Why do you like being Autistic?

Ryan says,

[Image description: Ryan says, “I like being Autistic because I’m me.” His sign has a face drawn on it! Ryan is a proud, 11 year old Autistic!]

Alanna Whitney's sign reads,

[Image description: Alanna Whitney’s sign reads, “I like being autistic because: The same parts of my brain that disable me, also allow me to develop multi-disciplinary talents. Nevermind savantism; I have many skills which I attribute to the exact same aspeccts of my neurology that handip me. Disability is nothing to be ashamed of and the spectrum is rife with ability too!” It is illustrated.]

Alanna Whitney has green hair in this picture and is holding up a sign that says,

[Image description: Alanna Whitney has green hair in this picture and is holding up a sign that says, “I like being autistic because: Superheroes, vampires, demigods + aliens all have enhanced senses in fiction. Hepersensitivity is a disability with an extra-ordinary up-side. The intensely pleasurable experiencces outweigh the preventable over-loads be a great deal.” There are hearts added to this sign.]

Image is of Ivanova Smith looking into the camera.

[Image description: A person named Ivanova Smith looking into the camera.] “I love my neurodiversity because it makes me think really visually and I love the memories it allows me to see in inanimate detail. I love when sudden textures make me feel just happy. I love the passion it gives me to do what is right. I love my drawing ability that I would not be able to have without my visual mind. I love that it makes me different. I like my repetitive movement, they give me great comfort. I enjoy the times that I became so happy and energetic that I start jumping and my body goes spastic. I love my life really I am blessed to be! “

-Ivanova Smith.

"Celebrating neurodiversity." Photo of three blondes smiling: A proud mom in the middle with her two daughters, ages 7 & 9, on either side. Her eldest is autistic. I live in: CA

“Celebrating neurodiversity.”

[Image description: Photo of three blondes smiling: A proud mom in the middle with her two daughters, ages 7 & 9, on either side. Her eldest is autistic.]

What does autism acceptance look like to you?

A person named Lili Valencia holding a sign reading

[Image description: A person named Lili Valencia holding a sign reading “Autism Acceptance Is: Getting to know everyone on an individual basis” next to a heart symbol.]

Lynette Porter has done a sign in many colors. there are stamps and markers next to the sign on the table. A hand is pnning the sign to the table. The sign says,

[Image description: Lynette Porter has done a sign in many colors. there are stamps and markers next to the sign on the table. A hand is pinning the sign to the table. The sign says, “Autism Acceptance Is: Listening Learning Loving Growing”]

A person named Stephanie holding a sign that reads:

[Image description: A person named Stephanie holding a sign that reads: “Autism Acceptance is: Embracing Differences Being openminded, nonjudgemental, loving an autistic person(s) who who they are” Stephanie has drawn a heart next to the last part.]

Sign is from a Grandmother of two autistic grandchildren and is in Spanish. It reads,

[Image description: Sign is from a Grandmother of two autistic grandchildren and is in Spanish. It reads, “Autism Acceptance is: Quererlos tener tolerancia sobre todo amarlos son Angeles que Dios nos mando a esta tierra.” which translates in English to “Love them, have tolerance, above anything love them, they’re angels sent to us by God to this earth.”]

James Perez supports autism acceptance because

[Image description: A person named James Perez holding a sign reading “Autism Acceptance Is: Dinosaurs Love You Too.”]

Sunny's sign has an image of Sunny sitting at a keyboard. The text on the sign says,

[Image description: Sunny’s sign has an image of Sunny sitting at a keyboard. The text on the sign says, “Autism Acceptance Is: Allowing people on the spectrum to reach their full potential.”]

This sign is from a loving aunt of two autistic nephews and is in Spanish. It reads,

[Image description: This sign is from a loving aunt of two autistic nephews and is in Spanish. It reads, “Autism Acceptance Is: Amor, compresion, entender, al ser quendo con autismo entender que son especiales y unitos que nesecitor mucho amor.” which translates in English to “Love, comprehension, understand the person with autism, understand they are special and unique, that they need love.”]

