By Clara H
Ever since I was young, most of the things I've heard about autism seemed to be negative. People are always reminding me of the things I struggle with instead of the great things. I thought now would be a good time to share some of my favorite things about being a part of the autism community because it seems like we all could use some happy thoughts in our lives right now. Many people don't realize that there is something good in everything even if it's difficult to find.
I believe that everyone has a sort of special ability. Yes, some may be harder to notice or not to the same extent, but at the end of the day, it's in us all. When it comes to people with autism, their special abilities may be more surprising once discovered. Honestly, it can be pretty funny seeing the jaws drop of people who've always stereotyped me to having absolutely no skills in anything. In case you haven't already figured it out, writing is my extraordinary skill. Some other people on the spectrum could be really good a math, or art, or memorizing dates, or cooking. It could be anything. If you're not sure what your loved one's extraordinary ability is, then don't worry, it will come eventually.
You can hardly ever get bored around people on the autism spectrum. We are always very interesting to be around. I find those I know with autism to be some of the most memorable people I've met. If I wanted to forget about them, I wouldn't be able to. I love to talk about things that some may find to be out of the ordinary. Not only that, but the way I discuss things is different too. I uniquely see the world, and it shows in my behavior. One of my friends has mentioned to me several times that people stare at him a lot. They do it to me as well. I think it's because we stand out. It can be a bit awkward, but I know that most people aren't trying to be rude. We are noticeable.
One of my favorite thing that autism has taught me is to accept everyone despite differences. Growing up, I was bullied a lot in school which made me realize that it hurts to be hated on. I never turn people down because of their disability, race, gender, age, etc. The only reason I may avoid someone is that I'm not fond of what their personality traits are. Throughout the past few years, many people have had the same realizations as me about this, but I do find myself to be more accepting than most. For instance, I hear a lot of mean jokes about each other religious and political beliefs. If someone shares with me what their opinions are on either of those two subjects I will never intentionally talk badly about what they've said even if I disagree.
Good at being happy
I can be very expressive with my emotions. When I am happy, I show it by smiling, and when I'm sad, I frown. Not everybody shows how they're feeling. I find that to be a bit weird, but that's okay. I know that's what makes sense to them. I've come to have figured out that if I smile for a certain period, it's harder to become sad. I think laughter is the best medicine for that exact reason. My brother says that my laugh is contagious. When I laugh, he almost always laughs too. There are people besides my brother who think my happiness is heartwarming as well. Since many people with autism are expressive with their emotions, I bet I'm not the only one who makes people's days by simply smiling big.
Brightens people's lives
Knowing people on the spectrum can be eye-opening. It gives you a brand new way of looking at the world. We educate people about the different possibilities out there even if we aren't attending to do so. I've learned so much through everyone I've met with ASD and I already know a lot based on my own experiences. I'm sure the amount that neurotypicals can learn from us is way more life-changing because they weren't born in that way. Some of my family members say that I've made them better people just for being myself. My existence has taught them that you don't have to understand the world to love life.
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