NTs who inspired you / positive experiences with NTs

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Aurore
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18 Sep 2008, 12:52 am

I know we have all had difficulties with NTs at some time or another. What I want for this thread is to hear your stories about an NT who helped you out, changed your life for the better, or even just made you really happy at one time or another.

This was spurred by an interaction I had with my Sociology professor yesterday morning. He was talking about how he always put his foot in his mouth, metaphorically speaking. I told him it was okay, that I have absolutely awful social skills, and he remembered that I'd put that on my notecard. (He had us all turn in notecards with facts about ourselves on them, so he could remember us better.) Then he smiled at me and said, well, that's all right, and that he was the same way, and look how far he'd gotten in life.

It was a little thing but it made me feel really hopeful and happy!


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Aurore
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18 Sep 2008, 2:20 am

No one?


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Mindovermatter
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18 Sep 2008, 3:10 am

the problem is, for an NT to inspire you they must understand what your going through. I've yet to meet anyone who understands. Even my family, some of them think I just "dont like people" or im "overreacting" lol. I just shrug it off and keep telling myself it will be better when I die.



Aurore
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18 Sep 2008, 3:31 am

Mindovermatter wrote:
the problem is, for an NT to inspire you they must understand what your going through. I've yet to meet anyone who understands. Even my family, some of them think I just "dont like people" or im "overreacting" lol. I just shrug it off and keep telling myself it will be better when I die.


Aw :( I'm sorry about that.

For me, it makes me happy if someone even tries to understand. I guess I have really low standards.


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zeichner
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18 Sep 2008, 6:46 am

I grew up in a "pre-AS" time - the 1960s & '70s. (Before there was AS & NT, there was odd/strange & "normal").

My first grade teacher was fabulous! I'm going to choose to remember her as NT - although I truly don't remember enough about her personality to judge. Anyway, she recognized my differences & we would periodically talk after school, when she would record our conversation. I guess she was studying me - maybe for a graduate school project - I don't know (& my mother doesn't even remember this happened.) What I do know, is that she made me feel special at a time in my life when I was starting to see that I wasn't the same as the other kids. (I don't recall that she ever did anything to set me apart in class - which I think was a very smart & sensitive thing to do.)

Fast forward to the early '70s - My drum & bugle corps drum instructor did a lot for me. (For anyone who doesn't know - drum corps is a non-school marching music activity.) He helped me see that if you're good enough at something, nothing else matters. During breaks in rehearsals, we all would sit around & he would tell the dirtiest jokes (today, that kind of thing could never happen - contributing to the delinquency of minors & all that) - what mattered, is that I was included in some real bonding with the kind of people who would have ignored me (at best) or teased me (at worst) in any other situation. In this situation, I was a really good drummer - so that made me all right. For years afterward (right through college), he helped to get me involved with musical opportunities in the community (and some paying jobs)

When I was 18, I had a girlfriend (most definitely NT) who treated me normally. Today, she tells me I used a lot of words she didn't have a clue what they meant - but we talked & had real conversations. I can't even begin to describe how important that relationship was to me. She never made me feel "special" - I was just the guy she loved. She was younger than me & we didn't really have a future once I started university - but it was a glorious time! We drifted apart - she got married, then divorced - and we've recently reconnected (no, we're not dating - just good friends.) I am so thankful for her unique way of treating me - like a person :D

In the army, there were a couple guys I was friends with - again, they never saw me (or at least, never treated me) as "different" - it is so cool when that happens!

I guess my theme here, is that some NTs are open to relating to Aspies as people - they can see past the differences - recognize the differences when they matter & ignore them when they don't.



LiendaBalla
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18 Sep 2008, 9:49 am

My ex best friend, who was amung the few who treated me like a human being in my youth, changed alot of my perspective on life, even parts of my subcontious defense system. Her break up with me was under rotten curcumstances, but woke me up. I suddenly found myself longing for her attention, and wandering why. I was a clear addict feeling the need to be heard and acknowledged. Which is why I wanted our friendship to be eternal. It seemed to me, back then, that people just don't treat each other respectively like that.

-On a more mild note. There are very good NTs.

There is this one family I knew while liveing in my home town. They had a section where the families had their moble homes in a row. The whole kin seemed to be there for a while. We had one friend who was married to one of the men of that family, and they had three kids. She liked to invite me and my sister to their home alot. When survivor aired it's first two seasons, they would have survivor show get togethers, and we would sit on the chairs and sofas while eating.

Other times were during Holidays, and the whole family was usualy there. My father went to some of these. They could see the Aspieness in my dad and me, they just didn't care much. They didn't know I was either, till I told one of the wives. There weren't any questions like "why don't you talk to us more?" I think they understood that social skills weren't our greatest ability. I told her once "Sorry I can't socialise more. I don't know what to do." She just said "We invite you all the time, don't worry about it. I feel comfortable with you as you are."

