In Autism World, we talk A LOT about the challenges of being autistic. There are endless conversations about why it is difficult being autistic in a world designed by neurotypicals. We chat on and on about the stereotypes and stigma we face, and how very misunderstood we are. All of which is painfully valid and true.
Though there is no denying that having an autistic brain has its issues, there is a reason that most autistics, when asked if they would rather be neurotypical, say no. Having an autistic brain fully has its benefits, and those benefits are such a bonus, that they are worth all the lifelong struggles.
Without intention, we have let the challenges eclipse the benefits, but it is time to switch things up a bit. And though it feels like I am sharing a well-kept secret, here are just some of the pluses of being autistic.
- We Think Differently: This one seems obvious and is often stated, but it is so rarely discussed what a bonus thinking differently can be. We are the creators of unique solutions, impactful art, and innovative engineering. Our brains filter less and see more. Autistic thinking is out of the box and, by its very nature, provides a non-traditional perspective…And that is super fun!
- We are Super Sensitive: This may seem like a weird bonus to pick, but that’s because we always talk about being sensitive in the negative. It is often seen as a challenge of autism. However, that’s because our world is so loud. When is a more subtle environment, our super sensitivity becomes joy. If we are easily visually over stimulated, when we see a sunset, it is that much more beautiful. If it is auditory that does us in, a forest full of birdsong becomes a singular symphony. Give it a try some time.
- We are Fighters of Injustice: The autistic brain truly struggles with unfairness. As a result, being autistic means being intolerant of injustice. If we see it, we will fight with all our passion for it to be corrected. Often our passion is ignored for being “dramatic”, but rest assured, in a fight for fairness, you want to be on the autistic side of things.
- We know the Details Matter: We are often praised for our ability to be detail oriented, though just as often, it is assumed that makes us good at repetitive tasks. Not true! There is more to the details than being a part of an assembly line. Being detail oriented makes us excellent friends and partners. We will always remember the little things you love. It makes us gifted artists and authors, as the details are essential creating an engaged audience. It makes us amazing doctors, lawyers, and scientists. The list goes on! Afterall, its all in the details.
- We are Info Seekers: Autistics have a love affair with information. Our brains just seem to be designed intake information. The best part of that is it means we truly find learning fun. The autistic brain thrives when our info seeking gets indulged. Thus, many of us have truly eclectic skill sets and special interests. This often makes us the most interesting people in any given room.
To be sure there are more benefits to add to this very short list, as we each have our own brand of autism. Oh hey, there’s a number six! We do not fit in boxes; we are each autistic in our own way. What others can you think of? Start your own list today.