Asperger Syndrome: 50 important facts about having “mild” autism


On April 2nd this year, World Autism Awareness Day, I decided to offer a little insight to some of my Facebook friends. Their responses were actually what inspired me to start Autistic Not Weird in the first place (and its Facebook page, which opens in a new window).

I hope this helps people who are curious.

 

If you are on the spectrum, may I ask how many of these apply to you? How many do not suit you at all? I’d be curious to know how much us guys truly have in common!

(By the way- every single time this article is shared on a large Facebook page I am forced to read a backlash from people who choose to be offended by the word “mild” in the title. It’s used ironically, hence the inverted commas. I don’t like the word either.)

 

So, here we go! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I genuinely loved writing it.

Fifty Important Facts About Having Asperger Syndrome/”Mild” Autism:

1) The rest of you are weird. We are completely normal.

2) You definitely know a few autistic people. Maybe you don’t know it, but you do. Maybe they don’t know it either. We’re 1% of the general population, which is higher than it sounds.

3) Autistic people aren’t always similar to one another, for exactly the same reason that non-autistic people aren’t either.

4) 81% of us aren’t in full-time employment. Personally I’ve spent less than two years of my life being one of the 19%.

5) If you have it ‘mildly’, you’re at the awkward midpoint of being ‘normal enough’ for everyone to expect the same from you as everyone else, but ‘autistic enough’ to not always reach those expectations.

6) The above means that a LOT of things are Your Fault. They’re not actually your fault, but they are definitely Your Fault.

7) If you don’t notice that a girl is interested in you, it’s Your Fault. Not theirs for not bothering to actually tell you.

8) If someone drops an extremely subtle hint and it goes over your head, it’s Your Fault. Not theirs for not bothering to actually tell you.

9) If you ask people whether they want the last potato and everyone says ‘no, that’s fine’, it’s Your Fault if you take it. You should have read them correctly and interpreted their ‘no’ as a ‘yes’. Because that’s what normal people do, apparently.

10) We find it difficult to read people, and that’s Our Fault. Meanwhile other people find us difficult to read, and that’s Our Fault too.

11) 70% of people on the autism spectrum have something else as well (ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, for example). Special needs and neurodiversity are often a bit of a Venn diagram.

12) Some people with autism are the nicest, most kind-hearted people you’ll ever meet. Other autistic people are dicks. You know, because we’re people.

13) Telling others about your autism is difficult. Sometimes because they don’t know what autism is (or have clichéd ideas), sometimes because they don’t know you very well so they’ll see you as a walking syndrome, and sometimes because you’re just bloody nervous about talking about it.

14) My specific diagnosis is ‘Asperger’s Syndrome’ rather than ‘mild autism’. But it’s difficult telling people you have Asperger’s because it ends with the word ‘syndrome’. People are wary of syndromes. I don’t like using the phrase ‘social learning disorder’ either, because it ends with the word ‘disorder’.

15) So if you’re not going to tell people about your autism, the only way not to be seen as awkward or having poor interpersonal skills is to pretend to be like everyone else. And when you fail because that’s not how your brain works, it’s Your Fault.

beyourself

16) Hints don’t work. Just bloody tell us. (Seriously, on my first ever date the girl wanted me to pay for her lunch, so instead of just asking me honestly she hinted that she didn’t have enough money for food and for the bus. I just smiled and said “don’t worry, cheesy chips are only £1.75!” She did not appreciate it, even though it was a valid response to what she had said.)

17) If I do things at my own pace and use my own methods, I invariably succeed. If I go at the pace others tell to go or use someone else’s methods, I can crash and burn rather horribly. Guess whose fault it is when I do?

18) Our spoken grammar is not always up to scratch. I slur my words, and say them in the wrong order when I’m nervous. My last job interview (at a library) failed at the very first sentence when I started with “I think I’m fit for this writer because I’m an aspiring… oh, wait, let me start again.”

19) Eye contact is overrated. People say I act unnatural when I talk to them, but to me it’s unnatural to stare right into someone’s eyeballs just because everyone else is doing it.

20) If we’re taking a long time to phrase something correctly, then bloody let us finish. Sometimes it takes us a while.

Important note: This article frequently gets stolen by copy-paste websites, who try tricking you into thinking they wrote it. This was written by Chris Bonnello from Autistic Not Weird, and if you’re reading this anywhere other than autisticnotweird.com, you’ve been tricked by an article thief who hasn’t even bothered to read enough of it to see this message! Please follow this link to the original. http://autisticnotweird.com/asperger-syndrome-50-facts-about-having-mild-autism/

21) Some of us (myself included) have a very slightly slower processing speed: it might take us an extra second to realise you’re joking, for example.

22) I always take an extra second or two to start talking, for the above reason. In groups of four or more people I’ve been known to ‘not talk’ for a full fifteen minutes despite always being a split-second away from breathing in to speak before someone else beats me to it. It’s like being interrupted non-stop for fifteen minutes, except people don’t know you want to speak so you’re not allowed to be annoyed with them.

23) The ‘taking things literally’ thing is real. Obviously I know it’s not really raining cats and dogs, but if you say something that’s not an idiom I’ll assume that you mean it.

24) We’re great in bed.

25) Just kidding. We have a sense of humour too, you know!

26) Yes, we can be geeks. We excel at it, and enjoy every minute.

27) It’s very easy for autistic people to misread someone’s signals, sometimes resulting in hilarious consequences.

28) Then again, it’s very, VERY easy to accidentally trespass into someone’s comfort zone. I’ve lost a number of valued friends this way, as a teenager and as an adult. It’s a problem we want to cure ourselves of, but just can’t. (For the record, since writing this I’ve written an article about the difficulties of comfort zones. Like all links on this site, it opens in a new window.)

29) I’m not convinced that people with autism are naturally more susceptible to anxiety issues (some are, definitely, but so are some non-autistic people). I think the demands of a weird society push anxiety onto them. I had a very happy childhood, and didn’t suffer from anxiety until people started telling me I was socially inferior. (I’ve written an article about dealing with anxiety too, in case it helps some of you.)

30) Getting two bouts of therapy was NOT My Fault. It was other people’s for making me anxious about not meeting their social expectations, and not being bothered to meet me halfway.

31) Not all of us have the memory thing, but when we have it, boy do we have it. When I was in Year 2 (7 years old) I decided to brainstorm all the dinosaur species I knew from memory. I stopped when I reached 91. (I have a bunch of other examples that will either impress you or freak you out, but I’ve known autistic people- some with real learning difficulties- who can tell you what the day was on April 17th 1962.)

Note- since I originally wrote this I learned the trick for myself. It was a Tuesday, if anyone cares.

32) If you think I’m ignoring you in the occasional conversation, please don’t take it personally. I can only focus for lengths of time on things I find genuinely interesting. (And even now I’m not being rude- I may truly care about you as a person, but not always about the subject at hand. Everyone has to endure conversations they’re not interested in- I’m just the guy who can’t fake interest as convincingly as everyone else. This makes me rude, rather than the people who pull it off and successfully trick you.)

33) It’s easy to trick us as kids. As a child I had no concept of other people lying to me just because they thought it would be funny.

34) I mentioned earlier that autistic people are very different to each other. So please don’t assume after reading this that everyone with mild autism is a geek, or a maths wizard, or can play great chess. Those are my own strengths, and others have strengths that I do not.

35) Those who are further along the spectrum than me can often act up and some can even be aggressive. This is not because they’re nasty- it’s a standard response when the world makes you really anxious and you haven’t yet developed the social skills or coping strategies to deal with it. Counting to ten only works with those who never get so anxious that they can’t count to ten.

36) Asperger’s is sometimes called ‘Wrong Planet Syndrome’, because it often feels like that’s where you were born- on the wrong planet, among a bunch of aliens who don’t function like you do. So when I say that we’re normal and you guys are weird, that really is how it feels!

(See picture credits for a link to this awesome set of cartoons illustrating Asperger's.)

(See picture credits for a link to this awesome set of cartoons illustrating Asperger’s.)

37) Being born on a different planet can feel pretty isolating and lonely. Especially if none of the aliens understand your culture, or even think it’s something to be discouraged, feared or cured.

38) There is no cure, by the way. There may be treatment to help us overcome obstacles, but there’s no cure for autism for the same reason there’s no cure for having a brain at all.

39) Most of us don’t want a cure. Yeah, it’d be nice to have better social skills, but we’d rather not sacrifice the greater part of who we are in order to get them.

40) ← Forty is one of my favourite numbers. It’s in the 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 20 and 40 times tables, which means you can use it for a load of different useful things. I think 60 and 120 are more useful though, and I have a soft spot for 72. And 24, since it’s nearly as useful as 72 but easier to work with.

41) We work better when things are specific. Sounds obvious, but the less margin of error there is the easier things are to do.

You'd be amazed how much searching I did for this one specific cartoon that came to mind. It's only a year younger than me.

You’d be amazed how much searching I did for this one specific cartoon that came to mind. It’s only a year younger than me.

42) Like everybody else, autistic people shine when given the chance to play to their strengths. When the world dares to meet us halfway, we do brilliantly.

43) Personally I’m like a very fast car with very slow acceleration. I’m capable of some great things, but it often takes me a while to get there.

44) Asperger’s did not stop me from getting a maths degree, followed by a teaching degree. [And, since writing this article two years ago, a creative writing degree too!]

45) Asperger’s did not stop me from becoming a primary school teacher. After I left teaching, it didn’t stop me from switching careers to autism advocacy, through speaking engagements or through Patreon support.

46) Asperger’s did not stop me from captaining my local Boys’ Brigade group for five years and counting, and being one of the youngest captains in the country (I was 25 when I took over).

47) Hopefully, one day I’ll be saying ‘Asperger’s did not stop me from publishing a book’. And it certainly didn’t stop me from starting Autistic Not Weird (both the site and its Facebook page). In fact, it’s partially responsible for it.

(Edit- I WAS RIGHT! Over 1,300 copies sold and counting! Asperger’s did NOT stop me from publishing a book- it actually helped me to do it.)

48) People with autism, even in the most severe cases, know how to love and be loved in return. They express it differently, but they mean it.

love

49) Autistic people don’t need awareness. Everyone has already heard of autism. We need acceptance now.

50) In general, autistic people are bloody awesome.

(PS- fifty is an overrated number. Yes, it’s half of 100, whoopty-do. But how do you structure a World Cup with fifty teams?)

I hope this has done a little to inform any non-autistic people reading this. And if you want to join our Facebook community, please feel free to.

