First off, thanks for clicking through to read this. I know you're getting inundated with stuff about this topic, and I appreciate you taking time to read an #actuallyautistic perspective on what this day means.
First off, because I think it's the most important thing. If you give money this month (or anytime) to the Autism cause, please don't give it to Autism Speaks or any other organization that is not primarily focused on productively dealing with the realities of Autism.
The truth of the matter is, Autism is not a disease, it's a neurotype. This is not to disparage families and indivuduals who are currently struggling with autism, but rather to serve as a source of hope. The vast majority of the issues experienced by the autism community relate to poor accommodations, misunderstandings and a lack of acceptance by the general population. What people seem to misunderstand most is the power of embracing difference. Rather than condeming people with autism to a life of low-wage or no-wage work, we should be adapting the workplace and society to accomodate more neurotypes and abilities.
Over the rest of the month, I'll post more on the topic but this post is largely just to introduce you to the concept of neurodiversity and why you shouldn't support Autism Speaks this month.