When it comes to Autism, we’re often bombarded with information about the symptoms, risks and difficulties challenging people on the autism spectrum.
For their family and friends, those on the autism spectrum tend to be less defined by their challenges and more so by their unique and special skills.
As the old adage goes, in every negative there lies a positive, and autism is no different. Unusual traits, which are rare amongt the majority of our society seem to shine out within the autistic community – many of which are well worth celebrating.
They speak the truth
While most of us are guilty of a daily little white lie, with one US study showing some people fib up to three times every 10 minutes, autistics tend to be more honest by nature. According to the Autism Support Network (ASN), this is because, for those on the autism spectrum, “truth is truth – and a good word from [them] is the real deal”.
They don’t judge others
Age, sex, race, religion, size and shape – these differences hold little interest for those in the autistic community. “People on the spectrum often see through such surface appearances to discover the real person”, reads ASN. In a world obsessed by perceptions, seeing people for who they truly are is a breath of fresh air.
They have terrific memories
Are you renowned for forgetting names, directions, phone numbers, or birthdays? For autistics, the devil is in the detail. That’s because they are much more likely to be in tune with the details that surround them, and have a much better memory to catalogue all of these critical points.
They are passionate
While it can be seen as a bit of a generalisation, as not every one person on the spectrum will be exactly alike, many can be truly passionate and talented in the areas they tend to gravitate towards. Many parents of autistic children have reported that their children found solace in music, art, science or movement. (There are also many famous autistics throughout history that can attest to this passion and talent.)
They live in the moment
Some of us struggle to shut our minds off and achieve mindfulness in a sensory-overloaded world, but those on the autism spectrum are often able to block out the chatter and social cues, and see the world in front of them for what it truly is.
They don’t bother with social expectations
It can be very hard to remain true to yourself and keep up with the Joneses at the same time. Although most of us remain hung-up with trying to fit in – whether it be with our car, house, team or club – for autistics, social expectations are completely irrelevant.
They are less materialistic
While this may not be universally true, people with autism, in general, tend to be less obsessed with their appearance than their peers. Brands, labels, styles and trends hold little (if any significance) in this community, which is far more than we can say about the wider world.
They have fewer hidden agendas
“When a person on the autism tells you what they want – chances are they are telling you exactly what they want”. There is no need to beat around the bush or read between the lines – they will make it very clear.
They have much to teach ‘neurotypicals’
We can learn a lot from our autistic loved ones. Their approach to life and the world around them can have a profound effect on the beliefs, attitudes and expectations of ‘neurotypicals’. So take the time to sit down, have a chat, and enjoy their wonderful company when you can.
Pick up the latest issue of MiNDFOOD, with Judi Dench on the cover to read about four inspiring individuals for whom celebrating Autism has become an everyday practice. APRIL 7th Birthday Issue of MiNDFOOD On Sale Now.