This blog was last posted in 2014. As the new school year begins, this young mans viewpoint of peer exclusion helped him (and his parents) to go in another direction altogether. We hope it inspires you too. – Aspergers101

When asked about living with Autism, without prompt nor expectation of any kind, this quote came from our son Sam (then 15 years of age) during an interview for the documentary “Coping to Excelling”. 

“Don’t worry about the impairments that God included in this package….think about the good stuff in the package God gave you.”                                                                             -Sam Allen July 2011

These are Sam’s words of advice to anyone living with an impairment, disability or challenge of any kind. His words, though brief, are quite powerful for someone in their mid-teens. I share this because as a person of faith, this is a good way of thinking…maybe for us all.

Chances are anyone with High Functioning Autism or Aspergers Syndrome are not just challenged with the autism but with the comorbidities that typically go along with the diagnosis of ASD. Comorbidities such as ADD, ADHD, OCD, bi-polar or anxiety (to name a few) all challenge and can hinder daily life. We fight daily to overcome these obstacles while oftentimes losing sight of the strengths that do come with the Asperger or HFA diagnosis.

Strengths and ‘gifts’ may include that intense interest in one subject. That hyper-focus may drive family members batty but that is the very ‘good stuff’ Sam is talking about. Issac Newton, Einstein, Steve Jobs and John Nash are all said to have had Aspergers Syndrome. Their ability to focus intensely on one subject allowed them to do great things! Though Sam was never invited to his peer’s birthday parties or gatherings, his absorption in the topic of that time brought him to build a low-powered FM radio station from his bedroom as well as a high-powered gaming computer from scratch. This is a gift so go with it. If their interest happens to be the constellation, seek the stars with your Aspie by laying a blanket on the ground in the backyard at 2am. If it’s trains, go to train museums and allow them to ask the volunteers questions till their hearts content. You get the idea.

This quote now hangs by our front door so as we leave our house everyday…we are all reminded of our worth, no matter our flaws or challenges. Point being…the quote above came from a beautiful mind that is literally wired differently and who knows God doesn’t make mistakes no matter what bullying peers have said. Sam truly believes to his core not to “sweat the small stuff” but to focus on the good. I think that’s a good lesson for neuro-typicals as well!    

by: Jennifer Allen

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  1. My 17 year old grandson is an Aspie. He is precious and has a very loving side. He does however have meltdowns that are very stressful for his mom and all that are involved in his life.

    Pat lives with his mom alone. His father doesn’t want to be in his life and his older sister is now gone from the home. Daily life is really a challenge since Pat also has anger issues. His mother tries very hard to deal with him but there are those times when it overwhelms mom and son.

    Thanks for Sam’s quote. We have and will continue to look for all the wonderful things that make up Pat. God is good!

    1. Thank you for sharing your daughter’s and Pats story. While I’m saddened that your daughter is raising Pat without her husband it is more touching how much his father is missing out by being a part of his son’s life. That said…your daughter must be an amazing woman and I’m sure Pat is too. The meltdowns are a part of autism especially when ‘triggers’ are present. Loud sounds, anxiety, social situations and many more situations can be stessors that set off a meltdown. Finding Pat’s triggers is essential as well as keeping a predictable environment as possible. Our son has been taking a mild anti-anxiety med that has taken the edge off of his triggers. Not sure if that’s what will help Pat but it does take a constant observation to see what upsets our Sam. No doubt it’s a lot of work on the parents or parent but I do believe God’s angels fly a little closer to people like your grandson and daughter…the ones needing his strength the most!

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