Asperger's Syndrome: What's It Really Like?

I was first diagnosed with Asperger’s about 12 years ago. At the time, I was at university and knew very little about it, apart from what had been studied in my psych class. After all, it wasn't a well-known syndrome and the internet was just a baby at the time - it’s not like I could just look it up in Wikipedia.

The second time I was diagnosed was about 6 years ago, and I scoured the internet immediately. Not a lot of info still, but enough. I wasn’t happy with the diagnosis, but, eh, what can you do? With something like this, there’s not much you can do anyway, as it’s more or less a personality thing.

I could give you a scientific rundown, but I’m not going to. I’m just going to tell you how this manifested with me, because my case went unnoticed until I was 19 years old. Hindsight being 20/20 I am now able to look back and see all the signs that weren’t seen at the time.

This is more for parents who are wondering if their kid has it, or for parents wondering if their kids “suffer” by having it. I certainly don’t feel like I’ve suffered and it didn’t get in the way of any of my dreams. Indeed, I suspect the reason I have my career as a professional singer is due to my extreme ability to focus. And my intensity for the things I choose to focus on.

One of the reasons I believe the speculation that Albert Einstein had Asperger’s is because he once said (and I paraphrase) that he was no more intelligent than his peers, but that he had intense focus. He could go and go and go without giving up. This is certainly the way I view myself. I’m intelligent enough, but my ability to succeed comes from a relentless driving of myself, even through sheer exhaustion or illness. It's like a physical need that can’t be turned off. And yet, it’s not an obsession. It’s difficult to explain, sorry. Certainly, being focused does not mean someone has Asperger’s, but, in my opinion, that is the mark of a person who truly has Asperger’s. If you aren’t physically driven toward something, you may have something else.

One note before I continue: It’s said that people with Asperger’s can’t read emotions in others. This is not always the case. I certainly can, but I do have tremendous difficulty reciprocating with facial expressions or physical gestures.

Keep in mind – this is just my experience; others may vary.

  • So what is it?

We’ve all heard of Autism, right? And we know there are very high functioning Autistics. Well, Asperger’s is like one rung higher up the ladder. And it doesn’t always present the same way in each person diagnosed with it.

  • How is it different from regular Autism?

The most obvious difference is that children with Asperger’s don’t have any cognitive delays.

Einstein: The Autism Connection

  • So these kids blend in with kids who don’t have Asperger’s?

Well, the mild cases do, yes. If you know what you’re looking for, however, kids with Asperger’s have different body languages and don’t show the same facial expressions. This last part they are unaware of and may think they are perfectly mimicking their peers. I thought this myself until I was in my 20’s and saw it in the mirror.

  • Do they need routine?

Even the mild cases, like mine, need routine to some degree. And by routine, this could also be an object that one gets attached to. For example, I had a desk on the left side of the room when I was in 3rd grade. One day we rearranged desks and my new seat was on the right side of the room. I couldn’t function, I couldn’t pay attention, I fidgeted uncomfortably, had to keep getting up and walking around the room. I was almost in a panic. When the teacher asked what was wrong, I said I wanted my desk back. She was so annoyed with me by then, she let me move back. If she hadn’t, I’d probably have had a Rain Man fit!

At some point I overcame that type of behavior and no longer have to suppress Rain Man fits, because I learned how to deal - but only because society doesn’t allow for it, and I needed to be part of society to some degree if I was going to do the things I wanted to do. It probably would have been easier if someone had known I’d had Asperger’s back then, and made some effort to teach me how to deal with the change.

  • Do these kids know they are different?

I certainly didn’t. All I knew was that other kids thought I had strange interests and they thought I was way too intense on some levels. So, in short, no – they don’t know, but they probably know everyone else thinks they might be. But they are intelligent enough to know they function, and therefore consider themselves to be just fine.

  • So why don’t teachers help these kids adjust?

For all intents and purposes, there doesn't appear to be anything in need of serious help. I was always in the top 5, academically speaking, and was able to read, write and speak at a college level in 2nd grade. That’s the opposite of a warning sign for most teachers. If other kids don’t like you, they just figure that means you’re a brat in some way.

  • Is it true Asperger’s kids are clumsy?

I wasn’t. I excelled at softball (I was great at pitching, thankfully, as the idea of playing a base was stressful -- too much to keep track of and not so easy to focus on one thing) and show riding. But it’s interesting to note, I only excelled where teamwork wasn’t required. I was actually quite bad at sports like basketball and soccer – not because I was clumsy, but I really couldn’t get the concept of having to work with and rely on other team members. I couldn’t “see” what I was supposed to do. That may sound like stupidity but I mean it very literally. If I had a focal point, I could do anything. If I had to play a part, I couldn’t perform.

  • They say these kids lack empathy, right?

I don’t think this is always correct and it was never the case with me. I do, however, suck royally at expressing empathy. This may be the case with others as well, so don’t take this to mean they aren’t crying for you on the inside, they just might be. Let me try and clarify what I mean. You tell me something awful, and I feel for you. I feel really intensely, as a matter of fact. I want to hug you and make you feel better. But.. I can’t. It’s not inhibition, it’s not psychological damage. I just can’t. In your eyes, it will appear as though I’ve listened to what you’ve said, and didn’t care at all – not even a little bit. You’ll think I’m cold and uncaring, but it’s only because you can’t see or feel my reaction as I feel it inside.

  • Oh, that’s just an excuse! You could do it if you really wanted to!

I’m not an idiot and I have no desire to be socially inept or hurt other people’s feelings. Believe me when I tell you this one little inability sufficiently screws up 99% of all relationships someone with Asperger’s will have. If it were as simple as ‘just doing it’, it would be done.

  • Is it true you can’t read other people’s body language?

This is often the excuse given for those with Asperger’s who just keep dominating a conversation, even when the other person clearly isn’t interested and wants to walk away. Let me just say, I recognize body language and always have. I can read it very well – but there are times when I just don’t react to it and keep going. It’s a matter of being on focused on what you feel the need to express at that time.

So, while many with Asperger’s can't recognize this – some of us certainly can.

  • I’ve read there’s a correlation between over-vaccination and Autistic disorders.

I’ve read this as well. I’ve no idea what the answer is, but I can tell you I was definitely over-vaccinated as a child in the late 70’s. My parents both work in medicine and I was vaccinated twice for some things, and thrice for others. Today we know this kind of thing creates problems, but back then.. well, back then we thought smoking during pregnancy was ok, too. I’m not saying the correlation exists, but I’m certainly an example of someone who was over-vaccinated and has it.

  • Give me an example of this focus in kids.

Kids with Asperger’s often manifest focus via some obsession. Such as collecting things which don’t really mean much to them. For example, I was obsessed with books when I was a kid. I had to have them everywhere. In my bed, next to my bed. I used to sit on my floor and pile them up all around me.. and just sit and stare at them. While they were closed. For, oh.. I dunno.. 3 or 4 straight hours?

Now, I know what you’re thinking.. I write books professionally as an adult, so this was just a sign of an early love for books. No, it wasn’t. I did not like books as a child and I hated reading. It bored me to no end. In fact, the books I piled around me, I had never even read and had no interest in doing so. I just wanted to have them. To a lesser degree, I still have this.. um.. issue. I buy loads of books and love to look at them in a row on my shelves.. but have no desire to read them.

My main focus, however, switched to blues music when I was 8 years old and it continued until I became a successful blues singer. There was nothing else I thought about, nothing else I listened to in my spare time, from 8 years old until my first gig. And it did not slow down. In fact, I didn’t realize my obsession was unusually intense until famous musicians I knew remarked on how remarkable my focus was – and they couldn’t believe it started when I was that young.

  • Sounds like OCD to me…

In a way, it does – but it’s not. Unfortunately, many with Asperger's are misdiagnosed with OCD.

  • What about hypersensitivity?

Loud noises, especially doors slamming and dogs barking, can really make me want to scream with pain. It’s such an awful feeling I can’t verbalize it for someone who hasn’t experienced it. It’s like nails on a chalkboard to the nth power. Same with bright lights and fluorescent lighting. I’m also highly sensitive to clothing – I really can only wear jersey material or some variation in shirts, or I go mad at the feeling on my skin. Many with Asperger’s experience this, but not all.

  • Do these kids grow up to make anything of themselves?

Well, if Einstein really had it, I’d say they can turn out ok. Me, personally, I’m a professional singer, published novelist and sex columnist. That said, my personal relationships usually suck, but I prefer to blame that on the men I’ve dated. (Grin) Because Asperger’s is so “new” it’s hard to know how many famous people had it – but the growing list of those who do have it includes Nobel laureates and Pulitzer prize winners, so these people can certainly achieve like anyone else can.

