I have Asperger’s Syndrome

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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.

Summer 2015 Study Update

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Today I received news that I have passed my Open University module in Exploring Science, which I finished in June. Yay! It’s a first year undergraduate module worth half a total year (60 points), and I have also completed a 30 point module in statistics. These are both counting towards a degree in Natural Sciences.

In October I will be starting another 30 point module (to complete first year) in Investigative and Mathematical Skills in Science, and a 30 point second year module in Cell Biology. This is exciting because until now I wasn’t entirely sure if I had enough points to start second year! Although both modules are worth a quarter of a whole year, they both start in October and finish in June 2016. After that I plan to continue on in the field of biology. The general aim at the moment is to study a total of 60 points a year until I have completed my whole degree.

Other than that, it has been a hot July this year. We are still adjusting to our house extension. New grass in growing. I hope to post something more in a while.

House Extension – At 27 Weeks

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Hello. My most recent posts have been about house extension work. Here’s another one.

After building a new toilet and shower-room, we had our existing bathroom demolished. We then built a new bathroom with underfloor heating in its place. We also put underfloor heating in the hallway space just outside the bathroom. This involved having to walk on planks for a short while.

Our new utility room became operational. This has involved moving the fridge and freezer from a porch area which has now been demolished. The adjacent old boiler room was also demolished. We had problems with ordering a mixer tap, receiving the wrong one on several occasions before eventually getting the right one.

In April, we had new ridge tiles put on our roof, but then one of them fell down during stormy weather. Wallpaper was stripped off the walls inside, and then later they were plastered. Now they have been painted. We have a different colour for each new room of the house.

A new front door was put in, and also new windows. This included a new window-door in the new study area. Also, after the porch and old boiler room were demolished, we also put new window-doors in the kitchen, and the living room. These both replaced previous internal doors. The entranceway has been newly paved.

In the inside of the house, we have had electrical work, putting in light switches, lights, thermostats, fans etc. We have also had joinery work putting in new doors and skirting boards etc. New tiles have been put down in the hallway, and carpet tiles in the new bedroom. Up until now, this new bedroom has been used as a joinery room. We have taken trips to Ikea and other places for furnishings such as light shades, curtains and blinds, and new cabinets.

On the outside of the house, we have had new insulation put on the walls, and new yellow rendering. This is a similar to the previous colour, but in the middle, the house was briefly a nice green. We wouldn’t have minded sticking with that.

Although the house extension has essentially been built, work is still continuing with landscaping, new grass seed, moving furniture etc. However, I think next time I’d like to blog about something else.

0531~Swarm Day 038 (Small)

House Extension – Ten Weeks In

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Hello. It’s been a while since I updated about the house extension work, so I thought I’d do a post now.

Firstly, some internal walls were demolished. Then concrete was put in to level out the floor. The new internal walls were constructed, and insulation onto the floor. Then there was underfloor heating pipes, and more concrete on top of those.

Plasterboards were put onto the inside walls, and smoothed with a pinkish coating (top picture). Electricians have been in wiring the extension area, and putting in a new meter and consumer unit. This involved having the power off for a good part of yesterday. A new boiler has been put into our new boiler cupboard, and it is now operating.

Tiles have been put on the roof on both sides….and redone on one side because they weren’t originally alligned properly. Trenches have been dug outside the house in order to access electricity and plumbing. New wood is being put onto the outside walls of the extension which naturally becomes silvery with time (bottom picture).

0220~Walls, Inside and Outside 002 (Small)0220~Walls, Inside and Outside 006 (Small)

House Extension – Five Weeks In

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Since my first post about the house extension, a lot of change has occurred.

The foundations were completed, the outside walls built, and the roof put on, all before Christmas. We then spent the time around New Year clearing the furniture out of one bedroom, which is going to be converted into smaller rooms including utility, WC, and hallway.

2015: The outside wall of this bedroom was demolished, to connect it with the rest of the extension. The door to this room was locked shut so it cannot be opened anymore (it would basically just lead onto the building site). The carpet and floorboards have been taken up in this bedroom and also in the hallway on the inside of this door. We now have to walk along the hallway on planks, and it is cold, as outside air can now get in under the wall.

A toilet has been put into our ‘big shed’ (used to be a barn) for the workers. I believe this is to remain there after the work has been completed. Some tiles have been put onto one side of our new roof but this task has not yet been completed. Today a frame for a temporary outside door has been made. This will make the house a bit less cold. Also, I believe some insulation has been put into the extension area.

Been realising the complications that can arise in the process of building an extension. There are so many things you wouldn’t even consider that you had to make a choice about normally. Now, we’re having to make choices about every single detail like what doorhandles we want to have, or whether we want to have a bath/shower or a shower by itself.

