Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel as Lorelai and Rory of "Gilmore Girls"

How Gilmore Girls Taught Me Social Skills

One day, my friend and I were sitting in her living room, bored, and browsing Netflix for something interesting to watch. Then a particular show caught my eye. I remembered watching it when I was younger, yet still undiagnosed as on the autism spectrum. I enjoyed the unique writing of it at the time. And here it was, ready to watch about 10 years later.

“Have you ever seen ‘Gilmore Girls’?” I asked my friend.

“I love ‘Gilmore Girls’!” she responded, and we began to watch as our childhood memories played once again on the TV.

Less than five minutes into the episode, my friend started commenting on things I didn’t really understand. She would mention how a character was feeling, or that maybe they had said a line in an interesting way. I was so confused. I didn’t notice any of that. All I was interested in was the story and the humor.

So my friend paused it. She told me to look for certain details, like how a character may laugh or where their eyes were focused during the conversation. We watched the scene over again.

When it was through, my friend paused it once more, and I asked my questions about what these things meant. She began to explain their importance. I felt like a new world was opened up. All of these little social details I had missed the first time around became a little bit clearer. So that’s why the guy left the room suddenly — he wasn’t interested in the conversation. No wonder the woman was giggling — she was nervous about her outfit looking strange!

Throughout the series, I found myself learning more and more about these social situations. I learned about how the sense of touch is a powerful thing when you’re in a relationship. I realized how difficult it can be to flirt with someone. We even discussed whether or not it’s appropriate to wear pajamas in public.

As someone on the autism spectrum, “Gilmore Girls” has become more than just a great show to watch. It’s become a perfect and valuable tool for helping me learn some social skills.

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Image via “Gilmore Girls” Facebook page


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Making list of presents on wood background

My Christmas Wish as a Person With Autism

As I sit in front of the crackling fireplace with my beloved husband, I think of all the millions of individuals with autism around the world. The vast majority of them are not as fortunate as I am to have someone in their life who loves them and to love back. Abraham and I were just reminiscing about Christmases past. We both shared how our one big wish was to find that special someone out there with which to love and share our life. We both got our Christmas wish, and there’s no gift greater than this. The overwhelming feeling of peace, comfort, and security brought us to tears.

But I do actually have another Christmas wish. And that is for every person on the autism spectrum to find a love like ours. For that to happen, we all must be accepted in this world. With all my years of wisdom, I still can’t figure out why all neurotypicals can’t seem to accept us. In fact, the way I see it, they truly have it all wrong. Some neurotypical people view us as the inferior ones. But we are the ones who have the ability to accept others who are different. We can accept neuro diversity. We are the ones who don’t bully, harass, nor discriminate others who are different.

Why are those with autism often so hard on themselves for even the slightest social blunder? My advice to my autistic community is to focus on feeling at peace with yourself and enjoying life. I wish the rest of the world would realize that indeed we do have emotions, dreams and desires. We do want to be included, respected, and understood. Have an open mind. Don’t be so judgmental of us just because we don’t act like you. Embrace our different way of being. Be happy that there are people like us in the world.

I’m wishing that 2017 is the year the world learns to accept and embrace those who are different from themselves. We have already done that. You can too.

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Thinkstock photo by a_namenko

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