Oh, and rather incredibly…

I wrote this back in April 2015, back when I got anxious and failed interviews for a living. These days, writing for Autistic Not Weird is actually my job. This fairytale twist is entirely due to those who support me via Patreon in exchange for perks and rewards. As a thank you to these amazing people, they get exclusive content – including extensions to my more popular articles.

Therefore, facts 51 to 75 can be found here. They are available to anyone who supports me at any of the “bonus content” levels. If you would like to help me continue my work as an autism advocate, please take a look at the Patreon page and if there are any rewards you might like!

 

Take care,

Chris Bonnello / Captain Quirk

 

Chris Bonnello is an autism speaker, available to lead talks and training sessions from the perspective of an autistic former teacher. For further information please click here (opens in new window).

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Picture credits (where known):

http://bigspud.co.uk/yet-more-roast-potatoes/

http://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=112787 (This whole thread is ingenious- I thoroughly recommend reading the whole thing.)

http://garfield.dale.ro/garfield-1986-december-13.html

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196 Comments

  1. Yes, I recognise a lot of this. Let me rephrase a few of them – “neurotypical” people are, as far as I can see, compulsive liars, and proud of it. In what way is this a good thing, or our fault?

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    • Although I think “compulsive liars” is a bit strong, it does interest me how NOT telling the truth has become not only acceptable in so many eyes, but actually the expectation.
      I think most neurotypical people would describe it as “being polite” rather than “lying”. And I don’t blame them too much, as long as they understand that not all of us can read between the lines. And as long as they understand that if we don’t read through the lines, it’s not something we deserve being blamed for.

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      • “Being polite”.

        Interestingly polite and politics stem from the same origin and explains why so many politicians lie.

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      • Actually I agree, compulsive liar is about right. Even the best of them randomly spout off some lie. I have had to talk with my fiancee about it because I am not OK with it. he shouldn’t lie to me. Lying is not part of manners but nt’s often try to make it be. To us, that is compulsive lying while we are more along the lines of honest and you know… really not down with all that shit. I leave it be when it is with other people but to me, his ass better stay honest. My feelings are hurt more by a lie than an unpleasant truth.

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      • This helped me understand why people sometimes don’t say exactly what they mean:

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3-son3EJTrU
        (RSA ANIMATE: Language as a window into human nature)

        I personally find it more compelling to say things the way I mean them, and I do care a lot about finding the right exact words to describe something as accurately as possible.
        This effort is not always recognised because I fail to understand when I’m not supposed to find a precise way to describe what I’m thinking or feeling to someone else.

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      • I can tell, quite often now, when people lie. But I just cannot understand why they do? Baffles me. Every time I lie, and I might sometimes, it is like the film: ‘the invention of lying’. It is such a novel, strange quite odd thing. Why am I doing it? I can, but why? Why do others? I don’t want to.

        What about the Aspergic stare? I stare. The people who have Aspergers that I work with, stare.

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    • 2,3,5,8,12,13,16,17,18,20,21,22,23,(didn’t understand 30), 31, 33, 40,41,47,48

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      • By 30 I think she means:
        Other people made her anxious about not reaching their social expectations. This anxiety led to her taking a therpy, because she wanted to fit in society more. But she didnt need the therapy she was allright. It was just the other people that made her do it, by making her feel insecure and wrong about her behavior in society.
        Please correct me if Im wrong and I apologize for any wrong english because my native language is german.

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  2. I like the idea of meeting halfway. It’s a good idea, for all people.

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  3. Great post!
    My son is autistic. It’s becoming more apparent that I may also be mildly autistic (certainly provides the answers to a lot of my problems) and you’re right.. In general, autistic people ARE bloody awesome! 🙂

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    • Hi. My son is autistic, and once he was diagnosed and I learned more about it, we’ve now found that I am autistic, his father was (deceased) and my mother is as well.

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  4. This was very interesting, and some of your points hit the spot for me. I always thought I was weird because I am very very shy. But just maybe I am a little bit autistic. Because I do feel as if I was born on the wrong planet.

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    • Not everyone is loud and boisterous in conversation, but it does make you look confident. That’s probably why so many people think of “shy” as a negative word. But experience tells me that the quiet one in the class is often the one with the best ideas- not the loud person who just *thinks* they have the best ideas. 🙂

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  5. Grrreat post. thinking is fun. I drink a lot of coffee but sleep just fine, actually better than without it, and sometimes i wish i was at the genius end of the spectrum. when you say we finish things at our own pace, it made me realise perhaps this is why i haven’t been finishing anything i ever start as a writer unless is shorter than a paragraph.

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    • Speaking as a writer, one of the biggest pitfalls for aspiring writers is simply not finishing what they start. How me manage it depends on what methods we like: I like to have the whole story planned out, and then just write until it’s done. If I have a plan from the start, I don’t get lost. (Often the plan changes as I write it, but it’s always there and I don’t run out of track.)
      Hope this helps. 🙂

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    • Well that was a paragraph and you finished what you wrote. I always finish what I start like when my niece plays a game with me I say you can’t stop in the middle of it you have to finish it.

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  6. Very interesting article; thank you.

    I have never been officially diagnosed with autism (when I was young it was unheard of), however I recognise most of these items, though not all. No problems usually with grammar, but no 22 I especially feel for. Until I was about 22 or so I was the shyest person I have ever known. However, I have found that by forcing myself I have gradually more or less overcome the shyness aspect, to the extent that (many years ago now) I got into politics and was party leader on the local council and Parliamentary candidate twice, so don’t give up hope of overcoming at least some aspects of the condition. Never any good at job interviews, but did remain employed for as long as I wanted, followed by about 18 years running my own consultancy business. I didn’t take a maths degree (although the school expected me to) because at school I found it too easy to be interesting, so I took physics instead.

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    • Can I ask you: how did you reconcile going into politics (I assume to make the world a better place) with all the political games you have to play to get there? I am myself very engaged in my school, trying to use student council to help future students, and lots of people have already told me that since I have different views and sometimes a more logical way of putting things, I should try to do it on a bigger scale in the future. But my sense of right or wrong just doesn’t help with the fact that you kinda need to sell your soul if you want to push your ideas (I live in Belgium, perhaps you have heard of how difficult it is here to get a majority coalition after elections). I feel as if political partys an never do the things they promised because they always have to go in a coalition with partys with opposing views. (Or maybe this isn’t a problem where you are from)

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  7. Thank you for writing this post! I can relate to all 50, just with my own things (e.g. I like the number 35). Seriously, I can relate to the it’s all “Your Fault” thing. It’s great to feel not so alone.

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    • Glad this resonated with you. 😀 It’s great when we realise we’re not alone.

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  8. This was interesting to read through, my fraternal twin has autism and much of this list seems to apply to her. I definitely get the eye contact thing as I’m so used to breaking eye contact that I’m having to re-train myself into keeping it with other people. She also falls into the category of having other difficulties, with dyslexia and dyscalculia (mixing up numbers and left and right, having problems with math etc.). Something that is different though is that I didn’t see anything about a reaction to change on here. With my sister change is extremely stressful, she has routines she likes to keep to, and if you want her to do something different it’s better to have asked her the day before to limit irritation. She reacts worse though if someone changes their appearance, a friend of mine came to stay for 2 weeks but had cut her hair without telling us, so when my sister saw her it took her a few days to be comfortable with her again. It seems that the more she knows someone the worse the reaction, I have to be careful to remove any make-up after any theatre productions so it’s not distressing when I come home. The other difference is that she is hyper-sensitive to things, like smells, loud noises, or physical sensations like touch or pain: if I tap her on the shoulder to get her attention when she’s wearing headphones she actually says it hurts, and my dog’s barking physically hurts her ears, being around noisy children is also really grating for her (so no Youth leadership for her).

    Well I think I’ve said enough, sorry that paragraph got much lengthier than initially intended. I will just add that I tell my sister she just min-maxed her powers so she could get an art boost and the other extra special talents that she has (that I wished I had, but I guess at least one of us has to be mundane and act as ambassador for this planet, *sigh*). She also fits under the category of really nice person. Okay, shutting up now. Thanks for posting this it was nicely presented.

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    • Hey, thanks for the long reply! It made an interesting read.

      And wow, you’re right! I didn’t mention the change thing at all!
      I literally didn’t notice until now. The reason I missed it out is because it doesn’t really apply to me- I think primary teaching pretty much forced me to have a flexible attitude to things, otherwise it’s impossible to cope with.
      I’m fine with loud noises as long as it’s me controlling them. If not, I do find them annoying- I like vacuum cleaner noises about as much as a neurotic dog!

      Thanks for pointing these out. It’s nice to know that, like I said in point #3, autistic people really are different to each other. 🙂 saves us from becoming as boring as everyone else! 😉

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    • Reading about what you say about changes, I notice that different people on the spectrum seems to have different levels tolerance to changes in different areas.

      Myself, not formally diagnosed but suspected to be on the spectrum, can celebrate certain changes but there are other things that are forbidden to change. It also goes with how well I am informed ahead of time of the changes.

      So, I think it will be meaningful to convey to the non-autistic of this difference. Some may react more to changes in timing, others in appearance, like your sister, and then there are those who react with changes in location and so on.

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      • I think that’s a good way of putting it. 🙂 And I can empathise- during my time in teaching I had to change lessons halfway through and deal with totally unexpected circumstances and I was fine with it.
        Ask me to change my own well-established working methods though, and I’m a little less fine with it 😉

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  9. You do yourself down with the mild autism title different not less dificult! 🙂 I love this post though. Certainly fits my son’s view of the world.

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    • Give your son a high five from me. 🙂 Great to see the things we have in common!

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  10. As someone mentioned, you didn’t say anything about change! hahaha… I also struggle with change (as do my father and two of my brothers, all of whom we suspect are on the spectrum…)
    Once when I went to pick up one of my siblings from school (she was in kindergarten so she got out before the rest) I saw my brother crying at the entrance of a small hallway that led to new bathrooms. I went to where he was and asked what the problem was, thinking that maybe someone had been bullying him (if you just saw him you would realize he is nothing but typical bully bait, haha) and he told me: I really need to pee! And I said oh, but what’s the problem and he ran to the bathroom. He was brave enough to go because he thought it was worth not getting wet, but he was terrified of the new bathroom. He said that what if he got into the girl’s room instead? What if there was no toilet paper? What if it was different toilet paper? What if the bathroom was dirty? Or wet? And thousands of others… He was in the third grade and that year was the first year he actually went to school (he used to homeschool) and the anxiety was so much that he started losing hair and he had two big bald patches on his head…
    I’m like that too…
    You also didn’t mention stimming which we all do ALL THE TIME. (No one in my family is diagnosed yet as there is no one who is capacitated for it where we live).
    I too had to adapt to change being the eldest of eight siblings… We moved five times in my life (twice to different countries all together) but even though I was “forced” to change by life it doesn’t change the fact (sorry for the repetitive use of the word change…) it’s still EXTREMELY stressfull…
    Sorry for the length and for my english, Im from Argentina (a country with not a very great record with England, though I still like you, I hope you get to like me 😛 )
    I really liked your post… Im also an aspiring writer with two books half finished and I would looove to read yours… 😀

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    • Haha yep- the “change” bit is missing because it’s also missing from me! 😉 As a teacher, you either learn to be ok with change or you don’t last long. 🙂 And as for the stimming…. I’m doing a really good job of hiding it!

