Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Aspergers: My View

A few days ago, I asked some friends what they might see in me in regard to Aspergers. Now, it's my turn.

  • Not pick up on social cues and lack inborn social skills, such as being able to read others' body language, start or maintain a conversation, and take turns talking.
Well, that true. I've never been good at things like small talk. I remember one time I tried to "break the ice" with a new roomate by asking about his position on abortion. Don't get me started with flirting. It didn't make sense. I still don't get it that much. Kinda surprised I even got dates.
  • Dislike any changes in routines.
Nope. Hate changes. Hate them. I have my routines and it just seems odd when they are skipped.
  • Appear to lack empathy.
True. On 9/11, I appeared somewhat unconcerned ( I was though).
  • Be unable to recognize subtle differences in speech tone, pitch, and accent that alter the meaning of others' speech. Thus, your child may not understand a joke or may take a sarcastic comment literally. Likewise, his or her speech may be flat and difficult to understand because it lacks tone, pitch, and accent.
I was the kid that couldn't get a joke and yes, I did believe gullible wasn't in the dictionary.
  • Have a formal style of speaking that is advanced for his or her age. For example, the child may use the term "beckon" instead of "call," or "return" instead of "come back."
Yeah, I've always seemed to have an advanced vocabulary. I'm not trying to put on airs, it's just the word that comes to mind.
  • Avoid eye contact.
I don't know if this one was ever true. I will have to ask Mom and Dad.
  • Have unusual facial expressions or postures.
I don't know if this counts, but I have the habit of entering a room where someone is doing something and not say anything until they notice me. That bothered one the pastors I worked for. I didn't understand why and still don't.
  • Be preoccupied with only one or few interests, which he or she may be very knowledgeable about. Many children with Asperger's syndrome are overly interested in parts of a whole or in unusual activities, such as doing intricate jigsaw puzzles, designing houses, drawing highly detailed scenes, or astronomy.2
When I was a kid, I "doodle" in church. Except it was drawing intricate intersections of streets, freeway systems and so forth. I also had this odd fascination with travel guides and would endlessly look them over and even create a few of my own of made-up cities with fake hotels and all that.
  • Talk a lot, usually about a favorite subject. One-sided conversations are common. Internal thoughts are often verbalized.
Don't know if this has ever happened.
  • Have delayed motor development. Your child may be late in learning to use a fork or spoon, ride a bike, or catch a ball. He or she may have an awkward walk. Handwriting is often poor.
I think I was a bit late in riding a bike without training wheels and I know I had a dickens of a time trying to tie my shoe.
  • Have heightened sensitivity and become overstimulated by loud noises, lights, or strong tastes or textures. For more information about these symptoms, see sensory integration dysfunction.
Sometimes, I can be overstimulated by the drone of noise in a room. Certain lights can drive me nuts.

So that's what I am seeing. I have more to say on why I think this might have affected my ministry.

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