We seek them here, we seek them there ……. Autism Aware Bears are everywhere!
To go straight over to the project and have a look for yourself please go to awarebear.org or alternatively keep reading……..
I know what you are thinking – what on Earth is an Autism Aware Bear?
Well lets start from the beginning, June 2018 when the aware bear project started.
Autism awareness month is April, it had come to an end and a couple of months had passed when I noticed that all of the autism awareness campaigns and posts had vanished. The only people that continued to write about autism awareness were those with autism and their families, everyone else who had professed that they wanted acceptance and plastered their facebook walls with autism quotes were no longer sharing anything and I felt sad as I realised that autism awareness month was exactly that – just one month. Yet we need autism awareness and acceptance 365 days a year.
That is when I decided I needed to do something. It had to be something that engaged people, it had to be fun, it had to make people want to join in, it had to involve the autism community, it had to inspire and it had to reach a lot of people ……. that’s when the autism aware bear project was born!
There are two different bears:-
Travelling bears are given to absolutely anybody to take on an adventure for a short time or a long time. They wear a label talking about autism awareness and acceptance and people share their pictures of their journeys with their bears on awarebear.org . They travel the world spreading the word about autism and when their companion feels ready, they leave them to be found by somebody new or give them to somebody to take on a new adventure.
These bear are very special bears indeed. They only get sent to children or adults with autism or environments that have autistic children or adults using them (schools, clubs, organisations). This is because it is vitally important to me that people with autism are involved with this project and feel included when society so often doesn’t include them at all – the project is about them after all. These bears can live with that person for as long as they want, a week, a month, a year or forever. If they ever do part with them all I ask is that they are returned to the project or gifted to another child or adult with autism.
Every single autism aware bear is named after somebody with an autism connection. This is really important as some people with autism can not do the things that other people and other families take for granted so essentially these bears are going on adventures on their behalf which is magical.
I absolutely love doing this project, it has already reached levels I never expected and I am happy that it is spreading awareness, acceptance and spreading some happiness.
For more information about the bears please visit awarebear.org or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org