I had previously posted an article “To Recognize One’s Faults.” about how acknowledging one’s faults or weaknesses is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. In it, I used my own example of dealing with my High Functioning Autism. A few days later, my grandmother (paternal) emailed me telling me how much she liked the article and agreed with it, except for Autism being a weakness. Thus, I feel a point of clarification needs to be made on the subject.
I in no way believe that autism is a weakness. I believe just the opposite, that it is very much a strength. I had thought I made that clear in my article when in the end I concluded that I think all weaknesses aren’t weaknesses per say, but hidden strengths that just needs some “ironing out.” Obviously, I did not make the issue clear enough or left some room for confusion.
So to correct the issue, no I don’t believe that Autism is a weakness, but is in fact very much a strength. Now it is a strength that does need work to make use of and to be productive, but it is very much a strength. What do I mean by needing work? Quite simply that while autism is in no way a weakness, it can become one if it is allowed to and it is, can be, and will be a strength if it is allowed to be.
Autism, in no way, makes those you have it “less whole” or less human. In no way does Autism limit the potential growth of those with it when compared to every other “normal” person. Yet, at the same time, it is a challenging development that those who have it must live with their whole lives. They can still do pretty much anything anyone else can do if they put the work and effort into it, just like anyone else; the only difference is that in social interaction and staying focused on goals, they in most cases have to work harder. Those with Autism are in a lot of ways, in their “own little words” compared to everyone around them.
But it is exactly this aspect of Autism that makes it a strength. For because one who has autism (like myself) is in his/her own world and is often more focused on one thing or interest at the expense of almost all others, one can and will often see things that others don’t or can’t. Autism in a lot of ways gives those with it a whole different perspective on different things and life in general than those around them.
So to recap, Autism is neither a weakness nor a strength but is either one depending on what the person with it and the people close to the person, makes of it. Although, Autism in my view does have a lot more potential for being a strength than a weakness. Those with Autism, are in no way less intelligent than anyone else; actually in a lot of ways it can make them smarter than others (in their own way). Let me know your thoughts on Autism. Do you think it is a strength or weakness and why?