December 31st, 2011, 10:51 PM
An odd blessing and answer to prayer:
I finally had a chance the other day to speak to my Dr. about autism. I have been very frustrated by a number of symptoms that seemed to be likely of manic-depression or ADHD - both of which I have been formally diagnosed with but I have still struggled with other symptoms that I had been unable to associate with eithe of these brain disorders. So, I began to take a real look other possibilities and one that seemed to fit the bill was autism or Asperger Syndrome. In particular the following symptoms match (I have put a star byt the ones that differ somewhat as I have aged and will explain below):
• Lack of managing appropriate social conduct
• High intelligence
• Anger management problems
• Controlling feelings such as depression, fear or anxiety
•* Lack of empathy
•* Inability to listen to others
•* Inflexible thinking
• Repetitive routines provides feelings of security
• *Stress when their routine suddenly changes
•* Inability to think in abstract ways
• Specialised fields of interest
• Visual thinking
But otherwise, this explains me to a "t". And I was surprised when my Dr. said that she didn't doubt that I was autistic and agreed that I should bring it up with my psychiatrist when I see him on the 13th in just a couple weeks. Now, you may think "Why would you want a diagnosis or why would you want to admit this?" My Dr. was concerned too and mentioned that this would just be one more label. The label doesn't mean so much to me as being able to explain to people why I am the way I am. And now that my medication has been adjusted for manic-depression/ADHD - I am able to deal with these symptoms better as well and it seems as though I am already taking medication that helps with these symptoms.
But what is even more important is that I've always known I'm not stupid but now I have autism to back me up on this. And what's funny to me is that all the time I was asking my teachers for help in school - was because they were explaining things too simply - my brain knew that things couldn't be explained so simply. I needed reasons why it was important to add 2 + 4 and why I had to be able to solve algebra equations. Of course now as an adult I understand that these mathmatic equations were to help teach me to problem solve and if I were given a chance to prove myself now, I know I could do it. In fact, once I was out of high school and had some time away from college and began to understand how and why I would use such studies in life - things began to make a lot more sense I was able to begin to appreciate such learning. So the truth never has been that I am unintelligent or mentally incapable of handling studies that I once seemed incapable of - my brain just works in a different way and unfortunately no one was willing to take the time to check into this or give me a chance in a different school setting. In fact, when I did ask for help I was either told I was being lazy or wanted attention. Well, I did want attention - I was struggling obviously with many different problems because of many different disorders all bombarding me at the same time I was supposed to be learning how to multi-task and be more responsible. All this together was just too much and basically most of the time I shut down and just gave up because I wasn't able to take all this on and not being given or having the proper help. I went through most of my life misunderstood, undiagnosed and unappreciated.
As far as the symptoms that I can't completely side with or that do not as closely apply:
1. lack of empathy - sometimes, I am hard on myself so I am often times if not as hard or harder on others
2. inability to listen to others - I get very frustrated when I am either interrupted when busy and others just want to chit chat and usually with chit chat in general - I like there to be a specific point to conversation or I do get frustrated but usually this is just when I am busy or on a mission like I usually am, lol - otherwise I am somewhat okay with chit chat but I do struggle with distraction so I know there have been many times I have come across aloof or rude and that is not the case...I do struggle too with social interactions where there is a lot going on or more than a few people around me
3. inflexible thinking - I am getting better with this but when I am right and I know I am - there is nothing anyone but God himself could do to get me to think otherwise and this has been a problem in my life...there are many things I have been wrong about and because I did struggle so much in the past and was treated in ways that were not appropriate or helpful...this has made me stronger and more resilient but also less willing to back down now when I know I am right but I have learned that when I am wrong to say so and I do my best to do this
4. stress when my routine changes...well, routine is pretty hard to establish in this life, lol - so I am pretty good with this but I will say that this is one reason I do not like taking vacations or being away from home all that much, I'd much rather stay at home and do what I like to do with the exception of getting out to run errands or go to places that I consider safe or where I am able to be comfortable
5. inability to think in abstract ways...I am still learning about this so I can't say all that much other than that I know I am able to think in more ways and about more things than I was able to when I was younger
But all the other symptoms are ones that do fit very well and hopefully help to explain why I am the way I am and hopefully will not discourage others from interacting with me but rather help them to seek to get to know me better and even help me when these symptoms persist either because of setbacks or stresses in life that are beyond my control. The other thing is, I would appreciate your prayers and support as I ask the Dr. to diagnose me and as I seek help in therapy to help control these symptoms and learn how to handle them when they are persisting.
So, such a good thing. Such a good thing. Just as good as having been diagnosed as manic-depressive - I didn't appreciate it at the time but I do now. And I hope that as I share these things, you all - who mean so much to me will be able to appreciate why I am the way I am and further seek ways to be a part of my life in response to these things because this is the truth of my life. And ya know what? To God be the glory! I don't completely understand it yet, but this is the way I was made and for a reason...and I partly understand..."difficult people" like me - in a way we are test for those who are "normal", lol. If you can learn to appreciate and be patient with a person like me - then you are doing pretty well, lol. I am kidding as much as I am being serious. No, these things are so that we can learn to appreciate one another and not judge but I know too that there are and will be other ways that I am being used and will be used by God. But again, to God be all the glory, honor and praise.
So, eh - you learn something new about me everyday, don't ya? LOL!
2 Corinthians 12:6-10
King James Version (KJV)
6For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
7And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Amen, thank you, Lord!
January 3rd, 2012, 09:44 AM
I must say I enjoyed reading your post. I have a 4 yr old grandson who has recently been diagnosed with Aspergers. He marches to the tune of his own drum and as such we have been enriched by him and enjoy him. Accepting who you are in Christ is important. I'd encourage you to continue letting the Lord fulfil His plans for your life and you will be richly blessed and a blessing to others too!
January 3rd, 2012, 12:23 PM