Advocacy and Awareness
Advocacy and Awareness
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a development disorder that impacts a person’s behavior and communication. Several decades ago, the ASD affected roughly one in every 150 kids. The number has greatly increased to one in every 68 kids, with boys being affected more. Families with kids who have the disorder face a lifetime of challenges including getting the early education and assistance they need and the transition to life after school like safe housing, getting a job or carrying out their normal activities. Resources devoted to autism are mostly insufficient to meet the needs of the kids. Creating awareness and advocating for the kids with the ASD can help them access resources they need and enable them to reach their full potentials (Reynolds, 2017). While there are many ways of advocating for the kids with ASD, the most specific ways that can help create awareness includes the use of social media to address the issue of autism, get involved and participate in autism programs and push for federal as well as national government to introduce policies that support the autistic kids.
There are quite many ways a person can help advocate and create awareness about autism in the local community. Most of us live in “disability indifferent” communities, where people are not hostile towards the disabled but fail to ever think about the needs of the disabled residents. This means that most kids with ASD are invisible to many in various communities. I can advocate and create awareness about autism in the community through the use of social media. Today, most people are connected through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp, most of which connect people based on their location The use of social media to create awareness within the local community is, therefore, an effective way to ensure the autistic get the resources they need to reach their maximum potential.
It is also possible to create awareness about ASD at the state level but requires extra efforts. The use of social media platforms to advocate and create awareness about autism can also work within the state level. Also, I can join a program that pushes for legislative advocacy of ASD within various states in the United States. This involves pushing for the federal government to make laws that support the autistic kids within the state. Massachusetts, for instance, signed the Massachusetts Autism Omnibus Bill in 2014 that expanded the eligibility criteria for the DDS for those with ASD and brought quite a lot of positive changes for kids with ASD in the community (Malegislature.gov, 2014). Another way to advocate for people with ASD is to participate in autism programs. Several programs that support autistic children are held each year. I can play a part in some of them by donating, attending autism events, and volunteering in various activities.
Also, I can create ASD awareness nationally by pushing for the national government to create policies meant to support the autistic kids. Creating national laws that protect and care for the autistic would ensure they get the resources they need for the development. The national government, for instance, can come up with a policy that grants free medical care for the autistic, create an autism endorsement for special education teachers. Also, there are national and international organizations that have been formed to advocate for ASD. I can help create awareness and advocate for ASD but joining these organizations and participating in their programs. For instance, I can donate, volunteer, or help in other activities that advocate for the ASD.
In my area, there is an organization for the kids with ASD. I can collaborate with the organization by offering donations, volunteering in various activities, and spending time with the kids with the disability.
In conclusion, kids with ASD are continually becoming more and more each year. This calls for awareness creation about the needs of these kids. While there are many ways of advocating for the kids with ASD, the most specific ways that can help create awareness includes the use of social media to address the issue of autism, get involved and participate in autism programs and push for federal as well as national government to introduce policies that support the autistic kids.
Boshoff, K., Gibbs, D., Phillips, R. L., Wiles, L., & Porter, L. (2016). Parents’ voices:‘why and how we advocate’. A meta‐synthesis of parents’ experiences of advocating for their child with autism spectrum disorder. Child: care, health and development, 42(6), 784-797.
Dillenburger, K., McKerr, L., Jordan, J. A., Devine, P., & Keenan, M. (2015). Creating an inclusive society… How close are we in relation to Autism Spectrum Disorder? A general population survey. Journal of applied research in intellectual disabilities, 28(4), 330-340.
Malegislature.gov. (2014). Session Law – Acts of 2014 Chapter 226. [online] Available at: h https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2014/ Chapter226 [Accessed 10 Jun. 2019].
Reynolds, J. L. (2017). Tips to Advocate for ADHD Awareness in Your Community. U.S.News. Retrieved from https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2017-08-18/tips-to-advocate-for-adhd-awareness-in-your-community