      Well for an Argentinian your English is perfect. 🙂 I met an Argentinian family at a chess tournament once, and one of the boys said that he went to a school where they taught in English! Is that common over there?

      Great that you’re an aspiring writer too. 🙂 In English or Spanish? (Feel free to send me an email address and I can give you a few more chapters of Dead Boy Running. 🙂 )

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      • I write in both English AND Spanish… And in Buenos Aires they have schools that teach in English… Bilingual schools are common, but in Salta (where I live) they teach ethnic anguages… I lived for six years in the US when I was little, so that´s why English comes easy for me… 😀

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        • I have to admit, I had to google where Salta is. XD
          And wow, every time I look closely at Argentina it really strikes me how HUGE it is!

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          • It´s very big! (And VERY underpopulated… Did you know that more than half of all argentinians live in Buenos Aires? the rest of them are all around the rest of the country… which, as you say, is HUGE!)

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  11. As an adult, how do I go about finding out if I am on the spectrum? Online testing shows me up as having high “points” and I identify with all 50 as well as the change and noise aspects.. I also have other quirks like hearing, tasting and feeling colours-something I didn’t realise others couldn’t do for many years. I have social anxiety disorder as well as stress anxiety disorder-which is fun. At the moment I spend my days at home as I am too anxious to get out into the real world and get back into employment 🙁 I cannot stand lies…. most likely because I fall for them all the time-I don’t understand how someone can want to? The alien thing I can relate to big time….. I spent most of my childhood sat in the corner of the playground sad or scared to death. I recall having a conversation with my brother age roughly ten…. telling him I felt like I was adopted. Of course this was seen as I was attention seeking and ungrateful. I was always the awkward child that my parents could not find a hobby for… I was overly shy and didn’t enjoy anything sporty. Even now I am seen as hard faced, blunt or cold as I tell it as I see it and I don’t like physical contact…I am definitely not a hugger! it does not feel comfortable to me and I even have to “fake” it with my kids.

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    • Well- whether or not you have autism (I’m not in a position to give you a yes or no), you certainly have plenty of the traits. So maybe a lot of the advice on this blog could also help you. I wouldn’t trust online tests though- I took one and it told me I was just as autistic as the severely disabled students I was working with at the time!

      You don’t have to answer this of course, but I’m wondering if you’ve already looked for therapy. Whether or not you have autism/Asperger’s, anxiety is not pleasant to deal with at all (I know this from experience), so I’d wholly recommend looking for some if you’re not already.
      It may also be a way towards seeking a diagnosis, if you want one. Whether or not you get the diagnosis, it may be the way to providing you with answers.

      If you want to discuss anything in further detail, you’re more than welcome to leave a comment or send me a private message. 🙂

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    • SU, you may want to check out “synesthesia” in regards to your senses. It is different from autism. Of course, you could have both.

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    • When you said “as well as stress anxiety disorder-which is fun” I went through my usual, ‘what did I miss? why is it fun? it does not sound fun. Try re-reading — no, there is not a fun thing there, maybe the writer meant another word…’ — It isn’t fun! Please.

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  12. all apply to me-7046156282,need pals in Nc area…

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  13. About 80% of that applies to me. Number two makes me especially happy. My ex thought he didn’t know any autistic people before me and got really frustrated with my differences, but when I talked to his friends about myself when they noticed my differences I found out that the two he hung out withtue most where actually on the spectrum their differences were just different from mine.

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    • It’s great when other people start to understand us better. 🙂 Even if we are really different to one another!
      Thanks for the comment. 🙂

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  14. Most, if not all of you list of fifty points resonate. In particular the first point. I’m 51 this year and was diagnosed 6 years ago. I’d never even heard of AS until during a long period of depression therapy (which didn’t help at all with my depression as it turned out to be anxiety related stress) I happened to see a daytime program that was following a student with AS. Up until that point I just thought of myself as the ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ of the book of the same title. My first real experience of ‘syndromitis’ was going to my GP and telling her that the depression therapy wasn’t working at all and I wanted to be assessed for AS. Her words still haunt me. “There are three others on my books asking the same thing. I have no idea what Asperger’s Syndome is. I don’t know who to send you to so I’m not going to do anything about it”. Her words exactly. Twenty minutes of searching on the Internet and a ten minute conversation later, I had an appointment for an assessment with one of the specialist psychologists at Cambridge University.

    Getting diagnosed has been both the best and worst thing that’s happened to me and brings me back to point number one. Up until the diagnosis that was very much my attitude. I’m not mad. It’s the rest of the world that’s out of sync. But I didn’t know why the world was out of sync and it used to annoy the hell out of me. I could live with it though. I watched and listened and learned how to imitate other people. I could compensate for everyone elses weirdness to such an extent that I could, for the most part, fit in. I was still regarded to some extent as the bloke in the corner that did or said the occasional strange thing but generally, I was able to make myself noe of the gang. The diagnosis completely swapped that around. Suddenly it wasn’t the rest of the world that was out of sync with me. Suddenly I was the one with the synchronisation issues. It completely changed my attitude. I started wearing AS like a badge. I started not caring how I integrated with others and started demanding others make special consideration for me with little or no thought of the implications. After around 4 years of what has been essentially self destruction I’ve finally realised that that change of perspective – again we come to this concept of change and how badly Autism sufferers cope with it – was the wrong way to accept my diagnosis. I’m slowly coming back to the idea of me being normal and the rest of the world being weird. I know I can compensate relitively well for all those other weirdos and it’s something I need to do because I’ve learned the hard way, again, that it’s impossible for all those weirdos to drag themselves up to my level.

    The diagnosis of my AS was a revelation. It literally explained why my entire life has been the way it has been. It’s also been devastating to that life and my perception of the world. It’s the change in self awareness and the sense of self revelation that has been the most problematic but I’m turning that back round to the way it should be and finally getting something like back on top of things. But as others have said. Change is probably the most acidic thing one can do to an autistic regardless of where they are on the spectrum.

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    • Wow, I can’t believe the doctor told you that! Well done on getting your diagnosis your own way, and I’m glad it’s helped in the ways that it has. 🙂
      Your words about it being the best/worst thing that happened to you are words worth reading by any “newly autistic” person. 😉 I’ve come to realise that it we spend our lives wanting the world to have the decency to meet us halfway, that involves us going the other half!
      I’m glad you’re taking those positive steps, and that you KNOW you’re taking them. I hope you find that right balance in the end!

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    • I have a great deal of empathy here. When I first started to learn about AS, after years of misdiagnosis and comorbidity (that only partially explained things), I came to psychiatrists in a great deal of vulnerability asking to explore the possibility. Some dismissed it, one literally (and I do not misuse this word) laughed in my face at the prospect. My conversation skills were too normal, I had a wide variety of interests ( never mind that they were aggregate of dominant special interests from various times in my life ), I had lots of friends ( but only a few at any given time, and I have lived in many places and just kept up with people, and they were all quirky folks who were accepting of my quirkiness), I had done lots of “adventurous” stuff like travel the world, etc.

      In fact, if not for British literature, female writers, and an observant and persistent girlfriend, I might never have figured it out at all. The USA is about seven years behind the UK in its understanding of the spectrum, although it is catching up. It is funny how after reading just a couple of the right books, I was able to build myself such a convincing case that in 1.5 sessions my psychiatrist went from being skeptical to saying that there was nothing else in the world it could possibly be.

      My biggest problem now is anger and trauma. While learning about this relieved quite a bit of guilt and self loathing I had been carrying about for decades, it added the burden of attempting to address behaviors that hurt other people in my lives. People can accept “innocent” social mistakes, but now I know what I’m doing and sometimes can’t help myself. I WASN’T a dick when I was younger, but I feel like I have been pushed to that point. People have double standards, my personal morality is different than that of the society around me, and some of the gifts I had when I was younger ( enthusiasm, great memory, drive to succeed ) have disappeared from decades of heavy medication, depression, and understanding certain things about human nature I had been oblivious to before. As I grow older, like all people my skills are fading, but at a younger age. I got a PhD and was a teacher, but there is a war on intellectualism in the US, and on the humanities in particular. The skills I do have don’t translate to a living wage job, and I struggle to hang onto the minimum wage one that I have. Social support here is so much worse at the bottom than it is in Europe. Had I known some things when I was younger, I might have been able to take a different path, but finding the energy to both work on myself and live any semblance of an adult life seems impossible.

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  15. I love this list! From the perspective of a parent of a child who has High Function Autism, I believe that you described these wonderfully. I very often find myself describing the way my son perceives things (based on his observations). It is amazing to me that so many people do not understand what Autism is.

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    • Thanks for the comment! 😀 I hope this list helps at least some other people to understand me and your lad. 🙂

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      • Hi Captain Quirk,
        Wow! My son is 18 in 2nd yr. doing a BEd,.. prac was disastrous…he couldn’t “read” the main mentor, couldn’t stand the loud bells, was up half the night doing lesson plans…(he doesn’t like to read but wants to be an English/music teacher since he loves grammar)
        I can’t see him capable of a full time job…Your site is my first introduction to aspergers…I have been in denial big time about syndromes…I have home schooled him and given him a very happy childhood, helping him be a high achiever in music in particular but it is hard to imagine how he would cope in the “real world”…ie, cooking and housekeeping as well as working, secondary teaching seems to be over-reaching….he wants to keep at it but I am worried that there is an even worse crash and burn up ahead…

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  16. Thank you for this! I don’t have an AS diagnosis, only one of Dyspraxia but a lot of this resonates with me a lot. My fiance is Autistic and Dyspraxic and I am the only one to really understand him the most, probably because I share his difficulties and worldview to a huge extent that was weird at first for us both. I think Dyspraxia doesn’t tick everything for me, so I think there is an overlap for me. The diagnosis was only a year ago and it messed with my head and still does. Having Anxiety and Social Anxiety on top of that. I struggle with some things listed in other comments too, I.e. Sensitive to light, sound, smell, taste and texture and difficulty with changes. I agree with one of your points, people with Autism are awesome and the kindest people ?

