The Potential of Autistic Creativity

We are honored to have an autistic adult, Jim as our guest blogger this week! We love working with autistic adults and sharing their perspectives,

Here are 2 blogs written by Jim:

  1. Jim’s Journey of Being an Autistic Adult
  2. The Simple Power of Autism Awareness on Team Awesomism website

I am a two-time Pennsylvania State University graduate with over 16 years of
dedicated community service volunteering. I began as a grassroots advocate in October
2016 and have since highlighted challenging mental health issues as both a published
writer and a self-made presenter. Now, my goals are to advance autism research, re-
evaluate resource needs for all demographics, improve the quality of existing services,
and develop new resources so that the overall quality of autistic life is better than it has
been. It matters how people are treated.

I will not rest in my efforts to achieve reasonable accommodations for autistic
employment, improved health care, and a boost to our overall quality of life. This is why
I put my strengths and skills on the line every day. Millions of legitimately autistic
people all across the world depend on it.

Jim R. Irion
Mental Health Advocate

AwesomismMom BLOG Submission #3

Sometimes, when you are struggling the most, you may be able to find some of the most
important positives to help with your life. I often find myself fleeing from negativity as fast as I
possibly can. But I am no longer powerless to face the daily struggles that are now making my
life so challenging. Although I learned this over many years through bitter experiences, I know
that I am still here because of what I found. Ordinary everyday elements in your life, all well
within reach and capability, can be transformed into useful tools to cope with just about anything
you may ever face. When I first discovered this, I realized that I had actually found mindfulness
years earlier, before I knew what it was. Long before, I knew I was autistic as well. The real
potential, however, was not unlocked until I had fully embraced my natural neurodivergence.

It all began in April 2017, when I attended a local mental health and wellness conference.
Two presenters in attendance from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs were set to talk about a
topic that I was only vaguely familiar with. Mindfulness never made much sense to me because
the concept seemed abstract and confusing. It made even less sense because of their background.
I settled in and watched the presentation unfold. The presenters explained that the second form
of mindfulness, referred to as informal, involved not exercises but awareness of ourselves and
our surrounding environment. The concept seemed simple enough. I already considered myself
an observant person. As I took time to process the presentation, I realized informal mindfulness
was not just about being more aware of myself. The secret was how I could use my awareness.

For example, I seek to treat others with respect because I am well aware of how hurtful
bullying can make me or others feel. I regularly reflect on religious faith and spirituality, which
encourage positive healing and forgiveness. Every day, I strive to appreciate different forms of
art and admire the beauty of nature. Imagine enjoying your favorite food more because you are
aware that it is delicious and makes you feel good. Then, you socialize with a dear friend and
share stories or jokes because you know that they treat you with respect. That respect generates
more self-confidence and can be a reliable source of help when needed. Informal mindfulness
lets you focus on any part of your life, so that you can strengthen yourself with what you learn.
The more you learn, the stronger you can become. But was there a limit to all this potential?

I was eager to find out. So I experimented to try and discover what else I could learn.
Music has long been a central part of my life. So, I created a new playlist of gothic metal music
to help me before I was struggling. As it turned out, I ended up using it quite a bit. Humor was
one of my earliest and most prized coping methods. So I tried prioritizing humor in my daily life
because it temporarily alleviated my stress. Eventually, I realized I had strengthened my ability
to handle stress in a growing number of creative and effective ways. This made me increasingly
empowered, which I shared in my proprietary presentation experiences. It also made me more
proactive by planning ahead rather than being reactive to stress. Finally, when my awareness of
autism took off in 2022, I felt like a Jedi. I was so self-aware that I felt connected to everything.

Now, if I am in desperate need of motivation, I stim-listen to the final trailer for Netflix’s
Castlevania Season 4 converted to an MP3 file. If I struggle with helplessness, I stim-watch the
#2 trailer for the 2019 film Midway, with Ghostwriter Music’s powerful song Beyond playing in
the background. When I need empowerment, I stim-watch the end scene from Star Trek Picard
Season 3 episode 9, in which the original cast reunites. In times of great sadness, I stim-listen to
Nightwish’s song Sleeping Sun, sung by the masterful Tarja Turunen. When I need hope, I stim-
listen to Chvrches’ song Warning Call, sung by the amazing Lauren Mayberry. For strength and
identity, I stim-listen to Delain’s album, Dark Waters, sung by the stunning Diana Leah. All of
this and so much more is now possible, thanks to the incredible potential of autistic creativity.

1 thought on “The Potential of Autistic Creativity”

  1. Pingback: A Summer of Awesomism TIPS | AwesomismMom

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