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!