Think about your perspective of autism this Autistic Pride Day

Published on: 16th June 2022

 

Autistic people have different views about what the condition means to them and how it affects them. In the past, autism has had various names in the UK (some of which at the time were coined as slightly different conditions with their own diagnostic criteria), including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Asperger’s Syndrome and high functioning autism. These days, the terminology preferred by most of the autistic community to describe the condition is autism, and for referring to the individual is “autistic person” rather than a “person with autism”.

Saturday 18 June is Autistic Pride Day. It is a global event that creates a space for autistic people to be themselves. It is an opportunity for autistic people to recognise and to show others they are proud of being who they are and to celebrate their potential and differences. The awareness event was first celebrated by Aspies for Freedom, a campaign group that promotes the rights of autistic people and  bringing about positive changes in broader society.

The concept of Autistic Pride day acknowledges that people have different views about being autistic, it can mean different things to different people. A lot of those close to the campaign believe that it isn’t always necessary or appropriate to consider autism to be a disability at all – it’s more about society understanding and respecting difference.

We got some views from patients in North West London about what autism means to them.

"Through learning about my autistic strengths, being kind to myself, and giving myself a break to be authentically me I have managed to use my strengths to get an amazing job, explore my special interests, and create strong relationships in a way that works for me. By no longer trying to fit in and be someone I am not, I have created my own world within the neurotypical one, and no longer feel so lost. I am proud of my differences and I am proud of me.”

“One of the key things that makes all of us human; our ability to learn and improve…  Life isn't about ignoring one's shortcomings or even about successfully resolving them all, but about recognising them and making our best effort to address them while thriving all the while."

If you live in North West London and are autistic, or are an NHS colleague who works in North West London, we encourage you to share your ideas about what being autistic means to you. We are keen to hear from families too. Send to nhsnwlccg.communications.nwl@nhs.net.