Ask an Autistic #22 – Why Acceptance? Autism Acceptance Month

I want a renaissance to shine a light Be the change we want to set things right We’ve been waiting in the dark for so long Hi everyone, I’m Amythest And let’s talk about Autism Acceptance
Month. Well, here we are again. April is almost upon us. And as many in the autism community know April is when Autism Speaks comes out
with a vengeance with their autism awareness campaigns the Light it Up Blue campaign, in which
people purchase blue lightbulbs and worldwide monuments are lit up blue and of course this is supposed to raise
awareness for autism and then to raise funds from that awareness. April means those sad and negative and
really pessimistic campaigns about autism those terrible commercials, Light It Up
Blue, all of the Autism Speaks rhetoric cure culture going on. All this focus on the suffering of
allistic parents of autistic people all this focus on “we need to find a cure” and comparing autism to a disease,
an epidemic. It is all very negative and frankly it
gives me a headache too. What is an autistic and our allies to do? But something I love about the autism
community Autistic people and our family members
and our loved ones and our allies is that we can take this really negative
Autism Speaks brand of awareness and turn it around I’ll put a bunch of links in the video
description. So if you want to read up on the history
of Autism Acceptance Month, please do. But basically the idea of Autism
Acceptance Month is to combat and also to complete Autism
Awareness Month. Because awareness, in theory, is great. People should be aware that Autistic
people exist. The problem is when awareness happens
without acceptance to balance it out or without real
education. And sadly, in the case of organizations
like Autism Speaks, and other non-autistic or parent-led
organizations their awareness is often misinformation. So while I think most people who light it
up blue or who wear autism awareness shirts or who support Autism Speaks are coming from a place of love and a place of wanting a better world
and a better future for their children, it’s really going about it the wrong way. Because what this awareness has done is
made people aware of autism, all right aware of how they should be scared of it aware of how having an autistic child will
destroy marriages and tear families apart and people are certainly aware of what non-autistic people think about Autistic
people. That we’re sick, we’re kidnapped, we’re
missing, we’re broken. That we’re suffocating under this layer
of autism that parents somehow have to fight and combat and all that’s really negative and all that’s untrue And this is what’s happening is that this awareness without real education and without any love or acceptance is actually contributing to the stigma and
fear of Autistic people This culture of cure, this negativity,
this Autism Speaks rhetoric actually hurts the autistic community and instead of generating what should be acceptance and awareness you get awareness and fear or awareness and anxiety and when absolutely everything you hear
in the media and on the news and from Autism Speaks is about how tragic autism is and how autism devastates families and how autistic people will never lead
fulfilling lives and that we can’t love and that we’re absent and we’ll never
connect with people in a meaningful way that actually contributes to the
abuse against autistic people it contributes to and kind of justifies the mistreatment of autistic people and it really does justify these really awful, not
scientifically-sanctioned therapies and treatments that people use
to try to “cure” autism because the message that comes out
during Autism Awareness Month is really that autism is worse than death that having an autistic child is one of
the worst things that can happen to you and that’s why we need to find a cure. Autism Acceptance Month combats that by giving a much more balanced and much more holistic picture of autism and what it is. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is
involved in Autism Acceptance Month. And their goal is to spread real education what autism really is and what people with autism spectrum
disorders are like and what it is that our goals are. For example most parents I know
want their children to be able to
get an education. They want equal education opportunities
for their children. Awareness?
Not gonna bring us there. In fact, awareness, in and on its own with that fear and that misinformation
that’s getting spread might actually hinder autistic people’s
attempts to integrate into society and to be accepted because there’s the awareness without the acceptance. Autism Acceptance Month is also a great
time to actually highlight Autistic people rather than non-autistic people talking
about us without us. So in April, for Autism Acceptance Month lots of our allies and our parents and
other autistic people more and more every year are taking to social media like Facebook and Twitter and their blogs and they’re pointing people in the
direction of actual Autistic people. Who are speaking about their experiences and organizations led by autistic people like the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and the Autism Women’s Network and in doing this, in amplifying the
voices of actual autistic people and giving them a platform to share their
experiences you’re spreading not just awareness that
autism exists but you’re enabling people to see autism
from an autistic person’s point of view to understand us and to realize that we are full, whole people that we possess full personhood that we deserve the same rights and opportunities as everyone else that we have feelings and we have thoughts
and we have motivations that non-speaking autistics, while they might not be able to
communicate with their mouth parts they are communicating via AAC there are non-speaking autistics who have blogs on the internet There are non-speaking autistic advocates who are campaigning for a better more inclusive, more accepting society
for autistic people. You can give people an opportunity
to get to know Autistic people. Because the way it is now, it’s a lot of non-autistic people talking about us without us thinking that they need to speak for us and that’s really not the case autistic people, whether they can talk
with their mouth parts or not need to have the opportunity to speak for
themselves and they should so Autism Acceptance Month is a great
opportunity to highlight actual autistic people to spread our writings to share our voices and to let people get to know us So you want to support Autistic people and you want to celebrate Autism
Acceptance Month? What can you do? Well, you can go to the Autism Acceptance
Month website which gives lots of resources on
what autism is, why acceptance, ideas for activities or
events you can put on during Autism Acceptance Month You can use the opportunity of April and
Autism Acceptance Month to share the voices and writings and views of actual Autistic people. You can find out if there’s an ASAN
chapter in your area because they might be hosting an event
or doing something fun for Autism Acceptance Month and you can donate to your local
autism organization not Autism Speaks keep the money local and help actual
autistic people and families of autistic people
in your area or you can donate to Autistic-led
organizations. I’ll link to a few below but some include the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the
Autism Women’s Network and there’s a cool research group which partners with autistic adults and does actually really good research that benefits the Autistic community that’s called AASPIRE. So these are just some ideas for
how you can celebrate Autism Acceptance Month and support autistic people to fight this negativity, this fear,
this hate and to promote acceptance and inclusion and real understanding ’cause when it comes down to it Isn’t that what we all want? for our autistic children or our autistic friends or our autistic loved ones or ourselves? To be accepted, to have the same
opportunities for happiness as everyone else? That’s what I want. I’ll be celebrating Autism
Acceptance Month this April, and for every April to come. And I hope that you will join me. Happy Autism Acceptance Month, everyone! I want a renaissance to shine a light Be the change we want to set things right We’ve been waiting in the dark for so long Subtitles by the community

