Going Public…

To my subscribers and friends:

There is one key thing about me that might explain some of my idiosyncrasies. I’ve gone through a lot of self-discovery, and even though I used to hate this about myself, the time I’ve had to reflect on it this week has showed me that it’s something that I should embrace, rather than be disgusted with.

So, for those of you who don’t know, I’m just going to make this plain and clear for everyone to see: I have Asperger Syndrome.

Some of you are probably familiar with A/S, some of you probably are not. Well, I’ll do my best to describe what it is. A/S is an autism-type disorder. It’s actually a very highly-functioning autism spectrum disorder, and is different from other forms of autism in that no learning disability is present in A/S patients. Most A/S sufferers have above average to superior intelligence, excel in one specific area (i.e. mathematics), have weird interests (i.e. math, clocks, both of which I love), have difficulty making friends, and are generally socially challenged.

Alright, there. I said it. If you want to unsub/unfriend me now, that’s perfectly alright with me, now that you know I’m not “normal” for lack of a better word. I understand if you’re that shallow and cold-hearted (see, there’s the A/S coming out in me). For those of you that are here for better or worse and stick by me, thank you. It means a lot that you’re wililng to be a friend to someone who is far from a typical 22-year-old male.

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Do you find it a challenge to be friends with someone with a disability?

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0 thoughts on “Going Public…

  • May 26, 2009 at 3:09 pm
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    @abilene_piper_lg@xanga – Ah, yes, our behavioral ‘deficits’…  I tend to over react once in awhile when I overload, but considering that most of my behavior is better than the average person, I just apologize and go on.  I know normals who have regular outbursts and take it for granted, but I don’t seem to be allowed to do that for some reason.  At any rate, learning how to make a brief but flourishing apology has smoothed a lot of things over for me.

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  • May 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm
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    @bluejacky@xanga – I haven’t read anything dated within the last 3 years. I know I’m just a little behind the times, however, my AS is almost a non-issue at this point, but it still rears its ugly head on rare occasions. 

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  • May 22, 2009 at 5:51 pm
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    @abilene_piper_lg@xanga – Have you read anything by Tony Attwood?  I think he’s got the best handle on it out of everything I’ve read.  From his Complete Guide to Asperger’s.

    “From my clinical experience I consider that children and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome have a different, not defective, way of thinking. The person usually has a strong desire to seek knowledge, truth and perfection with a different set of priorities than would be expected with other people. There is also a different perception of situations and sensory experiences. The overriding priority may be to solve a problem rather than satisfy the social or emotional needs of others. The person values being creative rather than co-operative. The person with Asperger’s syndrome may perceive errors that are not apparent to others, giving considerable attention to detail, rather than noticing the ‘big picture’. The person is usually renowned for being direct, speaking their mind and being honest and determined and having a strong sense of social justice. The person may actively seek and enjoy solitude, be a loyal friend and have a distinct sense of humour. However, the person with Asperger’s Syndrome can have difficulty with the management and expression of emotions. Children and adults with Asperger’s syndrome may have levels of anxiety, sadness or anger that indicate a secondary mood disorder. There may also be problems expressing the degree of love and affection expected by others. Fortunately, we now have successful psychological treatment programs to help manage and express emotions.”

    From what I can tell in my own studies, the line between this or that level of autism is so blurry that it’s extremely difficult to generalize one set of symptoms into a box that is NOT the same as a similar box.  Higher functioning vs Asperger’s are more a contention of tomAto tomOto, depending on what you read and where it comes from.  They seem to have a lot to keep sorting out.

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  • May 22, 2009 at 11:04 am
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    @jupiter312@xanga – That’s more of an “HFA” than AS. HFA, or “High-Functioning Autism,” is slightly different. I’m just going by the book my parents bought by Ozonoff, Dawson, and McPartland titled “A Parents’ Guide To Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism.”

    EDIT: Hey, any time you need help with math don’t hesitate to ask. I have a BS with departmental honors in mathematics and am going to be a Calculus teacher, so look me up

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  • May 22, 2009 at 9:55 am
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    @bluejacky@xanga – Thanks, that was very helpful!  And figuring out calculus is a big deal, even if your professor doesn’t acknowledge it.  I had to take calc 2 three times before I passed it.

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  • May 22, 2009 at 9:43 am
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    @jupiter312@xanga – They call it a spectrum disorder, with no clear demarcation of progression toward one end or the other.  I call the more nonverbal end ‘deeper in’.  As for brain function, it took me years to connect dots.  I understood concepts better than the teachers, but being able to apply them or set them up on paper was very difficult for a long time.  I think of understanding as all my lights coming on at once, when all the dots are in place, I have a sudden understanding of the whole picture that far surpasses each dot and single connection.  I was struggling with calculus in college, finally went to the teacher and said Ok, I think it’s this and this and the reason is because this and this– He said I was two semesters ahead of myself and to just let that go and work on my failing grade in his class.  The dufe didn’t even realize I had backward engineered calculus on my own without help, completely understood the theory behind it all, not one word of praise out of the guy.  I walked out and dropped the class.  My score getting into college was probably higher than anyone he ever knew, but it was very typical for teachers throughout my life to talk to me like I was wasting their time.  If that’s what a learning disability is, give me more, you know?  The way schools test and define disability propels some of us into the gutter, and I find that disgusting.  Autistic people take a little longer to connect the dots, but once they do, ~watch out~.  Hope your friend survives the labeling he’s getting.

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  • May 22, 2009 at 9:25 am
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    I have a friend with A/S who does have a learning disability.  Are there different types/intensities of A/S?

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  • May 22, 2009 at 9:15 am
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    I ‘came out’ a little over a year ago, and have never looked back.  I’m learning to just say it- I’m a difficult person to be friends with, so I don’t hook up and hang out, but I love yapping and sharing info online, so it all works out.  Btw, the shallow cold hearted thing is simply us autistic people having a tendency to be truthful and call it like it is.  If other people can’t take it, they are the shallow cold hearted ones.  The misnomer with autism is that it must be ‘fixed’ instead of praised.  I’ll say this till I’m blue– who do you think invented www, satellites, and cell phones?  Obsessive detail oriented people who don’t mind over focusing for hours on stuff that has nothing to do with being social.  I’m socially deficit.  I don’t apologize for it any more.  I think having higher functioning autism is the bomb, and I wouldn’t trade heads with *anyone*, because the stuff in my head is so cool.  I have a whole bunch of ‘aspie’ articles on my blog, just push the ‘aspie stuff’ navigation button in the header.  And I was hoping I wouldn’t be the only aspie coming out on autisable!  I think what we think and feel is just as important as anyone else, and our viewpoints are just as crucial to constructive community thinking as anyone else.  Glad to see this post made it to autisable.  =)

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