Gretchen Leary (@GretchenLeary) To ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers: #AutismPositivity2012”

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

Hello,

Whoever and wherever you are in this world right now, I can honestly say that at times I have felt similarly to you in wishing I didn’t have Asperger’s Syndrome. But recently, I have gained a new perspective on my diagnosis.

I have received many diagnoses and have had multiple operations over my lifetime, e.g.- fibromyalgia, dysautonomia and 4-5 operations as well for other issues) but the one diagnosis that made the most impact in a positive light was my diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome.

Until my diagnosis at age 23, I didn’t understand why I was different and the diagnosis actually gave me a sense of freedom from my own guilt of not fitting society’s norm. It gave me hope that I could find strengths that I did have outside of the social aspects to help me relate to the world.

My case of Asperger’s is considered mild and I know that there are others with much more profound cases of Aspergers. The Autism Spectrum, after all, is a spectrum and I would never belittle the hardships we face on a daily basis and that some face on a much higher level of severity.

But for me, I have found that Asperger’s Syndrome has helped me with my writing. As ‘Aspies’, we think differently from most of the world, and although some may find that as a drawback, I see it as making me more unique.

That is not to say that there are not struggles involved because we do face obstacles that most others don’t with the sensory issues and social issues and the list goes on…but the sensory issues have actually helped me to make my poetry more vibrant, more rich with imagery than I believe I would have been able to had I not seen the world through Aspie eyes.

My hope is that anyone who feels alone with Asperger’s Syndrome can benefit from the strong network of support within the on-line Autism Community and I am ready to support and listen to anyone who needs to vent, talk, ask questions to help them cope.

Words cannot express my level of gratitude, for the empowerment and support I have found through talking to other people with Asperger’s/Autism and parents of children on the Spectrum as well. It makes me realize that although we are different from most of society- that is okay. In fact, some of the differences I have found in the people I have spoken to online with Asperger’s, I find really interesting in a good way.

We tend to have very passionate interests and I feel that I learn new things everyday from the Twitter Autism Community I would never have learned elsewhere.

I would like to end my blog post with one of my poems that is on another page in my blog. I feel it is appropriate and I hope you can understand why.

Listen

Embraced by a redefining memory
and a reviving sense of healing,
I am slowly rebuilding my inner voice
So that you may hear me-
Let me be.
Let me breathe.
Let me speak.
Just stand beside me and hold my hand
Let us lead instead of follow-
Let us teach the world to understand
What may seem different
Or may seem broken
Is simply a misperception of who I am.
Sincerely,
Gretchen Leary
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