April Is Autism Awareness / Acceptance Month
Autism is a neurological difference that’s associated with some gifts and a great many disabilities. For a person to be diagnosed on the autism spectrum, they must have significant impairments as a result of autism. We may have gifts too, but disability remains the basis for diagnosis. Some autistic people are rendered non-speaking by their condition, and I can’t imagine who would celebrate that. Others live with significant medical compilations like epilepsy. I’ve yet to meet anyone who celebrates that either.
At the same time, there is a growing body of evidence that autistic brain differences have facilitated some of mankind’s great accomplishments in music, engineering, science, theology and the arts. The achievements are certainly worthy of admiration, but are the autism differences that facilitated them cause for celebration? I guess that’s a matter of opinion.
I think neurological diversity is something to celebrate because different people do different things. Ten typical people struggled to push a cart with skids, until an autistic guy showed them a wheel. Without difference, our species would have come to an end long ago. It’s diversity that gives us the species ability to cope with an ever-shifting world. Disability in some contexts is part and parcel of that.