Today we had the honor of facilitating Experience Autism for a middle school class in West Virginia.
My “Ah Ha!” moment happened at the very beginning of class.
I asked, “Who has heard the word ‘autism’?” Every hand went up.
I asked, “Who knows someone with autism?” Every hand went up.
I asked, “Who can tell me what autism is?” Not one hand went up.
Today we didn’t “raise awareness” about autism. Clearly even 7th graders are aware of it.
No. Today we helped one class understand autism. There is a big difference between the two.
By going through the activities in the experience, these kids were able to actually encounter some of the challenges faced by people on the autism spectrum. They dealt with tactile issues. They learned what it was like to need a picture to complete a task when words simply made no sense. They struggled … Read More »
How many of you are aware of Autism Speak’s “Light It Up Blue” initiative?
According to their site, this April 2nd, for World Autism Day, businesses, buildings and front porches are supposed to change their white lightbulbs to blue.
I think it’s a cool concept—don’t get me wrong. But how does this raise awareness or anything else for autism? I’m thinking that the CDC’s announcement yesterday that the rates of autism are now 1 in 88 children and the news coverage of this national epidemic raise much more awareness of the spectrum and early diagnosis/early intervention than some downtown buildings having blue lights.
So go ahead and Light It Up Blue . . . but sharing data, facts, symptoms, treatments and support will last a lot longer, go a lot further, and enlighten people much longer than just a day of blue lightbulbs.
Bonnie is going to be interviewed on “Women of Vision” with Lori Brooks this coming Sunday morning at 7:30 on 97.1 WASH-FM.