Wow, Friends! I am so very thrilled to share this new project with you! I am happy to start this new endeavor to bring perspectives on empathy and mindfulness together with lived experiences of nonspeaking autistics and their allies. I am eager to share our insights on a range of topics, centered on the unifying concept of empathy. I am so driven to show that autistic people can and do feel great depths of empathy, contrary to common misconceptions.
And so I come to our first issue’s theme: From Awareness to Acceptance. April has historically been Autism Awareness month. But self-advocacy groups are moving toward Autism Acceptance month as a more appropriate way to observe and celebrate our autistic lives. I fully agree!
I am so excited to share an issue on this theme. My past year – my first year of functional communication fluency – has been a full and rich realization of moving through awareness into acceptance. And that is only a small part in my life as an autistic man who has been overlooked by society for decades despite “awareness.”
We are starting in a very “home grown” way, piloting the magazine with our small team’s contributions for this first issue. In future months, we will bring in contributors from diverse realms of life to share their perspectives with all of us!
So, please enjoy our first issue! It is a small start to what I hope will be a thriving and beautiful tradition.
By publishing this at the end of April, we hope to extend the journey toward true awareness and meaningful acceptance beyond Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month. To learn more about Autism Acceptance month, and why we prefer it to “Autism Awareness” month, see this piece from ASAN.