If you're like most people, you probably think that autistic people see the world in a completely different way to neurotypical people. But did you know that there's no single way that autistic people see the world? In fact, each autistic person experiences the world in their own unique way.
So what exactly is it like to be autistic? Well, let's take a closer look...
While it’s an oversimplification to assume that all autistic people experience thoughts and emotions the same way, there are certain qualities that set them apart from neurotypicals.
Autistic individuals, who perceive and process sensory inputs differently than neurotypicals, may also have trouble filtering out background noise, spot patterns more quickly, or be particularly sensitive to certain smells or tastes.
This heightened sensory awareness helps explain why many on the spectrum are gifted musicians, despite not being able to read sheet music. Additionally, some evidence suggests that autistics may think in more concrete terms than others and struggle when it comes to abstract thinking.
For example, they may find humor confusing or even offensive due to difficulty understanding concepts such as irony and sarcasm. Despite their perceived handicaps on the surface level, autistics can make incredibly valuable contributions to society due to their keen attention to detail and creativity.
Autistic people face challenges every day that neurotypical people may take for granted. Navigating daily life can be much more difficult when you have autism. Sensory processing challenges, difficulty verbalizing thoughts and feelings, executive functioning deficits, and difficulty in social interactions are all common challenges faced by those on the autistic spectrum.
This can lead to increased anxiety, depression, or other mental health struggles due to feeling misunderstood by society at large and being unable to participate in everyday activities with ease. Truly understanding and valuing autistic people requires an awareness of the many daily difficulties they face that so many others do not.
A key step in understanding and supporting autistic people in our community is to educate ourselves. With a willingness to learn, we can build our understanding and view the world through an autism lens.
To gain insight into the needs of autistic individuals, we should not only listen to their stories, but also strive to create opportunities for them to participate and engage. One way of doing this is by encouraging neurodiverse employees in the workplace, as it can lead to innovative ideas, creative solutions and smoother collaborations among teams.
We should also be mindful that certain activities or items might cause discomfort or distress for autistic people and make allowances for that. Supporting autistic people with empathy, patience and acceptance is an important part of ensuring inclusion in all aspects of life.
Autistic people often think and learn in different ways than those not on the spectrum, bringing new perspectives to the table. They often excel at pattern recognition and creative problem solving, making them an invaluable asset to many teams. Autistics tend to be detail-oriented and highly observant, able to spot issues that most would overlook.
They are creative thinkers and storytellers who often have big imaginations, allowing for out-of-the-box solutions. Autistics may be able to see options others overlook due to their focus on problem solving rather than multitasking or finessing the details.
Their unique strengths contribute a great deal of depth when it comes to creating pivotal moments of progress — turning ideas into tangible results.
Creating a more inclusive world for all kinds of neurologies and ways of being in the world is essential to foster understanding and connection.
We can start by acknowledging that everyone has a unique experience and perspective of the world, different from anyone else's. We should also strive to create an environment that encourages curiosity and acceptance, rather than exclusion and judgement.
We can practice this by being kind, compassionate, and open-minded when speaking or interacting with others. Lastly, it's important to take action when faced with injustice or a lack of belonging, working towards creating a safe space where everyone can be heard, respected, and understood.
Together, we can make the world more accepting of each other's differences so we can create true equality regardless of neurology or way of being.
In summary, autistic people see the world differently from neurotypical people and face many challenges in their everyday lives. However, they also have unique strengths and perspectives that we can learn from. By better understanding autism and supporting autistic people in our community, we can create a more inclusive world for everyone.