What is positive about autism? What is awesome (ausome) about autism?
I thought about this a lot last night when I was trying to work out what to write for the autism positivity flash blog. At first I thought I would write about myself, but I couldn’t think of anything about me that is awesome. I’ve had people tell me that I’m an awesome writer, editor, cat mom, and autism/Asperger advocate. But I could be any of those things without being autistic.
I could write about the positive things that I find come along with being autistic. I could write about how my being very auditory-oriented helps me to write dialogue when I write fiction. I could write about how being extremely detail-oriented makes me a good editor. I could write about how my auditory hypersensitivity makes me good at transcription.
I have decided, however, to write about what I find to be one of the most ausome things about autism, and that is the autism community and the ausome people in that community.
In the eight years since I was diagnosed autistic — and the eight years before that, when I was looking for a diagnosis — I have met many ausome people. In that time I’ve also worked to bring people together, to help autistic people meet and support and learn from each other through my Asperger Meetup Group and my participation in the ANCA Naturally Autistic organization. After I attended the Naturally Autistic Awards, Convention and Festival last year I made dozens of new friends from all over the world.
I belong to many online autism communities where people post questions and ask for help and information, and there are always autistic people and parents of autistic children who are willing to give help and advice to those who ask for it.
There are many people in the larger autistic community who work hard to change people’s attitudes about autism from negativity to positivity. There are self-advocacy organizations and parent organizations. There are probably more than a thousand ausome autistic people who are working to make the world a more positive place for us, and I am just one of them. I guess that makes me ausome too.