Friday, April 10, 2009

Dawn and Asperger's

I recently reviewed a book by a person with Asperger's Syndrome, and came to the conclusion that I had some of the characteristics of Asperger's myself. I did some research on it and also took this test:

The results were that I had a lot of Asperger's characteristics when it came to social traits but very normal or neurotypical when it came to language and some other things. It concluded that I most likely had Asperger's.

In counseling the other day, the counselor gave me another quiz. It wasn't a full out diagnostic test but it was one that would give a strong indication one way or the other. It came out pretty heavily towards the Asperger's side.

So what is Aspergers? Well, think of it as something that is related to Autism but with much fewer of the cognitive and language problems that many autistic individuals have. Here are a couple of links with information on Asperger's in adults (you will need to sign up for a free Medscape account to read the second one):

So what does this mean for me? Well mostly it's a big, fat relief because it explains a lot of things that I didn't understand about myself, how I think, how I react, why my brain freezes up in social situations, etc. It probably also means that I will never be "normal". But what is normal anyway, if there even is such a thing? At least I know more or less why my brain is how it is and I can start learning some coping mechanisms in a more logical manner instead of sort of hit and miss.

Please keep in mind that if I ever leave a clueless sort of comment that appears to lack empathy, that's probably just the way my brain is wired. People with Asperger's have emotions, they're just not real good at expressing them. On the other hand, if I ever say anything really insensitive or idiotic, feel free to point it out to me (politely, please). Asperger's isn't an excuse for being a jerk.