I have always been different in many ways, and I knew it.
As a child, my parents were told that although I was not full-blown autistic, I did have autistic tendencies. This diagnosis was made in the mid-1970s. It should also be said, at that time there wasn’t quite as good an understanding about the various Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) as there is now, and it was in the early-mid 1990s, that Asperger’s Syndrome become recognised by the World Health Organisation.
In 2001, a former teacher of mine (who is now retired) from a special school where I spent a few years of my childhood, visited my parents and said to them that I may have Asperger’s Syndrome. Having read some articles on AS, from the Internet, it became evident that many of the characteristics that were mentioned, related to me.
I have also come across some accounts of other people affected by AS, much of whose characteristics they described, and with which I would identify to a certain extent.
In a nutshell, how AS affects me is mainly in oral communication skills, specifally, I seem to have more difficulty that those without AS in talking “off-the-cuff”, i.e., stitching words together to verbally express an idea in my head. When I am among a group of people without AS, having a chat, I seem to have the most difficulty in adding to the conversation on the current subject.
It is said that the ability of the brain of someone with AS, to process what is seen is ten times that of someone without AS. On the flip side, when it comes to processing what is heard, the brain of someone without AS is ten times more powerful. I would definitely identify with that.
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Having had another look at the condition, I would be inclined to form an opinion that Asperger’s Syndrome should be looked on not as a disease, but as a personality.
By sharing my story, I hope to be helping both those with the condition and psychologists alike.