“I believe awareness and acceptance come from opposite outlooks. Awareness seeks to outline how we are and enhances the differences and distance between ways of being. Acceptance looks into commonalities we share and the strength inherent in diversity.” Emily Forsyth – The Mighty
According the the British Medical Association, around 1% of children in the UK have an autism diagnosis, and around 700,000 people have a diagnosis. According to the CDC, ‘about 1 in 54 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)’ in the United States. Both of these statements raise awareness that autistic people make up a huge part of our society, but don’t do a great deal in telling us who autistic people are. Autistic people are writers, actors, musicians, athletes, advocates, activists, our family and friends, you yourself may be autistic.
Hannah Gadsby is an Australian stand-up comedian, who received an autism and ADHD diagnosis as an adult. Below is an interview with an Australian network where she talks about her stand up comedy and how Autistic people can speak for themselves.
Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist known for her school climate strike movement and for challenging world leaders to take immediate action against climate change. (Click to enlarge image and quote).
“When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning! I have Aspergers and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And – given the right circumstances- being different is a superpower. #aspiepower”
Naoki Higashida is a non-speaking Japanese author and poet. His book, ‘The Reason I jump’ has been translated into 30 languages. (Click on image to enlarge quote.)
“Criticizing people, winding them up, making idiots of them or fooling them doesn’t make people with autism laugh. What makes us smile from the inside is seeing something beautiful.” This is a quote from my book The Reason I Jump make sure you read it ! #thereasonIjump
Temple Grandin PhD is an American animal rights scientist and activist, who is also a public speaker who has written many books about autism and being autistic.
“When I was younger I was looking for this magic meaning of life. It’s very simple now. Making the lives of others better, doing something of lasting value. That’s the meaning of life, it’s that simple.”
Autistic autism advocates
The best people to explain what autism is are autistic people. But just like every neurotypical person is different, so is every autistic person. To have any real awareness, understanding and acceptance of autism, we need to listen, listen and keep listening. Here are a few autistic autism advocates, but there are thousands of voices out there that can be found on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and in literature. And with over 1% of the world population believed to be autistic, that is over 79,000,000 voices worldwide.
autismacceptance.com is a website created by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). ASAN is a nonprofit organization run by and for autistic people. There are a wealth of resources, including a digital book called ‘Welcome to the Autistic Community’
Kristy Forbes is an autistic support specialist for neurodivergent people and their families and professionals; and the Founding Director of both inTune Pathways and The Neurodivergent Co.She has a website and Facebook page
15 Autistic Activists You Should Follow This Autism Acceptance Month is a complilation of 15 autistic activists, put together by Rooted in Rights, a Seattle-based team of disabled video producers, editors, and digital organizers who challenge stigma and redefine narratives around disability, mental health, and chronic illness.