Blessings of Aspergers/Autism

Autism is a lot of negative things; struggles, meltdowns, sleep, eating, sensory problems, social and school issues, but there are positives!  My Asperger children have a sweet innocence about them, a rare freshness and sense of wonderment.  They are excited about the world around them, with a zest and hunger for learning. (Especially the object/s of there focus) Many of these children are physically beautiful.  Often they are truthful to a fault, blurting out the first thing that pops into their mind, speaking things the rest of us think but would be too polite to say.  Because of their innocence it’s probably going to be accepted better than if it came from another mouth.  They are often very perceptive.  They take everything literal and are usually unprejudiced.   They live in the present, and don’t hold grudges.  

Here’s some very positive Asperger qualities:

1.  They are loyal with impeccable dependability,

2.  They often have the ability to regard others at “face value”.

3.  They speak their mind irrespective of social context or adherence to personal beliefs,

4.  They have the ability to pursue personal theory or perspective despite conflicting evidence,

5.  They have enthusiasm for unique interests and topics,

6.  They have a great consideration of details,

7.  They listen without continual judgment or assumption,

8.  They avoid “ritualistic small talk” or socially trivial statements and superficial conversation,

9.  They seek sincere, positive, genuine friends with an unassuming sense of humor.

10.  They are seekers of truth, conversation free of hidden meaning or agenda,

11.  They often have advanced vocabulary and interest in words.

12.  They are often original with unique perspective in problem solving,

11.  Many have exceptional memory and recall of details often forgotten or disregarded by others, for example: names, dates, schedules, routines, 12. They have avid perseverance in gathering and cataloging information on a topic of interest,

13.  Many are persistence of thought, encyclopedic or “CD ROM” knowledge of one or more topics,

14.  Many have knowledge of routines and a focused desire to maintain order and accuracy,

15.  Many have clarity of values/decision making unaltered by political or financial factors

16.  Many are sensitive to specific sensory experiences and stimuli, for example: hearing, touch, vision, and/or smell

17.  Many have strength in individual sports and games, particularly those involving endurance or visual accuracy, including rowing, swimming, bowling, chess

18.  many are the “Social unsung hero” with trusting optimism:

19.  Many are frequent victims of social weaknesses of others, while steadfast in the belief of the possibility of genuine friendship

 

Many Aspergers have the amazing ability to absorb facts easily in their brains. They are fascinated by facts and dates, have a rote memory, a good memory (they remember lot of things about their life), can hear things normal people can’t hear, they tend to remember things back when they were real young like 2 or 1 or below, they can memorize lines from movies, they have narrow interests, tend to be walking encyclopedias, they see things differently than others, outside interests like reading about weather instead of learning what they’re learning in school.  When my girls were younger they would often spend days in their room, reading a set of children’s encyclopedias.

 

Lest any of you feel discouraged about your Asperger child’s future, here is a list of people who by today’s diagnostic criteria would have been labeled Aspergers:

 

Jane Austen, 1775-1817, English novelist, author of Pride and Prejudice

Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827, German/Viennese composer

Alexander Graham Bell, 1847-1922, Scottish/Canadian/American inventor of the telephone

Anton Bruckner, 1824-1896, Austrian composer

Henry Cavendish, 1731-1810, English/French scientist, discovered the composition of air and water

Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886, US poet

Thomas Edison, 1847-1931, US inventor

Albert Einstein, 1879-1955, German/American theoretical physicist

Henry Ford, 1863-1947, US industrialist

Oliver Heaviside, 1850-1925, English physicist

Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826, US politician

Carl Jung, 1875-1961, Swiss psychoanalyst

Franz Kafka, 1883-1924, Czech writer

Wasily Kandinsky, 1866-1944, Russian/French painter

H P Lovecraft, 1890-1937, US writer

Gustav Mahler, 1860-1911, Czech/Austrian composer

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791, Austrian composer

Isaac Newton, 1642-1727, English mathematician and physicist

Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900, German philosopher

Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970, British logician

George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish playwright, writer of Pygmalion, critic and Socialist

Richard Strauss, 1864-1949, German composer

Nikola Tesla, 1856-1943, Serbian/American scientist, engineer, inventor of electric motors

