7 Positive Things about Autism

Let’s be honest: This is hard, this autism business. It’s hard on us. It’s hard on our kids. Those of us who blog have an outlet, a source for venting, and a type of therapy. But we don’t just talk about the hard stuff – trying to get through the day while worrying about the future. We’ve also been known to mention how rewarding it is to have a child with autism, how fulfilling. There is no doubt that our autistic children have enriched our lives.

And so, with that in mind, I give you my 7 Positive Things about Autism:

  1. 1) As special needs parents, we are the most attentive parents around. And that’s a very positive thing. I do believe that if my son were not autistic, I would still be an attentive parent. Of course I would. But the fact is that because he is autistic, I go above and beyond the norm of parenting. It’s harder, and it takes a lot out of us, which would seem like a negative thing. But I’m proud of what we do, the example that we set. I think it’s very positive.
  2. 2) We learn not to take anything for granted. Whether it’s talking, showing empathy, or being able to eat at a restaurant without screaming or writhing on the floor in sensory overload, we notice and appreciate every small step. Because it’s not so small for our kids.
  3. 3) Our ASD kids are unique. They view the world differently, and if we can just be privy to a small part of that, we are indeed blessed.
  4. 4) Nigel’s need for routine helps to keep me more organized. If I already know that we have pizza on Mondays and Fridays, then I don’t have to think about it. Dinner’s already planned two days out of the week. One less thing to deal with.
  5. 5) Autism teaches siblings, relatives, and anyone in contact with our kids – even ourselves! – to be more understanding, patient, and more accepting of people who are different. And that’s a very good way to be in this world.
  6. 6) As a writer, I get some great material because of autism! Whether funny or emotional, I always have entertaining or intriguing topics to discuss.
  7. 7) There is so much to enjoy about our children’s personalities, whether they are verbal or not. My son has a very direct nature, makes interesting echolalic associations and non-verbal mannerisms (even though he is verbal), and is very opinionated. He’s also got some great ideas forming in that ND brain of his. Some ideas are serious, some funny. And for all the difficulties he experiences (and I with him), I can’t imagine him any other way. Believe me, I’ve tried – it’s a natural thing for parents to do, especially on the hard days. But I think what gets us through are all the little quirky wonderful things that further endear us to the children we love.

Please add to the list – what, in your experience, is positive about autism?

10 thoughts on “7 Positive Things about Autism

  1. Fielding J. Hurst

    – Teaches us the fine art of Patience
    – Makes me appreciate my wife for being super mommy.
    – We eat better as a family thanks to special diet, no sugars, dyes, processed food.
    – You haven’t lived until you’ve napped in a hyperbaric chamber.

  2. Anastasia

    *Autism has helped me out in many situations where I needed to know a random piece of trivia or fact due to Nigel’s detailed memory–I wish I had had Nigel to take my history tests for me in school!
    *Also, autism takes creativity to a whole new level!

  3. Fearless Females

    I agree. And thank you for this post. I have been thinking for the last couple of days that I tend to focus on the negative more than the positive… It’s easier to fall into the frustration and negativity.

    But before I read your post, I was walking around my house and thinking that Nick is so fabulous, I wouldnt change a thing about him!!

  4. mama mara

    – One of my son’s autism manifests in a complete inability and unwillingness to lie. It’s a social skill, after all. LOVE that one.
    – For kids who attend school, it’s a great advantage to have a whole team working with you. I feel sorry for the parents of NTs who have to go through school without all the help we get.

    Great post!

  5. Tera

    I have been reading your blog for awhile now, but have never commented. I want to say that your blog fills me with hope. My son is a 14 year old autistic, also high functioning and seems in many ways like Nigel. However, his behavior problems are out of control, and each time I read your blog I seem to be filled with this sense that maybe things will turn out okay. I also wonder just how you do it…you seem so patient in your writings.

    So, what is a positive? All these parents coming together from across the globe learning and helping each other, even if it is just to offer hope and a feeling of belonging.

    Also, my family has become closer. Our united interest in autism always gives us things to talk about, serious issues to discuss. And I know, without a doubt, that if I call crying I will have someone there to help pick me up…someone who maybe doesn’t totally understand the entire story, but is there to offer suggestions and support nonetheless.

    Another, though my husband and I disagree on the manner in which we parent our children, esp. Kaeden, we are still doing it, together, and our relationship is stronger because of it. If we can get through a total out-of-control meltdown together, we can make it through anything.

    Thank you so much for your blog. On those really rough days, I like to come ehre and look for Nigelisms…and then everything seems okay once again!

  6. hellokittiemama/MT

    SO very true. One thing is for certain – our kids are precious gifts. I learn something from Alex just about every day!

    Today he asked to go to the doctor instead of his favorite saturday morning activity he usually does (bowling). I’m just so very thankful he was so honest and able to tell us how he was feeling.

  7. Pingback: Teen Autism » Blog Archive » Pride and Self-Prejudice

  8. Jamie

    I love this post. I never see any positve posts about children with autism or somewhere in the spectrum. My son has pddnos. I feel so blessed to even be his mom and more than likely only the moms of special needs kids will even get that. He is amazing with his musical talents and knowledge of so many things that I had no idea he knew anything about!!! He has made the A/B honor roll all year long, in the 8th grade and has ‘passed’ but we are going to keep him in the 8th grade again because even though he is making superb grades, it’s on a 6th and 7th grade level so jr. high may be a little too much just yet. He is very loving and compassionate to anyone he meets. I couldn’t imagine life without him :) I have a special place in my heart for everyone of you loving parents!

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