Pardon my nerd reference for the title, but I felt it was fitting for this article. So this is the tenth part in the Living With Autism series and some might say at this point that I’m just trying really hard to milk the cow and squeeze as many drops out of this topic as possible. With the tenth part now up, and the fact that I had written some other autism-related articles on the side, what more can I possibly talk about regarding the subject and how I relate to it?
The answer is: a lot. More than you would probably be able to imagine. That’s why I’m currently writing a book to chronicle what I’ve talked about on this blog so far as well as add whole new aspects so that other people who don’t read my blog can get a picture too. So what can I talk about in this article?
Remember the movie Good Will Hunting? A well-made, well-written story about a twenty-year old orphan boy named Will who’s incredibly intelligent and has wisdom beyond his years, but is held back from doing anything really significant to make a life for himself beyond hanging out with his friends at the bar and working as a janitor in a prestigious university. He is sent by one of the university’s professors to visit a psychology professor named Sean (played by the late and brilliant Robin Williams) for counseling and to get help in order to defeat his fear and make something of his life. Eventually, after several sessions, Sean asks Will what he wants to do with his life, but he doesn’t know, despite everything he’s capable of.
Lately I’ve been having issues with figuring out what I myself want to do. I recently visited an advisor over at the community college I’m attending because I couldn’t make peace with the fact that I wanted to slowly back out of the college and just select classes that could benefit my writing career. My advisor, having involvement in the disability services there, was well aware of my place on the spectrum and still believed that I can work towards a transfer degree to get involved in the English department in a university. Despite my problems with math, my advisor believed I can do it if I seek out the help I need, I just need to work harder.
As someone on the autism spectrum with the inability to learn certain things the same way as others, I have to work harder than some other people to succeed in certain things like math. The advisor picked up on the fact that I was overthinking things a lot. I was afraid that if I consistently rely on tutors to help me through another math class, I would frustrate the tutors because they would feel like their help isn’t getting to me, which is something my advisor believed was unnecessary for me to worry about and wanted to meet with me again so that we can discuss further how I should move forward after this semester.
While I do plan on proceeding to meet with my advisor to discuss what I should do, I’ve been praying to see what God wants me to do, but I hope the point is made here. While autistic people are all different in what their strengths and weaknesses are, one thing is for certain: there is always something that they can work towards to make a reality in their lives, even if that means they have to work harder or get as much assistance as they can from outside sources. Right now in my life, I severely lack inward motivation. It takes a lot of outward motivation to push me forward and get certain things done, and I realize that needs to change. Everyone needs some outward motivation from time to time, but in the end it comes down to me making the decisions with what I want for my life. In order for me to have the life that I have vision for and have a beneficial career, it means doing things and taking classes that I don’t want to do, but being autistic is not a good excuse for me to explain why I won’t do what I need to do in order to go far in life.
In conclusion, it’s not easy for anyone who’s autistic. People on the spectrum have a unique ability to learn things earlier and quicker than others, but there are also things that come much easier to others than they do to autistic people and that’s where things get a little tricky, but no matter what, there’s always something that autistic people are capable of, and if it means doing less-than-desirable things like math classes or other classes involving topics where there’s zero interest in order to achieve that goal, it just means having to work harder and get extra assistance. There’s always hope for people on the spectrum to get the help they need and do great things.
Note: Over the next couple of weeks, I will be focusing on writing satirical posts in the same vein as my post Autistic Guy Goes To Sunday Morning Mass For the First Time until I can think of a new way to continue writing about autism in a new format that branches out into different aspects I haven’t covered yet.