  • Einstein? Really?

Well, who knows. Some speculate he had it, others say no, cos he had a good sense of humor, which people with Asperger’s don’t often have. Alls I can say is I have a pretty good sense of humor and I have it. Why couldn’t Einstein?

  • Who else is thought to have had it?

Again, all just speculation here, and not everyone agrees:

Lewis Carroll

Mozart

Thomas Jefferson

Sir Isaac Newton

Andy Warhol

W. B. Yeates

__

At any rate, Aspergers is not something I’m unhappy about having. In fact, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. The important thing is you raise your child to view it as a difference and not a defect. It’s just a different way of seeing and thinking, really, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

xx Isabella

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Comments 92 comments

Donna Hopkins profile image

Donna Hopkins 17 months ago

Thank you Isabella for sharing your story and insights on Aspergers. Although not professionally diagnosed my husband fits the classic definition of Aspergers. My daughter was diagnosed as BiPolar and through our therapy sessions with them both, her therapist suggested that he has Aspergers. Unfortunately, this was not mentioned in front of him. Our therapist stated that he would not be the one to recognize his diagnosis as he sees nothing wrong with his personality traits. My husband does not relate to mental illness as a real problem, he lacks empathy and lives in a very literal (black and white) world. To me, it's crazy he can't wrap his mind around it, especially since he is highly intelligent. It's no different than, say, diabetes. It's a malfunction in one's body. This makes for an oil and water type relationship between my daughter and husband. She is emotional and he has none. Fortunately, my daughter realizes that he suffers from this which makes it a little easier at times, except when she is emotional ha... all I can do is just sit back and try to play the mediator.


tdalexander profile image

tdalexander 2 years ago

Thank you for being willing to share your personal experiences and dispel some of the stereotypes that prevent many people from getting needed supports. In the 25+ years that I have worked as a professional with hundreds of people on the spectrum, many of them fit your description very accurately. For example- Most of them have had a great deal of empathy just as you describe. As a matter of fact- some of the MOST compassionate people I know have autism or Aspergers. And many people on the spectrum are intensely funny and creative. Let's all come together to support everyone who needs it rather than spending energy deciding that someone else can't possibly have AS because they don't fit a rigid stereotype.


Thank you 3 years ago

I have a mild case of asperger's like you and this was extremely helpful!!! :)


t.keeley profile image

t.keeley 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

On the Einstein issue as the "user" kel (anonymous? how cowardly) stated is irrelevant. First, retrofitting any psychological disorder is virtually impossible unless there's a common underlying medical or scientific factor connecting those within the disorder. Autism is unique in the sense that it delves into the personality conflict of the individual, but brain scans are still inconclusive (last I checked).

Basically I have to say, kel, you don't strike me at all as someone who is remotely professional. Your absolutist remarks are, frankly, unwarranted, as if you'd been there to assess Einstein (or the author, for that matter) and that you yourself are "bonafide" in making these claims.

A scientist never makes an absolute statement of something he has no connection with. If you were to tell me, as a scientist, that the sky isn't blue...well...you're an idiot. Or colorblind. The latter is forgivable.

And btw, Einstein wasn't the only genius in history (why the hell do ignorant people assume he had a massive IQ anyway? He himself claimed he wasn't terrible smarter than his peers, he was driven to do the work he did more so than his peers). That being said, then, the drive he had in the world of physics does give more support to the author's claim he had asperger's than your attempt to dislodge this article in a hasty manner. Also, I rank high enough on the IQ scale you could chop off 40+ points and I'd still be average to above average, and in the case of math/spatial recognition, I could chop off another 20 off the initial ~40 and still be gifted. IQ is the ability to reason, critically think, and learn. Those with that ability accomplish nothing, however, without motivation and drive and perseverance.

So the idea that "no one is like Einstein" has nothing to do with his genius and everything to do with he was the only Albert Einstein with his genetic composition. Has nothing at all to do with his genius, since everyone is unique due to the amount of DNA material that clearly separates average from superior. \


t.keeley profile image

t.keeley 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

This is beautifully expressed eloquently and really has helped me shape a little bit of how I view my slightly milder (it appears) case. The drive I understand, though the way you worded it might not be the way I'd word it in my specific case, but it's close.

I also really, really appreciated the defense against "obsession", "lacking empathy", and "it's not OCD." These tenants are very difficult to explain to those outside the spectrum.

In my case, it took 3 years of college + a 4 year failed marriage to really start looking at what was going on. I grew up in a community that did not smile on anything but hardcore religious flagellation, therefore I was often disciplined for my eccentricities and that damaged me nearly beyond repair. I escaped that terrible atmosphere in time to finally do some real self evaluation, seek some help, and better myself (I'm not sure that's the way I want to say that, but I think it works).

I was always viewed as the class genius, but I never accumulated many friends. I to this day only have about as many close compatriots as Sherlock Holmes did, but it doesn't really bother me, because I never ever cared for social confines and conventions. The older I get, too, the less I actually get torn up inside and have week long battles with my emotions I never can quite figure out when I make a social blunder. I used to go thru bouts of severe depression because NO ONE ever tried reaching out and helping me. In fact, though I love them, my parents have only in the last year accepted me as I am and not tried changing me or beating me into looking and acting like everyone else (and it never worked when they tried anyway).

You encouraged me greatly. I am still very shy, quiet in groups, but have no inhibitions around my closests and therefore I feel like I'm improving steadily. I'm also using my brain to a much, much higher capacity than I have ever used it before, which is strange at 27 years old! But I can definitely say I have learned a lot more on my own than ever in an organized classroom.

Thanks again and I hope you can post some more on this topic, or perhaps just maybe chat sometime. Cheers!


AW19 4 years ago

This was interesting. I absolutely agree with you about the empathy part. I have asperger's and I am empathetic, it's just hard to express it, as it is to express emotions. Also, I have compulsive tendencies and my psychiatrist/therapist was looking into that before she noticed how many symptoms of Asperger's I had. Anyway, lovely article. I love how personal it is and how it isn't just a list of facts!

AW19


Australian Mum 4 years ago

Thanks Isabella,

It is hard to find information about Aspergers, particularly about high functioning people who are not obviously different and who can socialize and can play sport like you.

I want to also thank Kelly How from NZ. My little boy does very similar things when stressed to your little one. Tom is 11 and this year was diagnosed but for some time I suspected he had ASD. When stressed by school or guilt from perceived ways he has upset people, he hides and says he wishes he were dead. It can be so difficult to live with. We are just trying to give him time and love to help him realize theses issues are not so bad and he doesn't need to be so stressed. The other issue Tom has is a pathological fear of writing, which is becoming an issue at school and heaped lead us to a diagnosis. He will type, but he simply refuses to write.

However, like Isabella Tom is pretty well socialized and has a great sense of humor and comic timing. He is very bright and when he isn't anxious, he is a pretty happy kid who people would never see as different at all.


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 4 years ago Author

Mary -- I am not sure why, but your comment was automatically flagged as spam. I have just approved it. Unfortunately, I really don't know how to advise you on the matter. Perhaps you might encourage her to see a therapist, if she hasn't already got one? Good luck to you.


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 4 years ago Author

From your spelling and grammar I will assume you're not a native English speaker, but I'm sure you'll be able to understand what a pen name is. I write under one -- and I sing under what's called a stage name. If you really work in "this industry" you'll know that is quite standard. If I'm not really a professional singer, I guess that's not really me in the video on my profile page, and I suppose I'm brilliant at duping professional musicians, music journalists, fans, presidents, etc, into thinking I am one.

Maybe I should have gone into acting.

As to your comment about Einstein, I didn't know him personally, so I can't say for sure (and I didn't). I'm pretty sure your expert didn't know him, either. But please tell us your name, your expert's name, and your trilogy so that we might become more enlightened about Einstein -- assuming we want to; this article really has little to do with him, as you may or may not realize.

As for what I've "dispensed" here -- it's called personal experience. If you were specifically referring to the Einstein comment, the theory has been put forward in several credible publications and I mentioned it as a passing comment.

Nevertheless, I look forward to you sharing your expert's name and published / televised statements in which they specifically state that he did not have it.


kel 4 years ago

you really need to have a degree to dispense what you are doing here

as far as einstien goes, I just finished producing 3 TV specials with a doctor who wrote trilogy on einstiens work

please excuse me for saying this

your no einstien...but then again...who is

no one..he was a genuis..and that's a whole other ball of wax

he didn't have aspegers

and if I may say

singing is all about empathy....sounds like you get some realease with it, and that's great

but your not a professional singer, I work in this field &

we have never heard of you

please do your research


spr4000@hotmail.com 4 years ago

Aspergers sux if you're a male.Believe me if you a male u wouldn't be writing a "sex column"


Katie 4 years ago

I am a college student with a boyfriend of about 8 months, I can relate to some of the post about relationships with others because up until recently I hid my problem from everyone else.

