Living With Autism Part 5: Numbers!



NOTE: I just recently finished the second draft of my novel At the End Of the Day and have handed the document over to a good friend who has agreed to proofread it for me.  Though I believe the book still needs a lot of work, I’m excited for it to see the light of day for the public.

One of the things that has been very stressful for me lately is my reckless spending habits.  After living with family friends for a year, I moved back in with my parents, and since then, my spending habits have gotten worse and worse.  I’ve grown more reckless in the ways I spend my money because of the sense of familiarity I have living with my family again and the fact that I feel safer being in the same environment as my family.  I feel like my spending habits won’t have as hefty an effect as they did while I was living independently.

Here’s the thing.  I couldn’t tell you a single thing about finances.  I know next to nothing about it.  My dad had me read two books on managing finances a few years ago, and when he quizzed me on the information in the books, I was barely able to give him any solid answers even though I had just finished them.  I don’t understand the real consequences of being low on money until I’m between a hundred and two hundred dollars and I think ‘uh, I don’t have a lot of money to pay for my college textbooks’, and I don’t understand the significance behind stocks.

I think that my inability to be very good with money is connected to the fact that I’m pretty terrible at math.  Numbers just isn’t a strength of mine.  I tend to love words.  I love reading them and I love writing them.  They give me a sense of purpose and it’s a powerful way of getting people to think.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering how all of this may apply to autism.  Well, not every autistic person is like Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory.  Some autistic people are highly intelligent and can do math.  I used to live with a couple that has a nine-year old autistic boy that has extraordinary talent in complicated mathematics and can easily do hard math in his head without needing to write it down on paper.  That’s not the case with other people with autism.  I personally have serious issues with math.  I barely got through geometry in high school and didn’t even get to get started on Algebra II.  Again, I’m much more of a words person than a numbers person.  Autistic people tend to have their areas that they’re simply not cut out for, and while to a lot of other people it’s mostly seen as merely an inconvenience, autistic people see it as a serious obstacle and can get easily frustrated and angry that they can’t figure something out, and it’s made worse by the fact that they can’t seem to learn and understand it the same way that other people can.

I’m in the same boat.  I can’t learn certain things the same way others can and sometimes can’t bring myself to learn it at all.  Mix that with the lack of motivation people on the spectrum can have for things they struggle to care about despite the consequences they know are there, like failing grades if it’s a school issue, and what we have is something complex and hard to deal with.

To be honest, there really isn’t exactly a point except the fact that I’m explaining all this to raise awareness for people who are possibly unaware.  Having to deal with people on the spectrum can be frustrating for teachers and parents and just regular people alike, but think of an autistic person having his own set of weaknesses just like other people have their own.

My next semester at college starts next week and in the weeks leading up to that, I dropped out of one of the classes I signed up for, which was a math class.  After having failed to pass Math 080 last semester and then signing up for 081 for this semester, it became clear to me that that wasn’t a good idea.  I decided that for the time being, the biggest goal for me is to take classes that will help me start and further a writing career while trying to do everything I can to get some of my writing published in magazines this year and so forth.  Worse comes to worst, I won’t get a degree in the end, but I learned that you don’t need a degree to make a career out of writing, and a writing career is exactly what I want to have.

How Feeling Sad For Others Can Actually Be A Blessing

inside out sadness


You all remember that amazing Pixar film that came out earlier this year?  Inside Out did a beautiful job of presenting how it’s okay to be sad sometimes, because being sad can allow you to express how you feel to someone that you love and trust, and it takes a lot of weight off your shoulders.  We can fight to be happy 24/7, but it’s almost impossible when there’s always that sadness that keeps pulling you down, and you have no choice but to either keep it bottled up, or spill it out and let someone hear you.

