A little about me, figuring out the whole "autism" thing.

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Dan82
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25 Apr 2019, 11:54 pm

Hi, I'm Dan. There were always suspicions I was autistic, but I wasn't diagnosed with autism (specifically Asperger's) until 1997, when I was 15. I think the statistic then was one in 1,000 and my school had 2-3,000 people in it, so go figure. I also have depression and anxiety, but I've been more or less obliterating those since the economy's been so good. I blame Obama.

I never really thought much about my diagnosis regarding my identity; I usually thought about my identity more in terms of my idiosyncratic, individual persona, which if you think about it you may agree would cause a lot of conflict with people because people don't really know who I am, and actually I think most people you meet (meaning the person at the cash register or people on the bus, etc.) don't care. It helps people to know how to handle you to refer to things from popular culture or things they've said they know/care about. (More on that in a way in a minute.)

My thinking didn't change until it was forced to when I entered my 30's. It could just be a coincidence, but I think it helps that around that age, people stop giving you as much leeway to "figure things out" and more demand you take care of business. (I'll return to my autistic identity in a minute.)

About my professional life:
I got my first job washing dishes when I was almost 16; I worked there for four years off and on. Yadda yadda yadda I got a pretty good job when I was 22-23 and did well enough that I thought I should, like, take the next step and go to school. I went to school (usually community college) off and on for about four years total and didn't work (except for like 6 months off and on here and there) from the ages of 23-32, and when I started working again, it was part-time and just about minimum wage. I switched jobs once, took part in a skills training program, and eventually found full time work with a friend in an unrelated field. I do floor care--mostly carpets, which is pretty low-stress as far as floor care goes; stone work can get really technical, but I'm told that's where the money is. I've been working full time for a year now and I'm making four times as much as when I started when you factor in the increased hourly rate and increased number of hours, so I'm happy about that.

About my going back to school:
Not to be too ominous, but I'm once again doing pretty well professionally, so I think I should go back to school, probably for the last time being that I'm in my late 30's. This is where the discussion of my autistic identity kicks back in: I'd probably go to school for computer science, hopefully programming, because that's what the folks I talk to about these kinds of things tell me the aptitude tests say I should be good at, which isn't surprising given the diagnosis. I'm told there's a comparative lot of tolerance for autism in the field.

About my thinking/talking about my autistic identity:
I want to take a measured approach to talking about my autism in my real-life encounters being that virtually all of my negative characteristics and fatal flaws are symptoms. In calling them "symptoms" I guess I reveal my belief that autism, in my experience, is a medical condition that should be treated. I do what I can, and it's not much, to ape neurotypicality. I think that makes it easier for the others involved which I feel I owe people being that I depend on them to make up for my social and executive functioning issues, i.e. I depend on them for the services it's my understanding even strident autism advocates say the autistic should get.

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life and The Art of War:
To that end, I'm slogging my way through the book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life by Erving Goffman, which has been on my radar for a long time. It's a technical work of sociology describing the way he believes an enclosed area like a workplace should be studied sociologically and is only partially applicable to my purposes. It's mostly about how and why people use nonverbal behavior to "define the situation," i.e. act out a scene, more or less, to communicate and control information. Parts of it remind me of what I remember of The Art of War, except in a COMPLETELY different context and with the purpose kind of inverted; The Art of War is about confusing people so you can defeat them in combat, whereas The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life is about developing a "working consensus" so you can figure out what to do to work together. (Then again, The Art of War talks about how war disrupts people's working lives and therefore is generally to be avoided.)

Miscellaneous:
Also, I study Brainscape flashcards about AP World History and AP US History, mostly to get used to studying in preparation for going back to school. Depending on how soon I go back, I may hit up the biology deck, too, but from past experience that might be something that's better on Khan Academy. I try to keep up with the news. I wouldn't mind dating if I thought we could fit in with each other's lifestyles YOU KNOW, IF YOU KNOW ANYONE, NOT THAT I'M DESPERATE HA HA HA. Etc.

Anyway. That's a bit about me and what I think about these days.

PS I also like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.



Last edited by Dan82 on 26 Apr 2019, 12:43 am, edited 7 times in total.

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26 Apr 2019, 12:18 am

Welcome! Good to hear that you have found a good full time job!



DoubleCatrin
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26 Apr 2019, 2:45 am

The books you recommended seem pretty nice.

