Wednesday, March 28, 2012

You Really Don't Realize How Special You Are, Do You?

     If any of you out there watch the show Merlin as much as I do, you will understand the title of this post.

     For those of you who don't watch it, Merlin is a series about the young wizard growing up in Camelot and helping the bratty Prince Arthur grow up to be the great king of the legend.  However, magic was banned when Arthur was born, so Merlin must hide who he truly is to protect Arthur, at all costs.

     In Season 2, Merlin meets Freya, a girl under a curse who has magic as he does.  By night, she turns into a monster who kills everything in sight.  Merlin successfully hides her and takes care of her.  However, when her captors almost find her, she and Merlin have a heart to heart and she says she's a monster and asks why he isn't scared of her.  Merlin tells her being different is nothing to be scared of, and that she is special.  He accepts her as she is, even though she cannot see the goodness inside herself.

     Some Aspies, I find, are a lot like Freya.  We consider ourselves outcasts, freaks, and in some cases, just wrong.  We hide who we are in hopes of fitting in and find we often find fitting in is not easy.  One Aspie I know was to the point of denying who he was, saying that there was no way he could be what they said he was.  Freak.  Loser.  Retard.

     But, like Freya, we all need intervention, especially if we start believing the lies society tells us:  that we cannot achieve what others can, that we are so different we will never have friends.  And (although it would be undeniably awesome) Merlin of the legend will not help us to confront our fears.  But there are others who will.  People close to you have told you that you are special, loved and cared about, sometimes we just don't believe them.  However, we need to believe them, because it is the truth.

     Because, like Merlin, our destinies depend on it.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on February 26, 2012.

A Trip to the Past

     If I could make a list of all of the things I love about the world, it would probably look something like this:
1. Family

2. Friends (family you choose for yourself)

3. My books

4. History

     There is much more to that list, but it is so true.  I love these, but today, I am going to talk about number 4.  I love history and have always been, if I may say so myself, pretty good at it (I know, I know, nerdy).  I have a list of people from the past I would love to meet.  If anyone has seen the movie Midnight in Paris that is exactly what I would love to happen.

     So, understandably, when a friend's mom emailed me a list of historical figures believed to have had Asperger's, I had an extreme fan girl attack. (Fan girl, by the way, is hysterical screaming and jumping for joy when something good happens, like two characters in a book get together).

     On the the list were people who have changed the world.  The man who coined "Fair is foul and foul is fair" (Shakespeare) is among our numbers.  Abraham Lincoln is also a possible Aspie (his obsession? war tactics).  There are many more, but sometimes, I wish I could go to them just to talk.  They have changed the world, and I would love to be able just to see how they survived and thrived in this world.

     There are people out there who are like you who have succeeded and soared.  Never be afraid.

Baby you're not alone

'Cause you're here with me

And nothing's ever gonna bring us down

That easily

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on January 15, 2012.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Freak the Freak Out

     Let's be honest, it has happened to all of us.  Blind panic because something went wrong.  Whether it was your parents picking you up much later than they said they would or having to recite something in front of the class.

     Believe me when I say I feel this way a lot.  This week we had to recite the Gettysburg Address in English class (AHHH!).  I knew it pretty well, except for the last few sentences.  When I said it, I got stuck on those last sentences, and I panicked.  I closed my eyes tight, my knees locked and I apparently turned white as a sheet.  Aspies sometimes get so focused on something that when it doesn't work out for us, we freak out.  A sense of raw panic overcomes us and our bodies respond by freezing on the spot or moving around a lot full of nervous energy.  It is truly terrible to go through.

     Getting so panicked isn't fun, so as Aspies, we must force ourselves to calm down.  Taking deep, slow breaths forces your body to calm down, and it will calm your mind down too.  Another way is to pep talk yourself: "It'll be fine, I will be fine."  It reassures you and forces you to think of something other than being downright panicked.

     Aspies especially need to learn not to succumb to the panic which overcomes even the best of us.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on January 7, 2012.

"Elementary, My Dear Watson"

     In honor of the new Sherlock Holmes movie, I have decided to write a whole post on the man.

     Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the guy who invented Sherlock) did not actually intend that his creation would become so wildly popular.  People soon became hooked with Holmes' crime solving, his personality, and, most of all, his skills of deduction.  Holmes could take several things about a person and deduce pretty much anything having to do with them.  When explained, however, he makes it seem like the simplest thing in the world.

     Movies, TV shows, and other books have sprung up dealing with the famous detective.  Because I was a bit bored a few days ago, I decided to look up a show about Sherlock Homes I had hear of called Sherlock.  Though I did not find the actual show, I stumbled across a website about the show where the director of Sherlock referred to Holmes as "Aspergerish."

     Thinking on it, I realized the man was right.  Holmes, if you read the stories, doesn't show much emotion, doesn't seem to have a lot of friends, except Watson, and has an obsession with crime.  Holmes is strongly an Aspie in many ways, and it's because he is that people find him so fascinating.  Holmes is respected and admired because of these traits.  People sometimes consider him the greatest fictional detective ever.  Sherlock never stepped down from a case and held true to what he knew and stuck to it.  He is a wonderful example of an Aspie.  So, if you ever feel unimportant or you find yourself thinking about not standing up for what is right, think WWSD? (What Would Sherlock Do?)

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on December 27, 2011.

My Aspie Support Group

     Sometimes, when I'm upset, I find myself looking back on the years I was a victim of bullying and remembering how I used to wish someone, anyone, would have held out their hand to support me, to tell me I wasn't alone.  That I was cared about.

     When I began making friends with other Aspies, I realized how my story was a lot like theirs.  They, too, wanted someone to talk to during those rough times.  One Aspie told me how he didn't really have friends until he met me.

