Updated: Feb 20
So today we colour the world for autism. Over the years there have been many different ways of doing so.
We lit things up blue initially but then discovered it was created by an organisation who actually want to rid the world of autism, preferring to find a cure, stating that autism ruined families.
Then there was the puzzle piece and its variations. Word spread that many autistic individuals see this as a negative, implying there was something missing or puzzling. The missing puzzle piece was used by the same organisation who originally suggested that we light things up blue.
Light it Up Red for World Autism Awareness/Acceptance day appeared as a way of boycotting the organisation who started the light it up blue campaign, showing support and celebrating autism.
The infinity symbol is now more commonly used as it represents neurodiversity as well as the range of abilities and challenges faced by autistic individuals. It promotes inclusivity for all.
You have a right to pick whatever one you want to show support today.
You have a right to pick whatever one you want to raise awareness today.
But today isn't just about awareness and highlighting the differences, it's about acceptance.
It's about accepting that neurodiverse brains are wired differently. That we have a different way of processing both internal and external experiences; of how we understand and experience life. Experiences that can be difficult for us.
Acceptance is knowing that autism and ADHD can present in many different ways.
Acceptance comes from understanding and acknowledging the differences, quirks and challenges that are an integral part of a neurodiverse individual.
Acceptance is when you do not expect an neurodiverse individual to change who they are to meet your needs.
Acceptance is understanding that it isn't always possible for us to fit in because maybe we weren't born to fit in.
Acceptance is knowing that as human beings, we are all entitled to be treated with dignity and respect and understanding.