I’ve been told, at times, that I’m too nice.
I don’t like conflict, and many times have avoided confronting people or speaking up assertively for what I need.
On the other hand, when I took the Strengths Finder test (great book, information on taking the test online is in the book) a couple of years ago, I found out that Harmony was one of my top strengths. As I reviewed my report, I discovered that I am good at bringing consensus when there are several differing opinions on a team, when trying to get a project done. I help people focus on the problem at hand, versus getting over-involved emotionally.
Until I realized my strength, I only saw it as a weakness!
Too many times, partners, spouses, and healthcare providers view characteristics of autism as weaknesses, instead of seeing the strengths as well. As a result, neurodiverse people may unconsciously view their own characteristics the same way.
Positive Characteristics of Autism
Thank you to Anand Sule for writing this article about autism strengths.
Anand Sule is a gentleman with Aspergers who has written this guest post about his personal views on research. Please welcome him and provide your opinion/reaction in the comments after the post.
Feel free to e-mail him or contact him at his site –
email@example.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org
AS people usually have the following strengths:
• Special Interests
I have also found that the majority of us have the two additional following strengths
• Research and research skills
• Self Directed Learning
I believe we have great potential, if we develop and fine tune the five bullet points as listed above.
These five strengths connect and interconnect, complimenting each other. Here’s
The other day, I started thinking about routines and how proficient I am at creating and following routines. I did an online search on this topic and I found some great info. I found that some of the most successful people in history were known for following their own creative routines. These people achieved great things due to their routines. I also read about top athletes following their own highly developed routines.
Being adept and creating and following routines is a practice which can help both people on the spectrum and neurotypicals (NTs) alike.
Nt’s have been known to attend workshops and training seminars to help improve their mental focus: Warrior
mind training and other programs. We are naturally blessed with this strength. Which gives us an added benefit of saving money – we don’t have to attend workshops, training seminars to learn how to gain focus.
Neurotypicals also buy nutritional supplements to help increase their mental focus abilities. This is yet another area in which we can save money, seeing as most of us are blessed with laser like focus in areas of our interest, expertise etc.
Self Directed Learning and Research
AS people are generally good or even great with self-directed learning and research. Neurotypicals have to work hard to develop these strengths. I have found that I can spot gaps in the research in various fields. I believe this is due in part to my AS eye for detail.
I read some interesting posts at Wrong Planet which covered the topic of AS and research skills. I was impressed with what I had read there. Most of the people there loved researching topics of their interest. Most people there noted that they could spend hours on end conducting research.
When people talk about AS special interests or interests, why do they generally take the stance that our interests are impediments of sorts? If you look at the field of consulting for example, a consultant specializing in an area would be known as a specialist instead of a generalist. When one thinks of phd’s or independent scholars, little do they realize that these researchers focus on one subject intently.
I spoke with a NT student a few weeks ago about her study routines at university. She said that she is working to improve her skill with creating and following routines for her studies. She sounded a little stressed in regard to this undertaking. Again, we are naturally good with creating and implementing routines.
While I conducted this research, I was in a state of controlled focus. You could say that this topic is an interest of mine. It is a worthwhile interest. It can bring in major advances. I followed a routine while undertaking my research. As you can see, our five strengths do in fact connect and interconnect with each other and with other things as well. If I were working on a work related project for example, I would use my five strengths to help with the successful completion of the said project.
What are some ways you can put your autism strengths to work toward attaining your goals?