I know it is dangerous to self-proclaim that I am undocumented but that is what I am doing with the post.
Who in their right mind would ever want to admit that they are “undocumented”? In today’s world, or at least the US version of it, that is the equivalent of asking to be hunted down and driven out. But, I’m not a normal guy as many of you probably realize, so I am declaring that I am an Undocumented ………..Aspie, or at least I have the traits of one.
Asperger’s is a very complicated set of characteristics, but then again, so is most everything thing else in the world today. I know I have no official or educational expertise on this topic outside my personal experiences and layman’s view of the general topic, but
I kinda think that the professionals are just trying to put Aspergers into a neat definable box for their convenience, not ours. We are not “one size fits all”!
Since my Aha moment a few years ago I have been doing quite a bit of personal study into Asperger’s Syndrome and I have often been disturbed at what I have found, especially from the “professional” community. To state it bluntly, it just seems that they have ignored adults and especially senior citizens in their analysis. It also bothers me that they have even been included it in the autism spectrum even if they do call is a “high-functioning autism”. I totally believe the “when you have met one Aspie, you have met one Aspie”. The differences and diversity of people with Aspergers is as broad as the overall population spectrum. It seems like putting that label on it does more harm than good. Let me explain why.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word autism? I suspect it is usually of a child sitting by himself babbling and incessantly fiddling with something. It is about defective children who need help with almost all daily activities. I know that is not the enlightened view as I have come to see it, but I still believe that is the prominent view of the average person on the street. To be deemed an autistic is to be deemed defective in far too many eyes.
Since I have lived with these characteristics all my life, I see it as just who I am. I don’t need to be dumped into a much broader bucket. In fact, I have become quite proud of what makes me different that most. Given yesterday’s post I am proud to be included with that list of possible Aspie seniors.
Yes, Aspergers puts unique challenges in our lives, especially if you are young and don’t understand that you might be wired differently than those around you. But being wired differently means that you just might have the possibility of discovering new things that prove very fundamentally to the world. Things that a person without Aspie traits could never discover.
Even after I discovered that the things that have challenged me all my life had a name I had no desire to be officially diagnosed as I saw that as more of a clinical thing than a practical one. People with Aspie traits make up an important part of the diversity of life which should be celebrated, not treated as some defect needing a cure.
If it weren’t for my Aspie traits, I doubt very much that I would even be here now talking to you about thinking for yourself and questioning everything you are told.
I am proud of who I am, not in spite of my Aspie traits, but because of the unique things they have contributed to my life.