I have never quite managed to fit in.
Recently, I watched a documentary about the work of Uta Frith, a pioneer of research into autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Uta says that she has some traits that might be considered autistic, but that she is not, herself, autistic. I thought much the same about myself.
I can’t remember where I stumbled on the tests for Asperger’s: it was only a couple of weeks ago. I scored quite highly. Since then, I’ve have been trawling the web, downloading Kindle books and immersing myself in lists of symptoms. Sometimes I think I fit the profile, sometimes I’m not so sure. Some of the symptoms, such as stimming (habitual movements, including rocking and flapping your hands), I thought ‘Well, that’s not me at all,’ only to find myself doing just that subsequently.
‘Right then,’ I thought. ‘Let’s make a list.’ So I started compiling a list of my traits, things that have happened to me, anything that might point one way or the other regarding a diagnosis. A few days later, I have 5000 words. I figured that might make a good starting point for a blog, so I’ll be exploring those lists on here.
I’m keeping myself anonymous (although very close relatives might recognise my nickname, Nooch. I needed a name that gave me a sense of myself without revealing my identity). I’m a mature student, coming to the end of postgraduate study, about to start job-hunting (and my employment history is, like many Aspergians’, interesting…) and it’s a dilemma whether to seek formal diagnosis, declare the condition, or try and blag my way through things and hope nobody thinks I’m too weird. This is probably what I’ve been doing for the last four decades without realising it. At the moment, revealing my suspicions to people who know me would burn too many bridges: who can I tell, without making things worse?
So welcome to AspieNooch.