When we started to date the beginning of my freshman year he was very open with his ADD, he embraced it and did not let it hold him back. This made me feel like I was wrong for hiding it from him and he is the first and only person I have ever told myself.

My mom would tell people when I was younger and it always had a negative outcome that led me to losing friends. I never had a positive experience with Aspergers and I think this made me hide it for so long. I had never voluntarily told anyone that I have Aspergers because I was scared of what others would do and think.

I have a very difficult time making friends even though I love meeting new people and interacting socially. Going into college made me realize that this will be something I will have to struggle with the rest of my life.

He has been very understanding and wants me to embrace it and realize that it is not something I should hide. He has helped me very much and been understanding about my issues. I have noticed some issues because of my Aspergers though. I have had really bad separation anxiety when he had to return home for the summer (he lives 5 hours away in another state). He also decided to go abroad this summer in Africa for three weeks. There is very little communication (maybe three times a week for and hour on facebook) because he has very poor internet service where he is at. Since he has been gone I have had very vivid dreams about him being injured or returning from the trip and abandoning me. I feel crazy and like I am being the psycho girlfriend that no one wants to be, and this has caused me to be very stressed and I have lost a lot of sleep. I am so grateful that he is understanding about what I have to deal with and not running in the other direction. I am so lucky to have him and want to ensure that I do not ruin our relationship because of my Aspergers.


David 4 years ago

I hate how people do that they don't take you serously and insult you that makes me want to kill them


David 4 years ago

In fact when I went back they said I made me ligiments so bad if I slip i will shater


David 4 years ago

Two monuths ago I broke my foot , got a concusion and poped my spine out of were it should be but the fact is why did it take me a week to notice I had a broken foot and I realize I was given a sign in my soul to go to but I didn't listen because they wont their how do we preform that really


David 4 years ago

Can you talk about the no pain idea I have it too but I don't really understand how it works I get it as I read about it more on the internet but I want to know more about how it work its been really bugin me dealing with that part


Kent 4 years ago

Thanks Isebella, for posting your experiences. I have had severe Aspergers all my life. Although frustrated for years by misdiagnosis, and therefore inappropriate treatment, to finally get a proper diagnosis as an adult was still important.

The problem with not getting a proper diagnosis as a kid is that I'm only now able to understand and therefore begin coping with some of the more debilitating problems. For instance, one diagnosis was for ADHD and those symptoms on their own , without the context of the other signs, might have seemed correct. The problem is that the mechanism for my hyperactivity and inability to focus we're different than those of someone who has ADHD. Because of that simple fact the ADHD treatment I received was not effective, and the counseling totally inappropriate. The results, I didn't get any better, and I came away even more frustrated.

It was looking back at the series of symptoms and signs I was observed with over the years, that eventually led one of my doctors to notice that collectively they added up to one inescapable conclusion, I have Aspergers. With that discovery, even the initial research I did set off alarm bells! The more in detail I studied the subject, the more it was confirmed.

Why wasn't it discovered earlier? The symptoms only presented themselves when I was engaged in activities that required the particular skill sets in question to be utilized. I was subsequently sent off to see what's up, and voila I had syndrome X. When the treatments didn't pan out, we accepted the reality, until some other thing showed up.

Some people are synical when I talk about my diagnosis, and what difference a word makes, well supposed you were diagnosed with a kidney stone, and treated for that, when you really have lung cancer. See the difference? Hey, see that ? So what's the big deal with the word " cancer" doesn't sound so silly now, does it?

Anyway, thanks for posting these comments and experiences. They are just an other little reminder that others are going through what I am, and that we can all learn from each other!


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 4 years ago Author

Jean -- Yes, I have SPD. Many people with Asperger's have it. That said, it's not recognized in the DSM as its own anything, so please forgive me again for not agreeing with your diagnosis.

Your criteria for diagnosis are a bit rigid and if you applied it elsewhere, I think you'd realize how limited/limiting it is, especially if you looked at other spectrum disorders. I'm surprised you haven't informed Temple Grandin that she is not autistic, but rather someone who "just has Asperger's", since she surely couldn't fit your definition of autism.

Personally, I think it's called a spectrum for a reason. And I think many people do exceed the expectations people like yourself set for them.

At least, I hope they do.


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 4 years ago Author

Jean, your comments will not be approved because it would be unfair to anyone else who might use them to self-diagnose themselves or their child. That's what professionals are for, and even they can't do it over the internet. But don't worry, your insults and bullying comments were dutifully read.


Purple Jubilee profile image

Purple Jubilee 4 years ago from Kent, UK

Thank you for your very insightful article - it has certainly generated lots of comments. So interesting to hear from an adult's own perspective rather than 'experts' writing about children.

Not sure if my youngest son has very slight aspergers or not but v interesting to read everyone's comments


Linda 4 years ago

Your comments made my day. At 59, I have learned to live with this syndrome. It took years of heartache and I still get blindsided. It was a joy to read a young person has reached acceptance so early.

I've got an MD a PhD and accolades out the wazoo. So all you parents out there, don't let the diagnosis define your kids. Just love them. That's what we need the most.


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 4 years ago Author

Dear Mitch, thank you for your unsolicited diagnosis, insults and general offensiveness. I hope your child never learns how much of a bully you are toward those who don't fit your expert view of what Asperger's is.


Mitch 4 years ago

If you have Aspergers, then you must have an EXTREMELY mild case. I would get a second opinion.

As a father of a child with *mild* Aspergers, I can tell you that your experiences are not typical of true Aspie's. Body language and socializing are not easy in any way for them. And clumsiness is a very typical trait. I think this article is a cleverly disguised way to get people to click on advertising links.

If you are a true Aspie - go to AspieMingle.com and spend time in an ad free community that is all about promoting socialization with other Aspies. This is a joke.


Owl 4 years ago

Thank you for the article, which I found very interesting.

I am forty seven years old, and after much confusion and unhappiness in my life, I have begun to suspect I have aspergers at the low end of the scale. I have no idea what to do next, or how to begin to check if I am correct, or how to deal with the condition in my life. Feeling totally bamboozled right now.


Jocelyn 4 years ago

I have known that I am weird for a long time, and it has always bothered me a little. I am bullied at lot at school, and I frequently get very frustrated when teachers don't understand me (I mean just the words coming out of my mouth not anything philosophical). Most recently I ended up crying because I thought my physics teacher didn't understand me and was angry. It turns out he wasn't angry, but I couldn't tell because he was being sarcastic. I pretty much decided that I am beyond help, but a friend of mine has asperger's and told me that he thinks I might have it too. The only problem is that I am 17 and by my logic I am weird enough that someone would have noticed by now. Also, I am a girl and I know that it is rare for girls to have Asperger Syndrome. Am I just regular weird or is there actually a reason behind it?


hubber088 profile image

hubber088 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

Good hub informative and interesting. My best friend in high school had aspergers and he was brilliant!


Melissa 5 years ago

How can I get my 16 yr old who was bullied and can remember all the details and names to move on? He now is an "avid" gym person and goes to lift weights to get rid of stress. This has a double whammy effect in our house.. He is now being a bully to his siblings when they don't agree. Being a mom with a hearing loss and understand the effects of bullying can't get him to stop and think about what he is doing to his siblings by merely threatening and laying hands on them. We have told him that it will get better but he says that he can't get rid of the feelings of the name calling and torment. What can I do to help him? Can't get him in to see a professional cause the husband doesn't believe that will help him and it is a waste of money?


Kaleb age 13 5 years ago

Hi, thanks for writing this. I wish at school people would treat me like an equil. people call me names and at one point i just told the prinsable. Then I was Kaleb the snich.... After school a bunch of people who used to bully me:tyler,damond,and a kid i don't know his name all got too gether and threatened to beat me bloody.

