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Willard
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07 Oct 2009, 4:53 am

Was informed today that a former coworker - a Boss who recommended me to replace him when he moved on (which never happened and is a whole NT social circus of it's own), passed away last month (age 46) of an apparent suicide.

Oddly, when I first realized I had AS, even before formal diagnosis, there were a handful of people I'd known over the years whom I suspected might also have been on the spectrum, and this man was one of those.

Sadly, like me, he had been locked into a single specific profession for his entire life (obsessive interest) and had no training or experience in anything else. Due to changes in the industry over the past decade or more, jobs in that field have become extremely scarce and barely resemble the work we had grown to love and at which we had come to excel.

Like me, he had become lost and at loose ends as to where to find a place in the world outside that career. After several years of unemployment, during which the wife he adored left him, he apparently opted to end his life.

Fortunately for me, during an identical period of professional implosion, I discovered the name for my handicap and managed to grasp the lifeline of SSDI Disability. Else, I no doubt would have come to the same conclusion.

Yet, as I have discovered painfully throughout the process, for those of us who grew up with AS before its inclusion in the DSM, in the public consciousness we don't exist. Autism is a children's malady. Autistic adults are invisible.

If HFA in adults were recognized as a genuine handicap by the media, my friend might have discovered that his difficulties were not personal failings and may have found some lifeline that kept him from ultimate despair.

He had been on my mind quite frequently the past few months. I only wish I could have found him before it was too late.

I - and I strongly suspect he - and many of our generation, have been autistic children. God Damn the society that treats those as if autism disappears at 18. For most of us, that's when the real problems are only beginning.



Greentea
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07 Oct 2009, 5:31 am

Willard, do you give permission to publish this post in my blog? It's heart-wrenching and exceptionally well-written. I'd like to give it exposure, but only if you don't mind. And if so, could you PM me who to credit the text to.


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Claradoon
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07 Oct 2009, 5:52 am

I'm very sorry to hear about your friend/boss.

"Yet, as I have discovered painfully throughout the process, for those of us who grew up with AS before its inclusion in the DSM, in the public consciousness we don't exist. Autism is a children's malady. Autistic adults are invisible."

Is there a way that we could become the change we seek? This issue is often on my mind. How could we elder AS types become visible? WrongPlanet has made giant steps for all AS. Could we go one step more? Or another way entirely?



Greentea
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07 Oct 2009, 5:56 am

Clara, that'd be wonderful. But when I requested a sub-forum for us pre-Diagnosis Era Aspies, Alex refused here on WP. So as you suggest, there has to be a different way.


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Locustman
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07 Oct 2009, 7:14 am

Agreed - that is sad, and also worrying, because it highlights the fact that there may be hundreds of others whose condition is undetected due to misdiagnosis, or the absence of a diagnosis. Condolences.


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Last edited by Locustman on 07 Oct 2009, 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

dossa
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07 Oct 2009, 9:26 am

I am sorry to hear this about your friend. My heart goes out to you.



Bonny
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07 Oct 2009, 9:48 am

Willard,
My heart goes out to you and your friend in empathy and hurt. You are so right, re:

Quote:
Yet, as I have discovered painfully throughout the process, for those of us who grew up with AS before its inclusion in the DSM, in the public consciousness we don't exist. Autism is a children's malady. Autistic adults are invisible. ...........................................................................................I - and I strongly suspect he - and many of our generation, have been autistic children. God Damn the society that treats those as if autism disappears at 18. For most of us, that's when the real problems are only beginning.


Our world is dominanted by intolerance and destructive egos.
EVERY life that lives without using these forces to sustain itself, in my opinion, benefits the whole of humanity.
I say thank you to your friend for living the years that he did because that takes a special type of strength, courage and giving of heart.



Krasher
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07 Oct 2009, 10:06 am

Another one bites the dust, I wish my emotions would pop out for you but I hardly feel anything anymore.



bhetti
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07 Oct 2009, 10:13 am

that sucks, Willard.

I have been leaning more toward "coming out" once I have an official dx, because without another family member speaking openly about his dx I would never have realized why I'm so challenged in some areas and adult spectrum issues just aren't acknowledged or recognized :(



sartresue
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07 Oct 2009, 10:16 am

Gripping post topic

That was straight from the heart and I understood every word. Poor man, and now you-who knew him-must live with this horror for the rest of your life. 8O :(

It is good you got the help you need, and I hope you can continue in this way.


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lelia
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07 Oct 2009, 11:01 am

How sad.



Lene
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07 Oct 2009, 12:47 pm

I'm very sorry to hear about your friend. :(



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07 Oct 2009, 3:31 pm

Hi Willard, I am saddened to hear of your loss. I can relate as I lost my brother to suicide 3 yrs ago, yesterday. He was 35. He leaves behind an 17 year old autistic son and an 11 daughter. When in his element, he was genius... unfortunately, elemental genius doesn't help much in day to day living.

I wish the man you knew would have recieved the help he needed, whatever the help was.



Peko
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24 Jan 2010, 10:45 pm

I'm sorry to hear about his tragic passing :(

But I would like to say your idea of many adults now having been autistic children rings true (I swear my own bio-mom was one of those such kids... my g-mom gave her heck) :wall:


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DenvrDave
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24 Jan 2010, 10:56 pm

Sincerest condolences on your loss. And, many thanks for eloquently sharing a message that sorely needs to be heard.