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8 Positive Aspects of My Child Having Autism

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For too long, diagnostics for autism and ASD have focused only on the “deficits” associated with autism. This creates a negative picture of individuals on the spectrum.

So let’s take a minute to point out and appreciate the positive aspects of autism:

1. Has expertise in area(s) of special interest.

We have been labeling individual’s special interests as obsessions and putting a negative connotation on them for far too long. Many individuals with autism have an islet of ability, in other words, an outstanding talent in an area of special interest. While it’s great to encourage learning about different subjects, we should never discourage a person’s special interests. Finding others who share similar interests or admire their level of expertise can help new friendships blossom. Also, many of these interests are marketable. What I mean by that is that they would be considered a strong asset to the right employer. Your child’s “obsession” with animals could help carve their path to a career as a zoologist, for example.

2. Honest, trustworthy and realistic.

“Makes inappropriate observations and has difficulty understanding sarcasm and figures of speech”. Never mind that nonsense. Individuals with autism are honest and trustworthy. If you’re looking for an honest opinion, you’re going to get it. No, they may not sugarcoat their opinions, or make sarcastic comments. Some have difficulty lying, so you can trust them to tell you the truth.

3. Communicates differently.

Children with autism may not always communicate verbally, but they do communicate. Observe and listen and you will find intent in their actions. Talking isn’t the only way to “speak.”

4. Strong attention to detail.

Often able to notice small details others miss. An individual may be able to focus on the intricate details of something bigger, noticing and correcting errors that would typically be missed. They may also have the ability to recall small but important details of an event that others didn’t notice.

5. Kinesthetic learners.

Uses all senses to engage in learning. Best able to learn and retain information when using a hands-on approach, building motor memory from performing a task again and again. Doing a demonstration of learned skills is much more beneficial than requesting a written paragraph or a graph.

6. Sensory processing differences (not deficits).

Just because individual processes sensory input differently than you, perhaps less or more intensely, does not mean it is a deficit. It’s just different, that is all.

7. Doesn’t conform to social norms.

Many individuals with autism may appear or be considered “eccentric,” but this is a beautiful thing. Their unique personalities shine through; they don’t need to dress a certain way or act a certain way just because it’s “cool.” They are their true, wonderful selves.

8. They can thrive.

Yes, a child with autism may sometimes need more support to understand dangerous situations or to learn certain skills, but with love, guidance and teaching in respectful ways that promote self-advocacy, children with autism can, and do, thrive.

The truth is, there is so much we can learn from children and adults with autism. Their unique way of viewing the world and their open minds can positively influence the people around them in many ways. The positive aspects of autism go beyond the points on this list.

So remember this:

If all sou see is autism, you will miss out on: loving, kind, creative, extraordinary, generous, honest, sweet, loving, uniquely observant, intelligent and sometimes inspiring.

Follow this journey at Raising an Extraordinary Person.

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Getty image by sergeyryzhov

Originally published: January 2, 2018
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