Different Is Beautiful: Here's Why Autism Acceptance Should Be Our Goal by Mellica Telemacque

Special Needs
6 months ago
Different Is Beautiful: Here's Why Autism Acceptance Should Be Our Goal

“Different … not less.” Those three words are emblazoned on a colorful cup with sparkles and a puzzle piece, designed by a friend in honor of autism acceptance. It’s April, and all around are messages and memes proclaiming it to be Autism Awareness Month. However, many of us who live our lives facing the challenges that autism brings would love if the world at large could move beyond simply being “aware.”

Don't get me wrong, awareness in itself is good – it denotes a newfound knowledge. But should it just end at awareness? What good is being aware if there is no move to use that knowledge for something greater?

It’s been said that awareness allows the uninformed to have a window into “our world.” While that may be true, what families living with autism want is for there to be no need for windows into “our world” because our world would be yours and vice versa. When the focus is no longer placed on what individuals with autism lack, but rather on what they add to our world, then we will begin to see evidence of awareness becoming acceptance.

Only then can we change the narrative, and items like my friend’s cup will read: “Different … Beautiful!”

From Autism Diagnosis to Finding Community: Words of Wisdom From Fellow Parents

Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
I just love this! You are so right, Mellica Telemacque . Thank you so much for sharing with us, and for adding your powerful voice to our community of writers. We are thrilled to have you with us. Welcome!
Mellica Telemacque
Thank you! I'm thrilled to be a part of the tribe!💙
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Different IS Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this with us, Mellica Telemacque! And welcome to our community of writers. We are so lucky to have you.
Renee Herren
Thank you for sharing this! I agree 100%! I think most are aware of autism and now we need to focus on and work towards acceptance! 💙
DrDayatrice Darrington
Well said. I could even live without the word “Special”. I have witnessed some of our children being treated or mistaken for everything but “Special”. However, their needs are no different from any other child just at different degrees. All children have the need to thrive and be accepted. Gifted, Average or Below average. I don’t like labels because of the borders it places on growth and development. I like uniqueness because everyone has a Degree of Uniqueness that distinguishes them from all others. Uniqueness is not a measurement of any sort. It’s a “Quality” not a “Quantity”.

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