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BY Marlowe

World Autism Awareness Day: Do you dare to be aware?

Tomorrow, April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day.  Although some of us live with Autism everyday, most people have difficulty understanding what living with Autism really means. Since children with autism often physically look like other kids, it can be like having an invisible disability.

Why is awareness so important?

People tend to be afraid of what they don’t understand.  Awareness has the power to change people’s attitudes from “Ugh, I can’t believe that kid is behaving so badly” to “is there anything I can do to help?”  This is why parents, educators, family and friends of kids with autism need to share their stories with their community.

Take a walk in someone else’s shoes

Delia Lila MarloweMy oldest daughter has Autism, and my experiences and challenges raising a child with autism inspired me to write the song “Take a Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes” by the Swingset Mamas. Watch this video and discuss it with your family.  Imagine if you “had something to say and the words wouldn’t come out?”  How can you “Understand another Point of view”, or “See what someone else is going through”. This video spreads the powerful message of acceptance and inclusion of all people.

“If you’ve met one kid with autism, then you’ve met one kid with autism.”

Video Talk a walkEach person with autism is unique with their own challenges ranging from no speech or communication with extreme behaviors, to highly verbal and difficulty with social language and situations. The one thing that ALL people have in common is that everyone wants to be loved, accepted and included.  Don’t be afraid of Autism.  Dare to be aware, and embrace a child or family with Autism today.


Written on April 1, 2011 by:

Marlowe Bechmann is a enthusastic Friendship Circle mom, and she is also a musician in an award-winning family music band called the Swingset Mamas. She teaches music to self-contained autism classes at elementary and middle schools, and spreads the message of inclusion through Ability Awareness assemblies at schools across the country. Learn more at or
  • Lori

    Thank you for your comments!  I hope you don’t mind but I borrowed some of your comments and posted them to my facebook status.  I don’t think I could have said it better myself!

    Thank you for your efforts to raise awareness!

  • Great blog Marlowe!

  • Year after year, we keep hearing the same message: Autism Awareness, Autism Awareness… I think that at this point, we are already aware and it is time to tell people what to do with their awareness! With highly effective commercials supported by a large number of well-meaning celebrities, the autism community has done a great job publicizing autism to the public. Now what? Here’s a blueprint for the next phase:

    1) Get every pediatrician and family physician to screen for autism at eighteen months of age.

    In order to meet the goal of early autism screening for every child, there should be a concerted effort on the part of the autism awareness folks i.e. Autism Speaks, to make sure that a) every medical student who will be either a family physician or pediatrician knows how to use the CHecklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT), and b) there is a call out to all family physicians and pediatricians already working in the medical field to take ten minutes out of the well child check up to administer the CHAT. It is hard to believe, however, that even in 2011 members of the pediatric community are against routine screening!!! If the Autism Awareness folks want to make sure that all children in the entire society (and ultimately the world) are screened early, they need to win the hearts and minds of the pediatric community. In other words, the pediatric community is already aware; many of their members just don’t agree…

    2) Stop being so politically correct in terms of treatment choices

    It is time for the Autism Speaks folk to publicize the fact that:
    a) The U.S. Surgeon General has recognized Intensive Behavioral Treatment as best practices for autism treatment since 1999 (that was twelve years ago)!
    b) New York State has also recognized Intensive Behavioral Treatment as best practices since 1999(that was twelve years ago)!
    c) Over 50% of states in the U.S. have passed autism mandates forcing insurance companies to pay for treatment!

    Once the mover’s and shakers i.e. the well funded charities, in the autism community recognize the above facts, only then will be able to move beyond awareness into early intensive behavioral treatment for all the children who desperately need it!
    What are we waiting for?


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