Archive for July, 2008

#13 Heather Kuzmich And Her Hot Legs

Written by SAPL on Wednesday, July 30th, 2008 in Careers.


Freddy Reshew/Pottle Productions

Heather Kuzmich is one well-known Aspie who many consider to be of importance in the culture. She was a contestant on America’s Next Top Model who made it to the final 5 on the Cycle 9 series last year.

Kuzmich is appreciated, revered, and adored by Aspergers for several reasons. One, she brought Aspies to the limelight on a national television show watched by many neurotypicals who may not have been aware of Aspergers before. She also showed that women and girls too are indeed Aspies and shattered some stereotypes that it’s just a male thing. Because of this, possibly more gals will realize they are Aspies or stop covering up their Aspie traits just because they can do it better than dudes. Clinicians might wise up and recognize girl Aspies as well, but as any Asperger who has dealt with those types of neurotypicals knows…some dull pencils in the box are harder to sharpen than others.

She came across as intelligent, articulate, and well-adjusted.

She also had a great pair of legs.

And what fantasies both neurotypical and Aspie men held to procreate with her and produce their very own Aspie mini-me, dominating and taking over the world with their abilities to talk for hours about horses, engineering and IT skills,  logic and analytical superiority, and hot pairs of legs.

Although her tenure on America’s next top model didn’t result in a victory, she gained fame, respect, other modeling opportunities, and proved she and other Aspies, not only can have hot legs, but can compete with any regularly wired individual.

#12 Morals (The Right Ones, That Is)

Written by SAPL on Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 in Uncategorized.


Cyberrev

Aspergers have spent many sleepless nights debating the morality of both their actions and others. They are naturally hyper-concerned with doing what is right, judging if others are doing what is right, and ensuring others know what is right. Their innate strong sense of what’s right and wrong has both protected and punished them throughout their lives.

On the positive side, an Asperger’s strong sense of morality will ensure that Barbara Walters will never be able to write a tell all book about him. Ditto for any Paris Hilton-like videos surfacing the internet and time spent wasting away in Margaritaville. That it itself should make him appreciative of this gift. But a closer look at the Aspie’s conscience on overdrive reveals problems surfacing here and there.

There is always the risk of offending friends or potential girlfriends if she is told her outfit makes her look like a whore. But the Aspie feels compelled to tell her this anyway. After all, she may not know. And if she doesn’t who else is going to tell her? Morals such as these must be followed even at risk of a slap to the face or a knee to the groin.

College can be a time of great frustration for the Aspie when deciding on a major. A promising career as an attorney may sound exciting, but the Asperger cannot foresee giving a guilty person legal counsel even if they deserve it. Medicine might prove lucrative and honorable, but if people can prevent so many ailments through diet and exercise it’s not progressive to treat them with drugs. A librarian may seem like the perfect job as literacy and education can never be overpromoted. Until the Aspie imagines a situation where she is forced to tell a patron to be quite only to discover the patron has a voice disorder which makes it very difficult to do so.  Because of her chastising the patron, the patron decides to become a recluse for 30 years and blames the Aspie librarian for driving him to a lifetime of isolation and cold delivered pizzas because he no longer feels confident leaving the home to go grocery shopping. While this scenario might sound farfetched, it seems quite plausible at 3:00AM over nail biting and undergraduate class registration forms on the table.

The moral weight of responsibility the Aspie feels is often too much to carry. Because of this, some will resort to becoming Rule Enforcement Pissers to compensate.

#11 Non-Fiction And The Hatred Of Fiction

Written by SAPL on Monday, July 28th, 2008 in Hobbies and Special Interests.

The Asperger would prefer to read non-fiction, unless the fiction book could possibly be related to factual information such as biographies, history, or science fiction. Aside from literature being a special interest, most Aspies find fiction slow and boring, with all of its adjectives and phrases describing scenery and conversation that never took place to begin with. The Asperger would much rather read facts or other useful information that could be put to good use.

Cliff Notes were probably invented by an Aspie for the Aspie, and they worked wonders until one 10th grade teacher announced that he would design questions on the test that could not be answered by reading the Cliff Notes alone.

“Who cares what Ken Kesey meant when he wrote, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” thinks the Aspie. “Wasn’t he doing heroin when he wrote that anyway? And how could anyone possibly write something that is worth my time analyzing and writing a paper on if they are clearly stoned? (Note: The fact that the writer may have been stoned probably didn’t sit too well with the Aspie either, due to the Aspie’s strong sense of morality which you will learn about in a later post. Stay tuned for these messages.)”

Fahrenheit 451 may have scored on their list in secondary school, but only because it dealt with the idea of people losing their interest in ridiculous literature and fantastic useful facts like what temperature it took to burn these ridiculous works. Plays might not be as bad, as at least some entertaining conversation takes place as opposed to paragraph upon paragraph of descriptions of brick streets, cottage houses, and the shapes the clouds were making (or at least the shapes the stoner writer thought they were making) that day.

#10 Flattery To The Intellect

Written by SAPL on Thursday, July 24th, 2008 in Hobbies and Special Interests, Socialization.


e-forwards

The way to a man’s heart may be his stomach, but the way to an Asperger’s heart is through his head. That is, making it even bigger than it already is.

