I had a conversation with a caregiver today.
She said, “You have three college degrees and have autism? Not fair. But what is life?”
I replied, “I don’t think so, I don’t see my autism as a bad thing. I see my autism as a strength, I got to lead the way for several doctors to learn more about autism. I got to educate many autism specialists about autism. I get to see the world in a different light compared to most people. I have had many opportunities that people who are not autistic would not ever be able to do. I have a bachelor’s in psychology, another in social work, and a master’s in social work. I now understand the system, and I am more aware of how to make waves in the system. I have had many opportunities to learn more about life and apply my knowledge in order to combat the system and help change the world.”
My caregiver then said, “Good for you. My 37-year-old will never be able to take care of himself. He has never had a single friend. Autism is not a gift to him. Anyone can be diagnosed with autism. It’s not right. Some people should not have that diagnosis.”
I asked her, “Is he happy? Sometimes we see people’s worth simply by accomplishments as how valuable they are, how productive they can be. But isn’t the purpose to challenge oneself in order to not only grow, with not only wisdom and strength, but also happiness? The journey we take as well as the destination is to be happy. One should measure success by happiness! Not by college degrees, marriage, or good job, and so on. Your son is no better nor worse than me with his lack of college degrees, as long as he is happy with his life and with himself.