I was going to call the teacher but demond ran at me. And hit me hard until my nose was bleeding bad. he tried again but then i hit him real hard in the stomach and everybody thought of me violant and weird and i was no longer part of society and still am. Everybody just treats me like im not here and im an invisable person. I want to fit in but i can't. I can't change anything. I say things completely off topic and everbody looks at me funny. some people just flick me off and push me out of the group. I just want to crawl up in a ball in the corner and not come out until everybody is gone. My nabors like me though. Their 11 year old wants to play ball with me. I just can't do it though, i feel as if he would just reject me like the others and i don't need that right now. I am a lonsome 7th grader and i wish life would not have so much in for me. I wish anyone in my prison cell called life would help me feel better. I get A's and a few B's, im a good singer, best skateboarder ever and people always come to watch me at the skate park. But school is different. Rumers pass around like wildfire and then someone always gets the wrong idea. I moved to omaha after a divorce too make a fresh start at school and make a change in my personality

but everyware i go my asburgers (I think that's how you spell it) just follows me like a stalker. When it feels like people are there that will do something wrong or say something bad or not say anything at all it will come at me and swollow me up into a dark pit of lonlieness and displacement.


oodain 5 years ago

from a fellow aspie:

first well written article i have read about aspergers in a long time,

i have had very similar experiences to you,

nice to see it written down honestly.


Sabrinak 5 years ago

I am heartbroken that my 10 year old Aspie daughter is sometimes bullied and doesn't have friends. She said mommy it hurts that no one will play with me. :(


Kellie Hoy (New Zealand) 5 years ago

Thank you so much for this Article. My son who is 7 was diagnosed with AS this year after 4 years of battling with the health system to get a "Formal" diagnosis for something that we have been telling them he has! My partner and I have only been together for a year so he struggles to understand some of the things that Alex does and I can say whole heartidly that he sat and read your article and there was a lot of "now I get it" moments. Alex has issues remembering how to do medial tasks and we use visual aids to prompt him, although ask him anything about doctor who and he'll tell you who the 2nd doctor was what the actors name is, what outfit the doctor was wearing in his new appearance and every other minute detail under the sun! Alex has a few other issues, he can't feel heat like we do and has ended up burning himself a few times trying to get closer to fireplaces, he hates his hair being cut, telling me that it physically hurts him when it gets done (we have tears every time). More alarmingly is Alex's elopement issues. He suffers from high levels of anxiety (as many with AS do) but when pushed to the point where he is too overwhelmed he runs away and hides. You might walk past him 9 times calling him name trying to find him but until he reaches the point where he has calmed down enough to deal with people he wont come out. We have dealt with this by having quiet safe places that he knows he can go to to chill out. We struggle with schooling terribly with teachers that don't seem to wanna put in the extra effort to teach a child with AS. Alex's second day of school his teacher asked him to come and join the group to learn some science to which he replied "I am a time lord, I have stared into the time vortex, I know everything there is to know about everything" this coming out of the mouth of a five year old had his teacher quite baffled as you can imagine! I received a phone call from the teacher who seemed very concerned, after explaining to her that we suspected Alex had AS and that (at the time) his obsession with Dr Who blurred the lines of reality with him, she seemed to understand. We have had massive issues with transitioning Alex into new class rooms at the beginning of the year. The upset to his routines lead to some pretty extreme and frightening behavior at the beginning of the year. he became so overwhelmed with the change that he thought the only way to stop it was to kill himself. He attempted to jump out of a moving car and off a two storied balcony and told us daily that he wished to kill himself. It has been a long hard slog that took pretty much half the year to get him settled into and could have been avoided if the school had done what I suggested and helped him with the transition using some simple tools such as social story books. Alex is a bright and caring little boy who hopes one day to be a scientist, which I know he will be. My hope is that other parents out there will push for the things that they know will help their children and not get rail roaded by silly systems and people that think they know what's best for YOUR child! People with AS are wonderful people and should be supported within our communities rather than being ostracized for being different!


Mike 5 years ago

Very glad Aspergers helped made your life full of fulfillment and happiness.

It's definitely made me a hermit, to a point that I couldn't even finish college and gave up the hobbies I loved to do, because... I think I had a panic attack at least once, at some point or another, while doing these hobbies. So now I mentally break down every time I try to get back to them. Still struggling after all these years, no go.

But it's nice that others aren't suffering the same fate ^^


Gregoryy profile image

Gregoryy 5 years ago

I have Aspergers myself, but i am still athletic. I play many sports at a good or even higher level than many other people. I was in special olympics, and i led in home runs. I can hit a soft ball super far lol!! When i was super young i actually used to apprach random people and start conversations.

I do not know if this is a pert of Aspergers,butfor example. If i was in class, and some person walked in the door,i would go up to them and introduce myself, shake hands with them etc. While all the other students bassicly kept doing what they were doing. I used to talk to the bus driver,ask for his name and every thing.

I do have a sense of humor, although it may be weird at times. My obssesions are bassicly athletic activitys and science.


Thundercolt 5 years ago

My boyfriend has mild Asperger's and it's hard for me to understand the syndrome. He's a wonderful guy and absolute sweetheart, but I have difficulties myself understanding and I have ADHD. I love him very much and want to understand Asperger's and how to act around him and how his world may be. Anyone have any ideas?


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 5 years ago from Tampa Bay

Isabella, I found this article while reading a hub about Legos and Autism. What a fascinating read. I once had a child with Aspergers in my class (3 yr. old). I learned so much from him that year. At times,he would emphatically say, 'I can't do that', and I respected his boundaries. We learned how to communicate non verbally, which helped in a classroom full of children. I knew that he had a tolerance level that once reached would cause him to fling toys off the table or kick whatever was near him. I told him when he starts feeling 'that feeling', to come and tell me, 'I need help'.

I had an assistant in the room who would take over when this happened, and I would walk with the child outside until he let me know he was ok. We would walk on the shadows of trees. It helped him to refocus and calm himself. I told his mother at the end of the year that he was a gift to me. I saw her a couple of years later and she said he was doing great. I love that little boy. He was so smart, and wise beyond his years. Thanks so much for sharing.


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 5 years ago Author

You won't believe this, but just last week I was trying to remember which article I'd written that in. That is what I'd thought the phrase was when I was a kid, for quite a long time. And when I wrote the article it just typed itself -- that's what happens when you type fast; stuff just comes out. So thanks for reminding me, because when I published this I'd noticed it after the fact and meant to go back and edit it, but then forgot about it completely.

Thx!


Kate 5 years ago

I find it hilarious that you write books and have such a love for them. Yet you said, for all intents and purposes.

lol!!

For all intents and purposes? Come on man.


teflgirl 5 years ago

What an interesting article, with a personal touch. I love the singing btw-fantastic voice! Both literal and metaphorical...

I often wish I had a little more focus...


Linda 5 years ago

Wow, I am so thrilled I stumbled upon your article. I love what you wrote and how you wrote it. My daughter (aged 8) was diagnosed just today. We knew it for a long time but it's different when it's just been confirmed by a team of psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists etc. I am going to get her to read your article so she feels excited by the prospect of having this 'difference' and not dejected. One thing is that she is very high functioning. She can't express herself like you can so it's nice to read something from someone similar to my age but with the same differences as my daughter - it sort of blends her and I together. Thanks so much for your insight!

Linda


Sunshadow 5 years ago

I have been searching for near a month (when I discovered I have the syndrome) information about AS and I was not satisfaced by any of the things associations or most of people says about it. Your opinion is the one that better reflects the true situation about us, and I can feel represented in almost everything. The only differences is that I'm usually used to huge unexpected noises (except when I'm focused in something), but I think that's because the ambient in which I spend my childreenhood (I'm from Valencia, Spain, and when "Fallas" come... well, you don't know what are huge noises if you don't live that xD), however I'm extremly sensitive to intense aromas, or other stimulus. Also I have difficulties understanding body language, but I have learned over the years to read it. It's difficult to me to understand a person I didn't know at all in a conversation... I suppose because I tend to focus in their words and not their bodies... but I have no problem at all understanding a person I am long attached with. As, I think every one with AS, I don't feel I'm sick, I can be moreasily affected by some situations or whatever, but not anything special.

Just telling you something about the AS, this is quite recently discovered and it's not well stablished, but it seems there are probe that autism (of any clase) and AS are completely different things, even in some symptomatyc synthoms they can be overlaped. This was demonstrated by studies about the areas of the brain which presented differences in different individuals. Well, it's not really matter at all, just to not get to the confussion of mixing both of them, even if from a dyagnostic point of view are difficult to distingish one from the other.


