Searching for home in a foreign land:
My discovery of Asperger Syndrome
My journey towards self-discovery and my discovery of Asperger Syndrome (AS) has been a convoluted and unexpected one. It was a journey that was forced on me unwillingly – one that I had to take. My search for answers showed me that I wasn't as alone as I felt; that I was connected to my parents, my brother, and others. I saw how my mannerisms, interests, strengths, and weaknesses were related. Being able to put a name to my difficulties helped me see more clearly who I was and where I fit into the scheme of society. There are times that I would rather not know any of this, but I know that I am more empowered because of it. To know my strengths and weaknesses has given me a sense of purpose and the power to be able to direct my life in the way that I want it to go.
I began to know that I was different when I was four. Before that, I don't remember much of what my personal thoughts or reflections were. Nevertheless, on asking my parents about my infancy and early childhood I can recognize significant differences that suggest to me traits of AS.
My parents describe me as a quiet baby who hardly ever cried and was well behaved. My mom tells of being able to leave me with a baby-sitter and to return to find me sitting on the blanket in the same position she left me. I was also shy and quiet. At the preschool I attended, I was content to be by myself all day constructing structures out of building blocks. This behaviour didn't cause my parents much concern because, when compared with my brother, who had severe autism and was hyperactive, I couldn't have been more different. The main concern was my timidity, which was assumed would go away with time.