Here’s what it looks, feels like, and what the experience is like to have Asperger’s syndrome, and this is how I would answer the question: “What are the characteristics of asperger’s syndrome.”
What is Asperger’s?
Asperger’s is a developmental disorder, but described by different people, it is also a group of symptoms. That group of symptoms collectively is referred to as “asperger’s syndrome” or Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Autism spectrum disorder though, covers a lot more than just Asperger’s as there’s an entire spectrum of things that is associated with Autism, as the name suggests.
To me, Asperger’s is far more than a label – it’s been the experience I’ve had for the past 30 some years. A lot of it has been something I wish I could do over – I wish I started off with knowing how to talk to people, for example. Or when I learned that I didn’t have to be scared to talk to people, and just to be myself – it was in 2017 – I was 29.
I only recently – around 2008 or so found out that I have Asperger’s, although I’ve known about the ADD and ADHD aspects of it since I was a child, and that is really what’s plagued me…. up until recently.
How do people with Asperger’s act?
Asperger’s symptomatic people often do not act like others, but as we get older it gets easier to “be like everyone else”. We have to, at least under certain circumstances.
Asperger’s demands attention to a lot of little things that a lot of other people might find meticulous or too repetitive to continue to focus on – which I highlight, because this might also be seen as a superpower, or something w excel at.
The way we react socially to people: we do not always catch social queues, and telling us directly how you feel about something we say or do is generally the best way to tell us when something is upsetting or makes you uneasy.
It’s not intentional, but oftentimes people with aspergers do the wrong thing at the wrong time, or as some have said – inappropriate things at inappropriate times. .
We often use incorrect phrasing, or phrasing neurotypical people may not understand (neuroypical, or non-aspergers-afflicted).
Aspies have certain repetitive behaviors that they engage in that is soothing or exciting to them – this may be pacing, making a sound, whistling, or, using aspergers to our advantage – may be very good at something like drumming or beatboxing.
We often are highly skilled at one thing, and may be skilled in many.
Some aspies are savants as well; that is, we may be human calculators, have the ability to recall what day of the week it was 250 years ago, today, or tell you the top billboard hits of the 50s oldies in a particular week. Aspies love facts and truth, and we seek them like a sponge. That is, in part due to our nature and not being able to lie very well, and wanting to please everyone. Don’t get me wrong, not being able to lie is an excellent skill.
Aspies have a different way of learning, and a lot of people with asperger’s have a few ways that they like to learn. I learn with seeing, being hands on, and having an explanation while I’m doing, and then taking that knowledge and using it.
Does everyone feel like me?
Everyone with Asperger’s feels differently, although, it is my opinion that quite a lot of us aspies, (or those with Asperger’s Syndrome) think, act and live on the same wavelength. That wavelength is the “I want to help the world” wavelength.
The entire human race is, by nature, imbued with the need to grow, to expand our knowledge, enrich our spirit, learn as much as possible, and just, “to be”.
However, with time and money come responsibility.
Living as an aspie today comes with a price, and that is that life, especially in this corona “crisis” oftentimes costs far too much for any average person to just live by themselves. Aspies often find themselves without work, relying on parents or others for help with things other people find to be “just common sense”. Many people with asperger’s also find themselves unable to keep friends or even make them due to this fact alone. Or the fact that we just don’t see the world like everyone else.
What does Asperger’s feel like (to me and others)?
Aspergers feels like ^^^^^that to me. It’s got a hundred different feelings – at times I like being an aspie, I like my individuality. Sometimes, I’ve wanted to just “fit in” so people would stop seeing me as bizarre or so “different”. I’ve had different experiences with it at different times, as I think everyone does.
Some people say asperger’s is something you “grow out of”. I’ve heard that from several people.
That simply isn’t true.
You may become accustomed to acting as if you’re neurotypical or doing things the way the world demands, but you are still someone with aspergers, you still exhibit common asperger’s traits, and still have your individuality – you are who you believe and think you are as well. More on that to come 🙂
I know some aspies who take life one day at a time.
Some of us have struggled with the question: “Is life too difficult to live as someone afflicted with asperger’s”?
Well, as a matter of fact, no, it is not. It just seems hard because there’s really not a lot of resources out there for people living with asperger’s. I aim to change that – and to make a community for people who want to help each other – sharing the experience of asperger’s, and provided a place where you can find help as you need it: in your life as an aspie, for someone with aspergers, or just to find out what it means to have aspergers.
How has Asperger’s affected my life?
Aspergers has made me learn how to become the person I am today. It made me learn a lot of things I had no idea I needed to know.
Not everything in my past is positive surrounding asperger’s, and I’ve come out to be the best “me” I can be now, I think.
That me is continually learning and evolving my brain – expanding my knowledge and seeking truth, not caring how it affects me, because all I’ve ever wanted was to KNOW.
Since I have learned about aspergers, years ago, and decided to stop taking prescriptions – helping people and finding remedies for disorders, dis-eases, and sharing information has really been my primary goal in life. In fact, that’s what I believe my mission is.
The truth is, in life, there’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions – the entire way through it.
Aspies just have a different way of looking at things, a different way that things are. That makes us unique, gives us an innate ability to be special.
We are not your run-of-the-mill-production-model, right out of the box, because there really is no instruction manual for asperger’s.
My goal here, is to give somewhat of a manual to life, living on the Autism Spectrum, for those who happen to be living with asperger’s or know someone who is, as well as, though some of us may be “better at being normal” than others. That’s okay. We all have differing spectrum levels. That’s why it’s a spectrum!
Thanks for reading, and if you have any comments, questions, or insight, leave me a message or comment!
Justin – the aspie.