No offense autism, but you receive a lot of attention. If I search for you on Google, you yield 14,200,000 hits. I, on the other hand, only yield 3,860,000. On Amazon.com, I have 2,244 results; you have have a few more (9,466). On Twitter, you (#autism) are far more common than my incarnations (#asperger or #aspie). We have similar birthdays (1940s). Yet, you entered the DSM-III in 1980 , and “autistic” traits were noted starting in 1968. 1994 was my debut and, rumor has it, the DSM-V will be my demise.
You’ve worked really hard for this attention and awareness, and man, do you deserve it. I could hang on your coat tails. We are both on the same spectrum, as you know, but I don’t want to take your attention. I just want the world to see my shades, too. Many call me the Invisible Disability because I appear “normal”. The more my challenges present themselves, their “weirder” I look to others. But, I have struggles, too, which are variations of what you experience.
I can talk, but conversations, jokes, sarcasm, figurative and abstract language, and talking under pressure are all so challenging. I often sound more competent than I really am. I sometimes have an extremely high IQ, but this number is misused to set equally lofty expectations across areas of functioning that are not always appropriate. I am both highly aware and highly unaware of my surroundings. My internal war with anxiety is often debilitating. My “stimming” can be more subtle but no less necessary. I believe in fairness and justice, which is admirable but I’ve been told I can take this too far (although I’m still not sure what this means). I, too, get confused by those NTs, who are my coworkers, my significant others, my friends, and my adversaries (at times).
I guess, I just want those that know about you, to know about me. We are family, which is by birth, but I’d like to think we are also friends, by choice. In the battle of awareness and quest for acceptance, I stand proudly with you by my side.