Author Note: I was asked once by an FB friend what it’s like to have ASD.
One of my Facebook friends asked me what it’s like to have Asperger’s. I replied as best as I could and liked it well enough to repost here.
It’s like being hyper-focused and easily distracted at the same time. I read at a minimum three books at the same time (my Kindle has made this easier for me, and less awkward) usually 2 fiction and one non-fiction. I’m at present reading ‘Dune’, 2 short story anthologies ‘The Robot Megapack; Astounding Science Fiction Stories, and a non-fiction about the early life on our planet called, ‘Life on a Young Planet’. I have to keep my mind constantly active so when I get bored reading one I switch without losing where I was before. I usually finish 1 or 2 300 page plus books in a week and a half. The internet is NOT good for me and t.v. can be impossible unless I find a show or 2 I can binge otherwise I go nuts because nothing is interesting. Talking to people is weird. I can listen better if I don’t look at the person because looking directly at that person is distracting (facial movements are distracting and I don’t hear everything. On the upside, I make a good listener if I just focus on the words). The world can be boring, boring, boring but if I have something to focus on I can watch something for hours. One time on my job I sat for 4 hours troubleshooting the operation of multiple relays until I found where an intermittent problem was occurring! Conversations are horrible because I tend to skip around a lot and digress quite a bit (it drives me nuts when I’ve moved on a subject my wife is still talking about). When I’m really bored I do “thought experiments” like imagining the path of a photon from its creation (the product of fusion within the Sun’s core) through its 93 million mile journey in space until it hits and excites the outer electron of a surface molecule which then we perceive as color. Touch is uncomfortable unless elicited. In other words, if I or someone like my wife wants a hug I can (and it feels good) but if someone were to touch me without me expecting it I flinch.
Upside: I know a lot about a lot, I can focus intensely on an activity without being distracted, I can discriminate sounds and inflections in voice quality better than most people, and I have a great imagination.
Downside: I’m easily bored, having and keeping relationships are difficult (making those I do have very special), I lack patience, and I have problems finishing tasks especially if they are not very stimulating and are repetitive.
Note: I can relate to cats.
-A. M. Holmes