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How I Came to See My New Autism Diagnosis as a Gift

As a person newly diagnosed with autism, I have found it really hard to come to terms with the diagnosis. From the moment my psychologist said I had level 3 ASD, my world started to come tumbling down and it really hurt. But I’m not going to sit around feeling sorry for myself – I wish to educate people that ASD is just a “difference” to some people. Here’s how I see ASD: your brain is a freeway/highway. The neural pathways in the brain are the road and the electrical impulses created in these pathways are the cars/vehicles on the road. If these impulses find a junction with no “continuation,” they simply go their own way. These impulses are the ASD in a person with ASD – there’s nowhere they can go so they create their own pathway.

I’m pretty lucky I have a great psychologist who is helping me come to a point where I know I am autistic and I will be autistic until the day I die (here’s hoping it won’t be soon!) Being autistic is not about a disorder, it’s about being “different” in a special kind of way. Here’s an example of this: I can always remember being called on by my late father who would ask me for a part number for a car he was working on. I could say that part number off the top of my head – it’s still there today! I can walk into a parts shop and ask for the correct oil filter for our current car… the autistic brain I have is at work in these cases. Another example is my ease of remembering phone numbers and vehicle registration numbers – some folks may think that’s eerie, but it helps if I can remember these numbers as it makes things easier than ever!

There are times I wish I did not have autism – but then again, I am truly thankful to the Lord above for giving me this “gift” — the gift of a brilliant memory, the gift of knowledge, the gift of thinking outside the box. I wouldn’t change this for the world – although I have to admit, there are days I want to hide from people. But that is not good for me as I need to be in conversation with people every day. Autism is me – I will always be thankful for it!

Getty image by Nopponpat.