June 18 is Autistic Pride Day
Grace Weatherby
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2024

June 18 is Autistic Pride Day

Celebrating Differences, Promoting Acceptance

Autistic Pride Day is a movement led by people with autism spectrum disorder advocating for themselves, versus organizations that spearhead efforts.

The annual day of awareness aims to shift societal attitudes away from viewing autism as a disorder that needs to be cured or treated. Instead, it celebrates autism as a form of neurodiversity—a natural variation in human neurology. The day promotes acceptance and accommodation for autistic individuals and emphasizes that autistic people have always been an integral part of society and have unique strengths and perspectives to offer. Further, it encourages autistic individuals to openly express their authentic selves without shame or suppression. Activities like stimming (self-stimulatory behaviors), pursuing special interests passionately, and disregarding unnecessary social conventions are seen as expressions of autistic pride in action.

The day is celebrated through various events and gatherings organized by and for autistic people, fostering a sense of community and connection. 

By challenging stereotypes, raising awareness, and advocating for accommodations, the autistic pride movement aims to create a more inclusive and supportive world for the autistic community.

Children’s Integrated Services (CIS) Early Intervention of Bennington County works every day to help families meet their child's special health needs and provide services specific to individuals on the autism spectrum and those who support them.

One such service is a diagnostic telehealth program with Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. The service addresses both the lack of developmental pediatricians in the region and provides options for families who may not be able to travel out of the area to meet with providers due to a lack of transportation or limited time off. 

Offered at CIS office on the Putnam Block, the online sessions connect families via telehealth with qualified providers who can effectively assess children and determine if they meet the criteria for an autism spectrum diagnosis. Earlier diagnosis allows for quicker access to services that help children thrive.

In addition, CIS hosts a monthly free Family Networking event to support those who care for others on the spectrum. Held the third Tuesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at the UCS Spring Center Playground during the summer months. The program offers families the opportunity to connect with others facing similar challenges and share resources, approaches, and to talk freely about their own well-being. To learn more, contact Jennie Moon at CIS (802.447-2768 ext. 5841).

 

ABOUT THE AUTISTIC PRIDE SYMBOL
The autistic pride symbol, a rainbow-colored infinity sign, represents the infinite diversity and possibilities within the autistic community. The infinity symbol itself signifies the boundless variations and neurodivergence among autistic individuals. It rejects the notion that autism is a puzzle to be solved. 

 

Jennie Moon, MBA, HR Certificate is the Program Coordinator of Children’s Integrated Services Early Intervention in Bennington.

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