The Smaller Slices of the Trait Pie

I think of my Autism traits as that of a pie chart.  Some traits make up smaller slices of the pie than others.

One such piece is abnormal/poor posture.  I relate to “poor” myself.  My Mom often said “Sit up” but I never got the hang of that.

Another autism trait that there isn’t as much chatter about is trouble with left/right/directions.  Now I know my left and right but I have to THINK about it when I am prompted to turn L or R.  I’m guessing my accuracy rate is in the 50% range.

I’m not quick on my feet.  So I go right when I meant left, I pull the door instead of push, I turn counter-clockwise instead of clockwise.  It is worse when I get a bruise or more when I accelerate instead of using the brake when riding my electric bike.

Then, there are the strange rituals.  Strange being what my neurotypical friends would call strange.  One that comes to mind is my ritual of when I eat my meals, of what I eat, and how I eat (like how I cut my sandwich) is far from the typical way most people do it.  Another is the odd sayings I’ll repeat to myself every day.  I know they are silly, but they pop out of my mouth anyway.

One of my favorite of the less talked about traits is a connection to animals.  I have a memorable picture in my mind of when I was a child in tears about whatever and sitting in the backyard being comforted by the family dog.  Since I had very few friends, the family dog was my no. 1 playmate.  I was awkward at being a friend to humans, but not to dogs.

Dogs are notorious for knowing when their human family member needs comfort.  I didn’t outgrow that connection.  My favorite post-retirement job is dog-sitting for my brother and sister-in-law at their farm in the remote hills of Oklahoma. I can freely talk to Bleu, Bailey, and Luna.  I can say those silliest things without fear of being overheard.  Although they can’t talk back, there’s no fear of them leaving me behind.

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