Though Autism awareness is on the upswing, there are still many folks, particularly women, who fly beneath the radar and never get diagnosed. Often, it is because we are so good at “masking” and acting in socially acceptable ways, that no one, including our doctors or parents, suspect a thing. We may be seen as a little quirky, or odd, but that is it. The other day I ran across a list of less commonly talked about Autistic traits and I wanted to share them. So, without further ado:
- Poor or abnormal posture
- Trouble with directions or being able to tell left from right
- Disinterest in sports or physical activities
- Rituals with no outcome
- Large or unique vocabulary
- Lack of organization
- Intense compassion or empathy
- Intense anger or no anger at all
- Connections with animals
- Difficulty understanding pop culture, styles, trends, etc.
I read this list to Mouse and to her friend and we resonated with all of these characteristics. Mouse has good posture. Though I have really been working on my posture the last few years, I tend to slouch. Mostly, this is from a lifetime of trying to blend into the woodwork. For the life of me, I cannot figure out directions, read a map, or tell my left hand from my right. Until I was in my teens, I had no interest in sports. Even now, the sports that I do are mostly individual and solitary. I can’t speak for Mouse on this one, but I have multiple rituals that I do which I find soothing, but serve no real purpose. Since both Mouse and I have been able to talk, we have had huge vocabularies and read voraciously. Over the years I have gotten more organized but it is still a struggle. Mouse and her friend also resonated on this point. All three of us have intense compassion or empathy, but often have trouble expressing it. Though I have a fairly long fuse, my anger, when it gets going, can be formidable. Both the girls and I connect deeply with animals and mostly prefer them to people. As for the final one, I never have had or will have any understanding of trends or pop culture. I go to the movies maybe once a year. I don’t understand most memes. I choose my clothes on the basis of comfort and deep pockets, not looks.
I liked this list and mean to share it with many people. I urge my readers to do the same. Autism is not something that is scary or needs a cure. Autism is not a bug in the system, it is just a different operating system. Peace out, y’all.