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    • Hey 🙂

      Thanks a lot for the comment. I’m glad you and your fiancée have such a natural empathy for each other!
      It is also interesting exactly how much overlap there is between dyspraxia and autism. I wouldn’t have guessed it personally had I not been told about it!

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  17. 1,2,3,4,,11,16,31,32,34,39,41
    I’m a hihg function hyperlexic autistic. Especially the comment about going at your own speed. I seem to have only one speed, eihter I do things very fast and very detailed or I don’t do them at all.

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    • High five. 🙂 Precisely the same here!

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  18. Shout out from a fellow aspie! Just wanted to let you know I love this list, I will be using it to give as a reference to NTs I know. I saw it when it was shared on a FB group for British women with aspergers 🙂

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    • Thanks a lot! 😀 Which page? I’m amazed at the sheer variety of places this article’s ending up in!

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  19. Hello. I’m writing from the U.S. I came across your blog on FB and have read several entries. Thank you for writing these and for your fun-loving and positive outlook.
    Although I cannot relate on a personal level, I am a mom to a beautiful, loving and extremely “social” little boy who was diagnosed with Asperger’s a little over a year ago. I have spent the last year trying to learn what that meant and what I could do to help him navigate through this crazy world. He is so young, I fear the unknown. I want so badly to protect his beautiful spirit from being crushed by other’s ignorance or rudeness but am afraid I am failing him, everyday. He loves to be with other kids but doesn’t quite know how to act or what to say. Is it wrong to model the correct social greeting or later correct it (in a loving way) or am I making him feel more alienated?
    I’ve also been given the advice of…don’t label him. I have taken that advice to a certain extent. I have told the school and his teachers so there would be support and no misunderstandings if he corrected them or if he needed a sensory break. Otherwise, like you, there is no scarlet letter across his forehead. Sometimes I am grateful and other times (I’m just being honest) I think at least if it was obvious, there would be more patience and understanding of his quirky little traits. My fear is that people are so ignorant as to what Aspergers means, that they automatically judge. I can see parents not asking him over for a play date, for fear they can’t handle an “outburst” they foresee. With this “hidden diagnosis” comes the fact that we don’t talk to him about it though either. Please keep in mind, he just turned six last month. I’m curious as to your opinion and advice on the “labeling” topic. It eats at me all the time.
    I also want to make a note to thank you for explaining the conversation delay. I’ve noticed my son getting really angry at me on several occasions and saying “mom, I’m trying to tell you something” as I’m walking away or begin to talk. I couldn’t understand where the anger was coming from since I didn’t even know he wanted to speak. You opened my eyes to what could be frustrating him. I appreciate that and will try harder to give more silent pauses so that he may express himself more.
    Thanks again,
    If you wish to respond, I’m not sure I’ll get it so you can reply yo my email: sedgwickmichelle@ yahoo.com

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  20. my son is autistic and all these apply to him thanks for raising awareness x

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    • No problem, thanks for reading! 🙂

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  21. This is a great list! Thanks for a fun blog! I can relate to pretty much everything on this list. When I was a kid in the 70’s this was unknown and I just had “issues” and was “different.” I got special ed for my dyslexia and dysgraphia and was allowed to do school in some non traditional ways that were better for me (because I had parents who, while they didn’t really understand what was going on, clearly saw that I wasn’t quite like the others – it was pretty hard on THEM too). The thing that continues to get me is lying. I can’t and won’t do it and I am absolutely shocked when other people do. I mean, I know that people lie but I suppose I still don’t really believe it until it happens again… The thing that helped me the most, and this is going to sound shocking, was joining the Army. At first, in basic training and airborne school, it was hard because you have to quickly form responses and say them out loud and often even perfectly done this results in ridicule, but i quickly learned how to do that without stuttering or mixing up words. The routine and the fact that everything has a regulation to reference was very helpful to me. I memorized several of the most used regs and could cite paragraph and verse when needed. When I was posted overseas I could tell you the phone number for any office of the US Army in Europe from memory, which while weird, was very useful. Now, retired from Service, most people would not know that I have any sort of autism spectrum anything because I know how to appear outgoing and I can manage most situations so that I am not radically uncomfortable. I say these things because I see so many parents of young children diagnosed with aspergers or some autism spectrum thing fretting that their kids will never be able to cope. They probably will, but they need a supportive base and they do need some understanding from their parents, teachers, etc, as they grow and learn because it isn’t going to always be smooth sailing. Help them find their strengths and build on those (same as any kid, but with an extra dose of love when they can’t leave the house because all of their T-shirts are too scratchy).

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    • That reply is one of the best things I’ve read all day. 🙂

      I found teaching was a similar experience for me. It took me a while, but I got there and I learned a LOT about reading people along the way. Nowadays, often my Asperger’s simply seems like a personality trait rather than a social difficulty.
      Overall, I think autistic people have the same potential to learn from good old life experience as everyone else. As long as they (and often their parents too) don’t let the diagnosis itself get in the way of their self-esteem and willingness to venture out of their comfort zone.

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    • I had to comment this before I finished reading this: Here is something I had to point out, when I changed to “reading mode” on the web browser with this Kindle Fire (3rd generation) I noticed that it made it easier to select a line of text (I only did so to select, and see what “dyspraxia” was), just thought to tell you because I thought you’d like to know.

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      • Thanks very much for pointing it out. 🙂

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  22. 40?!?! No way, man. Even your own list has 50 items. 27 is the best number, and that’s that. Your other 49 items on list list are spot-on. Nice work. 49 out of 50 ain’t bad!

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    • This list had 50 items because
      1) I couldn’t narrow it down.
      2) I may not like 50, but the rest of the world does and I have to *try* meeting it halfway. 😉 So what do you love about 27?

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      • I can’t help but feel that you made a pun.
        ” I may not like 50, but the rest of the world does and I have to *try* meeting it halfway.”
        Most people work on 50 because it is half of 100. “meeting it halfway.”
        Pun intended?

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        • Afraid not. 😉 I think 100 is overrated too!

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    • Aaaaaahhhhhh ah ah ah another 3^3 lover! [smile]

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  23. A lot of these resonates with my 11yr old aspie. Although she has a lot of trouble with change. She was so upset that Zellers had closed and when we had to scrap the van after an accident, she hugged it. She also has the sensitivities to sounds, touch smells etc. And she has additional issues. I see from learning about autism that I too may be on the spectrum. Answers a lot of questions. Oh, don’t forget the stimming. Thanks for writing this and sharing.

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    • No problem. 🙂 Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps you and your daughter. (There’s a little on here directed at teenagers/youngsters growing up on the spectrum too, if you think that may help her.)

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  24. I recognise 99% of this in my son, we are yet to hav a diagnosis tho, wish I had help?!

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    • Hope you get what you need. What kind of help would you be after? Knowing which way to look for a diagnosis, deciding whether to get one at all, or waiting for a doctor to give suitable answers?

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      • We are waiting on doctor, they are saying it’s because of the emotional problem from my divorce but that was yrs ago, and whilst my x husband veminently denies anything is wrong with our son it doesn’t help?

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        • Really sorry to hear that. Stressful times may exacerbate symptoms, but it doesn’t cause them. I hope your son gets the right diagnosis regardless of whatever else has happened. 🙂

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  25. I enjoyed science but ended up geared toward writing and art. The article came off as a bit aggressive somehow. I think its the use of Your Fault/ Our Fault. But I enjoyed it. A lot was accurate, some not as much for my case, but as you said we are all different because we are all different humans. The alien one was my favorite. I’ve been saying it my whole life and it was really nice to see it listed here. 🙂

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    • It’s funny, I never had the “aggressive” feedback until today, and suddenly a couple of people have said it! Certainly wasn’t meant that way- the Your Fault/Our Fault part was more like twenty-nine years of pent-up social inadequacy spilling itself out over a keyboard. 😉
      And yes, I do love the Wrong Planet analogy. Whoever came up with it is a genius.

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  26. My son is 15 and he has Asperger’s. I see a lot of the things on this list in him. One thing I am very grateful for is the he does have a great sense of humor and gets sarcasm, which is good because we are all smarty pants in this house. Math has to be his weakest subject and he has a very hard time putting thoughts into words especially when writing papers. There are times I can see he wants to speak and I will ask what is wrong and tell him to come find me when he is ready, because the words just aren’t there. He hates going outside of his comfort zone and hates change. One of the reasons I decided to home school him in 6th grade. He does like to go do things, but not with a lot of people.

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    • There is a huge stereotype that Asperger’s and maths go hand in hand. I’m one of the examples where it does, but the stereotype probably hurts some people. I can totally empathise with really, really trying to put words together but just not being able to- it can really hurt your self-esteem. It did for me, until I discovered that there are other ways I can express myself far better.
      On the positive side, it’s great that your son likes doing things (and to be honest, I don’t always like having people around me either. I do like socialising, but I almost always go on holiday alone). I hope that as he grows up he feels more confident in taking little steps out of his comfort zone.

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  27. I’ve got two autistic sons and between them they fit most of this list plus some. It’s quite possible i fit most of the list also but i feel I’ve learned to “fit in”. Awesome way to put it to the ill-informed or unaware.

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    • Thanks. 🙂 I can empathise: learning how to fit in sucked, but I can’t deny it was useful! 😉

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  28. Thank you – I love reading success stories! We all need hope – and I like to think my sons passions will lead him into a fulfilling adult life. My 6 year old son started main stream school this year and his teacher – the school community in general – have been fantastic about his “Aspie” differences. I can see that many of the points in your article already relate to my son. Australia seems to have come a long way in recent times in accepting kids with different needs. Understanding his sensory needs has made our family life a lot more calm. Examples include using earplugs in church when the music is too loud, using a weights blanket when his body is overstimulated, and accepting that his clothes need to be soft and stretchy. Wishing you every success with your book – and your aim of increasing understanding about the “Aspies” in our communities.

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    • Thanks for the comment! I’m really glad things are turning out well for your son and that the wider community understands. I think that’s pretty much what we’re all aiming for- that the **wider community** will understand autistic kids as well as just those really close to them. 🙂 Good on Australia!