     That was when I came up with an idea:  an Aspie support group.  A group of Aspies, or maybe just two, who are friends.  You can call them at any time about anything that is bothering you, and they will listen and help you through it.  You do the same for them as well.  When I tried this for myself, I did not anticipate what would happen.  That we would all become very close and tight friends who are always there for one another and will stick up for each other if need be.  They are my soul siblings and I don't know what I would do without them.

     Try to get yourself an Aspie who will support you.  You will be surprised how much they care for you, just like I was.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on November 27, 2011.

God Help the Outcasts

     I'm not sure if any of you out there has seen the Disney version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  It isn't as popular as many of the other animated Disney movies.  I haven't seen it either, but I really like the story.

     Now many of you are probably thinking "Why is she bringing this up?"  Well, when I was flipping through a songbook of my brother's (he's super into theater),  I came across a song from the movie called "God Help the Outcasts."

     For those of you who don't know, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is the story of Quasimodo the hunchback who is treated awfully because of the way he looks.  A single person, Esmerelda, the gypsy girl, shows Quasimodo kindness and it changes his life.  The song "God Help the Outcasts" is sung by Esmerelda as she wanders through the church where Quasimodo lives.  She sings:

God Help the Outcasts, The tattered, the torn

Seeing an answer, to why they were born,

Winds of misfortune have blown them about

You made the outcasts

Don't cast them out.

     When I was younger, I always felt like an outcast.  People would make fun of me and taunt me openly.  I just accepted it because I thought it was just my lot in life, to be like this.  However, when I got to high school, it was actually a different story.  I made friends who didn't treat me like a pariah, and I realized this is what true friendship is.

     Like Quasimodo, we all think we are alone, an outcast.  Remember, Aspies, you are never alone.  There is always someone there for you.  You are no outcast and never will be.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on November 6, 2011.

Born This Way

     In her song Born this Way, Lady Gaga tells of the importance of loving yourself.  Every time I hear it, I think of being an Aspie.  I mean, just think of the lyrics:

I'm beautiful in my way, because God makes no mistakes, I'm on the right track baby, I was born this way.


     We never asked to be an Aspie, but we were born this way and shouldn't be ashamed of it.  It's who we are and changing it would be wrong.  We have to love who we are even if it makes you seem like an outcast.  You have to accept who you are, warts and all, but especially the warts.  They make you YOU.  I know it's hard, but like Oscar Wilde says "Be yourself; everyone else is taken."  Being an Aspie makes you beautiful and you are no mistake.  You were born to change the world.  Go do it.

     Remember, you were Born This Way.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on June 22, 2011.

The Social Network

     We hear it everywhere, "Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!" or "Text me!"  The whole world is going digital and as scary as it sounds, it is actually a good thing for Aspies.  I can hear you now: "She's lost it.  The internet is not safe."  No, the internet is not entirely safe, but it is a good thing.  I used to be scared as well, but if you are very careful, you can have successful fun on the internet.

     I decided to try Facebook after a friend told me it would be fun.  Truly, it is.  I get to keep up with old friends and talk to my friends while I am on vacation.  I actually like it.  It isn't too bad.

     But why is it so great for Aspies?  Well, if you think about it, it saves us the trouble of looking someone in the eye, and you have time to think of responses instead of having to blurt them out and hope that they are okay.  It really is an advantage to us Aspies.

     I am not telling you to go get a Facebook or a Twitter account.  But it is helpful and I really enjoy it.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on June 17, 2011.

Why Aspies are Good Teachers

     I teach swim lessons at my club, and recently I was thinking about how Aspies make good teachers.  I mean, who hasn't had a mean teacher who doesn't understand the way you roll?  I know that I have had my fair share of teachers like that.

     I think that is why Aspies make such good teachers.  I mean, we all want that teacher who is understanding and kind and knows how to deal with us.  Personally, I try to live by the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have done unto you," so I try to teach like the teacher I want to have.  For example, I have a little girl in my class who refuses to put her head underwater.  I try very hard to talk her into it and to help her not be afraid.  Slowly but surely, she is starting to go under.  I listen to her fears and talk her through it and literally hold her hand as she does just that.

     That is the kind of thing I do and I think that's why Aspies make such good teachers.  We try to be the teacher we never had.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on June 15.

Socializing Through Charity

     A couple of days ago, my mother and I volunteered at our local soup kitchen.  I always like doing those sorts of things because they make me feel blessed afterwords, and I always look forward to them as social opportunities.

     See, the people there you must socialize with.  You have no choice, one absolutely must figure out what people need and what they want.  The people there usually smile and thank you for what you do.  It makes their lives easier and it gives you a new social opportunity.  It really does work.  You are forced to talk to people, to ask them what they want and to generally make their day better.  You will really feel good about it later as well.  That is always the best part.

     I would suggest Aspies try your hand at volunteering.  It's an opportunity and it's really rewarding.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on June 9, 2011.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Driving

     Since I am sixteen, I thought I could talk about this subject with some authority.

     Most people are extremely excited to drive.  However, me being me, I was terrified.  I'd heard a lot of scary stories about driving, so I was reluctant to learn.  Trust me, once you start driving, it's a lot less glamorous than they say.  You have to be hyper safe and very careful.

     I always thought that Aspies would all be very good drivers.  We are always paying attention, we notice things, and we're always careful.  However, as many people are fond of saying, you can be the best driver in the world and still get into an accident because there are stupid drivers out there.  But don't let that stop you.  Driving is like a roller coaster, it's scary but fun at the same time.  You live and you learn.  Driving is a part of life.  I wish you luck in the driving endeavor.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on June 7, 2011.

Thank You!

     Recently, I was reading an article in which pop artist Taylor Swift was being interviewed.  She was telling how she had been bullied when she was younger and how she refocused all of her energy writing songs about it.  She actually, in the article, thanked the people who had been so mean to her, because without them, her success would never have been possible.

