Autistic Pride Day is June 18th every year and was establish by Aspies For Freedom in 2005. Apparently that wasn’t good enough for Autism Speaks. They came along in 2009 and designated April 18 as “Adult Autism Awareness Day.”
And well, even then, Autism Speaks knew they couldn’t use the official Autistic Pride Day … because it was established by Aspies For Freedom and recognized by the Autistic Community worldwide.
Aspies For Freedom was a solidarity group Established in 2004 by Amy and Gareth Nelson. This group was instrumental in initiating protests against the National Alliance for Autism Research, Cure Autism Now, and the Judge Rotenberg Center.
To refresh some Autistic History here … Autism Speaks was born with the merger of National Alliance For Autism Research and Cure Autism Now in 2005. Autism Speaks was also affiliated with the Judge Rotenberg Center.
So no, Autism Speaks would never, ever respect Autistic people and our designated day. Instead they snatched the 18th of April for their ‘Autism Community’ awareness day, and used their powerful network and connections to erase the voices of Autistics people protesting their intrusion and mission.
Aspies For Freedom (AFF) is a solidarity and campaigning group that aimed at raising public awareness of the autism rights movement. The aim of Aspies For Freedom is to educate the public that the autism spectrum is not always a disability, and that there are advantages as well as disadvantages. For this purpose, the group organizes an annual Autistic Pride Day. AFF provides support for the autistic community and protests attempts to cure autism.
Established in 2004 by Amy and Gareth Nelson, AFF has received coverage from publications such as New Scientistmagazine. As of August 2007, The Guardian estimated the group’s membership at 20,000. Rob Crossan, writing for the BBC, mentioned their belief that higher functioning autistics are often in possession of extraordinary talents in the fields of mathematics, memory, music or arts.
Aspies For Freedom (AFF) was founded in 2004, and established June 18 as Autistic Pride Day starting in 2005. AFF was also instrumental in initiating protests against the National Alliance for Autism Research, Cure Autism Now, and the Judge Rotenberg Center.