Archive for Asperger’s Syndrome

I Got the Asperger’s

Posted in Life with tags , on April 19, 2010 by richardblandford

Richard Blandford

We are as gods. Bow down and worship us, puny humans.

Recently I got official confirmation of something that I’ve pretty much known for quite a long time.  That is, I have the Autistic Spectrum Condition called Asperger’s Syndrome.

I’m not particularly big on posting personal details on the internet, as you can attract all sorts of idiots that way (I, for instance, have never publicly revealed the existence of my miniature Schnauzer, Poppy, and don’t intend to) but feel like making a little statement about this for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, I think it’s a relevant context for understanding my writing, both published and yet-to-be-published, and if I waited for everyone to figure it out for themselves it would take bloody forever (although someone’s already cracked the code).

Secondly, it seems to me that the more that’s found out about Asperger’s, the clearer it is that the ways in which it can manifest itself can be quite subtle (although the effect it has on someone’s life, positive or negative, is rarely if ever negligible).  The internet is rife with rumours that public figures like Woody Allen, Al Gore, Steven Spielberg and Prince have Asperger’s or a related condition, but if any ever get a diagnosis, they choose not to reveal it (give or take a Ladyhawke or two).

So I suppose the point I’m making is that the reality of Asperger’s goes beyond the current basic public understanding of it.  Many of us aren’t maths geniuses, and we’re not necessarily being socially inappropriate on public transport (although I reserve the right to do so at any time).  Asperger’s logic can be an integral part of creative thought and artistic expression.  You can also be a good friend, partner, parent, family member.  It’s a difference that contains within it many variations.

Now some of the more mean-spirited out there might look up from their Daily Mail and say, ‘Oh, everybody’s got Asperger’s these days.  You’re just trying to be fashionable and get away with stuff, like that hacker bloke.’

My response to this would be, firstly, ‘fuck off’.

My second response would be that Asperger’s Syndrome has only been available as an official diagnosis in the UK for less than 20 years, and has only entered the public consciousness relatively recently.  Consequently, there are many thousands of people out there of all ages who have gone through their entire lives knowing something’s not quite ‘right’ but are only now stumbling upon a framework for understanding themselves that makes sense.  That’s why it seems that ‘everybody’s got it’ at the moment.

Anyway, there’s a few more things I have to say about the matter, but I shall save them for another time.  Until then, I shall be doing really complicated sums in my head whilst behaving inappropriately on public transport.