Happy April! As many of you may know, or not know, April isn’t just the month with a lot of rain, it is also Autism Awareness Month. Autism awareness is important because there are a lot of misconceptions about what autism is and what it looks like. Autism is defined as being “a developmental disorder of variable severity that is characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behavior”. Autism can affect anyone regardless of gender, race, religion, or social class. The ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network) tells us we need to help stop the myths about autism because they make it increasingly difficult to diagnose people. When looking at what causes autism, we don’t have a complete understanding. However, autism is a lot bigger than we think. The CDC reports that, “1 in 44 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder” 1 in 27 being male and 1 in 116 being female. This means that you probably know someone who has autism. An early diagnosis of autism can make all the difference because it allows for the individual to benefit from having different kinds of support they may need and helps them feel enlightened and comfortable. The challenges that come with having autism are different for everyone because autism isn’t one size fits all. In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I wanted to highlight a variety of content creators on TikTok with autism.
1 in 44 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorderCDC, 2021
Paige Layle is a 21-year-old creator and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. She talks about her struggles with autism and life in general, as well as keeping up with the TikTok trends. Paige tries to bring awareness to the fact that autism isn’t the same in girls and boys, and how this is a tremendous problem when it comes to diagnosing girls early on. Paige also answers questions she gets on her videos and makes educational videos as well.
Arik Ancelin is a musician and songwriter with 1.5 million followers on TikTok alone. This 18-year-old rapper received a platinum record from Spotify for reaching 4,000,000 streams. His song “true colors” with DJ Nitti Gritti is available to stream on all platforms along with his newest single, “life lessons”.
Alex is a mother whose son has autism. She shares the sweet moments along with the tough ones as well as answering questions for her followers. Alex is one of the most authentic accounts I have ever seen, and she has an enormous heart for all her adoptive children. Two of her children are nonverbal but recently have spoken a few words (a huge proud moment). I think Alex is a great mom and has some even more amazing, and not to mention adorable, kids.
Noa Finley is a 20-year-old member of the LGBTQ+ community. They educate on how to be an excellent ally to the autistic community, what terminology is and isn’t ok, and signs they showed that they didn’t realize were autism. Noa’s page is really great for anyone looking to get educated on the ins and outs of autism.
Rebecca Quinn was diagnosed with autism at age 15. She educates on why Autism Speaks is not a fit organization, along with educating on all things autism. Rebecca talks about how Autism Speaks in the autistic community considers this organization to be a hate group that wants to get rid of autism instead of helping autistic people. Rebecca also talks about her struggles with ADHD and her love for the color red, which the community believes should represent autism awareness month.