Awareness is great. Thank goodness there’s more of it – that Rain Man isn’t the only thing that comes to mind when people think of autistm. We have Temple Grandin, Daryll Hannah, Dan Akroyd, Susan Boyle. But awareness isn’t enough. Acceptance, on a general social level is “OK”, but on a personal level – it’s still not enough.
The author shows her journey – and her ideal: Awareness –> Understanding –> Value –> Support –> Celebration.
I love this – now as a parent, I’m gonna celebrate my kid (don’t worry, I don’t expect anyone else to do it like I do, LOL). But we can all certainly strive to understand/value/support each other through our journey in this world together.
There was a time that I thought that tolerance was the goal. I used the word freely. “Awareness,” I would say in the first speech I ever gave, “leads to tolerance.”
And then I began to understand that no one in this life is looking to be “tolerated.” Because, you see, to tolerate means to “allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference.” No human being should have as their goal being allowed to exist despite, well, anything.
So I began to change my language. I began to say that awareness leads to understanding and understanding leads to acceptance. Because acceptance means “the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group,” and wasn’t that what we were going for? Being included? Welcomed? Valued?
And yet .. “adequate?” Is…
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