Although a serious disorder, autism doesn’t have to be painted with a dark brush. There are ways to see autism spectrum disorder in a bright and positive light.
Kids with autism have so many special things to share, traits that may be rare in their neurotypical peers. These traits aren’t reserved for those with autism who have specific and special skills and talents, like music or art – they’re present in almost all kids with autism.
So what’s so special about people with autism? Here’s a short (and by no means comprehensive!) list.
They’re mindful of the present. There’s no shortage of books and memes and social media posts reminding people to live in the now, to be aware of the present moment. You don’t need to tell an autistic person that!
While neurotypical people are often so caught up on the next step, the next event, the next anything, autistic kids are very aware of what’s happening around them, the sensory input that’s in the here and now. They may not be aware of the fact they’re being mindful, because they’re not conscious of having to try – they just are. They may focus on color or sound or texture, the very things other people may miss.
They don’t hold themselves responsible for social expectations. An autistic person trying to keep up with the Joneses (even on the playground)? Never. People with autism honestly don’t care about having the newest pair of shoes or the latest of anything. They’re not trying to fit in or “win.” They’re just being.
An autistic kid frankly won’t befriend you just because you have something the world seems to want, and they’re not going to bend over trying to be like anyone else. They’d rather authentically discuss what they love with those who genuinely love those things too.
Their memory could put elephants to shame. Because details are so important to people with autism, their memories are stellar. They can remember portions of stories others easily forget, have picture perfect recollection of people, places and things, and have a sense of direction like nobody else. It’s also been proven that many people with autism have photographic memories, may be able to play music by ear, and have perfect pitch.
No judgment here. People with autism won’t take note – or at least won’t judge you – on the color of your hair, or your social status, or how much money or how many friends you seem to have. Autistic kids won’t be eager to hang out with the popular kids just because. In fact, people with autism are more likely to have an inclusive nature, seeing through the surface and into the soul of the person as they recognize it.
No, I cannot lie. Those with autism don’t usually tell lies, not even little ones. No matter how it might be taken by the other party, they say it like it is, ensuring that what comes out of their mouths is exactly what they think and how they feel. Even if it comes off abrupt or candid, wouldn’t it be fantastic having a friend who always says it the way they see it?