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Leading autism voice advocates for pride

Leading autism voice advocates for pride

12 June 2018

A day created by autistic people for themselves will be recognised at Altogether Autism’s two upcoming network meetings in Hamilton and Christchurch.

World Autistic Pride Day, held on 18 June, celebrates the neurodiversity of people on the autism spectrum and the innate potential in all people.

Autism advocate Paula Jessop, who is also part of the consumer reference group for Altogether Autism, says the day has special significance for autistic people.

"Autistic Pride Day is an alternative day to World Autism Awareness day primarily for autistic people to celebrate being autistic. It's a self-claimed day created by and for autistic people that focuses on our positive identity as autistic people."

Jessop will draw on her work as an advocate and lived experience when she speaks at network meetings in Hamilton on 15 June and Christchurch on 18 June.

"Frequently autism is discussed as a condition or medical disorder focusing on aspects of autism that is perceived to be evidence of deficits in how we are.

“For Autistic Pride Day, I'll be discussing the neurodiversity movement as a political social movement, arguing for neurodivergent people to be fully accepted in society as a valid type of difference and why autistic people adopt an attitude of pride as a reaction to being marginalised in society," says Jessop.

Altogether Autism national manager Catherine Trezona says recognising the importance of Autistic Pride Day for the autism community is part of the organisation’s commitment to listening to autistic voices.

“Our recognition of World Autistic Pride Day at our June network meetings is one way we can highlight the strengths and successes of neurodiversity.”

The aim of network meetings is to provide a forum for people in the autism community to connect with each other and offer an opportunity to gather new information, gain greater understanding and appreciation of autism, ask questions and share experiences in a safe and supportive place.

Network meetings are free and attendance is open to anyone. Visit the Altogether Autism website for more information about speakers on the day and to register to attend.

ENDS

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