Top Five Reasons Why I Love People with Autism:
1. They are usually honest. In my world it can be a celebration when the girl attempts, or even better when she succeeds, at lying. To lie requires the ability to think outside of yourself and predict someone else’s response, which is usually very difficult for someone with autism. At other time the honesty is not exactly tactful, such as the moments when the girl tells me exactly how she is feeling about what I am wearing.
2. They see the world in a way that most of us wish we could. A person with autism is not one to live with the notion that the grass is always greener–instead, they live in a place of acceptance of what is. My girl has never felt that she was anything more than the perfection that she is. She doesn’t wish she looked any different or had anything different. She is totally cool with herself.
3. They are courageous. A person with autism tries to fit into our world, day after day after day after day. The moments when the social or sensory world becomes too much, they have strategies to help them maneuver our world. They work hard everyday doing the things that come natural for most of us; greeting others, initiating a conversation, advocating, chit-chatting. Day after day….that takes courage.
4. They are real. What you see is what you get. Period. No false pretenses and no need to fluff up the persona. Imagine being so completely okay with who you are that you let go of the need to prove yourself. Or you no longer seek outside approval. You are exposed and you are completely okay with that. My girl cares very little about fitting in or wearing the latest trends. She does her best and for her, that is as real as it gets.
5. They are enthusiast about what they love. For many people with autism, when they love something, the completely and totally love it. And for the rest of us, the things they love are not usually things we might love. Train schedules, presidents, weather patterns, dinosaurs, telephone books, reptile species, dog breeds, electronic circuit boards, food additives, Japan, menu items. All enthusiastically and completely loved.