What Autism Means to Us - World Autism Day 2021

A collage of four photos of autistic people who are in the video, on an orange background with two infinity symbols surrounding the words What Autism Means to Us
Tatum Shiff, Content and Marketing Coordinator, Autism Ontario

~ 2 minute read  

Autism means to me that I’m a strong and resilient person who can do anything [I] set my mind to. I just might need some help and accommodations along the way, and that’s okay."

- Chris McConnell, Autistic Adult

A few months ago, we began asking you, the autism community, what autism means to you. The answers we’ve received from autistic adults, advocates, artists, children, and students, as well as family members and loved ones of people on the spectrum, have been insightful and inspiring. An important message conveyed by the range of answers you submitted is that autism means something different to everyone

The autism community often centres the voices of family members and professionals, and while these views are important and their allyship is key, listening to and promoting the thoughts of autistic people themselves is essential. We’re proud to centre autistic voices on this blog and within this video, and we know there is more work to do.

Starting at 2pm today, you’ll be able to watch “What Autism Means to Us,” our video compilation of the words we received from the autism community. Some of the submissions had to be shortened for time, but if you stay tuned here and on our social media platforms, we’ll be sharing submissions in full over the coming weeks.

If you want to tell us what autism means to you, you still can! We’re leaving the submission form open indefinitely because we always want to hear from you. Submit your videos, writing, audio clips, or photographs here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AutismDay2021

Thank you for telling us what autism means to you! Happy World Autism Day!



What Autism Means to Members of our Board

Autism means “fascinating fascinations!” – Susan Morris, Autism Ontario Board President

Autism means “seeing the world in a different way, every day” – Susan Boehnke, Autism Ontario Board Member

“Autism’s great potential, seen with eyes that look with love, curiosity, and understanding” – Dr. Barry Bruce, Autism Ontario Board Member

“Autism has taught me that no matter how infinitely difficult a day has been, my son (and others) have tackled more obstacles than I ever will.” – Lisa Vezeau-Allen, Autism Ontario Board Member