an Autistic perspective on Autism Awareness Hello Michelle Swan

an Autistic perspective on Autism Awareness

April:  Autism Awareness Month. Light it up blue. Solve the puzzle of autism. Raise money for people with autism.

I’ve written about all of it before. In this short article I’m going to do something different.

Most autistic people do not support the celebration of Autism Awareness Month. There are a lot of reasons why, and the autistic community has come up with some excellent things people can participate in during April instead of awareness campaigns. Many autistic people, and non-autistic friends and family of autistic people, celebrate Autism Acceptance Month. There are lots and lots of articles published already that explain why awareness is problematic, how some of the most popular awareness campaigns are harmful, and how people can support autistic folks better than mindlessly joining the loudest group of voices.

So, this is the article in which the tired autistic person says, “actually, I’m done explaining it to you all, here are some links, please go and do the reading and learn why it is that so many autistic people rebel against the concept of ‘Autism Awareness’ and don’t support campaigns like ‘Light it up blue’.”

What is wrong with Autism Awareness?
a list of articles I have written about “awareness”

Blue lights don’t help me


The venom of awareness

5 things about my autistic kids you should be aware of

It’s almost April again {A letter to my son}

Proudly Autistic in April

Here is a list of articles about autism awareness and autism acceptance written by other autistic authors

April, Autism, and Allies, by Nick Walker

Toxic Autism Awareness, by Judy Endow at Ollibean

Why acceptance, a video by Amythest Schaber

What is Autism Acceptance, by Lei at autistic times two

Why we are not puzzle pieces, by Renata Jurkevythz at Spectrum Women

Another Autism Awareness Month is Almost Here. Yay, by Morenike Giwa Onaiwu at Autism Women’s Network

Ally Paternalism in Autism Advocacy, at echolaliachamber

A is for Acceptance, at Autistic on Wheels

Autism Saved My Life, by Becca Lorry at Spectrum Women

Acceptance as a wellbeing practice, at Musings of an Aspie


What should we do instead of participating in Autism Awareness activities?

Easy! Do what autistic people ask you to do. Support autistic run campaigns and promote articles written by autistic people.

The autistic community has some great alternate options you can promote if you want to support autistic people during April:

Walk in Red

Tone it down taupe (this is a Facebook page that uses satire to show the problems with the light it up blue campaign)

Ableism awareness month,  by Erin Human

Autism Acceptance Month




4 thoughts on “an Autistic perspective on Autism Awareness

  1. So, Autism Awareness Month has come and gone. With the usual barrage of panic-mongering and ableism. With fudged and highly inaccurate numbers of how many autistic children there actually are. And what causes these leaps from 1-in-100 boys to 1-in-68 boys to 1-in-27.5 boys. ( Personally, I worry not about the leaps, I worry about the half child. What happened to him, and how is he doing?) and how the experts are flummoxed. It is nearly over now. Thank goodness. Tomorrow we can put the alarmist newspaper and magazine articles in the recycling-bin ( shameful waste of paper, mostly. For this a tree had to die?) and go back to normality. I shall have a cup of tea and a nap for now.

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