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Behaviour » Blogging AS an Aspie
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Matt has Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and is writing this blog so that people can gain more of an insight into how people with the condition process thoughts, feel emotions, react to situations and generally handle life.
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07 Mar 09 Suspended

At 9am yesterday, I went into one of the rooms at the specialist college to reclaim some travel expenses, and found that the person I wished to speak to wasn’t there. As I was waiting, I had a charming first-year student inform me “Boo hoo, Emily isn’t here, what are you going to do?” Followed by a couple of other patronising remarks. I calmly walked round to him, and in a joking-style, said to him “this is what I’m going to do!” And I lightly clipped him across the top of his head – no different to how I interact with some other people, it’s just part of me…

Anyways, this student doesn’t react initially, but a lovely female support worker then informs me that “You shouldn’t hit other students,” and I explained that wasn’t hitting, it was a light slap across his head, with no force involved. She repeated her information, and then the student started to join in – except he wasn’t quite so friendly, “F**k off out of this f**king room!”

Then, the lovely staff member advises me to leave. I ignore her, because I don’t make a habit of following staff direction when they basically repeat what a student has told me to do. I get about three more requests out of the pair of them, before the student threatens me, “F**k off out of this room, or I’ll f**king drag you out!” I move into the middle of the room, where there is space to defend myself, but before I have a chance to prepare for a block, the staff member has put herself in the way, and the student assaults her as she blocks him.

Then, I’m told that I must see the College Co-Ordinator before I leave – but as I’m pressed for time, I give her 60 seconds, and tell her to ring me for any information, or if there are any developments. Next thing I hear is my Mum ringing me at 1pm, to tell me that the service provider has rang my step-dad (at work) to tell him that there has been an incident and that there will be a meeting. I then rings the college co-ordinators office to find out who rang my parents, and why they didn’t inform me – both of them denied ringing them…

After a day out at GFE College, I went back to be informed that I’m now about to walk into a Stage 5 Disciplinary meeting (the highest it can go without involving an external agency), and immediately request time with my advocate. My advocate then refuses to read my statement of events, and tells me that she is there solely to check I understand what is being said. During this meeting I’m told that I’m suspended from the service provider, and that

18 Feb 09 Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill

Disclaimer: I do not, at present, agree to using hormonal contraceptives as a method for controlling behaviour in females with autistic traits!

I don’t want to say too much about this, because it is simply my own personal observations of somebody who may or may not have any autistic traits – certainly I don’t think she is formally diagnosed with anything. This article is a follow up to Maybe, maybe not!

My observations

None of the observations from the previous post have changed, and the young lady concerned is still the same as always when in class. I’ve noticed her more often outside of class, mainly in the college canteen where she is still surrounded by her large group of friends, and, often, her boyfriend.

The difference comes in her behaviour towards me. When I first met her, she was alright with me, not exactly best-of-mates, but certainly no trace of dislike. Admittedly I can be a bit very patronising at times, and that can cause people to dislike me, but I wasn’t expecting her behaviours towards me. Within 2 weeks of meeting her, it would appear to anybody who saw us that she hated me. She would be very ‘bitchy’ to me in class, and my support worker overheard her saying quite a considerable number of horrible things about me to her friend.

Then, for no apparent reason, she simply ignored me, then would talk to me, ignore me, and go back to the bitching. Funny, but that cycle took about 28 days – give or take… After October half-term, it happened all over again, and I basically go used to the fact that she was never going to get on with me, even if her life depended on it! But then, something changed leading up to Xmas. She was civil to me – which was, for this situation, quite a breakthrough. Obviously, I tried to stay civil, and polite with her, although I was very confused by her sudden change; particularly as I was subsconsciously bracing myself for another lesson of bitchiness.

One of the girls I used to know at high school will tell you that I have an almost uncanny ability to predict, with a 1 day accuracy, when a girl’s period will fall; based solely on what one person has told me about her in two weeks. Amazingly, I was spot-on for some considerable time – althought it was never a topic we brought up often!

