Monthly Archives: April 2012

Parenting with Asperger’s Syndrome (@PwAspergers) to “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers” #AutismPositivity2012

This post was originally published at http://parentingwithaspergers.blogspot.com/2012/04/parenting-with-aspergers-syndrome-to-i.html and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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Parenting with Asperger’s Syndrome to “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers” #AutismPositivity2012

 

Someone recently did a search with the words “I wish I didn’t have Aspergers.” One blogger felt it was incredibly sad and, as a result, a number of bloggers decided to light up the internet with Autism Positivity blogs and I was asked to participate.

I talked to my 12 yr old and asked how he felt about having aspergers. He shared the following:

Aspergers has it’s ups and downs but eventually you’ll find a way to cope with other people. I have a vast, limitless imagination that helps me build things in Minecraft or with Lego. I tell people exactly what’s on my mind and my mom helps me find ways to say it nicely. I feel happy when I meet someone else with Aspergers because it tells my brain that I’m not the only one. I feel like I can be friends with that person right away. – Maxwell C. Age 12

I feel very grateful that Max and I understand each other on a level nobody else does.

If I didn’t have Aspergers, it would be much more difficult for my son, and others on the spectrum, to know that they aren’t alone, to feel accepted and supported. I feel glad that I have Aspergers because I can pave the way for those younger or less experienced than me. I can offer hope to their parents that their kids will grow up and be successful and be ok.

I’m reminded of a quote I once read: Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first, make sure that you are not, in fact, simply surrounded by assholes.


You are amazing. You’re intelligent, you’re fun, you’re a good person, and you’re perfect just the way you are. Be different. Be YOU. Nobody else out there will ever be as good at that as you are.

Having aspergers does make it more difficult to do some things in life, including having relationships, whether friendly or romantic. But there is always someone out there for everyone. I have a lot of people I get along very well with and can truly consider friends. And I have a smaller circle of people I consider family – friends who are much closer than the rest. These are people who know much more about me than average and they still like me!

You’re likable, too. I sincerely hope you find these blog posts and read each and every one of them so you can see that you aren’t alone. I’ve had those moments, too, where I wished I didn’t have Aspergers (a meltdown really exhausted me recently), but ultimately, I’m quite happy that I do. I’m ok with myself.

http://parentingwithaspergers.blogspot.com/2012/04/parenting-with-aspergers-syndrome-to-i.html

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Friendship Circle to ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers:’ #AutismPositivity2012

This post was originally published at http://blog.friendshipcircle.org/2012/04/30/friendship-circle-to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers-autismpositivity2012/ and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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Friendship Circle to ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers:’ #AutismPositivity2012

Autism PositivityOnce upon a time, someone googled “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers.”

The autism community noticed.

#AutismPositivity2012

Today, April 30, 2012, bloggers around the world are sharing their positive messages about autism in response to that google search.  The next time someone does a search on “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers,” he or she will be directed to supportive blogs written by adults and adolescents with autism and Asperger Syndrome, parents of individuals on the autism spectrum, teachers and friends.

Maybe that person will decide to read this blog.

Autistic Thinking and Perceiving

I’m the mother of an 11 year old child with autism.  I spent years in college and graduate school studying all kinds of beautiful, obscure subjects, but I never understood what autism was until my son was red-flagged for autism as a toddler.  A door opened.

I always knew that my son had a different way of thinking and perceiving compared to most people; I knew because my thoughts and perceptions are so similar to my son’s.  When he spoke in metaphors, I understood.  When he recoiled in fear meeting new people, I remembered how it felt to be small in a world of big people.  When the sound of the washing machine changing cycles startled him and made him cry, I remembered all the times I had been startled by noises or bright lights or strong flavors or sudden movements.  He absorbed books and written words the same way I do.

High-Functioning?

I usually see Asperger Syndrome defined as “a type of high-functioning autism.”  But that’s not accurate.  Asperger Syndrome is a type of autism with no significant delay in language skills.  For a person with Asperger Syndrome, anxiety, sensory intolerance and social obstacles can make day-to-day functioning very difficult.  But not impossible.

Anxiety can prevent us from seeing beyond the present moment, especially if the present is a time of darkness.  Sensory and social issues can feed into the anxiety and darkness.  What is the antidote?

Superpowers

I’m from a family of creative thinkers.  My brothers and I used to sit around after school and ask each other, “If you could have any superpower, what would it be? What would your superhero name be? What would your costume look like?”

