Saturday, August 17, 2013

Unique? Maybe not.

Reposted from a pair of posts on Autisable, June/July 2009

When people look at my life, there are a few pieces that seemed almost irrelevant growing up...but hint at something.

Although most of my good friends know I was homeschooled, I actually went to public school for two years.  During those two years, in addition to music, recess, and gym, I had a few other things on my first-and-second-grade schedule.  Speech therapy.  Occupational therapy.  A fourth-grade math book.  Being in the 'gifted' group.  Being moved from one classroom to another in my first week of first grade.  (For the longest time, I was told that the two teachers both wanted to have my twin and I in the same class.  Found out much later that they wanted neither one of us.)

During my college days (or slightly thereafter), my mom commented that she thought I was borderline Aspergers.

I've looked it up since then.  The jury (of one) is still undecided.

Social interaction issues?  Not that I recall.
Restricted interests?  No.
Speech issues?  Some.
Some of the minor ones (motor skills - took months to learn how to ride a bike; childhood sleep issues - it always took me a long time to go to sleep)

Was this the tradeoff for my smarts?  (high school grad at 15, bachelor's at 19, above-average ACT/SAT scores.)

A friend of ours is an occupational therapist...I think she wants to see both me and...well, that's another story.

Do I want to know?  Yes.
Does it really matter?  I don't know.


I'm not normal.  I know that.  My intellectual abilities.  My schooling history.  My religious journey.  What happened less than four minutes after I was born.  My family. 

But there were a few things (see prior post) in my past (needing speech therapy, occupational therapy, above-average brains, etc.) that make me wonder if I'm somewhere in the spectrum.  I want to say, "no, no, no."  But...I know I'm different.  When I originally posted (late May), I wasn't fully convinced that I was somewhere on the spectrum.

I'm still not.  But, a few things...maybe I'm going crazy.
Maybe I'm just an autism-spectrum-hypochondriac.
Maybe I'm trying to figure out why the gears in my head spin the other way?
(When the only tool is a hammer, every problem is a nail.  When the only all-encompassing theory is 'autism spectrum', every quirk gets held up to that light.)

I mean, I'm looking over (what in my mind is) the stupidest little things. 

I get a to-do list.  For heavens' sake, write it down, I can't remember all that...
I talk to myself.  A lot.  (Maybe it's just the hour-each-way commute.)
I go to the ball game at a minor-league park.  And I really really want one of those foul balls.  And frankly, with the open grassy hill area on the side of the 3rd base line, I've got a shot (not a great shot, but a shot) at grabbing one.  Is it just a baseball fan's obsession or a AS-quirk?
Then, there's the whole adventure of watching Rain Man.  *I'm nothing like that*  *am I?*

Finally - To my one're so quick to remind me about whats-his-name - that I need to understand him.  (You say he's autistic.  Is he?  Is it ADD?  What's your proof?).  But in the same breath, you ask me "are you a retard?"  
(Do you know how mad that makes me?)

If life ever calms down...
...maybe I need to find out.

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