I am proud to have Asperger Syndrome

Today I want to share with all of you a very special gift that I have. It is often called a disorder or even a disability. I thought of it that way too, until I realized that it is not a disability at all, in fact it gives me certain gifts and talents that make me different but not disabled. It is called Asperger Syndrome and is on the Autism Spectrum. I believe it is not really an impairment but something that makes one unique while giving one certain challenges which almost anyone can have. I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at the age of 9 but came to know that I had it at the age of 13.

People who have Asperger Syndrome are gifted with special abilities and talents. Some famous personalities with Asperger are Actor Dan Akroyd, World-Chess Champion Bobby Fischer, Author Luke Jackson and British singer Gary Numan, just to name a few. Much as no two Zebras have exactly the same stripes, no two people with Asperger Syndrome have similar personalities or interests. Some are very good with maths, logic and sciences and others may be very good with arts and language. While they have very high abilities in some areas, they have equally poor abilities in others which can make life challenging for them in some ways. The most challenging area for Aspergetics is social interaction. They find it extremely difficult to mingle and have friendships and associations like neurotypical or so-called ‘normal people’ can. This can make life very lonely and isolated for them.


In my case, my interests are really varied and wide-ranging. They are Animals and Nature, Prehistory, The Paranormal, Mystery, Travel, Music and films and documentaries of various genres. I enjoy public speaking which I did between 2013 and 2017. I also enjoy acting out scenes from films that I like. I enjoy learning about the areas of my interest and have detailed information and knowledge about these which I get from various sources such as books, documentaries and the internet. I enjoy sharing this information with friends and family as well as people I meet. My memory for events that have happened in my life or which are to do with my interests and people is acute I and can relate them back with specific details, even after several years.


I enjoy writing due to which I did a degree in Creative Writing at AUT University. My favourite area of work is fan fiction which is creating stories about characters from an original franchise. I like surfing the internet about my areas of interest and create movies based on them using footage and music of various sources and combining them with themes of my interests. To do this, I use Microsoft program called moviemaker.


With Asperger Syndrome, the brain is wired differently as compared to a normal brain which makes me create theories and themes. For example, I have a theory about Paradise which to me is a positively otherworldly feeling toward a particular element and can also be a gift. It may be difficult for everyone to understand but to me it is a feeling that I like to associate with elements that I enjoy doing or seeing. I enjoy making such theories which could be based either on fictional or real themes. Most of my theories are based around my interests


I believe I am lucky that I do not have too many challenges. However some of the challenges that I face include socializing and numerical abilities. Social interaction can become stressful for me because I am very literal in my understanding and can misunderstand subtleties and humour. I can sometimes take offense to something that might be a simple joke. I also tend to talk about things of interest to me only, not realizing that others may not be interested. Although I am aware of this, I find it difficult to catch myself in time before boring my listeners. However I am learning to be versatile and indulge in other topics whether they are of interest to me or not. Fortunately I have had many supportive friends and family who have understood my difficulties and encouraged me in my endeavours to socialize.


My other challenge is numeracy which has been right from the start. While I have no issues doing simple maths, I find it difficult to interpret problems to do with money and time. I am still working at it and hopefully will overcome it with more practice.


Other issues that I have are being particular about the food I eat, movies I watch, places I visit, people I meet, games I play, devices I use etc. I am becoming aware of these habits and am trying to move out of my comfort zone to try out things which may not necessarily end up being bad


To conclude although I have Asperger Syndrome I am proud to because it enables me to have a completely different perspective of life compared to everyone else. It has allowed me to overcome many challenges which I previously thought were not possible. It has also made me appreciate how other people with different abilities face everyday challenges and make a success of their lives. Being different, I am able to empathise much more with the difficulties that people face whether or not they have a disability and I try my best to help them as I have been helped by many people who I am ever grateful for. All said and done, as a person on the Autism Spectrum, I am proud of whatever is happening in my life

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