Autism was entered into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders also known as DSM in 1980 and under the name “Infantile Autism”. In the 43 years since being initially added to the DSM, the diagnosis has changed names a few times and now is included as part of the conditions that fall under neurodiversity. Like all neurodiversity topics and diagnosis once upon a time they were confined to a set of characteristics, gender, and age ranges that defined the diagnosis. Many still believe those initial parameters and the stigmas. With stigmas come misconceptions, bias and discrimination making it harder for autistic and neurodivergent adults to feel comfortable sharing their stories and being openly who they are.
Yesterday started Autism Acceptance Week, I would like to share some ways on how you can better accept and support your loved ones and community members every day of the year.
By accepting autistic individuals as they are and celebrating their strengths, talents, and contributions to society, you are creating an inclusive and welcoming environment.
There are many more ways to celebrate Autism Acceptance Week, I have attached articles, and a link to a list of books written by autistic authors below to help you on your acceptance journey and encourage you to support autistic adults in hopes to broaden your inclusivity and acceptance.
Here is an article called “Coming Out as Autistic: A Coming Out Kind of Conversation” written by Psychologist and a late diagnosed AuDHD woman named Dr.Neff.
Here is an article called “Unlock Creativity By Making Space For Neurodiversity In The Workplace” written by Allaya Cooks-Campbell.
Here is a Good Reads list of books in a variety of genres written by autistic authors.
Some food for thought questions for you:
What can I personally do to educate myself in this area to move from awareness to acceptance?
How can I support someone I know or someone I don’t know that is neurodivergent or autistic?