It’s really easy to focus on the downsides of being autistic/aspergic and brush the positives aside. But there are many good sides to being autistic and many of these positives are truly valued by others. Even areas we ourselves view as negative, can be positive in some situations. Some of the many positives of being autistic are described below.
- Loyalty: although it takes a great deal of time to trust people and let them in, once a strong relationship is formed we are exceptionally loyal. We don’t keep many people close to us. So the few that do, such as: close family members, friends and colleagues mean the world to us and we value them dearly.
- Curious in seeking out information and knowledge: our thirst for new knowledge and information is exceptional. If it’s a subject we’re interested in, we can spend a countless number of hours, days and weeks finding out more about it. The more we learn the more we want to find out. It is one area where autism drives us forward making us more knowledgeable and increasing our intelligence.
- Non prejudiced: we don’t prejudge people like others do. We see and value all people in society and see everyone as being equal. We actually and often bluntly disagree with other people that are prejudiced as we believe that people should not be judged on superficial things such as weight, gender, race, nationality or religion.
- Optimistic: as autism is labelled as a disability, it could easily lead us to being negative and withdrawn. But most of the many autistic people I meet, are happy and optimistic (myself included) and are pleased with what we have got in life. Truly believing that the future will get better and better. We are determined to succeed in life and try relentlessly to do so against our limitations.
- Dependable, reliable and follow the rules: a few people (such as some work colleagues) view this as being bad as is makes them look unreliable. But most people appreciate this and it is one area that helps us get on in careers, keeps our employers happy and helps us remain employable.
- Unique perspective: we see the world differently to non-autistic people and we often solve problems differently too. This has certainly always been the case for me. There are often many ways to solve the same problem. Autistic people like myself, for some reason, always choose the method that is the least common but is usually the best.
- Honest and trueful: sometimes we can be too blunt and honest but in the main people appreciate this. They know that when we communicate we never lie and that what we say can be trusted. Therefore we don’t manipulate people and talk behind their backs, so make excellent work colleagues and friendships.
- Being calm in emergencies: apart from the exceptionally rare times when we have meltdowns, we are very in control of our emotions. This means when we are in an emergency situation, we can deal with it the best possible way. As our judgement does not get clouded in the panic and we are logically minded. We also often think about the ‘what would I do if this happened’ so often have the best solution and ruleset before these events occur.
- High IQ: because, in general, we: think logically, are very good with numbers, curious, think outside the box, stick at something for exceptionally long durations, follow the rules, are reliable and love new technology we become highly intelligent and knowledgeable. Although weaker social skills often put us on a back foot in life this intelligence, knowledge and ability to learn new things often more than makes up for this shortfall.
- Being the best at things: sometimes our autism means that we can put our focus on just one activity and block everything else out. Once we get into that mind-set and channel all of our energy, effort and determination we can often become the best or most knowledgeable in that one area. Many of the more common areas autistic people succeed are in art, music, sports, computing (games and programming) and mathematics and I am certain there are many more.
Although it is useful to know, understand and think of ways to reduce and overcome our weaknesses; too much time can be spent on letting these pull us down. Making us feel undervalued, under appreciated and lower our confidence and self esteem. It is my belief that If we focus on all of our positives and use these to our advantage we will succeed in our lives with autism.