The Top 10+ Reasons I Love Individuals with ASDs

24 Sep

In a few hours, I will be teaching a course at a local college about ASDs, an ASD 101 of sorts. I have decided that my pre-class warm-up won’t be to review my slides again. It will be to revel in all the reasons I am so blessed to know and work with individuals with ASDs.

Please join me in creating this list. What do you cherish about your loved one with ASD? What do you love about yourself, if you are an individual with ASD?

1. Honesty, honesty, honesty. It engenders trust, respect, humor, and, yes, those sticky little faux pas.

2. A sense of humor that cannot be matched. (Most recent case in point: In complimenting a client’s skill growth, he quipped, “How should I deal with that growth? Remove it, watch it, scrape it?” Maybe you had to be there, but I was on the floor laughing.)

3. Integrity — not to be confused or mislabeled as rigidity, black-and-white thinking, or rule-governed behavior. Integrity — standing up for what you believe in with pride and strength.

4. Curiosity, not just about why Pi is an infinite number but also about things far-more esoteric, perhaps useless, and infinitely (pun intended) annoying about NTs.

5. An undying spirit to make friends, no matter what the last bully/jerk has said about Pokemon.

6. Remembering what I said last week when I’ve forgotten (purposefully or not).

7. Putting things into perspective (maybe not the NT perspective, but maybe it should be). “You’re having surgery, Jeanne?” “Yep, on Monday.” “Well, you’ll get to stay home and play video games. ”

8. Perseverance not to be confused with perseverating  (that nasty diagnostic symptom). I will tell you all about why the Stamp Act was repealed, how I beat Halo:Reach on legendary, and why the Chicago O’Hare airport is a engineering disaster.

9. The expectation to not assume the worst . “Don’t do it, mom, don’t,” a client said the other day. “Don’t say.” Mom interrupts, “Well, I was proud of you, Hugh.” “Yeah, mom, and that word — proud — assumes I couldn’t do it in the first place. I could and can and will, when the time arises.”

10. Logic. “I don’t need geometry to buy groceries. Why should I do it?” I’m still trying to figure that out.

What would you add?


Posted by on September 24, 2010 in ASD in the Grand Scheme


13 responses to “The Top 10+ Reasons I Love Individuals with ASDs

  1. gbe

    September 24, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    Nonchalance – “Where are you going Ben?” “On a walk.” Three hours later I find out he walked to the bookstore, the coffee shop and back – probably two solid hours of walking.

    • jholverstott

      September 25, 2010 at 5:21 AM

      In that 60 minutes of shopping, another reason I love individuals with ASDs may have presented itself: Total engrossment in what they love, be it manga, hot rods, railroads, or movies of the 1920s.

  2. Kathleen

    September 25, 2010 at 1:02 AM

    My 19 year old son hugs everybody. He doesn’t realize that it isn’t appropriate to hug your male friends, your teachers, your parent’s friends, and people you just met. He is 6′ 3″ and has huge shoulders. When he hugs a person they know they have been hugged.

    • jholverstott

      September 25, 2010 at 5:22 AM

      There is nothing better than a bear hug — a hug that hugs back.

  3. Christopher Duvall

    September 25, 2010 at 5:22 AM

    Those seem to pretty much sum up my son and me. The brutal honesty and the social quirks that both of us have.

  4. Maureen Soricelli

    September 25, 2010 at 8:36 AM

    You have done a great job of rounding up what makes people with ASD great. I think the best thing about my son is that he is someone who reminds me not to worry. I think he is calmer about the ups and downs in life than I would have expected him to be. He’s dependable, trustworthy, analyzes the best way to do things, and follows up on the path he chooses.
    I asked a child with ASD how he thought he should do a particular task one time, and he said to me, “Do you think we should do this with a little love?” I told him that we should do everything with a little love. And that’s how you work with these children and adults, with a little love.

    • jholverstott

      September 25, 2010 at 3:37 PM

      Thank you for your comment. It literally caused an “oh yeah!” when you wrote “analyzes the best way to do things, and follows up”. So true and so admirable.

  5. Casdok

    September 26, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    My son wont tolerate staff ‘socialising’ on thier mobiles. Good for him!
    And i have learnt not to sweat the small stuff in life 🙂

  6. SKL

    September 27, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    My daughter has taught me to dance with abandon…always…no matter if it’s at the Farmers Market or in our living room or in church!

    • jholverstott

      September 27, 2010 at 10:56 PM

      I have a big smile on my face about this one. I have so much self-consciousness about dancing that the thought of her dancing is wonderful. Thank you for sharing and maybe your daughter BFAB — Born from a Boombox?!

  7. Emma Apple

    October 21, 2010 at 5:06 AM

    Love love this post! Definitely describes my daughter and myself too!

    I’m sure there are things I’d add, but I think you captured it in your list so well.

  8. Mel

    October 21, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    Great post!
    Simplicity – I have a (almost) 3 year old who is yet to be diagnosed. He has many autistic traits though, including the ability to find beauty and an overwhelming sense of enjoyment in the simplest of things… Bubbles, balloons, spinning in circles, and my favorite, watching a feather or a piece of fluff float to the ground over and over again. When he’s excited, he smiles with his entire being. It just beams out of him and touches the hearts of those around him. I’ve never seen anything like it. He helps myself and others to appreciate the simple things in life, despite all of his complexities.

    Thank you for sharing and allowing me to share too.
    🙂 Mel

    • jholverstott

      October 21, 2010 at 3:13 PM

      Absolutely so true. So simple that it’s easy to overlook. Thanks, Mel, for adding to the infinite list!


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