Friday, 8 June 2012

Being Different & The Diagnonsense

Last year, at age 40, I found out that I officially am an Aspie.  Meaning a person with Aspergers Syndrome. Or Asparagus Syndrome as it often referred to.  When it is not being referred to as Ass Burgers Syndrome. 

Ass Burgers Syndrome is an Autism Specrum disorder (to quote Wikipedia ) that is characterised by significant difficulties in social interactions alongside restricted and repetive patterns of behaviour. That's the Reader's Digest abridged definition anyway.

I don't know at what age specifically I realised there was something slightly different about me. Most likely not until I started school. My parents probably noticed early on that my brother and I were (and  still are) vastly different temperaments.  Him being quite social, reputedly dancing at one get together as a toddler until his little legs refused to go on and then sitting down and bopping on. Me being quite the opposite and always wanting to go home whenever my parents took us out anywhere.

Samantha and I. I was about 10

I loved dogs and books.  My nose was always in a book as soon as I could read.   Especially Enid Blyton ones.  I was so quiet, Mum often had to check where I was, to see if I was okay. Usually she found me curled up with the dog.  We had a black and tan dachshund named Samantha. I'd named her that after Samantha from Bewitched which I loved.  Now it's obvious why I might not have grown up with much grip on reality loving such things, as I've mentioned before.

In spite of being painfully shy and quiet, apparently I could talk very clearly when I wanted to. So I never really had any speech or developmental delays . I was just a shy kid.

 It's true, I was and am shy.  I think that's a  different thing or trait than Aspergers. After all I'm sure that not every Aspie is shy.  So it's hard to say exactly how much of my behaviours are shyness and how much is from Aspergers. For example, eye contact.  I still find this impossible.

As a baby only a handful of priveleged people apparently had the honour of being able to hold me.  A couple of Aunties only, and my parents.  With anybody else I screamed.

Whenever Mum took me into one Aunty's kitchen I became very distressed at the sight of the very busy patterned wallpaper.  Obviously it was just sensory overload for me, however I would like to think that even as an infant I already had exquisite taste and thought: "Oh my GOD! Look at that hideous 1970's wallpaper...NOOOOOOOOO!!!"

In fact I still detest fleurescent lights with a passion.  I will often wear my sunglasses in shopping centres, receiving the odd stare from people who probably think I'm a complete wanker who thinks she's as cool as Bono.

The most noticeable Aspie trait I had ( and still have) is rocking backwards and forwards or jumping up and down on the spot. It's too bad I didn't keep the latter one into adulthood, because I sure need the exercise. These behaviours are referred to as 'stimming' in Aspie talk.

I wasn't a great student unless the teacher was particularly pushy with me.  This was mainly due to being an off with the pixies space cadet too busy daydreaming during class.  I'd only listen if it was something that interested me and tune everything else out.  I ended up being good at reading and consequently spelling and written expression.  I was fair to terrible with everything else.

Making friends was hard, but I managed to have one or two in primary  school.  At this stage when I was still interested in Barbie dolls I had something in common with other girls.  This changed later in High School where I ended up virtually friendless.  I had nothing in common with other girls who were interested in boys and liked Duran Duran while I was starting my Carpenters obsession.  This obsession has persisted to this day. Yes, I know, I am...seriously...weird.  Still at least I have my Ass Burgers as an excuse. I've met others online who are just as obsessed or worse. (You know who you are.)

More about my diagnonsense (as my friend Randa calls it)  next time...I'm going to play Carpenters.


1 comment:

  1. I think most people like time to themselves.I was pretty shy but over the years have come out of my shell.