Aspergers Syndrome: A Personal Perspective, by Damon Matthew Wise
Elaine asked me to compile a short piece about how I explain my behaviour and experiences. She found that the way I explain how and why I do things, is often not looked at and might be beneficial to others - maybe for publication at some point. As a result I shall write a summary of my experience and discoveries about how I work.
How I describe myself to others:
Aspergers is a Social Disability which can be distinguished from Infantile Autism by a degree of Social Development, and the ability to utilise ones intelligence and acquired abilities to expand upon ones experiences to develop, or re-write, rather to be restricted to natural or familiar social patterns, interests and needs which are generally though of by society to be overly intensive, or extensive compared to the social norm.
Marked by an overactive, multi-tasking brain, and the need to express ones interests, needs to justify oneself and to attempt to continually justify oneself and ones place in the greater society, this is often perceived as an inferiority complex or insecurity, or promotion of oneself being mistaken for an Ego.
It is common for many Aspies, myself included to be, or have been misdiagnosed as Delusional Disorder Grandiose Type. Where the insecurity is submerged under a greater promotion of oneself or ones achievements.
The continual justification of self arises from a two-fold cause; firstly, the knowledge that one is different and is unappreciated and ignored (because of your 'disability' or ability); secondly as part of a continual categorising and analysing of situations and relationships to attempt to understand social order in an apparent chaotic world.
In my opinion, and that of many Aspies, the benefits of the 'disability' of ones lack of social understanding, and normal behaviour are minor compared to the abilities that result from the same condition. In order to explain this position, I shall attempt a short descriptions of the symptoms observed, under the headings of 'Disability' and Ability.
Aspies tend to get into trouble because of peoples reaction, prejudices or inability to deal with their unusual, persistent or dedicated behaviour. This is THEIR Disability and not ours. Aspies regard matters not just as black or white, but we regard the wider view. Able to Analyse problems, system and categorise easily, the Aspie uses their mental powers, drawing on higher ESP tendencies (with suitably capable close people, whom they can empathise and read) to look at the situation, thus overcoming body language and other social systems, which we have problems with.
To others, our ability to see contrasting and often opposing views and select what we consider valid, or appropriate (which depends on our mood or persuasive interests), and mentally handle a variety of tasks, developing concepts, axioms, we seem confused, uncoordinated, or lacking in a decisive direction.
Why should we not chose to be labelled according what we have, our talents, and not those 'Disabilities' people regard as flaws. If those are negative behaviour types or reactions being exhibited by others, why should we drop down to their 'Mundane' level. Although we can develop sarcasm, and make jokes, often people do not regard them as suitable or appropriate. You should be careful not to develop sarcasm or irony as an automatic defence system. Only use it when you are responding with 'Friendly jibes and insults' with close friends and family, or when it forces people to reconsider violence or aggression to you, and no other option is available.
If violence is being perpetrated against you try not feeling assertive about refusing being a victim. This energy rush has proven to empower the overactive brain to show dramatic responses, and can lead to people flying through the air, or missing you when the are seeing you in a previous position which you projected. I have experienced two of these situations, as a child, and have been shocked by what has happened. The guilt of being a participant in these situations, where people need hospital and medical attention is something I advise we all try to avoid, as we have trouble dealing with guilt.
Going on with guilt, our inability to maintain a lie makes it difficult for us to tell untruths. In situations where it is best not to tell the truth to avoid hurting someone, you need the immediate support of your Carer or confidant. The guilt of not telling the whole truth must be released as soon as possible. If this is not done, the building up pressure on us will cause a person like us to suffer medically from the stresses involved.
On the Medical side, why do doctors believe that they can give us the medicines designed to work for those suffering from Mental Illness or Mundanes. Don't they know that Aspies exhibit different behaviour due to different body chemistry? It is this different body chemistry which causes us to suffer from stress reactions to drugs, such as Valium, Xanax and Prozac.
To us it is our worst nightmare - being stuck in a restricted body with an overactive mind. And they expect the stress not to result in frustration and confusion when the effects of such medication ware off! They mistake this reaction for violence - and give more medication. No wonder that Aspies on such medication start to become socially withdrawn and exhibit retarding symptoms.
On the Socially withdrawn side - why place Aspies in special education facilities when it would be more beneficial to advance us with supplementary education - designed to challenge our (Obsessional) interests. Limiting our social exposure by placing us in these special educational facilities prevents us learning our skills and inhibits our ability to mimic Mundane behaviour. Why stop us improving and limiting our social skills?
Our lack of negative emotions, optimistic and positive outlook and naiveté causes us to associate ourselves with the Star Trek: Next Generation android, Lt. Comm. Data, whose behaviour and troubles in understanding his humanity causes him to be more humane. Not only that but the programs and series like Star Trek, The Next Generation, etc., are the very nature of dealing with Social Issues, Moral Issues and Current Affairs, have a number of interests for the more analytical person.
In socialising you need to advance the number of interests and subjects you like and are able to discuss, such as science, maths, Television, Computers, social activities. Increasing socialisation will mean developing better social skills. By adding to and expanding your interests and capabilities in social circumstances you can develop your skills and learn from your mistakes. Make sure that you have the support you need.
Lack of Social understanding Inability to be malicious
Not Understanding violence & hostility Not being violent or hostile
Relative lack of Practical Skills High Abstract Ability
Clumsiness (Motordispracsia) Loyalty
Disruptive and Noisy Energetic and Committed
Use of Complicated words (Hyperlexia) Ability to understand
Word Blindness (Dyslexia) Inability to maintain a lie or error
Inability to read body language Heightened senses (e.g. hearing)
Inability to handle nuances Latent Telepathic and Telekinetic Ability
Tendency of being taken advantage of Analyse complicated situations
Putting other peoples interests first Heightened sense of Justice and order
Not seeing things just black or white Honourable
Being victim to other peoples prejudices Empathic with close friends and family
Being ignored or put down Always considering the wider picture
Others refusing to listen to our needs Ability to seeing many options and variations
Detachment of views Ability to see all interests
Inability to take (negative) criticism Ability to appreciate contrasting views
Not able to jump to conclusions Analysing and theorising situations & systems
Inability to effect sarcasm appropriately Dry and quick natural sense of humour