I have been taking pictures of the work, and I’ve started to put some of them on my tumblr soon. Here’s one below, showing new tiles on new roof, with new velux window.

0119~House tiles and more 001 (Small)

We’re building a house extension

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So, last week, work started on building a house extension. Huge amounts of soil were moved, trenches dug, cement put in, new pipes fitted. Today, work started on building the foundations. I’ve been taking pictures of progress so far, and got into the habit of commenting on the weather when naming my photo albums. The picture below shows day four, which happened to be very cold.

1204~Cold Day Four 009 (Small)

New Online Etiquette Blog

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For a few years I have wanted to write a blog post about online etiquette, but I never found the right kind of inspiration. Online etiquette is the way we behave online and the rules we follow when posting something on the internet. Recently, I have remembered how much I wanted to blog about this, and have actually come to the conclusion that it’s a much more useful issue to discuss than I first thought.

This is why I have now decided to create a whole new blog dedicated to this subject. Here are three reasons why I find online etiquette interesting:

First – I think it is important to be careful about the way we decide what information is reliable, trustworthy, or truthful. The same goes for deciding if a person is reliable, trustworthy, or truthful. When someone has a blog, or youtube channel, the posts they make do not represent the whole of who that person is. This content is just a small sample of the reality, and may not give an accurate impression of what someone is like, even if you have been following that person for years.

Second – The differences between the internet and real life can lead to humorous comparisons being made. Sometimes people can show a strange, embarrassing, or unpleasant side of themselves when they think they are anonymous, or only talking to their friends. Sometimes this can lead to humorous situations when they are seen publicly. Unfortunately, it can also hurt people’s feelings, so being aware of who can see your posts is something to always bear in mind.

Third – There are a wide range of perspectives on how open you should be on the internet, some preferring to have almost no presence, whereas others will open up about issues that you might have difficulty talking about to your closest friends. It’s interesting to see where people draw the line between things they keep personal, and things they put out publicly. I think that sometimes we can learn a lot, simply from watching the way others express themselves. If you want to have an online identity, I think finding the right balance is very important.

The internet is a different kind of environment to real life, but sometimes it can be easy to forget that. In some ways, it can make life more comfortable, and in some ways it can make it more dangerous. This is why it is important to follow appropriate online etiquette, but we don’t always know what this means, and that makes it an interesting subject to discuss.

Found an Inspiring Channel

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I’ve posted on here before about how I have Asperger’s Syndrome, but sometimes I’m still inspired to think differently about my own issues when learning about other conditions. For example, I could relate if someone is talking about social anxiety. However, I think I should make it clear from the beginning that I don’t consider Asperger’s Syndrome to be a mental illness.

A few months ago I came across a youtube channel called MortenErCrazy. This is someone who makes videos about having schizophrenia. He started making them in 2011, when he was in a mental hospital, but has been out for a couple of years and is now living in an apartment.

There are a few points I’d like to make about this. The first is about how the channel is from the perspective of someone with a mental illness. I think this is very informative and insightful, partly because it’s an uncomfortable subject, and it’s easy for people to be misinformed. One of the things that people might not understand is that sometimes people with mental illnesses can appear normal, and this is the case with MortenErCrazy. I think this sort of unawareness is beginning to change with the internet and websites like youtube. Although with issues like this it takes more courage, people can more easily share their experiences with the rest of the world.

My second point relates to the groups of people who watch the videos. MortenErCrazy currently has about 3950 subscribers. His most viewed video is ‘Talking about my schizophrenia’ and I think this is for a few reasons. I’ve seen people commenting on the channel who are researching mental illnesses as part of their studies. Also, other people with mental illnesses find the channel, and a little online community forms where people are able to talk about their symptoms with others possibly going through the same thing. Apparently, many people find this helpful.

The third point is about how people are more than their diagnosis, and that the things they may want to focus on are not necessarily their symptoms but the things they are personally interested in. (I know this is true for me and my Asperger’s Syndrome anyway). Life is still more about how to do normal things like study, work, and have a social life. On MortenErCrazy’s channel there are videos about various things which include moving, filming videos with friends, art, studying etc. I think this is a good thing to portray: people with mental illnesses having normal sorts of interests, and trying to do normal sorts of things with their life.

Discovering the channel also made me realise that I know next to nothing about Denmark, which is where MortenErCrazy is from. However, most of his videos are in English. They are also not edited at all, which in my opinion actually makes them better in some ways.

Finally I’d like to share a video. This one is my favourite, partly because…well I thought it would be. It’s about the placebo effect.

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