Monday, March 31, 2008

Well, so much for the "Plague" eh?

celebrate neurodiversity.One of the "one in one hundred and sixty-six" statistic shares her experiences.
Asperger's: My life as an Earthbound alien - "ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Recently, at 48 years of age, I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. For most of my life, I knew that I was 'other,' not quite like everyone else. I searched for years for answers and found none, until an assignment at work required me to research autism. During that research, I found in the lives of other people with Asperger's threads of similarity that led to the diagnosis. Although having the diagnosis has been cathartic, it does not change the 'otherness.' It only confirms it."
Please note that she is a manager for CNN. Not homeless. Not a burden on society. And certainly, considering her occupation, able to communicate quite well, thank you.

Oh, and her desire for a cure? Nonexistent.
Don't pity me or try to cure or change me. If you could live in my head for just one day, you might weep at how much beauty I perceive in the world with my exquisite senses. I would not trade one small bit of that beauty, as overwhelming and powerful as it can be, for "normalcy."
Like her, I've never wanted to be "the same." I would have loved to have been accepted for myself, rather than being punished and abused for it. I'd have probably ended up in some equivalent position too, so it was poor judgment on the part of educators and parents alike to try and "normalize me." Which they most certainly did, although I was not diagnosed as AS to the best of my knowledge.

What I really wish had happened was an education tailored to my learning style, my intelligence and, of course, all the things I have to actually learn that "normal" people seem to pick up from context. But I'm still pretty happy being me - and frankly, the parts that I'm unhappy about have mostly been the result of other people who could not or would not respond to me as I am.

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