Second Annual Autism Acceptance Event Making a Difference!
Paula C. Durbin Westby is leading the way into a month which many autistic advocates dread. Why?
Written by Sharon daVanport
Most awareness campaigns have little to do with supports to benefit autistic adults, and it's become increasingly difficult for many self advocates to breathe through April's superficial autism frills. Is there anything to look forward to in the month of April?
Within the autism community, April has always been known for it's one buzz word, "awareness." Not anymore. Now you will see a new kind of confirmation which helps many in our community not feel the dread of the empty campaigns that hold little value toward helping autistics and their families. What is it? One word. ACCEPTANCE. On April 2nd, and continuing throughout the month of April, autistic advocates and their allies will be spending their time making a new kind of difference by communicating about acceptance, not tolerance and pro-neurodiversity.
Join us on February 14th when AWN Radio welcomes to the show, Valerie Paradiz, PhD. Valerie is Director of Special Projects at the Autism Research Institute. She was diagnosed on the autism spectrum 7 years ago at the age of 40, and has much to share about being diagnosed with AS well into adulthood, the toll it took on her with respect to loosing jobs, and her attempts at relationships which seemed to inevitably fail. Valerie was married in 2010, and she will share with us on this Valentine's Day broadcast her story of how she found happiness, acceptance, and fell in love.
Dr. Paula Kluth is a consultant, teacher, author, advocate, and independent scholar who works with teachers and families to provide inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities and to create more responsive and engaging schooling experiences for all learners. Her research and professional interests include differentiating instruction, and supporting students with autism and significant disabilities in inclusive classrooms. Paula is a former special educator who has served as a classroom teacher, consulting teacher, and inclusion facilitator. She works with teachers in K-12 schools, pre-schools, and early intervention programs. She also regularly works with family organizations and disability-rights and advocacy groups.