Saturday, April 2, 2011

Autism Awareness Day

No, I don't have a special post with cute quotes and aphorisms to mark Autism Awareness Day, which is today: April 2.

Each year I'm asked if I'll be walking, cycling, bowling, shopping, eating, et cetera, to raise money for autism awareness. That generally means raising money for one of about four or five national groups. No, we're not doing anything special. We did eat out today, but only because we were running errands.

For parents, educators, and especially people living with autism, every day is about autism awareness. Every person affected by autism, directly or indirectly, the challenges are no easier on "Awareness Day." If anything, I find the entire "Autism Awareness Month" stressful. For a month, television news, magazines, and newspapers will run stories about autism, often not improving understanding or awareness. Too often, this month means bitter arguments about what causes autism, how to best treat autism, and if there should be a cure.

A month of "news" stories about autism? No thank you. The debates are exhausting. The media stereotypes are frustrating. I tire of the "public service announcements" on radio and television, with some famous person telling us the odds of having a child with autism. One local stations runs two or three of these PSAs an hour during the night.

I'll continue working on my posts about autism and writing education, one of which should be posted this weekend.

Sorry I don't have any great words of inspiration for today.

2 comments:

  1. "For a month, television news, magazines, and newspapers will run stories about autism, often not improving understanding or awareness."

    YES. This.

    This is what irritates me so much about autism awareness: usually the extent of it is "autism is something that exists in the world"... occasionally, but not often, with an actual description of what autism is.

    There may be awareness, but even with awareness, there's usually no actual understanding. People have heard of autism by now, but they're just as clueless as ever about what it is.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "There may be awareness, but even with awareness, there's usually no actual understanding. People have heard of autism by now, but they're just as clueless as ever about what it is."

    Well said!

    ReplyDelete

Comments violating the policies of this blog will not be approved for posting. Language and content should be appropriate for all readers and maintain a polite tone. Thank you.