So, completely confused by what my mind was guessing, and what I was noticing, I quickly flicked through my notebook. One thing I sometimes do is to make notes at the top of any pages when a social situation is turning negative, to see if there is a trend (ie is it getting worse, and is it continual). I wrote the dates where I had made notes (only twice) in the back of the notes, and calculated the interval – 27 days. Then, I worked out the time between the last note and that day – 57 days. Without medical evidence, but using solely mathematics and gut feeling, I assumed I was calculating when she was ‘on’.

Since the Xmas holidays, she’s been even more bubbly than usual, and has started asking me for help. Sometimes complimenting or thanking me, although almost invariably in a sarcastic way. I could be seeing things in too much of a positive way, but I like to at least think that she has become much more civil and polite with me than she was.

The final observation was actually a physical one – and that was thing young lady taking a small white tablet from a foil packet which she kept in her bag. My medical knowledge guessed that it was likely to be a COCP, and based on what I’d seen of them, I would hazard a guess at Microgynon-30.

Conclusions

I can’t really say. I can timeline things, and figure that she started seeing her boyfriend in either October or November, that she became more civil/polite towards me in late December, and that I witnessed her taking a small white pill about 2 weeks ago. But that is all circumstantial.

Whatever has changed her, and stopped her being so bitchy to me, and horrible about me behind my back, is a great thing as far as I’m concerned. I can’t say what it is, but I can guess…

23 Dec 08 Yesterday

Yesterday was a ‘funny day’ for me. I met a friend, who I’m still not supposed to be meeting, then I did 5 hours volunteering, which was absolutely manic (no pun intended), and then went back home. I got an email from my friend, well, she doesn’t consider me a friend.

Let’s start from the beginning. As usual to get to Sunderland from where I’m staying, I got the bus, and it passes through where I used to live. An old man got on board and was walking to the seat opposite me when the bus pulled away. Naturally he stumbled and fell forward towards me, he put his hands out to protect him, and I quickly braced myself to prepare to “control a fall”, with my hands aiming to help brace his arms. As he sat down on his seat, I was totally shocked to hear him say, “I wasn’t being funny or anything there!” Why has the world come to an old man assuming that a teenage lad would think he was trying it on?

Then, I gets to Sunderland, and went off to meet my mate. Bless her, she had bought me a lovely present at very short notice, despite me constantly telling her not to! Thanks! And she adored the necklace and earrings that I bought her. We only had 10 minutes as she had a couple of more presents to buy, and I was due out volunteering.

So, on I go to volunteer, where the service users are getting their Christmas Meal today, and there is also a pool, darts & dominoes competition. Most of the staff & volunteers are working in the kitchen and dining room, and the drop-in supervisor is running the competitions. Leaving me and a new volunteer to run the counter.

Normally the counter is an easy job, and I love it. We make tea, coffee, and chat with service users. Usually I get to read my books and magazines… Today was different, after an initially slow start. Once things got going, I was sitting down for about 1 minute at a time before more people wanted serving, and with the supervisor constantly being called downstairs or having other jobs to do, I ended up as acting-supervisor quite often! At one point, I was the only person in the drop-in, never once away from the boiler!

But that’s all part of the fun, and I don’t mind giving up my time to help out. In fact, I’ll probably be doing New Year’s Eve if they need any volunteers to come in and help out! Hopefully it’ll be a little quieter.

Then, I gets home, have some food, and relax in front of my laptop, as is normal for the holiday time. I’d sent an email to my friend on Sunday night, as she hadn’t been talking to me, and I was wondering why. To be quite honest, I wasn’t expecting her to reply at all. I’d sent her a lovely present by recorded delivery, and also a poem which makes my feelings for her rather clear – I pretty much managed to say “I love you” without using that exact phrase.

At around 11pm, I saw an email flash up from her, so immediately clicked on it. She told me that she no longer considers me to be a friend, I probably don’t know the reason we’re not talking (possibly because she hasn’t told me?), doesn’t feel the same way at all, and can’t cope with me anymore. Once again, this girl had me in tears, although this time with very good reason, because somehow I’d ruined things again.

