70 Favorite Quotes About Autism and Aspergers

TempleGrandin4

Update 9/30/2016

I’m collecting favorite quotes about autism from some of my favorite people. Please share your own in the comments and if I like it, I may add it to the list.

1. “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism,” Dr. Stephen Shore.

StephenShore_NewYork

2. “What would happen if the autism gene was eliminated from the gene pool? You would have a bunch of people standing around in a cave, chatting and socializing and not getting anything done,” Dr. Temple Grandin

TempleGrandin4

3. “It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a child with autism to raise the consciousness of the village,” Coach Elaine Hall

4. “And now I know it is perfectly natural for me not to look at someone when I talk. Those of us with Asperger’s are just not comfortable doing it. In fact, I don’t really understand why it’s considered normal to stare at someone’s eyeballs,” John Elder Robison

5. “Autism … offers a chance for us to glimpse an awe-filled vision of the world that might otherwise pass us by,” Dr. Colin Zimbleman, Ph.D.

6.“I’ve listened enough. It’s time for me to speak, however it may sound. Through an electronic device, my hands, or my mouth. Now it’s your time to listen. Are you ready?” Neal Katz, Self-advocate

7. “The most interesting people you’ll find are ones that don’t fit into your average cardboard box. They’ll make what they need, they’ll make their own boxes,” Dr. Temple Grandin

8. “This is a FOREVER journey with this creative, funny, highly intelligent, aggressive, impulsive, nonsocial, behavioral, often times loving individual. The nurse said to me after 6 hours with him ‘He is a gift’ INDEED he is,” Janet Frenchette Held, Parent

9. “Behavior is communication. Change the environment and behaviors will change,” Lana David, Autism Unites

10. “I think when one becomes identified with a label that’ll become all anyone sees; the expansiveness and breadth of the all of who you are suddenly hidden from view. I look to the entire history of the label and how it came to be. Our Western world likes to compartmentalize putting everything into simplistic categories. Now they have such terms as “neurotypical” and “neurodivergent,” separating the entire human population on the planet into two categories. I would say that “neurotypical” is a diversity as well, Kurt Muzikar, Introduction to Bozo to Bosons (not yet published)

11. “For autistic individuals to succeed in this world, they need to find their strengths and the people that will help them get to their hopes and dreams. In order to do so, ability to make and keep friends is a must. Amongst those friends, there must be mentors to show them the way. A supportive environment where they can learn from their mistakes is what we as a society needs to create for them,” Bill Wong, Autistic Occupational Therapist

12. “Our wounds and hurts and fears are in our eyes. Humans think they build ‘walls’ for internal privacy. They think eye contact is about honesty but they mostly lie because they think they can hide their intent. Eye contact is invasive,” Carol Ann Edscorn

13. “Although people with autism look like other people physically, we are in fact very different…We are more like travelers from the distant, distant past. And if, by our being here, we could help the people of the world remember what truly matters for the Earth, that might give us quiet pleasure,” Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump

14. “Negative words carry negative vibration. Positive words carry positive vibration. What do you want your child to reflect back to you, the label of disordered or the label of gifted in a new way?” Suzy Miller, Awesomism

15. “I want Elijah to know that he is loved just the way he is,” Gee Vero.

16. “What makes a child gifted and talented may not always be good grades in school, but a different way of looking at the world and learning,” Chuck Grassley

17. “Parents have therapists come in their house and tell them what to do. They give their power away. Parents need to focus on healing and empowering themselves. They must shift their beliefs about autism. Once the parent knows who they are the child will respond,” Lori Shayew.

18. “Not everyone is perfect. There is always an imperfect side to everyone,” Finn Christie, Age 10, on making Perfect Babies.

