Personal story about Autism: substituting intellect for emotional empathy


Greetings and Salutations,

I am Andrew W., also known as Generic Fighter, darn near everywhere on the Interwebs.


To start off, you will need to get to know me so here are some Random Fun Facts about me. I have a sense of humor and am NOT afraid to use it! (You can tell when I make a feeble attempt at Humor when you see this ":P" at the end of a sentence .) I have an I.Q. of 214. I have lived all my life (except for vacations, of course) in South-Central Pennsylvania: Home of "Grand Theft Horse and Buggy" :P It has been a little over 29 years since I was "Surgically-Removed" :P from my Mom's belly.


I like animals, especially kitty-cats and puppy-dogs. I'm a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan. I'm a Gamer of many stripes, from video games to card games to role-playing games. If you ever have a question about any kind of game, whether it be the concept, the rules or even strategy tips, I'm probably the guy to ask.


I'm a professional volunteer by trade. My hobbies include painting gaming miniatures, editing wikis -- I actually found this one, Autism Wiki, through an advertisement on a Gaming Wiki I do a lot of work on -- "reading" audio books -- I do this a lot, too. In fact, I actually wore out the first 3 Harry Potter books on tape from listening to them so much that I finally had to upgrade all of them to CDs, so I could burn a replacement if any disc was Damaged beyond usability -- trade collectable gaming miniatures over the internet -- I've had over 100 positive trade recommendations on the one site I trade on and have NEVER had a negative feedback on any site! I'm kind of proud of that. -- and irritating my Dad :P


Oh yeah, I almost forgot...


I also have a type of autism known as Asperger's. However, the only major difficulties it still causes for me that I haven't solved to my satisfaction yet are that it makes me a very, very slooooooow typist and causes my cursive handwriting to be nearly indecipherable to most people, myself included :P


It is the co-occuring disorder that comes with it that is the only real problem I have at the current time. And, really, it in and of itself isn't so bad at all as my medication deals with it nearly perfectly. It is what the rest of the Universe seems to think about it that is the problem! You see, my co-occuring disorder is clinical depression. I'm also supposed have some thing called Schizo-Typical Personality Disorder, though I'm not quite sure what it is, really.


If I had been born without a limb or blind or deaf or mute, people would have been understanding and kind to me. They would have helped me if I asked for it and made sure I was safe and happy. But, NOOOOO, I had to have a "Broken Brain" :( Sigh. So, instead they run for the hills at any mention of my "abnormality" and generally couldn't give rat excrement about my wellbeing :(


This reaction, sometimes called "stigma", is my problem and what I want to be gone from the world! I've dedicated my entire adult life to erasing this "Stigma" from the world, one community at a time.


In my local community, I am a spokesman for the addition and expansion of Education about Mental Illnesses in ALL schools, from kindergarten to college and to the parents as well. I am one of the co-chairs of the local Community Support Program Commitee, which is a group composed of mental health providers, the mental health care consumers (those who have a mental illness themselves) and members of the families of the mentally ill as well. The CSP, as it is sometimes called, works with the local government to ensure that the mentally ill are treated fairly and have their say in, not only their own treatment, but the whole of the community!


I am also an active member of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and have been trained as an "In Our Own Voice" Speaker so I can talk about my own difficulties, successes, where I've come from and my hopes and aspirations for the future! And I have a lot of aspirations :)


Anywho, I've just about run out of time on the ol' compu-tron, so I'll leave you with some of my favorite words of wisdom, from Harry Potter of all places. And here they are: "Nitwit Blubber Odment Tweek, Thank You" :P


Okay, seriously this time: (But still from the Harry Potter books. Read them. You'll like them.)


"It is not our abilities that define us, it is our choices. It is not what one is born that truly matters, it is what one grows to become."
Peace and long life :)


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This story is under the GNU Free License Agreement and is adapted from Autism Wiki.