Friday, March 27, 2020

My Grandpa's 3 A's and Why You Might Need to Rethink Who and What You Support When it Comes to Autism

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Catch my session on hyperlexia at Educate & Rejuvenate 2024

A closer look at the associations you keep and why you might need to rethink who and what you support when it comes to autism, especially during autism acceptance month.

Why you need to be mindful of who and what you support during autism acceptance month

I've been thinking about my grandpa a lot lately and the things that he taught me.

He was indeed a wise man, teaching my brothers and myself valuable skills like how to fold a tissue properly so you didn't get snot all over your hands. Or how to not-so-casually slip a twenty dollar bill into your hands by saying, "Here's some A&W coupons."

And, to my brothers, not to pee into the wind.

Life skills, yo!

But the one thing that really stuck with me are his three A's: attitude, appearance, and association.

Like it or not, we are all judged by these three things to some degree.

Your it positive or negative? Are you willing to learn and adjust as needed? Or are you more of a fixed mindset kind of person?

Interesting how my grandpa was years ahead on this whole growth mindset thing. He was certainly sharing about it well before it became popular here on the interwebs...

As for appearance, how you present yourself does matter. So make sure that the way you present yourself is reflective of how you really want to be seen. People will know when you're faking it so it's best to just be authentic and true to yourself.

And then finally, there's association.

The company you keep.

Your tribe.

Your people.

Your peeps.

Whatever you want to call it.

Who you associate with can speak volumes about who you are as a person and what you believe in. It's like slapping a big ol' bumper sticker on the back of your car that screams "here's what I care about."

But why exactly am I sharing this with you?

Well, like I said, it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately.

Especially in relation to the world of autism.

What are those associations of yours saying about you and your views on autism? Are they consistent with your beliefs and reflective of your true identity and how you want to be seen?

If you're not sure, then take the time to research the organizations you support. The campaigns you participate in. The imagery you proudly display and the words you use when talking about autism.

Especially during the month of April.

Because your associations not only speak volumes about yourself, but volumes about how you view my autistic child.

And if those associations currently do not align with your appearance, then now's the perfect time to show your willingness to learn (that attitude I mentioned earlier) and adjust as needed. Because when you know better, you do better.

Such a cliche, I know...

Other Resources You'll Love

Autism Acceptance Month Ideas for Families

One Thing You Need to Know About Autism

Why I'm Thankful for my Son's Autism Diagnosis

Why you need to be mindful of who and what you support during autism acceptance month