Shelley 5 years ago

My son has autism and I know I have aspergers. Both of my brothers have children who are on the autism spectrum. I think with more severe forms you can see a closer tie of characteristics, but with aspergers its not always easy to tell. When I was little I threw temper tantrums all the time, cried a lot,didnt understand things that were spoken to me or how to respond, did poorly in school and was hyperactive. I know I had some kind of auditory delay because I could read words in a story but couldn't tell you what the story was about. I was an excellent speller and reader. Its not easy to explain how we feel. I worry a lot and have anxiety about others. I have a really hard time making friends even though Im always helping people. Even though Im very intelligent and made really good grades in college, Im also a bit naïve and emotional. People will often take out their anger on me or take advantage of me because I wont talk back. I don't talk a lot and I don't like to be around people because they overwhelm me. I like to listen to their stories, but they really drain me. I don't know how people can talk for hours and hours excessively about nothing important and when I say nothing important I mean about other people, negativity, about themselves constantly. I know its not nice, but I get very irritated when people talk a lot and call me and want to talk about other people and their problems and 90% of the time, that's what people talk about. I feel bad about it and I don't answer my phone. I am funny, people often laugh at me or get pissed off real quick. I am emotional but get overwhelmed very easy. People see me as cold or unemotional, but I am very emotional I just don't show it. I don't show it because when I was younger and I would get upset the other people would laugh about it and try to upset me more. I think the biggest word for me would be vulnerable to others. I cant get passed it. my son has a more severe form of autism and he has a great personality. Autistic people can be very funny, its more like one lined sliders. Our humor comes from left field. I know that I do take things literally, slap stick use to be really hard for me to understand, it would upset me. Now I love it. I am honest to a fault, but if someone were to lie to me then I would be so upset I couldn't talk to them. It would be too overwhelming. I think that has a lot to do with it. We become overwhelmed easily. We have a lot of energy and our emotions run high and we have quick tempers. Its easier to shut down. I just shut down even though Im emotional and people cant tell. I just think it is too hard for others to understand me and it drains my energy. Instead of being rejected, confrontation or misunderstood, it is better to stay away from them. It would be really hard to tell you all this in person because it could be taken the wrong way and people are too outspoken, rude and loud about criticism. I see them do this to others and all that happens is that they get into a loud argument or fight. I don't feel comfortable getting into an argument or fight with strangers, coworkers or acquaintances. That's too personal and damaging for me. I know this is going to sound bad, but I don't like people in general. I see too many people clawing, scratching, foaming at the mouth on a daily basis and it is overwhelming. People take advantage of others while the other person thinks they are doing them a favor. I think our world is evil and Autistic people are more sane and pure, but we have to fit in somewhere because we got to work and live like everyone else to take care of ourselves. Thats why we are so quiet even though we can talk. I am not a loner, but people think I am. I just want to make friends with people who are more like me. The bible says to be like little children and we are like little children, but other people want us to be like them. They think there is something wrong with us, but I think there is something wrong with them. I think if the amount of autistic people in the world out weighed the "normal" people in the world, it would be a safer, more natural and peaceful place.


Pete 5 years ago

Great article - I wish it had been written many more years ago when I was struggling to work out why I was 'different'. BTW, when you write 'for all intensive purposes' you actually mean 'for all intents and purposes'. That's just my obsession (grin).


vincent52 5 years ago

I see this article is quite old, but still very relavent. I have a 6 yr old daugther with Aspergers. The internet (posts from people with direct experience) has been very helpful in finding information about the condition. The medical community is quite useless on this subject. In addition to all of the traits you describe, she also has a (1)desire to collect(she openly discusses her desire to collect things/complete sets, and than completely loses interset), she is an (2)extremely picky eater and she had (3)trouble falling asleep from infancy(until we started a very low dose of melatonin when she was 4-1/2). Her improved sleep made a hugh difference. From 4-5 daily meltdowns to 1-2 almost instantly. Just curious if you recall having any of these symptoms as well? She also asks the questions "Are you serious?" and "Is that funny?" quite often. She also is intrigued with maps, charts, science books, or other complex Visuals and can memorize every detail by fixating on it for a little while.


leni sands profile image

leni sands 6 years ago from UK

HI there, what an interesting hub. I remember thinking the same about books I have read from the point of view of autistic and/or aspergers individuals. As a teacher it was always useful to me to get the inside information from the children I worked with who had the autistic/asperger label, they educated me sometimes. I have been working on an inset package for teacher training in this area - I started the ground work in 2002 and have although I have two hubs to go it would be interesting to get your opinion on the package so far.

Thank you for a very informative hub. Leni


Liz 6 years ago

Hi there I was diagnosed with aspergers syndrome 9 years ago @ 14 years old I have trouble reading expressions and now have no trouble with showing them myself however when i was very young i did I just wanted to say some kids are aware they are very different I was aware I was different as long as I can remember I would scream and cry when overwhelmed or frustrated

Thank you for your insightful article on another person's view of aspergers from the inside


janiceg. 6 years ago

Your Hub is excellent -- so candid and insightful. My 15 year-old daughter was diagnosed with very mild Aspergers several months ago. Like you, she's an excellent writer. Despite the fact that she's always been quirky, she also seemed generally happy until a year or two ago, when she became quite depressed and anxious. I suspect that as her feelings of being different became increasingly pronounced, she became increasingly unhappy. While over the years, she's seen a psychologist who never really understood the scope of the problem, we've now found someone who deals exclusively with kids with spectrum disorders. So I'm hopeful that she'll be able to help by daugther. What's been most helpful for you? I'm also wondering what to tell my daughter at this point. Do you think at the age of 15 it would have been helpful if you'd had a label to describe this condition?


Simon 6 years ago

Re: The hugging / empathy, spot on again.

To some extent it's possible that people with the condition feel more strongly. Even the little girl I mention above couldn't watch a cartoon she'd seen before without screaming to "watch out" at the telly when her hero was in danger lol.

When I was younger I recall having to turn things off when I felt sad at the outcome. Of course with age you learn to block out the worst of it, but by no means do you lack emotion.

Have to add I've been uncomfortable about the hugging thing too. Oddly what I'd recommend is spending a little time with people who are overly invasive with bodyspace and like to stand close to you. You get used to it pretty fast, and seems to help. Someone was upset recently, and despite a very brief delay, the hug things dooable ;)

I think like most things anything is possible given time. You have to just adjust to peoples mannerisms, but they vary world and community-wide, regardless of conditions.


Simon 6 years ago

Lol. Thanks for this. It's easy to not notice having the condition.

I went through my entire childhood, and it's not until recently, having passed 30 that I realised what I had.

Spot on. The strange thing is that there are a couple of kids locally who have the condition too. The youngest, a girl, to me seems perfectly normal. I felt I could make sense of her (probably more than most), and when told she had the condition, stated that she seemed perfectly normal to me. In combination with her ADHD, I was told she tends to get worked up and lashes out, yet it was obvious to me she wasn't being hostile, and seemed to be trying to play.

I couldn't make sense of a lot of kids when I was at school on the other had, as they did seem to lash out and fight with each other all the time.


kristina 6 years ago

thank you so much :)i relate to the not hugging but still feel deep down part. people often call me a bitch but it's hard to overcome it. im getting better at playing the part but its definitely not natural for me, it's really going out of my comfort zone. you're the first person i've heard say that we do have feelings. so thank you.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Isabella, thank you for this excellent hub! I have written a hub where I suggest that Emily Bronte may have had Asperger's. The question arose that people with Asperger's do not typically write fiction or imaginative work. Yet you have. I hope you don't mind me linking to this wonderful hub. It provides me with an excellent example of someone with Asperger's who writes fiction!


Baileybear 6 years ago

thank you for your insights. I have been writing about my AS and related issues. Will link


embee77 profile image

embee77 6 years ago

Yup, you hit the nail on the head. I'm new to hubpages and just discovered this 2-year old piece. Well-written and extremely informative. You've also captured readers who are willing to share their stories. I see it all leading to greater understanding and tolerance of people with differences. I also am writing about these subjects in my hubs. Together maybe we can all make a difference.


Wolf359 6 years ago

This is a great example of the diversity of the Asperger’s community. I have a 9 year old son who is diagnosed with Asperger’s, and while there seems to be some core tendencies there, also seems to be quite a few variables. My son loves to hug and be hugged, but doesn’t like to hold hands. I have taken the self evaluation on this website and scored a 30, which means I have some tendencies as well (I collect things to the extreme, am terrible with money, and love to read encyclopedias). I can’t remember anyone’s name, but I could tell you the Latin name of virtually every one of the 300+ plants in my yard (one of my collecting obsessions).

Back to my son….he also has a few more autistic tendencies than I see in other Asperger kids, mainly his stimming activities. He is however extremely intelligent and is doing great grade wise in school. That is mainly due to the diligence of my wife who not only spends time with him in the classroom (along with 4 resource teachers and a speech therapist), but also at home….not cutting him any slack when it comes to his homework.

