The Truth About Autism

My younger brother, Joshua (14), and my little sister, Elizabeth (2), both have forms of autism.

Joshua has Asperger’s Syndrome. On the spectrum, he has what’s considered “high functioning” autism, which means that some of what he does is like the average person, but several of his personality traits are different and enhanced.

Elizabeth has a stronger form of autism. Her behavior, mental processes, functionality, emotions – all of these things are affected by the way her brain works.

I have met different people who have said something about my siblings’ autism that has really rubbed me the wrong way.

While talking about Joshua’s high functioning autism, the only way these people knew how to respond was by saying, “But he [Joshua] is so smart.”

Autism, just like many other disorders, is tainted by common misconceptions.

By pointing out how smart Joshua is (which he is, by the way), that’s saying that he can’t have Asperger’s since he is intelligent.

Autism, in its many shapes and forms, affects how individuals learn things and see the world. It does not mean that they’re naïve, dumb, stupid, or any other unkind word that’s often silently associated with disorders.

By denoting that autism is “not normal,” we’re saying that we’re right and they’re wrong.

The truth is, the average person tends to be balanced in their abilities – their strengths and weaknesses. In contrast, the autistic person experiences much less balance in their life. Their responses to things can be unpredictable and often intense. As well as this, they excel in areas of thinking and performing that the average person couldn’t ever dream of achieving.

Isn’t that a beautiful thing?

There are people in this world who are wired differently than the masses.

These are the people who have found ways of inventing things and fixing problems that we never would have thought possible of accomplishing!

Elizabeth is the most unique, quirky toddler I’ve ever met. Her transition into toddlerhood was a rocky one, to be sure, but she has so many bright and fun moments, it more than makes up for the hardships she faces. Our family adores watching her, and we’re all excited with each and every bit of progress she makes. She’s making large strides in her understanding of language and communication, as well as how the world works. This sweet little girl is in my prayers often, because I want her to grow up in a family who’s willing to learn about how her brain processes things so that we can effectively teach and help her.

When I think of autism now, I no longer stereotype it. I can see that their are huge differences in every autistic individual, and I certainly don’t see it as a handicap anymore.

Every autistic person deserves to be treated with love, kindness, and understanding – just like every person on this planet does.

For this post, Joshua has graciously agreed to answer nine questions I’ve asked him on this topic. I’m very happy to provide an inside look on how a high-functioning autistic person sees autism. Thanks again, Joshua!

My Interview With Joshua On Autism

1. Do you see Asperger’s syndrome as a disorder? Why or why not?

I don’t see it as a disorder. It just shows I’m unique in certain ways.

2. What are the pros of Asperger’s for you?

If I’m interested in something, I’m really good at it. I can take a lot of stimulation.

3. What are the cons?

I forget things easily – like names, [and] if someone asks me to do something, I’m not actually focused on what they’re saying. If I don’t like something, I really don’t like it.

4. Mom mentioned that when you were younger, you stuck to a strict routine (with food and daily habits), but now you are much more adventurous. Why do you think you’ve made that change?

I’m able to enjoy life more by being dangerous and exploring things – for example, getting about six feet of air off a bike ramp. Being a daredevil’s a lot of fun.

5. Our family knows how optimistic you are. How are you able to keep such a positive outlook on life?

Because being negative doesn’t bring me up at all, so I’ve just stuck to a positive aspect …. All in all, just being positive, it gets rid of negativity. If you’re negative, it isn’t gonna help you. If you’re positive, it will help you.

6. What do you want others to know about autism?

  • Don’t judge someone because of them being autistic. Some people can have slight stages [forms] of autism, and others have stronger ones.
  • Don’t stare.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask [an autistic child’s] guardian about their child so you can learn more about autism.

7. How do you want other people to look at Elizabeth?

Just respect her and don’t make fun of her.

8. Thank you for letting me interview you. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

My autism is actually very helpful, and not much negative, which is nice. Autism is just the way somebody looks at life – it’s not crippling, it’s not a disease … it can affect some people more than others.


In conclusion, I am very passionate about protecting my sweet siblings. I’d love to educate people and allow them to learn more about autism specifically, because these special kinds of people don’t deserve the wrong, awful stereotypes that are associated with them.

If you met Joshua, you’d see a boy who’s passionate and talkative about what he’s interested in. You’d see a guy who cares about people way more than the average boy his age. You wouldn’t see Asperger’s syndrome unless you knew he had it before you met him.

If you met Elizabeth, you’d see a toddler who’s insanely curious about the world around her. You’d see a child who lights up when she’s able to communicate what she’s feeling and needing, and you’d see a girl who adores animals and being creative. You wouldn’t see autism unless you were aware of her having it.

Just like all of us, people with autism have good days and bad days. Learning to help my little brother and sister through both kinds of days is causing me to grow as a person, in ways I never would have imagined possible. I am beyond grateful for the Lord’s hand in all of this … I know He has beautiful plans for all of us.

