World Autism Awareness Day has been celebrated on 2nd April for the past 14 years. In the early days raising awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was important. Now most people are aware of autism and the emphasis has shifted towards autism acceptance - understanding and appreciating differences. Children and adults on the autistic spectrum still face barriers in many areas of society, including education and employment.
What more needs to be done to create an inclusive society where everyone is accepted for who they are and appreciated for their uniqueness?
Every person is unique with different talents and abilities. The view that autism is a problem to be solved or a disease to be cured is outdated and demeaning. For those on the spectrum, autism is a beautiful part of their unique identity. Rather than therapy aimed at conformance to neurotypical society, we need support tailored to individual strengths and challenges.
The world would be boring if we were all the same. Let’s appreciate diversity in all its forms, including neurodiversity. We can learn so much from each other if we put aside our view of what is ‘normal’. Let’s consider how to accommodate differences rather than expecting others to fit into our way of doing things.
In an inclusive society, each individual is accepted for who they are and finds a sense of purpose and belonging. Where people with neurological differences face barriers, it is society that needs to change and find ways to work with differences. This may include changing the environment to make it more accessible and supporting different forms of communication. For too long, autistic people have been told what they need, instead of being asked. The voices of those on the autistic spectrum must be heard and listened to.
This World Autism Day let's celebrate diversity and work together for a more inclusive society.
Fabulaa is a FREE to use mobile app, designed to help people of all ages who face communication challenges, including children and adults with autism.
Fabulaa is not a substitute for assessment and treatment by health professionals, but can be used as a tool alongside professional help.
The Fabulaa app can be used as a speech assistant to convert text to speech or by clicking on image cards, words or phrases to activate voice output. Fabulaa is customizable with colourful visuals and engaging features.
Fabulaa is the most affordable and accessible augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) app in the GCC and is currently available in five languages.
Download it today www.fabulaa.app