I wrote in a recent blog post that I have trouble feeling empathy.  I only analyze what I can see or feel myself, and I think very little about how someone else may be thinking or feeling at a given moment.  With this in mind, that doesn’t mean I’m not at all a stranger to sadness, in fact it’s a trait that keeps up with me often.  The most common reason for me feeling sad personally though is that other people often tend to put me in that place.  This isn’t usually because other people are treating me poorly or putting me down, it’s because when I see that they’re miserable or when I can detect that they’re ‘down in the dumps’ through their tone of voice and the way their eyes are behaving, it makes me feel sad for them.  When they tell me things about them and how they feel, that’s what puts me in that place.

I see feeling sad for other people as a gift.  Can it feel like a curse sometimes?  Absolutely.  Who actually ever wants to feel sad?  Who wants to go to bed at night thinking about someone and just wants to start crying?  I don’t, but I do anyway.  So what are the benefits of feeling sadness for other people, and what are the pitfalls?


1.  By feeling sad for someone, this means you have compassion for another person.  You don’t want this person to struggle or feel miserable or even hopeless.  You’ve either cared about this person for a long time or you’ve just recently gotten to know this person and have come to care pretty quickly for him or her.

2.  Having compassion for someone usually means that you’ll feel motivated to take action somehow and try to find ways to make this person’s day a bit better and be there for that person in any way you possibly can.  If action is actually taken, it can be very rewarding for both you and the person you’re thinking about, although it’s meant mainly for the other person’s benefit, not for yourself.  Sure you probably feel good, but this is about the other person.

3.  If you’re a Christian or religious in some other way, you may feel motivated to pray for the other person.  Prayer is one of the most powerful and most intimate tools when it comes to wanting to help another person.  You don’t even have to tell the person that you’re praying for him if you don’t want to, though it might make the other person feel a little better because it’s an indication that you have him in your thoughts.  While prayer is a biggie, I recommend that you don’t use it as a quick and easy alternative so that you don’t have to feel like you have to take action yourself.  If you’re fully capable of being there for the person or helping that person, then use prayer for when there’s nothing else left, and all you can do is stand back and wait.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with praying while you’re doing, but don’t rely on that one hundred percent.  I personally believe in the power of prayer, but I also believe in the effectiveness of offering a hand to support someone if you have the ability to do so.


1.  Like I said, nobody likes to feel sad and go to bed with that feeling.  I’ve gone to bed crying on weekends because I went through whole weeks of listening to other people’s stories and sometimes the problems those people have feel like my own burdens that have just been placed on my shoulders.  So while I strongly believe that feeling sad and compassionate for other people is a blessing, we may tend to use that blessing in a way that can make us depressed.  There’s the danger of obsessing over other people’s experiences and feelings and it can all deeply affect us and make us sad in an unhealthy way that affects our own lives, and then we have to worry more about ourselves then the people we’ve been thinking about.

2.  Another issue is that when other people entrust us with their stories and are willing to be open with you, there’s the danger of feeling like we’re their ‘savior’ that’s meant to rescue them from their problems and that we’re the only ones that can do it because we ‘know the person better than anyone else’.  These are all lies that must be recognized, and when they are, we need to ‘kill’ those thoughts immediately.

We may be meant to help others to the best of our ability, but that doesn’t in any way make us other people’s saviors.  We plant seeds and we contribute in this time we’re granted to be in these people’s lives, but we have to be content with what we’re able to do and have the strength to let go when it’s time and let others and God do what else is to be done in their lives. Believe me, it’s not easy, but it’s necessary.  And don’t worry, many others will come along whose lives you can work to touch, trust me.

Yearning For An Era With Less Technology

technology overload

Author’s Note: Sorry its been a while again.  Most of my writing lately has been strictly dedicated to penning the second draft of my novel At the End Of the Day, with almost 20,000 words done already after just half a week.  Its been quite a journey, and I’m excited to share some of it with you guys in the near future.

Yes, there are a lot of articles out there about rising concerns for the briskly growing age of technology in this day and age.  We see how technology takes over people’s attention and plays so many different roles in the lives of others.  I’ve spoken with friends around my age and ‘older people’ about the concerns they have for the next generation regarding the use of technology and how prominent it is in our lives.

