Each year on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, iconic buildings across the world turn their lights blue to promote autism awareness.
78% of children that attend our Next Step Program live with Autism. Over the past 5 years, coaches, students, and other professionals have all enjoyed the experience of being involved with Next Step, due to the fulfilling relationships that are developed with families and their children.
Our Next Step program has given us the opportunity to breakdown several stigmas and misconceptions associated with Autism. We have observed joy in return for being passionate coaches, we have received love for our kindness, and we have received affection in exchange for our enthusiasm.
Challenges exist, emotions are not easy to control, and milestones take time to reach. As a community, WE must not allow Autism to condition our interaction with the child/person. As a community, WE must be aware of the challenges and be supportive, rather than let ignorance and intolerance condition our attitude.
Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects, among other things, the way an individual relates to his or her environment and their interaction with other people. We can control our own interactions, we can modify environments, we can create spaces, so let’s be mindful and extend our hand rather than turn a blind eye.