Living with Asperger's Syndrome

 

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Chapter 1

About Asperger’s Syndrome

 

Asperger's Syndrome Symptoms

 

An individual's symptoms and level of functioning can range from mild to severe. An individual may have all or only some of the described characteristics. They may exhibit more problems in unstructured social settings or new situations that involve social problem-solving skills.

Social problems

  • Although these children may express an interest in friendships, they have difficulty in making and keeping friends and may be rejected by peers; often these children are loving and affectionate with their immediate family
  • Socially inappropriate behavior for their age
  • Lack of understanding of age appropriate social cues including gestures and nonverbal communication
  • Difficulty judging personal space
  • Difficulty understanding others' feelings or showing empathy
  • Rigid social behavior due to an inability to spontaneously adapt to variations in social situations

Abnormal communication patterns

  • Awkward or inappropriate body language, including limited use of gestures and absent or inappropriate facial expressions
  • Unusual, formal style of speaking
  • Difficulty understanding nonliteral and implied communication
  • Impairments in the modulation of volume, intonation, inflection, rate, and rhythm of speech
  • Speech may be tangential (consisting of unconnected topics) and circumstantial (giving significantly excessive detail about a topic), often including irrelevant comments
  • Conversation style characterized by marked wordiness
  • Difficulty with "give and take" of conversation

Lack of sensitivity about interrupting others

Activities

  • Intense interest in a particular, often very restricted, or immature subject that dominates the individual's attention
  • Inflexible adherence to routines; has repetitive routines or rituals
  • Apprehensive about change, may have difficulty transitioning from one activity to another

Sensory sensitivity in some individuals with Asperger's syndrome

  • Excessive sensitivity to sound, touch, taste, light, sight, smell, pain, and/or temperature
  • Excessive sensitivity to the texture of foods

Motor skill delays in some individuals with Asperger's syndrome

  • History of delayed development of motor skills
  • Visible clumsiness and poor coordination
  • Deficits in visual-motor and visual-perceptual skills, including problems with balance, manual dexterity, handwriting, rapid movements, rhythm, and imitation of movements

People with Asperger's syndrome can have other associated psychiatric conditions or may show behaviors that are typical for other conditions. Some common associated conditions include the following (but these are not always present in everyone with Asperger's):

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Oppositional defiant disorder or other disruptive behavior disorders

Depression or other mood disorders

I really want people to know and try to understand what it is like for us people that have to live with autism.  Most people have no idea how hard it is and what it takes for us to do the most simplest tasks. If they could just know what we have to go through they would be more able to help us in our journey and try to make it easier for us to be able to be whom we are.

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Chapter 2

A little bit about me

 

Hi my name is Jeremy Tolmie I am 30 years old and have Asperger’s Syndrome 

 

I am a certified computer technician having graduated from Academy of Learning with my Computer Service Technician Diploma with honers. 

 

I work for Literacy Central Vancouver Island as a computer technician. I refurbish donated computers that go to families with kids on welfare. 

 

I live with my parents in a 500 SQF batchlor pad. They converted the carport into a living space for me. It has a walk in closet and a full bathroom. I just share the laundry room. kitchen, and dinning room.

 

I love computers, hockey, star trek, video games, alternative music, crime tv shows, most movies except romantic comedies, lord of the rings, harry potter, most fantasy and sifi books movies and games, Netflix, apple products, reading, writing and blogging, Facebook, cartoons, comics, and so much more.

 

I run two blogs and am writing a book on what it has been like for me growing up with Aspergers Syndrome and not knowing it till I was 17.

 

I am always up to making new friends on FB and getting new followers for my blogs. I am also always up to talking to people about what it has been like for me. Or about anything that they want to talk about. I am way more social on FB then I am in person that is why I love FB and am glad that it is around so that I can feel good about being social and giving me the time I need to make conversations.

 

It is a catch 22 being high functioning because I am too HF too get any real help but not HF enough to keep a job or live on my own. I have gone through 5 jobs in the last 6 years so far and it does not look like it is going to get much better.

I am 18 months older than my brother but have not spoken to him in 10 years. I was adopted at 18 months and did not find out about him till 10 years ago. we met once and he is so much like me it is amazing. he does not look like me but his mannerisms are so similar you would atomically know that we were brothers.

