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Autism Acceptance Month - April 2019!

Hey everyone!!


April is Autism Acceptance Month! Smiley Very Happy



There are a number of members on our forums who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Autism, Asperger's Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS); as well as members with siblings with a one of these diagnoses.


This month is an opportunity to learn more about ASD and some of the challenges that people living with ASD face with their everyday lives. It is also an opportunity to recognise the work of carers and other people who work to support people with ASD, and to work towards an even more inclusive society for people who have ASD-related traits.


1. What do you know about ASD?

2. Do you know anyone with ASD or ASD-related traits?

3. How can we be a more inclusive society towards people with ASD and related traits?



It is important to note that the above diagnoses can only be given by a professional, so if you have any concerns we would encourage you to seek professional support. We also have a thread on the forums about ASD which has some good information from people identifying as having ASD-related traits, please feel free to ask any questions and contribute to the discussion both over there and here.


Let's help spread the love, and Happy Autism Acceptance Month! Heart

Re: Autism Acceptance Month - April 2019!

this is a really good discussion @mrmusic
admittedly i dont know much about these diagnoses but it would be nice to hear from those that do so we can learn more. I do know someone with autism however i dont actually see them as they dont live nearby or visit our area much.
**NEVER be afraid to ask for help because you're WORTH it!**

Re: Autism Acceptance Month - April 2019!

1. What do you know about ASD?
...Probably not as much as I should! I mean, I'm a psychology student, have volunteered with children with autism and have been suspected as having autism, and yet I feel I don't really know as much as I should. I know there should be more research and acceptance for people with ASD, especially in girls (I heard it presents differently in women, so that means more boys/men are diagnosed and girls don't receive the proper support). I know that people with ASD can lead awesome and fulfilling lives, and that many successful, great minds such as Einstein and Newton have been speculated to meet the diagnostic criteria today. Heart

2. Do you know anyone with ASD or ASD-related traits?
I volunteered at a play group for children with ASD, where I got to meet some older fellow volunteers with it. Also, me -- debatedly? I've never been diagnosed but a lot of psychologists/ mental health professionals I have been to have suspected Asperger's. I do have a lot of ASD traits. I did have a lot of intense special interests in childhood (for example when I was ten I wanted to become a cryptozoologist studying cryptids like Bigfoot hahah). I have moments of sensory overload, and I have trouble with eye contact/ speaking to people but I don't know if these are related to anxiety. I'm also super duper clumsy and have poor coordination skills (I feel like motor aspects aren't talked as much? I'm not even sure if they're required for diagnosis but I do know that they occur together a lot). 

3. How can we be a more inclusive society towards people with ASD and related traits?
More people sharing their stories can lead to more acceptance! It would be awesome if more  characters with ASD appearing in movies/ TV in a positive (and accurate!) light, or even if a celebrity came out as having ASD/ some related traits. Having more positive role models could really help eliminate the stigma ASD holds. Additionally, more research could bring forth more support systems for those who need it.

Re: Autism Acceptance Month - April 2019!

Thanks for making this thread @mrmusic


1. What do you know about ASD? Out of worry of embarrassing myself, I'm just going to say that I know some stuff, and I've been professionally diagnosed with ASD. 

2. Do you know anyone with ASD or ASD-related traits? Hehe, me Smiley Tongue But also I know a few others, mainly kids from volunteer or work experiences. 

3. How can we be a more inclusive society towards people with ASD and related traits? *screams into the sky* Autistic children become autistic adults!!!!!!! Just because I have some jobs and study does not mean I am a functioning human being, where's my support groups? Where's my help? (a little selfish but the "my" is more "autistic adults" than me personally) 

And also just don't be an a-hole. (why this seems so hard for people to understand, I don't know but anyway) It's easy to judge people who act differently to you, it's easier to shun/reject others than to educate yourself and create understanding but take that stupid step and just learn to be better. It's not that hard to be a nice person, it's a little harder to try and understand but it's not impossible, so suck it up, get learning and just understand. That's all I'm asking for, understanding, and with that, respect. 

Re: Autism Acceptance Month - April 2019!

@scared01 honestly hearing about autism from autistic people is so important, because they're the ones who actually know what it's like. Sure, professionals can study and know a lot about autism/ASD, they can work with autistic people and some of them are amazing people who really do know what they're talking about but at the end of the day, they're not autistic (some might be, but some aren't) and they shouldn't be trusted over actual autistic people.
(looking at you, USA, they have a real shitty company called Autism Speaks that does not speak for autistic people)
(also wow, that was so ranty, I'm sorry)

@Hozzles to be fair, there's so much about ASD, it's hard to say "I know a lot" or "I know a little", there's so much TO know, you could know a lot but that would still only be a small part because it's such a broad spectrum. In the past a lot of the diagnostic criteria was based on young boys, completely ignoring the fact that autism presents different in girls. You can self-diagnose too, though to get support(such as school or university) you do need a professional diagnosis Smiley Happy But it's always up to you what you want to call yourself Smiley Happy

Also yes to representation!! Having autistic role models is amazing (go you Sesame Street) for everyone.

