The Caffeinated Autistic celebrates 1000 Ausome Things

I meant to write a post on my birthday (a week ago today) and failed. April is always a difficult month for a variety of personal reasons, but it’s become even more so with the knowledge that April is Autism Awareness month. I have seen far too many blue puzzle pieces or rainbow puzzle ribbons.

But today isn’t about that. Today is Autism Positivity day, and I’m going to tell you the best things about being autistic, for me.

1. Obsessions. I never really understand why people consider this a negative trait, and refuse to allow autistic children to indulge in their obsessions, rather than using them as an opportunity to learn (or even maybe as a reward if it’s difficult to use it in education). If you meet me in person, I can guarantee you that at some point in time, I will launch into an infodump about why Sherlock Holmes is autistic, why all the female characters are amazeballs, why Susan Pevensie’s ending was the saddest thing I’ve ever read and why I hate C.S. Lewis for what he did to her, and why platonic friendships in all sorts of media aren’t specific to gender and are amazing. Just to name a few.

2. Stimming. There is angry stimming and panicky stimming, and the cause of these is no fun, but stimming itself is AWESOME. And I’ve handflapped and rocked in happiness and contentment and drew patterns over the skin of a fellow autistic person. And co-stimming with another autistic person is by far one of the best things to do.

3. Another way of thinking. This isn’t very concrete, but I find more and more that I think I’m thinking in a similar manner to a neurotypical person, but then I mention what I’m thinking out loud and yeah, I’m not. But so many times, this means I have the solution to a problem that no one else thought of, and sometimes? This makes the life of an autistic child better because their parents get it because I was able to articulate it.

4. Repetition is amazing. This applies to so much and has to do with echolalia as well as repetitive movements like stimming, but also? It is why I am good at my job. I’ve been employed for just 2 1/2 months, and you’d think that isn’t even long enough to be good at my job, but I’ve already been training people. I’m fast and accurate and no one at my job but me likes being in the back because it’s boring, and yeah, when it’s slow, it is, but it’s repetitive and perfect and lovely.

5. Language. Language and words are fantastic and I’ve been an avid reader since I learned right before my 4th birthday – when I apparently taught myself. I was reading at a post high school level in the 2nd grade, and I was often in trouble for trying to read novels behind my science textbooks. I majored in English in college, and even taught it myself for two years (a job that I found too stressful because of red tape and paperwork). I love words, and I love what they can do, the images they can evoke, or the things they do to my ears when they’re spoken. There’s a segment from an episode of Sesame Street that includes the phrase “lilting Liliputian lullaby”, and isn’t that just the best thing to say and hear?

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7 thoughts on “The Caffeinated Autistic celebrates 1000 Ausome Things

  1. Just lovely, Rose! I agree that obsessions are marvelous–they add spark and brilliance to every person! Long before my diagnosis, I actively sought out the quirkiest, most obsessive people I could find. It’s more than appreciating my reflection, it’s another’s excitement and intensity for knowledge. Hooray for info dumps! And thank you for sharing!

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  2. Oooh, love this post! And definitely have to agree with the obsessions / special interests – that’s on my list of ausome things too! πŸ™‚ Go on, why *is* SH autistic? πŸ™‚ (One of the reasons I enjoyed the (first) SH movie with Robert Downey Jr. was the scene when Sherlock’s working on putting everything together, and I swear as soon as I saw it I went, “That’s an autistic reaction.” :D)

    Yay! (I’m saying that a lot today.)

    πŸ™‚ tagAught

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  3. I love #3. My favorite memory is during math class, when we all had the same bonus question on a test. The question was pretty difficult for most people in my class, and I was the only one who got full credit. (Although, I didn’t know how to say that out loud without sounding like I was boasting, so I kept quiet!) I realized I had a different way of thinking. What’s even funnier, though, is that there are other questions that the majority of the people will get right, and I’ll have no idea what in the world that question is asking! But then, maybe they were directed to neurotypicals, haha

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  4. Addressing each of your points one by one:
    1. Might wanna think about renaming that, obsessions are pathological. Personally, I prefer the phrase ‘specialist interest’.
    2. Being a tad tired at the moment, I first read ‘handflapped’ as the H-word, then chuckled at my inattentiveness once I realised what it actually said. Thank God for context!
    3. Agreed. Making the sound from my PC clearer without increasing the volume and replacing the soundtracks of my 5th generation consoles would never have been possible if I wasn’t Autistic, IMHO.
    4. Which is why I don’t understand why prospective employers believe we’re unemployable. Give us an appropriate position, and we leave NTs in the dust!
    5. I too love words, and have become an author because of that. People will assume that I’m good at writing despite my Autism, though. Of course, I just point out the fact that I’m good at writing because of my Autism, and that I’m no more ‘inspirational’ than Ellis Peters or Tess Gerritsen.

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