 

He got to grow up with my birth mother till she died when he was 14. I never got to meet her so all I have is what my brother said about her and what my blood grandmother said and what was in her medical file. she died from a brain tumour so that is how I found out about them at all. the docs got in touch with my parents to get me tested when I was 16.

 

the docs first DX was OCD at 16 a year latter they said PDD-NOS then 6 months latter said ASD Asperger’s.

 

It is just so frustrating to feel like you should be able to do all the normal stuff that every body else does and that it should not be this hard or difficult. That their is no rhyme or reason for how much anxiety you feel all the time. That it should not be this hard to talk to people and keep friends. It really is hard to deal with some times. I just wish the good days would out way the bad days once in a while.

 

 

I hate when people ask how i feel. I have no freaking idea how I feel so stop asking me this please and thank you. I could not tell you or anyone how I am felling at any given time. I might be able to tell you if it is a really strong emotion that I am feeling but otherwise I have no clue.

 

I love music and have loved music since the first time I herd it. I love singing to music, dancing to it, listening to it. any thing with music is a passion of mine. 

I calm down drastically when listening to music so when ever I get upset or am starting to have a meltdown I grab my iPod and plug in the ear phones and play some music and it calms me right down in no time.

 

I did not start to read for fun till i was 18 and my parents bought me the first harry potter book. Till then I thought reading was just a waste of time and would have nothing to do with it.

Since then I have become a big time reader and have read more than 50 books for fun.

 

I am 5 foot 8 and way 114 pounds. I have next to no muscle tone in any of my body even less in my left arm which is pretty much useless. Thank god I am right handed because I can not use my left hand for any thing except typing and holding onto utensils. I can not move my left hand to cut food so I hold the fork in it while I use my right to cut the food then take the fork in my right hand to eat with.

 

I can not even move it to print with or catch with or any thing. It is so annoying.

 

When they test my academic skills it shows that I have grade 2 age 7 writing, grade 4 age 9 spelling, grade 6 age 11 reading and grade 9 age 13 math skills. That was done 8 years ago when I was 24.

 

I am on buspirone, atavan and resperidal the buspirone is for my anxiety the atavan is for when I am haveing a meltdown or really need some sleep and the resperidal is for day to day treatment of some of the more unwieldy symptoms that I suffer from. Like seeing stuff that is not their and hearing stuff that is not their. it does not happen all the time but when I am really stressed out my mind starts to play trics on me and the voices get out of control and make me do stuff that I regret after word. That is why I have had a hard time keeping a job.

 

I was never medicated for ADHD. I was for the OCD symptoms and it was a nightmare. For me anti depresents caused me to get many times worse.

 

 

I found turn based computer games to help a lot. Like civilization and games like that. They are educational and fun.

 

I always new that I was different from other kids my age but I never really thought of myself as having more than just a mild learning disability. So it was not really that hard or difficult for me but I think it was for my parents to see how I was treated by the other kids. I had a couple good friends and whenever I lost a friend I usually found one or more to replace him with. I am still getting used to all of the symptoms and more seem to crop up or get worse every year.

 

man kids get it good these days. I never had any OT, PT, ST or stuff like it when I was a kid. I never had a aid worker or got any treatments. I guess it helps to get the DX early not like me starting at 17. That is way too late to be of much good. I had to do all the regular classes and courses. I had to fend for myself. Teachers never paid me the siltiest bit of attention. I never got any help from teachers to teach me anything. I had to teach myself how to do everything. I was expected to do everything a regular kid has to do at each stage of the game. The problem is that I never told anyone that I really could've used some help.

I really hate September and October. September always reminds me of going back to school and that meant a new teacher and new classroom to try to remember. I hatted going back to school. with in a week or two I would be fine I just hatted the going back part not the school part. I did not mind school so much as the change in routine. October is thanksgiving up here in canada plus I have my moms and my grandma's birthdays and holloween to deal with. It is just too much to deal with in a shot period of time thats all.

 

Christmas and new years were not much better for me also. i never get any sleep christmas eve. I think it goes back to when I was 5 and I was determined to catch santa in the act of putting out the presents. I stayed up all night and caught my parents in the act. that was the end of the illusion of santa for me.