Re: Autism Acceptance Month - April 2019!



@N1ghtW1ng  thank you so much for your perspective! It's so very true that the resources and supports often drop out when a kid with ASD becomes an adult with ASD. It is frustrating indeed. 

As you said - people need to learn more, and offer more understanding. 

An encouragement to those of us who may not feel like we know enough is to always take a curious and open mind to those around us  - this is a pretty easy way to NOT (as you put it) be an a-hole Smiley Wink

Also threads like this one are all part of that learning and understanding process! 


I'm leaving ReachOut on the 5th of June Smiley Sad Say goodbye here

Re: Autism Acceptance Month - April 2019!

1. What do you know about ASD?

I know quite a bit from learning about it in my developmental psych courses at uni and through personal experience knowing people with ASD

2. Do you know anyone with ASD or ASD-related traits?


3. How can we be a more inclusive society towards people with ASD and related traits?

I totally agree with @N1ghtW1ng's point about the lack of resources for adults with autism. My knowledge of autism is mainly around children and it would be great there would more research invested into how we can better support those with ASD as they ascend into adulthood. Also, I think that we should stop trying to paint the idea that we should "cure" autism and accept it for what it is. When people say they want to "cure" autism, I think that they make it sound like it is a "disease" which I think is a bit disheartening.

Hope is just around the corner; you think it's not there when you first look straight ahead, but it actually is when you turn around

Re: Autism Acceptance Month - April 2019!

@mrmusic what a great post! I think it’s so important to raise awareness for many disabilities and particularly ASD as it affects so many. 


1. I have completed courses at uni and completed trainings so I am fairly familiar with ASD. I thought it was a genetic disorder (gene mutation) however the cause is unknown and there is no cure. It is more prevalent in males than females. Every person with ASD is completely different. Their behaviour is different, their functioning is different and their coping mechanisms are different. I think it can be extremely hard to identify someone with ASD without education or training. 


2. Three of my cousins have ASD and they are quite high functioning. 


3. I think educating the community on ASD is so important for inclusivity. Not necessarily training people to identity ASD or related traits but educating people on the diversity of ASD. I think that the more people know about the disorder, the more they can accept it and learn to potentially recognise others who may have it and understand why their behaviour may be seen at times as “different”.


Acceptance can be hard but it is definitely not impossible. We should all strive for acceptance and knowledge of ASD as well as many other disorders. Spread the word of Autism Acceptance Month and let’s try to educate the community about ASD! 

Re: Autism Acceptance Month - April 2019!

Hey everyone, I'm loving the responses so far! Smiley Very Happy


1. What do you know about ASD?

I've been diagnosed with autism, but I don't really know that much about it to be honest. One thing from my personal experience is that no 2 people with autism have exactly the same experiences (although many people do have similar experiences). I also know that various studies have NOT been able to find a link between ASD and childhood vaccinations, despite the beliefs of a number of people (including my parents).


2. Do you know anyone with ASD or ASD-related traits?

Apart from myself, I do know a couple of other people. I've also had a student placement in early intervention where I worked with a number of wonderful children with ASD.


3. How can we be a more inclusive society towards people with ASD and related traits?

From my experience, there should be more professional development/education opportunities for people and professionals who work with people with ASD (including teachers, uni lecturers, psychologists, etc). This helps these professionals to stay up-to-date with current research.

Another thing that I've experienced is the need for more awareness of the lifelong impacts of ASD towards people, including adults (in total agreement with what @N1ghtW1ng said earlier). There are many support services geared towards early intervention - which is SUCH an important way of helping children and adolescents function, and can be invaluable for later in life. But adults with ASD also need support and I've found that there are not so many services which adults can access.

I suppose the biggest thing is to be accepting towards people with ASD, include them in activities and to treat them how you would like to be treated.

Re: Autism Acceptance Month - April 2019!

Oh I have a fun story for you all!

Regards to vaccines and autism, it was actually some idiot doctor who published a study saying that vaccines caused autism even though their research didn't have any solid links between the two. But the study blew up and lots of people started believing it despite the complete lack of evidence.

You can google it if you'd like to find out more but basically, the myth that autism is caused by vaccines started by some fool who published a study saying that without any real evidence behind it and it blew up on media outlets, scared parents and despite years and years of research proving it's not true some people still believe it. *shrugs*