Awareness is understanding my son's struggles. It is determining all the ways he has to work harder and has to adapt to get what he wants. Awareness is seeking resources to help him gain skills, and it is patience, and learning. Awareness is eventually recognizing your own prejudices and privilege, and gaining new perspective.
Acceptance is 'listening' to how my son communicates, and waiting for his answers, then incorporating his desires into our family decisions. Acceptance is assuming that he has an opinion, is an individual, and is more than any label could constrain. Acceptance is reframing what I thought I knew about myself, and using new language without thinking about it.
Acceptance is shining light on the shadows of my preconceived notions of parenting, and what I thought his life would look like. Acceptance is loving every bit of him, knowing that one cannot, and that I would not, simply excise bits of any person to shape their mind to some measure of "normal."
Acceptance is supporting him, not so he can become who I want him to be, but helping him to become the young man he wants to be.
Paula C. Durbin-Westby Autism Acceptance Day
Steve Silberman Autism Awareness is Not Enough. Here's how to change the world.
Thinking Person's Guide to Autism Slice of Life: Aisling Alley
Lynne Soraya Stigma and the “Othering” of Autism
Mama Be Good You Can't Hate Autism and Expect Acceptance