April 2, 2013 will feature another World Autism Awareness Day around the world. Many blue lights will shine, politicians will pose and take credit for helping advance the cause of autistic persons and their families, countless media reports will talk about the gifts of autism and television series and movies alike will feature gifted individuals and autism, once again, will be portrayed for public consumption as the domain of brilliant if socially quirky personalities. Little if anything will be said about the vast majority of those with autistic disorder who are limited by intellectual disability, or about those who suffer from obsessive behaviors, serious sensory issues, epilepsy and seizure activity, self injurious behavior, or spontaneous aggression in the form of property and furniture damage or even reactive, spontaneous aggression towards parents and caregivers. Of course nothing whatsoever will be said about the ultimate realities facing autistic children and their families. We all age, our children become adults and the parents who care for their children grow old, feeble and .... deceased. When these events occur our severely affected autistic children will live out their time in various types of institutional arrangements including psychiatric hospitals ... if they are among the fortunate with any place to live.
Feel free to keep shining your blue lights and repeating the words autism awareness until you are ... blue in the face. But please try to actually raise autism awareness by talking about the serious challenges facing those with autism symptoms and disorders from which they will suffer for the rest of their lives.
Shine your blue lights but start being realistic. If you really care about some one with autism and want to help the and make positive changes start by telling the world the truth about autism. Create some reality based autism awareness.