"I am 25 years old and have recently found out I have aspergers syndrome (or ASD), although obviously I have felt different all my life. I was bullied incredibly badly at school, and there were times when I had to leave for a month or so. Besides the bullying, I had a very difficult upbringing with an alcoholic father who passed away when I was 19. Despite this, I have a good job as a teacher and have dreams and aspirations of becoming a psychologist. Aspies find life difficult, overwhelming and stressful, and my struggle with all the symptoms is daily, but that doesn't mean we can't live a long, happy, successful and fulfilling life, which I 100% plan to do."
A positive attitude is very refreshing. I wish more people on the autism spectrum had a positive outlook on life. And there's no good reason they shouldn't due to the fact that there are significantly more "positives" associated with Asperger's than negatives.
Here are just a few examples:
1. They possess unique global insights. Their ability to find novel connections among multidisciplinary facts and ideas allows them to create new and coherent insight that "neurotypicals" probably would not have reached without them.
2. They have the ability to make logical decisions. Their skill at making rational decisions and sticking to their course of action without being swayed by impulse or emotional reactions allows them to navigate successfully through difficult circumstances without being pulled off course.
3. They possess an internal motivation rather than being swayed by social convention, other people's opinions, or social pressure. They can hold firm to their own purpose. And their unique ideas can flourish, despite the critics.
4. They are independent thinkers. Their willingness to consider unpopular or unusual possibilities generates new options and opportunities and can lead the way for others.
5. They can be highly focused. Their ability to concentrate on one objective over long periods of time without becoming distracted allows them to accomplish difficult tasks.
6. They have the ability to cut through the bullshit. Their ability to recognize and speak the truth that is being "conveniently" ignored by other people is crucial to the success of a project or endeavor.
7. They pay close attention to detail. Their ability to remember and process minute details without getting side-tracked or weighed down gives them a distinct advantage when solving complicated problems.
8. They tend to be 3-dimensional thinkers. Their ability to utilize 3-dimensional visioning gives them a unique perspective when creating solutions.
And this just scratches the surface. In addition to the positives listed above, people on the autism spectrum also have these attributes:
- an ability to focus on tasks for a long period of time without needing supervision
- are not tied to social expectations
- excellent rote memory
- have terrific memories
- higher fluid intelligence (i.e., the ability to find meaning in confusion and to draw inferences and understand the relationships of various concepts, independent of acquired knowledge)
- higher than average IQ in many cases
- highly gifted in one or more areas (e.g., math, music, engineering)
- less materialistic than the general population
- passionate about their special interests
- play fewer head games than most people
- rarely judge others
- tend to live in the moment
- are very honest and loyal
People with ASD are unique individuals who carry a host of skills and attributes that have the potential to become powerful tools to self-empowerment. As with everyone of us, what they focus on will become their reality.
So, if they focus on fixing their deficits, more deficits seem to show up in their life. If, on the other hand, they focus on their special skills, more of these skills begin to appear. This is why a positive attitude is so very important. A positive attitude literally drives your destiny!
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