Sometimes I wish more people in the world could be like these.



Josie
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18 Sep 2008, 6:12 pm

Yes a few people. I woun't be who I was today!!



DW_a_mom
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18 Sep 2008, 6:26 pm

My son has been blessed to have one of the most popular kids from his elementary school as a very good friend.

One day this friend was chatting about what he liked so much about my son. He told him that friend Y may be the most brialliant in their class at figuring out things, but it will be my son who will be inventing all those things.

Well, it went something like that.

My son was glowing.

I just hope that this child's enjoyment of his friendship with my son can withstand the social pressures of middle school and high school. While this friend has been strong enough to sell his vision to the elementary school kids, that may not stay true as the pond gets bigger.

But, still, you've got to love someone who is so free at seeing and expressing the best traits in someone.


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18 Sep 2008, 6:38 pm

what a great thread, thanks Aurore!

I think everybody i come in contact with, inspires me some. The one who comes to my mind at the moment is the recreational therapist/childlife specialist Carolyn who runs recreational therapy group when i volunteer. She has taught to look past disabilites even more then i use to, to fight no matter what god gives you, and to always smile and try to be in a upbeat, bubbly person. My whole family inspires and taught me so much. My mother taught me to use my heart to lead me in life rather then my brain, my father taught how to be strong will minded and to never give up, my brother taught me to enjoy life, be goofy, and to be silly, and my oldest brother taught me to love, showed me unforgetable love.


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blueroses
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18 Sep 2008, 6:51 pm

I have an NT career mentor. After I was diagnosed and realized how much other people on the spectrum struggled, I decided to change career paths and do something to help others with disabilities. I didn't know what I wanted to do exactly, but something in the social services field.

It was tough making a change and breaking into a whole new field I had no experience in. (I used to work in publishing and have an English degree, not a SW degree). I had a year or so of bad interviews and doors slammed in my face.

It didn't help that a lot of people discouraged me because they didn't think I had the people skills to work in this field. I even had friend laugh and say that me wanting to be a social worker was like "a blind person wanting to be an air traffic controller."

I was at a crossroads and just starting to finally learn about my AS and who I was at that time in my life. I went to an employment agency for people with disabilities and expected to be laughed at there, too. But, the person who worked with me made a lot of effort to understand me and my frame of reference. She helped me to find ways that my Asperger's could actually help me be a better social worker and is one of the most positive people I've ever met. She made me feel like I am the way I am for a reason and other people with differences are, too.

I eventually was employed in another department within the same nonprofit service agency for people with disabilities that employment service is a part of. I try to model the way I work with my consumers after the way she worked with me.



KingdomOfRats
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18 Sep 2008, 7:38 pm

am have had many good experiences with NTs,it is hard,no in fact impossible to pick just one out,am cant believe someone could go through life without at least one good experience with an NT,they're not all the same,like autists.
a good example of good experiences am had was with a tutor am had at college some years ago,she was the manager of disability and SEN at college,she was also the tutor am had on the course [a ASDAN life skills course for people with mod-severe disabilities],she was the one who got am a social worker and got am moved into an institution,she brought am out a lot in her car when first moved out to shops to buy things to put in the room as had smashed most of the stuff am owned-she was actually more like a mum to am.
even though am struggled with the course and was suffering on it,partly due to the class/learning itself and partly due to where the course was based on mondays and tuesdays [broadoak high school,a unofficial EBD school,where anyone with obvious disability or special needs were lucky to get out each day without being attacked by the schools students]-the tutor managed to keep am going,she really understood am,not once did she pre judge,she really is a very nice NT who always puts others before herself.

other awesome NTs who have also affected am were Andrew and Martin.
Andrew was the speech therapist am had who also specialised in autism.
the staff at home used to say they hate him, all the time and am realised why-when Andrew found out about a lot of the bad stuff the staff did to am or the things they should have done-but couldnt be bothered to,he complained on behalf-and got them to change via the managers,he really understood am more than anyone have ever met, he trained the social worker am have now with am by letting him come along to a lot of the sessions so am could get used to him and he could get experience,as well Andrew working with am,he spent over a year putting all the stuff he understood about am/autism into a book-and it filled a huge folder.,all staff have to read it and sign a paper to say they have read it,unfortunately he was moved to another borough so have never seen him again.
Martin works for Future Visions,an advocacy group for people with LDs who live in residential care,he has spoken for am for years in meetings or to complain,again,he also understands rather than judges,and he helps am to understand if he cant get something [one example of that was when he couldnt get the managers to let am have a cat].

am could write a lot more,but will end up with too much text.