Henry Thoreau, 1817-1862, US writer

Alan Turing, 1912-1954, English mathematician, computer scientist and cryptographer

Mark Twain, 1835-1910, US humorist

Vincent Van Gogh, 1853-1890, Dutch painter

Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1889-1951, Viennese/English logician and philosopher

 

Historical people prominent in the late twentieth century (died after 1975)

Isaac Asimov, 1920-1992, Russian/US writer on science and of science fiction

Hans Asperger, 1906-1980, Austrian pediatric doctor after whom Asperger’s Syndrome is named

John Denver, 1943-1997, US musician

Glenn Gould, 1932-1982, Canadian pianist

Jim Henson, 1936-1990, creator of the Muppets, US puppeteer, writer, producer, director, composer

Alfred Hitchcock, 1899-1980, English/American film director

Howard Hughes, 1905-1976, US billionaire

Andy Kaufman, 1949-1984, US comedian, subject of the film Man on the Moon

L S Lowry, 1887-1976, English painter of “matchstick men”

Charles Schulz, 1922-2000, US cartoonist and creator of Peanuts and Charlie Brown

Andy Warhol, 1928-1987, US artist

 

Contemporary famous people

Woody Allen, 1935-, US comedian, actor, writer, director, producer, jazz clarinettist

Bob Dylan, 1941- , US singer-songwriter

Joseph Erber, 1985-, young English composer/musician who has Asperger’s Syndrome

Bobby Fischer, 1943-, US chess champion

Bill Gates, 1955-, US global monopolist

Al Gore, 1948-, former US Vice President and presidential candidate

David Helfgott, 1947-, Australian pianist, subject of the film Shine

Garrison Keillor, 1942-, US writer, humorist and host of Prairie Home Companion

Kevin Mitnick, 1963-, US “hacker”

John Nash, 1928-, US mathematician (portrayed by Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind)

Keith Olbermann, 1959-, US sportscaster

Michael Palin, 1943-, English comedian and presenter

Oliver Sacks, 1933-, UK/US neurologist, author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

James Taylor, 1948-, US singer/songwriter

Dan Akroyd Saturday Night Live

 

And so many more!

 

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Was there anyone on the list provided that surprised you?

 

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0 thoughts on “Blessings of Aspergers/Autism

  • July 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm
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    I am a 48 year old woman with Asperger’s. This means that the truth is very important to me, even if it shows me in a poor light. Although many of the traits on that list are true, some are wide of the mark. We most certainly can hold grudges. I have taken offence at things people have done, and taken action against them, and carried it on for a long, long time. A lifetime of being misunderstood, not understanding others, and feeling all the shame and anger that brings, makes many of us bitter and paranoid – not to mention the loneliness that goes along with our baffled social skills. Yes, we have many excellent traits, but we can be deeply unpleasant too. This is because we are HUMAN.

    I’m sorry if this page is meant to pep up people whose kids have been diagnosed, but I don’t like being painted as something I’m not, and something which I do not recognise at all in the other AS adults I’ve been in touch with.

    You do us no favours by pretending we’re innocent little angels.

    Oh, and beautiful? I’ve had males screeching, “Ugly cow!” at me for as long as I can remember.

    Reply
  • July 3, 2009 at 12:15 pm
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    @keystspf – that is interesting to hear, I suppose I judged without doing research but it just seemed like a bit of an absurd statement to make. I have met many kids with autism  (I used to volunteer with children with disabilities including autism, fragile X etc) and although they did have many traits that made them endearing, i didn’t find them any more attractive than the average child. by narrowing it down to HFA/aspbergers, maybe there is something to be said for it and I just hasn’t met any people who had aspbergers yet (that i have known)

    Reply
  • July 3, 2009 at 12:09 pm
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    @zoedark@xanga – It is rather odd, but several people have pointed this out on other sites as well, that the majority of kids with Aspergers/HFA are really outwardly quite beautiful. This is not the first time I have heard this, though it would be rather difficult to “prove” since such things are extremely subjective. As they say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” 

    Reply
  • July 1, 2009 at 10:32 pm
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    <table x:str=”” border=”0″ width=”348″ cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″><tbody><tr height=”111″>
    <td class=”xl24″ width=”348″ height=”111″>Interesting
    post. I agree with you totally. On another aspect, my take is that <a
    href=”http://www.mmpp.com.sg/child-development.html”>asperger’s
    syndrome during the early stages should be attended and no parent
    should ever forget that.

