A conversation on Twitter earlier today brought up an interesting point about my aspie traits – my ability to handle bad news compared to my inability to not know what’s going on. Most people would rather not know about something bad that happened so they can go about their day without being affected by the events. Not me.
First of all, I’m hardly ever deeply affected by things that don’t directly involve me. It may seem callous and cold to say that, but seriously… have you read any of my other posts? It’s clear that Aspergers causes me to be somewhat self involved and gives me some emotional insulation from the rest of the world.
Hey, what can I say? I’m the King of I Don’t Give a Shit.
Secondly, I can’t just not know what’s going on. In fact, once I’m alerted to something going on, I MUST know what’s up. It’s my thirst for knowledge – there can’t be something that somebody knows that I don’t know about. Or at least I have to be able to make a decision about whether it’s worth my time to investigate. Saying “nevermind” or “don’t worry about it” to me is the same as saying “you’re going to obsess over what I’m not telling you about for the next three days or until you find out exactly what it is I’m hiding from you.”
Yesterday, I sent out a semi-serious tweet about the possibility of throwing a tantrum because I didn’t get pizza for dinner. As ridiculous as that sounds, aspie tantrums can very well be triggered by something that insignificant. Perhaps something of even less importance.
For example, not getting the Golden Goose that you found out existed only five minutes ago.
Fatigue is a very common tantrum trigger, although not so much for me – my wife will tell you otherwise, but I simply get crabby. Hunger is also a big one on the list of triggers. Specifically for people with aspergers, crowds and social events can lead to meltdowns. For those with autism, loud/unpleasant noises or sensations can cause a blow up. Then you have the triggers that are specific to each person – schedule changes, absence of a normal favorite choice, etc. I know I tend to go nuts if I can’t find something that I’m looking for right away.
The importance of knowing these things is not to remove all of the triggers from the world of the Spectrumite – that’s pretty much impossible. What’s important is to know that these triggers do exist, and that a tantrum can be caused by the smallest little thing that you couldn’t even notice if you tried.
What are some of the small triggers that you have seen influence you or someone with Aspergers/Autism?
Please fill up my comments section. It makes me feel important.
A few days ago I saw a tweet that made me scratch my head. The tweet in question led to a story on children who were “growing out of” autism. I won’t go so far as to say I found the article insulting, but I do think that the article is slightly misguided.
I look at autism as a condition that doesn’t really have a cure or a resolution. Granted, patients with autism can improve, especially in cases of higher-functioning individuals. Children with autism can be coached, their behavior modified through therapy where necessary, in order to move closer towards what most people would consider “normalcy.” Medications are available to aid in lowering anxiety levels. However, none of these things are “curing” autism. They are simply making the condition more managable.
Considering autism as something that can be cured is a mistake, in my opinion. It’s not an infection that can be erradicated with proper medication and/or therapies. It’s more of a situation that one must adapt to. For example – take limb amputation. Physical therapy and prosthetics can help patients manage their situation, but their limbs do not magically grow back. They are not “cured.”
So what is our goal? What are we working towards with research and testing? I think looking to “solve” autism is misguided. We should be focusing more on awareness and understanding, not prevention or a cure.
After excesive frustration with Blogger’s Twitter widget (IS IT THAT BAD THAT I WANT MY TWEETS TO SHOW UP ON MY BLOG?!?!?), and after much urging from my wife, I decided to move Inside the Mind of an Aspie over to WordPress. So here we are!
I’m working on getting everything set up and customized to the way I want them, so things might look a little funky until I get things settled.
Hopefully WordPress will work out, otherwise I may have to go crawling back to Blogger or find somewhere else to blog. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
Just a little bit about me, and this blog, FYI.
I write this blog from a number of viewpoints. First, I write as a parent of a child with Aspergers. I have a 6 year old daughter who also happens to be the cutest little girl in the world (sorry to all of you people out there who also have daughters, but it’s true). She inspires a lot of what I write here.
Second, I write as a “medically informed person.” Notice I did not claim to be a doctor, nor did I claim to have all of the correct answers when it comes to medical problems. This blog is not meant to diagnose, treat, cause, cure, or worsen any disease or mental health state.
Third, I write this blog form the viewpoint of a person with Aspergers… presumably. You see, I was never formally diagnosed with Aspergers, but while getting my daughter diagnosed I began sensing a lot of… shall we say “odd, unexplainable behaviors” on my part. I came to learn that Autism tends to run in families, and things began to clear up a bit. After months of soul searching, I finally became comfortable with the fact that I have Aspergers. A diagnosis now would be redundant. A lot of what I write will end up sounding strange and unbelievable, but it comes from my inner feelings as an Aspie myself.
So I wear many hats when I type these posts up. First and foremost, I write these posts because I expect NOBODY to read them. That’s right. I don’t have delusions of grandeur; I don’t expect to be this massive blogger reaching thousands of people, spreading Autism awareness, and making the world a much better place to live in. I’m just using this blog to help express myself, figure out my feelings, and hopefully connect to the world a little better.
Now, if someone other than me happens to be reading this… awesome! Welcome! Don’t be afraid to comment or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter (@mindofanaspie).
I just ask one thing of you readers – please don’t take what I say as the gold standard of facts about Autism. My posts contain my opinions based on the many aforementioned hats I wear. I may be commenting on something my daughter did, or something I read while reading about Autism research. I may be talking about some private feelings I have about how hard it is to try to fit in with you normal people. But please remember that all Sprectrumites are different. We are all unique. In fact, I fully expect other Aspies to read this blog and claim I’m full of crap. Just try to keep an open mind, and we all might learn something from this.