I’m not going to lie, being autistic can sometimes be really difficult. However, the older I get, the more I understand that it’s not being autistic that’s difficult – it’s the world I live in that refuses to understand and accomodate me. Where people will refuse to give their children vaccinations, putting their children and others, at risk to avoid them becoming like me. Where parents will be praised for murdering their autistic child. Where the word “autistic” is treated like a dirty word.
There’s a lot going on around autism lately, as there usually is. I wanted to put a positive spin on it, which is ironic coming from someone so pessimistic and hates literally everything. I’m going to do that by talking about everything I love about being autistic – I’ll try and keep the list short.
1. I Have Lots of Empathy
Sure, I might have had this as a non-autistic too, but I often notice I have more empathy than most people I meet. I cry easily, I feel sorry and sympathy for pretty much everyone I meet, I’m becoming a vegetarian because I physically couldn’t handle eating an animal.
Not every autistic has empathy, and those of us that do have empathy towards different things/circumstances. Personally, I like the perspective on the world that being emphatic has given me, even if it can be extremely painful to carry sometimes.
2. I Can be Myself
I take this with a pinch of salt because, like many other autistic people, I have spent a majority of my life faking being a neurotypical. This is mostly to avoid cruelty from other people, to blend in and not be noticed. Saying that, though, I like how we naturally stand out. It can make it easier to find other autistic people, and it means I can naturally be different without having to try too hard.
3. Apprechiation of “small” Things
If you’re a part of the autistic community or you like to learn from us, you’ll notice that we often get interested in a lot of things other people don’t care about – Lego, films, languages, countries, history, beads, colours, cats, games, books, electronics, sports, etc. There is an endless list of things autistic people take an interest in, and you can ask them almost anything about it and they will know the answer! I like this, because I can apprechiate the little things in life that other people just wouldn’t see.
4. A Strong Sense of Justice
A lot of neurotypical people I meet often aren’t passionate about social justice. Wanting equality for everyone. And not just equality, but actual justice. I feel like this connects with having a lot of empathy, and being passionate about the things we have an interest in. It means we can care deeply about people being treated fairly. As an addition to this, it means we rarely/don’t judge other people (partly because we have much more important things to think about, like our collection of buttons).
5. I Don’t Get Bored of Favourites
I can re-watch TV shows and movies, re-read books, re-eat the same foods, over and over and over again. They don’t bore me, and in addition they give me a source of comfort for the anxiety that often comes with being autistic living in a world where autism is treated the way it is. I get almost the same enjoyment from them like I’ve seen it for the first time.
6. I’m a Good Problem Solver
Not just an autistic thing, but a disabled thing in general. When you’re disabled in a world that refuses to accomodate for you, you start to become good at problem solving so you can make things a little easier on yourself. This means that, when faced with something other people have difficulty in and require help, I can figure it out just fine on my own.
7. I Enjoy my Own Company
This one is a big one, because I’ve noticed how many people struggle to be on their own. I’ve never had that problem. I need very little socialising, and I’m comfortable spending time with myself. Actually, in many ways, I prefer it so most people have to compete with my own company. It means I can eat out on my own, watch movies, go shopping, go on holidays, etc. It’s awesome.
8. Finding Other Autistic People
This is probably my favourite part of being autistic. Especially finding my friends, and my partner who is also autistic. My partner is my favourite person, and they’ve probably saved my life just by existing. It’s such a loving, caring community to be in filled with love. That whole community, although it has its problems, is like getting one giant hug.
9. I’m Accidentally Funny
Maybe I should be offended by this but I like how people find my comments/actions funny. I like that I bring joy into someones life just by being the person that I am.
10. I See the World in a Different Way
I can’t explain how I see the world differently due to only having my brain and not the brain from someone non-autistic. I can tell I do think differently by the ways I react, the opinions that I have, my interests, etc. I like that I don’t care about small talk or things I consider trivial. I like that I have “tunnel vision” where only the things I consider important are on my path. The rest are just minor inconviences.
So, these are just some of the things I love about being autistic! I could go on and on, but I didn’t want this post to be too long. If you’re autistic, what do you love about being autistic? And if you love someone autistic, what is your favourite thing about them?