By nature I’m a sleepy, slow-moving bookworm, so I would typically choose some dreamy superpower like flying or clairvoyance.  It never occurred to me to choose something to overcome my hypersensitivity or my silence in social situations or my intense pre-occupation with the poetry of the ancient Roman Empire…because those were already my superpowers!

Everyone has a gift

Over the years, I discovered more gifts, a source of profound joy to me.  Persistence carried me to surprising places.  In graduate school I learned that I didn’t have to wait for inspiration, I could go out and find it for myself.  My first son taught me to trust my maternal instincts.

I began to recognize others who were starting out on the same journey.  I often hear people talking about wanting to be happy or pursuing their happiness.  Joy is something much deeper than happiness.  Joy sustains me even through insult, injury and loss.  I still struggle with friendships and relationship skills, but I’m learning.

If you wish you didn’t have Asperger Syndrome, I say you should open that door.  You will find a gift waiting for you inside.

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David to “I Wish I didn’t have Asperger’s” #AutismPositivity2012

This was left as a comment and has been reposted here.

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Dear Friend:
I am the parent of several kids with aspergers. I saw that you blogged “I wish I didn’t have Aspergers.” This made me a little sad. I don’t know you, but I suspect that what people call “Aspergers” in you is what makes you special and what will make you a success in life. I don’t want you to give up before you find this out!

I hope you don’t mind my guessing about what makes you tick. I suspect that you have at least one great passion in your life, something that interests you so much that you would go to the ends of the earth to figure it out. Does this make you a little different? Yes. People without Aspergers divide their interests a lot of different ways. They don’t achieve the level of knowledge you have, and they don’t get the excitement you have in discovering the truth about what interests you most. Does this make you weird? No. It is what can make you a great person! Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Bob Dylan and Bill Gates are considered as examples of Aspergers. Probably some of their friends thought they were weird in their time, but it didn’t stop them from following their goals until they reached them. You won’t hear a word about their friends, but you admire these people for their life achievements.

I have one son who loves trains. He can identify any kind of train when it goes by. I have another who loves studying firemen and policemen. I am glad for them, because they have a passion they follow that makes them happy! Everybody should have this.

Don’t let anybody put you down because you are not like them. Follow your dream wherever it leads you, and remember there are many people who think you are special, and will be proud of you for what you do with your life.

David

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Confessions of an Asperger’s Mom to “I Wish I didn’t have Asperger’s” #AutismPosivityDay -Flash Blog

This post was originally published at http://confessionsofanaspergersmom.blogspot.com/2012/04/autismposivityday-flash-blog.html and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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#AutismPosivityDay -Flash Blog

Dear #IWishIDidn’tHaveAspergers,

We are flashing blogging you today to let you know that first of all you are not alone.  There is an awesome community of people out here in internet-land who would love to connect with you to share love and support with you.
Some of those people have Aspergers or are somewhere along the vast Autism Spectrum.
Some of those people are parents or relatives of children with autism.
Some of them are just the plain old gracious people in the world who love you for exactly who you are now and for who you will become in the future.
I am one of those people.

I have 2 sons on the spectrum.  They both have Aspergers and they are both totally different from one another.  They may even be different than you, but in some ways we are all alike.
We are share humanity.
We are all imperfect.
We all have our special gifts.
We all have obstacles to overcome.
We all have days that absolutely suck…where we all feel like the entire world is against us and that we can’t do anything right.

But here’s the good news….
Every single day doesn’t suck.
On the days that don’t…we have to take notice.
We may even have to write down the things that are good in that day.
Even the smallest things like…
The sun is shining.
I have the most comfortable bed on earth.
I had a good meal today.  There are plenty of people in the world who don’t.
Some one smiled at me and said hello.
I may not be the most popular person, but I have 1 REAL friend.
Although my parent’s bug the shit out of me…at least they love me.
I don’t have every thing I want but…
I am better off today than I was a year ago.

The really great thing about you…is that you do have a Special Gift.
You have an interest that you know more about than probably any of your peers.
You see things that they don’t have the benefit of seeing.
Hey and guess what…if some of those peers are not nice to you…or don’t get you…
That sucks for them!
Because you are freakin’ awesome at whatever you truly WANT to be awesome at!

