For many years, I was skeptical, but years passing by, I start to think more and more that it is an advantage especially in this era to be living with autism.
I will not argue the fact that anyone living with autism is currently having important challenges. They are massive. Almost any individual who have autism have different individual needs which are sometimes important with very few resources in the vast majority of cases.
Living with autism also means that cases of depression, other mental illness and even in some cases suicide (when no other solution is possible) are common. Things like depression and obsessive-compulsive behavior which I personally must deal with everyday are not an easy thing to deal with for anyone, and even in this age of great medical progress, even the best medication available have limits, and many people with autism have no choice to be in a cycle of medication for the rest of their lives.
But as much as great challenges are there, I am proud to be who I am, I will not change it for everything in the world. A »cure » is not needed for a condition like autism, we need instead ways to help people with autism have a better everyday life.
There is indeed way too many average people in the world, we need more then ever people who think unlike others and do things which even if are considered strange for some or out of the ordinary for others, are done differently.
Why? Because having a form of autism is making me think differently, it could be for small things, but I believe that my handicap in the areas of social relations and social etiquette is compensated with a sense of rigor and analysis that many people would only dream of having. We never know what the future reserve us in term of ideas. One person who have an idea which is considered crazy now and which is seen as a freak or a quasi-pariah could be considered a visionary genius in a few decades from today.
Also, as par with almost anyone who have an handicap, people living with a condition like autism tend to be audacious, because you need more audacity than many others to win (or even to lose) battles. Whatever your strengths and weakness, you take nothing for granted when you have ups and downs when your mind is sometimes like a roller coaster ride.
Of course, to conclude this text, I could not argue that great progress was done in the last few years in accepting people who are different, but in many cases, sadly, there is still a closed door attitude which sadly is based on stereotypes and old folks tales and not based on taking each individual who have autism as who he is.
Even if change is done with small baby steps (as it is usually done in this domain), any positive change will be significant in a condition so complex and which we still know very little like autism.