Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
I give credit to my being in a better place to my having learned I have ASD. It’s one thing to live with it in the dark; it’s quite another to live with ASD in the light.
What I lack in seeing the big picture I make up with my “attention to detail”. While others peer through a telescope, I eye through a microscope lens.
I am not a non-show at appointments; not a latecomer either. The appointment date, time, and details are on my mind from the date I made it to when the appointment is history. I lived the appointment in my imagination numerous times before the real one takes place. The appointment seldom, though, ever plays out as it did in my imagination. I say that is a good thing since I tend to go for the worst-case scenario in my dreams.
My elderly Mom never has to remind me the lawn needs mowing, edging, or shrubs need trimming. It is because I look forward to doing this yard chores. Really! It is only because of one of my ASD obsessions is electric or battery-powered gadgets. Mowers, edgers, and battery-operated clippers are members of my herd of gadgets. And when I use them, these gadgets get a work-out! The weeds are doomed when I rev up my gear. One would be hard-pressed to find a yard or alley more trimmed than the one under my thumbs.
I have strong attention to detail. This is the reason why the person who taught me library cataloging told me I was a “natural”. It was the job I held the longest and earned me the most awards and most of all, that awesome feeling of success!
I source my passion for writing as an ASD trait. My self-diagnosis came about through working as a substitute teacher’s aide with elementary students who have Autism. After I was introduced to my ASD, I began writing about living on the Spectrum and some of my blogs were about the students I had met. One of the blogs was about a student who not only had Autism, but other challenges that had so far denied him the ability to talk or to walk. But he could smile and I wrote about that. My blog got the attention of the special education teacher of the student I was writing about even though I didn’t reveal his identity or the school. She forwarded the blog to the students’ mother. I later had the privilege of meeting the mother in person who thanked me for writing about her son. It was one of the most beautiful moments in my life. If I had not had ASD, it never would have happened.
There is a bright side to my ASD. It is worth it to take the time to ponder over the bright side and appreciate its glow amidst the darkness ASD brings as well. Oh, yes, ASD is a thorn in my side, but I for one know it is a blessing to my soul.