Month-long campaign aims to appreciate autistic people
A new month-long campaign aims to foster opportunities for dedicated conversation, appreciation and celebration of autism by shedding light on common questions around the strengths of autistic people.
Joining forces for a greater good with collaborators, the campaign is spearheaded by national not-for-profit Altogether Autism and Your Way | Kia Roha, with Mila’s Books and doodlewear, to move beyond creating awareness and acceptance about the autistic community, and instead focus on recognising and appreciating how much better our world is with their contribution. Many within the neurodivergent community have experienced difficulties associated with a world designed for neurotypicals, but have also been able to make valuable contributions in many domains of society especially where meaningful support has been provided.
Dubbed “Together we create great things”, the campaign kicked off on World Autism Awareness Day, which falls on April 2 every year, and features 18 personal accounts from autistic people, their caregivers and professionals such as advocacy leaders and business owners.
Autism is a neurodivergence. According to the neurodiversity framework, we all have brains that work differently. Autistic people perceive the world and communicate differently to neurotypical people.
Autistic people, just like neurotypical people, also have strengths and these might include some of the following:
- High motivation and focus in their area of interest
- Excellent visual memory
- Logical and detailed thinkers
- Good observational skills
- Unique thought processes
- Accepting of others who are different.
One in 100 children worldwide is autistic, according to the World Health Organisation.
Representatives of the campaign hope to foster inclusivity and appreciation of autism in the community, which will make it easier for people to come forward and seek support, and to celebrate the strengths that benefit New Zealand.
Ms Catherine Trezona, national manager of Altogether Autism, said: “The time has come to not just be aware of and accept autism, but to appreciate the diversity and richness of autistic experiences. There is so much to celebrate and appreciate.”
“Often, people may be aware (of autism) but may lack the skills and knowledge to bring out the best in people on the autism spectrum. More can be done to encourage greater participation and support in the community and workplace, such as providing job opportunities that tap into their strengths,” she added.
The campaign’s stories will be shared through Altogether Autism’s Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn pages over the course of the month, along with a compilation of the creations of the autistic community.
For media enquiries, please contact Suzanne Gaier 021 468 346
About Altogether Autism
Altogether Autism is dedicated to providing free, nationwide autism information and advisory services.
About Your Way | Kia Roha
Your Way | Kia Roha is a not-for-profit organisation that offers information, support, and equipment to enable disabled people to thrive, living the lives they choose in their communities.