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MoonCanvas
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30 Jun 2013, 12:41 am

This is about my life, starting with the beginning of my education.

Kindergarten; my basic spelling, counting and math skills were on favorable par with fellow peer. After Kindergarten I was placed into Special Education for 1st grade for being different, on the possible suspicion of me having a neurological disorder like autism. The class had mentally challenged kids. I was harassed by other students for being in that class, to the point where everyone else was unfriendly to me. Despite drastically outperforming my classmates in special education, they still kept me in.

By the time I was actually allowed to be mainstreamed into normal education classes, by the 3rd grade, I was so separated socially from normal students that I wasn't able to integrate into them, so the mainstream classes were always removed back in favor of Special Ed. I would return back to a full schedule of retrds and my teachers would say something along the lines of "I told you so". This was a vicious cycle, and the harassment of other students eventually got me kicked from this elementary school and transferred to a new one. The new school would've been a similar process, but because the new elementary school had no record of why I was originally put into Special Day Class, I was eventually permanently mainstreamed into normal education for 5th grade. I was slow at first and had to catch up to the other students, but caught up to the point where I got better test scores than most other classmates.

In middle school things went absolutely terrible. My homeroom teacher thought something was wrong with me, so she began giving me easier homework than the other students. This lead to me being bullied nonstop by my other classmates; I tried telling my teacher about this but since I wasn't normal, she didn't listen. Things then escalated until the point where I had one outburst, and that was it. I was back in Special Day Class for a full schedule. I would go to Special Ed, not learn, and get harassed for being in it during breaks. The middle school special educators would talk down to me whenever I tried arguing to be put back into normal classes, saying "you don't know how to behave" or "you're immature".

For 7th grade I ended up in a full schedule with the special educator who talked down to me the most, named Mrs Saba(her real last name is here because she deserves no respect from me). This time around I was given even less chances at mainstreaming into normal education classes, but at one point got into 2 classes. Sometime in the middle of 7th grade of Special Ed, I questioned why I was being taught garbage curriculum, arguing that the class is worthless. Saba responded "Well you haven't proved to me that you can handle being mainstreamed". I had an outburst then rested my head onto my desk, I then hear her whisper to her teaching aid "He's having a meltdown"(I never realized she implied anything by it at the time, but I did years later). An appointment with the school psychologist was set, and I went to a meeting in the school over what happened. I was prescribed Zoloft and was made to take it daily. As it turned out, Zoloft caused me to go into temper tantrums at home, making my parents say "See, they were right, he does have behavior problems". I told them they were wrong, they didn't listen or care. I was shortly dropped from all normal education in the middle school. At some point the school gave me my own personal aid to watch over my every moment, to supposedly make sure I didn't endanger other students, despite the harassment I visibly received from them. During break the aid continued following me around, and I was made fun of so badly because of it that I was pushed to the limit until another argument occurred during the only mainstream class I was in. They suspended me from school(I was suspended multiple times before) but this time I was expelled shortly after.

In 8th grade I was in a different middle school, and it wasn't until then that I was permanently removed from special day class. In high school I got okay and acceptable grades. In my later years of high school, however, it was becoming more and more clear that I wasn't being treated equally. Teachers would mostly ignore me, they wouldn't bother reviewing any of my work, and students took caution to that. Though finally in normal education, I was still being ostracized. I also was part of my town's football program for a long time, and now on the high school team. I was the fastest player, but found it strange nobody ever played me in games or even spoke to me, and the trend continued the entire time on the team, each year. It was sometime in high school that I was diagnosed with Asperger's, which I accepted. Eventually I had a 504 issued for my bad handwriting, which was taken into account my all my teachers in 11th grade... But I noticed something was off. I was now met with emotionless glances by my teachers and given special consideration by them whenever I turned in garbage work, and at some point they sneaked in another special day class into my schedule known as resource. I was also given weekly "physical therapy" by the school and they forced me to meet that condition or else they were expelling me.

The therapy sessions only served to hurt my feelings. My therapist told me that since I have Asperger's syndrome, I have a lack of empathy. I told her she was wrong, yet I only received comments that I'm grandiose or that I'm only saying it because of my autism. For a bit over a year I dealt with being insulted by her comments. One session, she mentioned how she was raped decades ago and that since I have autism, I won't know how she felt. She gave me a chart of emotions to point at to describe it, and I pointed at guilt, anger and frustration in less than a few seconds. She was blown away... But the next appointment, I tell her that I proved my empathy, and her response? "You used logic, it doesn't count" and the "you lack empathy" comments kept coming at me session after session. Around this time I was kicked out've my high school because a piece of clay(less than a centimeter in length) I threw accidentally hit my teacher's ear lobe when I was really aiming at the trashcan, which was obviously unintentional since this was from across the classroom. I was charged with battery and assault(on a teacher) then expelled from the school; juvenile hall forced me to continue the therapy sessions. I was very confused over why this all was done to me.