     I think Miss Swift is onto something here.  I mean, being bullied is hard (trust me, I know) but it does give us something.  It gives us inspiration, I guess you could say, to prove all of those people wrong.

     Let me tell you something.  I was bullied badly in grade school.  However, I decided to turn their insecurity against them and instead take it to my schoolwork and everything else.  Today, I'm an A student and I have two Varsity letters in swimming.  Honestly, it's all thanks to those people who were mean to me in school. Without them to push me, I never would have done any of those things.

     One day, you will thank those people who were mean to you.  Trust me, you will.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on June 6, 2011.

Why Aspies Need Downtime

     Ok, so it's officially summer for me and due to that fact, I would like to talk about why Aspies really need to rest.

     People with Asperger's love their schedules.  Believe me, I live for mine.  However, when summer comes, it's okay not to stick to a rigorous plan.  We are humans, after all.  We need to rest.  We need to recover from the year and so much studying and other activities.  This is our time to read and see friends and do crazy and insane things!

     Trust me, last summer I tried to keep such a strict schedule...swimming practice twice a day, summer school, work, homework...; however, my body could not handle going into overdrive for so long.  I got really sick because of it and missed a whole week of school the next year and it took many months for my stamina to come back.  Your mind and body cannot handle a jampacked schedule year-round.  It needs to rest and enjoy itself.  So sleep in, read like crazy and enjoy yourselves because summer is here!

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on June 3, 2011.

Who Says?

     "Who says you're not perfect?"  Who says you're not worth it?  Who says you're the only one that's heard it?"  Selena Gomez asks people in her new song.  And she's actually right.  Everyone has a right to a beautiful life.  And even though people can be mean, who says that you should take their words to heart, because nobody ever said that that was true.  I mean, come on, it's like saying that someone can fly, you can't take it to heart because you don't have any proof.

     Take my advice.  I went through all of grade school believing that I was somehow less than the other kids because I believed what they told me.  It was awful.  When I finally got to high school, I couldn't believe that people treated me like I was on their level because I was simply not used to people treating me nicely.  It was amazing.  My friends now treat me like I am on their level and never make me feel bad about myself. They're much better than the kids at my old school.

     Aspies are really amazing people.  Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on June 1, 2011.

Animals

     Few people can look at a baby bunny and not go "aww!"  Animals are cute and adorable and can make a day much brighter.  Especially for Aspies.

     Studies have shown that animals can 'sense' when someone has autism or other special situations, and they instinctively know how to deal with them.  I must concur that this is true.  My dog instinctively knows that I do not like to touch him, so he backs off.  My cat, on the other hand, knows that I like her, so she's near me all of the time.

     I am not suggesting you go out and get an animal.  However, being close to one is nice and soothing, especially on frazzled nerves that can come from having Asperger's.  A friend's pet, or even a family one, can really help.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on May 31, 2011.

A Separate Peace

     To start off with, I need to say how I love this book.  It is fabulous.

     The book begins in a boy's boarding school during the years of World War Two.  There are two friends, the lonely intellectual Gene and Phineas, (called Finny), who is a taunting daredevil and very good at sports.  They are sixteen, "the key and crucial age," according to Gene, who is the narrator.  Gene convinces himself that he and Finny are in competition with each other, though the truth is that Finny really cares about Gene and wants him to do well, and he doesn't think of them in competition.  He is also so at sports and most other things, he wouldn't dream of it.

     Many things happen, but in the end, Gene realizes that he and Finny were never in competition and that Finny really cares about him.  They were just friends the whole time, never competitors.

     Aspies rarely have a need to compete with people, and we do know that, but sometimes, we, like Gene, get angry at other people's ability over us, whether it be socially or any number of other things.  Silent anger rarely does anyone any good, and in the end, it will blow up in your face.  Things will seem like a competition while there isn't one at all.  Be honest with yourself, nobody's perfect, so you may be better than someone at something, but they might be better than you in something else.  That's the way the world turns.

     You are amazing people.  Go out and be them.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on May 26, 2011.

Loving Who You Are

     Who doesn't have something they would like to change about themselves?  Whether it be what you look like, your past, or any number of things.  I can hear you all now: "She has no idea about what I've lived through."  And you're right.  I have no idea what people say to you or do to you, and I have no power to undo all of that.

     Lots of people get upset when they are teased about who they are, and then they try to change it, or worse, hide it.  Let me give you a word from the wise:  You cannot hide who you are forever, and eventually, the curtain will fall on who you're pretending to be.

     Being an Aspie is a gift, but a lot of people don't realize that.  They try to make us conform to their idea of 'normal,' which is wrong.  If we try to be normal, we'll explode.  You have to accept and love yourself for who you are, not what other people put you down as.  A dear friend of mine said once: "I'm on a mission to define myself the way I want to be defined, I will not be defined as what I've been labeled."  I thought he was completely right, and I try to live that way, loving myself and everyone around me for who they are, differences and all, but especially the differences.

     You are magnificent people, all of you.  So go out and be that way.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on May 25, 2011.

The Sword in the Stone

     When my friend, let's call her Isabelle, suggested I see an animated movie at sixteen years of age, I was a little shocked for a few reasons.  A) Isabelle does not like animated movies, and B) She is SO not the fluffy type.  I mean, she hates every Princess movie and whenever she is forced to watch them she gives this speech on how sexist the whole thing is.

     Anyhow, I knew that if she liked it, it was worth seeing.  So after about a week of begging, I managed to talk my parents into letting me rent it.  And guess what?  Isabelle was right!

     The story is, as many know, the King Arthur story, in which Arthur as a young boy, pulls the sword from the stone and becomes King of England.  The movie follows Arthur, (called Wart), as he is taught under the wizard Merlin and it depicts all of their adventures along the way.  While seeing this movie, it made me think of having Asperger's.  I mean, don't we all have our 'sword in the stone' that nobody expects us to pull out or conquer?  Things that seem almost completely impossible for us?