Alanna Whitney wears red and has on white sunglasses while holding up a sign that reads,

[Image description: Alanna Whitney wears red and has on white sunglasses while holding up a sign that reads, “Autism Acceptance is: Including people in the discussion about us. Using Identity-first language. Neurodiversity. Employing us. Assisting us without trying to cure us of an immutable par of our individual personalities. Treating us like human beings.”]

This sign is from an uncle of two autistic nephews. It reads

[Image description: This sign is from an uncle of two autistic nephews. It reads “Autism Acceptance is: Respect Patience Love Education Tolerance” and is being held in front of the person’s face.]

A person named Jose Antonio Medina holding a sign reading:

[Image description: A person named Jose Antonio Medina holding a sign reading: “Autim Acceptance Is: we gay people support you and feel you deserve equal rights.”]

This sign is from a sister of an autistic brother. It reads,

[Image description: This sign is from a sister of an autistic brother. It reads, “Autism Acceptance is: Treating them equally.”]

Stephanie's sign reads,

[Image description: Stephanie’s sign reads, “Autism Acceptance is: Doing what’s best for Actually Autistic people, not what’s convenient for the neurotypical people around them.”]

I Like Being Autistic Because…

A person named Sarah Wheeler (she pronouns) holds a sign that reads

[Image description: A person named Sarah Wheeler holds a sign that reads “I like being autistic because different is beautiful”]

[Steph’s Sign reads: I Like Being Autistic Because I have a photographic memory, I have obsessions that bring me joy, and I’m a Unique and Fun person to be around. Steph, 17. A cutout of a butterfly is next to the text.]

[Steph’s Sign reads: I Like Being Autistic Because I have a photographic memory, I have obsessions that bring me joy, and I’m a Unique and Fun person to be around. Steph, 17. A cutout of a butterfly is next to the text.]

A person named Daniel Obejas smiles at the camera, holding a sign that reads

[Image description: A person named Daniel Obejas smiles at the camera, holding a sign that reads “I like being autistic because it helps me appreciate life’s simple pleasures”]

[A sign reading: I Like being autistic because I think quickly, I feel deeply, I see patterns everywhere, There is always music inside my head, There are so many other amazing Autistics in the world! I Connect with words..]

[Image description: A sign reading: I Like being autistic because I think quickly, I feel deeply, I see patterns everywhere, There is always music inside my head, There are so many other amazing Autistics in the world! I Connect with words..]

[A person named Kieran holds a sign in front of his face that reads

[Image description: A person named Kieran holds a sign in front of his face that reads “I like being autistic because my brain is unique” followed by a smiley face.]

Alanna Whitney wears red and has a lolly pop while holding a sign that reads,

[Image description: Alanna Whitney wears red and has a lolly pop while holding a sign that reads, “I like being autistic because:#Hypersensitivity is sexy! #acceptanceis #walkinred“]

Alanna Whitney's sign reads,

[Image description: Alanna Whitney’s sign reads, “I like being autistic because: #Synaesthesia #Neurodiversity#hypersensitivity #LoveNotFear #honesty #Autisticpride #Hyperlexia #DifferentNotLess#SpecialInterests #ActuallyAutistic #VisualThinking#stopAbleism2015 #patternthinking #WalkinRed2015 #Hyperfocus #AutismAcceptanceMonth #DifferentPerspectives #AcceptanceIs #AbstractThought #IDontNeedACure #Unique #AcceptanceNOTawareness “]

Carla sent us this sign. It has AAM, ASAN, and AWN's logos, along with a neurodiversity starburst and a spectrummy infinity sign. It reads,

[Image description: Carla sent us this sign. It has AAM, ASAN, and AWN’s logos, along with a neurodiversity starburst and a spectrummy infinity sign. It reads, “Waht do I like about being autistic? The community I get to be part of!”]

from Gabriella 6 years old:  I Like being Autistic because

[Image description: from Gabriella 6 years old, a sign reading: I Like being Autistic because “we are family” (With a drawing of a person holding a smaller person on a couch, with heart stickers over their heads.)]

