Someone asked me to explain why I like being autistic. I suppose it’s because there’s still a lot of stigma & misunderstanding about what autism really is. So, for those who are curious, here’s my personal experience w/ my particular flavor of autism (because it’s different for everyone).
Autism is a different way of processing, experiencing, interfacing, & interacting with the world so it gives me abilities & insights that the average neurotypical individual doesn’t get. Often the talents & qualities that come naturally to me are things NTs have to work hard on developing & cultivating. I have proficiencies & talents in many areas, as well as a higher aptitude for certain tasks than most. It’s sometimes embarrassing to talk about because it seems like I’m bragging, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the fact that I literally test off the charts linguistically & that I’m able to assimilate, process, and expound upon new abstract concepts within moments of learning about them.
I love the feeling of my brain working when I’m thinking about subjects that fascinate me & I love how much data I can retain about my special interests. I also would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy wowing people with my knowledge base, inferences, extrapolations, & deductions on various subjects. I don’t, however, flaunt my knowledge for the sake of it & do my best to not come off as condescending or patronizing, though I know I often fail in this endeavor due to my overly formal & pedantic wording. I love how fast I pick up new things that interest me & I am always eager to share my newfound knowledge & skills with others. It’s one of my biggest joys in life. This is especially the case when it comes to academic, artistic, & creative pursuits. I simply LOVE learning ❤
I also like the fact that things like societal norms & mainstream media-dictated values don’t really affect me. I’ve always questioned why humans do what they do & challenged the idea of just blindly accepting & obeying. I’ve gotten in trouble my whole life for doing, but I have never cared. I’ve always believed it’s more important to think critically than to obey arbitrary established rules. I try to get people to wake up from the hive mind consciousness that’s keeping everyone down, keeping them miserable, thinking that they need to be a certain way or value certain things to be accepted & worthwhile. It’s utter tripe & I will never stop trying to show people why this is the case. I don’t know why it requires bravery & courage to go against the norm, but I attribute this to the autism as well. People have called me these things, but they only apply if you have a fear of being rejected. I have always been rejected no matter what I’ve done, so there’s nothing really to fear since it’s just kinda life for me.
Furthermore, being on the outside, regardless of whether I like it or not, enables me to see things most people don’t when they’re living in the midst of it all, not realizing that their paradigms & opinions have been forced upon them since birth. I constantly point out things that never even occur to most people & have been told that others appreciate my candor & “fresh perspective” on things. I assume that this means it’s an unusual perspective, but that it’s a welcome one when it helps to shatter the oppressive paradigms people unwittingly subject themselves to. I think I provide some level of hope to those who weren’t able to come to certain conclusions on their own.
I help people learn to think in new ways, critically & analytically challenging the world around them as well as their own internal dialogue. I care so much about helping others break free of the pain of conformity & tribalism because I know how much it can hurt to be ostracized for not “fitting in” to the standardized model of an “appropriate” & “successful” lifestyle. Being “different” gives me a level of empathy for those that society casts out as misfits & weirdoes, those who won’t even belong in their fabricated ideal of a perfect society. So many people commit suicide or have self-loathing issues because they don’t conform or live up to these insane & unrealistic standards of “success” & think they’re losers or have no value because they can’t attain the same feats or because they can’t see through the facade that is being projected by those who want to be revered & accepted. It’s disgusting & I’ll never shut up about how backwards this society is & how detrimental it is to a person’s health.
I could probably go on, but this post is already long enough haha. There’s so much to say on the subject & I can refute almost any argument that people make when it comes to “autism is a disorder” or “autism needs to be cured” or any of that. The truth of the matter is that autism just means that a person has an atypical wiring in their brain. Due to that fact, there are a lot of disorders that CAN be co-occurring or co-morbid, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually symptomatic of the autistic brain structure itself. The more research that’s being done, the more we’re starting to understand the difference between what are actually autistic characteristics & qualities themselves and what are symptoms of disorders/diseases that are also present in that particular autistic individual. Just like being NTs are more susceptible to some thought patterns, and like some people are more likely to inherit/develop certain disorders/diseases, autistic individuals have their own tendencies & predispositions, but this doesn’t apply to every autistic just like those other ones don’t apply to every neurotypical.
It’s been super liberating & validating getting the autism diagnosis & learning about how many of my innate abilities & character traits have to do w/ my different neurological structure. Growing up feeling like an alien or some kind of defective human for reasons I couldn’t understand now has an answer behind it. I’m so happy that I have discovered this aspect of myself because it explains so much about how I perceive things & respond to them. Because it’s helped me so much to know all of this stuff, I’ve inadvertently become an autism advocate primarily because I want to help educate people on how autism can be awesome & not something to “worry” about or feel needs “addressing.” Autism often needs accommodation, but all humans are individuals so to a degree everyone needs different accommodations. It just so happens that autistics often need a lot of the same kinds of accommodations, so if anything, that should make it easier! At least we know a lot of what helps autistics to feel better & more comfortable interacting with others & being themselves. If only it were so easy with NTs! 😛
TL;DR: Yay for awe-tism! ❤