed much later than boys, as for a long-time research was done exclusively on boys

  • Aspergers is an outdated term no longer used in the medical field

Right now, a lot of what most people think of autism is influenced by conspiracy theories and hate groups. One such group is Autism Speaks, an organization that promotes fear towards the autism community and the idea that autism is a disease in need of curing. They have at one point claimed there is a link between vaccines and autism, a claim that has been repeatedly debunked. There is also the problem with ABA therapy, many of those on the spectrum have been vocal on the harm it does to autistic children. Many state that ABA therapy forces children to behave neurotypically while not helping them build the skills necessary for life.  

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