By Greta Thunberg
Today is #AutismAwarenessDay. At the age of 12 I was diagnosed with Asperger, a form of autism. At that time I had no idea what it meant. When I and my parents told people I was autistic, they always reacted with shock since I didn’t fit into the stereotype of autistic people.
Today, so many (especially girls) remain undiagnosed. The reasons for that are often lack of awareness, prejudices and the fact that many still see autism as a “disease” or something that has to hold you back. That more people are diagnosed with autism etc isn’t because there is an “inflation” in diagnoses but since awareness is increasing and many highly sensitive people experience stress related problems in modern society which gives them reason to suspect they’re on the spectrum.
Almost everywhere there are very limited resources to give autistic people the necessary support. Without these adjustments autism can turn into a disability. But under the right circumstances it can truly be a gift and turn into something you – and society – can benefit from. Sadly, today the level of awareness is so low. So many go undiagnosed and will therefore not receive the help they need and may go their whole life believing something is wrong with them.
So let’s all join in spreading awareness. It could literally save lives. Autism is not a disease. It’s not something you ”have”. It’s definitely not ”caused” by anything like vaccine or diet. It simply means that you are a bit different from everyone else.
And in a world where everyone strives to act, think and look the same – being different is truly something to be proud of.
Thats why I’m very proud to be autistic.