Monday, June 18, 2007

Could I be an Aspie?

In light of Autism Pride Day, I'm finally thinking that I come out of the proverbial closet. Linda... Lin, my wife, my love! It's not what you think! I have been analyzing my behaviors and may be ready to admit that I have...AUTISTIC TENDENCIES!

You have been living with me for almost 20 years and I'm sure you have noticed my penchant for playing air guitar or drums. If you've noticed, I frequently do this WITHOUT the accompanying music. I expect that this is a form of stimming.

I make pretty good money at work. This is largely due to the near instinctive memory of obscure system setup facts in my companies computer processes. Stuff that other's eyes glaze over on I have made a career out of. This may be one of my obsessive needs for knowledge that characterizes some autistics. Luckily, it's financially beneficial.

You'll also note that I don't have friends and I don't get out much. Not that I have a complete fear of social situations, but I will avoid them if the opportunity presents itself.

As you are so fond of noting, I do have difficulty focusing during conversations. My mind tends to wander, especially if i have to maintain eye contact, and I can't always absorb what is being said.

Which brings me to eye contact, which, as you remember, was one of my flaws which i worked so hard to overcome. I can do it now, but it's not exactly a comfortable situation.

Now that I know the terminology through all the therapies of Liv and Grace, I also note that I "script" on movie and television lines. I quite often relate to the world with anecdotes from movies; lines from movies become responses to questions or situations. By the way, does the flat screen hold a special place for everyone else, like it does for me? Movies, TV, computers all play a critical role for me in dealing with the world.

Lastly, is my infamous inability to focus. Distractions abound in my world; a good commercial; an annoying sound; and extra conversation in earshot will immediately send me mind away from that which I intend to focus on.

And of course there's Star Trek...

Now I only say these things half tongue-in-cheek. I wonder if these are all indeed DSM-IV criteria for ASD; sorry, I'm not about to look at THAT document and apply it to myself. But it makes you wonder if I'm normal (clearly, I am not, but then again, who is?). It also make you wonder how many more of 'me' are out there, with varying degrees of the symptoms I have,;living perfectly abnormal lives with their perfectly abnormal kids.

BTW, in the living room last night, that wasn't a stim, it was "How Many More Times" off Led Zeppelin I that lead me to the air guitar and drum burst!


Pamela said...

We have all the movies and the season box sets of Voyager and Deep Space Nine. Husband plays guitar, a lot. We too must be on the spectrum. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and we need Star Trek, all of us.

Anne said...

You could be a Bappie or a Mappie. Yes, indeed.


Broad Range Autism Phenotype... or
Constant Reevaluation Autism Phenotype...

I have MOST of TNG on tape...many of TOS, never got to far with Voyager or DS9, too many kids at that point...