This was originally posted by Angel on MindRetrofit at http://www.mindretrofit.com/2013/04/30/mindretrofit-celebrates-1000-ausome-things-autismpositivity2013/, and is reprinted here with permission from the author.
Last year I contributed to the flash blog To “I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s” #AutismPositivity2012 Flash Blog.
I remember feeling struck with heartbreak when I discovered that someone had put those words into a search engine. In my post, I shared some of the awesome things about Autism. I was excited to see what would happen this year’s flash blog. I was delighted to see that this year we were focusing on “1000 Ausome Things!” (Yes, I am using too many exclamation marks in this post because I am over-the-top excited, especially after reading so many of the positives that are rushing the internet.
However, my mind is in a spin and I am having a difficult time trying to articulate what I want to.
Because I enjoy words so much and one of my gifts is using them on multiple levels I am going to take the “Ausome” word for a moment and share with you what I am in “Awe” of in regards to Autism. I use the word in the terms “of an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration.” The first part that I share is about my son who is Autistic. There have been so many moments that Daniel has made me awestruck. He filled my mind with wonderment and excitement by his actions and/or questions. The way that his heart feels and how he sees joy in the most simple of things, such as a screwdriver. Who knew that a screwdriver could be such an entertaining toy! It does everything, from spinning to opening up clock radios. It can be used to write words in putty and for some great magnet experiments.
Daniel asks questions that stump me and I love that.
Only yesterday, without any indication that he has been thinking of this he looked at me and asked, “How can God hear us and we hear him if he is not here?” Good question. I did not want to get into a theological discussion with my eight year-old because he can dismantle my logic in seconds. However, I had to try. I could tell that he really needed some sort of resolution to the question. In my feeble attempt, I told him that God is like a spirit that lives within our hearts and that many times God does not speak to us directly, but through people, situations, or actions. He sat there staring, processing for several minutes. Then asked, “How can God fit into our hearts?”
I tried my best to explain that he does not live in our heart like a little person, but that he is like air, in nature, in every part of being. That led to him asking, “Do we breathe God?” I had no good words other than, “I guess that would be a way to think of it.” I was in no mind frame to have the discussion. However, it made me think of all the times that Daniel has asked such questions. How do things work? Why do they work like that? Can we take it apart? Can we look at it on the internet? He wants to know every single detail and looks at the small things to connect the big things. His thoughts intrigue and amaze me. His kind spirit and deep emotions move me.
His laughter fills me with joy to the point that even now I have a little bit of tears filling my eyes.
He sees the world in music; he lives in this world in constant curiosity. (Much like his mother.) He stims in drumbeats and claps. He hums any tune he hears in an instant. He delights and squeals when he gets his favorite food. His enthusiasm is contagious on some days. Yes, those are some grand marvelous (Awe) “Ausome” things that I get to enjoy. I am ever challenged, but the type of parent that I am I think that is Ausome! Those are a few great things about my little boy. This second half, I am not really sure where I am going.
Let us see …
The first thing that comes to mind is that October 2012 I was “officially” diagnosed as an Aspergers adult. I had a lot to process – I still do. I found that finally having answers and a community that I could actually relate to made my soul feel a little more whole. What I have I found is many people who are caring, kind, open, honest, and understanding. These are many of my Autistic peers. They are some of the most talented and articulate people I have encountered. They share their lives openly (as much as you can on the web. ) I cherish all that they give and the many ways that they have helped me to understand my mom (an Aspergers adult), my son, and myself.
I have found parents who are just as compassionate and caring as well.
They work hard at being advocates and I am amazed at all their efforts. They shine of positivity. There are some days when I feel a bit down and unsure about many things, but I have been able to bounce back much sooner because of all the “Ausome” words that our community pours into the internet waves. I have a better self-image because of all the positives that my peers and our advocates share. Being able to find answers, relate to other’s stories, and share my own stories knowing that others will understand has boosted my self-esteem. I am able to see positives about myself that I could not see before. The voices that are out there sharing and focusing on the good have helped spring board me in many ways to much soul searching and healing.
To me that is HUGE “Autism Ausomeness!”
I believe that the foundation is being laid for my son. (And for my other two children.) My kids will see their “quirks and oddities” their “stims and unique ways of thinking and processing” as Ausome! They will see a mom who (finally) sees and accepts her own talents and gifts. As well as someone who does not think of being Autistic as a negative, but who embraces it and seeks to help others to see the positives too. I admit it can be a challenge, but that is why we need more people to build us up and focus on our positives. We thrive when people acknowledge, accept, and point out the good things about us.
Ending with a short list.
- We see the world in unique and interesting ways.
- We have great abilities to seek out and dissect details.
- We are artists in whatever talents we have whether through poetry, painting, creating images, or in how we can write and share our ideas about math, science, animals or computers. (Obviously, a very limited list I shared here.)
- We can keep our childlikeness that can be a very good for stressful situations.
- We have some pretty entertaining (ingenious) thoughts and perspectives.
- We can be some of the most loyal and best friends you could ever ask for.
I will stop at six, it is a good number. (And some of us may see numbers dance and leap about in wonderful colors!)
Oh, and words here are some of my dancing colorful words leaping about through poetry! Happy Ausome Day!