19. “Life is… not about counting the losses and the lost expectations, but rather swimming, with as much grace as can be mustered, in the joy of all of it,” Leisa Hammett

20. “For every 3 years your child is in public school, you can expect one exceptional teacher, one mediocre teacher, and one teacher who makes your life miserable,” Rick Seward, disability advocate for Alpha Resource Center in Santa Barbara, 2002

21. “The labeling undermines us in so many levels! But people don’t know, they need to be reminded that we too are God’s children. People don’t mean harm because they too are God’s children. Love heals lots of wounds. Love is patient, love is kind; my motto in life. You are loving. Mom has healed her consciousness to allow me to truly reflect my real identity as God’s perfect child. Just don’t let your senses get you fooled, we are more than our bodies. Find the truth so you can reflect your real being,” Nicole (13 years old, non-verbal, labeled autistic.. typed independently on her iPad)

22. “Music therapy, equine therapy, and art therapy are all ‘therapeutic’ because they are a vibrational match. They have elements to them that your child can use at his current level of high-vibrational function to make sense of this lower vibrating world,” Suzy Miller, Awesomenism

23. “Stop thinking about normal…You don’t have a big enough imagination for what your child can become,” Johnny Seitz, autistic tightrope artists in the movie Loving Lamposts.

24. “The way we look at our children and their limitations is precisely the way they will feel about themselves. We set the examples, and they learn by taking our cue from us,” Amalia Starr

25. “English is my 2nd language. Autism is my first,” Dani Bowman

26. “We are the doorway into a New World Order that is based on love and heart. We have the heart key. We only need the respect of others to learn how to serve wisely and kindly,” Lyrica, nonverbal, from the book Awetizm

27. “Rome was not built on the first day. I need time to build the Eiffel Tower of my life,” Jeremy Sicile-Kira

28. “Within every living child exists the most precious bud of self-identity. To search this out and foster it with loving care; that is the essence of educating an autistic child,” Dr. Kiyo Kitahara

29. “We contain the shapes of trees and the movement of rivers and stars within us,” Patrick Jasper Lee

30. “When doctors, parents, teachers, therapists, even television describe typical spectrum kids, without meaning to, they’re describing typically male spectrum traits — patterns first noticed by observing boys. Only boys. And we aren’t boys. So they miss and mislabel us,” Jennifer O’Toole, Asperkids

31. “Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine,” Alan Turing, creator of the first computer used to break codes during WW II.

Jacob

32. “My autism is the reason I’m in college and successful. It’s the reason I’m good in math and science. It’s the reason I care,” Jacob Barnett, sixteen-year old math and physics protege.

33. “Think of it: a disability is usually defined in terms of what is missing. … But autism … is as much about what is abundant as what is missing, an over-expression of the very traits that make our species unique,” Paul Collins, Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism

34. “The concept of neurodiversity provides a paradigm shift in how we think about mental functioning. Instead of regarding large portions of the American public as suffering from deficit, disease, or dysfunction in their mental processing, neurodiversity suggests that we instead speak about differences in cognitive functioning,” Dr. Thomas Armstrong

35. “My autism makes things shine. Sometimes I think it is amazing but sometimes it is sad when I want to be the same and talk the same and I fail. Playing the piano makes me very happy. Playing Beethoven is like your feelings – all of them – exploding,” Mikey Allcock, 16-year old who was non-verbal until age 10

36. “By holding the highest vision for your child when they can not see it for themselves, you are lifting them up, elevating them and helping them to soar,” Megan Koufos

37. “There is no cure for being human,” Cheri Rauser, mom to Isabell

38. ““I know of nobody who is purely autistic or purely neurotypical. Even God had some autistic moments, which is why the planets all spin,” Jerry Newport, Your Life is Not a Label

39. “The good and bad in a person, their potential for success or failure, their aptitudes and deficits – they are mutually conditional, arising from the same source. Our therapeutic goal must be to teach the person how to bear their difficulties. Not to eliminate them for him, but to train the person to cope with special challenges with special strategies; to make the person aware not that they are ill, but that they are responsible for their lives,”   Hans Aspergers

40. “Autism is really more of a difference to be worked with rather than a monolithic enemy that needs to be slain or destroyed,” Stephen Shore, PhD

41. “I view ‘autistic’ as a word for a part of how my brain works, not for a narrow set of behaviors and certainly not for a set of boundaries of a stereotype that I have to stay inside,” Amanda Baggs

42. “My autism is like the taste of tepid saké, different but interesting,” Sue Rubin

43. “Like Asperger, I too would sometimes like to claim a dash of autism for myself. A dash of autism is not a bad way to characterize the apparent detachment and unworldliness of the scientist who is obsessed with one seemingly all-important problem and temporarily forgets the time of day, not to mention family and friends,” Uta Frith

44. “Even for parents of children who are not on the spectrum, there is no such thing as a normal child.” Violet Stevens

