Although being autistic can come with some additional challenges, this does not mean you can’t be happy! As with any emotion, happiness is something that is unique to each individual person: what makes one person happy won’t apply to everyone. Do you know what things make you happy?
In 2022, Spectrum Gaming did a survey of over 100 young autistic people, to learn more about what makes them happy. From this, they came up with 5 top tips for autistic happiness.
1. Focus on your strengths.
Have you figured out how to lean into your strengths yet?
Here’s some strengths of the young people we asked:
“creative” “problem solving” “good memory” “non-judgemental” “loyal”
“Logical thinker” “unique sense of humour” “honest” “intense focus”
2. Live your life in a way that works for you.
With time and experience you will find your own way of doing things in ways that suit you. It is OK to do things differently to meet your sensory needs – that might mean wearing ear defenders, going out to places at less busy times, or opting to socialise in smaller groups or online.
It is also OK to say ‘no’ to invitations when you know an event/activity will be unsuitable for you, or if you simply can’t manage it on that particular day. Some aspects of day to day life can be more tiring for an autistic person, so it’s important to allow yourself to rest when you need to.
Being autistic means it is very hard to “fit in”. So rather than trying to “fit in”, it is often better to live life in a way that makes you comfortable as an autistic person.
3. Know that accepting support is OK
Do you, like a lot of autistic people, have a spiky profile?
It’s OK to acknowledge that you have things you need extra help with. Nobody is perfect. Needing some extra support is nothing to be ashamed of – you too are probably just as able to help others with the things that you’re good at.
4. Know that it is OK to be yourself
There’s no need to copy others or try to be like everyone else. The world would be so boring if everyone was the same. Wear the clothes you like. Listen to the music you like. Play the games you like. Do things you enjoy. Be proud to be yourself!
Here’s a video made by the young people at Spectrum Gaming: “It’s Good to be Me”
5. Learn about autism
Great – you’ve found our website, so you’re clearly already thinking about this!
The wider society is gradually becoming more aware and accepting of what it means to be autistic, but sharing your knowledge and experiences will help others as well as you both now and in the future.
Here’s another video you may like to watch, also made by the Spectrum Gaming community: “Autism and Happiness”