Autism spectrum disorder is a range of mental disorders of the neurodevelopmental type. Individuals on the autistic spectrum often experience difficulties with social communication and interaction and may exhibit restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. Long-term problems may include problems in performing daily tasks, creating and keeping relationships, and maintaining a job. That is true only because they are compared with the neurotypical society they live in.
There is another way of looking at their issues and see them as skills. We already do that without knowing. We look up to firefighters, soldiers, and even surgeons. But they aren’t so neurotypical. Their mind and emotions work on different patterns. But we appreciate them. Mostly because they are people we need or might need to keep us alive, because of our survival mechanism.
Neither are geniuses. Whatever the field of action, geniuses aren’t neurotypical. But we are drawn to them. Also, due to our survival mode. Because they get to see and understand what ordinary people can’t, and when they see and understand something, we get to do it also.
But if there is nothing for us in it, then we can’t see the reason to celebrate the untypical. Here are five reasons that might put things into a different perspective when it comes to people with ASD.
They are focused and preoccupied
People with autism develop strong attachment and preoccupation with objects and subjects that seem unusual for us, the neurotypical ones. But also did Van Gogh, with the fields of wheat and sunflowers. When we say that Van Gogh was fixated, it’s a good thing. But when we say the same about an ASD person is offensive. And we ignore the fact that an ASD person can also do things better than us. They can focus better than us, and they can be better researchers than us.
They can be excellent nonverbal communicators
We say that ASD persons aren’t good at nonverbal communication. And still, animals prefer them to us. The correct thing to say would be that they aren’t good at our nonverbal communication. We expect and need everyone to conform, to do what we do. When neurotypical individuals communicate with ASD individuals, they feel uncomfortable because of the lack of eye contact, meaningful gestures, and facial expressions. But how come we enjoy watching ballet and dancers? We usually don’t understand much of their performance, and we don’t master the language. But we’d like to. And autistics can be very good at dancing.
Attention to details
People with ASD have a fantastic skill of finding patterns and anomalies, which makes them a better option in the tech sector than neurotypical individuals. They can be better diagnosticians. In 2015 Microsoft started a program for hiring people with ASD. HP and New Relic also.
Sensory awareness & creativity
They have abnormal responses to sensations, including sights, sounds, touch, and smell, and problems keeping a consistent speech rhythm. But poets do it too. Poets are people that experience the world in a different sensory way to neurotypical people. One study showed that while they may have less quantity of creative ideas, they also have ones of greater quality.
Different is good; it can be meaningful. If we didn’t exclude people with autism spectrum disorder, isolate them, we would get the chance to experience a different side of the world, just like we do when we read poetry.