45. “Our duty in aut­ism is not to cure but to re­lieve suf­fer­ing and to max­im­ize each per­son’s po­ten­tial,” John Elder Robison

46. “Disability doesn’t make you exceptional, but questioning what you think you know about it does,” Stella Young

47. “Being autistic is not about living in a vacuum, sucking in everything around you, living in an existence shutout from your environment. If anything, the environment becomes more real, more painful, more evident,” Jocelyn Eastman

48. “Vibrant waves of sequenced patterns emerged in my head whenever I looked at musical notes and scores. Like pieces of a mysterious puzzle solved, it was natural for me to see music and its many facets as pictures in my head. It never occurred to me that others couldn’t see what I saw,” Dr. Stephen Shore

49. “We need to embrace those who are different and the bullies need to be the ones who get off the bus,” Caren Zucker, co-author of “In a Different Key”

50. “I don’t want my thoughts to die with me, I want to have done something. I’m not interested in power, or piles of money. I want to leave something behind. I want to make a positive contribution – know that my life has meaning,” Temple Grandin

51. “Autists are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It’s that you’re destroying the peg.”- Paul Collins

52. “Don’t think that there’s a different, better child ‘hiding’ behind the autism. This is your child. Love the child in front of you. Encourage his strengths, celebrate his quirks, and improve his weaknesses, the way you would with any child. You may have to work harder on some of this, but that’s the goal.” – Claire Scovell LaZebnik

53. Do not fear people with Autism, embrace them. Do not spite people with Autism, unite them. Do not deny people with Autism, accept them for then their abilities will shine.” – Paul Isaacs

54. “I see people with Asperger’s syndrome as a bright thread in the rich tapestry of life.” – Tony Attwood

55. “Autism is as much a part of humanity as is the capacity to dream.”-Kathleen Seidel

56. “I looked up to the stars and wondered which one I was from,” James McCue

57. “I see everything in color. I have synesthesia, which means that the part of my brain – that controls the senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste – are wired differently,” Jeremy Sicile-Kira

58. “Connection is what moves this world forward. Connection is a profound human experience,” Jenny Palmiotto, The Therapist Shift

59. “By separating the autism from the person, are we encouraging our patients’ family members to love an imagined nonautistic child that was never born, forgetting about the real person who exists in front of us,” Christina Nicolaidis, A Physician Speaks

60. “Blue sky may be beautiful but lighting the tall buildings blue is autism-awareness,” Tito Mukhopadhyay

61. “Autism makes you listen louder. It makes you pay attention on an emotional level as well as an intellectual level,” Jace King, brother to Taylor Cross, Normal People Scare Me Too.

62. “Presume intelligence with all children with autism. Presume all of them are hearing you,” Lori Shayew, The Gifts of Autism

63. “Autism is about having a pure heart and being very sensitive… It is about finding a way to survive in an overwhelming, confusing world… It is about developing differently, in a different pace and with different leaps,” Trisha Van Berkel

64. “Until we create a nation that regularly wants to employ a person with autism, assure for a quality education for each person with autism, and eliminates the far too many unnecessary obstacles placed in the way of success for a person with autism, we really won’t be as successful as we must. We need to get all in our nation to embrace the belief that each person with autism is valued, respected and held to the highest level of dignity and must be provided every opportunity for the highest quality of life each and every day.” ASA President Scott Badesch

Emma Zurcher-Long Showing Kindness

65. “Showing kindness towards those who are different and embracing our imperfections as proof of our humanness is the remedy for fear,” Emma Zurcher-Long of Emma’s Hope Book

66. “Nowhere am I so desperately needed as among a shipload of illogical humans,” Mr.SpockI

67. “…I don’t need to apologize for Reid as much as interpret his behavior for the uninitiated. His actions aren’t immoral or wrong; they just get misconstrued or misinterpreted,” Andrea Moriarity, One Track Mind: 15 Ways to Amplify Your Child’s Special Interest

68. “…autistic people are people: they’re not puzzle pieces or baffling enigmas or medical mysteries to be solved or ‘normal’ people ‘trapped’ in the bodies of autistics or any of that crap that infects so many portrayals of autistic people in both the clinical literature and the popular media. At the same time, I think it’s equally important to celebrate the differences between autistic people and typical people, and to recognize the need for accommodating autism as a significant disability…” Steve Silberman, an Interview with Steve Silberman author of Neurotribes.

