Thursday, June 6, 2013

Career choice

I was taking a voluntary survey for a study a college student was doing on Asperger's Syndrome and career choices. Nearly the whole second half of the survey was to rank three various job tasks by preference. One being the task you'd most like to do and three being the one you'd least like to perform.

As I was making my selections I noticed a clear pattern in my choices and had a revelation of sorts. What I chose in the survey was tasks related to working with things: making, repairing, installing, programming, writing, and such. What I've done for careers in my life has been working with people. I've mostly worked in the medical field and now I'm just realizing that a good part of my difficulty with working may, in fact, stem from choosing the wrong type of career.

I didn't know at 20 years old that I had Asperger's and that affected how I interacted with people. I didn't know that I wasn't perceiving non-verbal communication and that I wasn't sending it appropriately. I could never understand why my co-corkers didn't like me or why my jobs were causing me such stress. My father chose a good career for Aspergers. He repaired TVs, VCRs and camcorders in a back room in a repair shop for 30 years. That sounds much more appealing to me than working in a busy doctor's office. I don't think I really thought about it before.

I need to make sure I chose my next career with this realization in mind.

Friday, May 31, 2013


I've got this mental picture of how things are in this world. As it physically exists, as we move about in it and interact with people and things. The various disciplines that make up our education and careers....

They either relate to dealing with people and what is in the human mind  OR they deal with things and how they function. Subjective vs objective.

Now, your job may call upon you to function in both these realms but they're really separate and that's where I notice the division of my abilities as a person on the spectrum.

I deal much better with things. Why? I think because they're more tangible and absolute. Not saying that the "things" have to be real to the touch but they're real in the way a number on paper represents a real concept. Math problems, computer code, buildings, cars, flowers. I'm awesome at these things. Math, science, etc.

Now, the human side. We're talking art, literature, law, politics, etc. They're not black and white, they're subject to interpretation. There's people's whose jobs are solely to figure out what this stuff means. This is not really the realm of the autist. While I may be able to grasp these things, I will never truly master them because I don't fully understand how other human beings think. They're not predictable, they're not logical. I'm often perplexed at this. More later...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I've been busy with school but I'm glad to report straight A's again for both semesters. I have a little time off before summer session where I'll be taking two courses so that I'll be able to graduate next Spring.

The Asperger's is rearing it's head. I always think things are going well until I finally notice I'm running people off. That's the thing, I don't even know I'm different or upset people until they have a reaction to me. They either withdraw from me, yell at me or cry...all under the interpretation that I'm a jerk. I NEVER intend anything I do to be mean but no matter how hard I try to be kind it seems to go all wrong and, like I said, I don't even see it. I'm blind to it.

I wonder if it's better or worse to tell people. Maybe I'd rather have them think I was a jerk than start talking to me like I'm mentally retarded because they don't understand what Asperger's is.

The memory flash backs are ongoing. Remembering people taking issue with me in the past and not understanding what I did wrong. Today I remembered a co-worker telling me that another co-worker that I worked closely with quit because she couldn't handle working with me any longer. I didn't understand why but this is also the same job where everyone got invited to a co-worker's wedding but me.

It just goes on and on and every incident hurts because it alienates me further from other people. I don't want that but I seem to have trouble interacting with everyone.  I even am having issues with people I don't know in real life. I belong to a guild in World of Warcraft and even the people in the guild seem to be taking issue with me. By my assessment I've only ever been polite and friendly with my guildmates yet even then I seem to have made some missteps that I wasn't aware of. Warcraft is kind of my escape from reality so when my Asperger issues are crossing over into my "refuge world" it's upsetting.

I'm taking to voluntarily being less social. Not because I want to but that apparently that's the only way to avoid upsetting people and being upset. The less people I interact with, the less I open my mouth or type something the less chance of misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

So far...

I returned to classes a couple weeks ago. I have four classes and two instructors...two classes taught by each instructor...just the way things fell this semester. The one teacher I've had three times before. She's very organized, I know exactly what she wants done and I do it. No problem...well, other than I choked during her last final with all the clackety-clacking of my classmates working away on their computers.

My other two classes are stressing me. I didn't know this until last week but the original instructor who was to teach both these classes died over the summer. This left the technology department scrambling to find another instructor to teach the course. So, the new instructor, who I have not had before, has not taught these courses before. There's an element of disorganization that I'm having difficulty coping with. In the instructor's effort to accommodate us and the classes not going as originally intended he's being laid back about assignments. The class schedule is bizarre to say the least. We meet for 3 hours on various days as noted on his syllabus. There's no routine to it at all. The first week the one class met on Tuesday and the other on Wednesday in the same time slot, not the second week for either and then they seem staggered for a bit, one week only the Tuesday class the other week only the Wednesday but it doesn't stay that way.  Assignments are listed due on the Syllabus but then he tells us in class to bring them next time so we go past the due date. The online calendar is "yelling" at me that my assignments are overdue but he says it's ok he'll take care of it. I'm not even sure he knows my name to credit me for doing the labwork. The online worksheet was vague and due to it's non-specific language I got questions wrong. I need things to be very precise for me to be able to understand. I'm very literal in my interpretation. I get hung up on things if they're not clearly explained. It's like "water"...well, it's H2O technically but there's really other stuff in there too so which are you talking about? If I can't determine which by surrounding information I just get hung up on it.

I guess I need to become a computer programmer. I'd probably be a wiz with syntax. Meanwhile I'm trying to cope with humans.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Back to School

I start back to classes on Monday. I already feel overwhelmed.
Not so much by the subject matter but with the multitasking of managing assignments from several classes. Remembering to do assignments. I still don't feel like I have a good organization/scheduling system and this causes me stress.

On top of all that I need to put my child into daycare while I'm in class. This has not been an easy task. The childcare at school was supposedly full unless he went five days a week.  He's not ready for five days a week yet and he has to go to speech therapy one of those days anyway. I believe both my ex and I have Asperger's so it's likely that my son has it also. I think he does because he seems to have issues with coping with change and seems to like things in his environment "just so".

I think I'm going to try an organizer I can put papers in and has a calendar, so if you need me I'll be trolling the office supply stores this weekend. Woohoo....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


It seems to me there should be more technology out there to help people with Asperger's.
Yes, there's PDA's and watches with alarms. I saw one that even puts a little preset message on the screen to remind you what the alarm is for Watch Minder. Maybe there's even apps out there. I don't have a smartphone to know if there is. I also found a software program SymTrend which tracks and reminds patients with various condition, including Asperger's, but for me it really isn't relevant to the issues I'm dealing with. I don't need to be reminded to brush my teeth, I need to be reminded to make a phone call to my kid's teacher. Also, most of these products seem to be geared toward children, like it's a juvenile condition you grow out of when you reach adulthood. I continue to look for something that will aid me with my short-term memory issues.


I really struggle with budgets and keeping track of finances. Remembering to pay bills on time. Making sure there's enough money in the account to cover all the bills. It's not that I'm bad with numbers, it's that I forget to do the numbers in the first place. I write due dates on the calendar and even set my phone to alert me each month when the bills are due, which helps, but sometimes that even can be overlooked if I was preoccupied with something else when it started to beep at me and absentmindedly turned it off. Often I forget all about purchases I made and forget to log them into my budget. It generates a lot of stress to not be certain about your finances so I'm really trying harder to keep a better track of all the money that comes in and goes out. I just started keeping a budget on Excel. I hope it helps. I'm also thinking that maybe grocery money and any other discretionary funds should just be in cash so I don't accidentally tap into funds needed for bills. When the cash is gone it's gone. Go root around the kitchen instead of going out to eat.