To put this into perspective, we had just finished a midterm, so were on that 'yay the midterm is done and I can rest a few hours before I have to start studying for the next test" high. And believe me, during a summer school anatomy and physiology class, the moments you can take a breather are few, far between, and very short. I was outside resting in the 30 minute break before my lab session started, and they came up to my bench and started talking, in that way that all exam survivors do (and darn it, I got a question wrong on the exam. Grrr...I HATE that).
This conversation started out differently because one of the woman was upset and annoyed with a classmate for basically hogging the teachers time and being overall rather obnoxious. She then mentioned, I think this person has Asperger's though or Autism or something like that.
I said, you know, I'M on the spectrum.
And thus started a truly fascinating conversation. They wanted to know what it was, how I knew, what I did about it. I explained what has already been explained so much in this blog--how I am so much better now than I was when I was younger, the techniques I have learned to adapt, and the things I still just can't do and how I get around them. Particularly, I explained how I absolutely lack the ability to read body language and tell if someone is bored or interested, telling a white lie to get me to go away, sincere or polite, etc. I explained how the best way I have learned to handle it is to have someone I trust cue me in whenever I needed to change my behavior, and tell me the truth about people's actual motivations. I also discussed how by the grace of God the Erudite Mom managed to do all the right things for training and helping people on the Spectrum without even knowing it.
Granted, I could be off base as I am an Aspie and have my limitations, but it felt like a very positive conversation. One where I shared my story, helped them to understand another classmate, and interested them. I do know that I forgot time and thus was a couple of minutes late for lab, which is horrible, but I'll forgive myself this time. As I was running to lab, one of the women yelled after me "it was great talking to you--and I really mean it!". Hearing that sort of warmed the cockles of my heart (though those famed cockles don't exist, I have now studied the basic anatomy of the heart and know!).
So for all those who are Aspies, sometimes it is a good thing to share. And to those fellow classmates of mine at Monterey Peninsula College, thanks. You really made my day.