Language
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
Back to Firefly Blog

The Other Side of Autism Awareness

The Other Side of Autism Awareness

April is finally here and today my timeline on social media was flooded with articles, poems and blogs related to autism because April is Awareness month and 2nd April is World Autism Awareness Day!

Fantastic! I love it.

A month dedicated to raising awareness of what autism is, explaining how it affects everyone differently, how to support those on the spectrum and many other topics related to autism.

Posters are displayed on social media and in workplaces, certain buildings light up in honor of autism awareness, autism will be ‘trending’ all over the web and generally, autism will be one of the most talked about things in the world this month.

Whilst this is great, there are parts of it that are not so great.

Without question, there will be debates about the lighting up of buildings and the wearing of a certain color to raise autism awareness.

As people have different experiences, come from different countries, etc., it soon becomes evident that no matter what color you choose (if you choose any) it will offend or upset someone else.

Without realizing it, you find yourself in a debate or discussion around this and often it can become quite heated.

I’m not even sure what color is ‘acceptable’ anymore. Questions will be thrown into the conversation such as - do we need a color anyway?

Can’t’ we just stick to the puzzle piece colors… (that in itself opens up a whole new wave of disagreements, the use of a puzzle piece is seen as offensive to some).

Symbols!

As above, the puzzle piece gets mixed reviews despite it being a more recognized sign.

Some find it offensive, they feel they are not puzzles to solved and that they are not a ‘missing piece’. Others really like the puzzle symbol, saying that, to them, it matches how they feel.

That they are finding out who they piece by piece.

The infinity symbol in a rainbow of colors is becoming very popular, yet some don’t like the rainbow.

The use of language.

Autistic person or a person with autism? My daughter is autistic, and she likes to use both. But when you’re blogging or even just chatting in support groups, you can end up accidentally offending someone by whichever one you choose.

April will see a rise in the discussion of language choice.

I’m all for personal choice on all of the above, I think it’s become very easy to argue on the internet behind a keyboard these days.

With everyone coming from different countries, backgrounds, cultures, experiences….. we’re never all going to agree and that’s OK.

The world would be a boring place if we all did!

But perhaps we need to remind ourselves that it is a personal choice.

If someone likes the puzzle piece it doesn’t mean they deserve abuse. If someone chooses to light it up blue/red/gold/rainbow then it’s their choice to do that.

Awareness is great and very much needed but it’s simply the foundation piece that leads to understanding, acceptance, support, and opportunities.

How we raise awareness shouldn’t matter if it’s not harming anyone.

Don’t forget that often, many of us don’t know these hidden ‘rules’ and in a bid to raise awareness we may end up choosing something others don’t agree with.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, their own choices, but April often brings more arguments than awareness.

 

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Julie Clarke

Meet Our Blogger

I live in the East Midlands, UK and I'm mum to Eliza, 9 (Autism & Anxiety) and Noah, 4 (NT). Running a blog and Facebook page has helped me create an amazing support network as well as raising autism awareness and acceptance and we've made some great friends too.

View Julie’s Profile

Become a Firefly Blogger

Would you like to write for Firefly? Join our blogger network of parents, therapists and professionals.

Get In Touch

Become a subscriber today

Join over 40,000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter with insightful articles just when you need them.

Join Mailing List

By using our site you agree to our use of cookies. Click here for more info.

Accept & Close

No Interest if paid in full in 4 months on

Purchases on £99+

UK Customers only. Subject to credit approval. See terms below

Paypal Credit

Pay now or pay over time with PayPal Credit. Just use PayPal Credit in PayPal checkout.

Subject to credit approval.

Purchases of £99+:

No Interest if paid in full in 4 months on purchases of £99 or more.

  • A minimum monthly payment is required and may or may not pay off the promotional purchase by the end of the 4-month period.
  • No interest will be charged on the purchase if you pay it off in full within 4 months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the purchase from the purchase date at the Purchase APR applicable to your account.
  • Any remaining balance due after the 4-month promotional period or any transactions under £99 will be charged interest at 19.9% p.a. (variable).

Purchases of £98.99 or less:

Buy now and pay over time with PayPal Credit when you spend £98.99 or less.

  • If you pay your balance in full each month by the payment due date that is on your statement, you can avoid paying interest.
  • Or, make minimum monthly payments, or any additional amount of your choosing, until you've paid off your balance according to your standard account terms. Please note, interest charges may apply.
  • We'll send you email reminders when your payments are due. You can also keep track of your account and view your statements online at any time.

About PayPal Credit

  • PayPal Credit is a reusable credit line available on purchases at thousands of stores that accept PayPal. It's also available for purchases on eBay and exclusively at thousands of other online stores. Plus, it comes with the same security and flexibility you trust from PayPal.
  • In order to maintain the 0% offer, you need to keep up monthly repayments and stay within your credit limit. Credit subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. UK residents only.

Please wait...