Aspergers Children are Awesome
I don’t have Aspergers and I’m not on the Autistic Spectrum, yet I live with a person diagnosed with Aspergers/Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for over six years. Because of this, I believe this experience along with my university training in psychology gives me an insight that will benefit a person without and with this challenge. Artistic Academy is all about celebrating a person’s uniqueness. We use a Strength Based Coaching method that works perfectly with the strengths of an Asperger person. And since I’m a half full kind of guy, there are six things I admire in an Aspergers person.
A quick sidebar: I will be interchanging the terms Aspergers, Austic Spectrum Disorder, ASD, and Aspie through out this article as all are used in the community and person’s with the disorder identify with one of the terms easier than the others.
Focus, Focus, Focus
The first thing that I admire in an Aspergers person is their ability to focus for long periods of time without a break. I have a music student who loves Electronic Dance Music. His ability to focus on his hobby for hours on end amazes me. I don’t mean hours of unfocused meandering through your FaceBook feed hours, I mean surgeon like focus on getting a certain synth to sound exactly how he wants it to for this specific part of this specific song. I mean like chess player 5 moves ahead type of focus. It is truly inspiring watching it in action.
It’s all in the details
This brings up my next point. They have a highly developed attention to detail. If you want to find out specifics on a topic, give that research to a person with Aspergers. They will find out everything you wanted to know and a lot of stuff you didn’t want to know about a certain topic.
Some call him a loner. I call him AWESOME!
These two aspects are perfect necessities for the next benefit. Many people with Aspergers have strong internal motivation. This means they receive their energy to do things internally not externally. If they, inside themselves want to do something, they will do it. On the flip side is if they don’t, they won’t. This allows them not to be swayed as easily from peer pressure but also from parental guidance. This also allows them to be able to work alone for extended periods of time.
Let’s Be Reasonable
People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder are also very logical. If you show them how to do something in a logical fashion and they understand the logic in it, chances are they will follow that process unless they find a better and logically more efficient way of doing the same process. Then, they will follow that way.
Who Wants To Live In A Box?
The next thing I would like to mention is the slightly “off the norm” way of thinking about things; not in a weird way but in a unique perspective way. You hear people in companies wanting “out of the box” thinking. All they need to do is hire a person with ASD and they will be good to go. Their unique way of looking at a scenario from all perspectives; even the slightly off centre perspective is their forte.
I would rather have a conversation with an Aspie than with a normal person. Sometimes this slows a conversation’s natural path of development; going from one topic naturally to another. Rather it sticks on one topic only for an extended amount of time. If this is something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you can simply state, “ Let’s move onto another topic.” Or, “I would like to talk about something else now.” Because of the Aspie’s challenge with understanding social cues, the ones I know appreciate this candour. This leads me to my next point.
The Beauty of Bluntness
People with Aspergers are very direct. Because of their unique insights and desire to be heard and understood (like we all desire) combined with their difficulty reading social cues, they may come across as being rude, arrogant, or blunt. This has led to misunderstandings, mainly due to the listener becoming offended and hurt by what the Aspie person stated. Instead of saying, “Those pants make your ass look amazing”, they may say something like, “Wow, your butt really sticks out in those pants.” Both state the same thing but one phrase is unfiltered with no understanding of social cues, the other phrase is more pleasant to the ego. So put your ego aside when having a conversation with an Aspie. It is usually the ego getting in the way of a meaningful conversation. It is not actually what they say but how you interpreted what they said.
People with Aspergers may be different but, they are ‘different’ in all the most admirable ways. Yes, they have issues with social cues, anxiety in social situations, say the wrong things at the wrong time but I would argue these are things we all have issues with. I know they may have weaker muscle and tendon strength and may be less coordinated. That means they may not be good at sports but, how many jocks/sporties do we know in our adult years have health issues because of the injuries they received in their youth? I think the Aspie’s aforementioned, natural gifts, far out weigh their social miscues and physical limitations. What I’ve seen is when an person with Aspergers is exposed to situations that play on their strengths, they excel; and excel amazingly well. Hey, that rhymed!
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