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Autism Awareness is for YOU, Autistic Person! Yes, You!

While autism awareness may appear to focus on teaching non-autistics about autism, it is also about us! The ones WITH the autism!

It is very important for a non-autistic (a neurotypical) to treat another person with autism with patience and understanding. However, it is much more important for an autistic person to treat themselves with respect. Respect leads to confidence, and confidence leads to motivation. Motivation is the driving force behind all sorts of good things, including self-improvement, completing tasks and projects, and making oneself a productive and successful member of society!

Know your strengths and challenges

Giving someone with a difference the respect that they deserve is not easy, especially with a hidden difference such as autism. It can be hard to tell that a person has autism until you interact with them, and it can be quite surprising. People often do not know how to handle others with autism (or themselves, if they have autism). That’s why there is a month for acknowledging this specific and special disability. In addition, that is why there are so many material items available for purchase that draw attention and awareness, such as puzzle piece-themed T-shirts, stickers, posters, and jewelry. These function as visual reminders that this condition exists, and it must be remembered. We must stop and think about those with autism.

Because you are an individual with autism, it is very important that you are aware of your strengths and abilities, as well as possible challenges. While the number of people who understand this unique and special condition is growing, the only person who really understands what you are going through is you. If you need to tell others that you have it, please do! You may need to educate people about what you need. Wearing one of the symbols for autism may be helpful or talking to people in a casual manner may work as well. It all boils down to doing what you need to do to take care of yourself.

Always have a goal

Please, never feel like you cannot do something because of having a disability. Things can be harder, but satisfaction comes from achieving goals and dreams. In fact, some things may be easier. Some people with autism are good at recalling facts or visuals. Others have a strong affinity for music. Regardless of the differences that a person is given, it is important to always have an end goal in mind. Having a goal creates focus and direction. Moving toward that goal gives a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. No matter who or where you are in life, always have a goal or set of goals. It will get you somewhere.

At the very least, it will keep you from a future of feeling bummed out and playing video games all day!! LOL. Hugs!

Mary Janca was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at 33 years of age after years of struggles, including trying to fit her unique self into various molds. She works as a high school teacher and coach for students who are of all learning and social abilities (including with ASD). She has a Masters in Special Education, a Bachelors in Film & Anthropology, and teaching certifications in various subjects. She enjoys exercise, travel, learning, people, reading, and art. She welcomes emails at maryj2001@hotmail.com and contact on Facebook for questions or to make a connection!

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