     I, for one, struggled in grade school.  My fourth-grade teacher told my mother that it was doubtful I'd ever graduate 8th grade at my private school let alone get into a competitive college prep high school.  I remember proudly smiling down at her from the stage at graduation as I received my 8th grade diploma, accepted into the top high school in the state.  My doctor then told my mother that I might not learn to drive, but I also pulled that sword in the stone out (although my brother is still too terrified to let me drive him yet!).

     My point is, guys, that you will face many, many people who will tell you that you cannot do something.  Don't get defeated.  You will and can overcome challenges and you are extremely qualified.  You CAN do it!

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on May 24, 2011.

   

In Which I am told to be Normal

     "Oh, being normal is vastly overrated" - Halloweentown


     Be normal.  What an impossible command.  Seriously, it's like being told to fly to an Aspie.

     A couple of times, when they were frustrated with me, my family and friends have snapped "Why can't you just be normal?".  They have no idea how hard we try, do they?  It's not like there's a 'normal' setting on us.  We are who we are, and we cannot change that.

     Recently, a friend asked if I could, would I become like everyone else?  In other words "typical" or "normal."  After a little consideration, I told her "No, that if I was changed I wouldn't be myself any longer."  Furthermore, who would obsess over my obsessions?  What would I do with myself?  Become boring?

     I won't pretend it's all rainbows and butterflies.  There have been times where I wish I could just be like everyone else, like in math class or at a social gathering, but this struggle makes me unique.  So, overall, I'm glad I have Asperger's, and so should other Aspies be glad, because otherwise we would not be who we are today.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on May 23, 2011.

   

Food, Glorious Food!

     Ok, so this may sound like a strange title, but food is a great thing.

     Now many Aspies struggle with math.  I myself have problems with it to this day and look forward to it with about as much joy as Jane Grey facing her executioner.  And, no, I am not being overly dramatic, as many Aspies can attest.

     However, I found some release from this problem when I started baking.  Suddenly, fractions were much easier, I swear!  You don't have to be the next Paula Deen to be able to make a batch of chocolate- chip cookies and baking really does help you understand math, especially fractions.

     Try baking with friends or even by yourself, (if you're allowed to!).  You'll find it is extremely fun!

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on May 23, 2011.

Disappointments

     Believe me when I say that life is full of disappointments.  Things that you never expected to happen.

     Personally, the year 2010 was the year to end all years.  A 13-year-old friend of my brother's committed suicide, my uncle had a heart attack and was left brain injured, a boy who is like a cousin to me overdosed on drugs and nearly died and that was only the first half of the year.

     I wasn't expecting any of these things.  My brother's friend was a sweet boy, my uncle had been a constant in my life since forever and the boy was also such a friend.  I couldn't believe it.

     I guess what I am trying to say is that you cannot predetermine life.  You can never predict what will happen and you can't undo what has been done no matter how much you wish you could.  Aspies try to be strong for everyone, but that's impossible.  Try to confide in someone, and remember, it is in no way your fault.  I know that seems hard, but it's true.  Remember to help if you can, and that you matter too.  Always remember that.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on May 22, 2011.

Courage

     Yes, once again, I am taking inspiration from Glee.

     In the series, the gay teenager is being bullied and his best friend, (and love interest), sends him texts every day with a single word:  COURAGE.

     Yes courage.  And like that character, Aspies need courage to face up to what is bad out there.  Facing up to bullies and everything else that goes wrong in life.

     Let me give you an example.  The other day was really bad for me.  Completely and utterly a failure of a day.  I was close to crying at lunch when a dear friend sent me this, COURAGE.  I literally could have hugged her I was so happy and thankful.  Now I have that as my opening message on my phone because I need it.

     If you are having a hard day, just remember COURAGE.  It helped me and will help all Aspies.  It is something we all need and should try to attain.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on May 13, 2011.

When You Say Something Stupid

     Oh man, I  could write a book on this topic alone.

     Let me set the scene for you.  You are in class, just discussing something, and suddenly you say something you thought was totally innocent, (at the time), but it turns out it sounded kind of mean or hurt someone's feelings.  You honestly didn't mean it in that way, but upon further reflection, you realize it came out like that.

      Well, what do you do?  You didn't mean it, but now somebody's mad at you.  I found myself in a similar situation this week and was clueless as to how to undo it because you cannot take back words.

     Then it occurred to me.  Just apologize.  You can apologize, but it's up to the person to forgive you or not.

     Try to apologize.  It probably will work.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on May 8, 2011.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"You Wanna Be a Loser Like Me"

     Please, do not think less of me because of this.  I know that some people think Glee is so weird, but it's actually kind of good.

     Anyway, I know that this may seem like a strange title, but believe me, it has a point.  Aspies are not losers, but a lot of people call us that.  Believe me, I've lost track of the number of times I was called a "loser."

   If you listen to the song, "Loser Like Me," it talks about how a person may be teasing someone, but in the end, they don't really win.  For example, when one of the characters sings:

You push me up against the locker

But all I do is shake it off

I'll get you back when I'm your boss

     And that character is right.  Aspies should take advice from this song.  Being mean doesn't get you anywhere in life, and us Aspies are going to see these mean people again, but they won't be as formidable.  My mom's friend, who went to high school with her, told how 20 years after high school, one Christmas, she was waited on in a store by the mean and popular girl who had made their high school years unbearable.  The girl had been part of the wealthiest families in town in high school and she made sure everyone knew it.  Now, she was working in a store just like everyone else.

     So when someone calls you a loser, just remember, someday they are going to wish they had been a "loser" like you because you will rock the world.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on April 21, 2011.

