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Be open. Only more so!

This April will be different from all of them. Just as the year is different from previous years. The ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine echoes around the world. For us as a Foundation, the war means one thing - an increased need to help anyone who needs it. This year, we are taking a global look at the topics of discrimination, hejt, lack of acceptance and understanding towards people on the spectrum and their loved ones. We are speaking out: gender, nationality, color, identity or orientation MUST NOT be a cause of discrimination. Our April activities address four major issues of exclusion of autistic people. In particular, we focus on: the topic of autism diagnosis in women, the difficulties faced by autists originating from Ukraine and their relatives, LGBT+ individuals on the spectrum, and the labor market and its specificity towards autistic people. This year we want to pay special attention to people who are discriminated against for several reasons.

Autism has no gender

Until recently, it was thought that autism was a male thing, because boys were the ones who heard the diagnosis up to four times more often than girls . Hence the famous blue color that symbolized autism for years. Today it is already known that diagnoses created on the basis of studies in which autistic boys predominated do not take into account gender differences. These are extremely important in the process of diagnosing autism, because women are the real masters of camouflage. That's why institutions and establishments across the country shone pink and blue with us this year on April 2.

Ivan's story

When the hell of war broke loose in Ukraine, Ivan's family fled to Poland. The man came to the JiM Foundation asking for help in diagnosing his 3-year-old daughter. The girl is on the spectrum. In addition, she stopped walking overnight. She arrived in Poland in a too-small wheelchair. The family needed immediate help. Within days, we were able to give them necessities, including a comfortable stroller for the girl. We also guided the concerned family in their search for hospital help. There are still many challenges ahead for Ivan and his relatives. 

This is just one of thousands of such stories. People fleeing the hell of war not only lost their entire life's possessions overnight, but also their homes, loved ones and a sense of security. Thousands of autistic families also lost the possibility of therapy and specialized assistance. Without them, as their loved ones admit, the effects of years of work disappear in the blink of an eye. That's why the JiM Foundation decided to help autistic people and their families in Ukraine. We have launched the Autistic Life Fund, we are collecting donations, we have made a special guide for visitors from Ukraine, and we are donating money to the Ukrainian aid organization "Child with a Future."

Majority in minority

Although research on the identity of people on the spectrum does not yield conclusive results, it is estimated that a significant proportion of autistic people identify as LGBT+. These individuals are more likely to identify as asexual, homosexual, bisexual than neurotypical individuals. Studies have shown that there is a significantly lower rate of heterosexuals among autistic people than among neurotypical people. Additionally, people on the spectrum are more likely to identify as non-binary and transgender than neurotypical people. These individuals are even more likely to experience discrimination. In line with the JiM Foundation's mission, let's create a better world for them together!

Work pays off

Only 2% of autistic people in Poland are gainfully employed. Why? The problem is the lack of systemic solutions and adequate support. Many people, for fear of losing their jobs or not being understood, do not admit to being autistic. For the same reasons, people on the spectrum do not ask for adjustments in working conditions. To remedy this, relatively little is needed: support during the education period, adjusting the recruitment process or work opportunities to suit, but the most important thing is the willingness to change. Experts point out in a special report that every 100zł spent on a program to activate autistic people in Poland will bring 500zł in revenue. On an annual basis, the treasury would gain about 12 billion zlotys.

Common Cause

Social discrimination, lack of understanding, the patch of "Other" or lack of acceptance - these are just some of what autistic people have to face on a daily basis. The mission of the JiM Foundation is to create a better world for people on the spectrum. We believe that together we can create a welcoming space for everyone. For this to happen we need: education and ever-growing awareness. Hence the numerous actions and social campaigns that we conduct. April is Autism Awareness Month, so let's build a better tomorrow together today!

Here's what you can do to help build a better world:

  • Autism Lesson - is a package prepared for schools that will allow to conduct a lesson on autism. The content in it is adapted for children and adolescents.
  • Our activities - learn more about how, what and for whom we do to better understand not only the mission of the JiM Foundation, but also those on the spectrum and their loved ones. 
  • Join in - help us with public awareness and education, tell your friends, colleagues, family about our activities. Together we can do more!



We would like to express our warmest thanks to all the people and institutions that supported the organization of this year's edition of Poland in Blue. Special thanks go to the Partner of the action, the Džiugas brand. It is through such actions that we can reach millions of Poles. And only raising awareness and education will make the world more open to people on the autism spectrum. Thank you for your involvement.

See also
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