Saturday, April 2, 2011

Autism Awareness Day


Top 10 Terrific Traits of Autistic People
By Lisa Jo Rudy, About.com Guide

If you're sick of hearing about all the "deficits"
challenging people on the
autism spectrum, join the club.
But for every down side to autism,
there seems to be a positive --
an unusual trait that rarely appears among the
"typical" community, but shines out among autistic folk. These pluses are well worth celebrating.

1. Autistic People Rarely Lie
We all claim to value the truth,
but almost all of us tell little white lies.
All, that is, except people on the autism spectrum.
To them, truth is truth --
and a good word from a person on the spectrum
is the real deal.

2. People on the Autism Spectrum Live in the Moment
How often do typical people fail to notice
what's in front of their eyes because
they're distracted by social cues or random chitchat?
People on the autism spectrum truly attend
to the sensory input that surrounds them.
Many have achieved the ideal of mindfulness.

3. People with Autism Rarely Judge Others
Who's fatter? Richer? Smarter?
For people on the autism spectrum, these
distinctions hold much less importance than for typical folks. In fact, people on the spectrum often see
through such surface appearances to discover the real person.

4. Autistic People are Passionate
Of course, not all autistic people are alike.
But many are truly passionate
about the things, ideas and people in their lives.
How many "typical" people can say the same?

5. People with Autism Are Not Tied to Social Expectations
If you've ever bought a car, played a game or
joined a club to fit in, you know
how hard it is to be true to yourself.
But for people with autism, social
expectations can be honestly irrelevant.
What matters is true liking, interest
and passion -- not keeping up with the Joneses.

6. People with Autism Have Terrific Memories
How often do typical people forget directions,
or fail to take note of colors,
names, and other details?
People on the autism spectrum are often much more
tuned in to details. They may have a much better memory than their typical peers for all kinds of critical details.

7. Autistic People Are Less Materialistic
Of course, this is not universally true --
but in general, people with autism
are far less concerned with outward appearance
than their typical peers.
As a result, they worry less about brand names,
hairstyles and other expensive but
unimportant externals than most people do.

8. Autistic People Play Fewer Head Games
Who was that woman, and why were you looking at her?
I know I TOLD you I didn't
mind if you went out, but why did you believe me?
Most autistic people don't
play games like these -- and they assume that you won't either. It's a refreshing and wonderful change
from the Peyton Place emotional roller coaster
that mars too many typical relationships!

9. Autistic People Have Fewer Hidden Agendas
Most of the time, if a person on the autism spectrum
tells you what he wants --
he is telling you what he wants.
No need to beat around the bush, second guess,
and hope you're reading between the lines!

10. People with Autism Open New Doors for Neurotypicals
For some of us neurotypicals, having an autistic person
in our lives has had a
profound positive impact on our perceptions,
beliefs and expectations.

For me, being the mom of a son on the autism spectrum has released me from a
lifetime of "should" -- and offered me a new world of "is."