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Friday, October 4, 2013

Why I am so Weird

My wife and I have been trying to figure out why I am different - because I am very different.

Asperger's Syndrome has been proposed.
  • Not pick up on social cues and may lack inborn social skills, such as being able to read others' body language, start or maintain a conversation, and take turns talking. (Check!)
  • Dislike any changes in routines. ( eh, maybe.  Change in plans throws me for a loop )
  • Appear to lack empathy. (Check!)
  • Be unable to recognize subtle differences in speech tone, pitch, and accent that alter the meaning of others? speech. So your child may not understand a joke or may take a sarcastic comment literally. And his or her speech may be flat and hard to understand because it lacks tone, pitch, and accent. (Check!!)
  • Have a formal style of speaking that is advanced for his or her age. For example, the child may use the word "beckon" instead of "call" or the word "return" instead of "come back."( Sometimes... )
  • Avoid eye contact or stare at others. (Check)
  • Have unusual facial expressions or postures. ( Oh, hell yes!  People can't read me!! At least not correctly! )
  • Be preoccupied with only one or few interests, which he or she may be very knowledgeable about. Many children with Asperger's syndrome are overly interested in parts of a whole or in unusual activities, such as designing houses, drawing highly detailed scenes, or studying astronomy. They may show an unusual interest in certain topics such as snakes, names of stars, or dinosaurs. ( Uhm?? Nah. Well, maybe. ?)
  • Talk a lot, usually about a favorite subject. One-sided conversations are common. Internal thoughts are often verbalized. ( Nope.  External thoughts are often internalized... I don't talk a lot, even when I should. And sometimes I don't use the right words.  Speaking is hard.)
  • Have delayed motor development. Your child may be late in learning to use a fork or spoon, ride a bike, or catch a ball. He or she may have an awkward walk. Handwriting is often poor. ( Nah, I'm an excellent writer! )
  • Have heightened sensitivity and become overstimulated by loud noises, lights, or strong tastes or textures. ( YES, YES, YES! - We were investigating CAPD! )
"Although most teens place emphasis on being and looking "cool," teens with Asperger's may find it frustrating and emotionally draining to try to fit in." (Check!) "They may be immature for their age and be naive and too trusting, which can lead to teasing and bullying." (Check!)
"Teens with Asperger's are typically uninterested in following social norms, fads, or conventional thinking, allowing creative thinking and the pursuit of original interests and goals." (Check!) "Their preference for rules and honesty may lead them to excel in the classroom and as citizens."  (Awww... thanks!)
I miss a lot of social ques.  I noticed this first a few years ago when it was pointed out to me that I can not tell when a woman is flirting with me.  I've learned a bit since then, but still find it hard to tell.  There are certainly other things I miss.  I have a lot of trouble starting or maintaining a conversation.  I tend to present facts and stop talking.  I don't venture to ask about someone else's personal life and usually don't offer details of mine.  Sometimes when in a discussion, I will relate personal experience that are similar to the other person's.  I suppose I can be hard to talk to as well, as I don't respond appropriately to conversation prompts.  Of course, when talking, I prefer to take turns talking.  People tend to just talk over me, which is another reason I don't engage in group discussions often or very well.  I guess I try to let others finish, then talk, but people 'break' in the order of talking, so I shut up.

Making eye contact is creepy.  Just saying.  :)  I'm not too fond of being touched either.  Hugs, handshakes and stuff are cool, but lingering touch, not so much.  Its hard to explain.  Maybe not... touch is intimate, so only for a select few? Yeah, hard to explain.

The facial expressions is one that really irritates the hell out of me.  People ask me a question and I go to think about it and they jump back like I'm about to kill them.  I can only assume that my thoughtful or quizzical expression appears to be a murderous rage expression.  My murderous rage expression is apparently a blank look devoid of any emotion at all.  My mad expression looks like surprise.  Not sure what my surprise expression looks like.

All of this combines to where I will warn people, "do not try to manipulate me."  People trying to manipulate me, even without me being aware of their intentions, usually get the opposite of what they were going for.  I can only guess that I don't respond to normal manipulations as they expect - because I don't pick up on ques and I don't think normally.  Being honest and forthcoming is the easiest way to 'deal' with me.  Okay, maybe "Blatant" and "Specific" would be more accurate.

Still, it is all conjecture as I have no diagnosis.  I don't want to spend the money on finding out which issues that I have.  LOL!!

My issues cause some problems at work.  People don't know how to take me, so often they are upset and don't like me for totally inaccurate assumptions on their part.  I do hold some anger and frustration because the apparent fix is for me to constantly put on an act and change my facial expressions to fit with social norms and alter my speech patterns - which apparently are all 'easy' fixes.  But being 'in character' for 8 hours a day and switching to that character at a moment's notice are all just too much to deal with.  I've made efforts and I would love some effort in return.