aspergers, autism, culture, health, living abroad, psychology, travel

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Two friends suggested I start writing a blog about Asperger’s and living abroad, so I opted to do that. I’d been planning that for awhile, but I never got around to it as I’d been preoccupied with other things. I wish I’d begun this three years ago when I moved to Thailand. Better late than never I guess. That doesn’t mean I won’t have stories to tell so the readers can catch up. One thing I did was start a YouTube channel posting videos about the autism spectrum. I plan to incorporate them unto this page. It behooves everyone to learn about autism in my humble opinion. Awhile back, I saw a meme on Facebook stating the autistic brain is the greatest untapped resource on Earth. With that I’m not sure I agree 100-percent, but I think it at least deserves an honorable mention.

The Long Struggle

Growing up with undiagnosed Asperger’s wasn’t easy. Not only did nobody know what was up; my teachers and school administrators thought I was just another problem child. I’m sure my mother lost count of how many parents and grandparents told her all I needed was a good spanking. My own father was dismissive and insisted there was nothing amiss as were my two oldest siblings. They shared the same disposition as the other skeptics. My dad was in a state of denial because it crushed his ego to accept that his son wasn’t perfect. Asking him to swallow his pride and digest it as truth was too high an expectation. My know-it-all sister came around eventually after my formal diagnosis by a licensed practitioner. It was a relief to hear her admit she didn’t know everything because that was unlike her.

The Benefits of Asperger’s

My family dynamics are another story, though. I’m not here to discuss my familial relationships. I’m here to educate people about Asperger’s and to defeat stereotypes the general public has about us. Were it not for folks on the spectrum, there wouldn’t be the internet or as many engineering marvels or musical and artistic masterpieces. The allies would’ve had more difficulty defeating the Axis powers during World War II. Albert Einstein was suspected to have had Asperger’s. He fit many characteristics. It was Einstein’s theory E equals MC-squared which was used to postulate the formula to construct the atom bomb. Autistic people were also used as code breakers. The reason nobody ever could or will confirm Albert Einstein had Asperger’s was because they had no resources to confirm it.

The Original Discovery

The disorder was discovered by Dr. Hans Asperger in Vienna, Austria, in 1944. Dr. Asperger conducted studies on children to whom he referred as “little professors.” Sadly, this wasn’t accepted into the mainstream until 1994. Dr. Asperger did his work covertly to protect his patients’ privacy amid the holocaust. He didn’t want them to be exterminated by the Nazis. Hence, the reason nobody was able to follow his work for another fifty years. That made it harder for me to diagnose in 1998. Not only had I learned to compensate after being raised as a neurotypical; I was higher-functioning than most people on the spectrum the doctors knew. Many psychiatrists then had never even heard of Asperger’s like my family therapist. My situation was unearthed by sheer luck when my mother’s friend who knew me since I was a child mentioned it. And the rest is history.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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