By Anne Dachel
Let me state at the beginning that I would do anything to make sure that kids with ASD get all the recognition and help they so rightfully deserve.
April, National Autism Awareness Month is over and I've tried to add comments to the endless stories out there in order to raise AWARENESS about the AUTISM EPIDEMIC and how seriously children are affected and the impact this disabled generation is having on families and schools. I'm also trying to wake people up to the future cost of autism that we can't even begin to imagine right now.
I find so many reports that present autism as some kind of alternate lifestyle for kids. There are some that even refer to April as AUTISM ACCEPTANCE Month. April 8, 2013, Western IL University Courier: Autism needs awareness and acceptance
"April is National Autism Awareness Month. Throughout the month, organizations across the country hold events to bring autism awareness to the general public. Though these events provide information on all different forms of autism, too often it is just information and not enough about acceptance.
"In my opinion, acceptance and awareness should be equally important. Instead of April being Autism Awareness Month, I think it should be Autism Acceptance Month."
April 20, 2013, 1011-TV Grand Island, NE, Puzzle Walk For Autism Awareness and Acceptance
"With one in every 88 kids being diagnosed with autism, experts say it's important not only to increase awareness, but also acceptance." April 22, 2013, Cape May County NJ Shore News Today: Bubbles 4 Autism marks 10th year of raising awareness
'"It shows you that in 10 years it has grown in awareness,' Mosca said. 'It's all about awareness and acceptance.'" April 24, 2013, Jewish Week: Autism, And Awareness Month, An Opportunity To Live Jewish Values
"April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month, an opportunity for all Americans to commit to supporting people with autism spectrum disorders," April 26, 2013, Port Lavaca (TX) Wave: Local group hosts autism awareness event
"Parents of autistic children and community first responders attended a free autism awareness and acceptance program Monday at First United Methodist Church."
Acceptance? I believe every child with autism should be accepted and included in all aspects of childhood, but I don't ever expand on that to mean that AUTISM ITSELF SHOULD BE ACCEPTED. How could we just ACCEPT the loss of a generation of children to a disorder most people ever heard about 25 years ago?
If we merely ACCEPT AUTISM, then we've surrendered. Stop all the studies. Stop all the talk. Autism is here to stay and we're just going to have to learn how to live with it. If you're the mother of the one in 31 boys who now ends up with autism---tough. These things happen.
If AUTISM is ACCEPTABLE, why do so many parents cry when they receive an autism diagnosis? I know I did. I wanted answers. I wanted to do something to make him NOT AUTISTIC. I think most parents feel that way. Our first thought isn't, well, I guess that's the way it is--we just need to accept it.
Would we want to hear about AIDS ACCEPTANCE? How about POLIO ACCEPTANCE? Can anyone imagine seeing CHILD ABUSE ACCEPTANCE MONTH?
So why are we satisfied with only asking for AWARENESS and ACCEPTANCE when the subject is a serious debilitating condition like AUTISM? We should only accept those things that are impossible to change.
I refuse to ACCEPT AUTISM. I refuse to ACCEPT the loss of 2 percent of our children to AUTISM. I refuse to ACCEPT that there is no cure. I want the epidemic to stop and I want to recover damaged children. And that is not ACCEPTANCE.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.