So as a lot of you know I have Asperger’s Syndrome disorder. People who have this knowledge have in the past made some minor snafu’s that while completely understandable, and they made them with the very best intentions in heart. They ad a devastating and traumatizing effect on my mind in that moment. There are some that I would not trade in even a moment’s worth because it was so touching. I do how ever humbly offer up this post in hopes that future transgressions of this nature will not occur unintentionally in the future.
- Don’t: bring special notice to me as a person. If I have done something exceptional in one way or another. Do: If you wish to reward me for it, please find an opportune moment to pull me quietly to the side, offer up what ever special commendation or scorn I’ve earned my self and then if it’s something you know others will wish to congratulate me on quietly suggest to them that they do so one at a time a little spread out over the course of a day. Reasons: I appreciate it when people that I care about want to bring me up in front of my gathered loved ones and reward me with some special object for hard work. (case and point my red tie) But I don’t deal well with being the center of attention. When surprised with being so it can easily drive me into a panic attack. For those who have never had one let me put it in terms that you might understand if you’ve had a heart attack. It’s nearly identical, at least from my prospective. My arm hurts, my every thing suddenly feels tired. I can hear my heart pounding in my ears, I can feel it thumping like it wants to escape my chest. Every sensation becomes instantly a thousand times more pronounced then it normally would be. I can’t breath it and every thing turns a shade of green. It’s just not fun.
- Don’t!: call me a !@#$ing ‘Aspie’ or an ‘Asperkid’ Do: call me John, and regard me to other’s who inquire as an Adult with Asperger’s syndrome. Reasons: While there are those with in the Asperger’s community that find the terms ‘Aspie’ and ‘Asperkid’ to be perfectly acceptable ‘nicknames’ I find them offensive in the same way a black person might find being regarded to as a ‘darkie’ or a white person might take to being called a ‘whitey.’
- Don’t: Justify things with ‘you should be fine with it because other people with Asperger’s are.’ Do: Understand that I am my own person and the so called ‘community’ and what they may think is acceptable and what ‘should’ be acceptable to me as a person be damned. I have my own thoughts, I have my own opinions, and I as my own person have things that piss me off.
- Don’t: While it technically falls under the rule above on a small level. Do not correct me when I involuntarily correct the pronunciation you use to refer to my disorder. Do: Allow me just a brief moment to correct you on how you’ve probably been pronouncing Asperger’s all this time that you’ve been reading. It is named for the Austrian national that discovered the illness back in the mid twenties. Thusly when people ‘Americanize’ it in front of me and pronounce it ‘ass-burger’ I am unable to restrain my self from offering up ‘actually it’s pronounced ‘au-sper-gier.’ Reasons: This goes with out saying but the compulsion to correct it when people around me mispronounce it is just that. an impulse. Something that I have no ability to control. Even more infuriating is when people respond with. “Well I know it’s the Americanized method of saying the name but that’s just how we say it over here.” But since it’s derived from some one’s proper name just understand you’re doing it wrong and I WILL correct you.
- Don’t: Tell me I can’t do something. I’ve heard it a million times over. I want to do something, I make my intentions known, and people who I’m sure mean well say ‘you can’t handle that type of dog,’ or “you can’t handle that type of horse” or “You don’t have what it takes to do that thing you’re fixing to do.” Do: If you are of the opinion that I am in some way ill prepared for an intended course of action, offer me helpful suggestions that will maximize my likelihood of success, and then let me try regardless of if you think I can or can’t. Yes there is a good chance I might fail but you don’t really NEED to tell me that. Reasons: My Asperger’s syndrome functions very much in the same way as an anxiety disorder. That means all those things that you are saying are already a product of my own brain. It is these things, these key fraises in my mind already present that lead to me being a shut in most of the time, and when I tell you that I’m planning something it’s because I respect you as one of the people I know that deal with that sort of thing. I need any helpful insight you can provide with out the out and out ‘you can’t bull shit’ Because the finalization in your words are going to convince me once and for all that I can’t, which will make me back off entirely from it and will rob me of a potentially life enhancing experience.
That’s it, those are my five simple rules of dealing with me as a person who struggles with his Asperger’s. Hope they help you out in dealing with me in the future.