44 Comments

  1. Aww, this was so wonderful! I have a cousin with Autism, so I sort of can understand what you often feel like. One thing that I’ve noticed with people who have Autism, is that are often really kind and loving. For example, when my Grandma was really sick, my cousin came to see her, even though he hates going places, and hardly goes anywhere. Just though I’d add that. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you!! I’ve noticed that, too. ❤ They struggle with a lot of things the average person finds easy, but then they excel in areas that we can't (or simply don't!). Oh my gosh, that is so sweet. That's beautiful! Thanks for sharing that!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How incredible! It’s so cool to hear what Joshua has to say as well. So many misconceptions about people with autism 😦 How cool that autism can actually help Joshua out in some areas! Your little sister sounds so sweet 😊 Thanks for sharing Maggie and Joshua!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Isabel! I’m happy you enjoyed reading it. 🙂 Yes, there definitely are. That’s why I wanted to bring the truth to light! I think that’s cool, as well ❤ She really is, despite the hardships she faces. And thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s funny, I was about to write a post on the same thing! My brother has autism, though it’s very different from Joshua’s, and almost every single time he interacts with someone, they only see the autism. It’s like absolutely nobody realizes that it’s not some disease, it’s how their brains are wired. I guess I’m kinda ticked that people always think, “if they’re not like how I think something’s wrong with them.” cause it’s not. Thank you so much for putting this up Joshua and Maggie!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, that’s cool! Yeah, people tend to think the worst when it comes to the things that make people different. It can be upsetting! That’s part of the reason why I wanted to write this post! It was my pleasure!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. (Sorry – I accidentally messed the previous one up!)

    Thank you for sharing this Maggie! 💗💚 Autism is definitely overlooked by lots of people as just making someone different, when they’re really just like any other human being. People need to start understanding these conditions more, especially as people shouldn’t be singled out by any conditions that they do or don’t have. It is so important to help people realise that people with Autism (& other conditions) don’t feel like they have any sort of ‘condition’, as that’s just the normal way they think. Please thank Joshua for sharing his experience & letting us all have an insight into what life is really like for him, and I wish your little sister all the best as she grows up 😊. Such a lovely post that is obviously close to you & many other’s hearts. Autumn x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (No worries!)

      Aw you’re welcome – it was my pleasure! People tend to expect the worst when it comes to disorders and such, and it makes me really sad. EXACTLY! Too many think that autism makes someone ‘weird,’ but it’s just the way they think! ❤ He read your comment and really appreciated your kindness. Thank you Autumn! You're so sweet!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad Joshua appreciated it! 😊 No worries Maggie, your post was so lovely & needed to be written! 💖 it was an eye opener for many, thank you for posting! Autumn x

        Like

  5. This post was so heart-felt and sweet! I’ve never understood why some people should be treated as “less than” others, whether its because their brains are wired differently, they have a crippling disability, or are of a different color/race. Nobody should be made fun of or treated badly because they’re different. Variety in people is a beautiful thing; if everyone was the same it would be awfully boring and the world would lose some of its beauty.

    God created the world and everything in it; he doesn’t make mistakes. ❤

    Thank you and your brother for doing this post! God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww thank you! I know; that makes me sad, too. Amen, Kendra! We’re all humans, and it’s extremely important that we support each other. ❤ Haha exactly!! I love variety (:

      AMEN GIRL ❤

      It was our pleasure!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Aww this is amazing!! I believe every single human even with disabilities has talents and feelings. I’ve always had a soft spot for people with special needs and there’s seriously no way to make fun of them just because they operate a bit differently. I’ve read two books from an Asperger’s person’s point of view and they gave me so much perspective. They’re called ‘When My Heart Joins The Thousand’ and ‘What To Say Next’ in case you wanted to read them. I loved the interview with your little brother! ❣️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bay! I agree ❤ Yeah, I don't like that most people automatically assume that 'disorder' or other words like that means someone's any less human. Those books sound cool!
      Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My mom works with special needs children at the high school I used to attend and just through her stories, it’s taught me so much I didn’t know and her experiences have helped me better understand. I admire so much the work she does and how dedicated she is to “her kid” that she was his teacher in middle school and was able to stay with him into the next level (:

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is beautifully written, Maggie! I loved this so much. Reading this made me realize a lot of things and looked at autism as a beautiful thing that makes a person unique. Thanks for sharing and kudos to Joshua for his perspective and thoughts in life. God bless you both, beautiful souls! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thanks so much, Jirah! I’m so glad it made you feel that way ❤ Spending time around Joshua and Elizabeth has taught me to be open-minded toward people I meet who are different than me! You're welcome ❤ Aww thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes!! Wonderful job, Joshua and Maggie! I always appreciate it immensely when people present a caring and inclusive view on things like this. My sister Emilija, who was adopted a few years ago, has both Prader-Willi syndrome (a genetic condition) and autism, in addition to speech problems, but is such a sweet, feisty, sunny little person, and I always love it when people respond to her-not her disabilities. Amazing post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Natalie! I’m happy you enjoyed the post. Aww Emilija sounds like such a sweetheart!! That’s one thing about people with disorders and such – they tend to have such a beautiful outlook on life!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is has been such an eye-opener for me, when you picture autism, you picture a stereotypical image. I’ve heard that people with autism are super smart, this has really opened my eyes to a topic that I never really think about much, especially the interview ❤️ Thank you x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! ❤ I've learned so much from my siblings. I hope to learn more about other disorders, as well – people who are different don't deserve the stereotypes associated with them. You're very welcome, thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

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