Springingtiger's Blog

Autism Awareness: Autism Affirmation Month

Over the last couple of days I have had cause to give encouragement to a couple of online friends, one of whom in the past – like myself – used chemicals to cope, and another who – as I did when much younger – has issues with their appearance. I don’t know if Aspergers makes us more prone to feeling bad about ourselves, but I suspect our inability to function normally in society probably damages our ability to feel good about ourselves.

When I got my diagnosis I was told that there were social groups for people with Aspergers, to which my wife responded, “That’s Facebook isn’t it?” it was meant as a joke, but it is not too far from the truth. Last year I was sliding into one of my periodic depressions and on a couple of occasions I was greatly supported by the comments of friends online. When I was considering stopping writing my blog because I saw no point in it, I was immediately contacted by several people who said that my blog helped people, I needed that verification. Aspies tend neither to ask for help nor for feedback which means not only do we not make corrections when we need, but neither do we receive the encouragement we need.

Perhaps if we did were not made to feel so at odds with society we may feel better about ourselves, but we are different from the average and we are made to feel bad about it. It is time to stop feeling guilty about not being average and to accentuate the positive. I know many parents of “severely” autistic children hate autism, and that is perfectly understandable, yet again and again these same parents share amazingly positive stories about their children. Those of us who are “high functioning” are frequently aware that our condition brings with it many positives as well as negatives. It is time that, instead of just focusing on the aspects of autism from which we would be happy to be free, we should play up the good. I think it’s time we also made a point of not only recognising the benefits we receive from our conditions, but to look for the positives in others and congratulate them. I don’t think we should play down the difficulties that some people and their families experience, but we should celebrate whatever is good. We may not be the same as average people but we are not worse, neither are we to be pitied.

Each of us has positive characteristics to celebrate, some of us are more logical, totally honest, systematic, analytical, logical, some of us are very demonstrative of emotion and some of us show very little, we may be musical, artistic, some may have great memories Society may not yet be ready to adapt to us, but we are still here, we are Autism and we are strong.


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