His teacher in third grade brought his behavior to our attention (although the teacher assumed it was ADHD). My wife and I had been trying to determine why clumps of his hair were falling out at the same time he was having issues at school. His stimming activity at the time is what I called finger flipping. I Googled it and found a YouTube video with a child doing the same exact thing. The parent who posted it said their son was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome (which lead us to get professional help). After we got the diagnosis, we were able to figure out why he was losing his hair. Up until that point, we all (including his teacher) were trying to stop the stimming, which ending up causing him a lot of stress, enter alopecia areata.

Now that we know, we do not try to stop the stimming, but try to redirect him to do it in areas other than in public. Since we have done this, his hair grew back and there have been no new outbreaks of alopecia areata. Not only do I see some of the attributes in myself, but also in my older son and daughter (both of which I believe were misdiagnosed with ADD & bipolar disorder respectively). As far as a link to immunizations, I feel that is very improbable. Eccentric behavior (like that exhibited by Aspie’s and high functioning Autistics) has been around a lot longer than vaccines.

There is a lot of information out there these days about Asperger’s, but the biggest challenge is getting the help for your child that he or she may need. Fortunately, we live in a school district that has offered more assistance than what most others will fight you on. We feel blessed to have an Aspie in our life.


Hikikomori 6 years ago

Very good hub.


Plee 6 years ago

Isabella thank you for sharing your personal insight. My 14 yr old son was diagnosed with Aspergers this week. I was doing some research when I came across your hub. When I read you comments many things began to make sense. I felt so much better after reading them. We are meeting with the school officals in the morning to discuss his IEP and making some modifications. Thank you so much!


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 7 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

Thank you for explaining what exactly AS is, my friend's oldest grandson was diagnosed a couple years ago. It explains so much of the why his parents have been dealing with. You have accomplished so much, I am a little intimidated, kudos.


jame 7 years ago

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I am so happy that FINALLY i have found someone with AS who depicts their life as being happy and pretty much "normal". I have been searching high and low for an article like this. My son has AS. The neuropsychologist says it's very mild. I would just like to believe that he can have AS but still have friends,be athletic, chase girls,blah blah. All the things that other kids do. I can dream can't I?


i hate my syndrome 7 years ago

i rely like this other AS girl with beautiful hair and face,i slightly *think* she ikes me bac can u help


Jack Rowe 7 years ago

I'm an Aspergian who has the most wonderful relationship (hi Vicki!) though many times I thought it would never be possible.

I think Autism and HSP are functionally different names for the same phenomena... ditto ADD, ADHD, chronic ptss... there is a lot of confusion mostly promulgated by so many researchers who are commenting from outside the group(s) as opposed to from within.

To me the people in all these groups share the trait of tending to go within for support/guidance/motivation/comfort as opposed to 'neurotypicals' who largely look outside for these things. This may be one of the reasons relationship is difficult, though deep ties can be established and maintained.

It's also the reason we appear 'odd,' since we have failed to reference outside 'authorities' while we were forming our personalities/selves. I think less 'odd' than is supposed, I personally believe we are about 10% of the population but that most of us have learned to hide/blend in very effectively.

I've used a lot of creativity and steadfast defiance over the years (I'm 52) to carve out a life that gives succor and nourishment to my 'aspergian side,' allowing me to choose my own direction maximally while not getting me burned or nailed to anything.

We can be just as happy as anyone else -- happier than many, because in important ways we have more experiential freedom. We just have to be willing to find our OWN way in a culture that is designed for a very different mode of mental/social function.


walksbeauty profile image

walksbeauty 7 years ago from Sapello, New Mexico

Really great hub, good information, well expressed! We just found out about Aspergers a few years ago and it seems it runs all through our family & friends. We are definitely feeling like it's much more prevalent than has been thought... at least in our area of rural New Mexico where everyone is a little peculiar socially. Thanks for this!


nikki 7 years ago

Wow. I'm 16 years old (and a girl) and was just diagnosed with autism. As odd as it seems, I've never been happier! I finally know why I'm so... different. It explains everything, from the bullying since I was a kid to the fact that my only friend is an ex-teacher of mine that is old enough to be my mother. It's such a relief.

I was just wondering, can people with AS have steady relationships and eventally get married and start a family? You see, I've never been that good with romantic relationships. In high school, my best friends were guys. It was so much easier to relate to them, you know, the whole not caring about what you look like, wearing baggy jeans and t-shirts and having no problem with it. Well, I'm not sure what happened, but apparently I "changed: over the coarse of the summer and guys actually started being interested in me. It was so weird for me that I got into some really bad situations. I now realize that I never caught on to their flirting, and the hidden meanings behind the things that they would say or do. But now, I've found someone who I can really relate to. We went to the same school in Jr. High and were the main targets of the bullying, name calling, and physical abuse. I believe that he too is an Aspie. So I'm curious as to whether or not Aspies are capable of having "romantic" relationships.

Oh, by the way, the reason why I use the past tense when I talk about High Schoolo is because I'm going to college now. Boy, is this Aspie deal a major gift!


theenigma411 profile image

theenigma411 7 years ago from New York

"This is not always the case. I certainly can, but I do have tremendous difficulty reciprocating with facial expressions or physical gestures."

Thank you! I have explained this to professionals who thought that I literally could not read the most obvious expressions. I have a mild case as well.


ryan0mega 7 years ago

We've got to stick together, you know they're trying to 'cure' us?


Ben the Peach 7 years ago

Thank you for posting this highly informative Blog. I have recently as an adult become aware of having AS, and while it is very refreshing to finally have an answer to so many of my questions, and find a corrolation between so many of my issues, things that have plagued me all my life, it is also now a whole new unknown world to me, rrealizing I am on the Autistic Spectrum.

It is also good to see someone who has reasonably adapted ( as I have, except socially, and things like balancing a checkbook, or doing paperwork which cause me to have panic attacks ), and too see yet another one of the many faces of Asperger's, instead of the blanket generaliztions of the Wikis and peoples perceptions, which are so off sometimes.

Some want to think I can't have AS, because I am highly functional is certain areas, but readding from yours and several other blogs, it is apparent that there are several degrees of of it, and that no one characteristic is one size fits all.

aGAIN, thank you, and I hope you post more in the future.


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 7 years ago Author

Its not true at all that people with it dont have a sense of humor -- what a severe generalization. I write romantic comedy novels for God's sake, I should think I've got a sense of humor. Ive no idea if you've got Aspergers, you may just be HSP. Its not a very easy thing to diagnose but if you're not having problems of some kind, I really wouldn't worry about it. Having this is something I rarely ever think about, it shouldn't be something that defines who you are.


Koshi 7 years ago

Also,

Einstein? Really?

Well, who knows. Some speculate he had it, others say no, cos he had a good sense of humor, which people with Asperger’s don’t often have. <Alls> I can say is I have a pretty good sense of humor and I have it. Why couldn’t Einstein? I struggled a lot to read this word in the sentence. It took me a couple of minutes to try and work around it and decided that it can be considered as trying to be 'cute' in saying alls instead of all as some people seem to do. Even though I know you must have meant all. This is the part that I hate about how I work (Whether it is AS, OCD or anything else) that and the fact that I am so interested in what I am doing now that I have been at this for 4 hours now. *sigh*


Koshi 7 years ago

My boyfriend has AS, and it's good being able to read something that is actually from someone with AS. I've been up very late tonight reading all about AS (as he had suggested it to me tonight on the phone). We have been dating for almost 9 months now and with things I have read it kind of makes me smile remembering how he was like when we first started dating. We were both 16 then, and his AS is quite mild at times, but he still hasn't learnt how to deal with it well and has very bad periods here and there.

I had only just started at the school, I came to his school seeking a better education for my senior years and a way to avoid all the bullying I received from my past school (Although I found that the change in school hindered my education a little as the new school denied me of 3 unit math as they did not know me). I've always been very scared of meeeting new people, hell I'm horrible with people. I was lucky enough to have the teacher assign me to a guide whom I stuck to like glue, being scared out of my wits (This was much worse than my first day of high school, as it was the same feelings only that I knew everyone else in my year would not have the same feelings). I decided I would sit with her 'group' for lunches. Jake, my boyfriend was also a part of this group.

I pretty much just sat there, I never really talked to anyone, just followed them around so that I didn't look out of place. One day, I noticed Jake looked very upset and angry, and distant from the usual group so despite my fear of people, I walked over to him and asked him if he was okay. He shook his head and told me it was nothing. A guy from our group yelled at me and told me to leave him alone. This upset me a great deal, I am very sensitive to people raising their voice at me (But I understand now that the way they delt with Jake was to leave him alone).

