Autism Speaks is the largest organization within the United States that deals directly with autism advocacy and science. Recently, it changed its mission statement, removing the word ‘cure,' instead choosing to focus on acceptance of autism, rather than a cure.
You probably think that this is strange, why would the biggest autism associated organization in the United States remove the word cure? Why would they switch their focus from trying to find a cure to trying to help grow to understand acceptance? A member of their board of directors was quoted as saying “the organization grew to believe that autism is something to be worked with for promoting fulfilling and productive lives of people on the spectrum – rather than something that has to be done to.” Now, they are moving into the future, instead of looking at support, advocacy, increasing awareness and acceptance of autism, and looking at discovering the causes of autism.
By taking a new approach, they will be better equipped to help those affected by autism and the people around them. By promoting awareness and acceptance, people will be better equipped to live normal lives on the autism spectrum. Autism shouldn’t be considered a mental illness that people need to struggle through, but instead a neurological difference which can be worked through, prepared for and appreciated. People with autism can be held in higher esteem by those around them, appreciated for what contributions they make to society.
By increasing support and awareness, people on the outside, but still directly involved with autism may be able to find additional support and guidance. The more that people accept autism and understand it, the better opportunities those with autism will have in life. Every day more and more companies are looking to employ people with autism, tailoring job positions to help those with autism secure positions.
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