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My Personal Observation of World Autism Awareness Day

Being April 2nd, today is World Autism Awareness Day. There are probably two questions you are waiting to ask as to why am I writing about this day. First of all, you may be wondering what is Autism? To describe it most accurately would require way too much time. However, putting it in the simplest explanation, it’s a situation or condition where social interaction and communications is hindered. Triangulating the cause of Autism has resulted in several possible root causes (including the preposterous and discredited vaccine avenue). Now for the second question. Why am I sharing this information? Because I can despite the fact I was diagnosed with Autism.

If you have been, and what has been several other I have written for, you'll understand in how much high regard I hold automobiles but have no idea I practically starting a race 10 laps down. It was my interest in automobiles that served as my initial guiding light out of darkness. It was also assuring to interact with a complex being without the fear of judgement.

Despite my desires to use a car analogy, I think of people operating like a computer system. Ideally, we are born with the essential hardware interfaces and software that can be easily programmed to the life we live. In my opinion, Autism is a situation where some of the software is either missing or contains computation errors preventing programming to be entered in the traditional sense. Sometimes through intervention at the right time, the software in the Autistic brain can be patched or reprogrammed to somewhat comprehend input information. However, the likely truth is that differences in the software of the Autistic mind will always result on at least subtle nuances where information is uniquely processed.

When describing my attempts to communicate with others today, I can use an automotive analogy. Often, I feel like I'm running with a transmission with an extremely tall first gear. It's just so much of an effort to generate enough momentum to approach anybody. I recall moments in my teens the problem was so severe I wasn't even comfortable walking up to a checkout at a store in order to buy something. With some time, I overcome that difficulty as I had to comfort largely unwarranted fears.

Part of a grade 9 shop class was to creative a small propeller-driven vehicle that was to race along a guide cable. The class was divided into group and it was one of many cases in school I was assigned to a group. Sometimes it worked and other things I was placed among others who rarely listens or, in some cases, demean me. Conceiving the design of the vehicle, I observed a potential advantage with the placement of the propeller-driven engine. Applying some of the expertise I picked up from NHRA top fuel cars and on open wheel race cars, I measured the engine and wanted to place the mounting bracket as far forward within the chassis as possible for weight balance as well as stability. When I tried to present my findings, I was ignored and ridiculed. They probably heard the underdeveloped voice of a shy young man but I insisted in presenting my design suggestion. Knowing I could not share my idea, I proceeded to build my vehicle using my principles. Once my creation was built, it arguably zipped along the cable among the best of all the vehicles created. At one point, it even self-corrected when placed crookedly on the cable. While my peers may not have been patient or receptive, I also feel bother myself I could not have effectively communicated my ideas for a mutual benefit.

Maybe I was born in an era prior to Autism awareness but I thankfully exist in a period where technology can bridge communication gaps. Recent years, Twitter has allowed me to share my thoughts and most importantly realize insights in others. For an Autistic person, the subtle behaviours associated with general face-to-face communications is not always clear. With Twitter, a treasured tool has provided a chance to share words with some wonderful and brilliant people I would have otherwise been deprived. I thank everyone who has made the experience on social media meaningful. While it may have been a retweet, mention or response using less than 140 characters, it has given me greater confidence I've needed to emerge as a better, more understanding person. 

It has been my quest every day since being told of my Autism to find my voice. One thing I struggle with is trying to infuse a personality in my articles. By no means would I ever amount to a Jeremy Clarkson, a person who compels through a highly creative yet polarizing presentation style. I was brought up under the belief that treating everyone in a respectful fashion would garner the most welcome from others. However, since I have attended school, I know how much attention mean and bully-like behaviour can attract; in most cases I was the recipient of the daily attacks of personalities adhering to belittling. When I watch television, I saw figures such as Kevin O'Leary and Simon Cowell building a career of going out of their way to be mean to relative strangers. There is a line between criticism and being just outright nasty. Unfortunately, this bullying behaviour has manifested online. When it becomes entertainment to tease or berate another person, online social media has painted a picture of how some misunderstand the nature of criticism replacing it with bullying. Criticism would be used sparingly and with compassion towards another human being. In the time when it is necessary to voice, it should be done in a means to guide and lift that other person into becoming a better person they are more than capable of being. Maybe this is a message I wish everyone takes to heart from my experiences. Autism should also be a lesson to everyone wanting a world where our understanding of each other broadens. It has been my privilege to grow up in Canada and exist in a relatively accepting culture.

Writing this, I am not trying to become famous nor do I want you to expect less from me since I share something with one of what is roughly 68 births in the United States. The objective is in allowing you to better understand the person who has been attempting to draw your attention by writing hundreds of articles. What I have written is an ingredient of who I am and I should not be too disappointed by it. As any growing human being, I plan to built a much grander structure. Thank you.



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