On Asperger's

There are several reasons why I'm grateful for how wide the word about Asperger's has travelled and how relatively common and well-known the concept is. On the other hand, though, I feel it's a bit like saying that someone's an introvert.

Have a think, maybe you feel differently about it than I do.

When someone's said to be an introvert, I feel it's like putting a label onto things the person doesn't do (well or comfortably): public speaking, sharing emotions with strangers, loud initial contact. Whereas, and I know it's been said much better by other people already, (some) introverts are bloody good at things (some) extraverts suck at, and the most important to me is probably: persevering and getting. Things. Done.

Quietly.

And it's sort of the same with Asperger's, because to me, saying that someone's got Asperger's is like saying they don't pick up on social cues.

Okay, fine, I get that. But! Often Aspies are also fuckin' talented at school, and hardworking.

When you hear that label, Asperger's, is that what you think about, that they're probably meticulous and pay attention, or the fact that when someone cracks a joke in the dining room, Aspie probably looks around at the reaction of other people before going, oh, righto, it was a joke?

I don't know whether I'm on the spectrum. I doubt it. Even if I am, it's a mild form of it, which is to say, I and Aspies share certain characteristics. (People that have worked with me probably know what I'm referring to =).)

You probably wouldn't want me on your sales team unless your product is fuckin' good, because things I personally believe in, I can walk to the end of the earth for them; and if there's a product that needs to be worked on and my bosses sort of go, nah, there's other priorities now and they therefore make other people lose time/money/quality by not wanting to fix mistakes - and make me work with something that I know isn't as good as it can be - that's when I can feel the hairs on my back go up and that's when I start looking for another job.

I'm bad at lying. It's such a complex structure, having to keep all the bits together - the story, the facial features, whom to trust the truth to and what to say... It's laborious. Which is to say, and I am very sorry if I've done that to you at some point, and didn't know it, means that when a lady with a really weird haircut comes in and starts saying how she's just been to the hairdresser's and how it's nice to be all freshened up again, I go, without having thought about it first, oh, so you actually like it? And then when she looks at me all puzzled, I suddenly realise, oh shit. Here, I've done it again. Awesome work, Maria. What'ya gonna do now, huh.

But it also means that if you need someone to be meticulous almost all the time, paying attention, doing the job well and being straightforward, I'm your gal. I've got some work ethic going on, uhom. I can come in, look at a big pile of information, dig in and then organise it into tidy little compartments so when you come in and ask, d'you know where we keep files x, y and z, I go, sure I do, have a look in a, b, c and d.

I'm awesome at that.

Am I an Aspie? Like I said before, I doubt it and given that I won't be walking into no psychologist's office anytime soon, even if I am, I wouldn't know it. But I am frickin' proud to share some characteristics.

Proud.

2 comments:

  1. We had an Aspie exchange student from Korea living with us for a year. it was probably the most challenging year we've ever had with a student mostly because we didn't realize at first that that's what was going on when the kid kept hacking into school servers every day. but it was a very useful learning experience - taught us how to present a united front. ))

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can't really comment on the aspie thing except to say I taught an aspie child and I wasn't told initially and that was difficult, once I knew it made life easier for both of us. As for introverts I don't think introverts are bad public speakers etc i just think they are
    People who need 'down time' alone to recharge their batteries. I have some very talented introverts in my life who are very articulate, funny and good with people.

    ReplyDelete