My name is Caitlyn I am a 15 year old girl and I have Asperger’s syndrome.
You may be wondering what on earth Asperger’s syndrome is.
Is it some sort of disease?
Can I catch it?
My answer to that is no.
And the answer to the question you have all been waiting for…
What is Asperger’s syndrome?
When humans meet they make judgments about each other. People’s body language, facial expressions and tone of voice give out information regarding whether they are happy, sad, angry or in a hurry. How we respond depends on how we process these signals.
For a person with Asperger’s syndrome, reading these signals instinctively is more difficult. Consequently, i find it more difficult to communicate and interact with others.
Asperger’s syndrome differs from other ASDs in that the symptoms are less severe and there is no language delay. A child with Asperger’s syndrome generally has good language and cognitive (thinking, intelligence) skills. They tend to have average or above-average vocabularies and reach speech milestones at the same time as children in the general population.
Did that clear up a few things?
Do you want to know what really grinds my gears? The thing that really annoys me is when you finally pluck up the courage to tell someone that you have Asperger’s syndrome, and their response is either “I’m so sorry” or ” my brothers best friends cousins sister has autism and they are unable to speak and spend their life in a wheelchair, but you can speak and you can walk so your doctor must’ve diagnosed you wrong or you don’t have it that bad”
Firstly why are you sorry? Are you sorry because I have it? The Last time I checked I didn’t have a “please pity me” sign stuck to my head. Also having Asperger’s syndrome is great because it separates me from others and it enables me to do some really cool things for example I am a member of a surfing group which only has people with Asperger’s syndrome in it and I can surf! something many of my friends can’t do!
Secondly autism and Asperger’s syndrome is not the same ( the clue is in the name)
Thirdly if you disagree with my diagnosis, I have my doctors phone number feel free to give him a call and challenge his expertise.
Fourthly you never tell someone with Asperger’s syndrome that they “don’t have it that bad” because unless you have it you will never know what it’s like.
What makes you different from someone without Asperger’s syndrome?
I will start with the basics, we all have 5 senses right? Well mine are a little different.
Sight – bright lights and colours freak me out.
Touch – I do not like to be touched by other people unless I ask them to or they ask me, I have only just learnt how to hug people without freaking out but I’m working on it.
Taste – foods can taste funny.
Smell – my sense of smell is heightened so some faint smells can smell very strong.
Sound – my ears are sensitive and loud or sudden noises freak me out and make me feel as if I am not in control.
I struggle with reading people’s facial expressions and I have trouble describing or even knowing how I am feeling, I don’t actually know what it feels like to be happy, I have an idea but I don’t actually know.
I struggle with eye contact from a young age I have never been able to look someone in the eye, I don’t know what it is but there is something about eyes that scare me, I have learned how to look as if I am looking at someone in the eye and I do that by looking at their ears.
I am very literal and I have a tendency to make a literal interpretation of what someone says for example I was tidying my bedroom and my mum asked me to get under my bed and make sure there wasn’t any lost socks or random pieces of paper. Any other person would have done what she asked, but not me! I decided that I had to get under my bed and wait for further instruction, 10 minutes later my mum came to see my progress and probably thought I was reenacting a scene from James Bond!
Finally I am brutality honest, you would be surprised at how many friends I have lost after they have asked the classic “does my bum look big in this?” Whilst out shopping and I have replied with “I think the moon is smaller than your ass in those jeans!”.
Asperger’s syndrome is not a disease. It is a syndrome. A syndrome is a a collection of symptoms that occur together with a condition.
It is important to remember that everyone with Asperger’s syndrome is different, we are not exactly the same.