69.
Kerry Magro Quote

70. “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible,” Frank Zappa

33 Comments

  • Delightful Deb!!!!!!! I have heard most of these in person. I am blessed. Intriguing. I thought I adapted the phrases from Cheryl Jorgenson UNH, Insititute on Disability, and have been using them in my presentations for 7 years: “All behavior is communication. Change yourself. Change the environment. The behaviors will change.” I also use – and tell my teachers in class – “THIS IS YOUR MANTRA: All behavior serves a purpose. All behavior tells a story!”

    LOVE THIS COLLECTION…And I heard someone on a talk show about diabetes: When you’ve met one person with diabetes, you’ve met one person with diabetes. YUP. You know you’ve got a good thing going when there is imitation!

  • mike L says:

    Thanks Debbie. A concise list yet a wide net of insights.

  • Kelly Coady says:

    “I’m not damaged, I’m just different” my son Connor Coady on his Autism

  • Bahareh says:

    Wow! What just a few words can say! I’ve been blessed with an AS son who has been doing therapy for almost 6 years. Whenever I’m the one who gives up, he would comfort me and say : Mom I know I’m different, But I love it!
    I’ve seen a few of the other pages you’ve shared, they were all educative.
    Thanks!

  • “Within every living child exists the most precious bud of self-identity.
    To search this out and foster it with loving care; that is the essence of educating an autistic child”
    Dr. Kiyo Kitahara

  • After a couple of years of severe cyber bullying and misery, I have today, aged 50, been diagnosed as AS/HFA. The label has helped me already to understand that behaviours, which hitherto have been just weird, are actually normal for me.

    My quotation would therefore be, “Being diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome has made me normal. It’s the best thing that has happened in a long time!”

  • Aged 50, I have today been diagnosed with HFA / AS. Behaviours which have hitherto been plain weird are now normal.

    So my quotation, “Being diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome has made me normal again.”

  • Hello mates, its wonderful article concerning cultureand completely defined,
    keep it up all the time.

  • Some say that autism is a genetic mistake, an abnormality. I say autism is the next step in human evolution. People with autism and Asperger’s live and think and experience the world from a higher plane. They are unburdened with the trivial and superficial needs that most of us have come to accept as “normal”. They are themselves in such an earnest way with such purity of mind and spirit that I find absolutely fascinating.

  • some people are intelligent, creative, intuitive, autistic, playful, sincere, loyal – some are not

  • I don’t know who said it originally, but I have seen a Meme on social media that says, “God doesn’t make mistakes.” It was supposed to be encouraging for teens who feel out of place, but I think it is just as relevant for autistics of any age.

  • Autism Care says:

    Nice article !! Many people with Asperger’s seem to be fascinated with technology, and a common career choice is engineering. But scientific careers are by no means the only areas where people with Asperger’s excel.

  • chantal says:

    Jeremy has a ton! I could send you a document. Here’s one off the bat:

    Rome was not built on the first day. I need time to build the Eiffel Tower of my life.

  • Autism Care says:

    Autism is one of those diseases which have the ability to cause neural disorders in the brains of those diagnosed by it.

  • Jhonny Seitz says:

    Message God Does Not Make Garbage!

    • Autism:
      often misunderstood as poor behavior

      I took him to emergency
      his body bruised and battered
      He had fallen from the bathroom sink
      toothpaste, and the mouthwash
      had been scattered

      I told them he was listless
      not really his active self
      I was very terribly worried
      he had also poisoned himself

      “We really must investigate
      His condition speaks abuse
      We’ll take him to be monitored
      You talk with special help”

      I waited for an hour
      my heart felt torn in half
      where had they taken my baby boy
      I’d said please watch him carefully
      and handed them his toy

      From somewhere in the back room
      I heard a mournful scream
      a doctor came
      then took my hand
      He looked like he could cry

      I don’t know how you do it
      can we offer you some help
      We know you didn’t hurt him
      and please don’t hurt yourself

      Nurse only looked away a sec
      but then when she looked back
      he had opened up the
      storage door and hid behind
      a stack

      It only took a minute
      but the damage was untold
      He’d opened every sterile pad
      and ointment tube we had

