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6 Gifts That Come Packaged With My Autism

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Hi, I’m Sue. I’m a 32-year-old Aspie. I was diagnosed last year and have learned a lot about myself, about why I am who I am. It was a really wonderful experience to learn that there was a name for some of my hurdles in life, but more importantly, the gifts as well! Here are some of my thoughts about what autism means to me.

What does autism mean to me?

1. It means appreciating life’s finest details. That bright green leaf on the porch. The intricate patterns in a cat’s eye. Something that no one else finds amusing but you find hilarious in some strange, weird way. I like being able to appreciate the little things. It makes each day so worth it.

2. An affinity for gadgets, and a gift for figuring them out. Who needs the manual when you can take matters into your own hands? Have questions about the latest Android phone? Let me at it! I’ve had this gift as long as I can remember. I learn best by doing hands-on activities.

3. Loyalty. Always being there for a friend or family member through thick and thin. Somewhat of a fear of letting others down, and making sure that doesn’t happen. Being someone they can count on. I’ve always stuck by my friends, even at my own expense at times, when they have proven to be anything but.

4. Honesty. Calling it like you see it. A natural genuineness. Knowing how to be no one but yourself. In school I was always “different.” While the other girls were concerned with makeup, boys and what others thought of them, none of this mattered to me. I was happy being the tomboy I am and playing my video games!

5. Seeing the world in black and white, but at the same time, through rose-colored glasses. Taking things literally. Not reading between the lines or seeing hidden agendas where there are none. Always looking on the positive side. Assuming there is good in every situation. Again, many times this is at my own expense. I see the good in people, and give them the benefit of a doubt. Unfortunately, this has led to my being taken advantage of by people whom I trusted and considered friends. At the same time, I’d still rather see the glass as half full.

6. Finding the fun in life. An eternal childhood. Feeling younger than your peers, and enjoying it. Never growing old. At 32 I’m still very much a kid! I live for anything fun, and I don’t feel anywhere near my age. I love having that childlike sense of wonder, and I hope never to lose sight of it. I don’t think that’ll ever happen.

I hope those reading this will see just some of the many gifts that come packaged with my autism. It’s the way I see my world, 24/7. I can’t imagine life without it. Autism is a huge part of what makes me me!

Originally published: August 31, 2015
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