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Autistic Pride Day

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Autistic Pride Day is celebrated on June 18 each year.[1] It is a day of celebration of the neurodiversity of people on the autism spectrum.

Families around the world celebrate in numerous public events; there are also gatherings of autistics via IRC[2] so that many can communicate together in real time.

Autistic Pride day is an Aspies for Freedom initiative. This autism rights group aims to educate the general public with initiatives to end ignorance of the issues involving the autistic community.

The day has captured public interest as it is a novel idea to some members of the public whose previous perception of autism was one of innate suffering and helplessness. The fact that it is a condition that has positive aspects that can be celebrated has been accepted by researchers such as Professor Simon Baron-Cohen. New Scientist magazine released an article entitled "Autistic and proud" on the first Autistic Pride Day that discussed the idea.[3]

The main event of 2005 was in Brasília, capital of Brazil. The main events of 2006 were an Autistic Pride Summer Camp in Germany, and an event at Scienceworks in Melbourne, Australia.

There is no information available to suggest that any Autistic Pride Day events took place in 2007, nor any evidence to suggest that there are any events planned for 2008.

Philosophy of advocates of Autistic Pride DayEdit

Advocates of autistic pride reject the notion that there is an ideal, and thus desirable, structure to the human brain. This notion leads many practitioners of psychiatry to assume that any deviation requires a "cure" to achieve conformity to the 'neurotypical' norm. Some supporters believe a form of ethnic cleansing is being imposed by advocates of a cure for autism. All believe that, at a bare minimum, there should be greater consideration shown for members of the autistic community as unique individuals.

Advocates of autistic pride point out that homosexuality was once classified as a form of mental illness that could be treated medically with libido-reducing hormonal therapy. Only after political agitation from the gay rights movement did this classification become obsolete. One of the enduring expressions of this movement is gay pride. The Autistic Pride Day hopes to start the same process of education of this view and activism, with the goals of promoting the basic human rights of autistics and finding a valued home for their individual voice and talents in modern society.

Themes for Autistic Pride DayEdit

  • 2007 Autistics Speak. It's time to listen
  • 2006 Celebrate Neurodiversity
  • 2005 Acceptance not cure

Choice of the dateEdit

June 18 was picked as Autistic Pride Day because it was the birthday of Aspies For Freedom's youngest member (Matthew Schimmel).

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^  Autistic Licence. Times Online.
  2. ^  chatautism Autistic IRC Network which hosts an Autistic Pride Day event each June 18.
  3. ^  includeonly>Trivedi, Bijal. "Autistic and proud of it", New Scientist, 18 June 2005.

External linksEdit

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