A Talk With Aidan About His Asperger’s

After having sat down with Paix a while back asking her about her Bi-Polar, I had the idea of doing the same with Aidan and his Asperger Syndrome.  We’ve had to have many conversations about his emotions and lack of emotion lately due to our current situation, so I thought now might be a good time to explore his thoughts on his condition.

What is Asperger Syndrome?  It is a form of Autism.  High functioning Autism.  It’s a brain fluctuation where, for example, I can be very smart one minute then my mind goes blank the next.  I also consider it an emotion limiter. 

Do you feel like you are different from other people?  Very different.  The worst of it not being interactive enough.  I play video games a lot because I feel like an outcast. 

Why do you feel like an outcast?  I see this when I try to interact with other people – when I have an idea I want to share, no one seems to listen, or they butt in with their own ideas.  I feel awkward especially in silence.  I always feel like everyone around me might not see me as a good person, but I’m actually incredible.  I find it hard to talk to people in general.  I’m afraid I’m going to start up something awkward or something I don’t want to get into.  For instance, talking about sex.  I’m a guy who likes to keep things like relationships private and slow.  Other people my age don’t necessarily think that way.

Do you feel emotion at all?  Of course, I do, but it’s limited.  Like for most of my time I always seem to be happy, but it isn’t always true.  A lot of the time I feel angry for no reason at all it seems like.  And then when I’m sad or supposed to be sad, it’s like I’m not sad enough.  I can’t even seem to cry.

Does it bother you that you feel like you are limited emotionally?  I don’t really think so.  It doesn’t really bother me – I guess.  Sure, I feel awkward when everyone else seems to be feeling a different way, but it’s not something I dwell on.

How do you approach problems in your life?  I usually try to prepare for problems before they come finding out all I can about a situation so that I can deal with it appropriately.  If a problem pops up all of a sudden however, I try to tackle it head on logically or I may come back to it after I have time to think about it.  After I’ve evaluated my options carefully.

So, you could say that you’re more logically minded than emotionally driven?  Yes.  That can be a big problem when dealing with relationships.  Relationships tend to need more emotion than logic.

Do you like yourself the way you are?  I like the way I am but I feel like I need to change myself all the time to be more physically and emotionally supportive of people around me.

Do you want to have a girlfriend – be in a steady relationship?  Of course I do, but I’m afraid of not being financially or emotionally ready.  I’m also afraid that I’m going to do something that would end the relationship like not being emotionally supportive to the point that my girlfriend would feel hurt.  Not having enough sympathy for her rainy day or something like that. 

Does it bother you that the family calls you our own Sheldon Cooper?  It doesn’t bother me – I can see the similarities between the two of us.  The only difference is the career paths we’ve chosen.  He chose science and I chose music.

What does music do for you?  It helps me express myself in ways I can’t with words and helps me set up my environment to be peaceful or action packed.  When I play music, I feel like I’m in

another area with another cast of people depending on the genre of music – kind of like a dream.  I enjoy playing music more than I enjoy just about anything else.

Do you have close friends?  Yes – I met them when I was on a bowling team in high school.  We started playing Dungeons and Dragons and still do.  We do lots of other things together like going to Defy Gravity (trampoline park), playing paintball wars, swimming or just hanging out at each other’s houses.

Is there anything else about you that you would like to share?  I may be silent a lot of the time but that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about things or that I’m not smart.  

Aidan is a sweet, considerate, wonderful young man who is eager to please.  I know he feels awkward a lot of the time, but people know him and love him.  More than he realizes.  There have been many times when we have run into his classmates around town and they will say hello to him by name while he has no idea who they are.  (So he isn’t the most observant guy in the world.)  He has no idea how wonderful and loved he really is.  I wish there were some way I could communicate that to him in a way that would stick.  He is complicated – not nearly as simple as he may come across, but I wouldn’t have him any other way.

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