Please Tell Our Society to Not Forget Autistic People

"Let’s teach our society to embrace those with disabilities and ensure their voices are always heard."

By Kerry Magro

This guest post is by Dr. Kerry Magro Ed.D., a professional speaker, best-selling author and autism entertainment consultant who is on the autism spectrum. A version of this blog appeared on Follow Kerry on Facebook.

Side by side photos of a toddler boy in a red and orange stripped shirt and a young man in a black shirt on a boat

Did you know that July is Disability Pride Month, a time to celebrate the achievements and strengths of people with disabilities? It’s also a month to remind people of the spectrum; to educate them that some with disabilities face lifelong difficulties and need support.

This was started in 1990 adjacent to the Americans with Disabilities Act, signed on July 26, 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability and seeks to ensure equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities. Now people worldwide observe this month.

I have a personal connection to this month as someone who was nonspeaking and today is a professional speaker. During those first few years, though, there would often be times when through rhetoric in my area, those with autism weren’t capable, which led to barriers being created that could have challenged my future. Other times, in some of my classrooms, my classmates, especially those with disabilities, were forgotten because they would ‘never be as successful as their nondisabled peers.’ Being that nonspeaking child, getting kicked out of two preschools because of my sensory challenges and additional obstacles further led to those challenges. However, amidst these difficulties, I was fortunate to have the unwavering support of my parents and a loving village of caregivers who believed in my abilities.

Two primary abilities emerged as key drivers of my journey: my boundless energy, which found expression in my passion for public speaking, and my intense focus on my core interests. I believe my abilities were fully realized, at least partly because of the understanding that some of the most talented people in the world have disabilities. Individuals like Michael Jordan have Attention Deficit Disorder, Leonardo DiCaprio has Dyslexia, and Magic Johnson has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Later, as an adult, people like Dr. Temple Grandin, a disability advocate on the spectrum, would help continue my self-motivation toward those abilities. In the talks I’m hired to give with schools and businesses as a professional speaker, I often refer to these individuals as examples of capabilities within our community.

Through this month and the rest of the year, let’s educate and promote awareness, acceptance, and understanding of all those with disabilities. Let’s teach our society to embrace those with disabilities and ensure their voices are always heard.

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