Asperger’s is a type of autism. Sometimes it makes me look different from others. Like when I have trouble being around other people, putting my thoughts into words, or knowing what other people are thinking. But other times, it seems invisible, and I blend in with everybody else. So, some say Asperger’s is like having “a dash of autism.”
Why do I have Asperger’s? No one is sure where it comes from, but it's not a disease, just a difference in how my brain works. It isn’t my fault, just something I’ve always had and always will. Like having a big nose. I was BORN with Asperger’s, and I’m PROUD of it!
It’s not easy to be different, but it can be a good thing too. Now that I know what Asperger’s is, I have a name for why I'm different. It explains why I am the way I am. So it kind of makes me happy! Like finding a box I fit in.
It’s easier for me to be around one person than many. When someone’s talking, they’re not only using their mouth, but also their face and their hands. That’s a lot to pay attention to! Being an Aspie means my brain works harder to understand all that. The more people in the room, the harder it gets to keep up!
When I’m in a crowded or noisy place, I can get very uncomfortable! Sometimes it feels like I’m spinning out of control. I need to leave and go somewhere quiet, or I might have a meltdown. It’s best to let me have some time out and some space.
Aspies can also have super-senses. I can hear things others can’t hear, like the refrigerator running. If there's a sudden loud noise, I might jump out of my seat. There are lots of other things I notice that others don't.
Other times, I can be super-sensitive to scratchy clothing, or fluorescent lighting, or certain food textures.
Repetition and routine are very relaxing to me. When I feel anxious, it helps if I fidget, or “stim” by rocking, or tapping my foot. Also, I like to perseverate on certain words or sounds, or repeat them over and over, if I like how they sound.
Did you ever notice most people love playing with lots of friends? The more they run around, holler, and act crazy, the happier and more excited they get! Well, many of us Aspies are the opposite way. Being around lots of people tires me out, and I often need time alone to “recharge my batteries.”
Aspies usually have special interests or hobbies that we like to do on our own, and spend lots of time on. We can go on and on talking about our interests. This can be anything from trains, to foreign languages, to mollusks, to duct tape.
Are there good things about being an Aspie? Yes! We are honest. We pay attention to the little things. We are good listeners, and good problem-solvers. Often, we become experts in our special interest area. Einstein, Beethoven, and Michelangelo are some of the famous folks believed to have had Asperger’s.
So that is a glimpse into my world. I hope it has helped you better understand me and others like me. If we were all the same, the world would be a boring place. Dude, I’m an Aspie, and I can be whatever I want to be, and do whatever I want to do!