My Experience Understanding Asperger’s
Growing up with Asperger’s
I had always thought there was something wrong with me growing up, yet I never understood why. Throughout my adolescent years, I struggled with my behavioural attitude and learning skills. For example, I would often get emotional or never tell anyone how I really felt.
In my school years, it was a constant cycle of ups and downs with my socialising. I was awkward and didn’t make a lot of friends and was constantly bullied for being different. Although I hated school, I tried my best to learn. In addition, I had a fear of never knowing what to make of my life after my education.
My fear of the unknown began to change after being diagnosed with Asperger’s. This happened when I entered college and it gave me the opportunity to understand myself better. At college, I took part in performing arts, which provided a less tense and more open environment to explore.
I find adapting to the world around me difficult sometimes, like navigating a tricky sea storm. During my years at college, I discovered an outlet, where I could finally be myself.
Knowing myself with Asperger’s
At times I’ve noticed differences between what I notice or remember which others do not. Often, I have a photographic memory and can remember quotes, song lyrics, storylines or music.
I find escapism in gaming. music or comic conventions, which make me happy. After spending my childhood always hiding my true self, I came out of my shell but at a slow pace. I learnt to travel on my own to London or Manchester and make new friends who accept me as I am.
Working with Asperger’s
To be honest, the scariest thing for me was finding a job because I felt pressured, unsure of myself and didn’t feel like I had many skills to show. After a slow start, I found a cleaning job at my dad’s workplace which gave me the opportunity to earn some money and experience whiles learning at college.
From this, I landed several jobs after leaving college but mainly cleaning because I enjoyed it. I find my current work as a full-time cleaner at a secondary school fulfilling, it feels like I can release my OCD. I like to have a certain routine to know what I am doing and how to do the job right.
As long as informed people of my Asperger’s and learning style, I found it much easier to pick up learning on the job. For example, in knowing what was expected of me and who I’d be working with. In a school environment it can be challenging, but I learn to adapt each day.
What have I learned?
I have learnt how to understand how I function and adapt with Asperger’s but most importantly, to love myself.
Huge thanks to guest blogger, Sian, for sharing her experience growing up and entering the work environment with Asperger’s.