Saturday, June 9, 2012

Different and Proud: Some Thoughts on My Existence With Aspergers and Why I'm An Aspie Pride Advocate

Hello everyone! Welcome to the first instalment of this new blog! My name is Adam and I'll be your guide on your journey into the wild and wacky Aspergian world. First, a little about me; I'm 24, finishing up my Master's degree in History and working on seeking employment as a Teacher, for which I'm trained. I live in a mid-sized community in northern Ontario, Canada and want to some day work in Special Education, helping children who have been identified to reach their full potential. This is something I have been passionate about for a long time, but make no mistake I have a normal social life with friends, family, a part-time job and an interest in politics, history, science fiction and video games. Pretty normal right? So why should I feel so passionate about writing this blog? Simple.

I have Aspergers.

The thing is, for most of my life after receiving the diagnosis, I thought nothing of it. My parents certainly never made a big deal of it, at least not in front of me. I was an ordinary kid, I went to school, had a (albeit small) circle of friends, and dealt with all the social issues of an average kid. I certainly had social problems relating to other kids, and even experienced some rather horrible years in middle school being bullied, but all throughout it, I never thought of myself as having any disability. For the longest time, in fact, I didn't like the word Aspergers. To me, to embrace it would have been to imply that I was defective somehow, deserving of being spoken down to condescendingly, and that simply would not do. After all, assigning that label to me would have been to say that the way I am-how I think, feel, react and interpret the world-is somehow fundamentally flawed and diseased and in need of a cure. Though I've since embraced the label of Aspergers in a defiant bid to express my own pride in who I am, this is still how I feel about anyone who treats it and Autism like disabilities. The search for a cure for Autism and Aspergers is itself problematic because it attempts to separate Autism/Aspergers from the person as if its a veil whose lifting reveals a person underneath. It doesn't work like that. Aspergers makes me who I am and I LIKE who I am! Accept it!

My hope with this blog is therefore to educate, inform and spread the word regarding Aspie pride. After all, we have linguistic diversity, cultural diversity, and biological diversity among others, why not neurodiversity as well? If this blog can convince at least one person out there that Aspergers is not a tragedy to be cured but rather a difference to be embraced, then I will have succeeded in my mission. If there is one thing my graduate studies in history have thus far taught me it is precisely that; sometimes one person can make all the difference in the world. One is, as has been said in the popular song, the loneliest number though; please help me in strengthening those numbers a bit!

Yours in Diversity,

Adam Michael


  1. How old were you when you were diagnosed?

  2. I don't remember how old I was exactly, but were I to guess I'd say around 5-6? I know I've had the label in the back of my brain for as long as I could remember, though I haven't always been as accepting of it as I am now. There was a time I didn't want it because I saw the label as a sign of weakness. I don't anymore, but yeah. My parents never really let me use it as an excuse to be anything but a normal kid though, and I'm grateful for that. It's good to talk to you though; I have to say I love your blog! I'm getting back into the Neurodiversity scene after a few months away with work, but I'm eager to check yours out again! :)