27 Nov 08 Maybe, maybe not!

I’m not quite sure how to write this, to be honest. What it is, I know somebody in one of my GFE college classes who I’m not sure if she has a “non-descript undiagnosed underlying condition”, and I’m considering the possibility that it may be “on the spectrum”…

My observations

She is a friendly enough girl, in fact it’s fair to say that she gets on with pretty much everybody at college, has a large circle of friends, and is incredibly sociable. It’s crossed my mind more than once that she may well be in college purely to build a social network!

But in the lesson I have with her, she displays a lack of confidence, which usually comes across as attention-seeking. Though it may be possible that the low confidence and attention-seeking are entirely seperate issues. It’s hard to say why she’s not confident about the work, because in the time I’ve seen her focus and do it, she is more than capable of answering the questions correctly.

As well as that, she is usally asking for help, either by ‘disrupting’ other people or shouting the lecturer’s name out loud. Whilst it’s excellent that she recognises her need for support, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps there are other, more appropriate ways of going about obtaining it! This can often lead to other people trying to help, which may contribute towards the next problem…

The habit of continual talking. I know this is something I am quite an expert on, but not even I am that bad! It starts with the subject, but quickly moves off to everybody’s social life and anything else she feels like talking about. Quite often we have discussion about how long until break is, can it be extended, and can we finish early? This conversation will be ongoing whilst she texts any of her friends not in the lesson! It’s probably safe to assume that she is very easily distracted, and it can be a struggle for the lecturer to bring her back on task.

What I’ve heard

I’ve also heard that she is the same in other lessons, and has been throughout her school life.

My analysis

Well, I’m not sure if she is on the spectrum. I’ve considered the diagnostic criteria for sub-strands of conditions, and I would say that it’s possible that she’d fit some of the criteria for attention-deficiency. She also fits some of the criteria for hyperactivity, but not many.

At present, it may be that she has an “atypical presentation” of a related condition. I know it’s possible to miss ASD completely with girls, and even more so as they mature and the symptoms can be masked as they master the social skills necessary to make up for the deficits.

I simply don’t know if it should be considered a possibility or not – maybe she should see an educational psychologist…?

25 Nov 08 Self-control

Against even my own belief, I am proving that I actually have some self-control. For once, I think I can avoid getting myself into what I know would be a stupid and bad argument.

The trouble is, the reason for this new-found self-control isn’t a one that is “easily-transferred”. Once again, I find myself making the right choice because of one person in particular. And it’s that one person that I’ve blogged about at different times of the year, including my self-control at her birthday party.

This time, I’ve just been looking around Facebook, as you do, and my news feed showed some ‘Recently tagged photos’ of my friend; being a nosey sod that I undoubtebly am, I clicked the link and started to look at some of them. Initially, I made a couple of comments, one was in response to another one of her friends. But then, almost immediately, he replied with something that kinda incensed me a little bit.

I don’t know why it did. Actually, I do know why it did, and it stems from a combination of two things: my respect for my friend, and how much I care about her. Ok, so there is a third factor, but I can’t post it on here, I barely admit that factor to myself… So, I went straight for the keypad of my phone to type a response, and started a few words, but then froze. I actually managed to put in place the main strategy everybody around me has been trying to get me to do: STOP, think, act.

My thoughts then centered not on me, my comment, or what I was replying to, but immediately on my friend, and her feelings. I couldn’t post, I just couldn’t; it would most likely end up upsetting her. And that, I think, is something I keep trying to “protect her from”. That sounds bad – God only knows how much I complain about people doing that to me – except I don’t actually do much, or interfere. I’m just there, someone she can talk to, or someone who’ll ask her a couple of questions if I think she’s aiming straight down a path that will only lead to her being hurt.

I just wish I knew why my thoughts were the way they are. I really do, it’s so hard to figure out for most teenage lads, but it’s harder again for me. I’m confused, and right now, I don’t even think that Thought Process Analysis will do much other than end up in an infinite loop!

Well, now just to smile, be happy I didn’t do anything, and try and relax…