It is so easy to get preoccupied and caught up in the negatives and the challenges that come with an autism diagnosis. Yes, there are hurdles to face and problems to overcome – there certainly are.
However, there are also some amazing opportunities that arise as part of ASD, things that are often overlooked or forgotten amid the grind and struggles of everyday life.
I call them the positives of autism. And we shouldn’t forget that some positives do indeed exist.
I wanted to acknowledge some of the positives as I know that I would not have had the opportunity to experience them if it wasn’t for autism:
- I love the special interests that I have been introduced to by my kids. I have learned about all sorts of things like the instruments in the orchestra, about the planets and the solar system and about the world of My Little Ponies. I would have never had known about them in the same sort of depth if it wasn’t for autism.
- I love the focus and intense concentration that my kids display when engaged in their special interests. Sometimes it is infuriating when they are so totally absorbed to the point of disengagement with the world around them but mostly I’m proud that they have the ability to maintain such focus for long stretches of time.
- I have developed greater patience because of autism. I’m still far from the most patient person on the planet but I have learned to wait and to bide my time in order to best help my kids. I know I am definitely a better person now than I was pre-diagnosis.
- I have a stronger bond with my kids because of autism. I have had to take the time to know them better, to understand how they respond to the world, to read their signs of stress and anxiety. I am their daily go-to person. I help interpret the world for them and make sure they know what is going to happen next. I am their guide yet I will always follow them. Always.
- I appreciate the opportunities and experiences that have come our way because of autism. I am thankful for the connections made and the communities developed and the relationships formed. I do not feel alone. I know that we belong.
- I am thankful that autism has forced me to take the time to understand the little, seemingly insignificant things that so affect my children. I am glad that occupational therapy and speech pathology assessments and sessions have shown me how to make seemingly small changes in order to encourage huge strides in development.
- Most of all I feel lucky to have been given the chance to see the world through very different eyes.
These are just a few of the positives that I have experienced because of autism. What positives would you add to the list?