Monday, August 19, 2013

Am I Special or Do I Have Asperger's Syndrome?

I honestly don't think I'd be labelled as Asperger's.  There has to be some level of dysfunction that interferes with work, school, personal and social life that I don't know that I'd qualify for.  I do fairly well, even if I am faking it.

On the other hand, if Steven Spielberg has it.  How dysfunctional can he be?

There are obvious signs once you know what to look for: for starters, girls with Asperger's tend to come across as "little philosophers" as opposed to boys who sound like "little professors."

Think and analyse and try to find the underlying meaning and connection much?  Who me?!

I also don't get a lot of everyday social skills.

That people don't say what they do or do what they say, for instance, just kills me.  I accept this and I don't condemn it, but I just don't understand it.  Why lie to yourself?  How can you DO that?  Don't you feel guilty?  How can you just forget about it?

Sigh.  I wish I could do that.

I also don't get when or why not to butt in on two people in a conversation.  If you are all standing around together and thinking the same thing, why not share it?  I don't get the one on one connection.  I have spent my whole life trying to include others, trying to make others feel comfortable and welcome.

When I was six I apparently stopped a race I was winning to turn around a cheer the others behind me on to victory. 

It's only recently occurred to me that not everyone needs to be made to feel comfortable.  Most people already are.

If this overly social nature doesn't sound like the typical Asperger's person, just note how much thought goes into my social interactions.  They don't come naturally.  They come through intense study and determination.  This is why Asperger females are so often underdiagnosed and slip through the cracks.  We work really hard at it.  And our Asperger's strength and obsession can paradoxically be social interactions: we study them to the point of excellence at the same time that we don't intuitively understand them.

We are great mimics.  We can even fool ourselves.

On the other hand, Asperger's Syndrome is this nice disease that carries with it implications of intellectual brilliance. 

If I feel guilty about giving such a strong version of it to my daughter, I am also more than aware that the strengths of my sons stem from the same source.

I wouldn't be who I am without my over philosophising.  I would not be able to become who I would like to become without it. 

Labels, letters and syndromes: what do they all mean?

No one in my entire life - from my early childhood on - has ever told me I was like every one else.  I was always told I was special, different, not like everyone else, not average.

I always thought that was a good thing.

And there's no reason to think any differently just because my uniqueness has been listed under autistic disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV).

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