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When Fighting for Autism, Be a Knight, Not a Viking

As we go forth in this world, it’s important that we raise autism awareness and foster acceptance as far as we can. It’s a fight that I will not be giving up until the world is aware and accepting. At the same time, it’s important that we have a degree of balance when facing our future battles.

This video from the YouTube channel, FatheringAutism, makes an excellent case for that.

In it, this dad of a girl with severe autism advises us to choose our battles wisely when fighting for autism awareness and acceptance. While the world still does need to know and accept autism, getting too caught up in the little things will likely only serve to exhaust us and take our energy away from what really matters.

People are going to stare. People are going to whisper. People are going to use language we don’t like, whether that’s person-first, identity-first, or something else. And while it’s important for people to be respectful, we need to try to be careful that we don’t make people feel as if they have to choose every word they utter with extreme care, lest they offend us.

Yes, there are jerks out there. There are people who say cruel and ignorant things about autism. We need to stand up to those people, yes. But most people are not like that. Most deserve the benefit of the doubt because most mean no harm.

So our suggestion: for the sake of your sanity and wellbeing, choose to let the little things go. And when bigger things do arise, gently but firmly speak up. As this dad suggests, let’s be knights—not Vikings—for autism.

Check out what he has to say in the video below and let us know what you think!

(Note: There is some strong language in this video, including use of the r-word.)

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A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.