80 thoughts on “Ask an Autistic #22 – Why Acceptance? Autism Acceptance Month

  1. im so scared of april for this very reason im gunna try my best to get my school to adapt acceptance month and teach my peers how bad autism speaks is im sick of my school treating me like trash because of them

  2. I would love to celebrate autism awareness month my names justin an i have aspergers an ill celebrate for our accpentance people plz join us !!!! 🙂 an accept us !!!!

  3. Autism speaks they're a joke, the type of people who promote these "cures" such as the bleach one.

    Autism speaks do NOT speak for me!

  4. Happy Autism acceptance month! Have you read the 'Nothing About Us Without Us' book? I am thinking about reading it. I have autism and am too sick of being told that a 'cure' is on the way and that there is something 'wrong' with a/Autistic people.

  5. This is such a beautiful video. We weren't aware until very recently about the difference between awareness vs acceptance and the Autism Speaks cure culture. You are a beautiful and powerful advocate and educator. Thank you for being here on YouTube for Autistic people and their families who are happy and loving families 🙂

  6. How is your injury feeling? I remember you said in a video that you fell and hurt yourself? I hope you're healed up! <3

  7. I just heard of autism speaks a year ago. So last year is did wear blue etc. but than I got a lot of angry autistics at me. So I got a bit rebellious but a few days later someone explained it to me in a nicer way. Because the others already thought I wasn't autistic.
    I guess I'm lucky I live in the Netherlands and the organization NVA is really a good organization even tough they did the blue thing. And I always hear a lot saying that April is the worst month because of that but I don't want to have that feeling for myself since my birthday is in April ahaha.

    And in April there is going to be an app that autistics can talk to each other. And we have a cafe for autistics where I live even though I don't want to go there.

    Uh I lost my point Uh right. But awesome vid. I like your opinion about this.

  8. Bravo! Bravo! No fall is going to shut you down. Thank GOD.
    Like the others i concur what a clear and concise comparison of awareness versus acceptance. Kudos to you and i'm sure your hubby also for helping you recover!  <3
    Oh yes, no video is complete without your kitten.

  9. welcome back amythest. thank you for making this vid. i dont want to be "cured". i do NOT support the message of autism speaks

  10. Hey @Amythest Schaber  your video is so true. I remember watching a Autism Speak commercial and it was SO terrible. For the month of Autism I going to make a video about how Autism is gift to me.

  11. Well said and i'm happy to learn more about Autism, and try to understand better, even a bit as a respectfull duty. Symphaty and solidarity from a person with ADHD. Also, youre abbilety for expression, intonation, mimic and eloquence is really good, always a nice talent to have that.