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  29. I have 5 grandchildren and love them all with all my heart, but my 13 yr old granddaughter has Aspergers and I love spending time with her, she is my best friend whom I adore because she is sooo absolutely honest, direct yes!! But so very honest, we laugh together and she is amazingly intelligent and incredibly interesting to speak with, I adore her and feel the world be be such a better place with more young people just like my gorgeous Laney Brauer xox

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    • haha, we do tend to have a habit of being direct, honest and interesting. 😀

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    • Yes, Jennifer. My granddaughter with Autism just graduated from high school. We are very close. I find her very easy to be with and very funny. She has a great sense of humor. She is high functioning, but not with exceptional academic skills. She has talents for singing and for art.. It has been a long challenging journey with lots of therapy: behavioral, speech, eating, reading, horse riding, and a social group of teens that does community work, has parties, cooks breakfast as a team, works with rescue animals, all with a mom of a son with autism. Her parents say that she talks to me more than to anyone else, but it’s because she has three very talkative siblings and probably can’t get a word in edgewise! 🙂

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  30. Captain Quirk.. (Love the name) This is awesome…..an overused word, but the most applicable here. I have put this post on my face book page.
    I mentioned my granddaughter in my reply to Jennifer above. She has been a blessing in so many ways. Her gifts that brought her to where she is are her amazing parents and her gift for perseverance. (the flip side of that may be a dislike for change 🙂 )

    I was a consultant on the MBTI or Myers/Briggs Type Indicator. There really isn’t one “normal” for people, but obviously some differences definitely make people stand out and since group things are aimed at an imagined normal created by people for others most like them, that’s a major problem in schools, churches, large organizations.

    I was fascinated and delighted with the woman who found a safe haven in the Military. I once worked for the Army, so I could understand why she acclimated fairly easily.

    You might find at least a quick study of the MBTI would be interesting and helpful about showing how the differences in what is arbitrarily called the “normal” range can be very problematic for many people even without Autism.

    My husband and I are extreme opposites in every area of personality that this indicates. We have managed to stay married for 56 years…..not without rough times or work…but we still consider our marriage to be a witness to the possibility for world peace…though no time soon. 🙂

    Old age (I’m coming up on my 78th birthday) is freeing me to say the truth,
    most times with some slight tact or as humor, but sometimes just to get others to admit they are thinking the same truthful, though tactless thing.

    Maybe this is why grandparents relate better to grandchildren with Autism than many others do.

    Thank you so much for what you are doing to increase understanding for both those with Autism and those without.

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    • I wish my aspie daughter`s grandmother (on the father’s side) was half the grandma you are. Blessed be!

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    • Thanks a lot for the comment! 🙂 I’m so glad your granddaughter’s such a blessing to you and your family. 😀

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  31. Awsome piece of. Work. If. People. Dont. Understand. After. Reading. This, they. Never will. But thats. Their. Problem.

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  32. My son has Aspergers and read this. He said “you hit the nail on the head and sent it straight through the board”. He’s getting used to the idea of having Aspergers and this helps him. Thank you for writing.

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  33. This was posted on my birthday!
    I think you nailed it, describes me pretty well.
    Number 7 however, Is that sarcastic? My dad always points it out to me when it happens but I never feel like it’s my fault.
    If you remove months, I was born 99/99.

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    • Hey 🙂
      I’m not sure whether “sarcastic” is the right word for it. It shouldn’t be Your Fault, but that’s often the perception from other people. I think you’re fortunate to have a dad who can point out things like that without you feeling like you’re to blame. 🙂 Plenty of people with autism really suffer with that kind of responsibility/blame being put on them.
      Thanks for the comments, and I hope your birthday was a good one that day. 😉

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  34. Thank you so much for inspiring me to do my ‘Depression’ post : )

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  35. I was diagnosed with Aspergers when I was 18, just over two years ago, and reading this post is genuinely the first time that I have felt as though I’m not totally alone. I cannot even say how nice it feels to read this and find that other people relate to these things and understand them. It just feels great and I wish that everyone could see this and understand aspects of Aspergers better.

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    • Wow, what a great comment! (May even share on the Facebook page if that’s alright!)
      Glad you enjoyed the post and all the best with your journey- it’s absolutely true, we’re not nearly as alone as we sometimes feel. 🙂

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  36. I wish I had a tract with this printed on it, so I can hand it out to everyone me and my fellow Aspie son meet.

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    • lol, if it’s too long you could just hand out business cards with the web address. 😀 All the best to you and your son. 🙂

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  37. CaptainQuirk, I am so grateful to you for writing this post. I shared it today on my FB page and other pages with the following message. Thanks, and thanks again and again!! x
    “I couldn’t wait to sit down to write and share this post because I’m hoping it might enlighten quite a few people and I hope some of you will take the time to read it through..! So, I am feeling so grateful to have had one of these bonding moments with Jessica (my daughter, 13y) last night, one that parents remember for the rest of their lives. You know the ones, right? It’s been a year and a half since her Asperger’s diagnosis and it’s been an interesting journey, to say the least. A couple of days ago, I mentioned to Jessica that I had come across a really good article about Asperger’s that I would love her to read and have her opinion on it (she didn’t beg to read it straight away, funnily enough, not…..). It took some time to find the right window of opportunity but when she came in the study last night and sat on my lap while I was busy on the computer (busy with FB, I admit…), I thought, right, let’s give it a try. You have to appreciate that to get Jessica excited about anything that doesn’t involve animals (horses and dogs in particular) or real estate (i know, right, but it is true!!!), is a tour de force, but on top of that to keep her interested for over an hour was unheard of!!! 50 important facts about having mild autism. Written by an Aspie. 50 short bullet points, written with wit and humour. Her face lightened up with the first one right up to the last one (except number 24 and 25, which she still hasn’t got, in spite of my best effort…). I so wish I could have videotaped it. We talked about every single point, I couldn’t stop her talking and she couldn’t believe what she was reading. She could relate with 80% of the lot!!! It prompted her to tell me stories that happened at school to illustrate this point or that point.We were laughing for well over an hour. It was pure joy. I didn’t want it to stop!! This article is pure gold. She felt validated and wants to use it to explain what Asperger’s is because she never knows what to say when people ask her about it. I think I will give a copy to her teachers as soon as I can delete number 24….(LOL). Happy reading, I promise you will thoroughly enjoy it and it won’t take much time…. I would welcome any feedback too…. xxx”

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    • Wow, what a compliment! 😀

      I’m so glad you had that moment with Jessica- your words leave no doubt about how special it was. 😀 Thanks so much for letting me in on it!

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  38. I’m 13 and was diagnosed with asperger’s about 6 years ago. I never realized it, but most of these apply to me (especially #1). I am positive that I have that sound issue, but I don’t know if I have other sensory issues (touch, see, etc) because I don’t have anything to compare to. And like you mentioned, it’s my fault. After trying to explain it to my friends (finally) I ended up googling it and found this. So you wrote an inspirational (and very helpful), blog? Article? I don’t really know or care but it was helpful and I thank you for it. Also, I’m not overly focused on a lot of things (like you said, we are all different). I have gone from origami (age 6-7), magic (7-11) just stopped in between until about a year ago and started speedsolving (The ability to solve a Rubik’s Cube with relative speed, age 12-present [13]) Honestly I have no idea where I was going with this so I think I’ll just cut it off here. 🙂

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    • Hi, thanks for the comment. 🙂 Glad you liked the article!
      And wow- you can solve a Rubik’s Cube? Never mind at speed- you can solve one at all? That’s quite incredible! 😀

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  39. You have written all about my sons life & explained it in a way that the weird people can understand. The next time some says that’s a shame I shall show them your 50 important facts & ask them to read it. I understand, I’ve had 19 wonderful years of learning. I wouldn’t want my son any other way. Thank you so much for putting it all into words, because I struggled & could not. God Bless x

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    • Really glad you found it useful. 😀 Thanks for the comment- all the best to you and your son!

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  40. Thank you for this. I have only recently been diagnosed (in my 30’s) and it’s been hard to put some of these things across to people.

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    • No problem- thanks for the comment! 🙂

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  41. This is very well written. Very true that just because people have heard of Aspergers doesn’t mean they have a true understanding of it & I don’t expect them to. I don’t have Aspergers although I’ve lived it for 30 years with my courageous son. Although he can’t tell you the days of the week or the seasons of the year and other things that are taken for granted by the ‘norm’, he drives the school bus, has a girlfriend, a sports car, and builds & sells computers.

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    • Thanks for the comment. 🙂 Very interesting to read about your son! Quite a living example that not everyone learns things in the “expected” order, and that certain ‘academic’ difficulties are not always a barrier to brilliance. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

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  42. I have so much in common with this yet have never officially been diagnosed with autism/asperger syndrome. My mum has always know that I think differently to other people and have had people who are around children with autism regularly ( one of those people’s son has autism) that also believe I have autism/asperger. I also have ADHD.

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  43. I’ve experienced 1-3, but I’ve been employed full time since a few months after graduating college per 4. 5-17… 18, sometimes, but not bad enough I’d consider it a problem. Definitely 19 and 20, but not so much 21. It takes me a minute to recognize joking, but otherwise I process normal things very fast. 22 yes, 23, I’ve been yelled at by friends/family for not recognizing sarcasm. Not 24 :p 25-34. I’m definitely on the mild side, so little acting up for 35. 36, oh yes. I say stuff like that a lot. I differentiate myself from humans, by calling them humans and not myself. 37-42, yeah. Definitely 50. One of my best friends says that most of her friends seem to be on the scale or closely associate with those that are.

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  44. Thank you so much for this. Been diagnosed for a while and while I’m doing pretty well professionally, personally and socially I can get exhausted from keeping up the mask. Finally had an ‘aspie burnout’ due to ignoring my limits both generally (overall health) and specifically (aspie overstressed by overstimulation) and my mom (who lives with me, my place) who is usually very supportive of me (especially when I am successful), has started to get mad at me without giving the reasons why. This is slightly detrimental since I was planning on using this time to ‘recharge’ and it lead to a lot of sleepless nights of wondering what I did. It really felt like intentional torture (strongly worded) on her part. After reading this I decided that it’s probably My Fault but that without further explanation as to what I did, it’s not worth beating myself up over. Maybe it’s time to – at least temporarily – snip the ’emotions’ cord so to speak :). After telling her that, until she starts communicating in a straightforward manner, I can’t invest in what she says or feels emotionally, I feel like such a weight has been lifted! Thanks for the reassurance that as long as your heart is in the right place and you do your best, it’s ok to be you aspergers and all, whether other people around you feel the same or not! You have no idea what a positive difference your kind perspective makes!