By this time I had been questioning whether I really had any autism, then whether it even existed, but I was in denial, because my whole life I was being told something was wrong with me. My thoughts were "How could I have been put through so much for no reason? There's just no way, I must have autism, I just know it!". I spent additional months researching it, deep in thought, then finally came to the conclusion I don't have it and that it might not even exist. I went ballistic. I blacked out in unbridled rage, began breaking everything, left holes in my wall, was screaming at the top of my lungs. It's cause I realized that my entire life I was treated with inequality on the basis of something that had not been proved. In my last therapy session I show up and receive even more claims of my lack of empathy, so I snap her clock in half then walk on out. That was the end of therapy.

It's been around 4 years since then. I'm currently in college but still suffer from discrimination. My college teachers all seem to give me easy passes, and others avoid me completely. One teacher in my law enforcement class actually asked me what my mental disability is, and that destroyed me. It hurt. Besides college, I have moved my sleeping patterns to only being awake at night; the sight of sunlight reminds me of my times in education(which coincidentally occurred at day), this intense irritation of recalling those memories has left me debilitated enough as to where being outside during the day is an impossible task for me. At night I'm perfectly fine. However, autism awareness has spread so much that the moment I speak in public, whoever I'm talking to will treat me like I'm slow. Recently a family member on my father's side of the family was dying, and an aunt showed up to pick me up to bring me there. She arrived but upon speaking with me, she suddenly decided it'd be a bad idea and made an excuse for not driving me there. I later findout the aunt told the entire family on my father's side(I don't know them but still) that I'm autistic. When I finally visited the dying family member(through means of my step dad's transportation), they literally treated me like I was mentally challenged. I was coldly asked what my brain problems are, I said none and they gave me a look of disbelief. My father also relayed me a message that he overheard his brothers/sisters speak of me as if I'm retarded.

Now, some of you may recall the thread I posted up, and that I reject the diagnosis of autism. You now may know part of the reasons. Some of the posts I read were hurtful, and when all was said and done, I was in tears. I wasn't crying because they were rude, I was crying because I know for certain I'll have to deal with discrimination for the rest of my life, and that if I have kids they will have to deal with it too, and their kids and so on. I know I'll never be given equal opportunity in the workplace, that awareness of a fallacious disorder has basically given me a death sentence. There have been times I've considered ending my life due to knowing this, but I want to be alive so I can fight for equality. Even if autism is real, it doesn't change the fact that people like me who just happen to have autistic-like personality traits are going to be relentlessly demonized by society. It's not fair.

Just to show you I'm a real person:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJWlhLAtGQs&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]



redrobin62
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30 Jun 2013, 12:49 am

This is MOON - One Step Beyond.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fnezdn6Diw[/youtube]



ASdogGeek
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30 Jun 2013, 1:10 am

im sorry to hear that you had such a hard time and that people didn't listen, based on your history you sound like a very high functioning autism, the society may associate it with being slow and deffiviant but how i see it is you have challanges in some areas (as noted by people being able to spot you as on the spectrum) however that doesnt make you stupid or an idiot. i too was bullied a lot as a child however unlike you i was pushed into mainstream classes and i wasnt ready for it. sounds like you may have some ptsd too from those bullies. one thing i want to tell you wether you are mildly autistic or severely affected that doest make you matter less as a person. will some people talk down to you and try to treat you like someone of low iq likely however thats when you out smart them or use big words.....okay im not sure if thats good advice or not.

dont let this hold you back keep fighting! fighting for your right and keep learning too! see if you can aquire more and better social skills this will help mask it and make you seem more normal to your peers


as for the medication i am really sorry you went through that. they tried meds with me too it only made things much worse. one thing you might do is get your school and medical records and read over them you might learn something of what they were picking up on. i hoope others here might have better advice. you can message me if you want

ps i like your hair


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Verdandi
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30 Jun 2013, 1:43 am

Moon, I think this post would have made a much better introductory post than the other one.



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30 Jun 2013, 2:56 am

The above post is terse:

That is, it sounds like you've been through a lot of difficulties, and you see the label as having caused some of those. I think this would have served as a better introduction because it would have made clear your investment in the idea and where you were coming from in making the statements you did.



Meistersinger
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30 Jun 2013, 3:57 am

Not to blunt or rude, but at least you had support of some kind.