  12. i have watched all of your videos and every single of them spoke to my heart so dearly. i have a wonderful autistic son and i am learning about the world of autism through him everyday. your videos have opened my eyes and given me opportunities to understand and feel my son's world. so much to learn, so one step at a time for me, but without having found your videos a few months ago i would have given him aba therapies to make him look and act normal. i have just signed up one of the autism meet up grounps you mentioned in vancouver and i can't wait to go to the meetings. i have a question. through his OT, i found RDI therapy. What is your take on it as an autistic person? i know you mentioned Floortime therapy and i also have contacted a therapist too. Thank you for ever inspiring us. you're truly amazing. thank you!!!

  13. Thank you for all you do. I try to make some videos to share my experiences. To help educate. Inform. You helped me get there. Thank you. Also only if convenient would love any input on my videos.

  14. Thank you so much for your channel and video series! A few years ago I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome (and yes, I am aware about the integration into the Autism Spectrum Disorder as of the DSM-5). And, to be completely honest, even after I was diagnosed, I wasn't ever told what separated me from neurotypical people. Everything I have learned about how I differ from "normal people" has been from personal research. Your series has been the best guide to how and why my mind works I have found. Thank you so much for the immense effort you put into teaching people about autism! 😀

  15. Once again another fantastic video. I don't understand why people act like Autism is a horrible disease. I'm autistic and I wouldn't want to be any other way.

  16. You are an incredible and wise individual. I thank you for sharing these videos. I have been naive to Autism Speaks. You have a new subscriber.

  17. you're amazing and I'm so glad that I found your channel.  My daughter is autistic.  Thank you for being a strong and beautiful role model for her.

  18. Hi I'm going through the diagnosis process with my 3 year old son and I have people around me who can see the symptoms and I have people who are adamant my son is not autistic which is hard on me cause through research and watching all of your videos my instincts are saying my son does have autism.
    I know you don't like labels but I think he is high functioning and that's why some people in my family are adamant he isn't autistic and are defensive about me perusing it further but it doesn't matter cause I am looking into it cause he struggles in certain environments and I'm hoping from getting a diagnosis I'll learn ways to help him however my question is about stiming, before I knew the importance of stiming and when I was burying my head about my son's possible autism I would stop him stimming. So for a little while he stopped which I feel bad for now but what I want to know is can I help him stim as he mainly stims for excitement and for fun sensory effect for example he'll run while swinging his head from side to side this seems to be very enjoyable for him but he doesn't seem to have a stim for when he's anxious, upset or ill and he can often get upset so I want to help him and encourage him to stim in these times but the stims he use through excitement don't work so what could I try? When he's happy to be held I will sit or stand cuddling him rocking from side to side but this is usually when he's upset what could I encourage so he can soothe himself before getting upset?

  19. Hello Amethyst,

    With Autism Speaks being so negative, what is your opinion on the National Autistic Society? They're a UK charity so I haven't heard many people reviewing them as such, but I shared their 'What is Autism?' video on my Facebook as part of their Awareness Week and I really hope I haven't spread fear and negativity instead of hope and acceptance 🙁

    P.S. I also shared a link to your channel because I've found your videos very thought-provoking and helpful. 🙂

  20. Hi, Amythest! I have questions about autism speaks and such. If you find what I'm about to say rude or ignorant, then sorry. I'm an autist myself, and I'm curious. I get that the 'cure' thing is insulting (I agree with you), but are there no autists out there who is so severe they might need it? Sorry x99, just curious. That bad stuff about autism speaks, where is it? Maybe I'm just shallowly reading their site. I really don't mean to be rude or anything and I like your videos, but I'm trying to see the bad&good from both sides, and have solid facts behind it. Basically, be more educated. Sorry again, I feel bad if I stepped on anyone. Please respond.

  21. Is it weird tht i squeeze my thumbs against the sides of my index fingers tightly when hyper? Or do the same when angry bu with a forced cough? I mean Who has an angry cough? N in constantly rub my hands together? As well as having life ruining socializing problems n a stronge at once houebound fear of public plces? Or is it s,a,d?

  22. Kitty tail! <3 I would not mind if your kitty participated in more videos. Your videos are inspiring to me and I am considering doing a video series on my own experiences of being on the spectrum with an emphasis on feminist and disability theory.

  23. Hi Amethyst,
    I remember reading or watching somewhere where you talk about using the word 'autistic'.  Can you please lead me to that?

