Ignorance of Asperger's Syndrome
How can I help promote Aspie awareness?
First, if you or your child has Asperger's recognize your individual strengths and abilities. Are you good at paying attention to specific details? Keeping things structured and in order? What are your passions? Do everything you can to pair your strengths with things you really enjoy.
Next, if you're comfortable, tell people about it. It sounds simple, but people will often respond better than you expect when you explain what's happening. I think most parents of kids on the Spectrum do this often. Let's teach our kids how to do it for themselves. For example, a child might say, "I'm really good at math, but I do it a little differently. I have to talk out loud and move my hands as I solve a problem."
Obviously, this doesn't solve all problems, especially with bullying and mean people. Ignorant, but well-meaning people, can be educated. People who are simply mean and inconsiderate, will be unlikely to change their point of view. You can try to be patient with those types of people, forgive them, feel sorry for them, ignore them, or pray for them. In the end, you will be better off letting it go. (Easier said than done, unfortunately. Maybe I should write a follow-up post about how to deal with ignorant people.)
Who else is promoting awareness for autism?
Autism Society of America works to spread awareness via their website, social media, and local chapters. In Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads, Tidewater Autism Society of America is very active providing opportunities and resources for individuals with Autism and Asperger's, as well as their families. They host talks on a variety of topics at their monthly meetings, as well as organizing tons of events for kids, teens, tweens, and adults with Autism and Asperger's to interact and engage on their meetup site.
Twitter and Facebook awash with those sharing and tweeting about Asperger's Syndrome and Autism awareness, difficulties, solutions, therapies, suggestions, etc.
The blogosphere is also full of people writing about their experience with Asperger's and Autism from every perspective. Here are a few I would recommend checking out.
Do you have an autistic child? What has been your experience with these types of situations? I'd love to hear your ideas, leave me a comment and let me know what you think.