Look at your Aspergers not as a disability but as a superior ABILITY.
Aspergers is the ability to focus on what you truly LoVE!
Aspergers is the ability to think outside of the box.
Aspergers is the ability to solve a problem differently and maybe better than anyone else can.
Aspergers is the possibility to change the world.
I have every confidence that if you truly want to…You CAN DO That!

So have your pity party or a day…like I did yesterday, (I am human right?)
But don’t let those bad days take over your life.
Get out there and do something to help someone else.
Guess what someone out there is having an even harder time than you are?!
That’s the absolute best way to make yourself feel better.
Go watch something that you think is hilarious and laugh to change your mood.
(“I LOVE LUCY” or any thing Chris Rock works for me.)
Get up and get moving!
Make your list of things that you are going to do to make your life better.
Think about the things you CAN control…because there are so many that we can not.
I promise you …if you make a list of the positives in your life…they will outweigh the negative.

But even on those suckiest of sucky days…please know that you are not alone.
There is someone in the world who loves you.
I am one of those people.

Join me in my Aspergers Community on facebook
All of the members today are listing the great things about the Aspie in their lives.
I’m sure you will see yourself on that list.

Also if you would like to read more POSITIVE POSTS Click here:

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The Crowded Nest to “I Wish I didn’t have Asperger’s” #AutismPositivity2012

This post was originally published at http://www.thecrowdednest.blogspot.ca/2012/04/to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers.html and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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To: I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s

To: I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s

Please remember that the way in which people treat you tells you about who they are. Not about who you are. If people are impatient with you, if they mock you or roll their eyes when you stim, they are showing you the limitations of their own kindness and tolerance. Be thankful for the heads up. The world has 6 billion people in it. Move right past the people who don’t want to meet you half way. As you get older, you have the chance to shape your own world, to delve into your own interests and passions, and to invite people into your life who truly seek to know your heart.

Always remember that when we have to struggle in life, we grow stronger. I don’t know what your challenges are in life, but I know that you are bigger than them. I have witnessed in my own life a dyslexic boy grow into a talented writer. Sometimes we don’t succeed in spite of our challenges, we succeed because of them.

Please believe me that the world is so much richer because you are in it. The people on the fringes of society are the same ones who expand our understanding of the world, of what humanity is, of what is possible. If there were no individuals who thought differently, who challenged our concept of “normal”, there would be no art and no science. You don’t need to be an Einstein or a Leonardo da Vinci to matter, you only have to be you and to be true to who you are.

One of my favourite lyrics is from Leonard Cohen’s Anthem. He sings,


There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

My son has Asperger’s. His name is Lucas, which comes from the Latin word for “light”. We didn’t know that when we named him;  we just chose the name because we liked the sound of it. Eight years later, we are just beginning to see how he expands our concept of the world. How he breaks open our insular views and challenges us to see the world from other perspectives. In short, how he lets the light in.
I wish you didn’t wish you didn’t have Asperger’s. I hope at least that you don’t often wish that you didn’t have Asperger’s. I wish you more good days than bad. I hope you move the needle toward self-acceptance a little each day. I hope the world inches toward inclusiveness and respect for diversity a little each day.

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that cynking feeling to “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers”: #AutismPositivity2012 Flash Blog

This post was originally published at http://cynk.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/that-cynking-feeling-to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers-autismpositivity2012-flash-blog/ and is reprinted here with permission of the author.

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that cynking feeling to “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers”: #AutismPositivity2012 Flash Blog

Dear “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers”:

I don’t have Asperger’s Syndrome.

I think it’s important that I state that first and foremost. Not only to let you know, but to remind myself. I don’t personally know what life is like as experienced by someone with Asperger’s. My knee-jerk (emphasis on jerk) reaction is to tell you, “Oh, don’t say that. You don’t mean that.” I would have no right. I would be wrong.

I’m sure  you do mean that. You probably mean it more than people who wistfully say, “I wish had didn’t have curly hair,” or the ones that lament, “I wish I hadn’t inherited my father’s nose.”

Even though I don’t have your direct experience with Asperger’s, I do know what it is like to wonder “What if?” and to think about things I would change in life if I could. Some of those things are within my control, some are not.

I imagine that’s might be part of the reason you searched for the phrase, “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers.” This is not something that you have control over. You were probably wondering if anyone feels the same.

Today, lots of people are writing you letters. Most of them are more qualified than I am to speak to your experience. Let me tell you why I am writing today.

