My friend Kelly sent me this link to a post entitled The Obsessive Joy of Autism. The piece is written by Julia who is on the spectrum and one of three contributors on a blog, Love-NOS. I have only begun to read some of the posts, but it’s a terrific blog regarding autism and being autistic, but also about being human, our differences, our intolerances, our society and culture and how we hurt others with our judgements and by insisting our ideas of what is “right” should be adhered to by all.
“One of the things about autism is that a lot of things can make you terribly unhappy while barely affecting others. A lot of things are harder.
But some things? Some things are so much easier. Sometimes being autistic means that you get to be incredibly happy.”
Julia goes on to write – “Without this part autism is not worth having.”
I have written before about Emma’s joy. We call it her bliss. Left on her own she is in a state of almost constant bliss. The kind of bliss we neuro-typicals work so hard to attain. We take classes, read books, go to retreats and meditate all with the hope that we will be able to feel that bliss, no matter how fleeting. Emma’s bliss is a part of who she is. It is one aspect of her Emmaness. It is infectious and beautiful.
Julia writes – “If I could change three things about how the world sees autism, they would be these. That the world would see that we feel joy—sometimes a joy so intense and private and all-encompassing that it eclipses anything the world might feel. That the world would stop punishing us for our joy, stop grabbing flapping hands and eliminating interests that are not “age-appropriate”, stop shaming and gas-lighting us into believing that we are never, and can never be, happy. And that our joy would be valued in and of itself, seen as a necessary and beautiful part of our disability, pursued, and shared.”
My wish for Emma is that one day she could articulate her thoughts and opinions as beautifully as Julia has here. Everything I am doing, every “study room” session we do is with that hope in mind.
For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to: Emma’s Hope Book