I heard a wonderful interview last night on National Public Radio with Lisa Daxer, an autistic biomedical engineering student. It is worth listening to, here.
But Lisa also has a blog, Reports from a Resident Alien, which is also worth reading. Here's a lovely excerpt:
Most neurotypicals (who aren't artists or children) will probably never notice the beauty in the patterns on a cracked sidewalk, or the gorgeous way the sun reflects off an oil slick after the rain. They'll probably never know what it's like to immerse yourself in a subject and learn everything about it, and the beauty of having all those facts lined up. They'll probably never know what it's like to flap their hands in happiness, or lose yourself in the feel of a cat's fur. There are lovely things about being autistic, too, just as there must be about being neurotypical. Oh, make no bones about it: It's difficult. The world's not set up to operate with autistic people in mind; and autistic people and their families face prejudice every day. But being a happy autistic person isn't "being brave" or "making the best of it". It's quite simply being happy. You don't have to be normal to be happy.