Self DiagnosedIt is quite incredible at at my ripe age, 38 about to turn 39, I have only come to realised that. I come from a country where very little is known about Asperger's syndrome and autism more generally.
I have started working with teenagers with Asperger's syndrome these last months and the first thing that struck me is that they were not at all what I expected them to be. I had this picture in my mind of the character played by Dustin Hoffman in Rainman and I expected them to behave like that, to be really difficult.
Not only weren't they really difficult as I had imaged but by spending time with them and working with them, I came to realise that I actually found them much more 'normal' than 'normal people'.
I recently started a training about Austism at work. I have been doing a lot of reading about it these last weeks. And quirkinesses I used to display (or still display for some of them), unexplainable reactions to little things that I have had, even my way of seeing the world all seem to correspond with the ones of a person with Asperger's syndrome.
It was quite a shock for me when I found out. I went through a rather distressing time cursing the day I was conceived because I was born with a brain that functions differently from the majority of other people and that this has caused me a lot of problems and distresses that could not have been avoided, that's for sure, but could at least have been limited, had I been aware of what was causing them.
I am now at the beginning of a long road, trying to understand how my somehow different brain functions and how to adapt to the best of my ability to everyday's life.
I would like to hear about your experiences of understaning you had Asperger's syndrome. How old were you? Were you formally diagnosed or did you 'self diagnose'? How did you react? What were the implications for you? Did you make important changes to your life or did you not chanage a thing to it but started using strategies to cope as well as you could?