Helpful Hint: For every negative trait in a person with autism, there is a positive trait. That does not make them special or better. They are equal to everyone else, only different.
Ken: This relationship is a drain on you. What lightens the load? Why have an autistic partner?
Christina: It’s a drain alright. But it’s not hard to list some good things.
Ken: Proceed. However, as you know, I will feel uncomfortable about this, and I will need to balance the scales. I am no more nor less than anyone else. I am equal to everyone, just different.
Christina: Well, the first thing I’d say is your sense of humour.
Ken: Yes. However, you know from experience how my binary brain functions, either on or off. Either you get a barrage of all the good and bad humour ad nauseam ad infinitum, or you get nothing at all.
Christina: True. Some of your jokes are SO bad, real groaners. But it’s still worth it. Better than you being a grouch. I need a happy person around me….
Ken: (Aspie Tourette’s taking over, interrupting…) Inform me when you encounter such.
Christina: (laughing) …. another trait is your kindness. From the start you have been the kindest person I know.
Ken: I really do not know what ‘kind’ is. I just do what I do. I am what I am. It takes far to much exhausting work to try to be someone else. Perhaps it is my hardwired moral code, my ethics, my sense of fairness and equality.
Christina: Ok but it works. Hmmm. Next I’d say how great it is that you know so much about everything—how it seems like everything you’ve ever read, hear or see sticks. You’re like Google, only faster.
Ken: My insatiable curiosity drives me to research everything. I am data driven. I want to know everything about everything. I am able to store the data visually in my hard drive—my Aspie brain— for instant recall when the right button is pushed or the right query is posed.
Christina: Yeah. It’s super. On trips you know who did what and when and all that. It feeds my curiosity too. But then there’s the data-spewing! When you don’t stop. That’s no fun. But better that than just rely on my own memory—which is so bad sometimes.
Ken: I would be reticent to say ‘bad memory.’ Rather, I would suggest you are just wired differently. This gives you different skills, different gifts as well as different challenges. My skills and gifts offset your challenges, and vice versa. This makes each of us a strong half of a stronger whole.
Christina: Ok, another one. Your support. You’re behind me in everything I do. School, work, ideas, everything.
Ken: Because you are who you are. The data adds up. You are good at what you do. For example, your writing. It comes naturally to you. Most people say you are easy to read and they enjoy reading what you do. So, if somebody appears to attack or put off your gifts, I am compelled to level the field, to correct their uninformed critique of you.
Christina: Right. I have more good things to say, but that’s enough for now. I can see your eyes glazing over… you are getting overloaded.
Ken: I am becoming anxious talking about my positive traits. Can we revisit this topic in a few blog’s time?
Christina: Sure. How about we talk about meeting Temple Grandin next time?
Ken: I would enjoy that.
Next post: Dialogue #5 – “Our Time with Temple”