 

There are not that many disabled people That I get to see every day. and the average tantrum I see is from a pre-schooler not getting what he wants from his parents. I am a very independent person so I see a lot more melt downs than my parents foo. The ones they do see I usually never ask them whats wrong with that kid because I have been there and I kinda know what is wrong. plus I have always be

en told if you have nothing good to say than don;t say anything at all. I got that a lot because I would say what was on my mind and it used to never be good. My parents would never tell me more than if I asked something like that they would say the same thing "if you have nothing good to say then don;t say anything at all".

 

I hate speaking in public it gives me a total meltdown every time I have to do it. I am not all that successful yet. I live at home, work one day a week and clean the house one other day a week. I have nothing published and do not make any money other then what the government gives me. I work as a volunteer and only get $30 a week from my parents for keeping the house clean.

 

I think of all the crazy things I asked for for christmas and my birthday. Like a horse, dirt bike, go kart, hover craft, trip to space, a pet t-rex. compared to some Like a new game or book or comic or upgrade to my computer. Or even a dog or cat seems small compared with some of the stuff i thought up for myself.

 

 

Most of my dreams come true for me. I am always having moments where I feel like I have already done them before and then I realize that I had a dream of doing exactly the same thing. I think that my whole life has already been planed out and I am just going along for the ride.

 

 

I also have major anxiety issues and have a hard time adjusting to any change period. The start of school was very hard on me and I still get upset come september because of the start of the school year. I have been DX with social phobia also so it is a double whammy if I have to have a change and have new people involved in the new change. 

When I was 12 we moved and it was really hard on me. I did not say anything to my parents about how hard it was. It took me 3 years to get adjusted to the new house and location. I acted really bad for those 3 years and got into a lot of trouble. I skipped 2 months of school with out my parents knowing till one of the teachers bumped into them at the grocery store and asked if I was alright because I had missed the last 2 months of school. I also racked up $500 in long distance phone charges in one month phoning movie studios and threading to sue them for movies that used names that I had thought of using. It 

 

was a really bad time in my life but it did get better.

 

I wouldn't share with anyone it did not matter who they were. My parents kept having to tell me that I had to learn to share my stuff. I got over it eventually but it did take a very long time to learn the art of sharing.I was 17 when I got the DX of Aspergers syndrome ASD. So for me I would have liked to have known much sooner than that. So that I could have had the proper support in school. 

I look, act, and seem very much like my blood brother and I only got to see him once 10 years ago. It was really freaky because we never grew up together any yet we are so much alike. He has the same mannerisms, body language, speech patterns and everything. It makes you wonder how much nurture has to do with it or if it is mostly nature. The genetic code that binds you 

 

together is stronger than anything on the planet.

 

I watch crime TV shows and medical dramas. I play virtual hockey games and watch hockey on TV. I blog about what it was like growing up as me. I read fantasy books and listen to their audio books. I play strategy games on the computer and fiddle with the computer to try and keep it in perfect working order. That is what I do these days to make me happy.

 

 I played the drums, piano, and trombone and got good at each one of them. I got my drives licence but choose not to drive because I do not feel safe driving. I fix computers for a living and was the top student in my class at college. And I have had several girl friends over the years. All this  having ASD. So it is possible to live a semi normal life. Hang in their it does get better.

 

I think the only one that should be called a expert on ASD is someone who has ASD and is able to talk about what it is like to have it. You can ask me anything and I will try to answer it. I can not answer questions that I have not been asked. when ever I find a post that goes into something that I have knowledge in I comment on it and post the comment on my blog if it is worth while. I think everybody should benefit from my experiences

 

I was 17 when I got my first DX of Aspergers Syndrome so my parents never put any limitations on me either. I tried every sport in the book till I found golf and bowling that I am good at. I know lots of people with ASD that live a pretty normal lives on their own and I am living a pretty normal life so I think anything is possible.

 

 

you would think that someone would have noticed something was wrong and told my parents about it. But nope no one did and it was just a fluke of my birth mom dyeing of a brain tumour and for me to get checked out that I even got the DX of ASD when I did.

 

i wear a pin on my jacket of a autism support puzzle pice and symbol A. I like people to know that I am autistic so that they can see the other side of it. Most people think of autism as being the classic aloof form and don;t realize how varied the disorder is. the same goes for FXS also but it will take time for people to even know what that is.