You're Just Afraid of Things you don't Understand!

     Yes.  A lot of people are terrified of things they cannot comprehend.  I, for one, have an irrational fear of math because I don't understand it.

     Like when I hear the word "math."  A lot of people freak out when they hear the word "Asperger's" especially when it is followed by "Autism-Spectrum disorder."  My mother, for one, did.  She would tell me later that she went into a state of disbelief because I was succeeding in school, my grades were really good then and I didn't act like I was autistic.  (Later my best friend, and fellow aspie, told me her mom felt the exact same way).

     My parents were terrified for me.  They had heard stories of kids who weren't mainstreamed who got pushed around and bullied just because they had something they couldn't control.  My mother actually went to a woman whose son had Asperger's and the woman said "Jake (not his real name) has never had a friend in his life."  Well, that scared my mother even more, but not enough to tell me how "different" I was.  Eventually she did.  Then, she told my teachers.

     The teachers were worried at first, but when my mom and my doctor explained what Asperger's is, things went well and the teachers began to get it.

     Adults are afraid of things they don't understand so be gentle when teaching them that we are good people and there is nothing to be afraid of.

     Originally posted on confesssionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.org on April 3, 2011.

In Which I am Upset

      Something sad and devastating is happening to me and to all readers, actually.  Border's is closing.

     We are not supposed to love chain stores.  We are supposed to shun such places because if we don't, we will seem too average.

     Border's is a different story (no pun intended).  I practically grew up in Border's Bookstore as I'm sure of lot of my readers have.  Border's was the only place where I felt I could be myself.  I remember climbing the shelves to the top when I was younger and grasping for whatever book I wanted.  When I was going through hard times in life, there was always someone there to help me and to make me laugh.

     Border's introduced me to Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy from Narnia.  They were always there when times got tough.  I met Oliver Twist, Fagin and the Artful Dodger through Border's.  I also met Jean Valjean (my fictional hero!), Cosette, Marius (Les Miserables), Harry Potter, Hermione, Ron (Harry Potter series), and countless others.  These characters were my friends when I didn't have anyone to turn to.  They were my comforters when no one else could reach me.  And through these characters, and a love of books, I also met some forever real friends who will stick by me forever.

     I love Border's and I am sorry to see it go.  So long, my dear friend.  You have taught me well.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.org on April 1, 2011.

The Random Act of Kindness

     A lot of people have forgotten it, but the random act of kindness really does leave an impression on people.

     "Yeah," I can hear you say, "I've heard all about that, 'a smile can make someone's day' thing.  It's a load of horseradish."  Not so!  It is as true as can be, and I will offer an example from my mother.

     When my mother was a young grasshopper, (a sophomore in high school), she was a really good student.  One day, she forgot her pen.  She turned to the boy next to her and asked if he had one to spare. He did, and he handed her a silver Tiffany's pen.  My mom gasped.  "This is from Tiffany's!" she told the boy whose name was Allan.

     Allan smiled.  "Yes"  he responded.  "Do you like it?"

     "Yes!" my mom said.

     "Do you want to keep it?"  Allan asked.

     "Really?"  asked my mom.

     "Sure.  Keep it."  Allan said.

     My mom kept the pen all through high school and college.  To this day, the "Allan pen" holds a special place in her drawer.  It really changed her day and she smiles every time she sees it.  Allan really made her who she is with that random act of kindness.

     Aspies should try these random acts of kindness.  They are a great way to meet people and make lifelong friends.  People really appreciate it.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on March 31, 2011.


What We Could Have Done

     "To know what would have happened, child? No. Nobody is ever told that." - Aslan the Lion

     You sure have done it this time.  Made a stupid choice that you desperately wish you could undo, but no matter how desperately you try to undo it, you just can't.

     Let me tell you this from personal experience.  Everyone has these moments.  I have had some of these moments where I was afraid and made some dumb choices.  Nothing serious; however, but there are some things I regret doing and not doing.  Not throwing a ball with my little brother and some of his friends.  Being a bit angry with a person who is almost like a cousin to me.   I wish I had talked to my friends and hung out with my relatives more when I had the chance.

     In 2010, a lot happened to me.  Several relatives and friends died and others became seriously ill.  Another committed suicide and another suffered a drug overdose.  I wish now, and I pray to God, that if I could have just one more chance I would change all of that, but I know I can't change what happened. It was out of my hands and I know it, but I still wish that somehow, it could be fixed.

      But remember, what someone else did is not your fault.  They are responsible for their own actions and this is not your fault.  I say this because for a long time after what happened to me, I was convinced it was my fault, and I bottled up my emotions and held it all in.  Aspies have a tendency to hold in a lot.  We try to "be strong" for everyone else.  If you've ever seen a soda shaken up, you know it explodes when you open it, and that is what happens to everyone.  You cannot "be strong" all of the time.  Nobody can. If you try, you're going to end up like I did, breaking down in the middle of the mall because you just can't hold it in any longer.

     Try to do something for a relative today.  Someday, you will be glad you did.

     P.S. I am sorry to inform of my Uncle Bill's mother's death.  Rest in peace Dolores.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on March 13, 2011.

How Do You Hold a Moonbeam in Your Hand?

    Yes, how do you hold a moonbeam, or an Aspie's mind, in your hand?

     Well, I can tell you one thing for sure.  It is completely impossible to put a cork on an Aspie, so seriously, don't even try.

     We are seriously smart.  And I'm not trying to brag.  It is simply a fact of science.

     I just need to tell you there are going to be people in this world who will doubt you.  People who will tell you you can never do anything.  People who will try to bring you down because of what you are and what you can do.  To tell you the truth, it's because they are jealous.

     Ha ha.  I can hear you say, jealous of me? they have everything, and I have almost nothing.  How could they be jealous of someone like me?  Well, let's see.  You're smart, you think of everything, the people you know really love you.