Technology is one of the reasons why I feel like I was born in the wrong time (though I understand that this is the age God intended for me to live in).  I use technology but I don’t love it.  In fact I hate it.  The prominent use of technology in our culture is so overwhelming to my senses that my senses had to train themselves to block most of it out.  I’m thankful to God that I can be disciplined enough to tune out a lot of stuff that tries to grab my attention.  Still, I wish we lived in a less technological era.  I personally can’t stand those bright screens.  Why did people have to make them so bright?  While there are absolutely advantages to technology that makes our lives easier, there are some things I wish we can do without, and rely instead on certain other things.  Here are a few examples for fun:

Instead of having iPods, I’d like to have a Walkman – Admittedly, my interest in Walkmans piqued when I went to the theater last year and saw Guardians of the Galaxy.  What I find embarrassing though is that I just now had to look up the name of Star-Lord’s ‘listening device’ because that’s how out of touch I am when it comes to the old.  Anyway, while a Walkman does require batteries, I think it just looks more fun.  It can be strapped to your hip, it plays music, and it’s just a sexy thing in my opinion.  I’d love to see Walkmans become a thing again and iPods less so.  While I know that something like that happening is merely wishful thinking at its finest and nothing more, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming.

Can we please go back to writing letters as a normal thing?  While I understand the convenience of texting if something quick needs to be said, I miss letters.  Yes, I wrote letters when I was a kid.  That was how I was able to connect with people right around my age who were from the other side of the country.  While texting or Facebook Messenger can be done quickly and with very little thought dedicated to it, writing letters offers a more intimate solution to sending people words.  It takes time to think your words through when writing letters, and the more time that’s spent writing a letter and making sure it’s exactly the way you want it, the more meaningful the written word can be to another person.  Personally, I hate texting and I’m normally constantly editing my texts and reading them over and over again to make sure I’m satisfied with them.  That’s why I still call people if I just want to talk.

Now the interesting thing about me being only twenty, things were different ‘back in my day’.  Back in my day we had VCRs, CD players or radios, and the closest thing we had to some kind of iPod was an MP3 Player.  I wrote letters to pen pals and though I used email, I didn’t use it very often.  So yes, even though I’m only twenty, I have experienced the great changes that society has made when it comes to communication, and I wish it was simpler.  A lot of older adults say that technology has been getting in the way of relationships being able to form or develop, and that real genuine social interaction is dwindling.  Personally, I can argue that the situation is rather different.  In my own personal experience, while I have seen technology take control of a lot of lives, I’ve also been noticing a growing awareness amidst people like me that aren’t as big a fan of technology and that recognizes the effects technology has on people.  I’ve discussed it with people right around my age and it’s comforting to know that the entire current generation isn’t completely subdued by all of it.  Hopefully if the number of people who think like this increase, we can see a future that relies less on technology and more on forming intimate relationships worthy of our time.

Why I Decided To Stop Watching ‘Gotham’

gotham blog post pic

Note: This is something a little new that I typically don’t do on this blog site, but I honestly couldn’t think of another site I have where I can publish this.

There have been a lot of articles written in the recent past by people who have decided to stop watching shows like Game Of Thrones.  This is normally because they feel convicted by certain things they’re seeing onscreen while watching the episodes (which, in the case of GOT, I’ve heard more than enough to know to stay as far away from that show as possible).  I’m going to explain why I’ve just recently decided to stop watching an ongoing show called Gotham.

To start off, for those of you who don’t know what Gotham is exactly, it is a show that airs on FOX that is set in Gotham City from the DC Universe.  It takes place long before Bruce Wayne becomes the Batman and is essentially meant to tell the origin stories of Batman’s greatest enemies like the Penguin and the Riddler (although technically, the Penguin becomes the Penguin, like, after the pilot episode, so yeah).  It is meant to show the state of Gotham City to emphasize why the city really needs a hero like Batman, and we’re seeing it all through the eyes of Detective Jim Gordon before his days as commissioner of the GCPD.

