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ashbashbeard
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19 Sep 2016, 4:51 pm

Long time no see, everyone.

I was diagnosed with AS at 20 (I'm now 28), but I was previously diagnosed with "medium ASD" as a child. I couldn't talk properly until I was 5, found it hard to understand the context of what people were saying and in general was quite violent and destructive. My parents had a really hard time trying to care for me, and couldn't see much hope in improvement. I'm not violent or aggressive anymore (perhaps a bit too mellow now!), but I still have sensory issues, issues with social cues, find socialising mentally draining etc.

I was put into a special school until I was 15 and then after my mother did a lot of fighting with the state, I was placed into secondary school - a huge jump but it helped me develop the needed coping skills to at least "act" around people. I found it hard though as special school didn't teach me much at all, leaving me at a large disadvantage compared to other students, but I quickly caught up. I still got bullied though and in the end things didn't go so well academically.

About 2007 I joined this site under a different name. I just finished secondary school and didn't know what to do with myself. I knew it was something to do with being creative - along the lines of graphic design or art, but I failed my exams, ran into a deep pit of depression and in general hated people. This manifested in trolling people online to actively being a loner. I had nothing to do with a world that I perceived to be hostile to me. I was lazy, became fat and didn't care about anything. Taking an art course only made things worse due to being bullied by students who seen me as "creepy" or that I was apparently a "serial killer".

However in 2008 I met my current GF on here and started visiting her regularly by flying over to the UK from Ireland. She convinced me to continue with further courses, so in 2009-2010, I took courses in photography in multimedia. This really helped open me up as a person and gained enough motivation to continue with multimedia until 2011, where I got into college to study my BA Hons degree in multimedia for 4 years. College was tough due to a mixture of my AS causing issues, toxicity of certain people and aspects such as the dreaded dissertation - but ultimately I succeeded and got a 2.1 :D

At this time I decided that I wanted to move to the UK and work there - a difficult task as it was *well* out of my comfort zone. I never had a proper job before, I lacked proper experience and while I visited the UK many times, was still alien territory for me. I still kept going though - saving, spending months looking for work, sorting hassle out like getting a UK number, bank account (was oddly quite difficult - UK proof of address despite not living there yet? :roll: ) etc.

I actually gave up for a while and ended up getting into another bout of depression. No one wanted to interview me. Most didn't even look at my CV. I went back to being lazy and doing nothing much with myself for a while. However, after a talk with my GF and my mother at the time, it motivated me enough to try again - soon I got an interview for a job as a digital designer in a large company in the East Midlands! I was excited, but also terrified at the same time as I never had a job interview before.

To prepare, I practiced my presentation skills intensively, brushed up my portfolio and made sure everything was double checked. I still felt like a nervous wreck though. Once I flew over and went to the interview, I almost felt like I wanted to vomit - however once the interview started, I ended up being weirdly calm, and managed to explain myself well.

I wasn't sure if I got the job for a couple of weeks until I got a phonecall with the good news. Soon after I was finally able to fulfil my goal of moving over, started work, got an apartment with the GF and 7 months later, I've been stuck here ever since. :lol:

The point of all of this is that despite any hurdles in life and your AS, it *is* possible to achieve your goals. Never use AS as an excuse, but as a tool to reach your goals. It is hard, gruelling and you'll have bad moments, but it is worth it in the end.



kraftiekortie
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19 Sep 2016, 6:04 pm

Thank you, Sir.

Nice testimonial.



the_phoenix
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19 Sep 2016, 6:07 pm

It's great seeing people succeed ... Congratulations!
I wish you all the best. :)



vrolijk
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19 Sep 2016, 7:51 pm

Glad to hear things worked out for you. I would caution you against generalizing that to everyone with "no excuse." ASD is a spectrum disorder and while some succeed, others cannot or do not receive the assistance they need to do so.



thumbhole
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19 Sep 2016, 8:01 pm

I'm glad for you that you have been successful in life. However, please do not preach at other members and tell them that they should do the same as you and get a job, etc.

