“You are autistic and you should be proud of that”

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Autistic Pride Day is a pride celebration for autistic people. AssistiveWare celebrates all our autistic friends and users!

To recognize this day, we would like to amplify the words of Donnie - an autistic AAC user who we work with and admire. They initially wrote this piece for Autism Acceptance Month 2021 as a letter to their younger self, but we think it’s so powerful it deserves its own space. Autistic Pride Day seems a perfect fit.

Donnie tc denome

“You are autistic, and you should be proud of that. You should be proud of how your brain is. You never, ever have to be ashamed of your brain.

When they punish you for reacting in the ways you do, they fail to see what causes it. When you are overstimulated and have no ‘acceptable’ way to react, it is not your fault. When people make comments at you because you are ‘weird’ on the playground, when they chastise you for sticking to yourself, that is their fault, not yours.

It will be hard. You will be expected to do so much more than other people. You will be expected to act in ways that are wholly unnatural for you. And there will be points that are harder and easier. There will be points where sometimes the world will feel so, so, so overwhelming. You will struggle. And it will be unfair.

But you will make it through. There will be times where you will feel like you are wandering around without any guidance and you want an adult who knows what you’re going through and can give you advice.

And then, one day, you will wake up and realize you can be that adult. One day, you will be the adult you need right now.”

- Donnie TC Denome