      Please take these pills
      to help you deal
      and anything else you need
      The nurse will bring him
      out to you
      don’t worry he’s not hurt

      Then you can take him home
      with you,
      his clothes are in a sack
      yes… yes
      You can take him home with you
      … and please… don’t bring him back
      true story in memory of my sweet Jamie

  • Martha Goff says:

    I am glad to see at least one other adult on the spectrum represented here in the comments as well as in a couple of the quotations cited above. We need to be allowed to play a greater role in defining ourselves and supporting each other. Not everyone (especially in my age group) is fortunate enough to have had parents willing and able to implant within us the kernel of deep love and self-confidence needed to prevail against the many painful obstacles we face in a neurotypical world.

  • Violet says:

    Great quotes, but number 7 has a spelling error! Their, not they’re.
    7. “The the most interesting people you’ll find are ones that don’t fit into your average cardboard box. They’ll make what they need, they’ll make THEIR own boxes” Dr. Temple Grandin

    • Debbie says:

      thank you. I’ll correct.

      • didn’t know there are grammar police for heartfelt sharing about Autism
        perhaps I need to find a group more centered on reality, comfort and understanding
        or perhaps the good Dr. needs to be less rude…
        and yes these children and caretakers mean more to me than such responses
        my heart aches – as many Autistic people couldn’t spell to save THEIR lives sir

        • Debbie says:

          Anne, I don’t know what you are referring to. Can you please explain?

          • sure… I don’t understand well how people communicate with each other
            I feel blogs like this are for sharing – not correcting spelling or grammar errors
            I feel uncomfortable with people in that way, and think it is insensitive to correct in this case
            as it is for someone who speaks broken English to be corrected in pronunciation, this is not a classroom – I have worked over 40 years helping autistic children to learn – in both private and public
            sectors – I designed programs for special education – have fought tooth and nail for these children –
            just thought this site was for them, and those who care and encourage – not diminish anyone in any way
            perhaps I just need to mind my own business, as I realize you didn’t feel the correction was inappropriate
            thanks for asking me to explain [what I thought was very clear] in my comment, but perhaps it was not clear to others

  • Valuable information. Lucky me I discovered your website by
    chance, and I am shocked why this accident didn’t happened in advance!
    I bookmarked it.

  • Phil says:

    I was diagnosed with Apsergers at age 11, and here’s how I best describe it.

    “Aspergers, the more high functioning form of autism is like having a short, ugly kid in a striped shirt sit on the back of your head, sticking syringes into your brain, injecting you with what he wants you to obsess over, whether it be positive or negative. At first, you try to live with it, then you learn quickly that that kid is going to make you obsess over these things for a long time, and eventually, that kid gets annoying. I guess that’s why people with the more intense autism freak out easily, cause that kid’s been driving them nuts.”

  • Bernie Sanders 2016 says:

    Many aspie parents carry the ANK3 gene, but aren’t affected. Yet, sometimes their children can be affected by this gene via de novo mutations that cause epilepsy and problems with PSD (post synaptic density) and LTP (long term potentiiation) causing constant neuronal dysregulation. This is very hard for the aspie parent to embrace, as they carry the same gene, but are high functioning on spectrum and aren’t affected in the same way. However, the advantage of this is the aspie people often have deeper insight into what can and will help the severely autistic person. There is a way to genetically alter the lower functioning autistic people with epilepsy and aberrant behaviors. Researcher just haven’t found the exact formula yet.

  • As I have lived with Asbergers my entire life, I have learned several truths. One is, no matter how many people there are on this earth and no matter how different they are:

    “Everyone is normal. It’s when my normal comes
    into contact with your normal that things get “weird”.
    Darrell Tousley

  • Rue says:

    I have learnt that to strive to be normal is to fail, and who wants to be normal when I can be special, unique, I strive to be the best me I can, quirks, differences and all. Being autistic means I can let go of some issues, I will never understand some things but now I can stop worrying about it and just go with what I do know! I am not disabled but different!

  • Making friends is real easy. Keeping them, though, is much difficult once your money has run out.

  • One has a very interesting quotation which you may, or may not, like:

    “The mind of an is a veritable buffet of nuances, since art, literature and music are expressions of the same psyche, then so is the dynamic and algebraic perception of that which animates our senses.”

    Karl Houghton, 2011

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *