This post was originally published on Myrandombrain at http://meandmyrandombrain.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/myrandombrain-celebrates-1000-ausome-things-autismpositivity2013/ and is reprinted here with permission from the author.
It is the last day of Autism Awareness Month, but the reality is I am aware of it everyday. Why you may ask? There are a couple answers to this question.
- My career was dedicated to working with kids on the spectrum, and I always looked forward to spending the day with these kids who are widely misunderstood by their families.
- There are members of my extended family diagnosed with autism
- I have Asperger’s and it doesn’t bother me to say so.
Number 3 is what I write about. I am not ashamed or embarrassed to say I am on the spectrum, it is part of me and who I am. I have tried to think of 3 reasons ASD is an embraceable part of who I am.
- It makes me unique.
- Because I experience things to the extreme and with intensity.
- I see things from my own perspective
These 3 things are not the same for everyone on the spectrum and I know unique is a bit cliche in awareness publications, but for me it is a word that explains why my peers have always thought I was on the fringe of society, they called it weird, oddball and freak. My diagnosis made me realize maybe I am all those things but most importantly I am me and that’s OK I like me even if others don’t. Experiencing life with intensity is my favorite part of being Aspie, sometimes it is bothersome. Bright lights, loud noises and anger can drive me completely crazy as I feel them to the extreme. But I also feel happiness, joy and love to the extreme and that is where it becomes an awesome part of my life. Seeing things from my own perspective is cool! I see stories play out in the white clouds on a blue sky. I see beings in trees and when I need to escape I see another albeit imaginary world in the forest or my closet. Bt seeing things from my own perspective encompasses another part of me as well I see situations from the other perspective all the time my whole life I have had the gift of stepping outside any situation to look from a different angle, this often makes me feel like the black sheep of a situation but also makes me happy to show the good in a situation just by shining a different light on it. Of course it is not all fun and games, at times I wish I had better social skills so I could have more real life friends so I could hang out with someone other than my computer and the friends who live there. And then there is the anger intensity when I bang my head on walls and windows, or the tics and repetitive movements that make me stand out as different. But I wouldn’t want to trade those parts of me in if it meant I would lose the fun and positivity of myself. Life is fun and I choose not to let autism get in the way. Do something fun today, get lost in a book or your imagination- be creative. Embrace life on this final day of April.