World Autism Day 2014

So… it’s April 2nd. World Autism Awareness Day. Everyone’s posting about it. Everyone has their own opinions on the differences between “Awareness” and “Acceptance”, and what that means for those of us on the spectrum and our allies.

In general, for the self-advocacy (and parental advocacy) stuff for this day, the best thing I can advise you to do is go to my blog list, and check out some of the ASD Adult and Autism Parent blogs on there. I do have some specific post recommendations, which will be at the bottom of this post, that I sincerely suggest you check out, but… today I’m not going to talk (directly) about self-advocacy and such. Instead, I’m going to go over what the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador did for Autism Awareness and Acceptance today (focused in St. John’s; if you’re interested in what went on in the rest of the province, the details are in the link), and what I did as part of that.

There is a new Parent Information Kit and a new Guide to Government Services for People with Autism and Their Families that were launched today – both were available at the Elaine Dobbin Centre (in St. John’s) and the information booth at the Avalon Mall today. (According to my mom, when she stopped by the booth at 2pm, they were pretty much out of both!)

Organized by FEAT (Families for Early Autism Treatment) NL, there was a demonstration at noon at the Confederation Building (in St. John’s) to try to convince the government to remove that ridiculous IQ ≤ 70 restriction on services. Ontario’s done it – why can’t Newfoundland?! (I was still out cold at the time, so wasn’t there – but if I’d been awake, I would have certainly made an effort to attend. That particular issue affects me directly, after all.)

Out of the Fog on Rogers TV interviewed Scott Crocker, the Executive Director of the ASNL, and it aired at 19:30 hrs. here in Newfoundland.

And, what I participated in: the Connections (Adult Asperger’s) Group did a panel this evening from 18:30 hrs. to 20:30 hrs. on strategies for everyday life. Like the panel we did back in November, there were three specific questions that were asked of us, and then the floor was opened to questions from the audience.

Also like the panel in November, there weren’t actually that many attendees who weren’t directly related to the panel members, though there were some… but this time, we got it filmed on the Outreach Coordinator’s phone, so sometime in the next week or so, that should get put up on the site. Once it’s there, I’ll put a link to it on this post, so that you can watch it. It’s long – about 1-1/4 hrs – but it’s four of us talking honestly about what we feel and think about certain immediate topics. The questions were ones that have been asked of the Autism Society of NL lately, so they thought it would be reasonable (and a good idea) to ask them to us directly. The four of us all had different answers, but there were some similarities, and guidance for others.

The questions were as follows: 1) What environmental factors contribute to meltdowns; and how do you cope with them? 2) What challenges have you encountered at school, volunteering, or the workplace, and how were they dealt with? What accomodations do you feel you require? and 3) What benefits has ASD brought into your life?

(I have to admit, for that last question, I made a fair bit of reference to the Autism Women’s Network #AutismUpside campaign from last April.)

From what I could tell, and the reactions of the audience, it went well. Which was quite pleasing :).

Okay, posts I suggest people read specifically:

Enjoy! And please note that this post will be updated when the video of the panel is available, so check back next week!

😉 tagAught

[Edited: Correction – my mother wasn’t involved in putting together the new Parent Info Kit. Apologies – I had thought she was.]

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