Although Aspies may be socially awkward at times, they are damn smart individuals, many having above average intelligence and being more likely to hold degrees than the rest of the population. Although they know how brilliant they are, they are always interested in being told so again and again.

While most neurotypical people enjoy hearing how they make a person feel good, have warm personalities, or are caring people, this does nothing for the Aspie. When trying to get in good with one, remember to always remind them of how much they know and preferrably how much more they know compared to you. This can be important to remember when in a relationship with any Aspie. Greeting card companies might want to take note and design slogans for Asperger cards such as, “When you care enough to tell them they’re the very best.” Anniversary cards for neurotypical spouses might get the job done with, “You complete me in every way. For that, I am thankful.” Anniversary cards for Aspie spouses should say, “You complete what I cannot do-and that is just about everything. For that, I am thankful.”

When trying to figure out a complicated computer task, you might find yourself asking for help from someone in IT who may have poor manners and even poorer choice in clothing fashion. By asking outright, you’re more likely to get the response, “I can’t believe he/she is so stupid he doesn’t realize that “failed to bind through LDAP answer is blah blah blah and blah blah. And it’s so easy to find it on the 2 million support pages on both Suse Linux and Novell.”

There are much more efficient ways to approach the Aspie. Start off by approaching him or her and bringing up some random fact that has to do with computers and software. This will spark the Aspie’s interest (you are talking about their probable special interest after all) and make him much more receptable. Then begin the butt kissing. Some phrases to try and experiment with are, “You are so much more educated about these things than I am,” or “I’m stupid, but I know you have the answer,” or even “You will be the next Bill Gates.” You probably see the point by now. After you have complimented the Aspie a million times, he will be more than happy to assist you. 

He probably will also give you other advice and facts you never asked for and turn a 30 second answer into a 1/2 hour lecture.

#9 Becoming A Professor

Written by SAPL on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 in Careers, Hobbies and Special Interests.


stjohns.edu

Many Asperger people obtain careers in academia.  Often, the academic area of interest is something that was a special interest growing up. For this reason, becoming a professor is much like a “Revenge of the Asperger nerds,” experience.

In the old pre-PhD days, the Aspie had to find someone willing to put up with their endless hours of “drosophila fly mating” facts. When the Aspie becomes a professor, she finds joy in knowing not only will she be able to discuss the sexual behavior of flies, but people are willing to pay thousands of dollars and go into debt to hear her speak as well.

Great pleasure is taken in giving 2-hour speeches where students are now at the Aspie’s mercy-forced to take notes, maybe even pretend they are interested and ask questions if participation points are included in the grading system. The Aspie Professor loves giving telephone book sized notes and telling her students, “No cherry picking will take place,” as any ridiculous fact may be thrown in on a test. 

The Asperger Professor will eventually become tenured after publishing dozens of papers about his fly voyeuristic experiences and being given lots of money by people like National Institutes of Health and various organizations he has convinced through careful con-artist intellectualizing (otherwise known as grant writing) studying fly sex will save the world. Or the children. Or the whales. It really just depends on the organization and how much money they’re willing to give him.

Finally, the tentured professor job is the opportunity for the Aspie to prove (at least to himself) why he really was put on the earth and that descriptions used to label him years ago by professionals that were obviously not as bright as he is (Pedantic, little professor syndrome) seem perfectly befitting and not abnormal at all. “Pedantic is good,” he thinks. “People are inherently stupid and it is my job to teach them. Or at least make them have sleepless nights memorizing fly sex facts.”

#8 Eating The Same Foods Everyday

Written by SAPL on Sunday, July 20th, 2008 in Uncategorized.


Simple Food

The Asperger child was easy to recognize in the school cafeteria as she always brought the same meal for lunch everyday. While other children may have had their parents to blame for this matter (“You eat what we serve you,” “That is too expensive,”) and often protested, the Aspie child actually enjoyed this. And when it came time to barter your Lunchable for someone else’s PB&J, the Aspie never took part in this marketplace. However, no one was ever really interested in exchanging because the meal the Asperger child bought was probably bland and/or weird anyway.

These Aspies grew into adults who retained their restrictive food preferences, usually due to their extreme disgust of many foods, such as tomatoes, or inability to tolerate the texture (that damn sensory sensitivity strikes again!) of many foods, or just the plain love of certain types of foods. Tom still brings pasta with marinara sauce daily for lunch, has not strayed in 10 years, and would probably have to go on leave of absence should there be a reason he couldn’t make it daily.

This restrictive food fetish comes with its perks. Obviously there is less planning involved in the process. When she finally arrives at the cash register after standing in line at Howie’s Bagels for 10 minutes, the Aspie often finds her Everything Bagel already made to her liking and wrapped, ready to ring up provided the workers have spotted her in the back of the line. When entering restaurants frequented, the Asperger is given special dignitaries and greeted with names such as, “Greek Vegetables?” vs. plain Mr. or Mrs. Eisenhower.

