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Autism Acceptance

Two outlines of human heads are drawn on a teal, wooden background. Their brains are depicted as a series of wooden cubes. The human on the left has red and blue cubes, the human on the right has orange and green cubes to illustrate neurodiversity

April is Here!

Spring is starting and the weather allows for more outdoor fun! Also…it is Autism Awareness Month! To celebrate, My Kids Place providers and friends are participating in the National Foundation for Autism Research Virtual Superhero Race for Autism April 1st-10th! We are also a sponsor for the first-ever Autism’s Got Talent Live! hosted by Autism Society San Diego.

Autism Acceptance

Different. Not less.

Dr. Temple Grandin

Autism is a spectrum disorder meaning there are varying presentations. The spectrum is more like a pie chart than linear. The hallmark signs include: differences in social interaction like a lack of sharing interests or response to contextual clues; repetitive and rigid behaviors like excessive interest in certain toys; and differences in emotional regulation like difficulty calming when upset.

A color wheel to represent the Autism Spectrum with different size pieces cut out to demonstrate that each piece is a spectrum itself. The pieces read: Language and Communication; Social Skills; Executive Function; Motor Skills; Cognitive Flexibility;  Sensory Processing.
An example of the Autism Spectrum. The layout looks different for each individual, and can even change
day-to-day.

Some signs of autism are visible and others are not. Many sources portray autism as a disorder resulting in tantrums and stereotypical behaviors like hand flapping or perseverating on spinning wheels. Though these behaviors may be seen in children with autism, there is so much more going on under the surface. It is important to remember the positives of autism and not focus solely on the challenges. Autism does not need to be “fixed” or “cured.”

Autism is complex and manifests differently in each autistic person. Consider some lesser known aspects of autism including creativity and artistic genius. Autism makes a person see the world in a different way. And different does not mean wrong, bad, or worse. Differences in thinking lead to new ideas and progress. Do not let neurotypical biases limit the expectations or aspirations of someone with autism.

Overall, let’s not try to fit individuals with autism into one box, or reduce someone down to a diagnosis.

Together, let’s embrace neurodiversity!


Learn more about the autistic brain and thinking in this wonderful interview with Simon-Baron Cohen, the author of The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention.

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Updated

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