    Reply
  • June 29, 2009 at 3:27 pm
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    As someone who has grown up with a younger brother who has been called myriad names because of his extreme social awkwardness, and who has only just learned that he likely suffers from Aspergers, this list was really beautiful. 🙂 And very true. For as awkward and unintelligible as my brother can be, he is fiercely loyal, says what he means and his memory of the most random occurrences is sharp as a tack. 

    Reply
  • June 29, 2009 at 3:22 pm
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    @AubreyMcFate@xanga – I totally agree with this. Additionally ‘Many of these children are physically beautiful.” I have absolutely no clue where this came from, I mean all children can be physically beautiful I don’t see how aspergers has anything to do with it.

    Reply
  • June 29, 2009 at 2:41 am
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    Cool. Like the list. Autistic kids are great. Alot of these things on the list apply to me as well so it’s cool being around them.

    Reply
  • June 28, 2009 at 2:09 pm
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    2 of my best friends in college had Aspergers, and they definitely had several of the qualities on the list…

    I was surprised by some of the people on the list, but not all of them. Jane Austin surprised me, as did Al Gore. But like AubreyMcFate, I do wonder where the list comes from.

    Reply
  • June 27, 2009 at 9:04 pm
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    This was a great post!  My son who’s brain is autistic – shares many of these features of superior memory, great sense of humor, knows when a joke is actually funny.  It is those little things that make my day.  I always tell people that it does get easier…and the rewards are amazing!  thanks!

    Reply
  • June 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm
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    I MAJOR IN THE CHILD DEVELOPMENT FIELD AND I’VE WORKED WITH AUTISTIC KIDS BEFORE AND THEY’RE JUST FULL OF LIFE AND I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE WON’T ACCEPT THEM… I ENJOY BEING AROUND THEM… YOU’D BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH JOY THEY BRING TO YOU ONCE YOU GET TO KNOW THEM IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY!!

    Reply
  • June 27, 2009 at 2:55 pm
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    EARN MONEY DOING WHAT YOU DO ON XANGA!

    A couple facts…

    1) Xanga makes over $8 million a MONTH from advertising alone.

    2) Myspace makes almost $25 million

    WE, the users, don’t get any of this, even though WE are the ones
    making the pages, writing the blogs and uploading the pictures!

    There’s a brand new social networking site which actually pays its members just to use it!

    The site has all of the features of xanga, but here’s the best bit, the more you use it, the more you get paid!

    You think xanga has everything you need- That’s fine! I love xanga, and
    only use this site to make money. Simply join with this link,

    http://r.yuwie.com/russ-bus/

    Reply
  • June 27, 2009 at 12:31 pm
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    Awesome post!  I have two kids with Asperger’s and one high functioning Autistic little boy and I think they are the most incredible people on the planet.  Thanks for this post

    Reply
  • June 27, 2009 at 7:02 am
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    Thank for your encouraging comments! Good for you Robin! What the world perceives as a lemon, some have made wonderful lemonade from it. We all have choices. Some chose to wallow in “poor me” while others are “more than conquerors!”

    Reply
  • June 26, 2009 at 9:05 pm
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    Wonderful! Thank you! Oh, and you can add my name to the list of futurefamous Aspies: Robin A., dancer, author, musician. 

    Reply
  • June 26, 2009 at 8:26 pm
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    You forgot that some of us are Vulcans!  haha.  =)  You sound like an awesome mom.

    Reply
  • June 26, 2009 at 4:57 pm
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    I am actually a bit suprised by a couple of the names on that list. Great post.

    Reply
  • June 26, 2009 at 4:49 pm
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    I like the fact that you pointed out that Aspies are truth seekers. All the  more reason for more people go out and get to know those with the syndrome.

    Reply
  • June 26, 2009 at 1:15 pm
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    Lovely post. Thank you for showing the world that Aspies/Autistics aren’t all as bad as the social stigma of the label claims. 

    Kudos. 

    Reply

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