This was written by my beautiful niece, Bethany Mansour…I asked if I could post it on this day of “World Autism Awareness” I cannot say it better…

11051844_10155342141255537_2762385607434711979_nToday is World Autism Awareness Day; in our life, every day is autism awareness day – some days are good, other days, well… But our Carlin has come so far, she is an amazing human being who lights up the light of every person she meets. She has worked harder than anyone I know, and continues to do so, and in many ways is my hero. We are so blessed that she has come as far as she has; there are many, many families who’s struggles with autism are so much scarier than ours. We NEED awareness, but we also need ACCEPTANCE – acceptance from society that autistic individuals are different and not less, acceptance that even with all the therapy and interventions in the world, they are not meant to fit in “the box”, acceptance that the struggles they have to live in “our” world are real – it doesn’t make them “difficult” or “bad”, it just makes them different. Acceptance that is OK to just be who you are – that YOU no matter who YOU are, is enough.
So educate yourselves, educate your families – learn about autism and everything it entails, that is awareness. But also spread ACCEPTANCE – that the screaming child in the grocery store maybe isn’t a brat, but is completely sensory overloaded, that the adult or child who struggles socially maybe isn’t just “weird” but doesn’t KNOW HOW to interact with others – let’s stop judging what we don’t understand.