Autism Awareness Day: Celebrate Neurodiversity
It’s a time to spread the word about autism, its challenges, and the many ways in which people with autism can live happy and fulfilling lives.
Autism is not a disease or an affliction that needs to be cured. It is a neurological difference, a part of who someone is that should be embraced, celebrated, and understood. Those with autism have unique perspectives and strengths that can enrich our lives and bring new insights into the world.
Autism is not a problem that needs to be solved, but rather a part of the rich tapestry of human diversity. We must shift our focus from trying to cure autism to creating an inclusive society that accepts and celebrates differences. Only then can we truly support individuals with autism and help them thrive.
Instead of trying to change individuals with autism, let us focus on providing the support and resources they need to reach their full potential. Let us create a world where they can be accepted for who they are, valued for their strengths, and supported in their challenges.
We must challenge the notion that those with autism need to be “fixed” or made “normal.” Instead, we should embrace the diversity of the human experience, including the unique perspectives and abilities of those with autism. Only then can we create a truly inclusive world, accepting, and supportive of all.
In order to understand this stigma surrounding autistic adults we must first look at how it started. Autism is a complex developmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. While it has been recognized as a distinct condition for over 70 years, the origins of autism remain a mystery.
According to some studies, the first case of autism was documented in the early 20th century. However, the term “autism” was not officially used until the 1940s when psychiatrist Leo Kanner first described the condition in a paper titled “Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact” published in 1943.
Despite the lack of scientific understanding of the origins of autism, researchers have long studied the possible causes and contributing factors. Some of these factors may include genetics, environmental factors, and neurological differences. Recent studies have also shown a possible link between autism and prenatal exposure to certain chemicals, such as pesticides and phthalates.
While much remains unknown about the origins of autism, what is clear is that it is a complex and multifaceted condition that affects millions of people around the world. With greater awareness and understanding, we can continue to improve our understanding of autism and support those who live with it every day.
Statistics about Autism
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, about 1 in 36 children have been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), with an estimated prevalence of 2.76% among American children. Furthermore, in 2018, an average of 1 in every 44 (2.3%) 8-year-old children were estimated to have ASD across the CDC surveillance sites. ASD is 4.2 times as prevalent among boys (3.7%) as among girls (0.9%).
Employed Autistic Adults
85% of autistic adults are employed with a college education in the U.S.
It was shown that 7% of individuals with ASD are employed with the support of a job coach
ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. The prevalence of autism varies depending on the country, with the prevalence in the United States being higher than in many other countries.
The majority of autism’s costs in the United States are for adult services – an estimated $175 to $196 billion a year, compared to $61 to $66 billion a year for children. On average, medical expenditures for children and adolescents with ASD were 4.1 to 6.2 times greater than for those without autism.
Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is described as a “developmental disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first 2 years of life.
The Stigma Surrounding Autistic Adults
Autistic adults face a number of challenges. They may be misunderstood and misjudged by others, which can lead to discrimination and social exclusion. This is because many misconceptions about autism have become ingrained in society’s collective consciousness.
One such misconception is that autistic people are intellectually disabled or mentally ill but this isn’t true! In fact, many autistic individuals have high IQs and are extremely intelligent; holding PHD’s or other advanced degrees in various fields of study such as science.
Another common misconception is that all people with autism are introverted loners who don’t want friends or relationships; however, this isn’t always true either. Some autistics do enjoy spending time with others while others prefer solitude. It depends on each individual person’s needs as well as their own personality type!
Another reason why there’s so much stigma surrounding autistic adults? Lack of support from family members who don’t understand how best to deal with their loved ones’ needs. Even worse those who refuse outright help due to fear of embarrassment from other people finding out about their child being diagnosed “differently”.
Stigmas Surrounding Autism
Stigmas surrounding autism is a huge problem. They can cause people with autism to feel like they’re not accepted and loved by society, which can lead to depression and other mental health issues.
Some of the most common misconceptions about autistic people include:
- That they have no feelings or emotions. This is not true! Autistic people experience emotions just like anyone else, but sometimes it may take them longer to express their feelings verbally than it would for someone without autism.
- That all autistic children are savants (people who have extraordinary talent). In fact, only 1 in 10 children with autism have savant skills–and even then, those skills aren’t always present at birth; they develop over time as the child learns more about what he or she is capable of doing mentally
Understanding the Effects of Stigmas
Stigmas surrounding autism is harmful to all people, but they’re especially damaging for autistic individuals and their families. These can prevent autistic people from getting the care that they need, which can lead to other health issues like depression or anxiety. It also makes it difficult for them to find jobs and make friends because of misconceptions about their abilities.
Stigmas can also be stressful for caregivers who are trying their best to help an autistic family member or friend succeed in life but feel judged by others who don’t understand what they’re going through.
The first step to dismantling stigmas is raising awareness of autism. As a society, we need to understand that there are many different types of autism, and not all people with autism have the same experiences or challenges. Also, it’s important for us as individuals to learn more about this spectrum disorder so that we can better support our loved ones who may be on it or know someone who has been diagnosed with it.
For example, how some autistic individuals experience sensory overload when they’re around too much noise or light at one time (like at concerts). However, good news is that there are ways we can help reduce this discomfort by creating safe spaces where these individuals can go when they need them most–it’s all about being mindful!
Challenges to Dismantling Stigmas
Challenges to dismantling stigmas surrounding autism are many. Lack of funding, resources and support all play a role in keeping these stigmas alive.
According to research, one of the challenges to dismantling stigmas surrounding autism is the general lack of knowledge and misconceptions about the condition. This has led to historical prejudices, including parents keeping their children from getting a diagnosis or the assistance they may need. Additionally, the complexity and extent of the damage caused by stigma is an issue that needs careful and urgent attention. It can impact various psycho-social phenomena such as employment stigma and discrimination, social and emotional loneliness, hate crime, and mate crime.
Lack of funding means that many individuals with autism do not have access to the treatment they need or even basic services like housing or education. This lack of funding also prevents research into effective treatments for this condition so that we can better understand what causes it and how best to treat it in each person.
The lack of resources makes it difficult for families who have children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) to get help from professionals who understand their needs – including doctors, therapists, and social workers – because there aren’t enough specialists trained in working with people on the spectrum available at any given time; sometimes there aren’t any at all within driving distance! This means parents often don’t know where they should go when something goes wrong; instead, they may end up relying on friends or family members who aren’t qualified professionals themselves but nonetheless care deeply about helping out however possible…
To overcome these challenges, it is crucial to increase awareness and understanding of autism, including its symptoms, causes, and treatments. It is also essential to provide adequate support and resources for individuals on the spectrum and their families, as well as address and combat prejudices and judgments.
The work is far from done. We must continue to advocate for better resources and support. While also remembering that each individual with autism has their own unique story and journey. It is not enough to simply make posts on social media about supporting or promoting awareness. We must be active in the community and advocate for education and acceptance for everyone as they are. We must work together to create a world that values diversity and celebrates the unique contributions of every individual. We must strive to build a society that provides equal opportunities and support to everyone, regardless of their differences.
We can all make a difference by educating ourselves, listening to the experiences of those with autism, and advocating for greater understanding and support. Together, we can create a brighter future for everyone, where differences are celebrated and embraced.