It is known that there are three main areas of difficulty for children with autism. Communication and language, social skills and repetitive and inflexible behaviours. These areas may need extra focus and more time to develop but there are actually many positives to autism that are often overlooked, below are just a few of my favourites.
Highly dedicated to their interests
Having a particular topic that you’re passionate about is not usually looked as as a negative, so why should it be with autism. Yes, the obsession can be more intense, but this can be really good for a child’s social skills if they find a friend with a similar interest. It can be great for looking for volunteering or schemes. Say, if the passion was animals, many zoos and farms hire people with autism as they have a high knowledge of their area of interest and are committed. Take a look at Acorn farm for example.
Children with autism many not always say the right thing in social situations, but who does really anyway? The one thing I love the most about the children I know with autism, is you know exactly where you stand. They’ll tell you what they are thinking with little regard to how it will make you feel. It such a fresh take on life and no second guessing what they’ve said.
Attention to detail
Many children struggle to see the ‘big picture’ in their school work or issues and focus more on the small problems, regardless of their importance. However, this is actually a very good skill to have as children grow up. Noticing small details that change the big picture, that other people may not, can be a crucial skill that many employers look for.
Question and challenge the norms
Having a different way of thinking, than people considered neurotypical, can mean that it can be difficult to create friendships when each person doesn’t understand the others way of thinking. However, being able to view things differently and question things that other have not before, can create revolutionary ideas. Take Charles Darwin. Many historians believe he was autistic because of his attention to detail and the questioning of life itself, that many people before had simply overlooked before.
This is only a simple list and many people with autism will have some or many more different traits. Nobody should ever few autism as a negative, it is simple just a difference between people.
And where would the world be if we were all exactly the same?