 

 

my mom had to become a stay at home mom because every time she tried to drop me off at daycare I would start crying and throwing a tantrum till she stopped trying. I daycare people said after a week that they could not handle me because of the crying and tantrums that I would through. she took me to our paediatrician and he said because I had come from foster care and was adopted that I was having

 abandonment issues and that it would not get better any time soon and that she should stay at home with me and be my own daycare provider. so she did till I was 12 and then she went back to work. I did do some pre-school but I just hid under a table and did not partake in anything and would have nothing to do with anyone so she gave up on that after a couple of months and just kept me at home till I was old enough to start kindergarden.

 

I think it is a big mistake to get rid of the Aspergers DX because without it in their most of us will not get a proper DX and will not get the services or support we deserve. I would have been DXed as PDD-NOS which is what they were wanting to push on me but for one nero doc that said it was Aspergers. I would not have liked to have to live my life with a DX of not otherwise specific. That is not a good DX to have in my opinion. I am much happier with the Aspergers DX.

 

That is a bit about me and I hope to chat to you all more in the future on my blog pages.

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Chapter 3

My earliest memories 

 

The first thing that I can remember is being in my crib at night. There is a light shining under the door to my room. The door is closed and the lights in my room are off. I am trying to sleep lying on my back with a brown teddy bear in my arms. I hear my name said from my mother, which is in the dinning room down the hall from my room. It wakes me up and I try to hear the rest of the conversation about me but cannot make out what is being said so I try to go aback to sleep.

 

The second thing that I can remember is trying to walk with both of my parents holding one of my hands. My mom was holding my right hand and my dad was holding my left hand. I was not wearing glasses at the time and could not see my own two feet let alone anything else so I kept tripping over my feet.

 

My parents would try and get me walking whenever they could and I just kept tripping over my feet and they could not understand that it was because I could not see anything.

 

The third thing that I can remember is sitting right underneath the TV with my nose almost touching the screen. I did this every day till I got glasses and could see what was on the TV.

 

I was three years old when my parents finally took me to a eye doctor to get my eyes tested. I ended up having 400/20 vision in my left eye and 200/20 in my right eye. I ended up also having lazy eye in my left eye. I wore an eye patch on my right 

 

eye to strengthen up my left eye. Plus from that point forward I had to ware glasses. I was considered legally blind without my glasses.

 

I started pre-school that year also but I spent most of the time hiding under the tables instead of playing with the other children. It was in a church near ware we were renting at the time and had a grate playground.

 

My parents also used to take me to the local elementary school to use their playground. I used to love the swings their and the sandbox.

 

In the house we were renting we had a young family living in the basement with a little girl who I used to play with

 

We lived in a apartment before renting the house but I do not remember anything about that.

 

I got a ear infection in my right ear when I was two that was not caught till it was too late so I am partially hearing impaired in that ear.

 

When my parents moved from Brandon Manitoba to Nanaimo BC it was one of the hottest summers on record. We left the middle of August 1984 to have a new start in a new city where the weather was much nicer then that of the prairies.

 

On the way I got a bad case of heat stroke and had to be taken to the hospital in Kamloops BC. My parents had to give me cold showers and popsicles to get me rehydrated and drop my temperature.

 

We were taking different cars when we got to the ferry. My dad was in the moving van and my mom and me were in the car. We were able to get on the ferry but my dad with the moving van did not. He had all the information about where we were going once the ferry landed. We had all the money with us so he could not buy anything.

 

When the ferry landed my mom just found a place to park and we waited for my dad with the moving van to come on the next ferry.

 

My mom got very sick with the flue latter that day so my dad had to unload every thing from the moving van into the new apartment by himself up two sets of stairs. While me and my mom laid down and had a nap.

 

We went to disney world in orlando Florida the winter before moving to nanaimo bc. I do not remember much of that trip. Also on that trip we went to mexico where I do remember being on a beach with lots of mexican little kids rubbing my hair because they had never seen red hair before.

 

I had my second birthday in mexico at some time share resort that my parents had. I do not remember much about that either.

 

When I was two I got the Japanese measles and got very sick but I survived and built up a good resistance to the measles.

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