The purpose of this piece is to share my experiences as a child with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS). For those of you who don’t know what AS is, it is a condition that some people are born with. People with AS are usually incredibly smart and have creative, perceptive minds. Aspies (people with AS) usually have a few special interests that can get pretty intense. Sometimes, Aspies have a hard time discussing topics other than their special interests. AS can also impact how one functions in various social situations. More often than not, Aspies have a hard time coping with loud noises and bright lights. It can also be hard for Aspies to decipher the difference between a strict and a malicious tone of voice.
Because of all of the challenges Aspies face, it can be hard for us to make friends or interact with other people. With the help of my family, friends, doctors, and teachers, I am learning how to not only cope, but thrive, with Asperger’s Syndrome. I have been asked several questions about life with AS over the years, and I will now attempt to try and answer some of them.
What's it like having Asperger's?
What are your special interests?
What's school like for you?
I do have a few friends at school. One of them is in my class. His name is Aiden. I also have two other friends named Christina and Danielle, but they’re not in my class (locks self in room and cries).
Let’s just say I’m really looking forward to high school.
Academically, I’m at the top of my class. I’ve only missed one or two homework assignments this quarter and I’m on track to make the honor roll! I love to learn about the periodic table of the elements in science class and American history in social studies. My learning manager says that I could get into honors math at the high school next year, and I’m excited, but it also terrifies me.
Do you have friends outside of school?
Who are the people that help you most and how do they help you?
What do you plan to do in the future?
What advice do you have for other Aspies, specifically younger kids or those who were recently diagnosed?
What advice do you have for parents or caregivers of Aspies?
That being said, if your child has behavioral problems, issues making friends, or he or she doesn’t know how to present him or herself, leave that to the professionals. Asking for help is not cowardly. It is the right thing to do. There is an old African proverb that is one of my personal philosophies: “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” You may have heard it a thousand times, but whoever said it knew what they were talking about.
If you have questions about Asperger's (or a related diagnosis) and wonder where to turn for information, workshops/webinars and support, you can contact the Asperger/Autism Network (AANE). You're not alone!