A Little Bit About Autism

A Little Bit About Autism

Living with autism is unique. Like all diagnosis, there is a wide spectrum of varying degrees of those with autism. I am “high-functioning autistic.” It is a condition that today allows me the focus, tenacity, and attention to detail I require to succeed as a writer. It’s toughened me up without evicting my artist’s childlike wonder.

Autistic people are not close-talkers or big-hug-giving folk. Personal space is a big deal. For us: The smaller the party, the better. Our brains translate the external world in shock waves. As people move around the room, various conversations, the smell of awful cologne, lights intensely florescent, someone’s high-pitched laugh- autistic people ingest it all at once, all the time. However, sensory overload can be purged through writing. That’s exactly what I do with poetry.

Social cues are frustratingly hard to translate. The way a person’s tone clashes with their body language will linger as confusion long after the conversation is over. Prolonged eye contact is unnerving. If a sudden sound shocks someone with autism, it pisses us off – bad. We are far more sensitive to smells, the texture of food, the fabric of our clothes, a change in daily routine.

Once a psychiatrist explained autism to me, the peace it gave me still goes strong today. Diagnosed in my 40s, I do not see the years before misspent or maligned. Life is life, and far more of my years have been happy. Today I use appropriate coping skills. I pray. I connected with Autism Speaks and work to educate people. When something “odd” is understood, it becomes “unique.”

Here’s a list of men and women throughout history who thrived, or thrive, with autism.

  • Dan Aykroyd – Comedic Actor
  • Hans Christian Andersen – Children’s Author
  • Benjamin Banneker – African American almanac author, surveyor, naturalist, and farmer
  • Tim Burton – Movie Director
  • Lewis Carroll – Author of “Alice in Wonderland”
  • Henry Cavendish – Scientist
  • Charles Darwin – Naturalist, Geologist, and Biologist
  • Emily Dickinson – Poet
  • Paul Dirac – Physicist
  • Albert Einstein – Scientist & Mathematician
  • Bobby Fischer – Chess Grandmaster`
  • Bill Gates – Co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation
  • Temple Grandin – Animal Scientist
  • Daryl Hannah – Actress & Environmental Activist
  • Thomas Jefferson – Early American Politician
  • Steve Jobs – Former CEO of Apple
  • James Joyce – Author of “Ulysses”
  • Alfred Kinsey – Sexologist & Biologist
  • Stanley Kubrick – Film Director
  • Barbara McClintock – Scientist and Cytogeneticist
  • Michelangelo – Sculptor, Painter, Architect, Poet
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Classical Composer
  • Sir Isaac Newton – Mathematician, Astronomer, & Physicist
  • Jerry Seinfeld – Comedian
  • Satoshi Tajiri – Creator of Nintendo’s Pokémon
  • Nikola Tesla – Inventor
  • Andy Warhol – Artist
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein – Philosopher
  • William Butler Yeats – Poet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.*