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.