House Rules by Jodi Picoult was one of my recent reads. An intriguing account about a boy struggling to cope with his brother’s Aspergers condition.
Its been some time since a book has me riveted. And Jodi Picoult with her unique style did just that and more. She made me wonder.
About the challenges faced by the differently abled. About the prejudice they encounter.
About the many misconceptions that fester.
People with Aspergers may exhibit some or all of the following :
- Do not pick up social cues and may lack inborn social skills, such as being able to read others’ body language, start or maintain a conversation, and take turns talking
- Dislike any changes in routine
- Appear to lack empathy
- Are unable to recognize subtle differences in speech tone, pitch, and accent that alter the meaning of others’ speech
- Have a formal style of speaking that is advanced for his or her age
- Avoid eye contact or stare at others
- Have unusual facial expressions or postures
- Be preoccupied with only one or few interests, which he or she may be very knowledgeable about
- Talk a lot, usually about a favorite subject
- Have delayed motor development
- Have heightened sensitivity and become overstimulated by loud noises, lights, or strong tastes or textures
Hmm…Dont many of us exhibit the same features as an Asperger’s person? (In hindsight, though maybe on a slightly lesser degree)
I have a friend who cant stop talking about Football. Another hates the smell of garlic, to the point of actually leaving the room abruptly.
And well, I dont fare so good either.
I hate large spaces. Huge halls. Wide Banquet Rooms. Large conference rooms. Intimidate me to the extent that I break into a sweat.
I get tongue tied if i meet loud people. (which doesnt help if your boss is a loud talker. Scratch that. VERY loud talker).
At times (which is many a time), I shut down when I meet strangers. Or when I meet someone after a long time. I cant maintain eye contact. OR strike a conversation…Or keep one going. As I said, SHUTDOWN!
I can talk a LOT about Harry Potter. I cant not do something I wanna do. Like flicking a switch on and off 3 times if I feel like. Not being able to make my point, frustrates me. At times, that has also made me shed angry tears. Stare endlessly at the hot guy who works out in the gym across my street. I hate changes in routine..I will walk on the same street umpteen times even though another is a shorter route to my destination. Simply because its a known street. I can be verrrry expressive at times – demonstrating with my face, hands, eyes something that has had me all worked up. At other instances, I refuse to move. Or drop things endlessly. Very often, I fail to notice that someone’s sad. Or looks sick. I just fail to observe that a person I have spoken to for years seems a little off. I cannot offer sympathetic words beyond a point. Or stand tears. And that can make me seem very insensitive. Cold even.
Could I have Aspergers?! Are all of us sufferers?…In varying degrees? Maybe we are all so stuck up in our life that we simply, just fail to notice the symptoms.
We fail to notice that ALL of us have our quirks. And its these that set us apart.
We are all differently abled ourselves, yet do both:
- Ridicule / Look down upon the others we think do not merit a chance being around us
- Try and ape the people we think we need to be like – who may not be so perfect themselves
I am rotund, crazy, illogical me. My various nonsensical traits may not make sense to a lot of people. But they are what makes me, ME. And I am grateful to the almighty for that. As I am sure, are a lot of other people who I entertain with my antics.
For symptoms of Aspergers : http://www.webmd.com/
< This one’s for PD…for being miles away in Mumbai and listening to my Dubai woes… for goading me enough to come out of hibernation >