As we reach the end of another April, we at Positive Development want to reflect on Autism Awareness: What it means to us; what we wish it meant to more people; and what we love most about what we get to do. Below we answer those questions in our own words as parents, family members, and clinicians of children with special needs and autism.
What does Autism Awareness mean to us and what do we wish it meant to more people?
"Every child is unique and awesome in their own way."
"Autism Awareness is only the first step. As a society, we should strive to move beyond Awareness to cultivate Acceptance and Appreciation!"
"It is a time for advocacy but also for a celebration of those who are navigating a non-neurodiverse friendly society."
"The pain that autistic people suffer is mostly due to the difficulty others have in making efforts to think about what life is like for the autistic person."
"Awareness of neurodiversity as a more complete sense of who we all are as humans allows for us to see that we each have great strengths as well as blind spots in how we communicate… We are complex human beings with so many layers to understand of how and why our personality, character, intent, and interpersonal relationships came to be formed as they have."
"People on the autism spectrum bring their own unique beauty and strengths and magic to the world. They aren't broken neurotypicals - they are spectacularly neurodiverse!
What do we love most about what we get to do in our roles as parents and clinicians of children with autism?
“Encourage and dream with my kids.”
“Help families and their support systems learn how to enable those on the spectrum to maximize their potential.”
“Help others join me to try to see things from the point of view of the autistic person and their families.”
“I love focusing on the strengths and finding joy in the things that are important to the child.”
“What I love most about what I get to do is in the moments that I’m no longer seen or needed... in the moments that I feel like I almost have just stepped into someone’s private room and I’m aching to turn around and leave because I’m somehow privy to the most beautiful bonding between parents and their child or a child and their sibling where the connection is so deep and all anxiety and can’t do’s are out the window because in that moment- everything is synchronous and connected through the laughter and play and the moment is an accent of understanding, mutual adoration, love, and freedom from all that could constrict the flow of interaction.”
“I absolutely love helping other families discover a new way to view and support their beloved children on the spectrum. Developmental approaches (like DIR) transformed my family, and I love sharing that message of hope and joy!”
“I get paid to empower individuals with autism to grow and find happiness. It is amazing. I am so grateful to the families for giving me this opportunity and sharing their journeys with me.”
To learn more, tune in for our livestream on Friday with Autism Advocate Haley Moss or visit our resources page.
Our clinical team is committed to empowering children with autism and their families by building collaborative connections through our developmental model of autism therapy. Our emotionally powered approach is rooted in presumed competence and positive persistence, focusing on the whole child as we treat each individual with kindness and respect for greater growth, independence, and joy.