  24. I feel so fortunate to have found your videos! My daughter has autism & to be honest, I felt so helpless when we got the news… Only because I didn't know what that meant, what does that mean for her & her future, I was SO misinformed & uneducated on what it actually is! My daughter is incredibly happy, bright & healthy. I can tell how brilliant she is. I don't force her to be or think any other way than who she is. She teaches me to look at things in a different way & she is so full of love. She loves to play the piano. We've been doing lots of floor time & its amazing to enter into her little world for awhile with her. I understand why she has meltdowns & I've learned to give her space & than lots of hugs when she finally feels relaxed. We've learned how to have so much patience with each other. You've taught me more about my role in her life than I could ever thank you for! Thank you for making these videos! You've made such an impact in our life <3

  25. Are kids who have fragile x syndrome and who are also autistic…are they still accepted by the autistic community?

  26. You identify as "autistic". I do as well. For that matter, so do the majority of the people I know on the spectrum. However, the HR department at the university I work at invested a lot of money into a "Not Myself Today" which featured anti-stigma workshops that would see us "more appropriately" as "individuals with autism". The presenter would say something like "You would not say 'Jim IS cancer', you'd say that 'Jim HAS cancer'. So why would you call this person autistic?" At this point I have to fight the urge to blurt out a series of colourful curse words as I launch into a speech about how inappropriate it is to compare a naturally occurring neurological condition with a fatal disease one acquires when cellular replication goes awry. I understand that these people are well-meaning … but [expletive deleted] … they need to get a clue. Autism is not something we need to cure.

    I can't fully blame them for their ignorance either. Open up any textbook on abnormal psychology to the chapter on "Pervasive Developmental Disorders" and you will usually find autism. The term 'pervasive' is just so icky as it implies that the characteristics referred to are both 1] negative/unwelcome and 2] strong identifiers of the overall personality. It's no wonder that people are zipping around trying to find a cure if we are training people to believe it's a problem.

    I just realized that I have so many positive things to add to this discussion regarding acceptance and strategies to promote acceptance … but I'm stuck in a bit of a cognitive perseveration loop. (Wow! The word 'perseveration' is flagged by Chrome's spell checker?!?!) Perhaps I'll find it in my to write more another day.

  27. Fear is what created individuals in this country to diminish someones civil rights. Though it isn't just Autistic individuals. It's all disabled community.

  28. Go ASAN and the Autism Woman's Network!! I will celibrate Autism Acceptance Month in April!! Yeah… Just because they can't speak with their mouths, doesn't mean they can't communicate their thoughts. They should. 😀

  29. I'm sorry. did I hear that right? I can't love??? hate to break it to you autism speaks, but I love more and better than anyone I know! maybe you just can't see that because you think loving someone means trying to prevent people like them from existing. once again, it's really time to check yourselves. maybe even get to know an autistic adult.

  30. I'm glad Autism Speaks isn't as big in the UK. Our biggest group would probably be the National Autistic Society who focus more on services.

  31. Love this! Though I do wish more awareness on girls with Autism! Which ties into why I don't support the "light it up blue"!

  32. I recommended your channel on my show the "Week in Neurodiversity!" I gave an annotation with a link to your channel at the end of this episode:

  33. Amythest, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the work you do. You are my go-to resource when I am trying to figure out something with my child or am trying to explain things to others. Keep up the excellent work 🙂

  34. I look at it this way. Autism Speaks is basically telling the Autistic community "You are not normal. Therefor, you shouldn't exist!" That's terrible! And even worse yet neurotypical parents believe this garbage! (My dad certainly does and it's ruined our relationship because every time he speaks a word of ignorance whether it be toward me o someone else, I'll think he's an idiot who has no idea what he's talking about! Not only that, but he gives HORRIBLE advice!- see: He's a massive hypocrite.- He once told me not to get married. Well, he's been married 3 times. My mom was his first wife. He grew up in a household with divorced parents (My grandparents on his side, his mother remarried 3 times after my grandfather while my grandfather is still with his second wife.) He's also an Air Force Veteran, Same with my Grandfather (his dad) My brother wanted to join the Air Force too at some point but, our dad wasn't open to the idea due to him having "learning disabilities" which my brother has since mysteriously overcome. He was never evaluated for autism like I was in the early 90s but my father would have had him evaluated if he had thought about it. But then again, I don't think Social Security would be so quick to let that happen as it would be considered cheating the system. But anyway, Back to Autism Lies, I truly believe this scam of a "Charity" should be shut down because not only are they spreading hate, fear and misinformation, they're making actual REAL people on the spectrum look bad.

