Autism Acceptance :: Autism Acceptance :: Center For Disability Services New York

April is Autism Acceptance Month

The Center for Disability Services is celebrating Autism Acceptance Month, globally recognized as a time to educate people about Autism. Awareness is knowing, but acceptance is promoting understanding and inclusion in our communities. We invite you to help spread the message of acceptance, and to give the support that people on the spectrum need to thrive!


Why is Autism Acceptance Month important? Aislinn is here to tell you why it matters to her:


Why Autism Acceptance Matters.

by Aislinn Barker


When someone tells you a person is autistic, what pops into your mind? That they're odd? That they have "special needs"? That they're unique? In my opinion, being autistic means you're human. And our special needs aren't "special". They're necessary for us to function in a world that sometimes isn't built for us. Autism is a topic that is seldom talked about, and sadly, there are those who misunderstand it completely. In the past, Autism was seen as something to hide and to have shame about, to be changed or fixed. Autistic people were believed to be emotionless robots with no sense of awareness. But today, they're crushing the vicious stereotypes. The truth is, there's nothing to be afraid of when it comes to autistic people. Many of us have broken the mold on the stigma of Autism, and we're working to bring that acceptance into the light.


In my experience with being autistic, I feel people often see us in terms of black and white, and presume they know us better than we know ourselves and assume things right away about us (negatively, most times), despite our actions and such proving them wrong otherwise. I've had to fight belittlement, infantilization, gaslighting, condescension and ableism in order to get my accomodations met, and it had done some mental and emotional damage, taking a toll on me. Years of struggling to just exist like everyone else. No one should ever have to go through such frustration just to be heard. The real truth is that autistic people know exactly who they are and what they need, but society often makes it difficult for them to get it the straight way. And not only that, it makes things difficult on the ones we love as well who fight with us to get our equal rights. I think it's time to shift the narrative to focus on letting actual autistic people take the lead when it comes to autism itself.


Thanks to the positive help I've received from my allies and community specialists, I'm pursuing my passion for voice acting, singing, character design, and writing. With the right accomodations, a better understanding, and having people actually listen to autistic voices instead of just being "aware" of them, an autistic person can not just thrive and live successful lives, but also DO incredible things that could change the world for the better. Not by a "superpower", not by tragedy, but by being ourselves. It's merely a different way of seeing and experiencing the world around you. A neurotype. 

Acceptance to me is not only living life to the fullest, but freedom. Autistic rights are human rights. It's time to speak for ourselves. Our voices are LOUD, and most importantly, proud!