[A sign that depicts Faolain surrounded by a halo’d spectrum of light. It reads, “I Like Begin Autistic Because: It Colors My World”]

[Image description: A sign that depicts Faolain surrounded by a halo’d spectrum of light. It reads, “I Like Begin Autistic Because: It Colors My World”]

[Sam Perry’s sign reads, I like being autistic because: I can learn languages quickly. My special interests have helped me meet amazing friends. I am logical. It is who I am and I am proud! I get to see past social pretenses to who we really are. I am fiercely loyal to my friends.]

[Image description: Sam Perry’s sign reads, I like being autistic because: I can learn languages quickly. My special interests have helped me meet amazing friends. I am logical. It is who I am and I am proud! I get to see past social pretenses to who we really are. I am fiercely loyal to my friends.]

I Like Being Autistic Because: I feel no need for other people's approval. I think outside the box. I have an excellent memory. I am non-judgemental. I can have loads of autistic friends. It makes me unique. I have a very good sense of Humour.  I have really good hearing.  Very loving and great memory! Very truthful. Heart is always in the right place.  Heart of Gold. Genuine.  Good sense of humour. make me smile.  have good idea.  Really Friendly.  Work hard.  Always want to do a good job. Really Thoughtful and helpful. Great company- fun to be around.  Genuine and honest.  helps you to see things in a totally different ways. creative and imaginative- truth! Heart of gold and kind to others (heart) Very Creative and Funny. It's just being me!

[Image description: A sign that multiple people have written on, reading I Like Being Autistic Because: I feel no need for other people’s approval. I think outside the box. I have an excellent memory. I am non-judgemental. I can have loads of autistic friends. It makes me unique. I have a very good sense of Humour.  I have really good hearing.  Very loving and great memory! Very truthful. Heart is always in the right place.  Heart of Gold. Genuine.  Good sense of humour. make me smile.  have good idea.  Really Friendly.  Work hard.  Always want to do a good job. Really Thoughtful and helpful. Great company- fun to be around.  Genuine and honest.  helps you to see things in a totally different ways. creative and imaginative- truth! Heart of gold and kind to others (heart) Very Creative and Funny. It’s just being me!]

You can see more pictures in our Facebook album.

To learn how to submit your own picture response, click here!

 

Acceptance Is…

Squawkers the parrot holds a sign saying,

[Image description: A parrot named Squawkers holds a sign saying, “Autism Acceptance Is: saying “no” to “awareness” scare tactics. Scary October = Good. Scary April = Bad” with a picture of Squawkers in a “Scream” mask.]

A person named Kira Sherman holds a sign that reads

[Image description: A person named Kira Sherman holding a sign that reads “autism acceptance is believing in equality”]

Image description: A person named Kieran holds a sign in front of his face that reads

[Image description: A person named Kieran holds a sign in front of his face that reads “autism acceptance is treating people like people!!!”]

What autism acceptance means to me
Submitted by Cari C. via email

I am a 25 year old girl with Aspergers. I was diagnosed at about age 5. Growing up, very few of my classmates ever knew specifically that I had Autism, but they could still tell something about me was different, so of course they singled me out, teased me and bullied me. I tried so hard to be “normal”, to be what I thought they wanted me to be so they would finally accept me. Then when I was in 8th grade, one day it hit me: “I will never be normal, I will never be what they want me to be, and they will never accept me. And you know what? I DON’T CARE ANYMORE!!” I decided to be who I want me to be and not care what anyone else thinks. For me personally, it was rebelling by dressing in the “Goth” style. Not only did I accept that I was different, I thrived on it. I LOVE being called “weird” and “freak”, the only word that offends me is “normal.” I NEVER want to be normal! EVER! To all my fellow Autistics – it does not matter what other people think of you, all that matters is that you love being YOU! NEVER try to be what you’re not to please someone else. ALWAYS be yourself no matter what!! People may frown on my tattoos, piercings and wild outfits, but this is what Autism acceptance looks like to me. This is who I am and I love it!

A person named Henry smiles at the camera, holding a sign that reads

[Image description: A person named Henry smiles at the camera, holding a sign that reads “autism acceptance is treating those with respect”]

A person named Sarah holds a sign that reads

[Image description: A person named Sarah holds a sign that reads “autism acceptance is embracing differences without bias.”]

