I’m sure I’m not the only autistic person who has thought about the things I love about my condition in the past. Sometimes these reasons are hidden behind negative things because of what I’ve read online, but they’re still there, deep down.
Yes, it’s important to remember that autism is a disability, but when there’s no cure, there’s no point in deliberating on the negatives too much. At the end of the day, whether I embrace it or not, my autism will always be a part of me. A lifetime is a long time to hate yourself for, after all.
After lots of deliberation over the things I love the most about being autistic, I thought I’d share some of my favourite things below.
I can re-watch and re-read the same things over and over again.
If you’ve read any of my monthly overviews, you’ll know I’m obsessed with repeating history. I love watching movies and TV shows for a second time, and the same goes with books. In fact, there’s one film I’ve watched six times over that I could easily, and happily, watch again. It’s X+Y, about an autistic maths genius, if anyone’s interested.
I find it difficult to understand how people can read or watch something once and then disregard it altogether. Besides, watching things time and time again means I’m never stuck for something to watch. If I can’t find anything new, I can easily go back and re-watch something I’ve already seen before.
I become really attached to the books I read, too. Some people ask why I keep them after I’ve read them, and I always answer the same way: I never know when I’ll want to read them again. Admittedly, some books I won’t ever pick up again, but if I don’t have the book to hand, how will I know?
One book that I read a lot when I was younger was Double Act by Jacqueline Wilson. Remember it? In the end, I read it so much that the front cover came off, and pages were slot into the book instead of connected at the spine. It was only after losing the book that I stopped reading it, although the fond memories remain.
This doesn’t mean that I forget what I’ve watched, necessarily, but just that I enjoy watching things time and time again without getting bored.
I can offer logical solutions to problems.
Many autistic people have minds that work in logical ways, and I’m no exception. I take delight in looking at the finer details, and using a logical approach to solve solutions in ways others might not have thought of. I’m definitely guilty of thinking too far out of the box at times, but as long as I get to the answer, there’s no harm done, right?
This helps me in situations with friends, too. They often come to me for advice when they want solutions, because I’m good at looking at a situation through a difference lens. This helps me feel like I belong in group situations, too, where I might otherwise feel completely excluded.
There is a slight downside to this, where I overthink things because I’m focusing on the finer details instead of the bigger picture. However, I think the positives of being able to help other people make this totally worth it.
I become extremely knowledgeable about certain topics
One of the most well-known traits of autism are special interests, a subject I wrote an entire blog post on in the past. I’m going to mention it again because my ability to hyper-focus and fixate over a certain topic is one of my favourite qualities. I love being able to share this information with others, too, even if they aren’t necessarily looking for it.
It’s called info-dumping, which is where the reputation of people talking too much comes from. Oops! What can I say? I’m a talker!
In fact, some of the special interests I’ve had will prove helpful in my future career. One of my longest-standing special interests is psychology, spanning several years, at least. This has helped me to understand my brain where others couldn’t, and will help me in my future career in the healthcare sector.
However, special interests don’t always have to be academic subjects, or super taxing on the brain either. A lot of us have special interests that are more fun-based, as a way of relaxing after long days of real life commitments. I often become fixated with TV shows, like The Walking Dead. As much as I love this programme, and have learnt a lot about post-apocalyptic survival, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to put these skills into practice.
I’m comfortable with being different
Feeling like I fit into a society that wasn’t created for disabled people is something I’ve always struggled with. I’ve gone to extreme lengths in the past to try and fit in with my peers, like hiding my personality and changing my interests, but it never worked. No matter what I did, I didn’t ever feel like I belonged. If anything, all it did was make me miserable when I realized I was forcing myself to do things I didn’t like.
However, since receiving my autism diagnosis, I have become comfortable with the idea that I was never made to fit in. It’s like trying to fit a square into the circular shaped society; it just isn’t going to work. With a brain that works differently, there are likely to be things I struggle with, and places where I stand out. I refuse to be ashamed of my quirkiness anymore.
It turns out that people like me now that I’ve started to let them see the real me now, too. Perhaps that’s because I’m older and people worry less about what’s popular, but I’m convinced it has something to do with who I am, too.
I’m a perfectionist
Okay, so perfectionism isn’t a completely positive thing. Remember when I said I overthink a lot, earlier in this blog post? Yeah. That’s down to overthinking. It also means I spend far longer on tasks than others because they need to be perfect, even though that’s often impossible.
However, there are some good qualities to this character trait, too. It allows me to complete projects knowing I’ve put my all into it, and done as well as I possibly could’ve done. This also helps others faith in me, as I know they will trust me to complete a job they’ve entrusted in me to a high standard. I’m not the type of person to hand something in or complete a job unless I’m completely happy with it first.
And I could go on and on and on…
In reality, there are many aspects of my personality, my condition, that I love. It’s what makes me me, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Regardless of my struggles, I’m proud to be autistic, and nothing anybody says will change that. There are some downsides, but that comes with any disability, and I’m not here to talk about those.
If you’re autistic, what do you love about it? If you aren’t, what’s your favourite thing about that special autistic person in your life? Let’s share the love in the comments below!
Thanks for reading, and until next time,
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