Kelly Dorman, Grade 9, Horton High School
As some of you may know, April was Autism Awareness Month. This has been a Canadian practise since 1993, and is marked across the country by fundraisers, campaigns, and advocacy. This is all well and good, but it’s been almost thirty years since this was created. It may be time to consider updating our approach. For the last several years, the autistic community has been pushing for less awareness, more acceptance. Awareness is still important—especially on autism in women, in marginalized groups, and in adults—but acceptance has become an ongoing battle.
Autism is one of the most misunderstood and stereotyped conditions in the world. It’s impossible to divide us into “high functioning” or “low functioning,” into “capable” or “incapable,” or anything of the sort. You can’t label and divide us anymore than you can a neurotypical human being.
During April, we are often spoken over by parents, caregivers, and teachers. Throughout April—and the rest of the year—it is key for people to remember that the only true experts on autistic people are autistic people. We are ready to speak; you just need to listen.
Horton Poverty Project
As part of our grade nine Citizenship curriculum, we have been challenged to raise awareness for a problem within the Valley and our group chose to help raise awareness for poverty. We started a gofundme that goes towards the red cross to help combat poverty:
Photo courtesy of Kelly Dorman.