In order to bring awareness to anything, one must first understand what it is and what its not. So what exactly is autism? According to the site Autism Speaks, Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to conditions characterized by things such as challenges with social skills, speech and Non-Verbal Communication and Repetitive Behaviors. Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Rett's Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder are all housed under the umbrella or complex puzzle we have come to know as Autism. The Autism Awareness ribbon puzzle pattern represents the complexity of the autism spectrum. The colors and shapes represent the diversity of those living with and affected by the condition.
We feel it's important to bring more awareness to this developmental disorder because of the disproportionate rates it affects the black community. Lets be clear, Autism effects every, race gender and creed, but it's our black boys and girls who receive less then adequate care and miss or late diagnosis. We find that organizations tailored specifically for us such as The Color of Autism Foundation, who's mission is to provide support and resources for those individuals and families affected by autism and are particularly devoted to empowering African American families in the process. The earlier the intervention and access to health services and resources, the better the quality of life can and will be for those who suffer from the disorder.
Being aware and raising awareness is just part of providing a solution to the problem. People with autism are unique, special and require us as humans to reach deep inside ourselves to show compassion, empathy and acceptance. We polled our Instagram followers recently and were blown away by some of the responses.