Education Trends

A Need for Unity

By December 6, 2012October 13th, 2017No Comments

There is a strong autism community that helps those affected find much needed support, but the as a whole it suffers from several divides.

Autism, being a diverse spectrum, creates different needs for every affected individual.  John Elder Robinson, an author who writes about his personal experience with Asperger’s, explains that those who are highly impaired and their families often languish for a cure. In contrast, the high-functioning group, without an urgent need for a cure, simply requests tolerance and understanding. Furthermore, there are endless opinions regarding best treatment methods, funding allocation, research ventures, etc. Unfortunately, with so many conflicting views, misunderstandings and offended feelings are often inevitable.

Enter Autism Society. This summer the prominent national organization took a big first step towards unifying the autism community by calling for an end to “infighting.” The society released this announcement:

Addressing a need for all autism advocates to call for change with one clear voice, the Autism Society plans to organize a summit of national autism organizations this fall, Dr. Jim Ball, chairman of the Autism Society, announced at last week’s conference. “It’s time all autism organizations increase their collaboration and define the areas in which we all will work together to improve lives,“ said Dr. Ball.

The Autism Society’s goal for this summit is to bring together leaders of national autism organizations to discuss and agree on a series of collaborative efforts to significantly advance the dignity, self sufficiency, autonomy and independence of all individuals on the autism spectrum.  Interested national organizations are encouraged to contact Scott Badesch, President of the Autism Society, if they are interested in participating in the summit.

I hope to see improved unity for the autism community in the near future. This change, however, can also begin at an individual level. If everyone kept an open mind, realizing that no two experiences with autism are alike, maybe more people would emit understanding instead of initiating debates.

In what ways have you seen the autism community band together and support each other?