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    • Oh and I do have an example: I felt unwell before the Christmas party this year and told her 3 times I felt it was best I stayed home (haven’t been able to eat well lately since my stomach gets upset). She told me it was rude not to go, so I went and tried to eat and got sick, which is pretty embarrassing so I didn’t speak a lot but still tried to act happy and friendly. She got mad but wouldn’t say why at first. The next day she told me it was because “I cooked for 2 days and you didn’t even eat any of it and you embarrassed me by your behavior [not speaking much] and by getting sick”. Yeah, total logic… Sorry for the rant, but it feels good to be allowed to vent.

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  45. I’m sorry, but I really don’t understand what you mean by #6 hahahaha
    Are you saying “Your Fault” would just be that one doesn’t naturally know certain social ques like mentioned in #7 about not noticing a girl taking interest in you?
    Or are you saying It really is one’s Fault “Your Fault” for not knowing she was interested? It’s too confusing! Is it the person’s (w/ ASD) actual fault for not recognizing the interest, or is it the girl’s for not outright saying it?
    I’m not diagnosed with an ASD, but I relate to a lot of these things, and suspect Aspergers/ a Mild form of Autism.
    The one about Idioms made me freak a bit because I thought even Autistics understood those well hahaha.

    After having “A bird worth two in the hand, is worth two in the bush” explained many times over my life it still just doesn’t automatically make sense.

    Sorry for the long comment. #6 and on that have the phrase “Your Fault” just seems like you’re saying it’s the person with ASD who IS guilty for not recognizing a situation, and not the other party without ASD guilty.

    Person with ASD = Guilty, NT = Not Guilty

    Hope that made sense haha.

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    • Ah yes, there was a certain level of irony in the “Your Fault” thing. 😉 I capitalised it to make it sound more tongue-in-cheek! What I meant was that even though moments like that are not literally my fault (clear communication needs both people to communicate clearly), it’s *seen* as being my fault! 😉

      And yeah, someone explained the “bird in the hand” idiom to me a while ago. I’ve completely forgotten what it means or when one uses it!

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  46. I love the inserted comment about re-posted articles and identifying if this is the original post, haha! Crafty, I love it 🙂 I’ve self-diagnosed myself as a bit Aspie and reading this list pretty much confirms it for me. Wouldn’t change it for the world though, because it means my cabinets are super organized….

    Janelle
    http://www.upliftingaba.com

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  47. 51. It also means that it’s “Your Fault” when you recognise your stepmother slamming the cardoor (without watchting of course) and that she gets annoyed because she doesn’t believe you.

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  48. I’ve seen a lot of people on here thinking “Im a little shy in public, I might be autistic”.I don’t think you should be labelling yourself, as for me being labelled was bad and I feel as if people would treat me as if I am stupid if they knew. I know people probably wouldn’t but being an 18 year old male I think it would stop me from meeting girls (My ideology is, why would a girl want to go out with someone that has a “Mental disability”). For me, I’ve always been annoyed with the way people have treated me, liking me up until they get bored of my personality and then they treat me like shit, but then they come back because they’re in the mood for you again. Being diagnosed with mild aspergers means that it’s let me know that “So, it’s not just me being difficult on purpose” and it has let me realise that it isn’t my fault

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  49. Hi, I realize this article is a bit old, but hopefully you’ll see my comment nonetheless. I am a female with Aspergers synd, and I have experienced most of what you’ve listed here. I strongly empathize with your sentiments. Some of those circumstances you mentioned aggravate or trigger my co-occurring disorders, yet a few of your remarks summoned a laugh from me. Thank you for writing this article and generally this blog.

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    • Yep, I’ve seen it. 🙂 Great to see how much us guys have in common! Thanks a lot for the comment (and sorry for the triggers the article contained!).

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  50. GARBAGE CRAP to title this “50 facts about aspies”.. Maybe 50 facts about YOU, NOT ASPIES

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    • I relate to most of it. I would say most of the children I have taught over time and who were Aspie would relate to it.

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  51. I love these. Love to read how it not only occurs to me that “normies” tend to lie to themselves. Not really how you stated it, but that is how I see it. They lie to themselves by making themselves think they’re polite when they act interested when they’re really not. If I would spend 10 minutes passionately talking about something and the other person is not genuinely interested, just say so. I could’ve spend those 10 minutes better but now I wasted it because that other person just couldn’t be honest. Not being able to lie is a trait often found in people on the spectrum. I have lost a lot of friends by being honest. But you know what? I like my honesty. And the people who appreciate it, those I’d like to call my friends. Since I started looking at “being polite” like this, I feel much better about who I am now. Some find me rude when I’m being honest. Fine, at least I’m not lying. Because lying is much more rude to me. I don’t get normies. They have tons of rules in social situations that they often break themselves. Don’t interrupt, yet I feel I’m being interrupted 90% of the time I interact with people. Don’t lie, unless you have to be polite. Don’t stare at people, but do make eye contact. Be honest, but screw you if you’re being rude by doing so (seriously, I often wonder what normies understand about true integrity). And indeed, what’s up with the last potato? What will happen to it? Will they throw it away because it’s the polite thing to do? And another thing, sometimes they force you to take the last piece even if you don’t want it. But you have to because otherwise you’re not being polite. And in which way do they choose who gets the last one or who doesn’t? Or if the last piece is even going to end up in a stomach? I… I don’t get it and probably never will. I can sum up so much more. But, for now, I’m going to search about the wonders of space and will spend hours doing so. Because that big, aggressive Universe above us makes more sense that the people currently making too much noise underneath my window outside.

    (Also, I use normies in an ironic way as I too often find myself more normal than these other people on this planet. I find their logic flawed, specially in social situations. Isn’t that ironic.)

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  52. I apply to, if not all (because I’m not even sure if I read all the 50 properly. D:), most of these and additionally to also some other things you stated in the comments. (like these people are honest, direct and so on.^^) I’m not diagnosed with anything and I am a young-middle aged teen. I, very personally, am not bothered by these horrifically, but I guess that’s (one of) the reason I can’t keep any good bond going, eh? 😛 Anyways, great post! It help me figure out many things. ^^

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  53. This is a great list!
    I doubt that anybody educated on autism awareness would disagree with this list, but as a fellow aspie I have to shed some light on a few things: Aspies (and most other people on the spectrum) CAN have amazing social skills. Your attitude when it comes to many social issues seems to be ‘It’s just how I am’. Although it’s a great scapegoat and may be true initially, a defeatist outlook on social issues like that limits your potential. Personally, I actually prefer to be responsible for my social blunders as it helps me grow.

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    • Thanks for the message. 🙂 I absolutely agree, the moment your Asperger’s becomes a substitute for taking responsibility for your actions, that’s when you open yourself up to accusations of “using it as an excuse”- and like you said, you limit your own potential to learn.
      Looking back, I wonder if fair chunk of this article came from some frustrations I was feeling at the time (I was pretty early in my Aspie journey, and my self-perception wasn’t half as healthy as it is now). Thanks for the comment. 🙂

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    • I have only been diagnosed for about a year: I am a 51 year old, former Additional Supports Need teacher, with a child with ADHD/ASD (also I have ADHD).
      I thought everyone was like me, and thought like me, and knew what I knew/did not know (how brilliantly at 50 did I fail the Sally-Anne test even though I already knew about it and its mechanism!!!).
      Then I discovered they did not think like me nor share my perceptions, knowledge, and spent a decade or two trying to get it right, to meld, to mix, to fit in….with increasing lack of success (as the toll of parenting a an undx’d ASN child, not driving, working took its toll), till I lost the ability to cope at work, increasingly (even supply teaching) and my child struggled more (10 years of broken/no sleep). And yes the lack of diagnosis of my child was “my fault” for being depressed/mental health problems/weird…now turns out we are genetically ADHD/ASD…so it is my fault, still, that my son is ADHD/ASD.

      And I cannot do interviews – 12 years, now, of messing up teacher interviews because I answer the question I think I hear often with an eccentric perserative answer…resources…coloured pencils/capacity…maths (not something sociological).
      Isolation of being a special needs mum (whose child is hit and miss at times in remaining in school) in a small rural town (we moved for better services)… my social skills such as they ever were are out the window (i am lucky if I see another adult for an proper social interaction once a week cf functional interaction). Friends have commented on the decline in my social skills, and professionals and friends as to how, now, I would not cope in employment of any kind (I do not have the soft skills).
      My processing has slowed down and my brain feels broken most days even with melthylphenidate – God help us before I have taken it. I have not the skills or speed to work out what I need to say or do: at fifty one I was raised (boarding school/grandparents) in a post-war, last days of the Raj, gloves/hats and cucumber sandwiches environment…the rules I learned, and the vast data set from which I extrapolated a formula to operate in x or y situation is outmoded and not fit for purpose.
      I have neither the energy, time, inclination nor the f….cks to try to adhere to the previous formula, to tweak them, to formulate a new series of rules (nor the data set from which to fomulate).

      When you keep getting it wrong, despite the best efforts, you just stop caring. It is a game in which I am handicapped and for which I do not have the skills to play suitably well, nor quickly.

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  54. Just followed your (not) hidden message from an apparently stolen article in healthfeeds.org. Is that correct that you did not give permission for them to use it?

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    • Yep, you’d be correct! Thanks for letting me know- I’m taking steps to having it removed.

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  55. I’m autistic (and found this as stolen copy, great job on that note) and you asked for feedback. I think the only one that I wouldn’t have written myself is #18. Really feeling #32

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  56. I can not thank you enough for writing this. It helps keep me in tune with my teenage son but also made me feel right at home myself although I do not have Aspergers. I know I sound crazy but the familiarity of every description brought tears of joy and also made me laugh. I am sickened by how ignorant “neurotypical/normal or society’s” view of how we should be and how they judge (even though I am labeled NT). Seriously, there IS NO “normal”!!! None of us are. Again, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!!

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    • Hi Jan, thanks for the message (and sorry for the slow response)! 😀 I’m really glad it helped you- all the best to you and your son.
      Chris

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    • Ha, it didn’t either of the times I tried either. Now I’m going the “DMCA notice” way. 😉

      Ironically though, a big bunch of people came to Autistic Not Weird because of their theft. Or more specifically, because of the sneaky note I left in the middle. 😀

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  57. Reading this was totally awesome!! So funny 🙂 my son has Aspergers and can be very aggressive, but it’s nice to read things on how he must see things, and the picture of “let that sink in” was fantastic! 🙂

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  58. This was a fantasic read, thank you for making it available to the world.
    My partner has high functioning autism and adhd
    (I do not- I am known as a ‘neuro typical’, which sounds pretty boring to me, as in life I am all for the weird and different!)
    I just sent this to him, in hopes he will feel inspired by your words and truth.
    We don’t call it a disorder or a problem or a condition, we like to refer to it as a difference of thought.
    A great difference I am so grateful for and always trying to understand better.
    Thanks again! 🙂

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    • Hi, sorry for the delayed response!

