If when we are taught English we are just taught the rules of grammar, it would take all our love of our language away from us. What makes us love a subject like English is when we learn all these fantastic stories. Feeding the imagination is what makes a subject come alive.
It was a gradual process, realizing I was different. I remember at primary school getting a worksheet with sums printed on it. I thought that they must have run out of the right colour inks and sizes for the numbers, because they were all the same, which isn't how I experienced numbers at all. To me, nine is big and blue.
How any person decides to emphasize strengths and mitigate weaknesses is something people have to figure out for themselves. I'm wary of the self-help literature that suggests there are certain rules. I'm very happy for people to look at my story and say it's possible to achieve many things.
My autism is a very mild form. It was diagnosed at the age of 25, partly because it wasn't diagnosable as a teenager (this is Asperger's syndrome, specifically). But there were certainly traits within that condition, within the autism spectrum in general, especially at the high functioning end, that I think are best looked at as pluses.
Squaring numbers is a symmetrical process that I like very much. And when I divide one number by another, say, 13 divided by 97, I see a spiral rotating downwards in larger and larger loops that seem to warp and curve. The shapes coalesce into the right number. I never write anything down.