6 Reasons I Have to Thank Autism

Hi again, autism.

Bet you never thought someone would start a letter to you with something that sounds like a greeting to an old friend. But I guess that’s kind of what you are to me by now. You’re like that friend who drives you crazy, and you try to get to rid of, but in the end you always reconcile and move on together. Now, I don’t ever plan on “reconciling,” per say, but I do plan on finding a way to live with you.

However, autism, don’t think this means I like you. If I could get you to go and stay away, I would. Not because I don’t like my life with you but because of the way people see my life with you. If I could, I would get you to leave, even just for a day, so I can experience being a normal kid. But I get it. I get there is no way that’s going to happen, and I finally understand why it’s not always a bad thing that it won’t.

I guess I do owe you some thanks, autism.  So this is it:

unnamed-1 1. Thank you for letting me see the world in a way a lot of 14-year-olds can’t.

2.Thank you for letting me realize how grateful I should be to my friends.

3. Thank you for showing me how much people will give up for those they care about.

4. Thank you for showing me some of the purest kindness in the world.

5. Thank you for showing me I am strong.

6. And finally, thank you for letting me see how hard my brother’s world is so I can finally learn to understand him a little more.

But don’t forget this, autism — If I ever were to find a way to make his life and mine even just a little more free from your grasp, I would. But maybe, if you’re around to stay, I can use the way I see things now to teach other people how to do the same.

And just so you know, autism, I won’t let you take my brother either. John will in the end be able to have control over you. Maybe he has a hard time right now, but in the end he will always be better then you.

So for now, autism, I will greet you as an old, wise friend with an important lesson to teach. And  I will listen, autism, till a time you have nothing more to say. So thank you, autism, but if you really cared you would give my brother something. Even just a little something.


Your old friend

A version of this post originally appeared on Life As An Autistic Teenager.

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