      “We don’t call it a disorder or a problem or a condition, we like to refer to it as a difference of thought.” Perfect way of phrasing it. 🙂
      I hope it helps your partner. Thanks again!

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  59. Ah yes, that “mild” thing. The way I look at it is that non-autistic people experience my autism as “mild”. For me it’s an absolute state of being.

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    • Very true. There’s a phrase I like:
      “Having ‘mild autism’ doesn’t mean I experience autism mildly. It means YOU experience my autism mildly.”

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  60. I’m not sure if it has informed me as a non-autistic, but this article and a couple of others regarding subjective descriptions of “higher-functioning” spectrum positions over the last few months have started me really thinking I might be in the spectrum myself. But a) I’m 40 and wouldn’t even know where to start finding out and b) the more I read the more I think *everyone* has at least a couple of traits that lie low down on the spectrum.

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  61. Great list there. One thing I would add regarding the “memory thing” (#31) – people seem to think that because I can remember an obscure bit of information, that means I should be able to remember basically everything that anyone ever told me. They seem to think I’m basically memorizing these facts like I was studying for a test. Also, I’ve noticed that aspies tend to get accused of showing off or trying to impress people when they state facts like this, and while I can’t speak for everyone else, I know that in my case it’s just a matter of being fascinated by this information and enjoying talking about it. I have to imagine I’m not the only one that deals with these reactions.

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  62. Yes! I can relate to almost all of this! Except for the math and chess stuff!

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  63. You are very funny. I really care deeply about a guy with this condition. He is truly the sweetest person I’ve ever met. I hope he knows how highly I regard him, but I never told him. ?

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  64. Today, and on, I have given myself permission to enjoy… myself. I don’t feel so thoroughly fucked up and isolated. For the first time in my life, I feel hope that some one might understand me; for I understood myself, but never had the ability to put myself into words for communication. I’ve known me, I know myself better every day, but now I can identify myself to others. Thank you, desperately, for aiding my achievement.

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  65. Are you being Sarcastic or are you really trying to say it Really is ALL OUR FAULT as people with Asperger’s or Mild Autism or whatever for all of the things that we struggle with because of a mental disorder that no human being can possibly be born with?

    I am asking because I feel like as a person with Autism, it can’t be ALL our fault when it has been confirmed that the main cause of Autism is Vaccines. Also when you look at what is in these vaccines you will find that mercury, lead and other metals, and contaminants are found in these lethal injections that are dangerous for your brain. Also, You’re being stabbed with a sharp object, and seriously, who in their infinite wisdom decided stabbing yourself with a sharp object is going to keep you healthy when the Lord gave us the immune system to fight off of diseases?

    Another reason why it can’t be ALL our fault because who in their right mind would wake up some morning and decide to give themselves a disorder that messes up crucial parts of their brain that make for all of the KEY functions that all Living Creatures are required to do which is COMMUNICATION? I can’t believe that people portray autism in such a way that it seems like we wisely chose to do this to ourselves.

    Another thing is that there are cures for everything it is just that if the general public gets their hands on the cures, Big Pharma goes out of Business.

    I don’t believe this because of what rumor has, I know this because it makes no sense at all that a Sovereign God just would wire a persons brain in such a way that makes it so that you cannot read social cues, or understand Basic communication, or make you lack empathy or whatever rude stereotype this stupid weird society may have for us on the spectrum. Another reason why I say this is because Yes there is a cure for Autism, It is just that our selfish, pig government won’t tell us the cure so that they can keep our children in special ed programs, and so that these so called “Autism Speaks” and whatnot can just continually profit off of that.

    That said, I really want people to think about these things

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    • When Chris capitalizes Your Fault, it means he is being sarcastic. When it’s all in lower case, he isn’t.

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  66. Number 28 doesn’t say, but the “comfort zone” thing really works the other way as well. Neurotypical people are really good at invading our comfort zones.

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  67. I love this article. Especially #1- it’s so true!

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  68. Thank you.

    My daughter is 5 years old. It’s been 6 months since she was diagnosed. Call her mild, high functioning, aspergers, borderline- whatever, she doesn’t fit any stereotypes or groups.

    She’s unique, both by her challenges and her gifts.

    So are my other 2 daughters, who do not have a diagnosis for the things that challenge them.

    You help me focus on raising her to HER full potential, just as I do my other girls.

    And in our home, weird is the compliment. Normal is the disability.

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  69. I has a phase of thinking that things were my fault, before realising the cause. No body offered any other reasons. Still sorting myself out.

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  70. Since my Boyfriend is midly autistic, i decided to read this to get some basic knowlage. Is there any hints i should know as well?

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  71. To be honest though most “may” not feel the same if autism was like a mole that could be cut out, i would, with pleasure. i dont find myself “differently abled” to be a benefit just an aggravating hinderence that will last a lifetime im tired to be honest of the “we are just different” yada yada MOST of this world is based around one type of human being, neurotypical and that is the standard baseline of this society. Just thought id get my two cents in not all of us are on this “enpowerment” trip where we say up is down and black is white, bad is good etc..

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  72. My younger brother will get legitimately mad at me for not “getting it” when he’s dropping hints that he thinks are “obvious”. Just freaking TELL me what you’re trying to say!

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  73. I think I have undiagnosed autism. I believe it would explain all of the embarrassing social situations I get myself into. What’s more, I take idioms literally if I don’t already know what they mean. There are some facial expressions I can’t interpret, and I can’t tell if someone’s being sarcastic unless the tone is VERY obvious. If I can’t pursue my interests, I get upset. I’ve taken those online AQ tests, and my score is about 40 or 45. My parents don’t believe that I fit anywhere on the spectrum, mild or otherwise. I received a diagnosis of “anxiety” (how vague, they didn’t specify the TYPE of anxiety) at the age of four. However, as for my auditory and tactile sensitivity, I don’t think “anxiety” can explain it. When I was in grade school, I lied about having ten sisters, but only because I wanted it to be true. After doing a Google search about Aspergers and lying, I found out that some aspies lie, but only because they want the thing they’re lying about to be true.
    http://www.myaspergerschild.com/2012/02/lying-or-wishful-thinking-which-one-is.html?m=1
    (Here’s the link to my source.)
    So, sorry about going on for so long, that is another problem I have. There’s one other person with Aspergers at my school (he’s male, I’m female) who’s kind of the “stereotype” for Aspergers/HFA, and my parents don’t think I’m autistic because I’m nothing like him. However, no two people have it the same, apparently. So, anybody wish to share their opinion as to whether or not I have ASD? And be honest!

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  74. Female Adult – non diagnosed – definitely tick a lot of the boxes, have done a lot of online tests and have been told my a male doctor females do not get aspergers. (little sister is diagnosed lol)

    I hate change- completely floors me- people making arrangements and changing them knocks me for 6.
    I work for myself now and do quite well- I had a high profile earning job – got 2nd best in the country award and quit 6 weeks later after realising the people exhausted me, I was sick of playing the games where I could not tell if people were telling the truth – a definite thing is the naivety and inability to tell if people are joking.

    As a female adult I don’t have meltdowns the what seems like the most common way. I flap. I go silent- I go umn umn umn in my head. A lot of people see kids have meltdowns- just mentioning it in case someone is unsure because their “meltdown” does not fit in the common category.

    Sometimes it seems like we talk about ourselves a lot but it is us trying to show we empathise. Gosh this one has caused me some trouble in my life. I have been called uncaring and been told I don’t care- sometimes I care so much I need to leave a room.
    I hung out with the guys because I just could not get a handle on female friends- not interested in make up or clothes and lots of clothes drive me nuts- another biggie- sensory and comfort issues.

    I sell toys and books for a living – I do know the names of about 10 000 characters and lots of authors (:
    That is a cool aspie thing (: my smilies have always been backwards too.
    What I do, I do it well- I would rather do it right than half ass it- another thing us aspies are great at.
    We look at situations differently- this gives us a great advantage of problem solving and seeing options that others missed.

    I basically wrote this comment in case anyone is looking for some more symptoms, someone to relate to and to give a pros list too- we have great powers (:

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    • I posted about my son below, but stumbled on your post and see a lot of similarities. I’m 47 and have taught art for over 20 years (tried to do the corporate job thing and lasted six months, crying myself to sleep every night). I’m now really done with teaching and trying to please every child and their parents (although the students love my class, it’s emotionally and physically exhausting for me). I keep having frequent meltdowns but only at home. I have always had silent meltdowns…daily. I am viewed as an excellent teacher and want to stop now that I am not feeling it anymore, so to speak. You are right…we don’t want to half-ass anything. My husband and I are moving into a 400 square foot cabin in the country and I’m just going to make art. I’m not handling all the over stimulation the way I used to. I need quiet and to be on my own schedule. It really helps reading yours and others posts.

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  75. My daughter is suspected of being autistic. She “copes” well, despite her anxiety and sensory processing disorder. But after researching this for the last 3 years, (my daughter is 7 now), I see so much of these traits in me. And while I say that I’ve learned so much more about myself because of this, the truth is that I’ve actual learned more about other people and the differences between us. It explains why at 35, I’m so tired of trying to fit in. I can’t do it anymore, nor do I even want to.

    Thanks for the great article.

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  76. That was quiet a lot of things about asperger’s. I loved it, when you mentioned.. People with aspergers/mild autism know how to love and be loved by everyone. Yes, they mean it, but they just act differently.

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  77. My son is 21 and for several years I have felt that he likely has Aspergers. It would take too many paragraphs to explain his high school years I have tried to approach this subject with him but he becomes very belligerent. I thought he wouldn’t make it through his freshman year due to anxiety, panic attacks, wanting to drop out, and very poor eating and sleeping habits. I don’t know how, but he managed to get through. He is better now and making good grades. I have grown weary of sending him articles to try to get him to understand. He did read one article about college students with Aspergers abdcsaid it sounded just like him but after that he refused to pursue it. He has a double major of history and pre-Med and is making good grades. He has a beautiful girlfriend in nursing school. She has been through so much trying to make the relationship work (she is suspicious of Asperger’s syndrome too) but he has matured and things are going much better for them and they seem happy. Should I keep trying to push the issue or just let him be now? I have many traits too but maybe because I’m a female I adapted more quickly. I struggle as an adult but have managed to simplify and structure my life to handle it. I don’t think he will ever admit it unless he has a child with the same problems. Is it bad for me to just drop the subject now that he’s an adult?

