Sunday, September 9, 2012

The pitfalls of being 'High Functioning".

Hello again, my friends, it has been a while.

I know, by now you are all used to me having a great span of time between posts.  I figure, y'all like me anyway.

And on to the topic at hand--I was first going to make this post in two parts.  The first part was going to be from an excellent blog post I read on Rethinking Autism about abolishing functional levels in Autism Spectrum Disorder cases.  The point of the article was that a person who is high functioning one day can be in total Aspie attack meltdown mode the next.  And you never really know what is going on in their heads--good acting skills should not be acquainted with good functioning skills.  Now, it can be said that if you can act past it you can clearly function, and to some extent that is logical.  But the Aspie who seems to handle the most stressful and complicated of situations one day will, the next day or even the next hour, will suddenly completely meltdown.  From high functioning to low functioning in the blink of an eye, because the brain is just not that easily categorized, nor is it particularly consistent.

Sadly, the link to that post seems to be broken.  So trust me that I summarized it well, even eruditely.  

The second part of this is about my experiences with this issue.  I have discovered that the hardest part of being a fairly high functioning Aspie is that people forget you are an Aspie.  This sounds good because it means you are well trained and doing it right, but the danger is that you create a false expectation that you will always be perfect in social situations, that you will always say just the right thing, that you will always be competent and capable.  You see, you are most of the time, so who can blame others for expecting it of you all the time?  The problem is that when you DO fail, when you DO have those moments, those slips of the tongue, those social faux pas, they look at you in horror. How rude, they think.  She shouldn't have had that beer. She said too much.  I thought she was nice, but I guess not.

And I want to scream, I TOLD you I was an Aspie. I warned you this could happen.  Not to avoid responsibility for my actions and I certainly apologize when I need to, but please be a little kinder?  I'm not rude.  I'm a nice person.  But I AM an Aspie.  And sometimes things just slip out of my control.  Because keeping it in control, all the time, is DARN hard.  And takes effort.  It's like trying to juggle 3 balls while having a conversation and watching a movie all at the same time.  Is it any wonder that sometimes the ball drops, no matter how talented the performer?  

And then you ask whether I am creating problems where none exist, but I don't know, do I?  I can't tell these things.  I can't read your face. Remember, I am an Aspie.  


God bless,