June 22, 2019

“I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t realize there was an autistic pride day,” said my boyfriend – who is not autistic, but who likes the fact that I am. “I would have liked to celebrate with you.”

I thought back to the holiday, which was a few days ago. I had considered posting some reasons I’m proud to be autistic, but had ended up sharing a story about multitasking instead.

“You’re sweet,” I responded, “but the day is honestly not that big of a deal to me, because I treat every day like autistic pride day.”

He was delighted to hear that. But the truth is, he also sees me on days when I don’t feel so proud of my brain – when I miss a cue, commit a faux pas, or lack the strength for activities I value.

On days like that, it helps to be reminded that my brain is beautiful. Most days, though, I’m more focused on shamelessly sharing what’s inside it – and maybe that, itself, is a form of pride.

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.