The Performance of April and Autism Awareness Month

I honestly wasn’t going to write anything for April. I have been having a tough time putting pen to paper. But since it’s about to hit the ten year mark on my autism diagnosis, I decided to get something down to commemorate it.

Let me start by acknowledging something that the autistics who know, who really know, and dread this month know all too well: April is essentially a cash grab. April is a soapbox for well-meaning organizations and corporations to bank on us. We’re the inspiration porn, the example to strive for, the burden to be eased that’s big money to them.

And as April begins, I steel myself for the op-eds, the nuanced perspectives to elicit the sympathy that helps boost their clout and sales. The performances of this month are not lost on me— those discussions that have been framed about us, but not with us. I am not writing about that.

I just sincerely hope to hear more autistics who speak the unpleasant truths and have no audience: the autistic-led companies and organizations that carry on in obscurity, the autistics whose satire humors me as this month carries on…

Would I love to see an autistic freelancer get business and money over a puzzle piece organization? Absolutely. Would I like to see more autistics openly express their displeasure of this month and get center stage? I sure would.

If we must be heard, may it be a voice that the mainstream media would never acknowledge.

Because believe me, after only a couple of days, I already want it to be May 1st tomorrow.

I know I’m not the only one.

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