28 things I have learned from 28 years of living with Aspergers

I celebrated my 28th birthday on Friday (I feel so old!) so I thought a good idea for this blog post would be to post 28 things I have learned from living with Aspergers for 28 years.

1. Aspergers can cause mood swings and intense emotions that most people find difficult to understand.

2. We do have lots of empathy-we just don’t always display it in “normal” ways.

3. Despite Aspergers being commonly known as a milder form of autism, it can be just as frustrating and challenging to live with for people with the condition and their families as classic autism. “Milder” simply refers to the fact that Aspergers isn’t associated with severe learning disabilities the way classic autism is so people with Aspergers can intellectually learn and apply social skills in the way that many people with classic autism can’t (I hope this doesn’t cause offence-I am trying to explain it in the best way I can).

4. Following on from the previous point, not every person with Aspergers is a genius, despite what the popular media may portray.

5. Neither are we heartless, violent individuals who are more prone to violent crimes, including murder, than people without Aspergers. Indeed, as a general rule, most people with Aspergers dislike violence and confrontation and are more likely to take any anger they have out on themselves rather than on other people.

6. There is nothing wrong with preferring your own company.

7. People tend to appreciate our honesty (as long as it’s not too brutal!) Stay honest-it makes the world a better place!

8. My Aspergers makes me immune to peer pressure-there is absolutely no point in trying to get me to drink alcohol-many people have tried and failed as my mind doesn’t work in the way that I feel pressured to join in with what other people are doing.

9. Aspergers has given me a strong sense of social justice-I am often filled with despair at how nasty society can be and I feel compelled to help.

10. Keep onto your original thoughts-the world likes original thinkers.

11. The statistics for autism in girls and women are grossly under rated-trust me!

12. Aspergers is far, far more than purely social awkwardness.

13. Contrary to what many people believe, I found that my Aspergers is actually harder to manage now as an adult than it ever was as a child, probably because I now have to take full responsibility for managing it.

14. Aspergers is commonly associated with depression and anxiety and it can be hard for people with Aspergers to work out what certain traits are down to.

15. I would say that the only reason we are so prone to depression and anxiety is because of how harsh people can be regarding social mistakes that we have made in the past,

16. Regarding the previous point, many people with Aspergers have incredibly long memories and are known for ruminating over worries.

17. Just because we have a tendency to take things literally, it does not mean we lack intelligence.

18. Equally, just because we may take a while to process what someone is asking of us, it does not mean we lack intelligence (and, even if we did, that’s no reason to be nasty to anyone!)

19. We tend to self stimulate more when we are stressed. If you have a partner, friend or child on the spectrum and you have noticed an increase in flapping, spinning or other stims, please bear in mind that they are probably going through a hard time and coping the only way they know how.

20. People with Aspergers are extremely under represented in the world of work despite the fact that most of us would make fantastic employees.

21. The fact that we are continually learning and applying new coping strategies means that the majority of us are naturally resilient and determined.

22. It’s always great if you can laugh at yourself.

23. Regarding the post above, despite the common misconception, people with Aspergers do have a brilliant sense of humour-it’s just not what other people might regard as a “normal” sense of humour.

24. A lot of people on the spectrum are naturally nocturnal-I have no issues working night shifts and could work at night full time if needed because I am naturally more awake in the evenings.

25. Being sensitive to our senses is not the same as being intentionally difficult or “precious”.

26. Being socially awkward is not the same as being intentionally rude or arrogant.

27. Most of us are keen to educate people on Aspergers so please don’t be afraid to ask any questions.

28. Finally, despite our differences, there are always people who are willing to be friends with us for who we are and appreciate our quirks.

 

 

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4 Responses to 28 things I have learned from 28 years of living with Aspergers

  1. alexforshaw says:

    I suspect my nocturnal leanings have a lot to do with my need for solitude. At night most folk are asleep and it is quiet which helps me to relax.

  2. Debbie Williams says:

    Happy Birthday, hope you had a great time, and I can assure you that you are still young! Xx

  3. Happy birthday! I relTe to a lot of this. I also think my Aspergers has been harder to control as I have got older

  4. maximusaurus says:

    Having lived 25 years with autism, I too have found many of these to be true.

    Happii Burfdae! 😉

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