Autism traits are neutral to positive in nature. Yet, the societal norm is to discuss our traits as negative symptoms and deficits.
Autistic people are neurologically different. We see, think, feel, and express ourselves differently, but difference is often condemned in our ableist society. Combatting this deficit-mindset of neurological differences is one of the foundational mission of the autism movement.
Upon closer inspection, deficit-based autism symptoms are easily reworded into neutral and/or positive autistic persons traits. For example:
Autism “Symptom”: Restricted interests
Autistic Person Trait: Focused areas of expertise
Autism “Symptom”: Has difficulty multitasking
Autistic Person Trait: Accomplishes tasks one-at-a-time
Autism “Symptom”: Difficulty socializing
Autistic Person Trait: Prefers the company of nature and animals
Autism “Symptom”: Strict adherence to rigid structures
Autistic Person Trait: Follows schedules and routines with natural ease
Autism “Symptom”: Black-and-white thinking
Autistic Person Trait: Strong sense of right and wrong