When I was ushered in to see the doctor, her office looked more like a classroom than a proper doctor’s office; where were the needles and stethescopes?
And I understand why my parents and teachers were concerned about my reading instead of socializing, even though I vastly preferred reading.
Still, it shares a lot of characteristics with ASD; poor socialization, lack of understanding of non-verbal communication, poor math and spatial skills, inability to manage time or organize properly. My mother had a decision to make when she saw that diagnosis: what was she going to tell me? I felt like a clock that was ticking out of time; something was just off about me, something that my classmates could scent with a child’s natural impulse to torment the different. * “Hey, let’s see how long Laura can go without talking! First it was (eleven o’clock; more than once I got caught sneaking down to the basement to watch it.) I also went to camp every summer; an idea of my parents’, hoping that it would help me develop my lacking social skills. I still do have special interests, although I have a better handle on them; ask me about and I can go for hours.
These days, if my diagnosis comes up in conversation, I usually shorten it to “Asperger’s” as it’s far more likely the listener will have heard of that, and can make sense of it. She already knew I had low self-esteem when it came to schoolwork and socialization. It’s impossible to know at this distance; I don’t have a window into my eight-year-old mind. But what I do know is this: the words “learning disorder” were not spoken in our house. Often when I pictured myself as a child, I thought of myself as jello-o that my parents and teachers were trying to force to stand up straight; I kept sliding down, no matter how hard they tried. ” Special interests were a big thing for me; almost always they were TV shows. Now I know that I can only discuss a single subject for so long before my conversational partner gets bored and wanders away.
I didn’t see it; I don’t think I even knew it had arrived.
Nor do I know what I would have thought if I had known; I still didn’t realize what the appointment had been about.
I was asked to write a short story in under ten minutes; when I failed to finish it in the alotted time, she asked me to describe how it would have ended.