Yes, I am on the autistic spectrum. I have what used to be referred to as Asperger’s Disorder. No, you can’t tell by looking at me. In fact, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell even by spending time with me.
Women/girls are harder to diagnose and recognize with Autistic Spectrum Disorder than men/boys.
That is a fact.
Here are some things that have been said to me when I have disclosed my disorder:
- No you don’t [have Asperger’s]. My [male relative] has it and I know what it looks like.
- (After I smiled at a joke.) See? You’re social!
- Oh, is that the diagnosis-du-jour?
And even after hearing that I have a disability, harsh words have been used to describe me rather than understand a lot of what makes me appear to be difficult IS the disability.
Our cat Diamond was 19 years old when she left us in September.
This cat was one in a million. Kerri was her human, and Diamond was very possessive of her. Diamond would attack her American Girl doll, another Native American doll she owned with hair down to her ankles, puppets, electronics, anything that Diamond viewed as a threat. But when Kerri got sick at age 14 with with an immune deficiency that would keep her home for 5 years, the first 2 practically bed-ridden, Diamond was with her nearly every minute of every day. On the days Kerri was home in bed or on the couch sick, and that was most days the first 2 years, that cat was on her all the time. When Kerri would move from the couch to bed at night, Diamond would go up with her. After about 15 minutes, Diamond would come back downstairs looking so proud of herself, like she was saying “There, the child is asleep. Now for a cup of tea!”
Diamond was also a weird cat who loved Romaine lettuce and other greens, a bitch kitty who wouldn’t let anyone touch her while she was sitting on her human (except Vin; she bit him once, just once), a spritely cat who climbed our Christmas tree every year until she passed that tradition along to Pixel, a very spirited cat who used to have to get her veterinarian shots through the cat carrier slots, and the perpetual “big sister” cat who was always being tormented (all in good fun) by the other pets Buster, Jack, Dot, Maggie and Rollie.
When Kerri moved to London for graduate school and stayed, Diamond was heartbroken. We weren’t even sure she’d survive the transition! But we coddled her and gave her anti-anxiety drops, and she ended up living for several more years. Anything Diamond wanted, we gave her: eating ice cream out of our bowl, licking the butter if we left it on the table, lying on my desk when I was working, and even stairs to climb up to her bed on top of a cabinet and a litter box up there so she wouldn”t have to walk through the dogs to get to the laundry room. This was one cat that truly had earned her keep.
Rest in peace, my sweet honey.
We are almost half-way through the new year (where does the time go!?). So how are my New Year’s Resolutions holding up? Actually, I’m pleased to say better than I imagined! Some are ongoing, but aside from #3 (finish items on my weekly To Do lists), I’m doing pretty well.
I have lost half of the 25 pounds I have set out to lose! I’m sure 1 or 2 might have been when I had my gallbladder out in March, but since May, my metabolism seems to operating faster. In addition to being able to drop pounds easily (perhaps a bit too easily), I’ve had way more energy, I’m sleeping less, and I’m not so darned tired all the time. I have been very diligent about choosing either mayonnaise OR cheese for my salads too, although that didn’t seem to matter until last month.
And while I haven’t learned to operate the TV yet, I have been embracing gadgets everywhere! Not literally, but I have not shied away from doing anything that involved “hardware”. Or wires.
But the biggest surprise to me was that I have decided to play the bassoon! This time, I will be careful so I don’t get any hand or repetitive motion injuries, and I actually have a goal in mind, so I think I’ll stick with it. Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll get a new bassoon out of it!