If you had titled your post "some good news" or "my personal life is looking up" I wouldn't have a problem with it at all. But you have chosen to come on here and preach at a group of struggling people and tell them that their disability is not an "excuse" citing your own personal success as a justification for urging others to follow your example.

I take issue with that, because autism is a spectrum. It does not affect all people in the same way.

Just because you were able to achieve your life goals doesn't mean that all other autistic people will be able to. We are all different with different levels of functioning and different abilities or lack thereof. You have no idea what trials other people face, nor are you aware of their life circumstances nor the specific ways their autism affects them. Some of us are very tired indeed of NTs preaching at us, scolding us, blaming us and accusing us of not trying hard enough or using autism as an "excuse". The last thing we want is to come on here and find a fellow Aspie preaching at us as well and playing the blame game.

Some of us are much older than you and have struggled for MANY years in the workplace only to have nervous breakdowns / end up homeless / be taken away to mental hospitals and locked up against our will.

There may be some using their Asperger's as what you refer to as an "excuse" for not having a job / not being socially successful, but most of us are citing it as a genuine REASON, not an excuse.

I CAN'T GO TO WORK BECAUSE I HAVE HAD NUMEROUS NERVOUS BREAKDOWNS and was taken away to a psychiatric hospital and locked up against my will and have been deemed very seriously disabled.

You are still young. I remember my youthful optimism at your age, thinking "if I can just find the right job for me, everything will be OK." But it wasn't.

f you were about 40 or 50 and had been fired from numerous consecutive jobs and bullied by your workmates every single day for decades and lost your girlfriend and endured a bout of homelessness and had a few nervous breakdowns and been denied proper help from any doctors and had been blamed all your life for all your problems and never even got a diagnosis until you were about 40 or 50, you wouldn't be coming here preaching at others with that youthful enthusiasm.

If you had given your thread a different title and worded your final paragraph like this:

"The point of all of this is that despite any hurdles in life and my AS, it *is* possible to achieve my goals. I have resolved to never use my AS as an excuse, but as a tool to reach my goals. It is hard, gruelling and I have had bad moments, but it is worth it in the end"

then I wouldn't have a problem with it. But you didn't. You chose to conclude that, just because YOU have been successful, there is no excuse for ALL people with Asperger's not to be successful as well.

Pardon me, but that is a highly offensive thing to say. Some of us are VERY SERIOUSLY struggling in life and are going through things you have never had to endure. Some of us are suicidal. Some of us have been very abused. Some have not had the benefit of supportive parents (or indeed ANY parents). Some of us are homeless or have been homeless. Some of us are doped up on drugs with horrible side-effects, but cannot function without them. Some of us are TOTALLY DIFFERENT TO YOU, and pointing that out is not an "excuse". It is merely a FACT.

You have told people to "use AS as a tool to reach their goals"

What a very bland, PC thing to say.

A debilitating condition like AS is not going to be a "tool" to help somebody get a job.

The majority of jobs are not suited to people with AS, and the majority of people with AS are not able to remain in employment. That is a statistical fact.

Of course there are exceptions. Many people with AS find ways to use their personal strengths and creativity to come up with unique business ideas. Alex is a shining example. He made this website. But he is the exception, not the rule.



Last edited by thumbhole on 19 Sep 2016, 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kraftiekortie
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19 Sep 2016, 8:02 pm

I don't disagree. Sometimes, no matter how hard one tries, one has difficulties.

But I would advocate never giving up.

Because if you give up, then there's no hope.



androbot01
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19 Sep 2016, 8:44 pm

Wow, that's quite a reintroduction. I don't agree with your conclusion, but I'm glad things are going well for you.

I can't help but notice that at a couple of junctures in your life it was your girlfriend who motivated you. Go women, eh!



kraftiekortie
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19 Sep 2016, 8:46 pm

Women do have a way of motivating men. No doubt!



ashbashbeard
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20 Sep 2016, 12:43 am

I think some people misunderstand. I do not advocate doing the same as me, only saying that do not let AS be in the way of your goals, and instead use it to it's advantage. My goal was to work in the UK, your goal obviously will be completely different.

I am aware it's a spectrum and obviously it's tough, but AS itself isn't an intellectual disability. It was very tough getting to this point for me, didn't have any support apart from my GF (she also has AS) and I still have issues, but learning those coping mechanisms when I was younger did help a lot.



