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Most People Want To Do The Right Thing

No act of kindness“Most people want to do the right thing”

A fellow advocate in the autism community made a interesting comment to me recently in the course of our conversation. He said, “Most people want to do the right thing.”

It made me stop and think about stories I see in the news.

He is so right. Modern society has to deal with the huge change that has taken place incrementally over the last 20 years. Today, large numbers of people are affected by neurological disorders.

This is especially true for our children. We can no longer expect that a child who is born healthy and starts out thriving will stay that way. It is now expected that this child could be developing normally and then lose learned skills, ending up with one or more of a myriad of neurological conditions.

It’s now acceptable that 1 in 5 children in the U.S. will have learning and attention issues such as dyslexia and ADHD. One in 36 can be expected to have autism. (If you live in California, it’s one in 22. If you live in Florida, it’s one in 20.)

No one in charge is worried, nor do they expect things to improve. This is now what we have to live with.

And yes, as my friend said, “Most people want to do the right thing.”

So the result, in a society where people want to help those in need, we provide accommodations.

This is why so much coverage is in the news focused on neurodiversity and inclusion. Businesses and community services are getting autism training because clearly they’re going to be dealing with affected people.

So many places hold diversity celebrations and sensory-friendly events because this population is too big to ignore.

I found a very touching story that shows this. It was from Peterborough, England.

This BBC News piece was entitled, “Dad's bid to make Peterborough an autism-friendly city.”

A father who wants to help make a city one of the most autistic-friendly places in the UK is creating a network of signs to help non-speaking children communicate in public spaces.

Dan Harris, from Peterborough, whose son Joshie is autistic, has secured funding for 100 picture boards in the city. They help people to communicate through images. He said: "We no longer want autism to be hidden." "This is a proof of concept. There are about 3,000 autistic people in Peterborough and it's important that the needs of that community are met." He said he wanted to see the boards introduced across Britain and in other countries. Mr Harris, who is also founder of the charity Neurodiversity in Business, which campaigns for more awareness, said: "This board is incredibly important because it doesn't just help non-speaking people communicate, but it also promotes discussions." He said, "Autism acceptance can only be preceded by autism awareness". The boards cost £6,000 [$7,400] and are funded through a combination of the charity and the local councillor grants.

A person can’t help but admire a dad who is so dedicated to helping the disabled.

Several things in this story also reinforce the idea that autism is here to stay.

The dad calls for “autism acceptance” and “autism awareness.” He founded a charity called “Neurodiversity.”

According to this story, autism isn’t an epidemic of recent origin; it’s something that we don’t question. It’s now a given.

But all the kind intentions can’t change the reality that no society can function with increasing numbers of dependent citizens who will never pay into social services but will live off of them for the rest of their lives.

No one is ever out there raising an alarm over the autism numbers. It would make a person seem uncaring and callous. Maybe that’s why no one brings up the subject.

Personally, I can see where this is going, and when the accepted rate is one in 20 in every state, I hope all the people who want to do the right thing will finally ask the right question.

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.

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