     You cannot tie down an Aspie.  Just as you cannot catch a moonbeam or hold the wave on the sand.  We officially are awesome!

     Originally posted on confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on March 6 2011.

Food, Food, Food

     Oh hooray!  One of my favorite topics!

     Ok, so I'm sure that a lot of my readers have probably heard of a gluten free diet, correct?  Well, if you haven't, it basically involves avoiding the wheat in foods.  Someone who is allergic to the wheat in foods has celiac disease.  Their bodies just cannot digest it, and they go through a lot of pain if they do.

     "Well," I can hear you ask, "what does this have to do with Asperger's?"  Well, some doctors think that a gluten free diet will help someone with Asperger's.  There have even been some studies that suggest it improves the symptoms for people with Asperger's.

     My best friend has celiac disease, so in her honor, I tried this gluten free diet.  Let me tell you I failed miserably.  I only lasted four days.  Plus, it really didn't do much to help me with my Asperger's struggles.  There are others who swear by it, but for me, it didn't really work.
   
     If you want to try the gluten free diet, go ahead.  If it helps...good for you.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on February 27, 2011.

To be Truthful or Not to be Truthful...That is the Question

     Don't get the wrong idea when you read this title.  I am not telling you to outright lie.

    Ok, so now that we have that settled, today, I am going to talk about white lies.

     Don't get me wrong.  It's not ok to let a friend walk out in an outfit that makes them look awful and you should stop them.  However, there are times that you can tell small white lies that will hurt nobody and will actually make someone feel good.

     Aspies have a tendency to tell the truth.  A lot.  Which is good, but it can also hurt someone's feelings. And I want you to not make that mistake.  Consider what I did once.  It was Christmas, and I opened my grandmother's gift.  With horror in my mind (and on my face as my brother would tell me later), I picked up the ugly sweater she had bought who knows where.

     "Do you like it?"  She asked.

     "No. It's ugly."  I replied simply.  (Keep in mind I was five at the time).

     My grandmother looked mad.  And my mother made me apologize, but I didn't know what I was apologizing for...honestly.

     Long story short, she forgave me and has bought better gifts since.  However, I had really hurt her with that comment.  Instead, I have learned to tell little white lies that are helpful to every Aspie.  Now, if I get a gift I don't like, or already have, sometimes from friends and sometimes from relatives, I just pretend to like it, smile and thank them for whatever it is.  If someone gets me something I don't want, there is no obligation to wear it in public.  Just wear it once around the person who gave it to you.  If it is from a store, I say "I'm not sure this is the right size.  Where did you get it so I can get the correct size?"  Then you can return it later.

      So be careful with what you say and follow my example.  I think you'll find family gatherings a lot easier.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on February 19, 2011.
   

It All Means Something...And Yet Nothing to Me

     Wow.  I have a thing for song lyrics.  This is again from the movie Tarzan:


     It all means something...and yet nothing to me.

     In this song, Tarzan is singing about how all of these things that are new to him, that he'd never seen before, mean something to everyone else, but nothing to him.  He is slowly learning though.

     Aspies are also a lot like the Tarzan in that respect.  No, we are not raised by gorillas, silly!  I'm talking about the Aspie quirk where we don't understand people's facial expressions.  I mean, it's a maze with no way out.  It is incredibly confusing, am I right?

     Although I cannot give you an outright guide for reading facial expressions, (how I wish), I can give you a tip.  If someone doesn't seem themselves, or if they act like something's up, ask them what's up, or what's wrong.  They'll usually tell you.  If they don't, don't press them.

     Though you may not understand, you can try to.  And people will appreciate it when you try to reach out. They really do.

     Originally published at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on February 12, 2011.

   

Mean

     They can take you down with a single blow.  They humiliate and point out flaws like it's their job.  They make you feel like you want to curl up somewhere and cry.  It doesn't matter how hard you try, they just don't like you.  It's almost like a war, it's that hard.  You would lay down your armor, now, if you could just be friends, but apparently "that's impossible."

     Who hasn't had one of these people in our lives?  I had one who turned my best friend against me and humiliated me beyond belief within a matter of weeks.  Yeah, seventh grade was the worst year of my life.

     How does a person deal with this?  Well, it's really, really hard.  First, you have to learn to live with yourself.  Easy enough and now, I know this is going to sound crazy, but you have to forgive them for what they did.  It's hard to do, but you have to do it.  Eventually, being mean will get them nowhere in life, so they'll be stuck in a rut while you soar in life.  Keep that in mind.

     Then, surround yourself with people who you want to be like.  You know, smart, good people.  They usually make you feel all nice inside.

     Live, forgive and surround yourself with these people, and you will be happy.  I promise.

     Originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on February 4, 2011.

I Wanna Know...Can You Show Me?

     Ok, ok, I know that is a total Tarzan reference, but it does have a point.  In the movie, Tarzan, Tarzan is curious to learn about the world he never knew about from other people.  As Phil Collins sings in Tarzan's stead:

I wanna know

Can you show me?

I wanna know about the strangers like me

     Aspies are actually a lot like Tarzan if you think about it.  We want desperately to understand how everyone else works but to do that we need a teacher, like Tarzan's Jane, or else we have little hope. (Sorry, but it's true). 

     "Who are these teachers?"  you might ask.  Well, they are our friends who are our own age.  Yes, they are hard to find and even harder to trust, but once you have a good friend who is not an Aspie, you can get them to help you.

     My own friends try their hardest to help me out.  Whenever I don't get something in a conversation, they immediately jump in and explain it to me and usually bring me up to speed.  They help me get jokes and teach me how to act around other people, I don't know, so that I feel safer.  Take note, most of these people don't even know I have Asperger's, they just know I have some social difficulties and they are actually willing to help me out...a lot.  For this, I will be forever grateful.

