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Autism Awareness: Inclusion Matters!

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For those of you who don’t know, April is World Autism Awareness Month. By celebrating, we have the opportunity to provide a better understanding and further the acceptance of individuals with Autism. We can do this in many ways.

Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) references a variety conditions and characteristics that are accompanied with many challenges. Some of these challenges include trouble with speech, repeat behaviors and trouble with social skills. Autism is a spectrum. Individuals with Autism each have their own unique strengths and obstacles to face.

One of the biggest ways we can support individuals with Autism is through inclusion! Now I know some of you are probably wondering what that means! Well, inclusion is when you are being valued, respected and supported by those around you so that’s why its important. It’s all about focusing on the needs of every person. It also means making sure that you are helping each person reach their full potential. Individuals on the spectrum are just like everyone else and they have the same rights to inclusion that we do! Autism isn’t a disability, it’s just a different ability.

The students with Autism in my classroom are some of the sweetest, kindest and brightest kids I know. It breaks my heart when people aren’t willing to include them in certain activities because of their disabilities. They are capable of doing what everyone else can, they may just need a little more support but that’s okay. Inclusion matters because without it, many will be left out and feeling inadequate which could lead to negative feelings towards themselves. They don’t deserve that. Be more inclusive!

For more information on World Autism Awareness Month, check out Autism Speaks!

Also check out Kailey’s post “What is Sensory Overload?” here on TurningPointCT.org! 🙂

Petite, But Mighty

I’ve been thinking a lot about the way I am perceived by others, as any 23-year-old woman would.
My brain wonders a lot of the time which sides of me people see. I wonder if they are the sides of me that I also see, or if the rest of the world has their own preconceived notion of who I am. I wonder if people see me as the woman I see myself.

Last week, we had a conversation in the office regarding our experiences as young adult women. These thoughts have been on my mind for the last few days, and I’ve come here to share them with you.

Society has taught women for ages to accept the way we are treated, to look pretty, to be gentle and soft-spoken. We are expected to behave a certain way. We are expected to dress, act, live in a way that must be conducive to the gender stereotypes that society has created for us. Women are expected to comply.

I won’t let society’s expectations of me determine who I am and who I am meant to be.

Reigning at an inch above five feet, I am small. I am small, but I have so much to say. So much that you need to hear.
I am compelled to tell other women (that I love and care for) how much they mean to the world. I need you to know that you do not have to conform to the standards that the world has set for us. You do not need to keep quiet. Speak your mind. Dream the biggest dreams possible. Be brave. Be kind.
As a woman, you have the world at your fingertips. You have the ability to make the world a wonderful and gracious place.

Take a look at these incredible women (and men, too!) breaking the stereotype, fighting for their rights and for the rights of women, and people, everywhere.

It’s easy for me to sit here and tell you to go out there and change the world. It’s easy to want to change the world.
However, it’s hard to actually do it. It’s hard to be a world-changer as a 23 year-old woman from a uniform town, not knowing what the whole world outside of your bubble looks like. I am trying to learn what I can about the world outside of my bubble. My inquisitive side is asking questions. I am taking steps to educate myself and others about things the rest of the world doesn’t want to talk about.

So take a minute right now- breathe in and breathe out. Think of the ways you will be able to make this world a better place. Think before you react. Let a little bit of that fiery spirit into your life and be the world-changing woman that I know you are.

Disclaimer: the idea for this post did not emerge out of the resent that fuels my opinion that men’s deodorant is being developed better than women’s deodorant.
Probably.