I heard recently of someone who was told by a doctor, “I don’t want to scare you, but it sounds like autism.” Coming from a health care professional, this isn’t just a poor choice of words to say to a parent, but it’s also terribly misguided. Autism doesn’t have to be a scary thought.
I know that not knowing what to expect for the future is scary. I know that unpredictable behaviour can be scary. I know seeing your child so anxious that they want to harm themselves is scary. But autism doesn’t have to be something to be feared from the start.
When we talk about autism and autistic people, we often focus on the negatives – the things they can’t do and the behaviours that seem ‘odd’ to most neurotypicals (although not to the autistic person displaying them!). What we don’t hear enough about are the positives of autism: the ‘wow’ moments and the downright special things about this condition that is still so widely misunderstood.
The Positives of Autism
Without autism, it’s likely we’d never have seen the genius that was Albert Einstein, the creativity of Lewis Carol or the innovative scientific theories of Charles Darwin. Although autism as a diagnosis didn’t exist in these men’s lifetimes, it’s highly likely that they were all on the autism spectrum, along with others such as Emily Dickinson, James Joyce, Michelangelo, Mozart, Isaac Newton… the list goes on. A world without autism would be a world without challenge, where ideas and theories were not tested, boundaries not pushed, technology undeveloped. Modern day autistics include Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Stanley Kubrik, Tim Burton and Jerry Seinfeld. Can you imagine a world without people like these, who, as a result of thinking differently, are able to produce work like they have?
Here are some more positives of autism, many curated from people who have taken part in my Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month series on my Facebook page It’s a Tink Thing…
Autistic people tend to have an incredible attention to detail and an interest in some of the most weird and wonderful (and mundane!) things! They possess a focus and a drive to learn all they can about a particular subject.
Knowing someone with autism can really open your eyes and help you to see things from a different perspective.
Often, autistics only see the good in people, and have an innocent, unbiased view of the world.
Small achievements can feel like huge victories!
Many autistics are good at things that involve attention to detail.
They have an inbuilt fighting spirit.
Every day is the same – but different! It makes life more interesting not quite knowing what to expect.
Often, communication needs no words, just looks, touches and smiles!
If the world can be open to working in a way to bring out the talents of people on the spectrum, then there is an amazing amount of talent to be offered!
The love of someone on the spectrum is pure, unconditional and has no hidden agenda.
Autism has it’s hard days, for those on the spectrum and for those around them. But we mustn’t lose sight of the amazing things about autism that make those people in our life so special.
What are your autism positives? Leave a comment and let me know!
I’m hosting the Monday Motivation Linky this week! I’d love to see as many positive, motivational and uplifting posts as possible, so please feel free to add yours via the link below!
My two favourite posts from the last linky were this one from Rainbows Are Too Beautiful, which made me cry, and this from my lovely friend Ojo, who reminds us that there are other ways to reward ourselves than food!