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    • Hi- just seen this comment! It’s a difficult one (as of course you know): you want your son to know the truth but you also don’t want to be seen as badgering him about something he doesn’t want to hear.
      In my opinion, based solely on the info in your comment, I wouldn’t feel guilty for leaving the subject. You’ve informed him about his Asperger’s, and what he does with the information is up to him. In the meantime, as long as he knows you’re there for support if he decides to take it in the future, that’s fine. 🙂

      If you want I could share this question to Autistic Not Weird’s Facebook page. 🙂 Just let me know.

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  78. Deep respect and kinship is what I feel for you, Mr. Bonello. You’ve written things I wish I had written.

    Abp. E. A. Hernandez

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    • Thanks very much! 🙂

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  79. I’ve been threatening to write a book myself, I think most everyone in my family is autistic. Sometimes that can be so funny. But as funny as it is, it can brake your heart, which in turn can kill you.
    I surely like #6 & 20. I definitely get caught up on the lies wasn’t paying attention to that #
    is getting a ticket and you over here officer call it “head up but!”, I mean jeez I was freezing and was trying to warm up with the AC, I got to take a driving drunk test cause I am so dyslexic, I stopped driving.
    how did you do that you filled all my information in,I find that, about time . Most of the time when I try to share my address is noted as being invalid! I see this computer I need so I can write my book, for old people. I need that I see the old one say she’s afraid she’ll break it. I actually put a computer out of commission for two weeks when I first used one in my late 40’s, ha ha he he (that’s more fun than LOL) taking a class at community collage.

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  80. Strangely, a lot of your top 50 stuff, (as opposed to some other people writing on the subject), really resonated with me, enough to say, “hey you sound like me!”.
    The specialist who diagnosed my husband as being ‘mild Aspergers’, however, seemed to think I was neurotypical!
    But my husband’s stuff is a lot different to yours, except the numbers.

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  81. Thanks very much! 😀

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  82. Number 21 is my biggest downfall. The problem was my husband trying to joke me so often that, after a while, I just stood up and told him to either knock it off or else. He kept on waiting until he saw it hurt that he finally said that he was joking. I finally stood up and told him that even with the so-called “training” he was giving me, it wasn’t going to help me learn the difference between the two.

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  83. I think I have Asperger’s but no one believes me. This article gives me comfort because it describes some of the issues that have affected me since I can remember. As a child, I was constantly called “weird” by my classmates.

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    • Laura, I’ve been there and done that. In the time and place I grew up, autistic meant a nonverbal person who sat in a corner and rocked and flapped- it didn’t mean me, the weird kid with the funny quirks who didn’t fit in anywhere. I wasn’t formally diagnosed till I was 56 years old, and then I did it for my son because I suspect he has it as well. He said he wouldn’t believe I was “until someone with a diploma told me I was”- so I went in to get diagnosed. I had heard of Asperger’s but never thought of it in relation to myself until about 2005 when I started wondering and doing research and a majority of what I read sounded like ME.
      It was SUCH a relief to get diagnosed- it explained the WHY of so many things in my life. Now i’m much more forgiving of myself, and more comfortable with myself and the world than I was for so many years.

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  84. I love reading your insights. Thank you for expressing your mind when others are either too afraid or just cannot put it into words. As you probably know, having Aspergers creates intermittent depression and anxiety from other people’s reactions. So you help it all make sense for the diagnosed and the undiagnosed.
    Maybe one day we will have our planet ???

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  85. it wasn’t until after my father’s death at nearly 90yrs of age, that we drew the conclusion that he must’ve been on the spectrum. Back in his day, they knew of no such thing and just considered him “special.” He couldn’t handle change… or make decisions… because he was “special.” He created his own safe little world to live in… and anything outside the box just wasn’t logical. Back in his day, he was considered “odd.”
    My son might be on the spectrum, but it’s never been an issue. He is now a high school science teacher. I like his phrase; he calls himself “socially awkward.” I was socially awkward… because of my father’s awkward personality and behavior. This has become a concern for my son’s wife as their son is one yr old and still not talking… although he babbles constantly and connects well with people. Those who accept my son for who he is, he gets along with just fine… he might even open up around them. People who try to get him to fit in with their expectations are frustrated with their unsuccessful attempts… and, as you say, it’s his fault!
    The reason why it hasn’t really been an issue is because my husband is hard of hearing… legally deaf in one ear. Much of what you described applies to him. He is extremely isolated from conversation (because he can’t hear.) He doesn’t get the joke (because he can’t hear.) He doesn’t connect with people (because he can’t hear.) Expression and nuance in speech… (right, he can’t hear.) and, he misinterprets what he does hear. Of course, this is “all his fault.”
    Thank you for putting yourself out there. Not everyone will try to be understanding. They just prefer not to make the effort to see the real person… whether a child on the spectrum… or a child with a physical disability. They don’t realize that we all have some quirk or other.

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  86. My 9 year old daughter has aspbergers and she will tell you “I’m just weird” but she is okay with it. She knows she thinks differently but it doesn’t dictate her life. She is although socially awkward a magnet for new people at social situations and kids don’t find her strange but accept her as she is…she is lucky and although times can get frustrating I wouldn’t change a thing about her.

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  87. I hope this doesn’t cause anyone to get defensive, but the abbreviation for mathematics is “math”, not “maths”. There is no “S”. Mathematics has an “S” because the English were fond of the fad of saying singular studies as if plural back in the 17th century (not the same as the dead-beat second “s” like in “chess”). This is where we get words like “physics” or “economics”, and the like. However notice how “arithmetic” did not get the fad applied to it. That’s because the word was older, and already too well established in people’s minds as singular.

    So, where does the abbreviation for mathematics come in? Well, it was created by the Americans, not the British. The official abbreviation for mathematics is “math” without an “S”. The British added the “S” to “math” when they got the abbreviation back from us.

    That’s good news though. The British and Aussies can now join us North Americans (the US, plus the great northern state of Canada, lol) in doing the one true math, and let go of your pantheon of maths. {smile}

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  88. I LOVE you.. well, you know what I mean.. I grew up, being told that I was weird, strange, retarded.. and this was by my peers.
    When I was younger, and yes.. even in high stress situations now.. I use to rock back and forth, or side to side.. and (when i was younger) I would bop my head on the wall when things got sooo stressful.. and kids would crowd me, and call me names, like this would make me act BETTER… ohhh I hated being a child that was different from everyone else.. but, worse.. was that the therapists at Delcrest & thistletown (two “special schools”) would not diagnose me as autistic because I didn’t fall into their little book / list of what one should be like.. it wasn’t til my early 20s that the Hamilton teaching hospital took the time to set me up with therapy, and finally explained why i was not diagnosed as “fully autistic (what does that even mean, really?) ” and that I am an aspie’s adult, and what it all means.
    However, have you ever noticed… knowing what is “wrong” with your brain, is a tad different than knowing how to cope?
    I am in my 40s now, and I have barely breached the surface of “coping” but, I am learning more and more from sites like your blog, and fb page.. and other online resources.. so, there is that.
    Anyway. as you can see, i babble.. alot.. I just wanted to share that bit about me.. and it truly is just a bit.. and to tell you how much I enjoy reading your posts.. I have many “omg, i do do that” moments when reading your posts.

    Mentioned above..

    Dellcrest http://www.hincksdellcrest.org/Home/About-Us/What-We-Do.aspx

    Thistletown has closed apparently but this was info I found to share
    http://www.ementalhealth.ca/index.php?m=record&ID=10527

    Just for reference.. I am replying using my blog.. so, the name is not my own.. it is my persona..

    My name is Angel.

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  89. Thank you for writing an article about this. I have a friend who has Asperger’s. I also follow most of this list & starting to wonder if I have it too…

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  90. The numbers that apply to me: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 (not special needs but depression and anxiety), 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 26, 27, 28, 32, 37, 41, 48, 49. Honestly regardless of who is cited as the source for it, I wish they would teach this in schools

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  91. There is a phrase I hear a lot – you are not worth the trouble. As the list-article talks about how if they meet us halfway, we can be brilliant, the truth is that most people find it too tedious to meet us halfway. They would rather have a working vehicle that has chipped paint, than a brilliantly painted vehicle that only works if you turn the heater on full blast, have the windshield wipers on, & unscrew one of the tail lights — just isn’t worth the trouble. Ask not what the world can do for you, ask what can you do for the world — said 1 of my teachers all through high school. I replied, so I guess I’m not part of this world. I’m always expected to serve the world, but it never serves me what I need, only what it wants to serve me. My life is like paying for something online, but receiving something different.

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  92. Oh boy, am I used to the “It’s your fault” or “You got yourself into this” conversation. Because, you know, you don’t REALIZE you’ve stepped on a friend’s toe when they’re shooting questions at you and barely giving you a chance to think it out properly.

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  93. what is my favorite hobby or dessert or meal or song or movie or activity? Sorry cant tell you. Is this odd for an aspey? It changes from day to day according to my mood. It is easier to answer what I do not like. It can change because of who I am with. I ran around with 2 diverse cliques in high school. I easily adapted myself to fit in with either of them even though these 2 groups did not get along. I do not belong to any clubs of any kind. I am not known for loving any particular activity. There is one exception, theology. few lay people are at my level of knowledge and understanding. It must be precise and correct. ( why hold a believe at all if it may not be correct)? It blends well with logic and reason, another passion. This blends with my political bent. I attend church but would never join. I would never join a political PAC. I love debates but stay out of the public eye. I avoid sitting in the same seat or table in the company break room, or at church or at a conference.
    My fear is that aside from my core principles I adapt my personality to whom I am with. I wonder about my sense of self. Discovering why I am so odd was a great help to me. I am stunned that so many go into vehement denial when I tell them that they may have it too. it makes as much sense as denying that your color blind. I now know why I get flooded with emotions over a movie yet find it hard to have deep empathy with those I love.
    It explains my off the wall comments in the middle of a conversation.

    PS to Josh, I had to grin because only an aspey would take the time to list all of the numbers

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  7. Ewan Spence » Blog Archive » 50 Facts On Mild Autism - […] Loving this list by Chris Bonnello, with gems such as: […]
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  9. Uppdatering – den animerade flocken | othermindly - […] tycker detsamma om dem – att prata med en NT är alltid som att hålla igång ett samtal där…
  10. World Autism Awareness Day – halloweengoddess - […] Also check out this link:  50 facts about having Autism […]
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