Seeing Beyond Labels: Celebrating the Unique Gifts of Autism

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

This 2nd of April, we join World Autism Awareness Day, a day to celebrate the amazing diversity and uniqueness of those on the autism spectrum. We must remember that while the prevalence of autism has increased in recent years, there is still a significant lack of awareness and understanding of the disorder. In this article, we will explore the importance of autism awareness and ways to promote understanding and acceptance of individuals with ASD.

Autistic people may act in a different way to other people, that is why they [1] : “Find it hard to communicate and interact with other people; find it hard to understand how other people think or feel; find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable; get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events; take longer to understand information and do or think same things over and over.”

Dr. Stephen Shore, special education professor at Adelphi University affirms, “if you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism.” Dr. Kerry Magro, National Speaker, Advisory Board member said that “autism cannot define me, I define autism.” And actress Kayla Cromer considers that “being on the spectrum and having other learning differences, I am used to working harder and have a great drive to succeed. I interpret things differently, which helps with analyzing scripts, engulfing myself into roles, to achieve realism. It also drives me to make strong choices [2] .”

Autism must be as famous as Benjamin Banneker, Susan Boyle, Bill Gates, Daryl Hannah, Charles Darwin, Steve jobs, Jerry Seinfeld, Amadeus Mozart, Stanley Kubrick, Thomas Jefferson, Paul Dirac, Albert Einstein, Bobby Fisher, Lewis Carroll, Michalangelo, Ludwing Wittgenstein, etc [3] .

On the other hand, according to Massachusetts General Hospital [4] : Autism Spectrum Disorder is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the United States; ASD affects all nationalities, all creeds, all religions, all races and both sexes. It doesn’t differentiate or affect only one group; supporting an individual with ASD costs a family $60,000 a year on average; about 10% of people with ASD also have another genetic, neurological, or metabolic disorder.

Additionally, in 2023, the CDC reported that “approximately 1 in 36 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to 2020 data; boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls; minority groups tend to be diagnosed later and less often; autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups, etc [5] .”

Finally, the University of Rochester (Medical Center [6] ) gives us some tips for ASD:

  1. Be patient
  2. Teach the child how to express anger without being too aggressive
  3. Be persistent but resilient
  4. Always stay positive
  5. Ignore irritating attention-getting behavior
  6. Interact through physical activity
  7. Be affectionate and respectful
  8. Show your love and interest
  9. Learn from your child
  10. Believe
  11. Take care of yourself

In conclusion, raising awareness about autism is crucial to promoting understanding, acceptance, and inclusion for individuals on the autism spectrum. By educating ourselves about the unique strengths and challenges of those with autism, we can create a more supportive and inclusive society.

We invite you to take this test to know if you have autism, and to consult a professional:








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