Why I Owe My Autism a Thank You
I first learned about you when I was 15 years old. The only information I had regarding you at the time was that you people with you were often described as being “in their own world.” Boy, how far from the truth this was.
At 22, I stumbled across something called Asperger’s syndrome. Once again, I knew few facts about it — I knew it was a form of you. It sounded an awful lot like “asparagus” to me! My knowledge of you was scarce. I was just beginning to work in the developmental disabilities field. I hadn’t met too many people who had you in their lives.
You wouldn’t find a special place in my life until four years later, when I read a blog that resonated with me. I did a lot of research and took online questionnaires; they all pointed to one thing: I must be on the spectrum!
Last year, it was confirmed that you had been right by my side all along. I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. My psychologist explained that it would have been described as Asperger syndrome had that term not been removed before the DSM-V was released. So, after many years of introspection and a quest for knowledge, my suspicions were validated.
Because you make up a part of who I am, I have a youthful innocence and zest for life. I’m skilled with electronics and can figure out how they work without reading a manual. I’m honest, loyal and genuine. I see things for what they are and don’t read between the lines. I’m driven towards what I want to pursue. Most of all, I’m happy. Thank you, autism, for revealing yourself to me and helping shape me into the unique individual I am.
The Mighty is asking its readers the following: If you could write a letter to the disability or disease you (or a loved one) face, what would you say to it? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.