So with that, let’s get into the details.  For one, I’d like to point out that this show is TV-14, a stark difference from the TV-MA rating like Game of Thrones has.  Over the past few years however, I’ve learned that the TV-14 rating can, in many cases, be the equivalent of a light R rating from a film perspective.  In the case of this show, this would indeed have a light R rating if it was a movie.

This show has been going on for a season and a half now, and while the first season was fairly held back in terms of content with the exception of a few moments here and there, the second season has been one string of senselessly violent sequences that almost never ends.  Limbs are hacked off, people are stabbed repeatedly, blown up, and set on fire with shockingly very little censorship in the process.  The more graphic violence is off-screen just barely enough simply so that the show can maintain its TV-14 rating.  Some particularly gory moments in recent episodes (yes, spoilers technically ahead) is when the Penguin stabs a woman repeatedly in the chest as she screams (it’s behind a door with a shaded window, but we still see enough and hear enough to comprehend the terror of the moment), a cannibal who works as a hired assassin bites into a female officer’s neck and keeps tearing until she dies while her fellow officers are trying desperately to get him off of her, and a man’s arm is chopped off as punishment for something that I don’t really remember nor do I care to remember and we see the bloody stump where his arm used to be.  These are just to name a few.  Violence is something that remains a subject of deep debate regarding its role in storytelling and entertainment.  Sometimes violence can actually be used to great effect in a story to send an important message across.  Most of the violence in Gotham however, never feels like its there for anything except to be complete shock value.  A lot of times, there’s no point to it.  It’s easy to tell when violence in a show has meaning and when it’s just shock value, and the latter is what I’ve felt all the time with Gotham.  Yes, bad guys do bad things, but how many times do we have to see it happen before the writers feel like we’ve seen enough to get the point?  They haven’t reached that point yet apparently.

I understand the universe of Batman is a dark one, but remember Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy?  I remember very little blood in those movies.  In fact, Nolan was much more focused on telling a deep and sometimes thought-provoking story without the use of graphic violence to try and get the point across, and whenever there was violence, it was used sometimes in a pretty powerful way that prompted emotion.

Unfortunately, I’m not done.  The second thing about this show that’s made me decide to stop is its portrayal of women.  Most women in this show are either mentally insane, always getting abducted and can barely defend themselves, or are simply there to be eye candy.  While there are very few actual sex scenes and little nudity here,  enough bare skin can be seen to make me feel uncomfortable, especially being that it’s in a setting where the people are real.  Jim’s ex-girlfriend Barbara is a psychopath obsessed with getting married to Jim, but has no problem sleeping around with both men and women that are willing to have her.  One of the women she encounters is the sister of the current central villain, whose only motivation is to kill, and get jealous when she sees Barbara making out with her brother.  Most of the random women we see in the background are typically prostitutes or strippers, and the camera makes sure to take its time lingering on those poses. Again, there is no real value or meaning to this.  There are some women in my life that I consider to be fantastic and talented people, and I would honestly feel ashamed if they watched this show with me, so with that in consideration, neither do I feel that I should watch it.

Gotham is absolutely not nearly as terrible in terms of content as a show like Game of Thrones is, but it has enough for me to say ‘no’, and for good reason.  If you watch this show and you don’t feel convicted by it like I do, I’m not trying to discourage you from watching it.  Everybody has their own different set of convictions.  In my case, Gotham isn’t for me.  While a few good things stand out to me in this show like Sean Pertwee’s performance as Bruce’s beloved butler Alfred and Robin Lord Taylor’s performance as the Penguin, they still don’t justify the content.  Any morals that the writers try to insert into the show are drowned out by the content and even normally feels heavy-handed to begin with, as if they’re almost an afterthought to try and give this show heart.  Batman, I don’t care that you’re Batman, this show is not for me.

I Just Keep Writing


I’ve gone through many different experiences this year, some good and some bad, but one thing has never stopped for me.  Regardless of what’s happened in my life and regardless of the trials I’ve been through, I just keep writing.  Writing is a passion I have that I don’t believe will ever die out.  Why should I let it?  Writing has been a powerful medicine and an effective cure for me.  Whether it be fiction or nonfiction (like these blog posts), its all been a great comfort for me to keep writing.

