Living with Aspergers

To begin with, Asperger Syndrome is also known as Asperger’s Syndrome or AS. People who have this condition are known as Aspies. Two of the big quirks that Aspies and others on the autism spectrum possess are the tendency to really desire a sense of order, especially because they ritualistically follow routines, which can make Aspies come across as very eccentric or weird to the general population.

Asperger Syndrome Communication Issues

- People with Asperger Syndrome often think others know what they are thinking without having to tell them. When I communicate to others and they don’t get what I say, sometimes I feel very frustrated because it interrupts my sense of order. In other words, when someone doesn’t understand me, it can feel “irritating” because my sense of order is sidetracked when my inner flow or order is interrupted, for being understood keeps the train of order going straight for me in my mind.

- Many Aspies, including myself, have a tendency to talk fast. This is because communicating what’s on our minds and hearts can feel really intense, and so we try to get it out as fast as possible. I used to be really bad about doing this, but now when I find myself talking fast, I begin to slow my voice down. Sometimes though, it takes the listener’s admonition to stop me from speaking so fast.

How Sights, Sounds, and Food Affect Aspies

 

- Those with Asperger Syndrome can be really sensitive to a variety of sounds and smells. When I hear people coughing, it feels as if I am being tortured. My senses feel like they are being overloaded, and I have to muster all my self control to keep from screaming at! I can’t even stand hearing myself cough! As for smells, I could joyfully breathe in the scent of vanilla, grass or rain on hot tar every second of the day if that were possible!

- Aspies often wear very well-worn clothing and can’t stand upper garment neck tags or tight collars. Whenever I get a new t-shirt, I have to wash it several times before I feel comfortable wearing it because new fabric and those prickly neck tags really feel irritating on my skin, as if I am wearing gritty sandpaper. As for my neck area, I can’t stand anything snug or tight around it, though in winter I like to wear soft material scarves.

- Diet is one of the most strange and bizarre aspects of Asperger Syndrome. Aspies may only eat a few kinds of foods day after day after day. Again, this has to do with order and routine. This is true of me. I have a thing for eating pasta over and over, though it’s a food I am supposed to avoid. Oftentimes, Aspies don’t feel hungry or thirsty and can react terribly to the sight and smell of certain foods. Bring a mushroom near me and I will barf.

Social Situations and Asperger Syndrome

- People on the autism spectrum of Asperger Syndrome generally would rather spend time by themselves. In new social situations, I can feel overwhelmed at first because a whole bunch of personalities are thrown at me at once, but if I spend enough time with the group, I tend to feel more comfortable. If I am in a group setting, I still like to look at or ponder things on my own even while the whole group is doing something else.

- Aspies have the tendency to be very abrupt, though not meaning to be. People will often take it as being pushy or rude. Again, when we express ourselves sometimes, it’s a sense of intensity that we feel in getting out the words.

- Aspies really take issue with being in cramped situations and navigating among crowds. Getting bumped around can make them feel very irritated. For me, crowds create a mixed feeling. I don’t mind being a stadium of 50,000 people as I love to study crowds, but when I am at the store, it’s really irritating when I’m in a certain aisle and people are near me. I like to shop with a lot of space between me and other customers.

- People with Asperger Syndrome can laugh at something when around others, even when the group hasn’t seen or heard anything that would be considered “collectively funny”. This is because the Aspie has thoughts of something funny or notices something funny when the rest of the crowd isn’t aware of anything “funny” going on; in essence, the Aspie is at least partly in his or her own world even while among others, sometimes becoming oblivious to what the group is doing.

How Asperger Syndrome Affects Learning and Work

- People with Asperger Syndrome like to stay occupied, especially with only a few pastimes and interests, which can be quite challenging because when interacting with others, Aspies can go off on tangents discussing their favorite things to the point of boring others to death. It can also create problems with keeping a job unless the job just happens to be in the field that the Aspie has a passion for!
- Aspies often need to learn in more visual ways. This really rings true for me because when people start talking about a lot of different aspects of an issue without using “show” language or incorporating drawings, I take their barrage of words as very overwhelming, and basically shut out what is being said. The same applies when I am in a new place and don’t know my way around: my sense of direction is bad unless I can picture it in my mind or diagram it…
-When communicating, I use a lot of idioms when I speak because it helps to create pictures in my mind so I can relate to the concept of what I am trying to say.

- Aspies can be very creative in the arts. For me, I’ve had an interest in writing since I was a kid, and I love to express myself via the written word. It seems that people understand me much better or connect with me easier when I write because my writing is straightforward and friendly in style for the most part. I’m often told that I come across way different in person than by what first impression was formed with someone initially via my writing, given they hadn’t met me before in person.

- Those with Asperger Syndrome often feel really stressed out when their routines are interrupted. Routine gives the Aspie a sense of connection and order, and sometimes this flows over to where the Aspie expects others to follow the same sets of routines and rules, becoming frustrated when it doesn’t happen. When I was in grade school, one of my teachers commented on my report card that I got frustrated when people didn’t think or do things the way I thought and did.

