October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and National Bullying Prevention Month

With an estimate of 90 percent of autistic people who are either unemployed or under employed the Art of Autism realizes that raising awareness about Disability and Employment is critical.  Each October for more than 70 years, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has observed National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This years theme is “Inclusion Drives Innovation.” We must think in different and innovative ways to allow autistic people to work and be contributing members of society.

October is also National Bullying Prevention Month.  Bullying is a national epidemic. Autistic people are much more likely than their typical peers to be bullied. Bullying can have devastating effects on a person’s psychological state causing life-long trauma and PTSD. Not only are autistic people bullied – often their parents are bullied as well.  With social media we’ve witnessed many times in the last years people who  “flame” a person who has a passionate or controversial belief.  The Art of Autism is especially concerned about people who organize their attacks and target vulnerable people. We encourage thoughtful dialogue and using “I” messaging  in communication which concentrates more on how the person is feeling than attributes and emotions the speaker projects on the person they are communicating with. 

Healthy, respectful dialogue and communication is one of The Art of Autism’s top priorities. The world is so divided right now and even much more so in the autism community. As Art of Autism Board member Carly Fulgham recently blogged – we must get over our differences and focus on what we can agree on. 

One of The Art of Autism‘s most popular blogs is written by Christina MacNeal – How to Keep the Bullies at Bay for those on the Autism Spectrum. 

Do you have a story you would like to share? We’d love to hear from you. Email theartofautism@gmail.com.

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