Encourage and Demonstrate Kindness
March 21, 2019
Our ambassador campaign encourages everyone to help build communities that embrace and accept individuals with autism.
One easy way to do this is to simply encourage kindness, especially when encountering individuals with autism in your day-to-day activities.
If you see a parent or caregiver with a child or adult with autism who is acting out, instead of staring or walking away, ask “Can I help?” Offer to let that family move ahead of you in a grocery store line or to help find their waiter in case they need to exit a restaurant. It’s understandable that those unfamiliar with autism might not know how to act, or they might find such scenarios awkward or disruptive. You can be a role model for others and help alleviate a stressful situation.
Here are four stories that get to the root of the issue.
The website The Mighty frequently posts uplifting stories about how far a kind gesture can go.
A recent op ed about adults with autism also sums it up nicely:
Much as Braille elevator buttons and stairway ramps strip away limitations imposed by physical disabilities, so can a genuine welcome from the community, and slight adjustments by “the rest of us” to the ways people with autism relate socially go a long way toward neutralizing the perception that they don’t, and can’t, “fit in.”
Getting there is easy. It’s ordinary decency. It’s not being put off by someone who doesn’t make eye contact. Not jumping to conclusions that an unkempt man strolling down the sidewalk is dangerous. Rolling with it when the woman dining alone at a neighboring table rocks in her seat. Sizing up your strangely speaking neighbor as a potential friend, rather than making him the guy to avoid.