Monday, December 5, 2011

Aspergers: How It Affects People

As I make my way through the crowded locker bays, I spot of group of my class members chatting about everything from what kind of car so-and-so has or how so-and-so screwed up his chance with a girl. A merge into their little circle, listening to their conversations. All the while I'm looking for a chance to jump into the conversation, a chance when someone brings up something that I can relate to. But it never comes. I could say something that diverts the conversation towards a subject that I can relate to, but what if I say something stupid? What if I attempt to socialize with them and end up making a fool of myself. As these thought run through my mind, none of the guys even seem to acknowledge my presence. They've met me, they know me, yet they don't deem me worthy of having a simple conversation with. With a sense of failure, I leave the group. As I leave, none of my peers seem to notice that I have gone. It is as if I'm a ghost to them. A student known and accepted by others, but with the behavior of an outcast.

Two things are to blame for my failure to socialize in this situation. These being: myself, for not having the courage to speak up, and Aspergers Syndrome, which makes it incredibly difficult for me to socialize with others.

Aspies often have trouble understanding facial expressions and/or non-formal uses of language. A neurotically person is able to naturally adapt to their social environment as they grow, learning how to read voice tones, facial expressions, slang's, etc. For people with Aspergers, this process of adaptation is more difficult. They have trouble learning these social characteristics as time goes by, because of this they must be told what each expression, slang, and/or tone means. Now I'm not saying that Aspies are incapable of learning how to adapt socially into their environment. If an Aspie has learned enough about the characteristics of their condition and about various social traits (for example: How people don't like it when one person talks to much, or how people enjoy it when you pay attention to them when they are talking.), then that Aspie could learn how to adopt these traits of socializing and learn how to suppress the quirks and ticks of their condition.

Though possible, the process of learning to socialize with others remains difficult. Because of this, people with Aspergers are not likely to have many friends. Also the possibility of getting married and starting a family is minimal. This is not just because of their trouble with socializing, but also because the responsibility of maintaining such a lengthy commitment imposes a great deal of stress  and pressure upon the Aspie, often more than the Aspie can handle.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that I consider us Aspies as a group who's lifestyle and personalities are designated for us because of our disorders. Every man and woman with Aspergers is still their own person. Their lives and choices are still theirs to make, they may be affected by the Aspergers but they are certainly not determined by Aspergers. I stated above that one of the reasons for my failure to socialize was because I was to shy to say anything. That is because my decision not to speak may have been influenced by my condition, but it was still my choice to not engage in the conversation. Like any human being, an Aspie  has control over their lives. Meaning that they, if they work hard, can learn how to live with, and perhaps even overcome, their Aspergers Syndrome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great Job Sam