Did you know that April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day? More than 3.5 million individuals live with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and just as the name implies, there is a wide spectrum as to how individuals experience autism. Many people who live with autism understand it through the lens of neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is the idea that autism is the result of normal variations in the human genome. Differences should be recognized and respected just as any other genetic variation. The label of neurodiversity can also be applied to dyslexia, ADHD, Tourette syndrome, and others. Many people who view autism through this lens advocate for neurodiversity to be celebrated rather than "cured."
This World Autism Awareness Day, we encourage everyone to watch "DEEJ" as an opportunity to expand, and maybe challenge, the way you think about autism. "DEEJ" is a documentary by DJ Savarese about growing up and graduating from Oberlin College as an individual with autism and an advocate for people with autism. Whether you're knowledgable about autism or taking an early step toward advocacy, "DEEJ" is bound to resonate with and inspire you.
Winner of many awards, DEEJ was released in the fall of 2017. DJ screened the movie at the Museum of Disability History in Buffalo, New York in 2017 and since then many students and advocates have enjoyed the documentary and enthusiastically recommend it to others.
We encourage everyone to discover how you can get involved for World Autism Month, which is the month of April. From participating in local or national events to donating your time or money, Autism Speaks can help you participate in the way that works best for you.
To learn where and how you can watch DEEJ, visit his website: