June 18th is Autistic Pride Day, a yearly celebration of Autistic individuality, identity, culture and community.
I’ll be honest; Autistic Pride is a relatively new concept for me.
Self-acceptance has taken a long time to achieve due to my late diagnosis, but I’m here now and want that same feeling of peace and understanding for everyone on the spectrum.
The not knowing was the hardest part for me, “I don’t know” must have been my most used phrase a child. I never knew what I was experiencing or why, so how could it be verbalised? And the frustration of not being able to express what was going on inside only served to make matters worse.
Life seemed like a perpetual state of misunderstandings which was incredibly isolating. It wasn’t until I found my tribe amidst the online Autistic community that my existence made sense. I was finally home, and it made me realise that my Autism isn’t a hindrance, it was societies judgment that has always posed the biggest issue with unwritten rules and expectations.
It’s no wonder that in our ever changing world, as the pressure and stress-filled demands of daily life increase that our Autistic traits may appear more prominent, but we are living in a world tailored to Neurotypicals, and that needs to change.
There is no one right way to be a valuable human; we are all worthy, we just need to forge another path that is more accessible and inclusive to allow us to realise what we are capable of achieving.
I’m unapologetically proud to be Autistic.
I’m proud to be a mother, of my morality, my idiosyncrasies, to be able to hyper-focus on the things I love, to buck the system of allistic expectations and speak up for Neurodiversity. To have a unique perspective, to have a great appreciation for the little things, I’m proud to be me, and all that entails. I hope you are too.