Springingtiger's Blog


Autism Awareness: Reflections on My Life With Asperger’s
April 11, 2012, 00:21
Filed under: asperger's syndrome, autism, disability, success | Tags: ,

The morning after I posted about about employment and autism I woke up thinking that I have had a good life. I admit it’s not always been easy, there have been bad times, but on reflection, I don’t think there’s anything I would change. I have been married for thirty years, I have a daughter and granddaughters and I have a job.

I am delighted when I see the strides that have been made in the treatment of people with autism. Today young people with Asperger’s get support to help them cope with sensory and information processing problems, and the social difficulties that would prevent them studying. Do I regret not having educational support when I was young? I can’t pretend I don’t wonder how my life might have been different had I had the support that is available now; however I am very mindful that in my youth Asperger’s was virtually unknown and the support was not there. On the other hand, had the support been available to me my life might not have turned out as it has.

No amount of support would have made any difference to me because no one knew I had Asperger’s, these days the condition is recognised more readily and sooner. I went through my childhood as an odd child and it was not easy, but not knowing there was a reason for my oddness I just had to make things work. Perhaps with help I might have graduated and had a different career, my life may have turned out differently, but I doubt if I would be any happier. I now have a secure life largely thanks to the support of my wife, but getting to this point has not been easy. There was a long time when I tried drugs and alcohol to manage a life out of control and I could so easily have destroyed myself. Neelam stopped my drug taking, but not the drinking. Nearly twenty nine years ago she introduced me to the Est training which started a fascination with courses and reading about how people work, primarily to try and understand myself.

Getting my diagnosis of Asperger’s was the final piece of the jigsaw that made sense of twenty five years of personal development work and the thirty chaotic years that preceded them. I find no great regret for lost opportunity as I look back over my life, I do get a lot of amusement as I see Asperger’s woven into the fabric of every moment of my life, I have a sense of pride as I look back and realise that I got here, not without help, but I got here. I got here not understanding the challenges I had to overcome, and not knowing about Asperger’s I had no choice but to succeed or crash on my own ability. Having said all that, I am so glad that many children today will be spared some of the agony through which I went.

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