A Life with Aspergers Syndrome - Alexis D., a 16-year old girl
by Alexis F. Drzewucki
I am a writer and my goal is that one day I will be a great author. Though I would very much like to write my story as if I was writing a book, I fear that it would end up being quite long. Thus, I will be writing this in a different style. Shall we begin?
My name is Alexis D. and I was born on the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, June 6th, 1994 in the state of Florida.
As far back as I can remember, I have always felt that I was "different" however, because I did not possess the knowledge of what is normal and what is not, I was unable to point out any reason why I should feel as such.
During my childhood years, as my mother would say, I seemed like a normal but extremely intelligent and mature girl. Indeed, I do have the priviledge of very above-average intelligence as well as remarkable maturity but I was anything but "normal." I was, and still am, very good at acting like a normal person that I am able to even fool my own mother.
I never was interested in making friends with the children around me. It was not as if I did not desire friends, quite the opposite really, it was just that I had very different interests than the other children. When the children were more interested in playing and goofing off, I was interested in reading and having intellectual discussions. I never really had any real friends. I have to say though, I was and still am content with being the quiet solitary person.
Throughout my school years, I had a severe lack of knowledge of social skills that I concealed from the world.
Since I was not diagnosed with any learning or mental disorders like autism or any other such condition, I was treated as well as punished and disciplined as a "normal" child. Whenever I did something that could be considered as "wrong" it was always thought as being my fault. Majority of the time when I did something "wrong" I was actually trying to do something "good" because I do not like to make trouble on purpose. Whenever I was punished, I was extremely confused. I understood that I was being punished because I did something bad, wrong, or anything that I shouldn't have done but I did not understand why I was being punished since many of the things that I got in trouble for was an accident or I had been trying to do something good and I was not trying to bad on purpose. I was so frustrated at myself!
During Elementary School, I did very well and received straight A's. I was always on the Honor Roll and all my teachers could say that I was the best behaved student.
I have very above-average intelligence and remarkable maturity. I was reading on a 12th grade level by First Grade and I was nominated to take the real SATS in Third Grade and I scored higher than the high school students taking the same exam! I could spell any word thrown at me and any essay assignments or assignments that had to deal with books or writing I would ace with the highest score. I read Moby Dick, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Hound of the Baskervilles (A Sherlock Holmes novel) all in less than one year during Second Grade. I can hold philisophical, psychological, literary, and intellectual discussions with anyone and shock them with the knowledge I possess. I could tell you the definition of a sentence, what a parrot's feet are called, and more! I could talk to you with maturity shocking for my age. My intelligence and maturity are dear to me but it helped mask the strange problems that I had...
By the time I entered Middle School, everything went into a downward spiral. I struggled with my grades and it was as if all the problems I experienced that I concealed inside exploded, showing itself to the world for all to see.
I had all these problems before but it was like I was unable to deal or conceal it any longer.
I could be distracted by the littlest thing such as a single pencil tapping against a desk.
My senses were constantly overwhelmed. I could hear even the smallest thing, like a dog's collar tags clinking together, from the far side of the other end of a house or school! In a restaurant I could hear a conversation blaring in my ears from the other side of the restaurant yet I could not hear a conversation right next to me. My sense of smell was intensified so much that certain scents could make me physically sick for days. I could touch certain objects and it would feel painfully soft!
It was as if everything was coming at me a thousand fold all at once and it was, and
still is, like this every day and minute without a single break. I wanted to go into a dark corner, curl up in a tight ball with my eyes shut tight and hands over my ears. I wanted to scream and wail and sob my heart out! Pound my fists on the floor, punch the wall, kick and yell; anything to make it all stop for at least one little miniscule second.
I became severely depressed but I never had any thoughts of suicide because I am too scared to die. I began to suffer from immense anxiety and stress. I cried into my pillow every single night because I had no idea what was wrong with me or how to make it stop.
I suffered like this until 8th grade, when my mother finally took me to see my pediatrician after she became concerned about my failing grades and how we viciously fought every day. After many appointments later with my pediatrician, psychologists, psychiatrists, and an EEG I was finally diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. In addition, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Chronic Depression, and Insomnia.
Finally, I knew. I had closure. For a brief second, I had peace. I now knew the reasons behind why I am the way I am.
At first, my mother was a bit concerned because she thought my diagnosis would "label" me and add on to all of my other medical problems that I have.
Let me pause right there. Allow me to briefly list the other medical conditions that I have: Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar), Chronic Migraine/Headaches, Sensitivity to Light, Near-Sightedness, Mild Scoliosis (Curving of the spine), allergy to figs, allergy to tylenol (Causes Liver Failure), allergy to orange and pink medicinal dyes, allergy to lactose, allergy to body glitter (Severe Hives), allergy to sunlight (Remember sensitivity to light?), and an allergy to pollen.
Now where were we? Oh yes, my mother being concerned about "labels." She got over that after a little while. My mother does not, however, still understand that certain things I do are not on purpose and are a result of my condition. She still doesn't understand what it is like to have Asperger's Syndrome and how it affects you.
Despite my diagnosis, I did not really get the help I needed from school. The school did not understand whatsoever and believed, since I was diagnosed in the middle of 8th grade, that I did not actually have what I was diagnosed with and that I was just making up excuses and being just plain lazy! It hurts to be called a liar especially when you just want someone or the school to simply take in mind that you have this condition.
I dealt with no school help from 9th to early 10th grade when I finally convinced my mother to switch me to online school at home. It really does help since I am not in an environment which hinders a teenager with Asperger's. I do not have to be in a place were I struggle because of the noisy and overwhelming settings and the bullying and disrespectful treatment because I am different. Teenagers can be horribly cruel and that can really hurt and hinder a person with Aspergers.
In addition to everything, I have suffered from physical and verbal abuse by my mother and physical, emotional, and verbal abuse from my father (Whom I visit on the weekends because my mother and father are divorced) but I have received help from my psychologist and psychiatrist and I am happy to say that I am out of that horrible situation.
Despite everything I have been through, I remain the kind, quiet, mature, intelligent young woman that I am that just so happens to have what are commonly considered mental "disabilities."
I put "disabilities" in quotation marks because I do not consider them, at least in my case, as such. I would not trade my "disabilities" for the world because they give me a unique perception of the Earth and everything in it. I love my "disabilities", and although they give trouble in many aspects of my everyday life, they have helped shape who I am today!
I am special and I have wonderful talents and abilities. I see and experience life differently than others. I embrace my difficulties, my Aspergers and other disabilities, and have them make me a better person, a better intellectual, and a better author.
I am Alexis D. I am a highly gifted intellectual with a mature attitude whose goal is to become an author. I have Asperger's Syndrome and other disabilites. I am me...and I love who I am.
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