Autism Acceptance: Be Aware, Be Kind

Autism Acceptance: Be Aware, Be Kind

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - It can be hard enough for anyone to cope with the uncertainty of a pandemic. But for many children who have autism or are on the autism spectrum disorder, life as it is now can be even more unsettling. Sherry Sancibrian is the Director of the South Plains Autism Network. She says with 1 in 54 children diagnosed with the disorder, we need to be more understanding... now more than ever as we head into April, which happens to be Autism Awareness Month.

Sherry says, "A lot of people with autism have a hard time wondering why they have to stay at home, why they can’t go to school and why they can’t run up and hug people or shake their hand.

And I think the hardest thing for them is understanding what other people are thinking and relating the way other people would expect them to." So how many people are working as adults with ASD? She says we would be amazed. She explains, “I think people would be truly surprised if they realized how many of the people in their circle at work or at church or in your wider group of friends, actually probably would be somewhere on the spectrum. Lots of them probably aren’t diagnosed. But there are people who struggle with social interaction and they could get a diagnosis of autism and even if they don’t, they still have the same issues.”

The month of April is recognized as Autism Awareness month but Sherry believes we should look at tht as Autism Acceptance instead. She says, "We need to think about autism acceptance.

So for tomorrow, wear blue and for the whole month, learn about people with autism and hopefully our social perception wlll change from trying to ‘fix’ people with autism to thinking, ‘what are the support and services that they need to be successful at work at school, just in our society?’" Sherry says we need to be more inclusive at work and at play.

After all, she says, “Just be kind, which is not a bad idea for everybody.”

April 2nd is World Autusm Awareness Day when we are all asked to wear blue.

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