This whole month is autism awareness month, with lots of organisations lighting it up blue yesterday for the United Nations Autism Awareness Day; 7000 landmarks and buildings including he Empire State building.
I was expecting some presents or cards at least from my nearest and dearest on my second ever Autism Day, seeing as I’ve missed the last 7, and especially from my mum and dad after all the years I’ve been conned out of mother and father’s day presents. However, none have yet arrived so I have decided to celebrate it by acknowledging all the great benefits of being autistic, and then inflicting this list on other people to read – well you should have got me a present, it serves you right.
1. Stimming. No neurotypical person would be able to derive quite so much pleasure from watching the washing machine go round or by scratching material. Aspertypicals may get stressed easier, but it doesn’t take much for us to zone out. I therefore propose weekly wash days for the rest of this month in celebration.
2. Speaking what’s on your mind and having no worry about what people will think. Admittedly I’m still just a learner at this, and there’s a fine line that asperger’s doesn’t give you an excuse to cross…apparently. But once I get the hang of it I’m sure it’ll be a great social relief!
3. Talents. A lot of folk on the spectrum seem to have some exceptional talents; sometimes known as savant skills. To the majority of us on the spectrum, they’re probably a slightly milder and less impacting kind of talent, but nonetheless they can give us an advantage over the neurotypical population, who are all too busy multi-tasking and connecting with people to focus on these latent skills.
4. An exceptional tolerance for being alone. Not to be mistaken with an exceptional tolerance for loneliness, but were we ever to be stranded on a dessert island, at least we wouldn’t bore ourselves to death.
5. Attention to detail. Annoying to everyone else, but a valuable skill when you’re trying to do a spot the difference puzzle or playing Monopoly.
To learn more about Autism Awareness Month, and some amazing pictures from Light it up Blue please go to www.lightitupblue.org.