Thursday, December 16, 2004

Asperger's Syndrome

A couple times in the past people have suggested that I might suffer from Asperger's Syndrome, which is often classified as a mild form of autism. I was reminded of this from an anonymous comment a few posts back. I've investigated this before, though never actually being diagnosed, and concluded that it wasn't really me. But, I read a differently-worded description today, and it made me reconsider. Lois Freisleben-Cook's description of the disorder on this page (scroll down) seems to be a pretty decent description of me, actually. She hits a lot of my weirdness right on the head:

brilliant (I like to think so), eccentric, absent-minded, socially inept, physically awkward, clumsy (holy crap yes), preoccupation that seems like OCD but isn't

...and has a few misses:

doesn't truly understand the nuances of language (I've always been good with English, and was often 5+ years ahead in school), gaze avoidance (I don't really retreat from social interactions once they've already begun like she describes here)

After reading that, I think that there actually is a distinct possibility that I have this disorder. It would certainly explain a lot of my weirdness. Of course, finding out that I might have a mental disorder is kind of depressing. Maybe I should be diagnosed sometime. It's probably covered 100% by my health plan. :) (I wonder if there's some monetary benefit to having a mental disorder of this kind, like a Tax Break for Retards or something.)


Swid said...

As best I can tell, I'm practically the poster child for Asperger's. Anyone who's ever had a conversation with me in person would understand... :-(

Anonymous said...

It's very strange. Taking me by suprise really. I never knew a thing about AS until a few days ago. Depressing, yes, not because it's a disorder but because its been explaining much of my tendencies from the past. Tendencies that have cost me money and time. When I try to find out more from my family about my childhood, I can see every sign, but for some reason they dont like to believe it or they dont understand, very frustrating. I choose to keep it quiet because people have a strange way of WANTING a unique problem, and claiming that people with a real problem are simply making it up to stand out, or be special. Same reason for buying cars that suit our personality, or show off. Even the massive amounts of clothing designs made to express yourself uniquely.
However there are those who say AS isn't a problem. Which it isn't as long as you know about it and have the proper tools to keep you on track. The buddist philosophies about "knowing yourself" have a much more significant meaning now. I should be so much further in life but there has always been a barrier. Finally, I know what it is and it's time to move forward.