Transparency?

February 1, 2020

transparency?

Why would anyone in their right mind write about personal matters of Asperger's on a website for all to see? I could ask the same questions about spiritual and political matters. How could the benefits of being transparent and vulnerable like that ever outweigh the risks of offending others and, perhaps worse, alienating (and/or stigmatizing) one's self?

I think part of the answer to that question has to do with the level of comfort we have in who we are. Are we comfortable with who we are when it makes us different from everyone else around us? Are we comfortable with who we are when others see us as naive to the world around us? Are we comfortable with who we are when others fail to understand out efforts to navigate Matthew 10:16?

I think another part of the answer to that question has to do with how well we are grounded in what we believe and why we believe it. If we fear first and foremost what others might think of us, then we are nothing more than a prisoner to their thoughts, real or imagined. Seems a terrible way to live a life.

So, what about those of us with Asperger's? How do we fit into this transparency question?

I've observed in folks with more extreme cases of Asperger's that they will find it very natural to act transparently and without any understanding of the risks and potential consequences. When the taking of such risks brings about painful consequences for them, they are unfortunately not high functioning enough to relate the effect to the cause. As a result, those painful scenarios are likely to remain a way of life for them.

Moving up the spectrum, there are those who will understand the relationship between the cause and the effect, but will choose to opt out and shut down to the world around them. To these individuals, any value found in connecting and relationships is simply not worth the risks and the pain.

And then there's the rest of us...

Why would we choose to be transparent when we have clearly become educated as to the associated risks? We most certainly have grown to understand each cause and its related effect. So why choose a life of transparency, or any transparency at all for that matter? After all, hasn't the world around us just about trained all of the transparency right out of us?

I would answer the question this way:

Those of us who are high functioning enough to observe and understand the aforementioned are also high functioning enough to understand that connecting (as messy as it might be) is part of life - even if we are not very good at it and even if it is uncomfortable and/or sometimes not very high on our priority list.

I readily admit that before I retired I struggled greatly with connecting and relationships in the workplace. And, the risk to write about something like that back then was far too great. People will first stigmatize, and then ostricize, what they don't understand. I didn't want to provide my colleagues with assitance in that effort.

I've been blessed with an amazing wife, two incredible children and their incredible spouses, and two awesome grandsons. And with each of them, I want to connect! To do that, I've got to be willing to be a student and learner in each of those relationships. Beyond that, transparency and vulnerability are risks I must be willing to take on if I am to connect at a deeper level and in a more meaningful way.

There's no doubt that I will struggle in my relationships with the neurotypicals around me. After all, I believe I have Asperger's. What I want to do is learn from those struggles and affect changes in my behaviors that make a real and positive difference in my life and in the lives of those around me.



January 24, 2020

ASPERGER'S AND CLIMATE CHANGE

aspergers

Just finished reading this article about Greta Thunberg. I like how she claims Asperger's Syndrome (AS) as her super power. I share her perspective on that.

Add to that her singular focus (one of the AS traits) on climate change and, well..., the liberal press just can't stand to let their idea of a good story go untold. And so she earns a platform - for her concerns with climate change. On that one, I don't share her perspective.

I'm not one to draw a hard line on those who are concerned about climate change. I suppose there is some degree of evidence to which we should pay attention. On the other hand, I do draw a line when our government allocates millions (billions?) of dollars to employ, or approve grants for, a bunch of people (using my tax dollars) who then join the cheer leading team to support the climate change cause - all in the name of keeping their jobs or their funds.

When such people spend more energy trying to shut down the debate, than presenting their evidence, I become suspicious. I'm open to strong evidence but I honestly haven't seen anything to sufficiently justify the funds being requested to combat this alleged problem. In fact, those who say it isn't real (at least not to a level that would justify any real panic) offer a much more compelling case in my mind.

To support my concerns with the excessive funds already being spent on this alleged crisis, I would offer this scholarly and well researched article as a compelling starting point.



January 3, 2020

DIGGING DEEPER

aspergers

One of the interesting things about life is the number of categories in which people can be divided. For example, are you an extrovert or an introvert?

Our experiences, our DNA, our tendencies, our beliefs, and anything else you want to add to the mix (including Asperger's) work together like pigments added to a can of white paint and ultimately produce a unique result all its own. That might be the reason the following quote from Stephen M. Shore has gained such popularity:

When you meet one person with Asperger's, you've met one person with Asperger's.

I suspect there are as many, and likely far more, variations or blends of Asperger's among individuals as there are paint chip shades at the local Walmart paint department. What shade am I?



December 28, 2019

THE FIRST SIGNS

aspergers

I could easily attribute many of the unusual experiences of my childhood to Asperger's. However, I suppose many who are neurotypical and without any of the relevant symptoms could make a similar case. After all, each of us has most certainly had unusual experiences in our childhood.

My first real indicator that something was going on came after I had left teaching and entered the corporate world. I was given a test that was meant to evaluate the importance I place upon tasks versus the importance I place upon people. I scored off the charts on the task side, but didn't even consider the importance of people (or those who might be needed to accomplish a task.)

The gentleman who tested me said he had never seen such an imbalance in the test results of anyone else. His comments concerned me. After all, there was an implication that I was not normal. Could this be a problem for my employment?

Like so many others on the high functioning end of the Autism scale, I have managed over the years to minimize my involvement in life situations that require the types of neurotypical skills I simply do not possess. I'm amazed at all that can be done to better position one's career, social life, married life, and day to day activities to better suit the typical strengths and weaknesses that come with Asperger's.



DISCLAIMER:

I've never been formally diagnosed with Asperger's so any and all claims I offer here are based on 65 years of experiences and research; and also on the compelling results from all of the online diagnostic tools I have used over the years for self-diagnosis.

I'm aware that the medical community's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has formally done away with the term Asperger's in favor of a location somewhere on the Autism spectrum. However, I will continue to use the term on this site to reference the higher functioning end of the spectrum where I anticipate I would probably land if formally tested.


Copyright © 2020 Hutch DeLoach



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