One very common symptom of the autism spectrum you’ll find when you do your research about it, is that we people on the spectrum tend to find something, love it, and obsessive over it for an unusually extended period of time.  We have the ability to literally allow ourselves to drown in it until it’s all we can think about or talk about.  That’s why a great number of people on the spectrum can have a difficult time connecting with other people or finding things in common with other people because we only want to talk about one thing.  I’ve seen it firsthand, and I later feel terrible when I just want to try and avoid that person before I hear anymore about what he or she has to say.

So now we come back to my passion for writing.  I’ve been writing consistently since I was fourteen, though I wrote off and on before that too, and though I’ve given up on dozens of other things, I’ve never given up on this.  I believe in the power of the written word, and with a lot of negative words I’ve seen written in our current age, I feel compelled and driven to write things that are different.  I want to write things that will get people thinking.  I want to write things that could very possibly instill hope for future generations.  But for now, as my love for writing continues to increase year after year, I’m satisfied with writing little things like these blog posts to get started.  I’ve gotten very positive feedback for my posts about my life with autism, so that’s a pretty good start.

To those who are reading this and are autistic and are feeling like they have to stop doing what they’re passionate about in order to be ‘normal’, my advice to you is this: never stop.  Do not stop doing what you’re doing, whether it’s playing a musical instrument, writing books, or building what could become next-gen tech as examples.  And if you are not identified as autistic, I give you the same advice.  I keep writing.  That’s what I feel called to do and that’s what I feel like I can do for the rest of my life.  I just keep writing.

The Autistic Struggle Of Associating With Neurotypical People


Note: Sorry I’ve been absent for a while.  Its been a very busy and hectic time for me.  Thank you all for your patience!

Imagine me sitting alone in a room playing the piano.  If you can imagine that, I’m afraid that’s as far as you’re ever going to get seeing me play the piano, because I don’t know how to play it. The point is, imagine me sitting alone in a room playing the piano while everyone else is outside.  I’m playing it and becoming immersed in the sound.  It resonates with me, it makes sense to me, and I feel good as I’m in the moment.  Though I don’t know how to play the piano, I believe the piano has a beautiful sound that really resonates with me.  I can think of a few music tracks or songs that makes excellent use of the piano and makes me feel good.  I’m playing a song with piano music on a loop right now as I type this actually.  To me, this best describes my feelings towards my interaction with other people on the autism spectrum versus people who are labeled as neurotypicals.  I’m able to latch onto a sound that I tend to understand the most, which is normally my own inner voice or the voices of other people on the spectrum while everyone else is left out.

The term ‘neurotypical’ actually originated from the autistic community to label people who are not on the autism spectrum.  Whether or not you think that’s a justifiable thing is entirely up to you, but there are people who are not on the spectrum regardless, and they are some of the hardest people for me to talk to.  It’s even harder to be friends with them too.  Here are three reasons why this can be the case:

1. It’s hard for an autistic and a ‘normal’ person to understand each other.

Unless the ‘normal’ person has a lot of personal experience communicating with autistic people under his belt, he has a hard time understanding people like me, which can lead to me feeling really frustrated with him for not understanding me, and it can lead to frustration on the other person’s part because he doesn’t know what to do or say to get me to understand.  Confusion and frustration play large roles in this, which I think can sometimes jeopardize relationships.  A lot of times, I have a very difficult time understanding people who are not on the spectrum and it makes me feel bad because I feel like I’m doing something wrong.  I don’t understand the person’s motives, emotions, goals, and sometimes the person’s personality.  It almost feels like we’re completely incompatible.

