Today I commenced a walk down what is likely to be an interesting, & quite possibly illuminating, path. The path of diagnosis to whether I am Aspergers Syndrome. The first thing you might notice is that I just used ‘Aspergers Syndrome’ as an adjective. But isn’t it a noun? If you like, but that’s not how I’m going to use it here. Like left handedness it’s a characteristic of the person, possibly of me, & so an adjective.
Like left handedness Aspergers Syndrome is a difference not a deficit. We don’t talk of left handeness as something one has, like a disease or disability, & nor will I talk of Aspergers Syndrome that way. And like left handedness Aspergers Syndrome has it’s own strengths.
I came to this path in a rather convoluted way. A few years ago there were suggestions from my then partner & a then friend that I had Apsergers Syndrome. In both cases, with timing & style close enough that I suspect they’d been comapring notes, it was a nasty delivery with a subtext that it was what was wrong with me & what was at the back of whatever problem they had with me at the time. While harbouring some thought that there might be something to it I wasn’t going to validate the negativity of the delivery.
More recently I saw a documentary that mentioned toe walking as a classic symptom. At the time it was a “that’s interesting” thing because I had been a chronic toe walker as a child & only got over it by cultivating a gait that mashed my heels into the ground, perhaps over compensating. In the couple of weeks following I caught myself upon my toes, as I still sometimes do, & decided to make it a subject next time I saw the psychologist I was already seeing. Today was that next time & the path began.
Today I learned that, like the toe walking, there’s a bunch of ways in which I’ve learned to compensate for things that could be indicative of Aspergers. I’ve learned to make more eye contact than I naturally would. I’ve learned, from books, about basic body language cues that I suspect most people get innately. I also learned today that these things often confound adult diagnosis & that learned counter-behaviours often over-compensate.
The point of this blog is for me to write observations that may be useful through the diagnosis process & helpful afterwards. For that it will have to be deeply personal & sometimes paimfully honest. Because of that I’m sharing it with very few who know me & writing anonymously for now. The header image on this theme is perfect for me, I’m walking that path but I don’t know what waits for me down the way & around that bend.