     Try to find a "teacher" in your life.  You'll be glad you did.

     Originally published at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on January 30, 2011.

What Planet am I From?

     This is the question I sometimes ask myself when I don't understand why some people react the way they do to me.  When I was younger, I used to pretend I was from Narnia, and that was why I didn't get everything that was a snap to other people and why people didn't always want to be my friend.  Ok, Ok, I know, strange, but it seemed that way to me because I felt so out of place among ordinary people.

     However, I have discovered that although I am not from Narnia (sadly), I am from a group of people different than the ordinary human...extremely good and different people who are just sometimes misunderstood.  Among these people are many you may know.  Some are confirmed Aspies, others are just strongly believed to have Asperger's Syndrome.  Here are some of these grand people.

     Marie Curie, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Catherine the Great, William Shakespeare, Socrates and many, many more.

     Aspies can become great, worldly people if they are just given a chance.  Remember, you are just like these people, and you can conquer this world, just as they did.

     This was originally posted on confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on January 23, 2011.

Standing Alone...in a Crowded Room...

     Who has not been through this situation: You're standing along at a party, you know the hosts and a few other people, but that's about it.  They're all talking to other people who you don't know, and you would rather go through the nine circles of Hades than join their conversation.

     What do you do?  Well, there's always wandering around by yourself, (not fun), hiding in the bathroom, (also not fun), following the people around who you know, (seems a bit stalker-ish), or just praying that this party will be over so you can go home, (which I have a tendency to do A LOT).

     Parties were never super fun for me.  so I established a system with my mom.  I would stay for 30-45 minutes of a party, and if I was miserable, I would call home and say our code phrase "How is Nana doing?"  My mom would understand that and come and get me.  I'd say to the host, "Sorry, I have to go home.  Family thing."  That way they were not offended, and I got to be free.

     Establish something like this with a parent, so they know when to come and get you.  If you're having a fabulous time, don't leave.  Just party!

     This was originally published at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on January 15, 2011.

Look Down...Look Down...Don't Look Them in the Eye

     Yes, I know, I totally borrowed that title from the Les Miserables song "Look Down," but it has a point.  In Les Miserables, where this song is concerned, the common prisoners of the French government are singing about how awful prison is and how even looking their captors in the eye will result in a beating for them.

    I know how all Aspies sort of feel like those prisoners.  We feel like people we look in the eye can see everything.  It feels very violating, and the looks people give us, can make us feel awful...almost like a whipping feels to those Les Miserables prisoners.

     However, there are tricks to looking people in the eye that I think those prisoners learned after they were released.  You can look at another person's forehead, but this can cause someone to think that there is something very disturbing about their forehead.  Their eyebrows are closer to their eyes and most Aspies use this trick.  However, the one surefire way I know of is to try to look another person in the eyes so you can be able to tell your parent exactly what color a person's eyes are, like your new teacher's eyes or someone else you just met.  My mother tried this with me and it actually works.  As an Aspie, it feels like a challenge or a game I constantly play with myself.  And I now can look people straight in the eye... sometimes.

     I hope this works for you, and Happy New Year!

     P.S. If you want to read the book or see the play Les Miserables, I highly recommend it.

     This was originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on January 5, 2011.

The Difference Sports Makes

          Sports.  The very idea used to send a shiver through me.  I am an absolute klutz most of the time and in soccer, I fell more often than I scored a goal.  My parents first put me in soccer when I was four.  However, I spent more time chasing butterflies and helping the opposing team's players up after a fall than chasing the ball.  Oh yeah, my parents figured out that soccer was not my calling.

     Then I tried ice skating which was also not great because it's an advantage to be smaller to skate, and I am nearly five foot nine.  So skating was out as were tennis and running due to broken toes and ankles.

     Then I decided to throw myself into swimming as a last-ditch effort to find a sport that suited me.  I finally found it. I knew what to do and my success was not determined on other people, on a team, but solely on myself. Swimming is an individual sport.  I had finally found my calling...in sports, anyway!

      Finding a sport can be good for an Aspie.  Friendships can come from sports teams.  Not necessarily developed because of how good you are athletically, but mainly because you're thrown together a lot, and people bond from that sort of stuff.

     I hope you can find a sport because it truly is so much fun.

     Happy New Year to everyone!  Drive safe!

     This was originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on December 31, 2010.

How to...Explain Asperger's to Siblings

     Today, in honor of my brother's birthday (love you!) I have decided to talk about how to tell younger siblings about Asperger's.

     I have two younger brothers, and both of them knew I was a little funny and different from other people's siblings.  While other older siblings would go into hibernation in their bedrooms, I was always wandering around and making cookies for my brothers and their friends or trying to talk to them.  That weirded out some of my brother's friends.  The ones who were fine with me and stayed are still friends with my brothers today.  They have, according to my mom, "passed the test."

     When I was thirteen and my middle brother was eleven, my mom told both of us that I had Asperger's Syndrome.  My brother said he finally understood why I was so different, and that he was proud of me because I'd gone through a lot that year.  My youngest brother found out when I went to my doctor, and we were openly discussing Asperger's in front of him.  Apparently he asked my mom later about it, and she explained it to him.  He also read All Cats have Asperger's Syndrome (he was young enough) and then he really got it.

     Though they will not admit it, I know it's been harder on them with me having Asperger's.  However, I think they have gotten used to the idea.  Anyway, they must like it when I make cookies for them because they beg me to do it.  Sometimes I think they are thankful that I have Asperger's, because I sort out all their sunny day friends and make sure they have true, good friends.

      Even if you think your sibling won't understand, try to explain Asperger's to them.  Perhaps they will surprise you, like mine did.

     This was originally posted on confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on December 28, 2010.