2. Autistics and ‘normal’ people generally speak a different language.

When I say ‘different language’, I’m not referring to different languages like Spanish and French, I’m simply referring to the way we talk, how we express our words and structure our sentences. What makes sense to us individually when we talk may not make any sense to others, and that’s a lot like a conversation between an autistic and a ‘normal’ person.  I’ve been asked a lot to repeat what I just said or rephrase my words differently.  I don’t believe that this is unfixable, but it takes a long time to finally learn how to communicate properly with other people who don’t think or talk like I do or like a lot of other people in the autism community.

3. Typically, autistic people can have a difficult time caring about another person’s interests unless it’s the same as theirs.

I’m not not listening because I don’t care about other people.  I just have a difficult time taking interest in other people’s interests unless they’re very well aligned with my own.  I believe I speak for a lot of people on the spectrum when I say that we’re so swamped and knee-deep in our own interests that it’s difficult for us to be very open to anything new.  We love our own interests and if they’re not being talked about on a consistent basis, then we leave very little room for anything else.  This is one thing that causes one of the hardest and most painful wedges between an autistic person and a neurotypical.  We feel as though we need things in common in order to have a legitimate relationship.

I’m not writing this list to defend the way I act or treat other people who are different.  It’s not easy operating the way I do, in fact, sometimes it’s painful.  It hurts even more when someone I know and even love knows next to nothing about my place on the spectrum and doesn’t act like he or she wants to know.  I love people, but I’ve tended to feel alienated from them because I can’t connect with them and they can’t connect with me.  I long for that connection, and I long to learn how to make them.

Autistic Guy Goes To Sunday Morning Mass For The First Time



I was spending the night at a friend’s house last weekend and had to go to Sunday morning mass with them at a Catholic church at 7:45 in the morning.  I decided it wouldn’t be so bad, in fact I thought it would be kind of neat because I would be able to witness a cultural thing that I haven’t really witnessed before and learn something from it.  Well let me tell you, I learned some things alright, but at the cost of practically embarrassing myself along the way because I wasn’t familiar with the church’s rituals and traditions.

First of all, interestingly enough, the mass was taking place in a gym that day.  Secondly, there was an awful lot of standing up and sitting down throughout the service.  There was chanting, most of the words I didn’t know, but I had somehow managed to follow along with most of the words.  I didn’t believe in the idea of just sitting there and being silent.  I felt it would’ve been most disrespectful if I didn’t at least go through the motions.  Odd looks from other people came to mind.  Thankfully, it got better when we started chanting the Lord’s Prayer, because that was something I knew by heart.  Things were starting to look up a little bit in the ‘playing along’ game.

Then Communion started.  The church does a ritual to bless the Communion so that the bread and wine would turn into the actual flesh and blood of Jesus.  Now, whether it belongs to Jesus or not, I’m not a big fan of the idea of eating someone’s flesh or drinking someone’s blood.  As each blessing was bestowed individually on the bread and wine, there was a musical chime of which I wasn’t sure where the source was.  I looked around trying to find someone who was responsible for the chimes but couldn’t see anybody.  My friend’s family explained to me that if I didn’t want to take Communion there, all I had to do when I was next in line was to cross my arms together and the Father would bless me, and that would be the end of it.  Well, I didn’t know the exact timing I was supposed to do that.

While in line for Communion, I was either looking down at the floor or looking to the left and right of me instead of observing the front of the line where I would get an idea of what to expect.  Once I walked up to the Father, who was holding the bread, I didn’t know that that was the time to cross my arms.  He stared at me intently and asked me if I receive the body of Christ.  I responded with ‘yes’.  He gave me a slightly odd look and asked the question again.  I responded again with ‘yes’.  I later found out that I was supposed to respond with ‘amen’.  The Father rather reluctantly gave me the wafer and started moving on towards the single goblet of wine.  The Father tapped me on the shoulder and told me that I was supposed to eat the wafer right now.  I immediately ate it then and apologized and went on to explain that this was my first time.  The Father at the time was more interested in continuing to pass out the bread.

Moving onto the goblet, I took it and sipped.  I walked back to my seat with my throat on fire and 90% of my interest in trying wine expelled.  Mass didn’t last much longer after that, and I was more concerned about the burning sensation in my throat, and I don’t think it was the fire of the Holy Spirit to be honest.

