THE BLOG

Autism Awareness Month: The Issues They Should Be Raising

11/04/2014 14:48 BST | Updated 10/06/2014 10:59 BST

Since the 1970s, the Autism Society have made April the Autism Awareness Month, with the UN hosting World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.

In all honesty, this day or the month had never grabbed my focus until this year, when it was featured highly on BBC Breakfast on that Wednesday and was trending on Twitter.

I was three years old when I was diagnosed with autism. My parents noticed that at that age, my speech was non existent and they noticed I would while my hours away just staring outside of my bedroom window. In addition, there were numerous complaints of me biting other children in nursery. My dad, being a doctor, immediately had his suspicions, but my mum was obviously frightened and incredibly worried.

There are various types of autism, some which will affect learning, and some which are linked to sensitivity. For me, however, it was social communication. I struggled with interacting with other people, and throughout primary school would play and talk to myself in the playground with other children playing with their friends around me.

However doctors always said that my autism was on the milder spectrum and that my parents had nothing to worry about. That overtime I would learn and that eventually I wouldl function as a 'normal' human being.

Now at 22, while I may feel have many issues communicating with people, I have lead a really happy life and most people when I mention it don't even notice anything. This surely means I am more than fat from the lonely kid at primary school.

The aims of Autism Awareness Day and for the whole month is, according to the website Autism Speaks, is to 'raise awareness about autism throughout society and to encourage early diagnosis and early intervention'. This I cannot stress the importance of, because without that early diagnosis I definitely wouldn't have received that help, and therefore would not led me to being the person I am today.

However, the same website describes autism as being a 'pervasive disorder' and a ' growing global health crisis'. This to me, is a complete exaggeration and a totally negative attitude towards the condition.

There is no denial that some autism spectrums need a vast amount of support in order to get by everyday life and people with serious autism find life difficult to understand.

However while trying to raise awareness, there are a few issues that they have glossed over.

The first being teaching others about autism and how to deal with someone who has it. You will be surprised about how many people ask me about autism, and are not really sure what it is, or more importantly how to deal with someone who has it.

The next valid point is how we can use autism to our advantage. The Paralympics is such a wonderful idea because it shows that people with serious physical disabilities can achieve their dream. This month, they should show that we can do the same as well.

However, the final and most major point ever is this: being autistic is OK.

Around 1 in 100 people suffer with autism in the UK alone. Stop looking at them collectively, and talk about them as individuals. Everyone one of them is diagnosed as an autistic, but every one of them has a soul, a personality, an amazing talent that lies beneath.

Autism help not only made a huge benefit to my life, but made me accept and work with my condition. Let us use this month to make others feel the same.

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