On this the eve of April, also known as National Autism Awareness Month, the United States will begin to light up blue as a special opportunity to educate the public about Autism and issues within the Autism community. It is a wonderfully charged initiative that will positively touch many families and individuals who live with Autism and Asperger’s. However, as communities recognize and support the various “Light It Up Blue” campaigns across our nation, our education on Autism is only half complete without “Seeing Pink on the Spectrum” as well.
“Seeing Pink on the Spectrum” creator, Jennifer Cook O’Toole, is bringing attention to the fact that girls on the Autism/Asperger’s spectrum present characteristics and traits that can be VERY different than how boys on the spectrum present. Not only is this true for Autism/Asperger’s, it’s true for ADD/ADHD as well. And because not all parents, educators and even some medical providers are aware of these differences, some girls on the Autism/Asperger’s spectrum are getting lost, or labeled incorrectly.
Jennifer Cook O’Toole was diagnosed as an Aspie in adulthood, is the mother of three Asperkids, the wife of an Aspie, an award-winning educator and author of the internationally-celebrated “Asperkids” book series. Through her Asperkids organization, she is on a relentless mission to educate and help the Asperger’s community on this issue, among others:
“Girls who don’t fit in are casually dismissed as ‘too smart,’ ‘oversensitive,’ and ‘dramatic.’ Adults will shrug, ‘Girls can be so mean.’ Or they pejoratively attach labels like ‘bossy’ or ‘stuck up’ when they ought to use the one that can help: ‘Aspie’.”
Her article, “Seeing the Pink on the Spectrum: An Aspie Mother’s Gift to Her Aspie Daughter….and Yours” is a must read. With a checklist included, this article could help you understand you or your child better.
Find out more about Jennifer Cook O’Toole and Asperkids at www.asperkids.com.