I kind of developed a liking for him here, an interest I guess you would call it and this progressed even more when I discovered him in afternoon detention with me (I had been sent as I had had MANY days off school, I didn't like school at this point) because he hadn't finished and English task. I learnt that he has a hard time dealing with anything to do with English and using his non-existant imagination. We talked here as I was very surprised to find him here because he was one of the top students. We found we had a number of interests in which we shared and he told me about how he had AS and it was hard for him to do the English work.

A week later on July 13th (2009) I asked him out, I knew he never would and it was something I wouldn't normally do but I was very interested in him. That and I didn't have to exactly say "Will you go out with me" it was more like a "I would like to be your girlfriend. Would you like to be my boyfriend" sort of thing. The first month of our relationship was pretty much. He didn't know the first thing about how to act in a relationship but he learnt, eventually and he is the most caring individual I have ever met.

We started to open up to each other and so our relationship flourished. We shared so many interests and did a lot of things together.The odd thing was though that there were things that he couldn't do that I could do very well and vice versa.

He is very good at expressing himself thorugh speech and getting his point across (though he struggles talking about his emotions and feelings indepth) while I cannot do that very well at all, my only ways of communicating properly is through writing. Even in exams when we discuss the answers afterwards we find that the questions he could not answer, I answered easilly (and again vice versa).

We are still learning a lot about each other but Jake has made the presumption that I have AS as well. I have talked to my mother about what I was like when I was little because as far as I had known, I was always a very smart kid, and very lacking in social skills. She made the comment that I seemed to be very selective about who I would talk to and only ever made 'best friends' rather than have many friends. I was always bullied for my strange behaviour, but even now I don't know what it is that I had done to called that. I always ignored them. I really like reading books and I definatly exel in my English skills (though I don't seem able to grasp all the basics like what a simile is or an adjective. All I do is know how to write and I do it very well. I am the top student in my English classes.) With everything else I am slightly above average. I am far ahead of my class with math as I was placed in a very low math class due to my change in schools. I am second in my IT class I also do Physics and Legal Studies though I find it hard to focus in legal studies as my teacher talks a lot and it is hard for me to listen to people talk.

I am very sorry for the very long story but I wouldn't be able to sleep unless I knew I put in enough information for people to make a judgement. I need to know if you this I have AS as well. I do not want to go see a Psychiatrist or Counsellor as I have tried a few times but find I cannot talk and thus they cannot really make a diagnosis.

If anyone has any questions if they think more details are needed or any answers/ suggestions. Could you please e-mail me at Koshibou@hotmail.com Thank you.


Dhart profile image

Dhart 7 years ago from Culver City, CA

Hey Isabella, great hub!

Especially considering the fact that like you, I have Asperger's. Like you, I blended in on the surface in school, and I was a pretty good athlete, playing baseball as a kid & playing softball now.

Unfortunately, your experiences seem to have been more positive than mine. I was bullied and shunned as a kid and have been shuned as an adult both socially & especially in the workplace.

I've written five hubs on this site describing my experiences in detail with AS. I really think you ought to read them and comment back to me on what you think. Maybe we can start a little support thing...my pen name on this site is Dhart.

Hope to hear back from you soon.

Oh by the way, I know of a couple more famous people who are "Aspies" - Dan Ackroyd, SNL legend and famous Blues Brother, and Heather Kuzmitch, who was on America's Next Top Model a year or two ago.


Tracy 7 years ago

First, I'd like to say I like the view of someone with it, and a mild version of it. I've read a lot of things on it, you...probably would believe me and I like how it's not all about how insensitive and rude it seems.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure I have AS. I've been diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and OCD and although I'm no doctor, I see a lot of the signs but I don't fit into the "stereo typical" Aspie because I'm sensitive.

That's not to say I don't have "emotional" problems, I'm not very good at expressing myself, either by approipately fitting a situation or not knowing how to feel about something.

Anyway, thanks for writing this, I may show it to a few people to give them a different view on it.


Stacie L profile image

Stacie L 8 years ago

I've worked with Asperger kids but suspected that I have dated a few Asperger men! hmmmm


sabrebIade profile image

sabrebIade 8 years ago from Pennsylvania

Thank you for writing this.

I don't have it, but our 14 year old does.

It gave me quite a few insights.


Sid 8 years ago

Oh wait. I did not read the "How did you deal with times you could not focus on what you wanted?" part of your post. My bad.

Well let's see. In those days, I would actually look forward to distracting myself, and you might want to understand this. I mean, by not being able to focus on what he wants he is having an idenitity crisis, mostly a result of his distinctivity. And this confusion is inherent. It's meant to be. He will segue into the solacified state of mind slowly; it's like changing latitudes -- the temperature differences can kill when they are so immediate.

Give him time -- he will eventually be able to plot his own lines and try not to interpret his behaviour as negative. It's just different. :P (I hate it when people call me negative or unfocused or something; because ironically I am exactly the opposite and the irony bites like hell into my veins.)

Take Care.

~ Sid.


Sid 8 years ago

Umm...Julie, yes you are right.

Now that I go to think of it, I did have problems in classrooms; only I was more introvertive and disrupted mentally ;P

I mean I was an academic gem, but in behaviour, I was clearly a semi-alien. I don't think it should last throughout life. I mean my alienation died away in high-school. But trauma is not inseperable, nor are memories. But today it's good to recollect them and smile upon the past. :D


ninaredza profile image

ninaredza 8 years ago from Malaysia

My nephew has just been diagnosed at autistic (and not mildy either). He's 6 years old and we suspected a few years back but wasn't confirmed till a few days ago. I think his parents were still in denial at that stage.

I think it takes special parents to deal this affliction on a daily basis and we are ALL preparing ourselves for the challenges ahead of us.

Whatever conditions we have, if you have a good heart, you'll be loved no matter what you are. Thanks for sharing, Isabella.


Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago

My son has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, and up until a last year, no problems in school. Now he exhibits a lot of disruptive behaviors in the classroom. Do you recall having problems in school, not so much academically, but behaviorally? Basically, my son's a good kid, but in the classroom if he can't be focused on what he wants, he reacts negatively. How did you deal with times you could not focus on what you wanted?


Sid 8 years ago

Ok now let me put this this way:

I just realized i have Asperger's syndrome a few days ago; and I can actually relate to anything and everything you just wrote in that article. I mean, I have been academically excelling, have had an excellent vocabulary at the youngest age, have had troubles mingling with groups, have been skeptical of all 'trends' and lighter things in life; have been intensely engrossed and passionately interested in whatever I do, have been misunderstood by the elders (coz nobody here even knows this Sydrome exists)

And to be honest, I have been never so happier in my life. I mean, finally it all makes sense! And I feel so blessed to have it in me to differ and not be one of the crowd! And I make such good poetry, and draw such good chiaroscuro (not boasting BTW) that it almost amazes me sometimes. I have an excellent memory at remembering things I WANT to; I still have images in my mind of days when I was hardly 3 years old...

And I love people with such intensity and so much enthusiasm; and can isolate myself so easily to this wide wide world of ideologies and theories where I can silently work on the universal curiosities of my mind (Coz I have never thought of small things in my life, which makes sense now). I mean my parents would say I am some loner-kid who doesn't WANT to mingle, and trust me I have tried SO hard to do exactly that. And now I have come on this stage of life where I can understand and be satsifed with what I have and see my past and be proud of how far I have come. I feel proud that I have the Asperger Syndrome.

I mean, I still can relate to how uncomfortable clothes can make me distracted, or moved furniture can annoy me; even how the slightest disorder catches my attention. I also know how DESPERATELY have I wanted to express my empathy for people SO many times, and have never been able to; I have just been shutting it all, and I never thought why. I mean, I have IMMENSE empathy for my folk and just cannot express it.

Some days I feel so guilty about affecting other people's lives; to know that I influence them in so many ways; to know that their fates are somehow indirectly touched by me -- to understand that every time I walk into the room, all the people sitting there live lives of their own, unaware of other's perceptions.

People tend to say I am rather philosophic with my ideas, but truly I never felt more practical. I mean, once you get the right perception on life, everything can blossom into an unimaginably abstruse form of beauty -- so exquisite yet so multifacted!

And I know what kind of obsession you speak of, for I have lived with it for as long as I know, and have been proud of it like nothing! To know that I can romance with the trees' curves and the fading colours of the sunset; to understand how every single blink of the eye has so many meaning to it -- To have the satisfaction of knowing, that at least in my own perception, I have solved the greatest riddles of time!

