I thought I would use this page to try to explain something about myself since so many people fail to understand autism.
You said autism? So that must make you a genius computer programmer with zero social skills or someone who dribbles? If you think that, then you seriously need to know more about the syndrome so you don’t allow your lack of awareness to prejudge others.
More specifically, its a high functioning form of autism so its why if you look further around this site, you’ll see I’m a graduate too so its got nothing to do with intellectual capacity. As a female, I am a bit of a minority with people who have this as guys seem to have it more (75-80%). Its one of these areas that really needs some studying to see the way in which it effects adult women. The feeling the researchers have is that it is much harder to spot in women because of their natural ability to compensate for their struggles in socialisation, as compared to men.
What is Asperger Syndrome?
Its considered to be a pervasive developmental disorder. This means that social skills are impaired. It doesn’t mean that someone with Asperger’s can’t make friends or is a social retard. What it means is that understanding social rules can be harder. Imagine going into a foreign country where they speak your language but use their own local expressions and do things differently. I guess that’s how it is ALL THE TIME! One has to learn the rules intellectually rather than rely on instinct. Someone with Asperger’s finds “reading between the lines” something not natural to them and therefore understanding the subtext in a social situation can be quite challenging. The other problem lies in a difficulty in expressing one’s own emotions too so rather neutral facial expressions can be seen. One major problem for many people with Asperger’s is their strong emotional reaction to a given situation that might seem very random and unpredictable. An outsider might see this as irrationality when the AS sufferer feels genuinely upset about something which probably is minor!
Another feature of Asperger’s relates to an intense interest in a topic or topics. Subject areas can be very strange such as the manufacturing process of paper clips or something more socially acceptable such as sports. Although a lot of people will talk endlessly about their obsession, this is not always the case.
Many suffers are sensitive to noise, smell, tastes and touch. It means that person who is drumming on the table is more than irritating. They are causing deep distress to someone with Asperger’s and in fact it can be felt as pain. Things can get so bad that its impossible to concentrate on anything.
One of the related problems to this sensitivity is that the human mind can only take so much in and eventually it shuts down from being overloaded. This means it can be hard to hear what other people are saying if there’s other noises in the room. It is not a hearing problem but that the brain cannot process all the sounds in one go.