Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 3 Spring 2015 - Page 62

Q&A For this issue, we did things a little differently. We decided to not offer a problem/solution type Q&A but instead to reach out to our Zoom readers (YOU) and asked a simple question: “What does Autism Acceptance mean to me?” The answers came in from around the world, some speaking for themselves and s ome about what acceptance means to their entire family, but all with the same feeling. We encourage you to read them and notice the overall theme: Acceptance is about dignity, respect and being valued for the uniquely beautiful person you are. Throughout April Autism Acceptance Month, we encourage you to keep this conversation going. Post your answer on our ZOOM Autism Facebook page: What Does Autism Acceptance mean to you? Have a question you want to ask? Are you an autistic individual who wants to be an expert and offer advice? Email us at zoomautism@gmail.com with “Q&A” in the subject line. 62 Zoom Autism Through Many Lenses “Autism acceptance, to me, means living in a world where I’m not seen as less or negatively judged for having a different set of strengths and weaknesses! It’s when autism is part of the normal human experience rather than an exceptional difference.” Haley Moss “I talk to moms all the time who are in awe of Olivia and how well she is doing. I need to tell you that she wouldn’t be doing this well if I hadn’t accepted her diagnosis and let Olivia BE Olivia. Before she was diagnosed, I was very busy correcting, re-directing and being angry at her seemingly willful and non-conformist behaviors. It just didn’t fit into what I thought was “normal.” When we finally learned of her diagnosis and accepted her for the absolute brilliance that is Olivia, she began to flourish. Having accepted Olivia’s autism gave her wings to fly and a safe place to fall. Autism Acceptance is accepting your own child or adult so that others will do the same.” Krista Preuss Goudreault “My disability is bad eyesight; my son’s is autism. My difference and accommodation (eyeglasses/ contacts) is accepted by society while he is treated with a stigma of a burden and plague. When his disability/difference is as accepted as mine, then we will have autism acceptance.” Deborah Cole “More family outings with less comments and stares, more birthday party invitations with less worried parents that think my son may harm their children, more compassion from strangers who think because my sons disability isn’t visible he’s spoiled or diagnosed with something that could be fixed with physical punishment. I feel the key to autism acceptance is education. If more funding was given to autistic groups to showcase ASD through media platforms world-wide with an autism acceptance campaign, this would be the keystone.” Paula O”Keefe