Health Wise: Autism Spectrum - Let's Talk Positives

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Hello again,

In our two most recent blogs, we talked about the importance of early detection for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and common mis-diagnoses and co-occurring diagnoses with ASD. Click on those links if you missed those! In our final blog of this 3-part ASD series, we wanted to focus on some positives! While understanding symptoms and services is extremely important, we need to highlight another “s-word” - strengths!

We’re hoping for better understanding, advocacy, support, and appreciation for the uniqueness of people with autism, or autistic persons. Every individual with ASD is unique, varying not just within the spectrum, but with personal strengths, personality traits, and ways of seeing the world.

While working with individuals within the ASD community, we have had the privilege of seeing some of these strengths and unique perspectives, and we wanted to share them with our audience.

Here are some positive qualities we’ve noticed in individuals with ASD:

  • Honesty, being direct - telling it like it is, no guesswork required!
  • Attention to detail - noticing things others might overlook
  • Organization - with physical things as well as tasks and responsibilities
  • Intense focus - especially on topics they’re interested in
  • Unique perspectives and problem solving techniques
  • Objectivity/logic- making important decisions with less interference from emotions
  • Great information-finding skills - important for research, decision-making, etc.
  • Great understanding of rules- knowing, following, and urging others to follow rules
  • Loyalty and commitment - “stick-to-itness” in a wide range of situations
  • Visual reasoning - understanding visual and spatial concepts, non-verbal concepts

And that’s just to name a few! A lot of focus is placed on the things individuals with ASD “struggle” with or “cannot do”, but there are so many strengths and talents present for those on the spectrum. Often, when the brain is impaired in some areas, other areas may work harder, so it is not uncommon to find unique and exceptional strengths in the same brain that apparent deficits are present. Some unique areas in which individuals with ASD may excel include:

  • Art
  • Music
  • Technology
  • Engineering/building
  • Writing
  • Mathematics
  • Memorizing facts in a wide range of other academic, career, and leisure situations

While being on the Autism Spectrum poses many challenges for individuals and those caring for them, there are so many unique qualities and strengths present in Autistic individuals. Having a client, a family member, or a friend on the Autism Spectrum can be very rewarding. It is so important for us to share positive information that takes the focus off what these individuals can’t do, and instead highlights strengths and unique qualities whenever possible. Let’s take a page from individuals with ASD and try to see things from a different perspective. It can make all the difference!

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