Ending the Stigma of Autism

Individuals and families with children who have autism are often on the receiving end of stares and judgment as a result of the condition. People with autism sometimes exhibit behavior that is not in line with what society expects. Parents of autistic children may be told to “control your child,” and individuals may be criticized for not reacting to a situation in a neurotypical manner. However it manifests, it is clear that there is a deep-rooted stigma associated with autism. Education and awareness may be the best way to end that stigma.

Harsh Stigma

Individuals with autism often exhibit behavior that is different from what some people are used to. They may have emotional outbursts at inappropriate times. In some cases, they may fail to pick up on social cues or not know how to act in relation to other people. This can lead to a deep misunderstanding of autism. A diagnosis of autism is sometimes seen as something that is shameful. This stigma prevents many people from seeking a diagnosis and treatment for the condition, which can result in people with autism being unable to live their lives fully.

The truth is that individuals with autism and the families that care for them deserve to be treated with respect. People with autism and their families often feel isolated and alone. Children with autism often have trouble making friends or fitting in at school as they are seen as “weird” or “odd.” This can lead to bullying and a lifetime of failing to fit in.

Autism Awareness

The best way to combat the stigma associated with autism is to increase awareness of the condition. If people were better able to understand the symptoms and behaviors associated with the condition, then perhaps there would be less of a negative association with autism. Battling autism stereotypes, such as the belief that bad parenting results in autism, can help foster a greater understanding and acceptance.

In addition, people on the Autism Spectrum do not need to be fixed. Rather, they may need accommodations. It’s important we foster a culture that values the early treatment and diagnosis of autism. Individuals who receive treatment early have better outcomes and reduced emotional behaviors. Changes in perception can help promote a greater acceptance of neurodiversity.

If you or a loved one has a mental disability and has been arrested or convicted of a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Elizabeth Kelley specializes in representing individuals with mental disabilities. To schedule a consultation call (509) 991-7058.

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