Where to even begin...let's see. This is probably gonna be rather long.
As my regular readers probably know (hehe, I just like that phrase) I see a shrink on a regular basis, I have ADD and take medication for depression. I don't currently feel depressed but without the meds I can get rather morose and downtrodden. Anyway, what no one here or most anyone for that matter knows is that most, if not all, of those things are symptoms of my autism. I am what is called a High Functioning Autistic. I've had one doctor say that it was Aspergers and not autism but I don't think there's that much difference and really don't care anyway.
Having revealed that, I do need to give the members of this board an apology because I am sure at least once, maybe twice, I have gone out of my way to say that I am not autistic. So, with heartfelt sincerity I am sorry.
Please understand that I do have my reasons. Once someone finds out I'm autistic they seem to treat me like I'm retarded or slow or I don't know... just different and it's infuriating. Worst of all the very few people who have found out, in real life, start talking slow and soft and get all touchy, feely, huggy, crap going and the touching and hugging are things that I really don't like.
Now don't get the wrong impression as most people do, Rain Man I am not. I can't count in 87's or do long division or square roots in my head, and my underwear come from Sacs or Dillards not K-Mart. If you met me you would most likely think that I'm just a very stand-offish person.
While my wife may agree with the idiot part I am by no means a savant. The most savant(ish) thing I've ever done was when I taught myself to read German in high school because I liked Nazi architecture and the only books you could get on it where by the likes of Troost, Fick and Speer and published by the NSDP in the mid-thirties, in German of course.
My autism manifests itself in my ADD and my depression but in other ways as well. I obsess over subjects or details or details of subjects I find interesting (at the time.) I tend to relate to everything in terms of a spacial relationship, how a line intersects a plane or path moves through a given space (that one is kinda hard to explain.) I tend not to talk to most people other than making myself say "hello" and "goodbye." If I do talk to you, I'll most likely pontificate on about my subject of interest for the week in infinitesimal detail not letting you get a word in edgewise, with no regard to whether or not you find it interesting. Most people don't get my sense of humor (I'm sure plenty here have noticed that it's a bit off. Though here it's far more measured and controlled so, I'm sure, less noticeable.) I do echolalia(ate), though until I hit "post" no one knows that but me. (for those who don't know that's the compulsion to repeat what someone else says.) I only do that when I'm by myself in the car on the way home listening to NPR and I don't just repeat what they say I repeat it backward. If they said, "George Bush is in Washington." I would say something like, "Egorg Shub si ni Notingshaw." It's not exactly backward but you get the idea. I do stem. My stemming usually involves pacing, though, do to having to sit in front of a computer, it has developed into rocking. Most notably, I live in my head. I've lived a thousand lives in my head and I don't really need you or your reality. Most obvious is I don't like intimate touching. It's a struggle for me not to knock the shit out of the little old lady who wants to put her arm around me as ask, "How ya doin' honey?" The thought almost makes my skin crawl. However objectified touching doesn't bother me. When I was stripper people could grab at me all they wanted in very intimate areas and it wouldn't bother me. There was nothing intimate about it. I was merely an object to them and I was fine with that, it meant they weren't intruding on my reality, I guess... I don't know, I just know that kind of touching (as an object) is okay.
What brought all of this about is that my stemming has been getting worse lately and when I start rocking back and forth in a meeting it can be somewhat disconcerting to the others there. I get the impression that they think I must be tripping or have DT's. Fortunately, for how ever long it lasts, most of my clients are NDNs and I'm just naturally more at ease with them so the stemming usually doesn't start. With others thought it is somewhat of a problem. Anyway, (I'm getting mired down in details as I usually do) I brought this up with my usual doc and she referred me to a specialist to help me with the stemming. I didn't like him. His recommendation was low dose anti-psychotic drugs. I don't like the whole idea of it and besides I like my stemming and find it to be very calming. So I have decide this is me and the rest of the world just has to deal with it, it's there problem not mine (maybe I'm burying my head in the sand but that's just the way I feel.) Anyway in the course of our conversation he asked if I correspond with people on line, which apparently a lot of autistics do. To which I said, "yes" and told him the nature of this site and type of correspondence I have.
While he thought it was good that I do connect with people he said that he thought it was unethical that I give out relationship and inter-personal type advise without stating that I'm autistic. Thus the reason for this post.
I dismissed his assertion for about three weeks but I thought about it over the weekend and started to second guess myself. I have experienced a lot of life. I've been happily married nearly a decade. I have a pretty successful practice in my chosen field. I may have only had sex with one person, other than myself, but I dated and fondled about every female in town, single and married. I can be the life of the party as long as the party doesn't get to crowded. I can be the best friend you ever had, if you get to know me. Otherwise I may, seemingly, be the coldest person you'll ever know. Like I said, if you met me you would never know I was autistic. The worst you would likely think is I'm either calculating and impersonal or maybe scheming and shifty. Whatever I may be, I'm not retarded and I hide my autism because I don't like being treated that way.
I don't know, I feel that I do bring something to this board. I'm sure there are many times you may not agree with my opinions but I do feel I have something to offer those who need a little advice or encouragement or those who, simply, have a question. I think, I make most of any advice I have ever given, pretty, open-ended. That is to say, I try most of the time to clarify the options and offer encouragement rather that prescribe a course of action or conclusion. I am a very good study of peoples behaviors and I think my general detachment from my own experiences gives me a little extra incite that might better help others in their questions and troubles.
What do you think. Have I been disingenuous? Should I make a statement in my sig that says I'm autistic and therefor don't relate to the world the same as you? Should I put a link in my sig to this post? Or, should I not be giving out advise at all, as the doc I saw seemed to be suggesting?
I thought I knew all those answers but I had a lot of time to think about it this weekend and thought maybe I didn't. So, let the shit fly and land where it may.
Ethics, Autism & This Board
Where to even begin...let's see. This is probably gonna be rather long.
There is no punishment. There is no reward. There are only consequences.
No, in my personal opinion you do not have to wrote it in your sig, put a link to this page in your sig, or state it at the beginning of your post. If you being autistic makes any difference in the answers and advice that you give, it is just a different perspective. A perspective that has really helped me and for which I will always be thankful.
<b>The Word of God - <i>Surprisingly indistinguishable from one's own personal opinion.</i></b>
I don't it's something that you should have to parade around with; you seem very articulate in the written form.
As far as advice, I believe that SDP said this once (sorry if I'm wrong)
"You get the quality of medical care here that you pay for" Meaning, we're all here just trying to help each other out, but by no means should anything said here by anyone be taken as gospel.
I don't see why having autism would make you less worthy to give advice than someone here who has cancer, or depression, or is a single parent, etc etc.
**Baby i have to agree with the guys on this one, you don't have to label yourself anything (cept sexy) in my opinion, we love ya, end of story, and you have always given great advice etc, and had a laugh too, the perfect combination in my book.........i have to say that i have never felt you coming across cold or distant......for what my opinion is worth hon, i think you're one of the bestest members on the forum, so there *mwah* ** :grin:
Get a taste of Old Time Religion..........lick a witch grin<br />
"Should I make a statement in my sig that says I'm autistic and therefor don't relate to the world the same as you?"
Well if you decide to do that Old-Folks, then we'd all better get descriptive in the accurate sense; which'd mean I'd better start labelling myself a depressive/single-mother/former narcotic-abusing/hair-pulling headcase. Tell that doctor where to go!!
I haven't posted much on this board, but I've been reading it for a long time. And I've always been very impressed with you and everything you say. I sure can't see anything you should apologize for, nor any reason to include a caveat in your signature.