AUTISTIC PRIDE DAY | JUNE 18
Autistic Pride Day on June 18th raises awareness and celebrates the similarities and the uniqueness of people with autism. The most significant aspect of Autistic Pride Day is that it’s organized by people with autism demonstrating their ability to advocate for themselves.
Autistic Pride day was started by Autistics to celebrate Autistic ways of being and to encourage Autistics around the world to connect with each other, embrace their Autistic identity and to amplify the voices of Autistics everywhere.
Most of what the general public understands about Autistics is inaccurate and is based on improper stereotypes, media representations, and historically improper definitions and criteria of what Autism is and isn’t.
Autistic Pride day is about having Human Rights and especially having the right to be ourselves, on our own terms. Autistics should feel safe stimming freely, communicating in own ways and not being forced to comply with neurotypical standards. Autistic ways of being are valid, and members of the Autistic community should never be seen as broken Neurotypicals. We are different, not less. All year long, Autistics face stigma, discrimination, and ongoing prejudice at school, the workplace, and in our homes and communities because of the historical inaccuracies and misinformation that is out there.
Today, Autistics around the world celebrate Autistic Pride Day, to counter the stigma of being Autistic, to encourage each other to feel safe communicating in our own ways, whether verbally or with Alternate and Augmentative Communication (AAC), and especially to amplify the voices of those who are multiply marginalized within the Autistic Community. Listening to non-speakers, and focussing more attention on the voices of Black, Brown, and LGTBQIA+ Autistics is pivotal on this journey. There should be Nothing About Us Without Us.
Today is OUR day to celebrate our truths and to live authentically, and for many, it includes the hope that, by finding our Authentic Autistic community, we are well on the way to being better understood throughout society.
HOW TO OBSERVE AUTISTIC PRIDE DAY
On June 18, wear the infinity rainbow pin or ribbon for autism awareness.
Since autism is a spectrum disorder, each person will have diverse strengths and challenges. There is no particular example of autism but many subtypes. Learn about autism, and its related conditions at the Autism Science Foundation website.
AUTISTIC PRIDE DAY HISTORY
Aspies for Freedom founded Autistic Pride Day in 2005 by Aspies for Freedom to raise public awareness and celebrate the similarities and differences of people with autism. It quickly became a global event that is celebrated widely online and offline.
Aspies For Freedom (AFF) is a solidarity and campaigning group aimed at raising public awareness of the autism rights movement. The aim of AFF is to educate the public that the autism spectrum is not always a disability and that there are advantages as well as disadvantages.