The Mighty Logo

Why I Am Glad I Have Autism

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

I’ve been through a lot of experiences in my life and I can honestly say I’m glad I am autistic. My autism makes me unique. It’s more rare (or undiagnosed) in young girls and women. I bring something different to the table when I meet others. My opinions might not always be popular, but they’re well thought out and rarely rushed. I question why I like things and do my own research too; that’s just how my brain works.

If I wasn’t autistic, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Yes, social situations can be tricky, but I’ve met many wonderful people with autism or other conditions. Because I have autism I tend to be open-minded about people with other disabilities. I’m not afraid to sit next to the person in the canteen who flaps their hands. Everyone is different and I enjoy being friends with people/chatting to others who have rejected by neurotypicals. After all, everyone deserves to be accepted.

My autism also means I am very driven and focused on my goals. I usually won’t stop until I reach a goal I have set for myself, even if it may seem insignificant. Some people have the attitude that we should avoid setting goals and live in the moment. However, I need and thrive on structure and routine and my goals create structure for me. That’s comforting and just what I need. I can’t simply live for the moment — I barely get anything done and feel lost when lacking structure/routine.

Most people who know about autism are aware of special interests, and nearly all autistic people have some kind of special interest. The great thing about having a special interest is my ability to intensely focus on it. I don’t just give up on it after a week, month or year. It starts off playing a small part in my life, but the more research I do and the more I fall in love with it, the more it becomes part of my day-to-day life. I can write all day which is one of my interests with only taking a swift break, the task becomes embedded into my mind. I won’t stop until I feel satisfied and I can be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my special interests.

My autism has given me one thing that can be described as a blessing or a curse. From a very young age I’ve always been aware that I have a very good memory. I can recall conversation from years ago as clear as day. I can blissfully relive happy memories. Unfortunately that means the bad ones can be clear as well, but I’ve learned things from a lot of my experiences in life. I rarely have to worry about getting lost. I memorize the little stuff when I’m out traveling. I absorb sights, smells and particularly sounds quite vividly, so I know if stuff is unfamiliar. I can remember little facts that a lot of people don’t know. It might seem useless to some, but it can be an easy way of starting a conversation.

I like who I am and I love being autistic. Despite my struggles, I can find the positive in most situations. My autism won’t stop me from doing anything.

Getty image by Victor Tongdee.

Originally published: September 25, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home