However, each and every one of these lists has a tendency to focus exclusively on the outward signs of Asperger’s Syndrome in women.
‘difficulties with social interaction’,
‘dislike of small talk’,
‘fixation on special interests’,
‘preference for spending time alone’
I‘m sure by now we are all nauseatingly familiar with the above list of symptoms.
Perhaps we’ve even become so familiar with these lists that we’ve stopped looking for the traits that have been missed.
Well here’s a trait that continues to remain unlisted, although I cannot for the life of me understand why this should be so, as it is a trait that has been mentioned over and over again, by every woman with Asperger’s Syndrome that I’ve ever communicated with.
In fact, it may even be the one trait that is common to every woman with Asperger’s Syndrome.
And that trait is:
The early personal recognition, awareness or sensation that they feel, think and perceive the world differently to those around them.
“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel different to everyone else”.
“I’m pretty sure I was born different. No two ways about that.”
“Different is something I’ve always been.”
“I must have been the oddest child on earth. I know I certainly felt that way.”
“Evan as a kid, I felt, I don’t know, just different to my sisters and brothers.”
Given that this sense of personal awareness occurs long before the outward signs of Asperger’s Syndrome appear, it is perfectly logical to hypothesize that the early onset of this awareness may indeed be the exact reason why the outward signs of Asperger’s first appear to others.
“I didn’t like doing the same things that kids my age did, so I used to just go off and do my own thing.”
“I could never understand why other girls wanted to play with dolls. Dolls were boring to me.”
I believe that this early personal sense of ‘not fitting in’ or of ‘not belonging’ within one’s own family, peer group or circle of friends, needs to be considered as one of the fundamental indicators of Asperger’s Syndrome or High Functioning Autism in females.
It therefore strikes me as extremely odd that researchers, psychologists and other related professionals’ continue to ignore the one experience that, so far, appears to be common to all AS Women, and instead focus on ideas such as ‘masking’.
Imagine how many girls could be helped if all it took to recognize their potential for being on the spectrum entailed the asking of just one simple question.
Do you ever feel different?
Does this post ring true to you?
Have you always felt different?