What Our Community Celebrates

AANE Staff

Every Autistic person has a unique constellation of traits and talents. We asked our AANE community what they celebrated about themselves and the Autistic people they know, and here’s what they had to say.

“I think that there are a lot of things that can be celebrated about autism. But the thing that stands out to me the most is my world view. I have an extremely positive world view and I try to see the best in others as much as possible. And I think that might not be the case if I wasn’t Autistic.”
      –Stephanie Birkdale, Autistic Adult, Autistic Self-advocate, AANE Staff

“Autistic Joy, the ways in which we experience connection and companionship, our resilience and resistance to social conditioning, our advocacy and impact on building communities, our contributions to the world.”
      –Anonymous, Autistic Self-Advocate

“I love the way my Autistic daughter tackles any task so completely. If she has a school project, she wants to do absolutely every thing possible. Even when she had to go to physical therapy for a soccer injury, she wanted to do all of the exercises every day even though the therapist said she only had to choose a few. She gets a tremendous sense of satisfaction when she completes things — whether it is a collection or a task — and that has made her an incredibly diligent and conscientious person.”
      –Parent of an Autistic Teen

“the diversity of human minds and the growth it leads to, personally and in the world at large”

“I like being a “unique” thinker. My ability to make connections between subjects and ideas that others may not notice or see enhances my creativity and makes my work more humorous and exciting. I enjoy presenting the world to people in a way they may not have previously considered through conversation, music and art.”
      –Mina F., Autistic and AANE Group Facilitator

“I celebrate that autism and neurodivergence represent possibility and flexibility of perspective, and not deficit. I celebrate that the human story is not one of becoming fixed to one way of living and seeing the world, but of moving through it and around it, and how autism and autistic self-acceptance represent the flowing organic actualization of that truth. I celebrate how a fish judged on how well it can climb a tree will feel worthless, but that floods come and go, and can be irrigated without any entrenchment of any inadequacy required. I celebrate how people entrenched in Neurotypicality need the fruits of our pain to remember that they are bodies and are free, and that the social forces that decide worth or exclusion are weather like, and change. I celebrate myself, I celebrate my love, and I celebrate my life. The breath of me is shaped thusly, and therefore the thus of it is magic and is worth celebrating.”
      –Bob Waters, Autistic Adult and AANE Staff

“I meet so many interesting, funny, and determined people through my work at LifeMAP. Very often I hear autistic people speak about social justice and the desire to make the world a more just place for others and oneself. I encounter people who have so much to offer and it’s exciting when someone finds the job, school, or activity that fits their skills and talents!”
      –Jennifer, AANE Staff

“I think the best answer to this is that my special interests (most notably game shows) lead me to a lot of personal fulfillment. I also am proud of some of the ‘positive autistic traits’ I have (such as incredible attention to detail).”

“It’s heartening to witness AANE’s commitment to recognizing and appreciating the unique perspectives and talents of neurodivergent individuals. Over the years, throughout my experience working with and engaging with thousands of neurodivergent individuals, I’ve observed firsthand the profound positive impact of AANE’s efforts adn I firmly believe that autistic community stands as one of the most exceptional and talented communities. In particular, I’d like to emphasize the remarkable qualities of the autistic individuals. One aspect I find particularly inspiring is the honesty and authenticity that many autistic individuals bring to every interaction. While this authenticity may sometimes be perceived as “too honest,” I believe there’s tremendous value in embracing one’s true self without the need for masking or pretense. It’s a testament to the strength and integrity of the autistics and the autism community in general.”
      –Nataliya, AANE Staff

“Celebrating autistic pride showcases the unique strengths, interests, and experiences of neurodivergent people. The neurodivergent community fosters a sense of self-confidence diversity, and validation through sharing stories with others who might relate. It creates an appreciation of the unique attributes and contributions to society that Autistic people have, while helping people embrace their authentic selves with pride. It helps the wider community in learning more about autism and in seeing that each expression of neurodiversity is valuable. This knowledge can help others better understand themselves from a younger age and feel like they’re not alone.”
      –Anonymous, Autistic Adult

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