As I’ve said for about four years now-out of the five I’ve been running this-I’ve written about Lifestyle. This is an aspect of my lifestyle that I have written about indirectly, never fully in a post; I have Aspergers Sydrome. I was diagnosed in January 2015-after a long time waiting-and I think it deserves its own post. Because, after all, I have a “writers platform”; I could write this for my audience.
Aspergers is a high functioning form of Autism, with symptoms differing from person to person. It can affect communication, social skills, education, etc. There’s also the fact that there’s a lack of understanding in theory of mind, as well as lack of empathy. It’s a spectrum disorder, meaning that it differs, and is not always consistent. These are the basic facts of what I know, and are not information quoted from a Doctor. (Just as a disclaimer!Knowing that I have this affects me in various ways, and these are just a few:
1. I find it very hard to communicate with people.
This is largely based on the fact that I cannot tell what your face says-I cannot read it, and put an emotion to it. I similarly cannot tell the intention of somebody at the best of times-whether they are teasing, being nasty, or trying to be my friend. I’ll remain loyal to my friends and family-it upsets me when they are upset-but it can be difficult to interpret. That’s why I think I partially started this blog-to write to an audience, and to get a point across.
2. Noise and I don’t match.
Which is a contradiction, after all, because I love rock music.. Let me explain: noises that overwhelm me-cutlery crashing, many people talking to me, banging and crashing, etc-stultifies my thinking. My mind sort of stops, which can be upsetting. A tip is to take headphones on public transport, or even wherever you go. It cancels it out. I can’t talk fluently, think properly, or get my point across. It can be upsetting to me.
3. I can be highly literal.
This affect is quite self explanatory. And I can’t explain it furthermore without being too confusing.
4. I don’t always understand what you ask of me, or how you feel.
This relates to the theory of mind example-and all that I’ll do is to ask you to re-phrase the question. You need to be clear, and very specific-small talk is what I’m bad it.”So…how’s it going?” No idea what you mean! Insert an example, then I’ll understand.
But what I’ve learnt? I may not be neurotypical-somebody who doesn’t have Aspergers-but I have other strengths because of it. This includes the nerve to ask for gig reviewing chances, pitching for interviews, taking an extreme interest in a subject, and more. That doesn’t make me any better or any worse. But because of these flaws that this social impairment gives me, the best thing to do is to make the best of a situation. Explain to people what you have-as well as what you struggle with-and apologise if you make a mistake. However, do not be ashamed because of this ‘impairment’-it makes you different, which isn’t a bad thing.