The following is something I wrote today to someone I met on line . I'm including it in my blog because there are some issues I bring up that I have always wanted to talk about . I'm certainly no "expert" on Aspergers but I think that each of us having a voice is important in defining what "AS" is for us and if we don't speak up....there will be "others" who are more then willing to speak for us...(you know who you are, you sneaky money hungry lunatics) . When I began learning about AS, I did so by reading both the "experts" research and theories and reading blogs by other aspies . I also communicated for several years, for hours at a time, with other aspies on Wrong Planet . I think doing both was very helpful for my own understanding of AS .
One of the issues I have with bios on Aspergers is that some people might mistakenly believe that is all inclusive . That if they don't completely relate to the author, they must not be aspie . While it is true that many of us do find a lot of over-lap with some aspie bios and a few quirks that we never realized other humans had , people with as are no more "clones" the neurotypicals . My experience of being AS is NOT going to be the same as everyone elses experience of it .
So here is the letter I wrote to someone wondering if they are AS .....
Thanks for acknowledging my comment on your blog . I don't actually "talk" to many people on their blogs . Still getting used to the whole concept of talking to strangers but think it's good for me, as before computers, I could never talk to people at all . In school, this gave me the reputation of being "stuck up" but I was interested in people, just had no idea what to say and the racing heart from social anxiety, was just to painful to endure for long .
Why do I think it's important to talk to you about Aspergers ? Well, that's a bit complicated but comes down to my own life time of confusion about "what's wrong with me ?" I have felt like that from at least the age of 5 . That was about the time that I first developed the theory that I must be from another planet...(that was probably because I watched to much Star Trek, lol ). Humans just confused the heck out of me . Kids seemed so mean, my mother was always mad at me for "things" and I didn't understand why . I couldn't find other girls who liked the same things I did....spending hours in the woods looking at trees, bugs, rocks and animals .
Anyway, don't really mean to bore you with my own bio, just wanted to explain a bit about why I felt "alien" . I know there are other books from female aspies and I plan on reading them but haven't been able to find them in my library and am to "cheap" to buy them . Instead, I looked for information about Aspergers by goggeling it and reading everything I could about it . I also joined the web site "Wrong Planet. com" and just about lived there for a few years . The conclusion I came to was that there are some very important differences in how females with Aspergers navigate and experience the world . It actually make a alot of sense if you consider how hormones and social expectations effect females in general .
Aspergers has been described by some theorists as being "extrema male brain" . Many of the stereotypical traits of men are part of the DX of Aspergers but just seen as being more obvious in AS . I think they are not referring to the "loving sports, being aggressive, ect ." They are talking about...
men are more logical and less emotional..."Spock syndrome"
less interested in social communication, (don't need to chat as much)
less likely to understand other peoples feelings and how their behavior/words effects them
have "obsessive interests" more then females
I personally think that there is "some" validity in these stereotypes but I don't know if they are genetic of socialized differences . (I do think that there are some gender biases because males tend to be doing more research then females and their subjects often are more likely to be males). Logically , it would seem that if the "male brain" thing were true about AS...females with AS would stand out more and be more likely to be DXed but the opposite seems to be true . My theory is that "experts" tend to find what they are looking for and are influenced by their own biases . Females who have eventually beed Dxed with AS, have often first been DXed with....depression, social anxiety. ADD/ADHD,
border-line personality disorder, OCD or bi-polar disorder . Sometimes having multiple DXes to cover all the same traits that a male with AS has .
My current problem with AS DX and psychology in general, is how subject it is when it comes to DXing . Behavior and beliefs, are judged by another person and are completely influenced by interpretation . I will never be completely comfortable with the DX and research of Aspergers until there is a more scientific way of DXing it . I am pathologically logical person and the lack of science behind much of the current research is very frustrating to me .
I just realized that I am getting rather...abstract here and some of what I'm writing would only make sense to some one who has read some of the research I'm talking about...sorry about that . I guess if you are really interested in AS, you could do a search on my blog, I don't talk about it much but I think I have tagged some of my own experiences of AS . Mostly my blog is about my obsessions which change every few years .
I think the one thing that is most obvious in people who have AS is the obsessions but there are also AS people who have learned to control these obsessions or have months were they are between obsessions when they often experience increase in anxiety or depression . I think that our obsessions are often very calming to us because they put the world into"order" . They lend focus to us and keep us from being over whelmed with sensory stimuli . I know that when I am involved in one of my sessions I feel much more focused in general .
"When you have met one aspie, you have met one aspie"...is something often quoted in our "community" . Although there are obviously some traits that make us AS....how those traits are expressed are influenced by....gender, life experiences, physical health and the many other co-morbids of AS . My personal experience is that it's the weird combination of the co-morbids that have influenced me the most . These are not part of the DX of AS but are very common among us . The strange thing about them is that until you read about them, you may not realize that you actually have them because your so used to "being" the way you are and don't realize that other peoples brains don't work the same way . A bit like a child who is color blind never really understands why other people can tell the difference between blue and green because they see those colors as shades of brown .
My "issue" with John's books on AS, current and future, is that to many people will read them and think...I am not like "that" so must not have AS . He is only one way of experiencing AS . AS is just as diverse as the rest of human experience . There are obviously some over laps in experience or we would not be able to identify AS but to really understand it, you need to try and interact with as many other people with AS as you can .
That is what I found so helpful about Wrong Planet...(my name is Krex< there ) . I don't go there very often any more because needle felting has replaced my obsession with AS,but it is like all my past obsessions...they never really go away but hide in the shadows waiting for a spark .
Uhmm, well, I hope there was something in my blathering that you will find helpful and if you have any questions or want me to try and explain something better, please feel free to email me . Aspergers happens to be something I feel very passionately about and have given a lot of thought to because it was the first time when all my "weirdness" started to fall into place . One thing you may find if you visit the aspie community is that most of the people there are surprisingly nice . Some of us are more abrasive then others but most have suffered and suffering tends to make people more empathetic . I find that very ironic because supposedly aspies are not empathetic and I find that absurd . Isn't it the "Neurotypicals " who run the world and haven't they been responsible for slavery, witch burning, exploitation of humans, wars, rape, ect ? How much empathy do they really have that they can torture other humans and animals ? My not being able to hug someone or read their facial expressions when they are distressed or not what to say to them,,,,,is not the same thing as not caring about their being hurt .