  35. Holistic Health Practitioners, always called me negative or "low energy", whatever they mean by these things, in a time where I still didn't know anything about my autism.. They simply weren't qualified enough, to accept my symptoms or to see or feel, that I may be Autistic..they just wanted to heal all my stuff and they made certain things responsible for my suffering. Gosh, I am glad, that I am out of all these pseudoscientific things, it is obvious that they couldn't ever help me. I think, they made that even worse and I got very anxious about myself, because I thought I was somehow bad , and would act and live in this way, because I wanted to..they work with guilt and yes, they earn money with it. Look, they can not cure Autism, so they got to invent something for that. It is so sad..

  36. thank you. my son turned 3. I was told that ABA and IBI was the best thing I could do to give my son a future. and I saw your video two days before ABA interviews. I cancelled them. thank you for my son with your education.

  37. I have Asperger's and I am a male. The quality of life of people on the spectrum is horrendous. People will never accept people on the spectrum. There might be the odd person. In school, most people on the spectrum are teased all though out school. You get teased on the job as well or get fired for being able to relate to people.

    The neurotypical people will have a problem with you being on the spectrum when ever its convenient to them.

  38. I will spend this april fighting AGAINST autism speaks and I will speak loud and clear about the awesomeness that is autistuc people!

  39. If it wasn't for autism acceptance month I might never have realized I sounded misdiagnosed and I wouldn't have put in the years of study to learn about it. I'm glad I did and this month I talked to some advocacy groups and it turns out I was right and that I am autistic. But Autism Speaks is terrible and I hate what they've done to the month >.>

  40. Love this video would love to share come April especially to someone who thinks this awareness thing is actually good (when it's awareness and not education on the condition).

  41. If you are autistic please read a book called Oahspe.. Get the thick green version on Ebay

    Also the girl in the vid is cute..

  42. Start a world wide association but run & managed by autistic people as we are the only people who know what it really is not the specialist that assume incorrect fact & cause more issues than good !!

  43. Thank you for your video. I am sharing it this Autism Awareness week in the hope to what we can do is shape it into Autism Acceptance ! Sending Solidarity from England x

  44. After you referred me to this video I think u should look at our challenge we didnt try to raise money or hurt u we did alot we worked with many families with autism.I may be wrong with verbage bc I didnt know the acceptance vs awareness. I am learning about this and its important but I learned alot about autism in our challenge I apologize for not using acceptance but I encourage u to see all the information that was shared an love it wasn't anything like the awareness u expressed your dislikes about awareness month.

  45. Incredible. Makes a ton of sense.. You made me realize it's time to accept them as they are for who they are and sharing the common space for them to have fun in life just like we do. Tnx for the help!

  46. We have à similar issu in France with "theleton". It is a tv event, they say it is for disable peoples, but it is not. It is just like a freak show to reasure valid people and shed à little tear by feeling so pitying…

  47. hm tbh so I am the owner of a minecraft/discord server. Geared towards LGBTQ autistic folk. And once we start making some money I am thinking of having all of it going to organizations like the golden hat foundation and other organizations that support neurodiversity and not cure cutler. And also try to just help raise awareness and hopefully acceptance for the whole autistic community. And also having the motd for the minecraft server a quote from someone that has autism. and if I can the discord as well.

  48. My mom and my sister don 't accept autism. They know I have it. But they don 't accept it. When I want (for example) to stay inside because I don 't want to socialize my mom drags me outside because it's 'just in my head' or, another example, I have problems with eating more then one structure at one time. My mom and my sister ignore that and they mock me for 'eating to slow' because they choose to eat lasagne, even though they know I have problems with it (note: I'm not saying that my mom is wrong because she ignores my autism, I find that she is wrong because she mocks me for having difficulty with it and that I 'should just learn to cope with it.'). Fortunattely, my dad doesn't. And even though them seperating still hurts (And it's been 5 years). I really enjoy staying at my dad. Because even though he sometimes gets annoyed when I don 't eat my food because of the many textures. He never mocks me for it and always accepts me for who I am, autistic things and all.

  49. TheAspergian website writes about the lower life expectancy average of those in the spectrum due to the increased suicide rate, so acceptance is important. ( The Thinking Guide to Autism has a similar link. (

  50. When people say that autism destroys families, I have Aspergers and I’m the thing keeping my family together. BTW the cure we need for autism is f**king acceptance!

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