Big Idea for the Big Game
Last year, I wrote a post on my personal blog called "My Autism My Voice" about the benefits of having an autism Super Bowl commercial. In the piece I discuss how it would have a critical impact on our community in terms of spreading awareness. Then I wondered: If we did have a 30-second commercial, what would that look like? In my blog I mentioned having the entire spectrum represented, having facts and figures on autism prevalence thrown in and having a celebrity with autism—such as Temple Grandin—close the piece.
A year has passed and I still feel the same way about this idea. However, the message has been altered a bit. Now more than ever (and maybe with a little bias!) I’d love to see a Super Bowl commercial that emphasizes adults on the spectrum.
If I were creating such a commercial, I would include:
- A photo of several young kids with autism with the most recent statistics regarding prevelance;
- A photo of those same kids now as adults, noting that “500,000 individuals with autism will reach adulthood in the next decade;”
- There would then be a few seconds dedicated to a photo of each young adult, one would be graduating from high school, one with a job, one being helped by an aid in a group home, one still living at home with their family;
- The last few seconds would feature older adults on the spectrum with a quote in the background that says, “Kids grow up, and we need to be ready for them.” The commercial would close with information regarding resources to learn more.
The Super Bowl is the most-watched TV show nationally year after year; the commercials that air during the game share that audience. Admittedly, comnmercial space during the Super Bowl is prohibitively expensive for autism organixations! Regardless, this commercial would be my wish. As much as I love football and the Super Bowl, I keep thinking about the impact those 30 seconds could make in our society.
That’s why the first bullet I wrote about mentioning the most recent statistics is so important. When I was growing up the estimated number of children with autism was 1 in 10,000. The impact that autism has on our society is why the national attention is key now. We need not only a commercial but also a national agenda.
My dream of an autism Super Bowl commercial might be unrealistic, but it sure would be nice wouldn’t it?