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Autism Bewareness Day
Raising Anti-Ableist Kids
Autism Bewareness Day
Autism Bewareness Day is about raising AWARENESS that autism (re: Autistic people) are AN EPIDEMIC THAT MUST BE STOPPED! Over the years, this has crept into an entire month of blue-washing and puzzle pieces, thanks to the Autism $peaks campaign to monetize ableism.
April has become a stressful reminder for autistic folks and neurodiversity-rights advocates of how deeply allistic people control the narrative on the autistic experience and autistic rights. If you’re not familiar with Autism Speaks (boo! hiss!) and their ilk, this is the month when anti-autism hate groups fund-raise to wipe us off the planet. They turn everything blue, slap puzzle pieces on everything, and flood us with ads to remind us what a burden we are to society.
We don’t have Women’s Awareness Day, because women aren’t an epidemic coming for your children. Same for Autistics – knowing about us doesn’t help us if everything you know is a stigmatizing stereotype!
April has become the month when Autism Warrior Parents and bemoan even louder about how horrible it is to live with us and folks who profit off ABA programs run fire sales. There’s a general spooky bewareness of all the ways we are an Epidemic.
It really, really sucks. I kind of want to hide under the covers all week and binge-watch speechless. But we’re powerful and have a loud platform and with great sass comes great responsibility.
When is it?
- Annually on the second day of April
These stories start the conversation on the social model of disability – creating opportunities to talk about ableist microaggressions, and how to be a decent allistic ally.
Parenting is Praxis: Acceptance over Awareness
Autistic caregivers: take a break, come back in June for Autistic Pride day. You already know all this stuff.
Go forth, my allistic accomplices! DESTROY THE KYRIARCHY! MwAHaHaAHAHAHA!
::Explosions happening in the background::
Or like, just be more compassionate caregivers and inclusive educators so our kids grow up understanding that they have unconditional worth as human beings who deserve equal rights, with with less self-shame and stuff.
- Learn why we need to include non-tokenized disabled characters in kidlit. Characters with agency, who make their own decisions, live regular lives, and go on adventures that don’t revolve solely around their disabilities.
- Choose a story normalizing disabled characters to read together.
- In addition to recognizing disabilities and obstacles, talk about the character’s story and unique identity beyond disability.
- Don’t erase or avoid talking about a character’s disability!
- Discuss the potential challenges and perks of this character’s abilities.
- Discuss how navigating the adventure with a disability might be different if society was designed to accommodate them.
- Do you fall into an existential crisis if you’re not calling attention to yourself on the internet? Need to fill a performative void in your social media feed? Today is a great day to celebrate #RedInstead! Wear red. Or at least – avoid blue or anything #LightItUpBlue (blech).
Reflection Activity: Bewareness Bingo
Track microaggressions in your school & caregiver communities through April with Giraffe Party’s Autism Bingo.
Get the full image text & download the PDF here.
More resources to dig deeper into this topic:
- Kids Books Celebrating Neurodiversity
- Non-Shamey Guides For Autistic Kiddos
- When Making Friends Is Hard – Books For Kids Who Feel Left Out
- What Parents of Autistic Kids Need to Know – Neurodivergent Narwhals
- Unpacking Tokenism & Disclosure In ‘A Boy Called Bat’
- Understanding Autistic Masking With ‘A Tiger Called Tomás
- Kids Stories On Transitions: Growing Up, Coming Out, and Accepting Change
- Raising Luminaries Podcast: Anti-ableism & expanding our cultural perspective
- Mother’s Quest Podcast: Smashing the kyriarchy
- For Autistic families: AWNN Resource Library & Welcome Packets
- For Luminary Braintrust Members: Family Movie Night review of Pixar shorts Float & Loop
- Video: Autism Representation in the Media
- Video: Implicit Bigotry In Neurodiversity Assessment Forms
- Autistic Self Advocacy Network Resource Library