Autistic Pride Day is almost here! This pride day was first celebrated in 2005 as an initiative by the organization Aspies for Freedom, and has quickly become a global event which is celebrated widely online and offline.
The most important thing to note about the day is that it is an autistic community event, and it originated from and is still led by autistic people themselves. It is not a day for other charities or organizations to promote themselves or stifle autistic people.
Aspies for Freedom modelled the celebration on the gay pride movement, due to it being a different approach. The rainbow infinity symbol is used as the symbol of this day, representing diversity with infinite variations and infinite possibilities!
Autistic pride points out that autistic people have always been an important part of human culture. Being autistic is a form of neurodiversity. As with all forms of neurodiversity, most of the challenges autistic people face come from other people’s attitudes about autism, as well as a lack of supports and accommodations, rather than being essential to the autistic condition.
It has been said that some autism-related organizations promote feelings of pity for parents, rather than fostering understanding. Autistic Pride Day is about recognizing the importance of having pride for oneself, and bringing about positive changes in the way this disability is perceived. Autistic activists have contributed to a shift in attitudes away from the notion that autism is a deviation from the norm, and that it must be treated or cured.
Autistic self-advocacy organizations, which are led and run by autistic people, are a key force in the movement for autistic acceptance and pride. These organizations help to remind us that people with disabilities can contribute to our society in countless ways when they organize together, work collaboratively, and celebrate neurodiversity.
On June 18th, reach out to your friends and neighbors with pride and acceptance to help them be the best they can be.
Written By: Ashley Florscher
This blog post was written by a member of the eVero Outreach team. The Outreach program aims to teach individuals with disabilities marketable job skills, and enable them to find gainful employment. To learn more about eVero Outreach, click here.