The idea for this post came from Anna over at Medium.com which is one of my favorite sites. The article was entitled:
Stop using Asperger’s as an excuse to be a jerk
When I read this article, the first person I thought of was Elon Musk. He had recently come out as an Aspie. But, he was not the first highly successful person to be tagged with this condition. Robin Williams, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, along with many others are thought to be Aspies. So, I just added his name to the list as having this seemingly success-driven condition. Of course, later Elon also proved to be pretty much a jerk as well as an Aspie. 🥸 One thing I want everyone to know is that does not mean that all Aspies are jerks or, all jerks are Aspies.
On a personal level, the article also made me realize that I probably attribute too many of my complaints about obstacles in life to my Aspie traits. Every time I have to do something that I don’t like, I say it is probably due to my neurological condition. It’s time I quit doing that so much. Regrettably, that happened far too much during the last couple of years of my married life. It just made things more difficult than they needed to be. It tainted those years when they could have been happier ones.
Saying “Being an Aspie made me do it was too often a cop out!”
But, again, that doesn’t mean that those of us who have Aspie traits, need to “get over it” and live our lives as “normal” people do. We must always recognize the fact that we think fundamentally different than our neurotypical colleagues. There is no getting around that. In fact, many of us are proud that we think differently than most. I am one of them.
If we are to be successful in our endeavors, we neurodiverse people have to do things better than neurotypicals do. Here is what Anna said in the cited article about that, and I couldn’t agree more:
We, autistic people, have to be better than neurotypical in order to fit in. We have to be kinder, more aware, more flexible, more adaptive, more polite, yada yada yada. We need to educate our friends, colleagues, family members, journalists, politicians, artists, hell even doctors sometimes about what it means to be autistic.
This seems to be a never-ending job to educate everyone about what it means to be autistic. I will have more to say about that in next week’s post.