March 14, 2012
By Lee Passehl
Most Autistics seem to posess some kind of gift. For Temple Grandin, it was animal science. For Jason Mcelwain, it was shooting basketballs. For Donna Williams, it was creative writing. All these individuals put their talents to good use.
My talent is a little different from most autistic people I’ve met. When I think of animal science, I think of a person in a white coat observing and taking care of ethier rabbits, horses, or whatever animals they are focusing on. When I think of basketball, I think of tall athletic people passing and shooting an orange rubber ball, running up and down a wooden floor, scrambling and clawing all to get a piece of the ball in front of tens of thousands of people. When I think of creative writing, I think of a person telling stories about mystical creatures or a journey of two people through a mountain somewhere in a place far, far away fighting bears, lions or whatever enemies the author can think of.
My talent might be hard to visulize or comprehend for most people on this planet. When people think of radio control cars, the first thing that comes to mind is a young child driving a very plastic, toy that only goes about 3 MPH, and is advertised on children’s television programs. The cars that I race are an entirely different animal. Some parts on my cars can reach 300 degrees Fareinheit. I can use real gasoline mixed with oil.The cars are made of high tech materials similar to the fastest cars in the world and can accelerate faster than most cars on this planet. These cars are extremely hard to control, and can be driven in the rain at 55 MPH.
There are people who get paid to race radio control cars professionally, but there are very few of them who race for money, so racing as a profession for me is out of the picture. I’m interested in a job that would suit my talent, but this is very hard to explain when talking to a job counselor. Hollywood does robotics and it would be great to do this type of work. It would be great to put my talent to good use.
I believe everyone who has a special talent should explore that talent to the utmost extent and never let up once they are given the opportunity. If your family member has a talent that could offer lifelong opportunities, go for it. Look at what my “gift” did for me. It gave me an incentive to do other things I’m less comfortable doing, like exercising good sportsmanship (no tantrums), and appropriate behaviors in a public setting. It also brought me to one of the most awesome places to live in America and the world. I thank whatever supreme force out there for giving me that gift or working hard to make my gift work. Don’t give up; it could open a huge door for you and family.
Lee blogs for the Autism Society about his life with autism. Read his story!
Topics:Living with Autism
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