To Tell or Not to Tell, That is the Question

     What do you do?  Tell your teachers about Asperger's...or not?

     The idea at first sounds brilliant.  Tell them and have them off your back!  But soon after comes the thought:  "What if they treat me differently?"

     I personally thought that if I told my teachers, they'd consider me a complete idiot.  At my grade school, teachers didn't seem to understand children, and I thought I'd be demoted to the lower level classes.  I didn't want that humiliation.

     However, my mother thought differently.  She told my teachers and still tells them to this day.  My high school teachers actually understand, and I wasn't put in different classes.  They try their best to show me and work with me on my level.

     I guess what I'm trying to say is that you should honestly consider telling your teachers.  If you yourself are too nervous to do this, ask your parents or guardians to tell them for you.

     As for the teachers who seem almost evil, sometimes they are actually cool with it and just didn't understand you at first.  Even if they seem bad, it is their job to help you to the best of their ability, and most teachers honestly want their students to succeed.

     Try your best, and I hope it works out!

     P.S. Happy Birthday to my amazing uncle!  You're the best!

     This was originally posted on confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on December 26, 2010.

Grateful For...Asperger's!

     As it is that time of year again, I am beginning to think about what I am grateful for.  One of the things on my list is the fact that I have Asperger's.

     Some people are surprised to hear me say this, but it is so true.  Yes, it brings difficulty, but it is also part of who I am as a person. I cannot imagine being without my obsessions, my social difficulties and the true friends whom I have who can see past all of my outward social awkwardness and know who I am on the inside.  Without Asperger's, I'd never know who to trust.

     My Asperger's is also something my parents are grateful for.  Once, my mom saw another teenage girl embarrassing her mother at a movie theater, even publically screaming at her mom about something silly.  My mom was grateful she didn't have that daughter.

     Asperger's has totally changed my life.  I hope it's changing yours and you're grateful for it.  You are truly blessed.

     To my Christian readers: Happy Christmas Eve!

     This was originally posted on confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on December 24, 2010.

The Books to Know

     Many books have been written about people with Asperger's, and I have read a lot of them.  And believe me, there are lots to avoid and lots an Asperger's kid should read.

     Some to avoid include House Rules by Jodi Picoult and Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison.  Let's begin with House Rules.  Jodi Picoult has written loads of popular books, one of which has been made into a movie.  However, one should not write about Aspies if you are not one yourself, and Jodi makes this mistake.  Her character, Jacob, is way more autistic than he is an Aspie, having screaming fits if his routine is upset.  Even though Jacob is based on a real-life person with Asperger's, (as Picoult says in the acknowledgements), the details about Asperger's seem way over exaggerated and the plot does too.

      Look Me in the Eye is better, but only by a little.  It is written by an Aspie, John Elder Robison, whose brother wrote another famous book, Running With Scissors.  In Look Me in the Eye, Robison looks back on his life with Asperger's and going all those years undiagnosed.  It's interesting, but a little frightening when Robison explains how he failed all of his high school classes and that a lot of Aspies do the same, which is simply not true.

     However, there is some hope for Aspie books.  For example, in Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series, in the fifth book Princess in Pink, the main character, Mia Thermopolis, has to do a report on Asperger's for her Health and Safety class.  That segment is right in the middle of the book.  It is well researched and not depressing.  Cabot even puts a nice twist on it making Aspies sound really cool.  The rest of the series is pretty good too.

     And if you like cats, All Cats Have Asperger's Syndrome is really good. It's a picture book full of photos of cats doing things like they have Asperger's Sundrome, and the pictures are really funny as well.  It can also be used to teach younger children and young siblings about Asperger's.

Happy Reading!

This was originally posted at confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on December 22, 2010.






Aspie Buddies!

     Today,  in honor of my best friend's birthday, I'm going to do a whole post on the importance of having friends with Asperger's.

     I, personally, was bullied to the extreme in grade school, especially in seventh grade.  I'm not going to say what the bullies did to me just so nobody does the same thing to another person, ever.  Yes, it was really bad.  Then, I met my best friend at an Asperger's conference.  Oddly enough, we didn't hit it off right away, but over the Twilight movie, we had an instant bond and have been really close ever since.

     It is really important, in my opinion, that Aspies have another friend who is also an Aspie.  You can stick together and understand one another even if other people don't.  For example, when I met my best friend, I had lost all the friends I had ever gained.  I was devastated and never wanted another friend.  My best friend changed all of that.  I can always go to her with problems and she knows she can come to me for anything.

     An Aspie friend changed my life.  I hope you can find one who will change yours.

     This was originally posted on confessionsofateenageaspie@wordpress.com on December 23, 2010.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Butterfly

Hey guys! Welcome to the new site! Isn't it awesome?

   So you all may be thinking: "Gosh, a butterfly. Could she get any more girly?" Well, let me explain, because I really believe that the butterfly is a real symbol for the Aspie.

   If any of you have heard the Martina McBride song "God Bless the Butterfly" you may agree with me. In it, she sings "God bless the butterfly/Pretty as the crimson sky/Nothing's ever gonna bring her down". In another instance, an old proverb says: "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was  over, it became a butterfly".
 
   All of these interesting quotes have to do with the butterfly, an animal which does the impossible: it starts as an ugly animal (sorry, being truthful) and then in goes into a kind of hibernation for a few days. Then it emerges as a beautiful animal shot with color so much it looks like it rolled around on an easel.

    So even though we may seem very different right now, the butterfly is proof we will one day blossom. It's like what a friend of my mom's said when I was born. She told my mother she hoped I was a plain Jane until I turned eighteen. My mother was shocked and demanded to know why. The lady said: "That way she will have a personality."

  So keep it in mind guys: one day all of your efforts will blossom into fruit and everyone, everywhere will appreciate it. God Bless the Butterfly.