A person named Bev and Squawkers the parrot holding a sign that reads “Autism Acceptance is: Freedom to be who we are” with a picture of Squawkers sitting on the front of a scooter

[Image description: A person named Bev and Squawkers the parrot holding a sign that reads “Autism Acceptance is: Freedom to be who we are” with a picture of Squawkers sitting on the front of a scooter]

A person named Thomas holding a sign that reads,

[Image description: A person named Thomas holding a sign that reads, “Autism Acceptance Is: “I know you are uncomfortable with making eye contact. I understand that you are still listening.”]

A person named Jeeha smiles at the camera, holding a sign that reads

[Image description: A person named Jeeha smiles at the camera, holding a sign that reads “autism acceptance is love & affection”]

What is autism / Autism acceptance
Submitted by Hello IT via email

I know that I am different.

You’ll say everybody feels that way, but this isn’t a feeling I have; it’s central to who I am. If these differences were temporary or voluntary, self-preservation would have altered them long ago.

I know that everybody is different, but I differ in ways that comprise a greater difference, unexpected and unacceptable to you. I do my best to hide them and seem acceptable, but the more I focus on hiding my differences, the more afraid I become that one day I’ll simply be my differences and nothing more.

I am more than my differences.

My differences, you see, are mostly honesty about the rest of me. I feel and think things that are too big for my brain and I must enlist my body to assist. If you’ve learned my open secrets, you’ll know that as surely as if I spoke. You can say “You’re knotting your hair; why are you tense?” and I’ll know it’s not the kind of question I’m expected to answer with a lie.

I can lie. You’ve taught me how by punishing my honesty. When you ask how I am, but dislike me for telling you, you’ve expressed an interest you don’t feel. You’re lying to me, and I’m expected to lie in return, and this is considered mannerly. If I am not mannerly, you will dislike me, and I will learn to lie next time — maybe to you on the sidewalk, but maybe to my doctor when he uses the same words to ask how I am.

I know this isn’t considered a real lie, and calling it a lie is shockingly unmannerly. “It’s fine” sometimes means “That was not okay”. “I don’t care” sometimes means “I care very much indeed”. You won’t speak my language, so I study yours.

But we’re not so different: We both communicate because we want to reach out, affect, and be acknowledged. I just need truth to be exchanged, or I see no point in interacting except avoiding your punishments.

When you ask how I am, you want to say “I see you” and hear that you are seen in return; you aren’t trying to exchange anything more. I want to tell you what I see in you, and hear what you see in me, so that we can both be affected and acknowledge that we have the power to affect one another, that we are both secret sovereign universes hidden away from each other, but signalling, signalling, creating new galaxies of thought over the merest attenuated radio trickle. I can experience this miracle playing with a cat, yet so rarely manage to coax it from you.

I don’t need to hear that you see me. I already know whether you see me.

Mostly, you don’t. Mostly, you see my differences, or the nothing I hide them behind.

I already know that I am different. I want you to tell me things I don’t already know.

 

Bev and Squawkers the parrot together, holding a sign that reads “Autism Acceptance is: Yes, the parrot works here too.” with an image of Squawkers in an office.

[Image description: Bev and Squawkers the parrot together, holding a sign that reads “Autism Acceptance is: Yes, the parrot works here too.” with an image of Squawkers in an office.]

A sign that reads

[Image description: A sign that reads “Autism Acceptance is: Loving my Sissy.” 2-year-old Jeremiah has drawn a bunch of colors all over this sign.]

A sign that reads

[Image description: A sign that reads “Autism Acceptance is: – Being in tune with the best case scenario. There is always a “Happy medium” between “typical social norms and what is needed by an autistic individual. Everyone needs to adjust and sometimes society needs to adjust more. – CGregoryRun”]

Bev and Squawkers the parrot holding a sign that reads, “Autism Acceptance is: Celebrating our differences.” with an image of Squawkers and a horse.

[Image description: Bev and Squawkers the parrot holding a sign that reads, “Autism Acceptance is: Celebrating our differences.” with an image of Squawkers and a horse.]

You can see more pictures in our Facebook album.

To learn how to submit your own definition of what #AcceptanceIs, click here!