Asperger’s Syndrome is a Gift

I am an Aspie.

I have a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) which simply means that my mind is ‘wired’ differently from the minds of non-ASD people – people for whom Aspies have a non-derogatory term of ‘neurotypicals’ or ‘NT’. Rather than rehash the whole thing, I will simply refer you to my previous piece on the subject, and it’s here.

My own personal take on it – I was only diagnosed in 2013 – is that I see it as a gift, not as a hindrance. The reduced capabilities in some areas of life are, to my mind, more than compensated for by the tremendous benefits it brings. I have never thought of my ‘condition’ as a ‘disorder’, an illness, or a defect of any kind; to me, this is my ‘normal’. I have even rejected offers from people wanting to pray for me to be ‘healed’ from it (from hopefully well-meaning) people who simply lacked knowledge*. No, the term ‘disorder’ is not a helpful one. In fact, in many ways, my mind is more ‘ordered’ than that of a NT.

And I used to jokingly say that I thought that Asperger’s is the next stage in human evolution, and of course I received severe teasing for that from Fiona and my family whenever I did something silly. ‘Oh. look what the next stage in human evolution has done this time!’

But then I found a YouTube video about Asperger’s featuring a gentleman whom I consider to be the leading world authority on Asperger’s Syndrome. And he too sees it as a gift, and at the end of the video his last line is “…is Asperger’s the next stage in human evolution?” Clearly, he’s been thinking ‘outside the box’ too! (Or, as Aspies would say, ‘What box?!’)

I also noticed several things in the video that really clicked with me. But I won’t spoil the fun…this video is about 26 minutes long, but if you either have Asperger’s Syndrome yourself, or you know someone who has it and you want to understand them a little better, then this will be 26 minutes well spent.

Here’s the video. Enjoy!


*Although one was a raving (literally) Fundie who was having a go at me!

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7 thoughts on “Asperger’s Syndrome is a Gift

  1. A friend in Brighton invited me to join ‘Progressing Church’ earlier in the month.
    I saw your link to your own blog.
    Whenever I see a new blog I look for some of the background of the author and quickly found your link to Autism and AS.

    I am 82 and have been using the internet since 1997. I had never heard of AS until 2008.
    A social worker in S Wales was questioning whether there was any connection between being an introvert and autism. He asked me to complete an online questionnaire. I’m not sure of the detail but I think the score for an NT would have been between 11 and 16 and I scored 35 when 29 indicated full blown AS.
    I started exploring on the web and quickly became VERY excited (and that’s unusual). It all made so much sense of why I react the way I do. When I talked to my son I found that my granddaughter had been diagnosed with AS a few weeks earlier.

    We gradually came to realise that my son also has AS and that my father almost certainly did. Sometime later my daughter’s daughter was also diagnosed.
    There is so much we could talk about.

    I’ve been looking at some of your blog posts. Our journeys have been SO different.
    You have ended up in an Anglican church – I walked away from an Anglican church in the early 1970’s – partly because of my rejection of what I had been taught about the trinity when I was 13 – and the inability of our Parish Priest (a theologian who subsequently became a Bishop) to give me any satisfactory explanation.
    It was when I read “The Shack” in 2007 when it was first published privately that I found myself thinking, “Why has it taken 57 years for someone to give me a picture of the trinity that just BEGINS to make sense.

    You walked away from a very different form of Christianity and picked up on something that I walked away from many years ago. Let’s just say for the moment that in 1995 I was forced to reconsider just about everything I had ever been taught – see
    https://outsidethegoldfishbowl.wordpress.com/an-outside-observer/

    I then hesitated whether to write to you but as I woke up this morning I remembered your story of the incident in Sainsbury’s. We haven’t all been on the same journey!

    As I’ve said towards the end of the introduction to my blog:
    It has become more and more obvious to me that the majority of the problems facing Christianity centre around the inability of Christians to agree amongst themselves on some of the foundations of their faith or beliefs (two words I would suggest with very different meanings). They can’t even agree on what they believe about Jesus.
    Maybe, instead of arguing about Christian theology and the place of Jesus, it might be helpful to step back and explore the Spiritual side of Life by considering “Some Thoughts about the Nature of God”. Could this be an appropriate starting point for discussion both locally and on the web?

    I’m scheduled to give a presentation of this to the local U3A group in November.

    All this is a bit blunt but I guess you will understand.

    1. It’s not blunt, it’s very well articulated 🙂 Thank you so much for the comments and the encouragement. Indeed, everyone’s journey is different and I think that one of the biggest steps one can take towards Christian maturity is to realise that and put it into action; in other words, accepting people just as they are, despite their ‘differences’.

      Did you ever have a diagnosis for your Asperger’s? I was 52 or so when I got mine, after my late wife suspecting it for years!

  2. Saw your link on Progressing Church yesterday.
    I spent over an hour this morning sharing some thoughts.
    Frustratingly that seems to have been lost!
    Trying to work out what happened.

    1. Hi Peter

      It’s because the first time that a given person writes a comment, it has to be approved by the admin (me!) Once that’s done, you can post as much as you like and it will be automatically approved 🙂

      Thanks again for your comments. I appreciate the time you have taken to articulate your ideas 🙂

      1. I didn’t get an official diagnosis – there was no reason to do so. The two grandchildren were both diagnosed.
        It’s been an interesting journey because I sensed that I could be of help to others and contacted the local AS support group and had a lengthy interview. They were particularly interested in my reaction to anger in others. They felt that my lack of reaction could be a problem.
        I had been attending a U3A class in Psychology for a couple of years run by a retired Child Psychologist. I had talked to him about AS early on. When the subject came up the following year when we were discussing whether AS is a disability, he felt that I didn’t have it.

        Since then I’ve become very interested in the Enneagram – and many of my characteristics fit with being Type 5 – An observer and/or investigator.

        Look forward to sharing more later.

        I’m familiar with the moderation of initial posts but in the past I’ve always had a message saying that the post was awaiting moderation – that just didn’t come up.

  3. Thank you for sharing that video! ❤️ The reason I started with drugs & alcohol at 14 is wanting to feel I was ‘somewhere else’ & now having *finally* been diagnosed with AS in middle-age, it makes sense why I felt as I did – Luckily I never had enough access to drugs to over-indulge, & alcohol I’ve kept in check as I only use it if I have to go somewhere there’s people – But how many are lost in addiction or suicide simply ‘cos no-one knows they have a Neurological difference?! Heart-breaking, & overwhelming, but thank God it’s changing, via the miraculous power of the www to transmit truth & knowledge, & Rat videos; things WILL be better for this generation & blogs like yours are part’ve that ? < wow, hope that emoji looks less scary when it's actually online :'D

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