What My Autism Has Given Me

My disability is what makes me, me. It is like an invisible cloud all around me. This makes understanding people hard and social activity frightening. It is a bear that chews my confidence towards myself and others into little pieces the size of fireflies in a bear’s paw. Other days it is the firefly, guiding me in the dark and showing me ideas where others see nothing. It is also a hungry monster, wanting to be fed by simulations, electricity, and moving pictures that hold no value. Yet at the same time it can be a hungry scholar, wishing to devour all the knowledge that books possess and learn as much as possible.

My disability is an anxious warrior, longing for negative conflict while other times it is a monk, looking for nothing but peace within solitude. Sometimes my disability is a subject of ridicule, for being strange and unsettling to those who do not understand. Other times it is admired by many for what it helps me to create. My autism makes things everyday teenagers do seem impossible, as I do the incredible through art in their eyes. It gives me the ability to see through time, but makes me long to live in the past.

My “Special Gift” is also a difficult one to handle; I have both learned much and lost many things due to it. Lost is the sense of normalcy from a young age; gained is an entire universe of my own design, my ability to take words and create something rare and beautiful. Those without imagination, however, sometimes find my worlds built upon words to be “pointless” and “childish” and even “worthless.” My autism makes interacting with these kinds of people unpleasant for both parties involved. My passion for what the people my age generally enjoy is a mere ember, but for the many worlds I create, it is a roaring inferno of joy and passion.

My autism has drawn me to dark and frightening things, but now in this day it has led me to history and to people who respect my gifts. It has taken much courage to finally say that I would not be who I am today without my precious gift of being unique.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock image by Quantiumpix.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

How Green Day's Music Helps Me in My Life With Autism

I’m in my 20s, have autism and I’ve experienced a lot of things in my life. I love rock music. I’m a big fan of the band Green Day. I hope to see them in concert one day. I admire Billie Joe Armstrong and the way he expresses his feelings when he sings Green Day’s [...]
"The Good Doctor" promo image of Freddie Highmore.

'The Good Doctor' Series Premiere Earns Both Praise and Criticism From Autism Advocates

Lauren Appelbaum is the communications director of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities. In last Monday night’s premiere of “The Good Doctor,” Freddie Highmore starred as Shaun Murphy, a brilliant doctor who has autism. Fighting for a chance of a surgical residency at the prestigious San Jose hospital, [...]

How the Church Failed Our Family Because of My Child's Disability

I grew up in the church. Scratch that. For the better part of my youth I lived at the church because of how often I was there: leadership, worship, small groups, ministry training, etc. Some of my most cherished memories are with my high school youth group and a big purple school bus we traveled around [...]

7 Things the Doctor Didn't Tell Me When Delivering My Child's Autism Diagnosis

You might see red flags in your child’s development, apprehensively look all over the internet hoping to read, “it’s nothing to worry about,” however, your next visit to the pediatrician aggravates your concern as you check-off a list of milestones missed and you finally find yourself staring at a sheet that screams “autism” back at [...]