I am an intelligent autistic woman. I manage my own business, have raised three great kids and interface with the world around me with a fair amount of success. Not too shabby considering I lived in an institution as a kid, was homeless as an adult and used public assistance for some years.
Each individual who has an autism spectrum diagnosis got that diagnosis based on deficits. That isn’t good or bad, but rather, simply the way diagnosing works. Diagnostic deficits are based on the social and expected norms exhibited by the majority of people. Deficits are determined by a significant deviation from this majority norm. And, if you deviate far enough from the norm you get a label. If you have a group of deficits that line up with the autism spectrum disorder label then you get that label.
One of the challenges of autism is sensory system difference. These differences are so prevalent that they are part of the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). This difference comes into play because an autistic neurology typically doesn’t automatically regulate sensory information. This can happen in a variety of ways and accounts for the sensory difference variation we see amongst autistic people.
Because of my autism I often experience sensory overload. Many times this is painful. I have learned that by keeping my sensory system regulated I can avoid some of the pain. Over time, in the process of becoming more regulated, I have found ways to enjoy my unique sensory system.
I recently moved. It involved working with a realtor, a banker, and numerous other people. Today I am contemplating sorting out what to put into my new desk drawers and have a literal pile of paperwork from various aspects of my moving adventure. As each person representing each faction of moving began working with me they explained what they would do, how they would do it and the expected outcome.