Tuesday, April 17, 2012

From Asperger's and Me "I Like being an Aspie"

One question I see come up fairly often in autism/asperger’s communities is if there was a pill that could make your autism/asperger’s go away, would you take it?  I figured I’d answer that question.
Short answer: no, I wouldn’t.
Long answer: I like being me.  There are so many things about myself that I really like that are directly related or due to my having Asperger’s.
I tend to obsess.  It’s a neurology thing.  Thing is – I like obsessing.  It’s downright pleasurable!  I love it when I find a new thing to focus on – it leads to learning new things, gaining new hobbies, finding new skills, etc.  How awesome is that?  I find it wonderful to have special interests, and having those interests is sometimes a way for me to get to know new people.
I also have a very good ability to focus and concentrate, which is something else I like about myself.  It helps enable my learning new things about the aforementioned special interests, and means I can immerse myself into a task if I want to.  I love doing that.
I am detail-oriented.  I happen to take a great deal of pleasure in assembling furniture.  My ability to see details (as well as my ability to concentrate) means I am pretty darn good at it too, if I do say so myself.  I see details that other people miss, and when I’m planning a project I am often very thorough in thinking things through ahead of time.  (lately I’ve been planning exactly how I’d like to make a weighted blanket.  it’s fun!)
I am, as some may say, quirky.  I’m odd.  Thing is, I like being odd.  I like knowing that I’m different.  To me, the word “weird” is a compliment.  Not only am I not typical, I don’t even want to be typical.  I often think that my oddness gives me perspective that other people lack.  I don’t see the world the way most people do, and they don’t see the world the way I do.  Yay diversity!
I am a cat person.  I understand cats so very much more than I understand humans.  Humans are strange and contradictory and have social protocols that range from odd to baffling to downright offensive to me (yeah, I might get to that in another post).  Cats, on the other hand, are totally reasonable and very rarely confuse me at all.  I have been told that there is a good likelihood that my ability with cats comes from the fact that I am on the autism spectrum.  My response?  Awesome!
If I were to stop being an Aspie, I would lose all of that.  I don’t even know who I’d be anymore, as these are all very important parts of my personality and identity.  Yes, people tend to think I’m odd (yay!) and sometimes don’t see my worth (not so much yay), but I think these things make me nifty.  They make me, me.


Unknown said...

Love it! I myself am not an aspie but my daughter is. But some of the comments that you make about people and their social cues being downright so true. I don't have the diagnosis but often times feel exactly as you do about navigating adult folks whom "like to play games." My daughter is very black and white and wants no nonsense friends. I can't blame her! Cheers to you for your input!

Steve Borgman said...

As a parent of a child on the spectrum, and as a therapist working with clients on the spectrum, I absolutely love your article. Thanks for celebrating the uniqueness and strengths of who you are!

mimestream said...

Kimberly Gerry-Tucker (author of "Under The Banana Moon") I love this post. It speaks volumes. Its articulate and well thought out. As a person on the spectrum, I share your beliefs.

Wayne said...

I could have written this post, some things about my Aspergers annoy me but I wouldn't want to be nt, I'd particularly miss the affinity with cats :-)

Unknown said...

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