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Uploaded on May 13, 2007
This short documentary about Asperger's Syndrome shown on TV in 2005 is about me, I have mild Asperger's Syndrome. I was diagnosed in 2002.
I knew I was different from the age of about 6 years old, hypotheses included - the reincarnation of King David or Pliny the Elder, a left behind Space Alien and finally mild autism (after seeing a TV documentary). Other pupils were loud and ran around randomly, while I preferred a mature intellectual life. I became interested in astronomy/science ~3 years old, so I'm told, it was my interests that made me stand out in school.
Later on in primary school, I became fascinated by mineralogy too. I found it difficult not to talk about my hobbies, one time I stopped taking for a week or two after the summer holidays, because I knew if I talked ... the bullies would again realise I was different and the bullying would start again. I was bullied badly, sometimes beaten up, for years. Bullying mostly stopped in secondary school as I found a group to hang around with.
In 1987, at 14, I went to an astronomy lecture, but due to the excitement of it all I had a panic attack and I had to leave (a panic attack over astronomy?). This began over a decade of anxiety & panic attacks and increased reclusiveness, which I completely overcame in 1998. Perhaps due to my bad experience with Astronomy, I turned to Mineral collecting.
One of isolating aspects of Asperger's is, we tend to talk at people not with people. However, in 1998, I did a 6 week geological mapping project with a friend, and I every hour or so we would sit and chat. After 4 weeks our conversations became two way. While I noticed this improvement, it also led to my growing sense oddness. This processes I am told, is called gaining insight, some young adults with Asperger's try to transition from the basic social skills of childhood to the more sophisticated social skills of adult life, but fail.
My diagnosis in 2002 was a great relief, I felt better about myself and understood myself more, I didn't feel the need to be normal so badly (that ever that is). I set up a social group in 2002, made many good friends and found a girlfriend though the group. I find people with Asperger's (I have met aver 100) are all extremely kind and interesting people. My social skills have improved allot. I graduated with a PhD in geology in 2008.