Last edited by ashbashbeard on 20 Sep 2016, 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

ashbashbeard
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20 Sep 2016, 12:51 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
I don't disagree. Sometimes, no matter how hard one tries, one has difficulties.

But I would advocate never giving up.

Because if you give up, then there's no hope.


Pretty much this.



thumbhole
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20 Sep 2016, 1:02 am

Quote:
only saying that do not let AS be in the way of your goals, and instead use it to it's advantage.


1. Most people with AS have the "goal" of making friends, but cannot do so because nobody likes them due to their AS.

Explain exactly how you think that AS is going to be an "advantage" when trying to make friends.

2. A lot of people with AS are lonely and single and have the "goal" of having a significant other, but cannot do so because nobody likes them due to their AS / they keep saying and doing things that annoy the opposite sex due to their AS / they are crippled with shyness around the opposite sex due to their AS / they are over-talkative around people in general and people soon get tired of them and wish they would just shut up and go away / they are selectively mute.

Explain exactly how you think that AS is going to be an "advantage" to all these lonely people when trying to find a significant other.

3. Many people with AS have the "goal" of trying to find a job and many are extremely intelligent and qualified, but cannot hold down a job for reasons which include, but are not limited to:

- chromic insomnia which means they often oversleep and keep being fired from jobs,

- a lack of instinctive awareness of office politics which leads to superiors and co-workers scolding them for being "rude",

- a lack of awareness of sarcasm and jokes which means that they become the brunt of office jokes and are bullied mercilessly by co-workers,

- mental exhaustion due to being in the company of other people all day long,

- an inability to function properly and remain sane and healthy if not given enough free time to de-stress from all of the above.

Given all of the above, please explain exactly how you think AS is going to be an "advantage" when trying to hold down a full-time job. :roll:

(That's assuming the person with AS even manages to A. apply for the job in the first place, and B. actually be given the job at all, both of which are somewhat unlikely). :roll:



adoylelb90815
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20 Sep 2016, 1:45 am

One of the reasons AS is considered a disability is that we have difficulty getting a job because interviews are the hardest part of the job process, and many times, it's what causes us not to get hired in the first place. In saying that, I agree that those of us with Asperger's should never give up looking for a job, even if it takes us longer to get a job in the first place.



Clakker
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20 Sep 2016, 2:03 am

Another Supersperger preaching perseverance, hope, and 'if I can do it, so can you' because he's got a girlfriend and a job. Take away the girlfriend, take away the job, and that golden carriage your riding in turns into the rotten pumpkin it's for the lot of us.


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Edna3362
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20 Sep 2016, 3:02 am

Eh, not everyone can do that. NT or no NT. :lol:

And not everyone has the same goal, or how one defines success.


Either you're an aspie who knows your own trick (this is the case if you are truly taking advantage of aspergers), or a lucky one that ended up at the right place/s and time/s (suitable environment, good support, lenient culture). Or both.
Because I know. :twisted: Congrats anyways.


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Misery
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20 Sep 2016, 3:33 am

Clakker wrote:
Another Supersperger preaching perseverance, hope, and 'if I can do it, so can you' because he's got a girlfriend and a job. Take away the girlfriend, take away the job, and that golden carriage your riding in turns into the rotten pumpkin it's for the lot of us.


You're missing the point.

Take away those things... and there's still no reason to give up. When you give up, you absolutely have guaranteed that you'll never again have such things. But if you dont... who knows? I went through something similar myself... 10 years ago there's no way in hell that I ever could have guessed what my life would be like now, and I sure as heck couldnt have guessed at the sequence of events that led to it. If someone from the future had come back and told me about it, I would have A: laughed at them, or B: thrown stuff at them until they went away. It's impossible, utterly impossible, to know what will happen in the future; to instantly assume certain defeat serves no purpose other than guaranteeing that defeat.



Besides that though, there's no call for acting that way on here. "Supersperger", huh. Talk about rude. I mean, really, even I'm not THAT negative and unpleasant, and that's really saying something. Enough of it.