Autism: Moving Beyond Awareness to Acceptance

BY: - 22 Apr '14 | On the Web

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Facing Autism on BMWK

I have mixed feelings about autism awareness month. I am glad for the attention that autism gets during April but by the time May comes there is a cloud of neglect that is cast over the autism community.

What society needs to realize is that for families of individuals with autism, we are aware of it every single day. We are aware of the challenges that come with raising a child on the autism spectrum. We are aware of the lack of resources and support for our families. We are very aware of the thousands of dollars that we have to spend to fight for our children to get an appropriate education. Trust me we are aware.

Now some may say that we need autism awareness month. They may say that we need it to make the public aware. I honestly believe that the public is aware. They may not have a deep understanding of what autism is but they know that it exists. So how do we evolve to become a society that completely accepts people who are on the autism spectrum?

Without understanding and acceptance, then autism awareness month becomes nothing but a stage play. A stage play with props that include blue light bulbs, sensational media coverage, and awareness walks.

I propose that we begin to move forward beyond awareness to a place of acceptance. Acceptance  means to bring autism families into the larger fabric of society, so we do not feel like we are hanging onto the fringes waiting for crumbs.

As a part of this larger fabric, we will begin to get access to funding for services, special education, and insured medical care. We will begin to feel that our vote means something to our elected officials. We will begin to get quality schools regardless of our zip code. We will begin to get great programs for young adults who have aged out of the school system. We will begin to listen to adults on the autism spectrum and respect their voice.

Acceptance means so many things. It goes beyond the fluff of the autism awareness month celebrations. It goes deep into our core as a society. Many great speakers have equated a society’s strength to how it treats its weakest members. I think this is also true when looking at how people with autism and other disabilities are treated in this country.

To the autism community I say, we have to do better to keep our leaders accountable. Our votes should mean something. We need legislation that can propel our loved ones forward as valuable members of society.

Autism is not just a sound bite during the month of April. Autism affects real families who are trying their best to help their loved ones make it in a world that has only taken baby steps toward acceptance.  As we head into May, I implore all of you to do what you can to move us forward beyond awareness. I implore all of you to move us toward acceptance.

Also checkout – Autism Awareness in 2014: 10 Facts You Need to Know about Autism

About the author

Kpana Kpoto wrote 38 articles on this blog.

Kpana Kpoto, also known as Miz Kp, is a special needs advocate and blogger. She provides resources and support for autism parents through her blog, Sailing Autistic Seas and her support group, Bronx Parents Autism Support Circle. Kpana lives in New York City with her husband and only child, six-year old "Angel" who is conquering autism one milestone at a time.

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9-Year-Old Praises God Until Kidnapper Releases Him

BY: - 22 Apr '14 | On the Web

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Willie Myricks

On March 31st, 9-year-old Willie Myrick was abducted outside of his home. While in the kidnapper’s car, Willie kept singing the gospel song “Every Praise.”  According to the young boy, the man who kidnapped him was cursing at him and telling him to shut up and after 3 hours of driving around he let Willie out of the car and told him to not tell anyone what happened. When 11 Alive News in Atlanta asked Willie what he was doing in the back of the abductor’s car, Willie said he was praising God.

Willie’s story eventually caught the attention of gospel singer, Hezekiah Walker, who actually wrote the song. According to Walker, the whole story is emotional for him because he realizes that you never know who you are going to touch. Walker was so moved by Willie’s story he flew to Atlanta to meet the young man on his 10th birthday and sing with him at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church. Walker says, “I really do believe that God spoke through me to save that young man’s life.” I could not agree more.

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 479 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. To work with her, visit her at martineforeman.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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