Wednesday, April 2, 2014

After April 2nd: The Next Step

Today is World Autism Awareness Day and it's great seeing so many profiles on Facebook going blue. However, for myself, I don't see this day as any different. Sure, monuments around the world have gone blue, but what does this mean? Perhaps this is because autism is something that I, along with many, many others, face on a daily basis so a day like today is just another day. Then again, because my career is autism awareness, every day is autism awareness day.

But what does all this blue mean? Don't get me wrong, awareness is the foundation for hope but if someone just sees all this blue what does it mean to them? Unlike other days and causes autism awareness can't simply be summed up by a simple color. I hope that last sentence doesn't sound like I am diminishing other causes as I'm not trying to; what I am trying to say is that, how can we relate to society the message they need to hear to fully be aware of the autism spectrum?

The key word in all this is spectrum. If you are reading this then you know this already so I'm not going to write the foundation for what we need. The purpose of this post is to look at what's the next step; how do we move forward? April 2nd and the month of April comes but once a year which leaves 364 days and 11 other months that aren't either an official day or the official month. Again, it's great we have this month and it's great media outlets give time, but this doesn't mean that autism simply and neatly goes away come May 1st.

I wanted this post to be something special, but I don't know what more to say. Today is great but in a way, without context, the message could be diminished and this troubles me. I want nothing but perfection when it comes to delivering the message of autism awareness, understanding, and hope and for some reason, on a day like today, I feel apprehensive. Maybe I just feel like I need to do more, or maybe I fear that when we have a day so strong that will make other times of the year times that, "we don't talk about autism." I don't know. I simply don't know and can only hope that we continue to build on the previous years and look beyond April 2nd and continue to push the ball down the field closer to the goal of 100% autism awareness.

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