Monday, November 12, 2007

A Little Bit About Asperger's Syndrome

Bobbie posted this very interesting comment the other day. My answer's gonna be long, so I'm posting it here rather than in the comments:

help! i scored 117 and i have NO idea what that means.

i have read your old blog for a bit and heard you being an aspie before - but don't know how that manifests itself.

i've been watching my 11 year old daughter in social situations and have begun to wonder about her (and myself as i had similar difficulties).

do you have any good info sites??? any help you could give would be so appreciated!

Bobbie, I apologize for taking such a long time to reply to your comment. It's been a hectic few days without much computer time for me.

First of all, scoring 117 on this quiz means nothing of itself. This quiz is fun, and helpful for the researcher who set it up, but it's not really a diagnostic tool. I do these quizzes because I just love taking good quizzes, not for any real insight into my condition.

If you can afford it, get an evaluation by a clinician who knows her stuff. Here is a list supplied by one such doctor.
Because it might be helpful to you and others, I'm planning to blog in detail about my condition and how it affects me, as soon as I can. Keep in mind, however, that I've never been professionally diagnosed with Asperger's. Although with so many of the symptoms, I think I must have it or something related to it.

Also, the autism spectrum is very broad, and manifestations of Asperger's vary greatly. (In other words, one aspie may be quite different from another.) Being socially awkward, in itself, may or may not be a symptom. In Asperger's Syndrome social awkwardness is part of a much larger pattern. In very broad strokes, the aspie lives mostly in his/her own world, and doesn't comprehend the outside world the same way as a "normal" person does.

In any case, there is no reason to fear for your daughter's future. Part of my difficulty is due to the fact that when I was a child, very few health professionals had even heard of Asperger's Syndrome. Fewer still believe it was possible for girls to have this condition. The few professionals who examined me thought I was nervous, depressed or stubborn. We still have a long way to go, but it's a lot better than it used to be.

Also, aspies often have very successful lives, both financially and personally. Many of the people who design computers, (like the one I'm using) write programs for them and draw those lovely six-figure salaries have Asperger's Syndrome. There are also many clubs and organizations for aspies.

Here are some web sites I've found interesting or helpful:

Asperger's Disorder Homepage
Wikipedia article
Online Asperger's Syndrome Information and Support
NINDS Asperger Syndrome Information Page
Asperger's Syndrome - Symptoms

There are many, many others. Just google "asperger's syndrome" or "asperger syndrome" (without the quotes) and you'll find plenty of information. Good luck and blessings with your journey.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What Has Happened to Our Country?

If you want to read something truly scary check this out. When the Japanese air force attacked Pearl Harbor there was plenty to be afraid of. All the United States had to defend itself was rotting equipment left over from World War I. Yet the President told the nation, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself".

Now we haven't had a real terrorist threat in years, nor does one seem likely to occur. Yet the government is actively encouraging us to be afraid. Why? Because if people are frightened enough they don't care if their freedoms are taken away.

It's true that we must fight terrorism wherever and whenever it occurs. But the real terrorists aren't in the Middle East. They're already here. They're our government.

Hat tip to Mad Priest.

USO Christmas Present Letter

Yesterday hubby and I received a form letter from the USO asking for holiday gifts for the troops in Iraq. They're looking for batteries, cds, books, toiletries, etc. - all the goodies young people too far from home could need or want.

Unfortunately we're too broke to send anything. I'm trying to figure out how we'll get our own kids a few things for Christmas.

If I could send something I'd likely be checking all the old and rare booksellers for some choice Vietnam-era works on how to go AWOL and stay out of trouble...or how to protest the war while still a soldier. Somehow I think the USO would likely be happier if I just forgot about the whole thing.

But I can't think of a better present for the holidays, or any time, for the troops and those who love them than to get them all the hell out of there as soon as possible. It would be good for us, good for the Iraqis, and good for the world. And it's the right thing to do.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Aspie Quiz

Your Aspie score: 132 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 67 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie

Thanks to ePiscoSours for the quiz link. I can't afford a professional diagnosis but I do love to try these quizzes.

Actually I generally score higher on the aspie side than this. Maybe I'm just having an unusually normal day.