A few months ago, my three-and-a-half-year-old son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I would be lying if I said that it hadn’t crossed my mind to think, “I wish my son didn’t have autism.”

But he does. And I am gradually learning to accept that reality. Because autism is a part of him. And I love him with all my heart. With each passing day I am realizing that he is not the one who should or needs to change. I am. I’m the one who needs to become more self-less, more understanding, more patient, more creative, more tolerant.

I hope that you have many people in your life who love you as I do my son. If they do, they love for who you are right now. These people who love and support would change the world for you, not ask you to change.

You have a lot of other messages to read, so I’ll keep mine short. I just hope that the next time that you or someone else searches for the phrase “I wish I didn’t have asperbergers,” you will find these words of support.

Wishing you the best,

that cynking feeling

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P.S. To give credit where credit is due:

This Autism Positivity Flash Blog Event is the brainchild of Thinking About Perspectives, a group of bloggers committed to increasing autism awareness and acceptance via open and respectful dialogue.  We are:  30 Days of Autism, Outrunning the Storm, The Third Glance, Aspie Kid, Flappiness Is, Quirky and Laughing, Life on the Spectrum, Fairy Tale Forgotten, The Aspie Side of Life, and Inner Aspie.

You don’t have to be a blogger to participate today. You can email your letter of support to autismpositivity@gmail.com. The organizers will post it on Autism Positivity Flash Blog site.

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Cynthia Parkhill (@CynthiaParkhill) to ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers’: #AutismPositivity2012

This post was originally published at http://cynthiaparkhill.blogspot.com/2012/04/cynthia-parkhill-to-i-wish-i-didnt-have.html and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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Cynthia Parkhill to ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers’: #AutismPositivity2012

Autism Positivity Project banner

http://30daysofautism.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/

to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers-an-autismpositivity2012-flash-blog-event/

What a revelation to learn in adulthood that I’m on the autism spectrum and that, moreover, I am part of an amazing, versatile, diverse community.

The difficulties and challenges I’d suffered in childhood were finally explained! The teasing and ostracism, the food sensitivities that led to battles at the dinner table. My differences were known, they were documented and explained. Even understood and shared by actively blogging members of an autism community.

Even more amazing to learn that those traits that I consider to be my greatest strengths — honesty, creativity, an absence of pretense and my passion for animal welfare and zero-tolerance for bullying — could be attributable to autism too.

I don’t know what circumstances led you to to google “I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s.” I don’t pretend to know your problems. I can tell you that you are not alone.

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The ribbon of interlocking puzzle pieces is very beautiful to me in its bright variety and color. To me it suggests that each of us is unique but with shared experiences from which we can draw strength.

Here is a perspective by Dr. Tony Attwood that helped to shape my awareness of what it means to be on the spectrum. I hope it is of as much comfort to you as it was to me:

“From my clinical experience I consider that children and adults with Aspergers Syndrome have a different, not defective, way of thinking.

“The person usually has a strong desire to seek knowledge, truth and perfection with a different set of priorities than would be expected with other people. There is also a different perception of situations and sensory experiences. The overriding priority may be to solve a problem rather than satisfy the social or emotional needs of others.

“The person values being creative rather than co-operative. The person with Aspergers syndrome may perceive errors that are not apparent to others, giving considerable attention to detail, rather than noticing the “big picture”.

“The person is usually renowned for being direct, speaking their mind and being honest and determined and having a strong sense of social justice.

“The person may actively seek and enjoy solitude, be a loyal friend and have a distinct sense of humour.

“However, the person with Aspergers Syndrome can have difficulty with the management and expression of emotions.

“Children and adults with Aspergers syndrome may have levels of anxiety, sadness or anger that indicate a secondary mood disorder. There may also be problems expressing the degree of love and affection expected by others. Fortunately, we now have successful psychological treatment programs to help manage and express emotions.”

I like Attwood’s emphasis upon different and not defective. In a longer article, he explores what would happen if society focused on discovering Aspergian strengths and advantages. I hope this perspective is of comfort to you.

This essay is part of the Autism Positivity Flash Blog event.

The Autism Positivity Flash Blog Event is the brainchild of Thinking About Perspectives, a group of bloggers committed to increasing autism awareness and acceptance via open and respectful dialogue.  They are: 30 Days of AutismOutrunning the StormThe Third GlanceAspie KidFlappiness IsQuirky and LaughingLife on the SpectrumFairy Tale ForgottenThe Aspie Side of Life and Inner Aspie.

