“Autistic Pride Day is every day,” Kimberly Gerry-Tucker
Started in 2005 in an online forum for autistic people, Autistic Pride Day is a day to celebrate neurodiversity. It is also about shifting views from the paradigm of “disease” to “difference.”
The Art of Autism would love if you would share what you are proud of? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, age, a photo of yourself or your art and what you are proud of.
We will append this blog with responses as we receive them.
“My name is Bonnie Appel. I’m 35 years old. I’m proud of my artistic abilities that my mom brought out of me at age 3 as a coping skill one day when I was upset. I’ve been creating art ever since. That’s 32 years so far. I never intend to stop creating art as long as my hands will allow me to do so. This is a photo of me with one of my recent creations, a sketch of Jon and Daenerys from my favorite TV show Game Of Thrones.”
|“My name is Nils Valdis Vytautas Skudra. I am 26 years old and just received my Master’s Degree in American History from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. My field of specialization is the American Civil War/Reconstruction period. My family and I drove almost 3,000 miles from northern California so I could attend the program here and I am mighty proud that I got through it with flying colors!”|
||“My name is Mike Kregler. I’m just a 41-year old, boring neurotypical, but I am extremely proud of my three-year old son, Joe. He has made enormous strides with his ABA treatment, smiling much more often, making more consistent eye-contact, craving the human touch that he used to shirk, taking my hand and making hand gestures to communicate his needs, and even saying few words. But what I’m even more proud of is his sweet and peaceful nature, something he has always possessed. It is a beautiful example for the rest of our family and I’m convinced that spending merely five minutes with Joe would enlighten even the most cynical and discontent among us about what really matters.”|
||“I’m real and unique,” Lorna Wynn|
|Emma is proud of her art!|
|“My daughter recreates the kindness she sees in others in her drawings and her observations and talent make an amazing combination!” Jackie Casella|
|“Thomas Jefferson has a famous quote I love: ‘If you want something you’ve never had, you have to be willing to do something you’ve never done.’ When I was younger, I could not have embraced what that quote truly means. I thought pride was synonymous with downfall, as in ‘pride going before the fall.’ I thought pride meant something negative. I embraced humility instead, not wanting to take up space; shine too brightly, or draw too much attention, (intentional pun). I understand now that ‘proud’ is not feeling compelled to apologize for who you are. There is a balance one can strike between pride and humility. When I’ve traveled into the zone outside my comfort (imagine a flashing neon sign in the brain: Warning, you are now leaving the Comfort Zone!), that is when I am proud. Even if it’s a fail, as it sometimes is. That’s truly living. When I say I am proud to be autistic every day, and not just on an appointed Pride Day, I am saying, ‘This is multi-faceted me-no apologies.'” Kimberly Gerry-Tucker|
|“I’m proud of myself for being able to take a leap of faith, embrace the value and power of change and get out of my comfort zone in order to help others be their best selves. I’m also proud of myself for staying dedicated and disciplined in the face of personal and professional obstacles that I have faced along the way. Finally, I’m most proud that I have found my life’s purpose and am living a life of purpose that continues to make myself and others proud,” Tom Iland|
|“I’m proud I help to represent artists, older folks and women on the Autism Spectrum. Here’s a photo of me talking about my artists group with someone at a recent fundraising event,” Anastasia O’Melveny, Watertown, MA|
|“What I’m proud of is the charity I set up in memory of my son’s best friend who had all the symptoms of autism but was never diagnosed and tragically took his own life at just fourteen. We are totally dedicated to making everyone feel that they belong and aren’t just the ‘weird kid’ because they’re different. We run autism friendly film clubs, put on colourful character events and promote autism acceptance every day on social media. We work with lots of autistic people who help us run stalls and also dress up as characters which is a great way to build social skills in a relaxed, fun environment. This is our website: www.autism-all-stars.org and this is my associated blog (something else I’m very proud of) www.autism-all-stars.org/ringmaster. I’m autistic myself and have four children on the spectrum, so I have plenty to say about autism as you can imagine! This is a picture of me at one of our events – I’m the one in the middle dressed as Dr. Erin Gilbert from Ghostbusters,” Helen Wallace-Iles|
The Art of Autism’s mission is to empower autistic people and their families through the Arts.
Image on Blog is “Autistic Pride Day” Kimberly Gerry-Tucker