There are many different types of autism. Autism is different for each individual diagnosed and even more strange for those who were never diagnosed. The biggest thing about autism in the modern world, is the way it’s portrayed in day-to-day life. Using the term “high-functioning” or “low-functioning” to describe humans with autism is extremely common and very hurtful.
Researching the different types of autism is important, especially if you have friends or mutuals with an autism disorder. My reasoning for writing this post is strictly due to the current pandemic of 2020. In the magical world of “pre-Covid,” autism shaming was still an issue, but in our world right now, the coronavirus conditions almost make it worse. Masks are insanely optional for people with hidden disabilities. What’s a hidden disability you ask? Let me explain.
A hidden disability is a disability that doesn’t necessarily show itself flat out and plainly. Individuals with a respiratory illness, a mental or physical disability, or the need to read lips for communication are all reasons to not wear a face covering. Yes, the possibility of getting sick is higher and we are much more at risk than someone who has a mask on, but the ability to handle your mouth being covered and the lack of breathing is too much.
That is why the sunflower lanyard was created! Sunflower lanyards with a card attachment to put a disability card into help employees and other customers to identify if someone has a hidden disability. The lanyards are a clear statement that “I don’t need to wear a mask and this is strictly for a medical reason”. As an autistic teenager, I hate explaining to every person that asks why I am not wearing a face covering and that’s the point of the sunflower lanyards.
Educating on this matter is one of the biggest and most important things to explain to individuals who go through their daily lives with no disability. A couple of helpful links like these below explain more deeply into the world of autism and you might learn a helpful thing or two. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a lovely day!