As I was growing up, autism wasn't even heard of. I do agree with you on being prescribed psychoactive drugs, since they should not be prescribed to children, let alone anyone who is NT. I used to think psychiatric drugs were a cure for most cases, (in some cases, they do work) nowadays, after being fed these poisons, I now understand why there is an anti-psychiatry survivors group.

At one time, I was a fair to middling Musician, as well as a decent librarian and somewhat of a computer geek. I agree with my diagnosis, but try telling that to 2 of my 3 brothers, who feel that I'm a fraud and a lazy-arsed SOB, who doesn't deserve to live. The only brother who sort of gets it with my quirks has a son and a daughter on the spectrum, as low functioning autistics.



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30 Jun 2013, 4:27 am

I agree with Verdani.

A few of us had and still have problems with feeling left out, ostracized, treated differently, despite trying and wanting to be treated just like everyone else. I assume this is particularly true for the first couple of decades of life. It is very painful and distressing to go through this. I am sorry you have also suffered this way.
I for one, was happier to receive the label of Aspie at my later stage of life, because it made me see that I actually was a bit different, and not just choosing to be difficult. My family also preferred to accept this. Now they will back off if I say I really don't want to go to some stupid social event because I am really not up to it. It is easier for me to call myself aspie than 'bad. That is something I never deserved. I am honest, kind, work hard when given the chance, help people when I see the opportunity, try to live up to my personal morals without judgement of others..etc. It SUCKS to try so hard to be a good person, but still be dismissed, ignored, left out, passed over, treated like a child.

I am much better at fitting in now. Sometimes, I 'play dumb'. Some people seem to respond well to that. :roll:
You have to pick your battles. :wink:



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30 Jun 2013, 7:21 am

In school, I had no friends. In late elementary and middle school, I was in the "retard" class because I didn't do well in school (who could with so much hate going on). I connected more with the "retards" and "emotionally disturbed people" than I did the other kids (maybe because they were more accepting of people who were different).

Throughout school, after this, I never really had friends. It was one giant social clique, and frankly, it was probably that way from day one.



MoonCanvas
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30 Jun 2013, 7:23 am

ASdogGeek wrote:
im sorry to hear that you had such a hard time and that people didn't listen, based on your history you sound like a very high functioning autism, the society may associate it with being slow and deffiviant but how i see it is you have challanges in some areas (as noted by people being able to spot you as on the spectrum) however that doesnt make you stupid or an idiot. i too was bullied a lot as a child however unlike you i was pushed into mainstream classes and i wasnt ready for it. sounds like you may have some ptsd too from those bullies. one thing i want to tell you wether you are mildly autistic or severely affected that doest make you matter less as a person. will some people talk down to you and try to treat you like someone of low iq likely however thats when you out smart them or use big words.....okay im not sure if thats good advice or not.

dont let this hold you back keep fighting! fighting for your right and keep learning too! see if you can aquire more and better social skills this will help mask it and make you seem more normal to your peers


as for the medication i am really sorry you went through that. they tried meds with me too it only made things much worse. one thing you might do is get your school and medical records and read over them you might learn something of what they were picking up on. i hoope others here might have better advice. you can message me if you want

ps i like your hair

Well, I think my challenges were due to the autism label. Because my personality is nerdy, everyone thought I had autism. As I later found out, there were some extreme contradictions in everyone thinking I had autism; my cognitive empathy is one of my strengths(which should be the opposite for those with Asperger's), I'm physically gifted which contrasts the typical clumsy disposition, and an MRI during adolescence showed my brain was exceedingly normal.

I think part of autism should be based off needs more than just being nerdy, because too much of diagnosing people is based off looking for nerds. Nerds are just a personality group, but because me being a nerd resembles autism traits, I was misdiagnosed. Even if someone is evaluated for autism, my situation proves that they should be given tests to determine cognitive empathy. Or is that how things are done now? It's been years.



Verdandi
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30 Jun 2013, 7:27 am

Autism screening and diagnosis includes several possible tests that are indicative of cognitive empathy and social imagination.



grahamguitarman
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30 Jun 2013, 9:14 am

I empathise with your history, and can understand why you feel bitter. I'm also sorry that you were so upset that you ended up in tears, no-one here wants to do that to you or anyone else (or at least I hope so).

I don't however like the use of the term 'retard', those students were just as much human and deserving of dignity as you were.

I don't know if you are Autistic or whatever, maybe you just have a personality disorder or something. But the dismissive way you talk about 'retards' as if you are superior, is exactly the way you came over in that other thread in regards to people with Autism.

