Asperger’s Syndrome, The Second Amendment, and The Value of Life.

I went on The Dana Show during the second hour of the radio show, which is now broadcast on TheBlazeTv, to talk about Asperger’s Syndrome.  Once again, Asperger’s has been thrust into the national limelight under the worst circumstances.  I’m not even going to link to any of the myriad of news articles all screaming “The killer had Asperger’s! OMG! He wasn’t taking his medication!” As I explained to Dana, it’s all a load of bull-puckey.

I have Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome is NOT a mental illness, it is a neurological difference.  There is no medication for Asperger’s Syndrome.  Let me repeat that.  There is NO medication for Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome is often co-morbid with other issues that would be medicated, but Asperger’s Syndrome has no cure.

(Check out my “Not weird, just wired differently” line at Cafe Press)

Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of high-functioning autism.  Technically, after the latest updates to the DSM-5, Asperger’s is no longer an official diagnoses, but I digress. Typically, what separates an Aspie from a higher-function autistic person is their language skills.  Aspies can talk, quite well. Aspies tend to be very literal, and have to learn sarcasm.  They don’t generally look people in the eyes, often because the amount of emotion and input in the eyes is overwhelming.  Aspies also don’t pick up on social cues, things like body language and facial expressions, which makes them generally outcasts or targets for bullies.  Some Aspies pace, or flap their hands, or clap, scream, or whatever when overly emotional or over stimulated.  For me personally, I close my eyes to talk to shut out other stimuli so I can concentrate on what I’m saying.  I also tend to use headphones and music to block out the world when I’m overwhelmed or need to shut out distractions so I can stay on task.

I also struggle with depression. Depression is just one of several issues that can coincide with Asperger’s Syndrome.  I am well aware that Depression lies. In my case, I’m medicated.  My “Happy Pills” help me to keep my emotions level.  I’m blessed to have an amazing support system.  My husband picks up the slack around the house when I’m struggling to keep myself together. He’s always there to talk me through the worst of it.  A few weeks ago, I hit a rough patch where I just had too many feels.  He let me rant, rave, and cry.  My mom is amazing, and has talked me through some tough spots, and reminds me that I need to take care of the one that needs me most at the moments, and sometimes, that’s me.  My family has always been ready to pitch in and lend a hand when I need them, just as I do for them when they need help.

When I see people declaring that we need restrict the rights of the “mentally ill”, I get concerned. Ya’ll are talking about me. As I told Dana, I believe the real conversation needs to be the value of life. America no longer values life. As long as we continue to treat life as disposable, these types of tragic events will continue. 

 

2 comments

  1. John Clark says:

    Thank you for the courage to speak with Dana about Asperger’s. My oldest daughter has Asperger’s. Like you said, there is no med for Asperger’s, however many people do have co-morbid ailments for which medication is helpful, ADHD, depression and anxiety, epilepsy, the list goes on. My daughter has many of these.

    My daughter went undiagnosed until age 17, which is very common for those on the higher end of the spectrum.

    Thanks again.

  2. Lani Duke says:

    I struggle with Aspergers too. My childhood hero was Mr. Spock because emotions are a nuisance when they get in the way of living. I fight to stay up as much as possible because I always feel an undercurrent of despair.

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