I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I never really opened up about this before, but now I’m starting to think it would be good to talk about it.
I am an extremely introverted person, who has always found it difficult to speak to people and in social situations. I had an assessment in May 2010 that I have Asperger’s Syndrome. (This was specifically ruled out in 2007, when I was instead diagnosed with an Auditory Processing Disorder). This means that it sometimes takes longer than average for me to understand and respond to what someone is saying. Asperger’s Syndrome is an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and describes essentially the same thing as High Functioning Autism, although the terms came into use independently.
One of the things I have found is that people with Asperger’s Syndrome are all different, and just as diverse a population as the rest of society. Some of the common characteristics include taking things literally, sensory issues (sensitivity, or insensitivity), and obsessiveness. It is generally treated as a medical condition, which may be appropriate in more severe cases of autism. However, I like to view Asperger’s Syndrome as a set of characteristics, a personality type which may change over time.
It is important to me that I emphasise the positive side of my condition, while recognising I could learn how to manage it better. Problems arise out of seeing it entirely as a set of difficulties, and then attempting to take on that identity.
I hope this all made sense, and I didn’t want to go into a lot of detail now, but I might decide to talk about it more in the future. I have made the decision that I would like to be open about it, and the internet seems a good platform for some (perhaps not all) people on the autistic spectrum to express themselves.