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 friend...you'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.