Welcome to Aspergian Pride, a site designed to feature stories of activism, social involvement, and personal achievement within the autistic community, celebrating its existence and accomplishments. Aspergian Pride was inspired by the Aspergia.com forum community, active from 2002-2004, which embraced the social model of disability and sought to reframe cultural views of autism in terms of accommodating a minority group’s needs. Members of that community were instrumental in launching the neurodiversity movement, which considers autism and other neurological differences to be a valuable part of human diversity. Aspergia.com used the word “Aspergian” interchangeably with “autistic” to signify a cultural identity. As used on this site, the word “Pride” is meant to be understood in the same sense as other cultural pride campaigns such as Gay Pride and Disability Pride — that is, to signify that people should not be ashamed of who they are.
This site and Aspergia.com never were formally affiliated; however, material relating to Aspergia.com appears on this site with the permission of Edan, who was the administrator and site owner of Aspergia.com. Many members of Aspergia.com used nicknames, which often highlighted a particular aspect of their character or interests. Aspergian Pride’s administrator chose the name “Bonnie Ventura” to signify good fortune.
Although the Aspergian Pride blog was closed in 2011, this site stayed up for historical purposes. The following description of the autistic community, which appeared on the original version of this page, was meant to cause readers to reflect critically on the popular stereotypes about autism and to understand that the reality may be more complex than they previously had thought.
We are involved in society. Some of us have university degrees and professional careers. Others have taken different paths; we have a wide variety of interests and abilities. Intellectual curiosity is a hallmark of the Aspergian mind. Whether or not in formal employment, we seek to improve our understanding of the world around us and to contribute our unique perspectives to the broader culture in which we live.
We care about our communities. Some of us are politically active or contribute regularly to charitable causes. Because we have experienced discrimination firsthand, we understand the harmful effects of prejudice. As many of us see it, acceptance of neurodiversity is as vital to a strong, pluralistic society as acceptance of ethnic and religious diversity.
We value our family ties. Some of us are married or in long-term relationships. Those of us who have children are concerned about finding meaningful educational opportunities that will nurture our children’s love of learning and prepare them for a productive future. An Aspergian child’s mind has the potential to make great contributions to our world.
We understand the importance of faith. Some of us are active members of our neighborhood churches, synagogues, or mosques. Others pursue spiritual journeys outside the organized religions. Like the rest of humanity, we contemplate our place in the universe and desire to find a meaningful purpose and pattern in our daily lives.
We are the people next door.