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corroonb
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18 Sep 2008, 7:42 pm

My mother, my brothers, my English teacher in secondary school, my lecturers in college especially my professor of Ancient Greek, my first psychiatrist and psychologist, the manager/owner of the Korean English school where I taught for eight months. Some of these may or may not have been NTs. I don't know.



BokeKaeru
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18 Sep 2008, 7:58 pm

Assuming none of them were AS people passing as or "misdiagnosed" as NTs...

-My brother. We're almost as different as night and day, him a popular jock and me an introverted anime nerd, but we've gotten along really well for years now. A few common interests like South Park and video games have facilitated this, too. Even though he's really popular and is very much into the "social game," he's never bullied me or even acted embarrassed about me, and in fact has a great deal of respect for people with physical and cognitive disabilities. He's made a point of it that he'd very much like to beat the crap out of people who stare at me, let alone go any further in how they apparently feel about how I am.

-My piano teacher. I've known her for about 14 years now, and even when I was going through the worst times, she didn't give up on me. We clashed sometimes, but she did try, and almost always, succeeded in getting through to me and compromising in some ways or another. Learning piano was one of the main things that made me more likable in the eyes of many NTs, so I'm glad that my teacher was good at understanding me and, while making sure I learned the basis and had some variety in my interests, encouraging me to explore the areas of music I most liked so I continued to enjoy playing.

-My best friend. Probably one of the few good close friends I've had. We've made up stories together, indeed, entire worlds; she let me spend the summer at her house once; I have helped her with college-related things and provided for her when her family has been unable for various reasons; and we both deal with each others' (sometimes very vast) differences, whether they be in politics, in physical ability or disability, and in our likes and dislikes, very well. We're both one of the few "friends" in our lives who haven't pushed each other around or exploited one another (both of us have been prone to dysfunctional relationships), so it's good to be breaking old habits.

-My housekeeper/former babysitter. She's been around since I was maybe 5 or 6. At that point, boy did we clash. However, once she learned the ropes of how to deal with my various problems and I acquired better manners, we became very nice to each other - even friends. Having been with our family so long, she really does know my likes and dislikes and go the extra mile to accommodate for me. I've also helped look after her daughters to the extent I can when needed, so that's probably helped too. And, though this is a silly thing to like a person over, my brother and I have always agreed that she's always the source of the best Christmas presents. ;)

-Any number of teachers. I would take up a huge amount of space describing every single one of them, but all of the following (and probably some more) valued me for my mind and abilities rather than how social I was or how I looked or anything that didn't have a thing to do with my performance as a student. Many of them tolerated my strange learning style, or at least put up limits in ways that weren't oppressive or inhibitive. Most of them were extremely funny in class, and all taught me a lot. They include: my 1st and 2nd grade teacher; my 8th grade reading teacher; my high school history, economics, government and psychology teacher (yes, he taught all of those!); my physics teacher; my 9th grade French teacher; my oil painting teacher; my (temporary) 12th grade English teacher; my first history professor and major adviser in college; my first and third semester German professor; my philosophy of religion professor; and my German cinema professor.

There are definitely more, but these are the main ones I can think of right now.



AGMorehouse
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18 Sep 2008, 8:33 pm

I have had many influences.

First, I would like to say that my Interpersonal Communications professor, Professor Grossman, has become an inspiration to me. When I entered her class, one of the things she asked us students was to tell us a little bit about ourselves. I revealed that I had Asperger's Syndrome, and when I revealed it, people then started to become interested and that they wanted to know more about me, and my struggles. And Mrs. Grossman told me that when I revealed this, people will want to know more about me, and she inspired me to be more open.

Secondly, a group of Disney enthusiasts has helped me with social skills. I post on another forum, and with experience, I've learned how to behave in front of adults. I've found some true friends, and I think that they have helped me through some of my worst times.

They now know about it.


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19 Sep 2008, 3:08 am

One of my uncles...when I was little and I would get angry when my parents would punish me, he would whisper to me what not to do, etc...so that I wouldn't get in more trouble...he always protected me...unfortunately, he passed away 4 1/2 years ago...

A good friend of my dad...he always advocated for me and was the first person that told me he loved me...No, he never tried anything or anything like that...but he always listened to me and made sure others knew how awesome I was...especially my very abusive and critical father...unfortunately, he passed away 4 years ago...

Then a man I worked with when I worked for the airlines...he made fun of some of my quirks, but also listened to me and always told me that I was very smart...unfortunately, he passed away 5 years ago...

Then there was that one guy from high school, the one that kept in touch...whom I admired very much...and could see right through me...and he made me get rid of all that horrible worthless feeling, etc...that I carried through my childhood...he's still alive...thank God...but we don't much keep in touch because he's married and so am I...and well, neither of our spouses is too thrilled about the relationship since we have such high admiration for each other...and well, neither of us blames them...