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How Autism Gives Me a Different Focus

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I’ve spent most of my life feeling like I am focusing on the wrong things.
 When the other kids are talking about Power Rangers, I am intensely focused on the Roman Empire.
 When my friends are obsessed with Barbies, I focus on reenacting my favorite movie word-for-word.

After puberty hits and my hormone-filled peers want to date and kiss, my focus shifts towards analyzing relationships, both platonic and romantic. 
Learning social cues changes me. I can’t focus on the conversation — I’m too busy tracking facial expressions and tone of voice and body language.

Even now, when I talk to people I focus on their lips instead of their eyes.
 My senses overwhelm me, and leave me unable to focus on anything but the pounding in my ears, the glare in my eyes and the textures on my tongue.

My focus jumps from one special interest to another. “Into The Woods.” “Phineas and Ferb.” “Bullet Journals.” True crime. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Knitting. 
My focus is diverse, just like I am neurodiverse. My focus is strong, just like I am strong.
 My focus shapes who I am, who I love, and where my passions lie.

I am Autistic, I am Focused, and I am Proud.

Follow this journey on Stim the Line.

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Getty image by vladans.

Originally published: December 11, 2017
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