Hey blog world! At the age of 8 I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, a mild form of Autism. It’s the best thing that’s ever happend to me! It’s what makes me the special person that I am! At my music lesson today with Peter Halley we were talking about Aspergers. I was telling him what it was and some of the characteristics of it. That gave me the idea to make a blog post about it! With some help from Sheldon and Raj from “The Big Bang Theory” here is a look at Aspergers Syndrome.
We don’t get sarcasm: Understanding sarcasm, jokes and idioms doesn’t come easily to us. Like Sheldon we need sarcasm signs to tell when someone is being sarcastic! Also, we take things literally. Once my Dad told me to hit the enter key on the computer and I made a fist and slammed it down on the enter key. Dad jumped out of his chair in fright!
Plans and routines changing really upsets us: Greek food instead of Pizza. It was no big deal to the rest of the group but with Sheldon because he’s used to pizza on Thursday nights, this sudden switch in take out really set him off. Some aspies thrive on routine and if it changes there will be a meltdown. Same thing with plans that were made. If something doesn’t go ahead or gets postponed it will make us really upset. For example, A few years ago, “The Grand Seduction” was in theatres. I made plans to go see it with my mom and poppy. The day came and I was so excited! Mom called me on her way home from work and told me we can’t go. The roads are too bad. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow. My brain couldn’t handle this sudden change in plans and I got really overwhelmed and upset and cried inconsolably for a few hours.
We have trouble making conversation sometimes: In some social situations I’m exactly like Raj when he tries to talk to girls while sober. I’m silent and awkward. I don’t know what to say. With my friends I’m good at striking up a conversation but with people I don’t know or am just getting to know I find it hard sometimes to find the words to say.
We have to have things a certain way: When it comes to certain things if we don’t have them in a certain way that upsets us. With me, weird as this will sound it’s hard cheesies and pizza pops . I HAVE to have them that way. Soft cheesies melt in my mouth sometimes and I don’t like that and pizza pockets taste bad. If I’m served either of those instead of hard cheesies or a pizza pocket I get upset and won’t eat them.
We have trouble making friends: As I said above people with Aspergers can be socially awkward. We find it hard to mix and mingle with our peers and make friends with them.
Tics: Aspies get these super annoying things called tics. They suck! It’s an uncontrollable, involuntary movement or sound that we make (i.e blinking, clearing our throat, coughing, flapping our arms.)
We are very smart: Sheldon… I mean Dr. Sheldon is a theoretical physicist with a Ph.D. He is an absolute genius when it comes to science. The subject area in which I do best is English. I love to read and write so I’m very good at that course.
We have special interests: People with Aspergers have special interests, things that they absolutely love, are obsessed with and know everything about. With Sheldon it’s sci-fi and superheroes. He has all kinds of memorabilia (t-shirts, Star Wars bed sheets, a Green Lantern toaster etc) and knows everything about sci-fi characters and superheroes. My special interest is Broadway musicals. I could (and often do) go on for hours talking about them! I have a scrapbook full of playbills and tickets from musicals I’ve seen, I have posters with my favorite musical theater quotes on my wall, I’ve gone out as a character from a musical several times for Halloween, I have a vast collection of movie musicals. I know a lot about musical theater too. Give me almost any show and I can tell you who composed it, what it’s about and sing you the songs off by heart. Also from memory I can tell you which roles Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth (two of my favorite actresses) originated on Broadway, who played who in the 10th anniversary dream cast of Les Misérables and recite Les Mis and Rent off by heart! I know every lyric and line of dialogue from both!
We’re honest: We always speak our minds and say what we think. That does paint us into a corner and get us into a bit of trouble sometimes but at least we’re sincere. Ask us anything and we’ll give you our honest opinion!
We have sensory problems: With each individual Aspie it’s different but each Aspie has a problem with one or sometimes more of their 5 senses. Certain smells, sounds or textures set them off. For example a friend of mine who also has Aspergers won’t wear certain clothes because of how they feel. My sensory issue is with my hearing. I have a heightened sense of hearing and so loud noises are even louder in my ears! Because of this I’m a globophobe! That means I have a massive fear of balloons! Even the sight of one makes me very apprehensive and nervous that it’s going to pop. Also because of my heightened hearing I stay in the car when I’m running errands with mom and she goes to the recycling depot and during fireworks shows I stay inside and make sure all the windows and doors are closed. If a loud noise goes off near me I jump, scream and cry. I have to leave wherever it is I am immediately and go to a quiet place where I can relax and calm down.
We have excellent memories: I’m very good at remembering things. I can hear something once and then remember it. When I was 3 I heard a song about the planets on “Blues Clues” and when my Dad came home I asked him what he knew about the planets and when he asked me what I knew about them I sang him the song! He was amazed by that! I can even remember stuff that happened years and years ago! I still remember to a T what I was wearing on April Fools Day 2011, the night I met Peter! My red, short sleeve, hooded shirt with multicolored hearts all over it, black dress pants and dress shoes.
My brain takes time to process things: If you talk to me and I don’t answer you right away, please don’t think I’m ignoring you because I’m not. My brain takes longer to process what’s been said and think of an answer. Give me time, you will get a response.
We have trouble with our motor skills: Some people with Aspergers have trouble with their motor skills. My fine motor skills aren’t very good, though I am working on them. As a few examples, I have sloppy writing and I was 10 before I learned how to tie shoes. I still have difficulty with that from time to time.
We’re people too!!! If there’s anything I want people to remember most about individuals like myself with Aspergers it’s that. We are people just like you who have feelings and dreams. I’m not accepted by many in the neurotypical community. I can count my neurotypical friends on one hand! ONE HAND! It really saddens me that neurotypical people bully us. They don’t understand that we’re people too. Our brains are just wired differently.
Hopefully you are all now a lot more informed on Aspergers. I’m very open to talk about Aspergers so if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments. I’m more than happy to answer!