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Living With Asperger Syndrome

how my mind works

Andrew Brehmer

on 13 June 2018

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Transcript of Living With Asperger Syndrome

My name is

I like to play video games and read

I have a loving family and I really enjoy school.
There is one difference though,
I have Autism
I am a lot like everyone else.
I have a mild form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome
It means my mind works a little differently then "normal" people. So, I have a couple of quirks. For example...
This my favorite hot chocolate mug. Let's say I use it Monday thru Thursday...

But, on Friday my sister is using my mug without asking and sitting in my spot at the table!
This situation, although most people would shrug it off, I can't. I really like my routines and when they are broken I, as most people call it
One day my little sister asks me if she could sit in my spot and drink out of my mug that day
No problem here
Because my sister asked, I didn't freak out.

To sum it up, I really like and need routines and get upset when they are broken without notice.
I have very good hearing. Noises that may not seem loud to other people really bother me and can sometimes be painful.
Here is how I can best explain this
If someone fires a gun, this is what you hear
THIS is what I hear
Now "hears" what I would hear if a cannon was fired...
Its a joke
Explosion of the Bismarck
To sum this up, I can hear both quiet and loud noises. My range of hearing is greater than most peoples.
I can accidentally overhear things, such as other peoples conversations, which could be interpreted as eavesdropping.
Don't say any thing you wouldn't like me hearing when I am close by.

Also I can not tolerate Dubstep
Groups and Clinging
In a group setting at school I sort of always want to "take control"
It is just that I want things done a certain way, sort of like my routines.
People I feel comfortable around I tend to cling to. If you want some space all you have to do is ask. If you just walk away I will probably follow you, not knowing any better.
Expressions: Facial and Figurative
This is a big one- I have difficulty understanding tone of voice, facial expressions and non-verbal expressions.
If I am doing something you don't like all you have to do ask me to stop and I will.
As my 4th grade teacher (Mr. Chandonais) once said,
"If you told Andrew to jump in lake, he would!" What I believe he meant was that I do not understand a lot of "slang" terms, which is very true. I take things very literally.
So to get something through to me,
just come out and say it, it will save so much time!
I can not look people in the eye other wise it starts to hurt. So if I am not looking at you it does not mean I am not listening. I can focus on some other facial features like the nose or mouth or eyebrows and for people who have glasses I can focus on them instead.
I cannot read facial expressions unless I have known the person for a long time, then I can do better with them. Sometimes I mistake neutral for sad and other times I get happy and excited mixed up.
Tone is another thing I struggle with.
I put tone in 4 groups:
I cannot really read yelling that well. It all sounds mad to me, so I respond in a snarly tone most of the time.
Also I can not read or control my tone of voice very easily, so I am sorry if I respond snarly. Sometimes it comes out strange.
Tone of Voice
In a nut shell, I do not understand social norms. Why I should brush my hair in the morning , why the color of clothes matter, or how to act in most social situations. I have no knowledge of social norm. This must be taught to me. To those of you who are nice enough to take the time to help me I thank you from the very bottom of my heart.
I like to get the bad things out of the way first so I'll end on a high note.
Because of this I can hear all noises very well. I like routines so I know when something is odd or out of place. Since I don't use my brain to read facial expressions I use the extra space to store lots of information, facts, figures, statistics and data (in other words I am smart, very smart). School and academics come very easily to me. I know I lot about sharks and I can be a very good friend.
I stand up for what I believe in and if someone is picking on my friends or family I will stand up for them. Although I do have difficulty doing this for myself sometimes. I have very unique ideas and have had two publications in Prairie Voices.
I like to do puzzles because it is fun to put things together. I also enjoy alliterations and rhymes, I think they are funny. I also like jokes and puns. I like to go camping and I am a Boy Scout and an Eagle Scout
All in all, I have Asperger's Syndrome. But I have learned to cope with it. I am a nice person who you can count on when things go wrong.
All of these thing together make me who I am and that is
I also have difficulty with sarcasm. Such as, if you were to tell me that you thought I did a great job on a poem when in fact you did not like it at all, I would think you really meant that and say thank you.
My Mom, upon realizing that the reason I sound snappy when she calls for me from upstairs is that she is raising her voice, so I can hear her. I perceive this as anger, so she bought me door bell that she rings when she wants me ( It also makes "I did not hear you" an invalid excuse.)
Possible Reasons:
Too much noise
Overwhelmed with tasks from multiple sources at same time
Wanted to simply disagree with something then got angry
Broken routine
Certain noises
Being yelled at
Other reasons
may include:

Listening to the song Silent Night
Taking deep breaths
Being taken away from the cause of the meltdown and being comforted
To overcome other issues, I can use several different items, and there are such an enormous number of these that in order to carry them and still be able to easily get them when i need them, Need several ways to carry them like...
The human neck is a very useful place for keeping smaller and lighter objects and because a rarely wear chokers is a free space for storage
Ark's Saber tooth chewelry sometimes when i am doing something that requires booth hand and am mentally engaged I like to chew on things, so to save money on pencils and dental care, I just chew on this instead, it helps me think. It is made of rubbery material and is long enough that it can provide stimulation to the molars where most of our chewing is done.
These ear plugs are life savers, in a somewhat literal sense as they allow me to engage in various activities that are normally too loud for me, so in an a sense, they help me get a life. they specifically help to dampen the volume of noise, but do not lower the quality of the speech, so people are still understandable.
These are also very useful during fire drills.
Often called an "Aspies Best Friend" cargo pants, with their innumerable pockets, are great for carrying around all kinds of things including pens, pencils, books, and other items I find advantageous to have on my person as opposed to in a backpack.
A good fidget can do multiple things, preferably can be used with one or both hands.
Very useful when I need help with a problem or if
I get stuck on a problem and can't continue until I solve it.
Pocket work
very useful to jot down thought important and unimporant.
List & schedules
I have a problem taking in lot of verbal info at once so a to do list or schedule is one of the best ways to keep track of what I need to do.
Although technicaly not something i carry around with me this last item also deserves special attention...
My alarm clock flashes, has bed shaking attachment and is loud enough to wake up a quarter of dorm floor, without it I would have not made it through my first year of college
One time Mrs. Kern, my third grade teacher asked our class to "throw out some ideas", so I wrote "IDEA" on a Post It and threw it at her.

Would everyone that is here today and worked with me over the years please stand so I can recognize you?
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