Being given a diagnosis of Asperger’s was no surprise to me. I’ve always known, you can’t possibly have a 20 year old son with Asperger’s and not realise you’re on the spectrum too. I used to be an operational Police Officer and never felt the need to obtain a diagnosis, but in recent years I have been office bound and found the office environment to be hell on earth! Obtaining a diagnosis was the first step to getting my supervisors to understand, and was also a key tool in obtaining the reasonable adjustments needed.
Air conditioning, fluorescent lighting, messy desks, and other people daring to move things around on my desk, all drive me insane. When someone puts the radio on in the office I can almost feel myself reaching for my coat and wanting to head home. I cannot filter out the noise from the radio, and on many occasions have found myself typing the lyrics to the song playing on to the Crime Report. These sensory processing issues leave me feeling absolutely exhausted by the end of the shift. I barely get through a shift without experiencing some kind of sensory overload. Being able to escape to a quiet empty room is heaven to me.
Sometimes I enjoy speaking with my colleagues, but other days I would much prefer to be “people free.” Being honest, I would be happier in an office full of cats! Making conversation with people who almost speak a foreign language to me is tiring and painful. The constant changing inconsistent social rules of the office make no sense to me.
I hate the stereotypes associated with Asperger’s, especially when people expect me to be sensational at maths and a computer geek. I struggle with computers, and I couldn’t honestly do primary school maths! I much prefer spelling, and I am a bit of a grammar guru. I am very intolerant of other people’s poor spelling and grammar. Some say I am obsessed, but I just like things to be right.
Truthfully, I love Being Asperger’s and I am grateful that I am articulate and see things others cannot see. I love that I am comfortable in my own life and don’t have a constant need for interaction with others.
People often say things like, “How can you be Autistic when you have 4 A-Levels and a degree?” Somebody recently said to me, “You’ve done really well in life in spite of your Asperger’s.” I corrected them and replied, “No, not in spite of my Asperger’s, because of my Asperger’s.”