Autistic Pride Day is a pride celebration for autistic people held on June 18 each year. Autistic pride recognises the importance of pride for autistic people and its role in bringing about positive changes in the broader society.
Although Autistic Pride Day is June 18, pride events are often held on the weekend of that year for logistical reasons, but can be held at any time during the year.
Autistic Pride Day was first celebrated in 2005 by Aspies For Freedom (AFF), who selected June 18 because it was the birthday of the youngest member of the group at that time. AFF modelled the celebration on the gay pride movement.
According to Kabie Brook, the co-founder of Autism Rights Group Highland (ARGH), “the most important thing to note about the day is that it is an autistic community event: it originated from and is still led by autistic people ourselves”, i.e. it is not a day for other charities or organisations to promote themselves or stifle autistic people. The rainbow infinity symbol is used as the symbol of this day, representing “diversity with infinite variations and infinite possibilities”. New Scientist magazine released an article entitled “Autistic and proud” on the first Autistic Pride Day that discussed the idea.