We’ve all heard the old saying: do you see the glass half empty or half full?
As a chemist, I always preferred the analytical chemist’s answer:
The point being: Optimists see only the good and choose to ignore the bad. Pessimists see only the bad and ignore the good. And if you are an analytical chemist, you have to measure and record the data as it exists, without filter.
So what does ANY of this have to do with autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a mixed bag which comes with both difficulties and enhanced capabilities. An optimist sees being on the autism spectrum as an evolution of humanity. A pessimist sees autism as a burden, or the source of their life’s problems.
But at Autism Achiever I argue that attitude is everything, and that we must examine the data as it is: celebrate our unique powers and openly acknowledge our difficulties. Because when we acknowledge our difficulties it gives us power: specifically, the power to do something about them! Many on the spectrum value complete honesty toward others, but are you honest with yourself? Be honest with yourself first… what do you struggle with? How could you better interact with other people?
Decide that autism is not your limitation, and then do something about it. Stop accepting excuses and limitations. Decide to pick that glass of water up and own all 100% of it, whatever is contained within.
Welcome to Autism Achiever! My name is Courtney and I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 3 when I was nonverbal. I was diagnosed at a time when information about autism was nonexistent and success was considered impossible. Everything I learned was through painful trial and error but today I am a Ph.D. Candidate Scientist who has learned how to turn autism from my disability into my superpower!
My goal is to share the information I have learned along the way to help those on the spectrum reach their full potential. Whether you are learning what autism is for the first time, are a parent, teacher professional or are on the spectrum, you will find information here which is insightful and accessible. As a scientist, especially one who grew up in a time of sparse autism knowledge I recognize the value of peer-reviewed research and will cite and summarize relevant research where appropriate, though I will also be drawing most heavily from my own anecdotal experiences.
If you are on the spectrum, this site will help YOU be successful no matter what challenges you face. You will learn to face your fears, smash limitations, defy expectations and show the world that autism succeeds!
So what can you look forward to seeing at Autism Achiever?
In the future, I’ll be making posts with practical, actionable advice on topics like:
How to create structure and organization in your life
How to be more effective socially
How to prevent and manage meltdowns
How to manage sleep issues
How to manage sensory issues
The elements of success
How to build a winning mindset
How to stay motivated
Coping with anxiety and depression
…and much more!
In addition to these practical spectrum-survival topics I will answer questions on our new Q&A page, bust autism myths, break down interesting peer-reviewed literature about autism, provide spectrum-perspectives on autism-related news stories, and encourage everyone to go out and achieve more!