The Saga

The Student News Site of Pleasant Valley High School

The Saga

The Saga

April: Autism Awareness Month

All Credit to Reader’s Digest

April is Autism Acceptance Month. We use this month to recognize the minority of people who suffer with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). So why do we celebrate Autism Awareness Month? Why is it important to recognize those who are on the spectrum? 

Society has excluded, segregated, bullied, and outcast individuals with ASD for years. There has been a long and hateful history regarding research and medication in the field of mental disabilities. In the early 20th century, the main “treatment” for autism was institutionalization. Simply put, these people were locked up in a mental hospital to be “fixed”. People with autism were seen as “animals” who needed to be controlled. Some people believed those on the spectrum were being controlled by demons, or didn’t have caring mothers. Some considered children with autism to be self absorbed. Being on the spectrum just changes the way some see the world, it doesn’t make them any less human. 

As we progress as a society we must recognize that not everyone is a carbon copy of one another. It is good to be different and we must embrace this. “I think that people being aware of the strengths of kids on the spectrum gives everybody a better perspective on how to be better people to others.” states Misty Ludwig, a teacher here at Pleasant Valley. Alex Hunt, a student who is on the spectrum states, “People mistaken us for not human beings, we are human too.” Many young children on the spectrum just want to be kids like their peers, but just aren’t given the chance to because of their disability. “We are not given the same opportunities,” Alex continues. 

So how do we support our peers who are on the spectrum? Simple things such as just being kind, treating everyone as equals, and offering help when needed could just be enough. Alex Hunt states, “To be a kinder humanity we need a kinder world.” Alex’s twin brother Brandon continues by saying, “People need to listen.” There are also many resources that are helpful for people with autism. One example is the Little Red Hen program. This program helps children with ASD learn and grow through “unique and exciting activities.” Brandon and Alex both shared how they felt that this program was a place where they could truly be themselves. 

“For the people who are reading this, people need to understand what it is like to be autistic. A lot of people don’t understand what people like me and Brandon are going through,” Alex states. It is clear that we dedicate April to be Autism Awareness month so we can have a time to really reach out and support our peers on the spectrum. After a long history of prejudice and a lack of support, society is finally taking time to understand those who may be a little different from them. “Just try, we all need a better humanity to survive,” Brandon and Alex finalized. Just a little bit of kindness and support can change a life. 


Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Abigail Harrell
Abigail Harrell, Editor-In-Chief
Abigail (Abbey) Harrell is so excited to return to the SAGA as the Editor-in-Chief! She cannot wait to spread the news and voices of our community.

Comments (0)

All The Saga Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *