Z is for ZEAL
Zeal is defined as: “fervor for a person, cause, or object; eager desire or endeavor; enthusiastic diligence; ardor.” – Dictionary.com
Zeal is a perfect term to describe how Autistic people approach many aspects of life. When a person hones in on their Special Interests, they ignite a desire to learn everything about those topics. Autistic individuals zealously pursue their interests because knowledge, understanding, and experience in these areas provide them comfort and joy. These special interests can be utilized as a way of educating and teaching new concepts to children with Autism. When an Adult with Autism obtains work pertaining to their area of expertise, they become extremely valuable members of the companies they work for, and the communities in which those businesses operate.
When I observe members of the Autism community, I envy their ability to remain passionate about their interests, despite what life may throw their way. This quote by Edmond Mbiaka, is the best way I can convey my admiration for Autistic people, because they instinctively do what most of us struggle to achieve:
“We are all born with some great abilities to excel in all circumstances, but unfortunately, negative thoughts always tend to blindfold a lot of people from realizing their true potential in life. However, anyone can take back their true destiny by always challenging every thought that doesn’t keep their mind fully focused on the prize ahead.”
The Autistic adults in the world, like our children today, struggled with learning according to society’s standards of typical education. For all the negative thoughts and actions people have directed toward them, they remain passionate about the things they love, because they do not look at life the way most people do. It is an amazing gift, which should be treasured and applauded. We must be ever diligent to not change an Autistic person to fit societal norms, but simply assist them in learning how to navigate the world on their terms. Ignacio Estrada stated it perfectly: “If a child can’t learn the way we teach; maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
As a parent of an extraordinary Autistic child, I am thankful for the different angles I now see the world from. I would not have these unique views without Beth and her amazing gifts, which stem from her Autism. Her road may not always be easy, and she will face all kinds of ugly in the world; however, she will persevere and she will remain passionate and full of life, because she is Au-Some.
Zeal “Our Way” is defined as: “One of the many blessings of having Autism, because it allows the Autistic individual to always explore and cherish the subjects that speak to their heart, which brings them and those around them an immense joy.”
Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.