Saturday, November 12, 2011

We are Just Different...

Autism has its advantages and disadvantages, just like anything else.  We are not superior or inferior to anyone.  We are just different, that's all.  Whatever sensory issues or other weaknesses we might have are equally compensated by something else.  Someone with autism might feel uncomfortable sensations while being hugged, but he might know everything that can be learned about cats.  He might be able to perceive what a cat is feeling by its posture or other factors; much like Temple Grandin has proven she is capable of doing with horses and livestock. 

I believe that there is always trade-offs: meaning for a good characteristic to be present, something equally negative also has to be present to balance out a person’s abilities.  If social skills are a weakness to someone with Aspergers Syndrome, then some other area of their life is enhanced.
The thing people fear in autism is nothing more than the unknown.  When a parent is faced with an autism diagnosis for their child, they often do not know what to expect from that child.  Parents receive many messages: they have doctors telling them that their child will never live a normal life, and also have others telling them their autistic child is unusually gifted.  The fear of the unknown magnifies whatever issues might exist in the eyes of a parent. 

We who have autism are our own separate category.  We are not inferior or superior to anyone just because we are different.  We cannot be compared to someone who does not have autism.  We can only be compared to others are like ourselves. Most especially, we who have autism should be compared to those who are on the spectrum and lead successful lives.

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