The autistic community and the neurodiversity movement at large has been active online for what has easily been a decade at this point. We have come a long way, establishing the rights we are entitled to, what can be done better, and even creating our own autistic culture.
We have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go to reach a point of equality and inclusion. Many of us have taken up the advocacy mantle knowing that we won’t see the end result, and for that reason, we must guide young and emerging advocates towards making their own mark on the autistic community.
I have many hopes for these new advocates.
I hope that they continue to allow our understanding of what is fair and equitable treatment to evolve with the times. May our community never be stuck in the past.
I hope that they find new ways to communicate their views. For too long many of us have been confined to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. May they expand their reach beyond those of us using social media.
I hope that they heal from the hurt and trauma that has existed in our community. May their new generations of advocates not know the pain that we have and they have.
Finally, I hope that new generations of advocates continue to be effective self-advocates. Speaking their truth, and ensuring that none of us feel alone on our journey.
The road we take as advocates can be a lonely one. Filled with stress and burnouts. My hope is that new generations of advocates will continue to collaborate with each other, and lift each other up when they fall.
The autistic children of today will be the advocates of tomorrow. We must ensure the path is clear for them. We must be sure that they will not be stuck in the trauma of the past, and that they will have new ideas to disseminate.
May the legacy we leave behind for new advocates be one of love, acceptance, and understanding. We weren’t always afforded the same.