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From Equality Sets Us Free to “I wish I didn’t have Aspergers” #AutismPositivity2012

This post was originally published at http://equalsuf.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/from-equality-sets-us-free-to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers/ and is reprinted here with permission of the author.

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From Equality Sets Us Free to “I wish I didn’t have Aspergers’

Don’t.

Don’t worry about how things could be. Don’t try to change who you are. Don’t wish you were something you’re not. That way lies nothing but pain and sorrow. Because the only thing you can do is fail. Fail at being ‘normal’. Fail at ‘fitting in’ with people who won’t accept you as you are. Fail at being someone that you simply are not.

Things suck. I know. We’re told all the time that we live in a world where everyone is treated equally. We grow up with stories about overcoming, and making friend by being ourselves, and then we find out that the world isn’t really like that and you can’t be accepted for who you are.  And that hurts.

But the problem isn’t you. If it was, then there would be advice I could give you to make things right. And there isn’t. There is nothing you can do by yourself to make things better. You can try, you can learn coping mechanisms, and learn how to act ‘normal’, and it’ll help. But you will always, always fall short. And that’s because we live in a world that simply isn’t accepting of differences. It isn’t enough to ‘pass’, because that means hiding something of who you are, and that does a number on your self-esteem. It’s you living the belief that there is something wrong with you, and how can you ever be truly happy with yourself if you believe that?

We live in a world that is, when not actively hostile, passively resistant to accepting different ways of being. But that can be changed. Autism can’t. And it doesn’t need to be. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, our talents and limitations. There is no reason that some should be ‘okay’ and some should be signs of brokenness. Why is it okay for a person to be bad at doing math, but wrong for them to be bad at understanding body language?

Don’t try to change what cannot be changed. Accept it, understand it, and from that beginning we can work towards making a world where simply being different isn’t a barrier to inclusion.

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Our Adventures with Riley (@dkotucker) To ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers': #AutismPositivity2012

This post was originally published at http://ouradventureswithriley.blogspot.ca/2012/04/to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers.html and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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To ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers': #AutismPositivity2012

The Autism Positivity Day Project:
“We are asking every blogger in the autism community to write a message of positivity to #IWishIDidntHaveAspergers. So that next time that individual (or another) types that sad statement into Google, he or she will find what they need – support, wisdom, and messages of hope from those who understand.”


From Our Adventures with Riley: A pseudo-Haiku poem for you

Life is not easy
Even for those who pretend
They may feel alone

Typical can change
There is good reason for this
No one is the same
Where it all begins
Look in the mirror to see
There is always hope
Together we can
With unconditional love

Make a difference

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The Invisible Disability to “I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s”: #AutismPositivity2012

This post was originally published at http://theinvisibledisability.com/2012/04/30/the-invisible-disability-to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers-autismpositivity2012/ and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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The Invisible Disability to “I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s”: #AutismPositivity2012

by LoCo_Mommy on April 30, 2012

Dear “I wish I didn’t have Asperger’s”:

There takes all sorts of people to make the world go round. Tall ones, short ones, polka-dotted ones.

And there’s room for everyone to show their spirit and color.

I say this every day as I look at my son. Now, he is not an Aspie. He has PDD-NOS, but as you know, there is room on the autism spectrum for all types of folk. I see how he flourishes and how he struggles. I see his joy and his frustration with the simplest of tasks. I ache when I think of him in the future – in school, in the dating world, trying to navigate a world that isn’t so simple.

But, the world is changing. Things that didn’t seem so attainable before are mere standard today. Now you can see characters in movies, TV and other media that can make you think, “hmm, I’m not the only one.”

I hope we continue to move forward in acceptance and adaptability. Not just for you but for everyone.

Because you know how to march to the beat of your own drum. Now let’s get other instruments together and rock out!

All the best,

The Invisible Disability

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Sharing through….

This Autism Positivity Flash Blog Event is the brainchild of Thinking About Perspectives, a group of bloggers committed to increasing autism awareness and acceptance via open and respectful dialogue.  We are:  30 Days of Autism,Outrunning the StormThe Third GlanceAspie KidFlappiness IsQuirky and LaughingLife on the SpectrumFairy Tale ForgottenThe Aspie Side of Life, and Inner Aspie.

For more information and how to share, go here.

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