by gregory c. tino
I am autistic all year round, but some only talk about autism during the month of April. April is Autism Awareness month. Many autistics are not fond of this term because they think people should not have to be encouraged to be “aware” of us.
Only in April? What is the deal with that?
Can you be “aware” of us in February or November?
Maybe a better name is Autism Education month. To me, education is sorely needed. There are people out there who believe we are intellectually disabled….that we are an empty shell with no feelings or awareness of the world around us. I believe autistics have MORE feelings than the typical person.
Anxiety…because of our out-of-control apraxic bodies.
Frustration…because of the challenges we face on a daily basis.
Sadness…because of the loneliness of a solitary life.
And ALL of this just after our first waking hour of the morning!
Autism and I are on a better path now that my parents are well educated in how to help me. In my house April is now Autism Celebration month! Autism is no longer a curse, but a way of being. Yes, there are challenges, but also beautiful blessings such as incredible senses and memory, as well as color synesthesia when music plays.
Who wouldn’t want that?
Being autistic can be a lovely way to experience the world.
I am also a proponent of changing the name to Autistic Pride month! There is so much to be proud of! We are strong and usually can overcome the challenges thrown our way with the help of our supporters.
April is a month of new beginnings so why not change your mindset about us? Wanna hear a secret? We celebrate autistic pride EVERYDAY in my house now, and my family is the head of that campaign!
Believe me, autism and I are VERY proud….and lucky.
By contributor Gregory C. Tino
About Gregory C. Tino
Gregory Tino is a nonspeaking autistic who has been spelling on a letterboard to communicate since 2017. He is a member of Spellers & Allies where he is an advocate for other nonspeakers, presents at conferences, and his goal is to educate people on the incredible capabilities of people with autism. He has written three books, The Land Called Boring, The Autistic Mind Finally Speaks, and the newly published The Autistic Boy in the Unruly Body. He also has written the narrative for multiple videos on his YouTube channel which is entitled Gregory C Tino. In his free time he enjoys writing for his blog The Autistic Mind Finally Speaks on WordPress, spending time with family, and riding his bike.
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