Since mentioning in past posts that I had Asperger Syndrome, I have received many private messages on this topic….and requests to explain how it affects me – and what strategies I employed to develop coping skills. So, every now and then, I will write a bit about my experiences in this area.
However, before I start, some qualifications are in order…
I am not a physician, and the closest I ever came to being a therapist was an after-school job in a gift shop down the hall from the hotel bar with a pianist so loud, the bartender could not hear ‘life stories’ over the music – so I had to fill in! Whatever I post about Aspergers are my personal experiences, observations and ideas – and are not to be mistaken for an expert opinion or the prevailing medical opinion -or, in fact, any respected opinion on this topic whatsoever. These are just my musings!
Yet, I hope that it might offer an insight into how at least one ‘Aspergers’ brain processes the surrounding world, and help to relieve the frustration that people often experience when dealing with an ‘Aspergers’ child or colleague. And it CAN be challenging!!!
Perhaps I am completely off on this, but it seems to me that what we call ‘Asperger Syndrome’ is actually several very different conditions. They may present similarly, but have underlying causes…and if you read my rants, you know how I abhor it when people confuse symptoms with causes! I can only address my particular variety. ;0)
Aspergers has been described in many ways, given many nicknames: the absentminded professor syndrome, the Silicone Valley syndrome, the uber-geek/nerd syndrome…there are more labels. When I was in high school, I watched the original Star Trek series in order to figure out why some of my classmates kept addressing me as Ms. Spock… Yet lately (and perhaps due to the success of people like Bill Gates – I don’t know if he has Aspergers, but he does have the appearance of a ‘nerd’, just as many ‘Aspies’ do), there has been a literary (well, as close as TV comes) explosion of characters who undeniably portray different manifestations of the Asperger syndrome – outside of the ‘Trekkies’.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive, rather, it is meant to demonstrate the very different ways (and severity – it is much more like a continuum than an on/off thingy) that Aspergers people behave (or, at least, ones that we, Aspies, consider to be ‘our ways’):
Just about everyone (excepting Penny) on ‘The Big Bang Theory’
…and that does not even account for Mr. Bean!
So, if this topic is of interest to you, drop in every now and then – more on Aspergers is going to trickle in!