Autistic people are often described in terms of deficits and by the things we can’t do or struggle with. The weird thing is EVERYBODY struggles with stuff, everybody has things they are good at or less good at, but people like to focus on all the things autistic people cannot do.
Instead, we are looking at all the awesome bits about being autistic!
We asked the young people at Spectrum Gaming, what they think the positives of being autistic are. Here are their responses:
Possible positives of being autistic:
Creativity isn’t just about drawing (though some autistic people are amazing artists). Creativity is also about the way we think.
Autistic brains think differently so we can create new and different solutions to things in imaginative ways that others may never have thought of.
The phrase ‘thinking outside of the box’ gets used, because most people often don’t come up with ideas in the same way we do.
Great sense of humour:
Some people believe that autistic people do not have a sense of humour, but we disagree. Some of us just don’t find non-autistic humour very funny, so we may not laugh at their jokes. It is their fault, not ours!
We have Monotropic brains which means we have the ability to focus on things incredibly deeply. We may struggle to do things we aren’t interested in, but if we are doing something we care about, most of us are able to focus on it for very long periods of time. Turning a passion into a job is one of the ways autistic adults become very happy.
Despite what others might think we often have huge empathy for those we care about. We may show our emotions differently to non-autistic people, so people may think we don’t care, even when we do. Feeling emotions strongly can make us incredibly passionate and determined in what we do (though it can be overwhelming sometimes).
We are accepting:
Autistic people are often more accepting of other people. Since autistic people can be misunderstood, we know what it is like to be judged for our differences, so are more likely to take the time to understand other people’s struggles or differences.
Autistic people can have incredible memories. Some people remember a lot of things in detail but some of us have “selective memories”; we forget a lot of things, but remember things related to our passions or interests really well.
A lot of autistic people are great at noticing patterns (and gaps!). This can explain why a lot of innovators are autistic. See more in famous autistic people.
Because of our spiky profiles, we may have unique difficulties in some areas, but we have unique strengths too which can be pretty awesome.
When you are diagnosed as autistic, it doesn’t change who you are; you still have the same strengths and difficulties you had before. However, as you begin to understand more about yourself and about being autistic you might start to view yourself and experiences more positively.