Embracing one’s autism can be transformative and empowering, leading to improved mental health and overall well-being.

But if you view your autism as the bane of your life, you set yourself up for a pretty depressing and bumpy ride through the remainder of your days.

In a society that often places a premium on conformity, individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder may face challenges that make acceptance difficult.

However, shifting the perspective from despising to embracing your autism diagnosis can foster self-love, resilience and a sense of belonging. 

For many individuals, embracing their autism  — or Autistry, as I say — means acknowledging and accepting these differences as intrinsic parts of their identity, rather than viewing them as deficits.

And this shift in perspective is crucial for mental well-being, as it opens the door to self-discovery and self-acceptance.

The Dangers of Despising Autism

Despising one’s autism can lead to a host of mental health challenges, including anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

Constantly trying to fit into societal norms and expectations can be exhausting and demoralizing.

This will surely create a cycle of self-criticism and isolation. Do you really want to take this risk if you’ve been agonizing over a recent autism diagnosis?

The negative impact of detesting your autism extends beyond the individual, potentially affecting relationships and hindering personal development in noticeable ways.

Self-Discovery and Acceptance

©Lorra Garrick

Embracing being autistic involves a journey of self-discovery and acceptance for some individuals.

While for others, it’s instant, as in my case. I sought out a late life diagnosis because I needed this validation.

I was ecstatic when I received the document showing my ASD diagnosis. I was finally home!

I actually think it’s cool to be on the Autism Spectrum. Call me nuts if you will, but here’s a way to look at this:

  • There’s nothing wrong with a penguin. There’s even a national hockey team called Penguins.
  • There’s also nothing wrong with a nice decorative living room.
  • However, a live penguin doesn’t quite belong in a living room.
  • Analogously, Autistics live in a world created for neurotypicals. This doesn’t mean we’re defective, any more than that penguin in the living room is defective.

Recognizing and appreciating one’s unique strengths, talents and perspectives can be empowering.

Autistic individuals often possess exceptional skills in areas such as attention to detail, pattern recognition and intense focus.

Let’s not forget our natural resistance to peer pressure, to mindlessly following the crowd, to the notorious herd mentality and to leaping onto bandwagons for the latest absurd trend.

By embracing our strengths, we Autists can cultivate a sense of pride and accomplishment, contributing to improved mental well-being.

Rocking the Spectrum

In conclusion, embracing autism is a powerful journey towards improved mental health and overall well-being.

Shifting from despising to accepting one’s identity involves self-discovery and the challenging of societal perceptions.

Embracing autism is not only beneficial for individuals with ASD but also contributes to a richer, more diverse world that values the inherent worth of every individual, regardless of neurodivergence.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical and fitness topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. In 2022 she received a diagnosis of Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder. 


Top image: ©Lorra Garrick