Autism Acceptance Month Challenge (sequel, sorta)

This event/competition/challenge is started by me (@here1am) and all the currencies, rewards, and prizes are handled by me, not Hopscotch. You can find other similar self-started events in the latest #competitions-and-events or #shops-and-requests topics, or even start one yourself. Because this is started by me, Hopscotch and the forum leaders are not involved or responsible in any of the transactions here.


Hi everyone! I’d like to start this topic off with an apology/correction from last years challenge. I used some ableist terminology back then and also encouraged use of the puzzle piece as an autistic symbol. While I am autistic myself, what I said back then was unintentionally ableist and spread a lot of misinformation, so let me correct myself here:

Firstly, I called it autism awareness month instead of acceptance month. While it is officially titled “awareness” month, most autistic people (including myself whence I researched into this) prefer the term acceptance as most people are already aware autism exists. While we do need awareness spread about ableism and the issues we face, what we don’t need is people treating autism like a disease and spreading “awareness” like you would cancer or HIV/AIDS. Instead of awareness, what we really need is acceptance.

Secondly, I promoted use of the puzzle piece being used as a symbol of autism. This is not okay as it implies autistic people have a piece missing from us and is also used a symbol of Autism Speaks, a hate organization wanting to rid of autistic people.

Also, I referred to myself as “high functioning” later in the conversation. Functioning labels are ableist and imply there’s a way to be more or less autistic, and that non verbal or otherwise higher support need autistic people can’t function. They’re also based in outdated research which puts the autism spectrum as a linear graph when in reality it is so much more. Instead, opt for terms like higher or lower support needs or verbal and non verbal instead.

While I am happy I got to create a challenge relating to who I am as a person, I’m ashamed in what I said back then and hope you all understand it doesn’t reflect me as a person. So, let’s try this again!

Autism Acceptance Month begins April 1st, and Autism Acceptance Day is April 2nd. Many people misunderstand autism and treat it like a disease or illness, when in reality that’s not true at all! Many people infantilize autistic people or think we’re all the same. Autism also often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, especially in AFAB people and people of color. There’s a lot of challenges and educational/celebrational projects relating to LGBTQ and BLM, but not so many for neurodivergency and disabilities. Which is why I created this challenge!

So, to celebrate autism and also spread acceptance and educate people about it, I’d love if everyone could make a project to post April 2nd (or anytime throughout the month). The project can be anything- a drawing, trail art, interactive game/story, or in my case what I’ll be posting will be more educational/informative, teaching what autism is for me/my experiences. I would like to note that if you’re not autistic yourself, I recommend you research everything well, because it’s very easy to be misinformed.

Also, if you want to use a symbol for autism in your project, please use the rainbow infinity symbol rather than the puzzle piece/puzzle piece ribbon! If you google rainbow infinity symbol it should appear in images.

Some organizations that support autistic people and offer resources on autism include the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and the Autistic Women & Non-binary Network, linked on my profile. Please avoid referencing Autism Speaks and going to them for resources.

Specific ideas for projects include:
-Infinity symbol trail art
-Drawing of the infinity symbol
-“Happy Autism Acceptance Month/Day” or another similar text, just as a card
-A project appreciating autistic people or characters (credit to @Serenity for this idea, her project in the last challenge was fantastic!)
-A project focusing on certain aspects of autism (for example, maybe educating on sensory issues or stimming, please however do thorough research if you do do this!)
And anything else!

Any projects that are submitted, like last year, will be planted, liked, and you will be followed! As for “judging” I’ll pick one or two projects I think are really excellent and give those people a small drawing request, though I don’t plan on judging in a traditional sense.

Please have fun and have a wonderful day! I look forward to seeing what everybody creates :D

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Awesome! I might be participating if I can stop procrastinating

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Ok! That sounds wonderful! :D I hope u do but understand if not

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This is really awesome! Definitely going to participate! :blush: <3

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Thanks a lot for making this and going into the detail.

I can relate in regards to the point on late diagnosis, and assigned female at birth, plus person of colour.

I really like the theme of acceptance — I hadn’t heard that before. (My parents and sister weren’t really accepting at all and it was a big reason in me leaving.)

I’m uncertain about what to make in a project because I don’t feel like I could do it justice, and also there’s just a lot of bad experiences, not with autism but with other people interacting with it around me (from racism, to the need to “fix” traits, to being insulted and treated very badly by my own family)

But I’ll give it a go :blush: I might just tell some of my story and theme it around acceptance.

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I completely understand that. Growing up surrounded by ableism, racism, whatever other bigotry relating back to a diagnosis like that can be traumatizing, and please do not feel obligated to make a project if it makes you uncomfortable in any way.

Also, don’t feel obligated to do it “justice”, you can just try to have fun with it if that makes it easier at all, I’m not expecting an absolute masterpiece and I’m sure no one else is either :sweat_smile:

While I did create this challenge mostly for fun and to educate, it is completely true that the subject of autism and the diagnosis process and all the hatred and bigotry that comes with it is such a nuanced subject it’s nearly impossible to capture it all in a coded project on an app made mostly for kids. I tried my best to explain everything here in a in a more simple watered-down way to make it platform appropriate and also to summarize/keep the forum post from getting too long, but the subject really is much more complex, so once again, please do not feel obligated to do it “justice”.

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It’s incredibly powerful to see your growth in self-image, community-finding, and social consciousness from last year. I say this in an inspired tone, but it’s the empowering way to be inspiring rather than the condescending one (I hope that makes sense; not a fan of inspiration candy so I do not want to come across that way).

The guidelines for this year’s challenge remind me of the social model of disability, which functions across a large swath of neurodivergent and physically disabled populations and views disability as a product of an inaccessible society, not because of a person whose body works differently. I recognized some similarities with discussion about supports (termed “access needs” in academia) and implicit ableism found in language and symbols. You can probably figure out from the information-spewing at this point that I’m minoring in Disability Studies at college, and really enjoying the program! If disability justice is something you (or anyone) are passionate about and want to incorporate into whatever career you choose, I’d absolutely recommend it. And non-humanities people can do their part too by taking courses on universal design etc :sunny:

Also my apologies for disappearing; this is the first time in months that I’ve had more than one day of genuine free time :sweat_smile:

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@Mathematics2 check this out!

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Really appreciated this & yeah I did try to start a project but it was a bit stressful and too much to fit for a short-term project, though I might do something more in the longer term^^

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Bump

is this still going on? because it’s a great idea to bring representation to autism acceptance, even though it’s no longer march :purple_heart:

(@Here1Am)

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No now that it is past March I’ve decided autistic people don’t deserve acceptance (/j I am autistic this is a joke pls don’t report me mods)

But fr yeah it’s great to promote autism acceptance year round lmk if you post a project about it ever :slight_smile:

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Autism acceptance month is April though, not March /nm

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sorry, i knew i just got mixed up since this was posted in march.

(leaders clive?)

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So you want this clived @Here1Am?

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i think this is asking for it to stay open?

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Yeah, I’d prefer it stayed open just in case anyone else makes a project about it

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