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Showing posts from September, 2009

Defining Ourselves via our Emotional Baggage - Part Two

Last time, I looked at a couple of small examples of how the future actions of aspies are often dictated by their emotional baggage and suggested that the long term memory and inability to let go could be root causes. This time, I want to look at how that emotional baggage transforms itself into rules and begins to take over our lives. The Leap from Memory to Rule If a piece of baggage affects you enough to be constantly in your memory, it soon begins to transform itself into aspie rules. Sometimes these rules are good but sometimes they're too restrictive. About 16 years ago, when I was only starting my second IT job, I made the mistake of forgetting to back up some address book data when wiping an employee's laptop computer. I did back up everything else but the address book data was in an unexpected location. Although the employee in question wasn't particularly senior, he complained to management and I was reprimanded. What he didn't realise was that I would stress

Defining Ourselves via our Emotional Baggage

I don't know if it's just me, just aspies or everyone but it seems that most of the deep one-on-one social and philosophical conversations I have these days are about living with excess emotional baggage. It's perhaps an "age" thing because I really don't remember my friends talking about these issues when we were younger. Strangely enough though, even my conversations with today's youth are picking up these angsty traits. There are two good reasons why I'm beginning to suspect that its a trait that is stronger in aspies than in NTs. The first is that my "meaningful" conversations are increasingly being held with other aspies and the concept of emotional baggage seems to be increasing proportionately. My other reason is that when I examine my life and my present day actions, I'm relying on some aspie traits which I know aren't as strong in the average NT. Chief amongst these is the vivid long term memory, The Influence of the Past Th

Article: Life as an Aspergian female (Part 2b)

John Elder Robison (author of "Look me in the Eye") has I've already covered part one and the first half of part two of this article but my OCD dictates that I need to finish the rest. If you haven't read it, the article is on John Elder Robison's excellent blog; Part II of the Female’s View of Asperger’s guest post Since this post, like the previous two, is a reaction to the article, you probably should have read the originals first. Continuing on from Part 1 and Part 2a . Expression I love the term "hunted animal expression". I've often had people come up to me and ask "are you alright" when I've been perfectly alright and just thinking. I guess that when I'm deep-thinking, my facial muscles relax into whatever is my normal aspie expression - it must be scary. Deborah, the writer, talks about a difference between the male and female expression sug

Article: Life as an Aspergian female (Part 2a)

I've already covered part one of this article but it was so intriguing that I felt I should cover part two as well. I read it when it was first posted but have been so busy lately that it's taken a while to get to it. If you haven't read it, the article is on John Elder Robison's excellent blog; Part II of the Female’s View of Asperger’s guest post Apologies and Disclaimers The article starts out with apologies and disclaimers. They're a bit belated and I really think they should have been at the start of part one, but we "live and learn". I used to start my posts with disclaimers until my wife told me that they didn't make for good reading. I've since dropped them from my posts but they're always only a click away from the front page. Nearly everyone in blogging generalises in one form or another and although these generalisations can be harmful in promoting s

Article: Life as an Aspergian female

John Elder Robison (author of " Look me in the Eye ") has posted part one of a story about a female with aspergers on his blog . I was quite interested to read it because the female aspie is something of a mystery. Under-diagnosed and under documented, there are undoubtedly fewer female aspies than males. I'm still not convinced that they're as rare as they seem though. Anyway, I'd encourage you to read and respond to his article; Life as an Aspergian female - a story I had to share My Take Personally, I felt somewhat miffed by the article. It's probably my OCD/Pedantism rebelling against the generalisations in it but I'll try to outline my reasons in more detail; The Bad Empathy It would take several blog posts to even begin to break the surface on the whole empathy thing. I have big problems with the whole definition of empathy and still ha

Getting Ready for School

Last week, I spent three days at home. I needed a break from work and September is a busy month for us at home, full of birthdays, anniversaries and father's day. My wife was glad that I was home. This meant that she too could take a break while I looked after the morning mayhem. Surprisingly, everything went off without a hitch and the kids were fed, packed and dressed for school not only on time but also with enough free time to play a few rounds of computer games. At first, I thought it was a fluke but the pattern repeated over the next few days. Does this make me a better parent? No - of course not! It does however suggest that aspie methods work best with aspie children. The Need for Routine When I was in primary school, my mother used to set my clothes out the night before. She would make a pretend person on the floor of my room with my pants, shirt and tie set out in the right places. The pretend person even included my socks separated and poking into my shoes. In the mornin

Article: Urgency Addiction - Getting things Done

I'd just like to draw your attention to an interesting article about aspies in the workplace. Urgency Addiction - Getting things Done by Malcolm Johnson Malcolm has a unique website which looks at how Aspergers presents in the world of business. In this article he looks at the forces which cause aspies to procrastinate and to postpone work until the last minute. He also looks at techniques for getting around the problem. If you're an aspie in the workforce or later years of school or if you're the parent of a teenage aspie, this is a very good read. You might find it very familiar. My Take Strangely, the urgency addiction that Malcolm describes has almost the opposite effect to what I experience although the driving force is the same. In my case, I don't procrastinate but rather tend to do work as early and as quickly as possible. I could however relate very well to his comments about losing i