Autistic Pride Day 2013

Yesterday was Autistic Pride Day. You can read more about it here.

It was not Autism Pride Day. Please understand that these are different concepts. The words of another autistic person serve me well here.

I do not call myself Autistic out of ignorance of person first language or to shorten what I say. I call myself Autistic as a deliberate act of defiance towards those who try to separate my personhood from my neurology.

(Neurodivergent K at Radical Neurodivergence Speaking

That is the crux of the matter. To be Autistic, especially very unashamedly autistic, not conforming to NT standards, has its costs. If you do so very publicly, it is possible to be more open to criticism, to grand proclamations about your diagnosis and “functioning label”.

There are very few places and events that exist just for us. I thought Autistic Pride Day was one of them. I thought wrong. I saw several posts made by family members of autistic people, talking about how much they’ve progressed thanks to therapy or other interventions. Or what an inspiration they are. Or how indistinguishable they are from their peers and how you can’t even tell that they are autistic.

This is not okay.

This is against the spirit of Autistic Pride Day.

I wrote on my Facebook page last night “Allistics, Autistic Pride day is not for you”. That by no means determines that allistic people cannot post about Autistic Pride Day, or that they cannot signal boost our posts. But ones that are anti-neurodiversity are not okay with me.

If you want an Autism Pride Day, make one for yourself. Don’t coop our day.