The Aspie will find certain items at the store, frozen or shelf, and often empty the shelves with dozens soon after they are stocked, leaving others to wonder why their favorite item is never there even though they’ve requested the manager bring them in week after week. Their questions are answered after a careful stakeout reveals a man rolling a cart away with 30 Momma Mia Spinach Lasagnas just moments after they are put in the freezer.

“We switched distributors and they no longer carry the product,” is one of the worse phrases the Aspie can hear from the grocer when referring to his favorite foods but all is not lost as at least there is opportunity to go to another store who understands the importance of keeping the right distributors that carry his products.

However, the greatest blow, the final dagger that may leave the Aspie picking up the pieces for days, weeks, even months:

“I’m sorry, Sir. The company discontinued the product.”

#7 Facts And Trivia

Written by SAPL on Friday, July 18th, 2008 in Hobbies and Special Interests.


Family Travel Gear

Aspies love facts and trivia and many times this makes up the special interest the Aspie has spent countless hours learning about. Like the special interest, the facts the Aspie retains could be about many things, including science, technology, literature and so forth.

One of the reasons Aspies love facts so much is because unlike the rules of other parts of the neurotypical world such as facial expressions and implied meanings, facts are hardfast and black and white and are much easier to grasp. They are a sure thing to cling to in a world where the Aspie constantly has to guess whether Heather really meant what she said when she said “I never want to see you again,” since she’s said it so many times and in 48 hours never fails to call again professing her undying love.

Facts and Trivia can be a way to impress fellow nerds, geeks, and possibly other Aspies at the latest Science Fiction convention where a social structure might exist and the “Alpha Geek,” is always the one who has the most facts to throw into the conversation.

They also provide reassurence and security. Let’s say Joe is going over to Bill’s house. Bill is a slob who cleans 1x a year maybe, leaves 2 month old dishes on the counter, and whose vacuum serves more as a statue in the living room-the kind of statues that obviously set off security alarms when you move them because otherwise he would have used it by now. “It’s okay,” thinks Joe, recalling the facts he learned from Immunology. “The skin is the largest organ in the body which provides the 1st line of protection against microbes. My skin will protect me from Bill’s plague, and if not, there are plenty of NK cells and other white blood cells that will ward off any illnesses.”

Occasionally, facts can be used as defenses and to re-establish superiority. Jenna’s catty friend casually mentions that Jenna has wide hips. Jenna responds by recalling that studies show women with fuller thighs and hips but small waists have better lipid profiles and have more intelligent babies. Depending on how much she values the friendship, she might go so far as to add that by comparing their two hips, her children will definitely be intellectually superior and will probably end up working for hers one day. For neurotypical translation, that’s Asperger language for Jenna basically calling the catty friend a “bitch.”

#6 Earplugs

Written by SAPL on Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 in Uncategorized.


Weird Science

All humans, neurotypical or Aspie, have their “I can’t do without,” accessories. Belts, bracelets, push up bras, you name it. Most of these accessories are for vanity purposes and the person could very well tolerate being separated from, although they might suffer extreme feelings of ugliness, nakedness, fattiness, skinniness, insert appropriate negative psychological feeling of materialistic, neurotic individual.

The Asperger has an accessory, but unlike a neurotypical accessory, it is, for some, an absolute necessity. That accessory is the pair of earplugs.

Many Aspies have various sensory sensitivities, meaning certain sensory stimuli-noises, smells, touches, etc. are more overwhelming for them than they would be for the neurotypical and can sometimes hinder performance or just be more annoying. One of the ways the clever Aspie has learned to circumvent this sensitivity is by following the Scout’s Motto and being prepared by keeping a set of earplugs with them at all times.

This preparation comes in handy to drown out a noisy subway or el train, when you are dragged to a loud concert by a spouse or at least someone you might want to con into being your spouse one day, a library that isn’t always as quiet as it should be, screaming ungrateful brats that share your DNA (that you’re 99.9% sure of according to that test), the wife that talks too much in the car, and the various sounds of papers turning, pens and pencils scribbling, and people moving up and down in squeaky chairs during important tests that might hamper the concentration. In some areas, such as some Graduate Record Exam (GRE) centers, the neurotypicals have evolved and learned that many people can benefit from such measures and provide free earplugs to testers to drown out such nuisances as keyboard typing or loud gas from the nervous dude next to you. Most times, however, the Aspie is on its own.

There are times when the Aspie may be extremely stressed and feel the need to wear the earplugs for longer periods of time and to more places, such as the few last days before a big project that requires constant thinking and concentration. Many people who know the Aspie have come to know that these times exist and may accomodate: Suzy is wearing her earplugs while she washes dishes. I won’t bother her for now. I’ll wait until she talks to me.

Sometimes, these periods of earplug wearing may go on and on and people around the Aspie, such as the neurotypical significant other, may start to wonder when this “period” will subside and they will be able to communicate with the Aspie again. Although there is no known exact formula to predict this, much data exist that shows one strong correlation: When the feud between the wife and her (sister/mother/boss/friend) has ended and she no longer has the need to tell you every detail night after night, the sensory sensitivity period magically (no abruptly, with magically being a bad scientific word) ceases, thus providing a supportive environment for the earplugs to come out.



Site Navigation