I have aspergers syndrome, yes.
As a kid it was initially difficult, since I couldn’t understand a lot of things. Social cues like eye contact or “not running off when I should’ve just stayed with mum” were hard to understand. Also new or sudden things floored me, such as a person’s reaction that was different to the way they reacted before, or being presented a problem that I had never experienced before.
Say I walked along a road one day, then the next day we started walking down another road. I wouldn’t like that. It was new, unusual. As far as I was concerned, this road had never existed before this moment. Other people would be excited about exploring this new road. I wouldn’t be, even if I was told it would lead to the same destination.
It was different. It was weird.
Think of it like coming up against a giant wall. Other people would study it a moment and think, “Oh there is a wall here, I can just search along the wall and find a door to pass through it”. For me, I wanted to go straight, cause that was the only path I knew or could perceive. But there was a wall.
I was stuck.
However, thankfully I had an unbelievable support group which was my family, amazing teachers, staff and even friends. They were extremely patient with me, setting up nice routines to help ease me in to social situations, help me better understand how to problem solve and was able to help me adjust to new or drastic things (such as the time mum turned up to school with a new car, which we didn’t turn up in, and that kinda freaked me out).
As I got older, I started grasping things better. The wall was starting to lose it’s intimidation. It wasn’t perfect, naturally: there would be times I’d still be thrown by sudden or unexpected things. But I still had help from wonderful people.
If I didn’t understand something, I could ask someone and they’d help me through it. And while they were patient, they didn’t let me get away with things either. When I did wrong, it was wrong and I learnt it, as kids are supposed to do. Maybe it still upset me at the time, but I learnt and I developed.
Today, I’m able to grasp new things a lot easier. There are still moments I’m unsure about, and those old feelings of fear and anxiety do rise at times, but I’m better able to problem solve. For instance if a person reacts in an odd or unexpected way, I can be patient and problem solve why that person reacted that way and best approach the situation (Oh, that person has a nuclear thermal detonator and plans to destroy me. Time to run!)
Also, as a nice perk, I developed a love of drawing. As a lot of aspergers people experience, it was my unique passion, the one thing that I obsessed over (and what a great thing to obsess over!) I hated maths, but I loved to draw, so my maths book was 1% math problems and 99% drawings! Hence, I still love to draw now, and I intend to go on drawing until my eyes finally fall out of my skull.
I am still not perfect, but that doesn’t matter, I like who I am. I try my best to be a good person, entertain people and enjoy life to the fullest.
Now, when I come up against that great wall, and stare at the massive problem before me as I’ve often done, I think, ”well, looks like I better find myself a door”.
"Or maybe find a Tardis. That might work".
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