There are certain things about me that are undecidedly Aspergers-ish. I have some sensory issues (most notably with my sock comfort), stimming behavior (picking/biting the skin on my fingers), social anxiety, and deep obsession for subjects I find interesting. However, there are some things about me that don’t fit the typical Aspie profile.
For example – I do have issues with being in social situations. I hate talking to people I don’t know, and I’m a mess on the phone. On the flip side of this, I am more than capable of handling situations like this when I’m at work or other settings where I am more confident in my abilities. I know I’m good at my job and will never be stumped by a question from someone on the other line, so I don’t fear using the phone. I wonder if other Aspies have this ability to tune out their anxiety when necessary.
Another example, this one having to do with my stimming – I have been able to shed my stim behaviors in the past for periods of time, though they have always crept back (my worst specific stim behavior is picking and biting at the skin on my fingers, and not just the cuticles… sometimes I will pick the skin off the pads of my fingers or the sides of my fingertips until they bleed). Here’s where it gets interesting: about a year ago, the lab I work at installed new security systems that required the use of fingerprint ID. Because of my skin picking, the scanner had trouble identifying my fingerprint. Because my job demanded it, I have been able to avoid picking/biting the specific finger that the scanner reads – effectively modifying my stim behavior to suit my needs. Is this something that any Aspie can do just by working hard and focusing on behavior modification?
Is there something special about me? Am I just lucky?
I’m beginning to think that there is no “typical” presentation of Aspergers. There is no “normal” Aspie profile. Overall there are some rough traits, but each Aspie is an individual work of art – a unique mosiac of all of the behaviors that make them who they are.