Tonight Kids, We Bring You A Very Special Episode…

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

In one of the most ‘loved’ traditions of television, the time has come where the laughter (what laughter there was) stops, while I talk about a subject that is understandably close to my heart.

When I was little, I was put on the special needs register at my school, I never quite understood why. Now I know, through talking to my parents about it, that I am on the Autistic Spectrum, and that I have ‘Higher Functioning Asperger’s Syndrome’. In a nutshell, it means that I am technically disabled. Why do you say technically, Scott, you incredibly clever and handsome man? I say it because several people have expressed surprise that I am autistic.

It is not obvious from looking at me, like some other disabilities that I have seen over the course of my relatively short life span, but the autism is there. It is mostly internal, with very little effect on my body. There are quite a few mental effects, but thanks to the way I am around other people, these mostly go unnoticed. For instance, my heartbeat gets quicker whenever something out of the norm happens during my day, like getting a phone call (even one that I’m expecting) or going somewhere other than college or staying home. I occasionally get panic attacks, which I thought I’d got over in secondary school but apparently not, as I found out a while back.

I spend a large amount of time being undermined by my own insecurities, or staying awake either imagining or replaying bad moments of my life. I spend a lot of time thinking that I’m a horrible boyfriend because I can’t remember anything that anyone tells me, but it’s my tolerant girlfriend (who I’m very lucky to have) who notices this most of all. This is part of why I can’t get to sleep very often and why I am even now lying awake typing this while talking to a friend about this subject.

I crave social contact above nearly all else, but the asperger’s makes it hard to establish friendships and relationships. Even then, I’m quite withdrawn from the few friends that I make. Fortunately, college seems to be going quite well in this regard, in that I’ve found a core group of friends whose company makes me never want to leave.

This was actually one of the reasons why I left my secondary school early, as I was both being bullied and being unsupported by the staff, who took me off the special needs statement much to the outrage of my mother.

I continually feel ashamed of pretty much everything that I have done over the course of my life, and there are rare times where I wish I could just die. Not turning towards suicide (because rather contradicting what I just said, I have a fear of death), you understand, but the thought is sometimes there.

It’s not all doom and gloom, of course. What my brain has lacked (and I believe, started to build) in the social department, it more than made up for by giving me the capacity to enjoy reading and a good memory for facts, figures and knowledge. It has also given me a distinct personality that sets me apart from other people (although never superior to others, I’d never be that much of a wanker to consider myself better) and I’ve developed more of a humorous personality and jocular nature.

In a way, I’m fortunate to have been given a perspective into the lives of disabled people that others don’t often see, due to spending a year or two on a college course with them.

Plus, I’m a budding writer with a girlfriend and quite a lot of friends. Life is not that bad. Whether this is the kind of person I would’ve become without autism will probably never be known (unless we get some kind of Star Trek mirror universe stuff going on), but I’ll live with this version of myself.


One comment on “Tonight Kids, We Bring You A Very Special Episode…

  1. unknown. says:

    yh shes tolerant rite. xD

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