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! 🙂