As a child Dr. Stephen Mark Shore was nonverbal until age 4, and at the same age he was taking apart watches and putting them back together without leaving any pieces behind. He says his parents took notice and, "turned away from the closed door of disorder, deficit, and disability and looked at the open door of ability." In his great TEDx talk Dr. Shore says we are doing great in the awareness department, but it’s time to step up our game, shift our focus to the next level, acceptance and appreciation, together he calls this the three A’s of autism (awareness, acceptance and appreciation).
“As we look at the challenges and strengths [of autism] I suggest we transition from thinking of autism as a collection of deficits, disorders, and disability and turn towards the open doors of abilities and strengths and appreciating what people with autism have to offer to the world, and we can do that be considering the three A's of autism. Let's work with people on the spectrum, with those characteristics and appreciate the strengths that people on the autism spectrum have.”
What if we did look at autism as a superpower instead of a limitation? I think we'll get there in time. Watch and you’ll see some great examples from Dr. Shore of how we can focus the strengths of someone with autism into an asset to society.