Springingtiger's Blog


Autism Awareness: I Am What I Am
April 28, 2012, 22:49
Filed under: asperger's syndrome, autism, disability | Tags: , , , ,

My Asperger’s diagnosis came as more of a surprise to me than to my wife. I knew very little about autism before my diagnosis and it took me some time to come to terms with it. For several months autism became an obsession with me, it probably made living and working with me even more difficult than usual. After several months of obsession, I could finally write this post. I hope you enjoy it.

Recently it was put to my wife that it must have been hard living with someone with Asperger’s to which she replied, “I wasn’t living with someone with Asperger’s, I was living with Rory”. She is right for 30 years of our relationship I was just an odd person without a label for my oddness. Apparently my wife’s family describe me as “pola” which she translates as, “uncomplicated” or, “simple but in a good way”. I suppose I could have been called eccentric which is appropriate, eccentricity is so associated with Britishness that I believe anyone who tries to impose conformity to a norm should be tried for treason (joke). The application of a label does not change who I have always been and for more than half a century I was not a person with Asperger’s because I had no consciousness of it. The label did not change me it changed my perception. My friend Don said that I was still the same loveable person I was before the diagnosis and he is right. He has also said that since the diagnosis I seem to have been struggling with my identity and that is also true as the label casts a new light over the events of my past. What I do realise is that just as the beliefs of normal society should not be allowed to distort my perception neither should the label “Asperger’s”.

I did not grow up without friends, I have friends. My definition of friendship may not be normal but it works for me and that is what matters. My sensory processing may be a little inconvenient at times but it’s the way I work, always have and if new knowledge helps me make adaptations then that’s down to me. I may process information in strange ways which on occasion have not helped educationally but it’s made me what I am today and that’s not a bad thing, it’s just who I am label or no label. Could things have been different in my life? Yes, but that is true for everybody we could all have done things differently. The fact is as we say in NLP, “People do the best they can with the resources they have available.” and I have done pretty well with the resources available. There will always be resources available in the present – whenever the present – that were not available in the past regretting they were not available accomplishes nothing unless used as a spur to discover and make available new and better resources. Medical knowledge, nutritional understanding, environmental understanding, technical advances have leapt forward since my childhood which is no more blighted because I didn’t have an iPod in 1960 than it is because I didn’t have a diagnosis of Asperger’s in 1955 or whenever. Let’s be honest I had advantages most children today won’t have. An unpolluted rural environment where it was safe to wander all day in the hills or by the river, an excellent and disciplined public – that means private in Britain! – school education and the freedom to do most of what I wanted to without interruption. I have no complaints! Yes it has taken several months to get to grips with my newest label but it is only one of several I have obsessed about and assimilated over the years. Events and information may have changed my perceptions, chemicals and nutrition may have affected my physiology and genes may have determined my neurology but at the end of it all…I AM WHAT I AM! and I like that.

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1 Comment so far
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A cool blog post right there mate ! Thank you for the post .

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