Autism is a very real condition, and most people here have lifelong problems because of it - including bullying and discrimination. It seems to me that you have a huge self esteem issue with being labelled with Aspergers, and will go to any length to refute that - even to the point of denying the existence of Aspergers as a condition.

I'm not trying to attack you here, just trying to give you a heads up that your attitude is going to continue to give you problems on here if you cannot accept that we are all equally deserving of consideration. When you declare that Aspergers does not exist, you attack the core foundation of our self image, the very thing that helps us to understand who we are - and that is hurtful!

By the way being a nerd is not the definition of being autistic, there are plenty of people with ASD who are in no way nerdy.



The_Walrus
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30 Jun 2013, 2:51 pm

Some of the things you talk of are very sad. I agree with Verdani that this would have made a better introduction than the other thread.

Don't take this the wrong way, but I think your consistent placement in special education is likely to have some kind of basis. It seems like that basis is not autism, but maybe you have some other condition. Your story reminds me of a person with ADHD, for example. Of course, there is a chance that it could be a string of mistakes, but it probably isn't a combination of geekiness and intelligence. Whilst our situations are not comparable, I know many intelligent people, many geeky people, and many people who are both intelligent and geeky but do not have autism diagnoses.

You are right that autistic people have to deal with discrimination and prejudice, but we are not necessarily doomed or demonised. If you are really worried, you could stop telling people about your autism diagnosis. Usually people can't tell that someone is autistic, particularly if they are high functioning. There are members on here who have careers and children and all the other things that seem so impossible for a lot of autistic people. If you can become more diurnal or else accept you'll only be able to get a job that requires you to work at night (security guard, nurse...), then there's every chance you can "succeed" in life.

As Graham says, be careful with the "r" word, particularly on here. "Retarded" is okay in some contexts, but "retard" usually isn't.



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30 Jun 2013, 3:50 pm

I've shared a similar middle school and elementary school experience as you had. In elementary school, teachers don't treat you with respect because it IS New England Public School Unions with no encouragement to work. My special ed teachers did the same thing; they suspected I had autism, not very respectful for me because they wouldn't listen to me, and tacked on medication that made everything worse.

Ironically, that medication was Ritalin and it caused more meltdowns, sensory problems, and I couldn't stop shaking throughout school, so my doctor unsubscribed it. It's supposed to help ADHD and my tics, but it didn't really help.


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torquemada
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30 Jun 2013, 4:51 pm

Dude, it's nice to meet YOU rather than your defence mechanism. It's precious little consolation right now, I know, but a LOT of us have had lives that sucked *ss too.

You're f****d up, f****d off, and you've been f****d over. We can get that. LIFE is a death sentence, you gotta find and make your own privileges. I really wish I could give you the magic words, but no-one ever said 'em to me yet, so I'm a bit stuck on that one :-/

Yeah, we all effectively gave it "f***k you" when you showed up saying what you did, but you're capable of cognitive empathy (as are more of us than DSM would have you believe), so you know why. Try and tell someone their reality is false and that's gonna happen, in the NT world or here!

I'm me. It took me a looooong time to learn what that meant, and a little longer to figure out that I ain't so bad, even likeable in the right light. You've got talent and time, what you do with it is up to you but here at WP I've found understanding that even an incredible NT partner can't provide, even within my own rookie post count.

If you were to press me for advice rather than support, I'd say finish college, get a job and then get assessed and diagnosed on your own time and terms by professionals you feel you can respect. Get it straight in your own mind, then get your own mind straight. You CAN achieve, but to do that you MUST strive. I'd say that it gets easier, but for the moment, given your circumstances, I'd be bulls***ting you if I said that it'll happen soon. It won't. Life ain't fair and people suck. But not all of 'em, and life can just as easily throw you a chance or a favour as someone else who you feel doesn't deserve it.

Open yourself to possibility and watch out for opportunity. The biggest hurdle I had to get over to follow that one was myself. Carpe the f**k out of the Diem, par the Jugulum. In so far as you can, and don't beat yourself up if you "fail" from time to time. Plenty of people will save you that effort.

Well come, MoonCanvas. We feel too.


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30 Jun 2013, 8:59 pm

torquemada is spot on. Put on some mental armour and accept that people are what they are. Their treatment of you is about their shortcomings, not yours. I read that Einstein's teachers didn't like him either, and his grades in physics were ordinary. No one cares. Focus on being the person you want to be not on the losers in your way. They don't know any better, so don't expect any better.
You know, you're kind of cute. I think if you get your head on straight and learn to be master of your ship, you might find your life turns out OK.



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30 Jun 2013, 9:00 pm

That is very sad. Autism can be a cruel label. Some don't like that awareness is spreading because people will know more about it and then completely ignore them.