I fiddle and I stretch, in mechanical ways, vigorously jerking my wrists when tired, or just rotating my head when my neck hurts -- I feel no shame in doing weirdest of things or being teased - for I do not care. That kind of attitude has come to me, and that I consider the greatest gift of Nature!

I just want to say, so so so many things about myself (I am not self-obsessed, I just tend to explain things much better by relating them to myself first) and so many metaphors I can use, and never would I be accurate, to express this vivacious feeling, of beeing able to manipulate reality to intense joy and grief, while somehow being able to forecast it and control it.

LOL! I think Einstein DID have the Asperger syndrome, for I do not believe that Asperger's Syndrome is any mental disease, but a rather complex configuration of the elements of this universe ( I am boring you, ain't I?) that precisely work together in this unique way to give this behaviour to individuals. I mean, if you go to see, every man can be diagnosed of a mental condition -- the very essence of his life, the very infrastructure of his life.

I mean, I tend to give long and paradoxially-inclined lectures on most trivial objects BECAUSE I find a beauty in them; a hidden skeleton that shows SO vibrantly! I mean i debate with my teachers and win. I debate with my school-principal and I win. I just don't ever lose a debate unless I feel like giving up, And that rarely happens. As a result, I end up annoying people. So I have to be silent and secluded. Else it all breaks down. But trust me; I have felt life in SO many dimensions, so many realities, I wouldn't want life any other way. :D


Karen Harkins 8 years ago

Isabella, Thank you for writing and answering so many questions. I'm a teacher and understood Asperger's from a distant perspective. When my boyfriend "flaked out" on me this week, I prayed, wondered what the logical reason was because he isn't a "flake" and it hit me. Asperger's. I've spent the last few days combing the internet for information and wondering how to explain to him what I want in our relationship, wondering if we are compatible given my personality traits, etc. Thank you for your honesty and your warmth. I wish you well....


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 8 years ago Author

MM - You're welcome!


MasonsMom profile image

MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A.

Thanks for opening up your own life experience to us. My 13 year old neice was just dianosed with Aspergers last year and we had no idea what it was until we googled it. Your article sheds even more light on the topic. Thanks!


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 8 years ago Author

Denmark - Yep, it's not the same for everyone. :)

Gale - Well, just because you have or don't have Aspergers or something else doesn't mean you can't be obsessive. Everyone and every situation is different. :)

Patience Virtue - If shes only singing to herself Id have to say what's the harm in that? What seems strange (isolation) to her mother may feel very comfortable for her. Why force a child to be uncomfortable just because you (the mother) doesn't like to see it? Personally, Id not tell her she cant do that. But that's just me.


Patience Virtue profile image

Patience Virtue 8 years ago from All Over

Isabella,

A couple of years ago I babysat a 3-year-old girl with aspergers. I didn't think much of it at the time (because I have two younger siblings with Autism Spectrum Disorder) but her mother insisted that I not let her zone off into her own world too much. When she did that sort of thing she would start singing to herself, and her mother said that that wasn't healthy for her. Is that true, is it unhealthy to let kids with aspergers stay in their own world for too long?

Patience Virtue


gale583 profile image

gale583 8 years ago from New England

This is a really interesting hub for me, because I personally have had some seriously BAD experiences with an individual with Aspergers, to the point I (regrettably) have a fear of anyone who seems to have it. Just reading this hub makes my muscles tense and my heart beat quickly as I round my shoulders and turn into myself.

When I was a freshman in college met a sophomore boy in my dorm who seemed to like me. Having gone to an all girls boarding school and never had a boyfriend before, I took to the attention and reciprocated the flirting, even though I found the boy slightly odd and not actually all that attractive, but we seemed to relate on the topic of having been bullied in younger years, etc. We started dating, and while the first couple of weeks went well, his intense feelings for and focus on me started to get a little disturbing. He couldn't function when I wasn't around, and I couldn't do my studies when I was with him. Furthermore he would constantly inadvertently guilt trip me into things I didn't want (for example: the first time he put his hands down my pants I told him I didn't want that and he cried and pouted and berated himself, so from then on I let him do it even though I didn't want it). It quickly turned into emotional abuse on his part, whether he meant for it or not. When I finally learned of his (probably unrelated) habit of compulsively lying I finally was fed up and ended the relationship. After the break up he became suicidal and violent. He'd constantly slam his dorm room door and at one point claimed he'd poisoned himself by drinking mouthwash. He also followed me around. Whenever he knew I was in my friend's room down the hall from him he'd sit in his doorway watching as I'd run across the hall back and forth from the bathroom or common room. At public school events somehow he'd always situate himself within my view. It got really creepy, but finally after summer break things died down and I didn't see much of him anymore.

I'm not sure how much of his actions had to do with his having Aspergers, though I will say I do not think he ever got the help adjusting that he needed as a kid and young adult (he was diagnosed at age 14), and he certainly did not have a great upbringing, trust me on that one. I don't doubt that many people with Aspergers are wonderful, well meaning, functioning members of society (I've even known a few from before this incident), but ever since the events I've recounted her I have had a fear of people, especially men, who seem to have that sort of walk and look in their faces that suggests to me they have Aspergers.

Thank you for your hub. It really shows me how irrational my fear is from my one bad experience, and I hope in time I can get over it. Great job, as always.


Denmarkguy profile image

Denmarkguy 9 years ago from Port Townsend

This is fascinating, and I appreciate that you wrote this, because people certainly benefit from being better informed.

The way you share your personal experience is very interesting-- I studied Asperger's at length, about 10-12 years ago, at the suggestion of a psychiatrist I knew as a friend. I eventually concluded that certain things were "missing," in terms of my having Asperger's, interestingly enough many of the same you have outlined as "doesn't always apply" and "not in my case."


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 9 years ago Author

Angela - Thank you! :)

EA - I'd beleive that!

Frettbuzz - Thanks!

Counterpunch - Well, it exists in varying degrees.. but you're right, the important thing is that we deal with it. ;)


thecounterpunch profile image

thecounterpunch 9 years ago

This is very interesting hub. I was never diagnosed with Asperger or OCD but when I was a child I was considered very gifted by others though I didn't agree with them, I rather thought that I was exceptionally capable of being very focused especially on abstract thinking (I was very bad at calculation but very good at logics in mathematics).

I have a lot of empathy, it is really a big problem for me, that's why I thought I could discard that I have Asperger, but as I read you above, it rather seems that you don't express it. As for me I don't want to express it either because if I didn't contain myself in some situations I would just cry when I see others suffer.

Now I think any people at any degree has some foolishness. What's important is to become conscious of that and try to correct.


Fretbuzz 9 years ago

Excellent hub, Isa.

You've certainly taken what was given and made good. My ten-gallon is off to you.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 9 years ago

And many feel Bill Gates, too!!


Angela Harris profile image

Angela Harris 9 years ago from Around the USA

Isabella, thanks for being so upfront about such a personal experience. I had heard of Asperger's, but really didn't know much about it. It seems as if you, Earth Angel, and Earth Angel's godchildren are all in very good company- Sir Isaac Newton, Thomas Jefferson, Einstein- Wow.


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 9 years ago Author

Earth Angel - Im glad it resonated with you! I hope it resonates with others as well. :)

Jstankevicz - You're welcome and thank you! Yes, Jerry from Boston Legal has some added traits in there, I think.. ;) There was also an episode of House in which Dr. Wilson theorizes that House has it too - though, I don't think the character does..


jstankevicz profile image

jstankevicz 9 years ago from Cave Creek

Wow, incredibly interesting HubPage! I think I first heard of Asperger's on the TV show Boston Legal. Like Rainman, this gives you such a visual, single dimensional view of an issue or condition. After reading your terrific and personal explanation, I'm sure I've encountered it many times and didn't see the condition or the person properly. Thank you.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 9 years ago

Dearest Isabella!! Thank you soooooooooo much for writing this Hub!! I, too have Asperger, as does a friend of mine and her young child!! (And five of my seven godchildren!!) We have been wrestling for a month about tackling the issues in HubPages!! There were sooooooooooo many things in your Hub I resonated with!! And me too, I have done quite well in life!! My favorite site for the positive aspects is: www.CoachingAsperger.com and for more technical information: www.WrongPlanet.net Thank you so much for opening up and sharing!! Blessings on your day!! Earth Angel!!


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 9 years ago Author

Aspergers is *not* OCD and that's not something I'm going to argue about, it's too complex for a hub comment. As for your other questions, there are varying levels of Asperger's and it's different for everyone. Being smart is not something 6 and 7 year olds tend to be jealous of - you're looking at it like an adult. You would not have thought I had challenges with any kids if you were an observer.

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