Handwritten text with the message contained in the article about autism awareness

Messages for Autism Awareness Month 2022

29 March 2022 | Advocacy, Cornerstone Articles

"All this drama about Autism Awareness Day is too much. It's a much hated day by many autistics. I hate it too. Just too patronising for words."

We weren’t planning to share anything specific for April, but two nonspeaking autistic children asked for their words to be shared with the world, so here are the messages from Ndumiso (aged 10) and Tlholo (aged 8) from Pretoria. The messages were communicated to their therapist via AAC (Augmentative & Alternative Communication). We have their permission, and the permission of their parents, to share their words.

Ndumiso

Give me a break, Tracy. All this drama about Autism Awareness Day is too much. It’s a much hated day by many autistics. I hate it too. Just too patronising for words.

What would be your message to the world for Autism Awareness Day/Month?

I hate how the world sees us. We are not broken, nor are we missing pieces. We are whole humans with thoughts and feelings just like yours. Maybe we want acceptance and inclusion like everybody else. Blue lights and puzzle pieces don’t help us in the least.

Ndumiso, can I share your words?

Please do. I’m so tired of this nonsense.

Tlholo

So many people don’t understand a thing about autism. They think wearing blue and stupid puzzle pieces will change things for us. We don’t need patronising gestures. We need opportunities to be part of society like you do. We need quality education and friends. We need to be treated the same as everyone else.

Tholu's words above, a photo of the handwritten transcript.

If you would like to share these words on social media, we suggest that you use the hashtag #ListenToNonspeakers.

KEYWORDS