Autism Month: From Awareness to Acceptance

Autism Month: From Awareness to Acceptance

Hartford Public Schools celebrates the diversity of each and every learner within our community.

As many celebrate World Autism Day on April 2, 2020, Hartford Public Schools would like to encourage the extension of our thinking and action from Autism Awareness to Autism Acceptance. This important shift represents the voices of those who are actually autistic and their feelings about those who might want to change key aspects of who they are.

Autism is more than a diagnosis, it is an entire way of existing for many of our beautiful and capable students. Autism is their way of life, and acceptance can be attained by acknowledging autistic voices.

Hartford Public Schools asks you to join us in advocating for Autism Acceptance and consider these 4 things* you can do to support Autism Acceptance as an ally:

  1. Get curious. Ask questions about autism and try to learn more. How can we find autistic people on social media this month? Use hashtags like #AskingAutistics#AllAutistics#redinstead#autisticgold, and #OurGoldenMoment to find writing by #actuallyautistic people.
  2. Learn about why it is that, despite the fact that 93% of autistic people polled prefer to be addressed as “autistic” rather than “person with autism,” medical providers are still routinely trained to use the latter and not the former and pass this incorrect guidance onto parents and caregivers. Understand the controversy around puzzle pieces better, and learn more about ideas like ableism, infantilization, and cure rhetoric that harms autistic people.
  3. Try to be supportive to those who “come out” as autistic on  World Autism Awareness day on April 2 and throughout this month (see #OurGoldenMoment )
  4. Take an autism quizand find out if you might be one of the many #Neurolurkers out there who may not have been identified as neurodivergent but are nonetheless one of us.

*Our Golden Moment! Five ways to support the autistic community in April.

“Awareness is a very passive activity. you can be aware of someone’s unique needs but not actively do anything about it to help accommodate them; on the other hand, acceptance is a game-changer.” –Autistic Adult and Blogger Cherry Blossom Tree