Adult ASD people and funny things we did as kids

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Kasab740
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25 Apr 2022, 7:16 pm

In the 4-5 months now since it dawned on me that I have Asperger's, I keep revisiting every event in life and re-assessing things now that I know what really happened.

One thing that I'd largely forgotten about for decades, but now seems to qualify as one of my "special interests" is about my love for travel - seeing ways of life in other areas, and the geography and demographics in cities/states/countries. Numbers obsession - normal for ASD? As an adult, I always love to travel, the majority of the time alone, as you might expect.

So on to the funny, unique thing about me in my ASD "intelligent but socially detached" childhood. I'd be shocked if anyone else did something like this?

I'm in the US. Around 1988, at the age of 12-13, I bought 50 postcards. I addressed them to each of the US's 50 states' tourism bureaus, asking for travel information/brochures to their state.

As they replied back to me, I diligently kept each state's mail filed alphabetically (of course!), and kept track of those who I'd not heard from. It seemed perfectly normal to me at the time, but I now see how strange it was for anyone, especially as a youngster at that age.

A couple months later, with 2-5 of 50, still not responsive, I begged my mom to call (at a costly long-distance price at the time), to those I had not a reply from. She finally relented and eventually I had mail from all 50.

Some might call it a waste of tax dollars, but I'd call it an "investment", since I've been to 49/50 US states now. That "seed" of me as an 8th-grader who sat alone in the school cafeteria and to this day, still can't dribble a basketball - paid off in time!

So that's my funny story to share. What stories do you, if you have ASD - have from when you were young?



IsabellaLinton
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25 Apr 2022, 7:29 pm

I did the same thing as an adult. ^ I wrote to a lot of tourism boards looking for information, and hoping they'd send me discounts and promos. I was really disappointed when most of them didn't reply. (*Cough - Kansas - Cough*) These were places from around the world and not necessarily USA, but I was more interested in the lesser-travelled places (*Cough - Saskatchewan - Cough*). The lesser-travelled places had the poorest response, perhaps because they weren't used to people expressing interest.

As a child:

- I threw my teacher's thumbtacks in the mud without her knowing, and then rescued them in hopes that she would thank me or express appreciation. FAIL.

- I took my Budgie bird outside in his cage, let him perch on my finger, and waved my hand to see if he would fly away. I was hoping he would stay, and it would mean he loved me. FAIL.

- When I was a teenager I went outside in the snow and tried to make tire tracks on our driveway, using my feet. I wanted kids at school to think I'd gone out to a party or something, with the older kids who drove cars. FAIL.

- When my grandparents would come visit by airplane, I'd greet them at the airport by saying "When are you leaving?" I meant it as "How long are you staying?", but it wasn't received that way .... not in any of the multiple years I said it, or despite my parents giving me hell. FAIL.



Kasab740
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25 Apr 2022, 7:49 pm

IsabellaLinton - well I'm glad that I'm not alone in that interest. It seems really odd to me as an adult, but it led me to where I am now. And you had a similar experience, so maybe it isn't so bizarre, for an Aspergian.



Leslie B
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25 Apr 2022, 8:00 pm

In 1963 my family drove from Oakland CA to Seattle WA for the World's Fair. Along the way we had visited relatives. :P I was an early and avid talker, hyperlexic, but my ASD (undiagnosed) and my young age made me quite literal.
I constantly asked WHEN we were going to Seattle. My folks would tell me "We're going right now. That's where we're going."
Still I kept asking.
Finally I decided I needed more details.
"Who IS Attle?" I asked. :P



Kasab740
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25 Apr 2022, 8:27 pm

Leslie B - welcome; I'm a relative newbie here like you. Grieving my younger "neuro-typical" self. You saw the Space Needle in its earliest time, wow, what an honor. SEA is so crazy politicized now, I wouldn't go back, although I had some great trips there.

Just last week, I stopped in Spokane briefly on a trip to the northern Rockies, but it seems the world is offset in GEG (Spokane), too.