Still despite all this, I have to give the church points for how generously giving they are, as I noticed that the ‘free will offering’ jar had a lot of money in it, and the Father is a pretty nice guy as I got to speak with him briefly after the service.  Fortunately, he was very understanding of my lack of knowledge in how Communion went.

I think I really like my home church.

Living With Autism Part 4: Dwelling Amongst Them

autism awareness


I recently had the privilege of becoming part of a group intended for young adults who are on the autism spectrum to come together and play games, talk, form friendships, and go places together.  It’s simply a community comprised of people who go through some of the same things in life, therefore, they can relate to each other.  It is honestly the most relatable community I’ve ever been a part of, and it’s a real joy to be a part of it too.

I’ll be honest, after the second time attending, I felt a bit confused afterwards, because I was realizing how quickly I had moved from being someone that was trying so desperately hard to fit in in other places and identify myself as a ‘typical’ human being to becoming someone who has the knowledge and has to accept that I’m not ‘normal’ per se.  I realized how fast the transition had become, and how quickly my life turned around.  In the group, I’ve been able to communicate and connect with other people in ways that are so much more relatable, even more so than in my own church.  This isn’t to say that I can’t relate to or make connections with other people outside the group, I have.  It’s just that there’s something about the connections I’ve made with people in the group that feels more at home and more significant.  It’s like we can speak each other’s language, and our own personal experiences sometimes hit home perfectly.  It’s an experience that almost feels too good to be true.

I find out through talking to certain people at the group that I’m certainly not alone.  That I wasn’t the only one to feel somewhat devastated when I heard my diagnosis, and that I wasn’t the only one to feel my self-esteem run low or feel like I couldn’t possibly accept the flaws that I have right now for the time being.

Being a part of this group and meeting the people there allows me to take more steps down a road to accepting the person that I am, mental and social flaws and all, but it also provides me with the hope that I can improve, not so that I can be like everyone else, but so that I can mature into the person that God intends for me to be.  I want to be an encouragement to others who are on the spectrum, and let them know that they’re not alone if they’re feeling unsure or confused about themselves.  I know that I and anyone else on the spectrum have so much to offer, regardless of what kind of a place we’re on on the spectrum.  In fact, I think people on the spectrum can be a beautiful key to changing the world, one step at a time.

To conclude this particular series, I’d like to share a brief story.  About two weeks ago, on a Saturday afternoon, I felt like taking my brother Cole (who also has ASD but, unlike me, has an extremely difficult time in social situations and can barely connect with people) on a walk to the 7-Eleven right outside our neighborhood to grab some snacks and drinks, then bring him back home to play video games.  On the walk I talked with him and let him tell me everything that he was willing to share about what was on his mind.  He obsesses over some of the strangest things, but I let him keep going and I worked on listening to him as much as I could, including some of my own input whenever it felt necessary.  I honestly think he got more attention in that one afternoon then he typically gets in a month’s time outside of his family, and it makes me very sad that this is the case.  I want people to be more aware of the things that people with ASD go through, and do something about it.  People need to stop looking at people with ASD and think they’re ‘weird’ and ‘immature’ and ‘selfish’.  Don’t they deserve the same amount of special attention that we give everyone else?

It was difficult to put words to the posts in this series because this is the first time I’ve written about my ASD for the public.  It’s not an easy truth to spill but this wasn’t tormenting for me write about in any way.  I want to get this out there and I feel no shame in it.  I’ve caught myself playing with my ear at times when I get my head back in the real world for the short time my head will let me and I smile at my own odd habit, as a way of expressing my self-acceptance, which I’m working towards consistently every week.  I will continue posting new blog articles surrounding the theme of autism, because I think it’s something I’ve become very passionate about writing.  I’d like to personally thank my parents for sharing these articles on their Facebook pages, which has led to more people reading my articles and more feedback, all of which has been very encouraging.  Thank you.