Monday, 25 June 2012
"In order to promote awareness, we have to define who we are as a community - and thus far we have failed." - Anonymous
I've been in many discussions with top level people in organizations around the world, and one thing remains very clear - our message to the general public is as clear as mud - at best.
Parents have a difficult time determining what research is valid or invalid - and even within the Autism community there is division as to what is the correct course of action.
It's to no fault of any one person or individual or organization, after all - Autism isn't as well defined as other disorders or causes. We can define Cancer and HIV with a goal - to find a cure by getting rid of the disease. This provides a goal, a hope if you will. But with Autism, it's more challenging...
We've heard the phrase often that when you meet someone with Autism, that's it - you've met someone with Autism. A huge definition for those within the community, but it lacks some significance outside the Special Needs and Autism Communities.
We have to define ourselves as a community - with the purpose of educating people what life is like with Autism.
We have to make a determination as to how to share this complicated disorder in such a way that the general public will want to take action.
We have to be open to help one another - as the Autism community is part of the Special Needs community.
We have to find where we agree - and build on those concepts.
Suffice it to say we have to bind together with one voice - and I'm pleased to share that many organizations and individuals are catching on to this concept.
With the rise in Autism Rates these past several years, our community is growing exponentially.
It was a small select group of families twenty years ago - now it's grown into the millions.
Now we have to develop that unity - and share a message to the general public. We are in the midst of defining who we are as a community - and this is very exciting.
In this process we are figuring out how to share what life is like dealing with Autism. Autisable is just one of many places online where people can share their journey and connect with others.
Taking action is paramount - not just with organizations - but with families and individuals.
I'd like some feedback here.
I'd like to know your thoughts on the following statements, if you have the time:
- How could we convey autism to the general public better?
- How could we help one another as a community?
- What could be shared that could help better define what life is like with Autism?
- Do you think we are failing in our message to the general public about Autism? If so, where and how could we improve?
- What do you think Organizations should do to improve Unity within the Autism community/Special needs community?
I look forward to reading your responses.