On the 18th of June, people around the world will be celebrating Autistic Pride Day. It is a day in which members of the autistic community celebrate their uniqueness and open a dialogue about the broad spectrum of autism.
When it was first observed in 2005, Autistic Pride Day was meant to bring together all people, regardless of their neurological differences. Autism spectrum disorders greatly benefit from this visibility. More research and understanding of the neurological system is in part supported by people being more aware of the truth of the spectrum disorder.
The celebration of our differences is one of acceptance and growth. Autism is a many spectrum neurological disorder that affects socialization and communication. There is no known natural cause for autism, but there are some underlying conditions can influence that part of the brain.
This day is not to promote finding a cure for autism like many organizations do. The autism spectrum is so vast and varied that looking for one is like trying to find a cure for homosexuality. It is just another aspect of humanity that makes people unique individuals to be accepted and respected.
There are any therapies to treat symptoms of autism, however. Depression and anxiety are prevalent in those who have it and are easily treated with therapy and medication. Support groups are also helpful, bringing like-minded people together to talk and understand one another on a level that others might not be able to.
Organized by members of the autistic community, the day is still led by the community today. Their primary goal is to help people realize that they are unique individuals who do not need a ‘cure’ for who they are.
Promoting acceptance, they occasionally have themes that help focus on certain aspects of the community and their needs. Instead of being created by organizations or charities that want to promote themselves or to lessen the voices of autistic people it is by the people and for the people.
Pride and Purpose
Along with promoting acceptance, the views that society has on autism are also a priority. Society and its way of skewing things it does not understand are slowly coming into question. This only happens when people stand up and say something about it.
Autistic Pride Day is not just for the ones living with autism. Some of the time, the caregivers taking care of them need some attention and appreciation too. There is talk and encouragement for them to pay attention to themselves as well, and to make sure they have all the help they need.
Since the day neither was nor created by an organization or charity, the primary focus is to benefit the community only. Organizations are involved, but not the main feature. This helps to give the day a sense of realness.
The authenticity surrounding this day is one of the things that is so moving about it. All that every person wants, in the long run, is acceptance, and allowing others to see them as humans too is helping with that. There is still a long way to go, however. The ugly stigma attached to any neurological differences is still standing, and the fight to tear them down is coming from many different directions.
Whether it is from people suffering from depression or schizophrenia, people everywhere are dealing with differences in their brain chemistry. Everyone wants to be understood. The more that people see how these situations are more common than they think the more acceptance and understanding that society will have towards those differences.
There are so many different groups advocating for understanding and acceptance. As another one of these groups, the autistic community deserves the same amount of attention and respect that mainstream organizations get. Especially because they are individuals and not companies that also want to benefit from their advocacies.
It is only a matter of time before most people will be educated and know that these differences are only another thing that makes our humanity so varied and unique. Helping others learn more to understand these differences will slowly erase the stigma. Autistic Pride Day is a day for people on the Autism spectrum to get together and come together as a community.