Cover Image - A Self-Advocate’s Perspective On Autistic Pride

A Self-Advocate’s Perspective on Autistic Pride

By Jennifer Huggins

Why I’m Proud to Be Autistic

What makes me proud of being autistic is using different ways to help people make sense of my world. Through my world, I help people discover that it ok to be their true selves and I show them that creativity helps the world to grow.

I overcome negative opinions of others by trying to help, by proving them wrong, and also by trying to understand what causes them to feel that way. I follow up by trying to acknowledge how they feel and by helping them to focus upon having a better outlook on life.

Making Others and Ourselves Happy

We do it in our own way, and that is OK! We make ourselves and others happy.  Sometimes, we are more compassionate and loving in general than other people. I guess that is because we must deal with a lot of hatred and intolerance. Yet, we can hyper focus on things and really get to progress by innovation. If I may say, we can make beautiful and creative contributions to the world with our special interests.

As I mentioned before, we can make people smile and laugh. We have joy by volunteering in senior citizen places, charities, or hospitals.  We are truly passionate about the things we care about.  Autistic folks are really kind to the people that matter most to them. No matter how big or small, we can take care of others in our own way, and we do contribute to the world.

Our Passions, Our Powers

We often have more hurdles than other people, so we often get intense feelings and can put those feelings towards a passion. We autistic people shine in our mission of research and make many discoveries. For those with severe autism, again, it must be said that we oftentimes help our peers and make friendships that will inspire others.  This includes many strong and caring relationships with caregivers’ friends, etc. Autistic people enjoy bonding with others, having a good time, and taking life for what it is, and embracing the world.

Helping to Improve Society and Each Other

Now, being autistic may not seem purposeful to you, but it is our life and as autistic people, we treasure it as we treasure life. We do not judge someone doing something different from the norm, but we just see them as simply being themselves. We play along with autistic folks and have fun with them. We have good relationships with them and make them feel like their lives have meaning. We help others when they are feeling down and ourselves.

And finally, we are making huge room to help improve society, we are making others strive to help make things better, and we are improving lives and making a more peaceful and understanding world.  How far away are we that we don’t judge others on their differences? We should all use our own voices, no matter where they come from. Our voices can be used through ACC sign language gestures, nonverbal echoing, and “meaningless language.” This type of language can be a meaningful form of communication if we can figure out what it means to that person.

So yes: even though there are many struggles of being autistic for both high and low functioning, there’s so much potential and room for growth with more opportunities to innovate and understand things from a different light. We should change the world for our children, teens, and adults. Together, we are finding a balance and making our world more compassionate while caring and building a devoted unique and innovating society together.

That is why I am proud to be autistic, and that’s why you should be proud to be autistic too.

I am a young 21-year-old woman with unique needs — including autism and intellectual disability — who is trying to learn everything I can to become an advocate. I have a passion for understanding neurodiversity and inclusion within our communities and believe that every voice matters!