Welcome to the forum


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26 Apr 2019, 1:33 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet!


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CalicoMischief
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24 May 2019, 4:58 am

Dan82 wrote:
Hi, I'm Dan. There were always suspicions I was autistic, but I wasn't diagnosed with autism (specifically Asperger's) until 1997, when I was 15. I think the statistic then was one in 1,000 and my school had 2-3,000 people in it, so go figure. I also have depression and anxiety, but I've been more or less obliterating those since the economy's been so good. I blame Obama.

I never really thought much about my diagnosis regarding my identity; I usually thought about my identity more in terms of my idiosyncratic, individual persona, which if you think about it you may agree would cause a lot of conflict with people because people don't really know who I am, and actually I think most people you meet (meaning the person at the cash register or people on the bus, etc.) don't care. It helps people to know how to handle you to refer to things from popular culture or things they've said they know/care about. (More on that in a way in a minute.)

My thinking didn't change until it was forced to when I entered my 30's. It could just be a coincidence, but I think it helps that around that age, people stop giving you as much leeway to "figure things out" and more demand you take care of business. (I'll return to my autistic identity in a minute.)

About my professional life:
I got my first job washing dishes when I was almost 16; I worked there for four years off and on. Yadda yadda yadda I got a pretty good job when I was 22-23 and did well enough that I thought I should, like, take the next step and go to school. I went to school (usually community college) off and on for about four years total and didn't work (except for like 6 months off and on here and there) from the ages of 23-32, and when I started working again, it was part-time and just about minimum wage. I switched jobs once, took part in a skills training program, and eventually found full time work with a friend in an unrelated field. I do floor care--mostly carpets, which is pretty low-stress as far as floor care goes; stone work can get really technical, but I'm told that's where the money is. I've been working full time for a year now and I'm making four times as much as when I started when you factor in the increased hourly rate and increased number of hours, so I'm happy about that.

About my going back to school:
Not to be too ominous, but I'm once again doing pretty well professionally, so I think I should go back to school, probably for the last time being that I'm in my late 30's. This is where the discussion of my autistic identity kicks back in: I'd probably go to school for computer science, hopefully programming, because that's what the folks I talk to about these kinds of things tell me the aptitude tests say I should be good at, which isn't surprising given the diagnosis. I'm told there's a comparative lot of tolerance for autism in the field.

About my thinking/talking about my autistic identity:
I want to take a measured approach to talking about my autism in my real-life encounters being that virtually all of my negative characteristics and fatal flaws are symptoms. In calling them "symptoms" I guess I reveal my belief that autism, in my experience, is a medical condition that should be treated. I do what I can, and it's not much, to ape neurotypicality. I think that makes it easier for the others involved which I feel I owe people being that I depend on them to make up for my social and executive functioning issues, i.e. I depend on them for the services it's my understanding even strident autism advocates say the autistic should get.

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life and The Art of War:
To that end, I'm slogging my way through the book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life by Erving Goffman, which has been on my radar for a long time. It's a technical work of sociology describing the way he believes an enclosed area like a workplace should be studied sociologically and is only partially applicable to my purposes. It's mostly about how and why people use nonverbal behavior to "define the situation," i.e. act out a scene, more or less, to communicate and control information. Parts of it remind me of what I remember of The Art of War, except in a COMPLETELY different context and with the purpose kind of inverted; The Art of War is about confusing people so you can defeat them in combat, whereas The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life is about developing a "working consensus" so you can figure out what to do to work together. (Then again, The Art of War talks about how war disrupts people's working lives and therefore is generally to be avoided.)

Miscellaneous:
Also, I study Brainscape flashcards about AP World History and AP US History, mostly to get used to studying in preparation for going back to school. Depending on how soon I go back, I may hit up the biology deck, too, but from past experience that might be something that's better on Khan Academy. I try to keep up with the news. I wouldn't mind dating if I thought we could fit in with each other's lifestyles YOU KNOW, IF YOU KNOW ANYONE, NOT THAT I'M DESPERATE HA HA HA. Etc.

Anyway. That's a bit about me and what I think about these days.

PS I also like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.


I like your writing style. I read the whole thing.



Dan82
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21 Jun 2019, 10:29 pm

CalicoMischief wrote:
I like your writing style. I read the whole thing.

Thanks, I tried to keep it organized.