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MY EXPLANATION OF WHAT ASPERGERS FEELS LIKE FOR ME
Aspergers is essentially an unusual brain configuration. Senses, thoughts and emotions seem to be connected in a different way, resulting in many atypical traits. Whether this means a person is blessed by amazing talents, or cursed by frustrating difficulties, one thing remains true… Aspergers makes it hard to be ‘normal’.
I just read a really good book by Graeme Simsion called The Rosie Project. Here is how the main character describes his struggles:
“I now believe that virtually all my problems could be attributed to my brain being configured differently from those of the majority of humans. All the psychiatric symptoms were a result of this, not of any underlying disease. Of course I was depressed: I lacked friends, sex and a social life, due to being incompatible with other people. My intensity and focus were misinterpreted as mania. And my concern with organisation was labelled as obsessive-compulsive disorder.”
Aspergers (and Autism in general) is such a broad categorisation that it’s pretty hard to pin it down with a set of symptoms. Sure there are commonalities, but everyone presents so differently. For me, the reason I’ve embraced the label ‘Aspergers’ so enthusiastically is because it validates the feeling I’ve had my whole life that I am ‘different’.
The diagnosis validated for me that my failure to ‘fit in’ was not me just trying to be difficult, or overplaying my uniqueness (everyone is ‘special’ right?). I genuinely work differently to the vast majority (read 99%) of people.
Everyone finds some things easy and some things difficult. Aspergers simply pushes these extremes far beyond normal limits. Depending on the situation you may be tempted to label me as anything from ‘gifted’ to ‘disabled’, but the truth is that I’m both. Yes, I can do that… Because I said so… No, I will not accept any more questions from imaginary voices in my head…
What are you still doing here? Go watch my video and tell me if it makes sense! 🙂
4 thoughts on “What is Aspergers?”
And this bit- “The diagnosis validated for me that my failure to ‘fit in’ was not me just trying to be difficult, or overplaying my uniqueness (everyone is ‘special’ right?). I genuinely work differently to the vast majority (read 99%) of people.” YES. I felt so relieved when I had my assessment. I had spent my whole life up until that point (33 years!) being told that I just needed to try harder and that everyone felt that way sometimes. To have someone tell you that yes, you were right all along is such a life-changing moment.
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Thanks for your comment 🙂
It is also extremely validating for me to hear that others can relate to my frustrations
It is still a personal hate of mine when people try to tell me things about myself (as if they know better than me!)… unfortunately this also makes it hard to listen to criticism in some areas…
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This happens to me as well and it is very frustrating. I try to stay away from people who are bossy or controlling.
I’m neuro-typical and a middle school teacher, hoping to get a better understanding of how to help my students (regardless of diagnosis) who may not be neuro-typical. So your comments about the way it feels and the way you learn are especially interesting to me. I’m curious about things I change to make the classroom environment friendlier to young teens who aren’t neuro-typical. Your posts and videos have given me a lot to think about, and I truly thank you for your openness in sharing your experiences. I can see I have so much more to learn about ASD than what was taught in teacher training courses and what I’ve picked up on the job so far.