Hello this is Sunny. Not only is today The Musical Autist’s 4 year birthday(!!!), but today also marks the beginning of Autism Acceptance Month. I would like to start off by saying that new opportunities await me. For eight years I worked at a sheltered workshop. Most days I sat in a loud room full of people waiting for work. I got payed around one dollar every two weeks, depending on how much work I got. I met people who had a positive impact in my life. I played the piano at a local nursing home twice a week and I was in the bell choir.
Now I am helping Kerry and CJ to lead music therapy groups at the Arc of the Central Chesapeake. I am doing this on Thursday afternoons. I’m also helping CJ with work for The Musical Autist. What does this have to do with autism acceptance month? On April 11, we are having a Sensory Friendly Concert at Anne Arundel Community College. These concerts promote autism acceptance. It doesn’t matter how severe your autism may be. Do people accept you for who you are and what you can do?
I mentioned earlier that I was at a sheltered workshop, where a lot of the clients were presumed incompetent. Presuming competence is what autism acceptance is all about. Take time this April to do two things. First, if you talk about autism, be genuinely positive in what you say to and about people on the spectrum. Research and learn as much as you can about autism and how it affects people. Second, accept autistic people just the way they are. Remember that autism is a wide spectrum. I also urge you to advocate for the needs of people on the spectrum. I will close by saying “Happy autism acceptance month.” May your autism acceptance month be productive. Keep up the good work in self-advocacy and defending self-advocates who need extra help.