- Many people in my age group and who are older go their whole lives without being diagnosed as an Aspie or misdiagnosed altogether. I was 22 when I was diagnosed, thanks only to my stepmum who knew about this condition.

How I Manage My Condition of Asperger Syndrome

-Meditation

When things aren’t as orderly as I think they should be or when people aren’t acting the way I want them to act, I realize that deep within me is this quiet place that says things are the way they are, and that I will survive. Meditating to that quiet spot within me keeps my Asperger Syndrome-related stress in check.

- Medication

You can read about the medication I am on here

18 thoughts on “Living with Aspergers

  1. Thank you for this wonderfully written, honest explanation of your life with AS. Though I don’t have AS, I can relate to a lot of these characteristics, it’s nice that you’ve articulated what the view is like from your lense.

  2. Great explanation girl.. only know one little boy AS, and this has helped me to understand his world..

    I enjoy reading your blog and hearing about little Fish on Twitter :)

  3. This was very interesting to read, particularly the personal parts that explain better than the fact sheets as to how things manifest. I identify with some of them but it varies from day to day as I have other mental health issues.

    You are brave to post this.
    Thank you.

  4. My 22yo son was recently diagnosed as being Aspergers. This after living as learning disabled and ADHD, and having had a rather miserable both socially & academically. The diagnosis of Aspergers has done something for him. It’s as though he feels like his life up to now has been suddenly validated all at once;that being, feeling, thinking, and acting “different” was always okay and always will be okay.
    Thanks for sharing your insights!

  5. You have explained this beautifully. It is often very difficult to explain to others how AS affects us. So many things you mentioned here I could have written myself. In fact, I hadn’t realized until reading this post that when someone does not understand what I am saying I get very irritated. I didn’t recognize that is what I was feeling until now, and lately when I try to make them understand I feel like I am just not conveying what I am trying to. That is frustrating, so I wind up angry or in tears out because of it.

    Besides the frustrating, for me, the sensory issues are the most troublesome. I seem to have the sensitivy to the extreme needing to wear earplugs most of the day, sunglasses, candles to sniff, soft clothing of rub between my fingers–all these things are calming. But in a house full of three boys who bounce off the walls and hang from the rafters all day long having severe auditory processing issues is tortous at times. If it is too loud, it physically hurts. This most people do not understand, and they just think I’m nuts. Maybe I am little. :)

  6. I don’t have AS but I have anxiety and mild depression. So I know how misconceptions can make it hard to let it all out. Very brave of you! Brava!

  7. Hey, it has been a while since I’ve been here, but I didn’t forget about you. I did take your advise on switching to WordPress, sort of. I started to blog my book, the memoir of sorts about growing up with undiagnosed autism, and I remembered your advise. I started the new blog here on WordPress, and so far I like it. I wish I had more time to tinker though…I love to tinker, but if I keep tinkering I will stop writing. I need more hours in the day. :) Anyways, just wanted to drop you a little note to say, “I’m here!”

  8. your blog is great and your honesty GREATER! your son Fysh seems pretty cool too. Dig his name! Where does bi-polar come in (I see it in your heading), as I was recently diagnosed with bi-polar, but the two seem quite similar?

    • I am bi-polar as well as have aspergers, I haven’t yet written a post on living with it as I have with the Aspergers.
      In was diagnosed as a type a personality with manic depression, borderline personality disorder, aspergers, adhd and anxiety.

  9. thanks for getting back. my dream also to travel the world…in a boat. not sure how that one’e going to pan out exactly, but convinced, somehow it will! Take care and keep doing the right thing, its inspiring!

    • Lots of ways you can make that possible. Drop me an email some time and we can chat. Also: try not let depression rule your life (easier said than done I know), try and push through the hard times, live for the highs. But don’t bottle it up either because if you do then your lows will be devastatingly and dangerously low.

  10. My brother has Autism and was diagnosed with the severe kind. He did the LOVAS programme for years and years with all of us very much involved. To look at him now you would not know he had autism-he acts completely ‘normal’ (whatever that is!). He is also brave like you and is very open about telling people about his autism and i could not be prouder of him. I am fascinated by your post and would very much like to follow you! :) xxxx

  11. You one amazing woman .
    I know all about Aspergers and bipolar. My nephew has Aspergers he’s one amazing special kid which is loved by all of us, he’s full of life, energy, enthusiasm and my sister inlaw is the most amazing mother and her husband is the best father,the way they have helped him manage his condition is amazing they so involved in it. We as a family all stick together,we are their support. It teaches you so much patience nothing is too big for us to handle with the understanding we have for him we love and support this precious special boy. My brother has bipolar and very high ADHD that’s why I understood my nephew in way, it’s a battle he fought his whole life he now has been living stable life ,he’s just come out of rehab being there for a year , 2
    weeks and 5 days he counted exactly.

  12. I’ve been reading your blog for a bit and somehow managed to miss this post completely. My boyfriend has Aspergers, and you’ve set out his experiences so well. It’s a struggle to always keep in mind how behaviour is affected, and this post really helped me to get some much-needed perspective as well.

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