Not an Excuse or a Super Power but an Invitation

     Asperger’s Syndrome, I’ve got a mild case as does my son. Now that that’s out of the way, I’ve got a few things about the subject I’d like to get off the spinning carousel I call my mind.

     A lady who knows me asked about how to best handle her child’s Asperger’s and the outbursts that come with it. Frankness serves discussion with an Aspie best rather than an ambiguously softened message. There’s time and opportunity for letting them down gently after the facts are out on the table. It’s not a question of being broken but just bent a little in an odd direction. Life alone in the world requires much of everyone; rules to follow, etiquette to adhere to, a myriad of invisible boundaries to discover.

     My earliest days dating were odd. For my first prom, I neglected to purchase a corsage for my lady. As a result, she kept my boutonniere in her fridge to throw away later. I can’t say I really enjoyed the prom or any other group activity like that. It was like baseball, I stood around wondering what the hell we were all supposed to be excited about. Thankfully, my wife chose me and has learned to handle my peculiarities well. She taught me about patience, being a good sport, and generally kept my social skills improving.

     I’ve a handful of influences that I look to for inspiration and encouragement. The first is Temple Grandin. Her ability to stick to her passion and find a way to prove to people the value of her unique perspective thrills me.

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   Movies are beginning to explore Asperger’s Syndrome. A coworker recommended Adam, a love story about a young Aspie who grew up with his father taking care of him, allowing him to live an isolated life. But when his father passes Adam must build an independent life and meets a wonderful woman in the process. The movie romanticizes to some degree but isn’t afraid to show those moments when an Aspie can really try a loved one’s patience.

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     So what am I rambling about? What’s the purpose of all this? I’ve kept my Asperger’s below the radar because I don’t want it to be the central focus of who I am, but I want to invite people to ask questions. It’s all a mystery to many folks and I’d like to offer any help I can to bridge the gap between the uninitiated and the unusual.

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