Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 3 Spring 2015 - Page 18

CE AN T EP C AC a revelation that I embraced as plainly as accepting the fact that I am left-handed. It felt like truth, and so I went with it. Rather than reject the notion that my brain developed one way as opposed to another, I used the diagnosis to make my life better. There were certain behaviors I knew I could learn that would serve my marriage, make me a more tuned-in father, and help me to integrate more completely in the world around me. This is, of course, tricky territory. There are those who believe that the world should simply accept those of us who are wired differently, and I can’t say that I disagree. On the other hand, I can’t reasonably ask the 67 neurotypical people out of 68 to do things my way. I’ve tried, and they just haven’t caved. It was my choice to learn a handful of social skills that neurotypicals generally expect from people, the sorts of skills that are to one’s advantage when one is seeking companionship, employment, or even just a stick of gum. 18 Zoom Autism Through Many Lenses In learning these behaviors, I’ve found I haven’t lost who I am. It’s only enabled me to do more with my gifts and interests. Acceptance of reality has made me a better husband and father, a more effective writer and public speaker, and a happier person all around. And I can’t think of a stronger argument than that. David Finch is a humorist, inspirational speaker, and author of the acclaimed New York Times best-selling memoir, The Journal of Best Practices. David’s essays have been published in the New York Times, Huffington Post, and Slate, and he contributes to Psychology Today. To book David for your next event or to contact him in person, please visit his website.