June 18th is a special day for the autistic community. It recognizes a day for us to let our guards down and just be ourselves. We have gained much more respect from the average person. Here are 3 books that have helped in that process.
Autistic Pride Book #1: Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin(1995, expanded 2006)
We start with the autobiography of the most famous autism advocate. This book, turned into an award-winning movie in 2010, follows her life. It explains her challenges and strengths. It also shows how she became a a world-renowned expert on livestock and their humane treatment. Her abilities were possible because of how her autistic mind, not in spite of it.
Book #2: Loud Hands by Julia Bascom(2012)
Julia Bascom, president of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, edits this book. Instead of writing it herself, it is filled with essays from autistic people. These range from the beginning of neurodiversity activism in the 1990s to 2012, the time it was written. It is a diverse collection of autistic voices, both verbal and nonverbal on a range of topics. These vary from why we stim to why we hate certain therapies. This book recognizes the importance of autistic voices and enhances them.
Book #3: Neurotribes by Steve Silberman(2015)
In this book, Steve Silberman writes about autism’s history. He follows this history from medieval times to successful likely autistic people, before autism had a name. He also talks about modern autistic history. This includes both the success of autistic people and the negative treatment. The ultimate point is that autistic people have changed the world and not just in the cliche way parents say it to kids. Seeing the world through a different lens has transformed our understanding, and that’s something to have pride in.
Autistic Pride Day is a day that means a lot to the autistic community. It is a day where we can take pride in how far we have come in being accepted. But, it also shows how much stigma still remains. Very few autistics want to be treated, cured, or changed. Autism is who we are. It is difficult to find autistic pride, but it’s worth it. These books will hopefully help others in doing so.