Dear_one
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25 Apr 2022, 8:47 pm

My father had borrowed an industrial clear face shield to use for a "space man" Halloween costume for me. I absolutely refused to wear it, because it didn't look air tight.
A dust devil appeared in front of our house, and if it had not been throwing gravel, I might have run right into the middle of it.
I was in a bowling league, and tried rolling the ball really slowly. I got more pins down than usual, so I tried it again. Then other kids tried the new technique. Then the bowling alley employees got very upset, and made us stop.
By grade 4, I had learned how to daydream all day, but if my name was tagged onto the end of a question in school, I'd be able to remember it and answer. I never did figure out why we couldn't just read the books and take a test.
The year I learned to write, I sent my letter to Santa privately. Mother forced me to tell her what was in it, but I can't remember just how.
I took apart many things, and learned not just how they worked, but, by observing tool marks, how they had been manufactured.
I had never seen "western" movies, so when I tried playing with my peers and they said "Stick 'em up!" I went for maximum height, not minimal compliance.



IsabellaLinton
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25 Apr 2022, 8:56 pm

The first time I took my ASD daughter on an airplane, she asked when were going to shrink. She thought the plane was going to shrink in the sky, because they look so small from the ground.

My little boy was learning to count. I asked him if he could count higher, so he stood on a chair.



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25 Apr 2022, 10:42 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
My little boy was learning to count. I asked him if he could count higher, so he stood on a chair.


:lol:

Offered frozen pizza. Told them I prefer pizza cooked.



IsabellaLinton
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26 Apr 2022, 1:21 am

HighLlama wrote:

Offered frozen pizza. Told them I prefer pizza cooked.


:P Smart lad you were.



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26 Apr 2022, 2:18 am

Since I am left-handed asked since there are rifles where are the leftles?


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26 Apr 2022, 2:45 am

In German class in High School, I wrote everything in upper case. Took the teacher a year to figure out what I was doing :-)
Also, in the same class, I figured out a way to not get questioned - I'd look the teacher straight into her eyes while she was speaking and exactly when she finished and looked for someone to ask, I'd glance quickly at a classmate and then look back at her. 9 out of 10 times she'd ask the student I'd glanced at.

I also collected tourist information stuff, but only for a handful of states that I was more interested in.

/Mats


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jackson_p
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26 Apr 2022, 5:12 am

I had a lot of trouble with the idea of giving and receiving gifts as a child (and I still find both uncomfortable as an adult), leading to a couple of different childhood stories:

When I was 4 I decided that I was Santa Claus. I dressed up in red, and spent a long time on Christmas Eve planning how I was going to get into my neighbour's chimneys. Then, on Christmas morning, I refused to open any of my presents because I believed that they were all for other children and I was going to have to deliver them.

When I was 8 my mother found that I still had some of my Christmas presents, unopened and hidden in my wardrobe. I explained that I was keeping them so that I could give them away in a raffle.



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02 May 2022, 4:31 pm

When the teacher was talking to the class I sometimes would stay holding my pen to the page when listening, instead of putting my pen down. One time when I was about 12 I was sitting at a large table with other girls in my class and I was using one of their gel pens to write, and was sitting there holding the pen to the paper while the teacher was talking. The owner of the gel pens whispered to me, "put the lid on that pen, otherwise the ink will dry out." I didn't hear what she was saying properly, so I gave her the pen and then picked up another one of her gel pens, took the lid off and held it to the paper and then turned around to continue listening to the teacher. The other girls were probably facepalming because of my stupidity. They explained what they were talking about after class ended, and then I did feel like an idiot. :oops:

Another time when I was about 11 we were in art class making pictures by flicking paint off a special brush on to the paper, and I flicked the wrong way and accidentally splattered paint all over one of the girl's shirt while she was trying to help me. She was too kind to yell at me and she knew it was an accident but she wasn't happy and she told the teacher that her mum will be furious because it was a new school shirt. And I bet when she got home that afternoon she probably said to her mum, "please, it was the retarded kid in my class that done it".


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03 May 2022, 1:47 pm

I don't know if this is an autistic child thing or just a child thing but I genuinely believed all poodles were female and all bald eagles were male. I also believed poodle puppies were born in continental show cuts.


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Joe90
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03 May 2022, 1:54 pm

MagicMeerkat wrote:
I don't know if this is an autistic child thing or just a child thing but I genuinely believed all poodles were female and all bald eagles were male. I also believed poodle puppies were born in continental show cuts.


Not really to do with autism. Kids believe all sorts of things until they learn as they grow. I used to think only female cats had pink noses. :lol:


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03 May 2022, 2:05 pm

That does not end at puberty. In China, the conventional wisdom was that snakes were male turtles.