I Don’t Know, Sink Crazies Maybe?
In June 2015, l had a small series of email exchanges with Tony Attwood concerning a couple of pointers but principally one which was to do with the term Aspergers’ Syndrome and my freshly written autobiography Dancing in the Grey – Life with Aspergers. The question was in light of the recent move to place Aspergers and autism together under the one umbrella and would this mean that Aspergers as an independent term would be lost in the next decade or so?
The second point was the discussion concerning my idea behind Classic Eggshell Moments and the introduction of Tee shirts that did not specifically concentrate upon ‘puzzle pieces and ribbons’ heavily on the market at the time, but not really my cup of tea in favour of more of an intellectually driven concept that didn’t alienate the neuro so much, but could be worn by one and all.
With the concern towards whether l should in fact not be including Aspergers within the collection or indeed to include Aspergers anywhere within the book?
Tony answered my email questions a little on two weeks later, and said that he had indeed raised the question of Aspergers as a term being kept in the loop with Jessica Kingsley Publishers and that at the time the general opinion was to keep it in circulation for simplicity and continuity. Many books now have opening introductions which support this concept – continuing to use the term Asperger’s syndrome rather than ASD-Level 1. He continued with that when writing up diagnostic assessments he too still includes the terminology as such:
“Child or adult has an ASD-level 1 [Asperger’s syndrome].”
Happy l was indeed.
Our second correspondence occurred a month later when l gingerly enquired if he had any information on Asperger’s syndrome and aging?
I was studying at the time a diploma on Autism, and a paragraph threw me out somewhat:
“It has been noted that the core symptoms of ASD can retreat as a sufferer grows older, though there are a distinct lack of high quality studies on the matter currently in existence which address long-term prognosis. Nearly all sufferers do show comparative improvement by the time they reach adulthood; however, some also note a decline. As a current ‘rule of thumb’ on the matter – children who fully acquire language before they reach the age of six, develop some kind of real-world, vocationally-applicable skill or interest and have an IQ in excess of 50 points hold the best prognosis.”
His response was; “With regard to aging and Asperger’s syndrome, it is coincidental that this morning I was reading a new manuscript by Wenn Lawson specifically on ‘Aging and Asperger’s Syndrome’. Wenn has Asperger’s syndrome and has written from a person perspective, but also with a review of the research literature. The book should be published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in a few months’ time as I understand that this week it is about to go to the printers. I think this would be an excellent resource for you. I am also about to supervise a PhD student who is investigating aging and Asperger’s syndrome and we are currently deciding on which aspects of aging she will conduct her research.”
Wenn Lawson 
He continued with “I have found from my clinical experience that the signs of ASD can reduce through the decades after the mid-twenties, but during perhaps the last decade or five years of life some of those features can actually increase. I think one of the characteristics is that the frontal lobes may decline at that time of life and the person with Asperger’s syndrome really does need their frontal lobes to process social information as well as organizational and planning abilities.”
The aging disorder of Asperger’s has long been of interest to me in so far as there isn’t really a great deal of information on the market and that everyone is of course different, so the aging process will stand to reason be different for each and every individual.
The whole point to this post is about aging in many ways, and how l have noticed if anything that truth be known, l seem to be more of an Aspergian at 55, than l was when first diagnosed at 45! Many of these strange changes are actually visible in the form of foibles if you wish quirks, oddities and bizarre behaviours and eccentricities that have not specifically calmed down, but if anything have exponentially become enhanced.
I have indeed noticed that when l was in what l class as a balanced relationship, l was more of a Neuro Aspie in comparison to a full on Aspie because my partner balanced me out considerably with her very non-Aspieness! Whilst l am still in a loving relationship, my partner is currently going through post menopause and despite what one may read about this subject, the whole personality of a woman can indeed change. In some ways, my partner has become less balanced, but equally less on the empathy side, and now leans at times heavily on what l would class the Aspie side of who l was and has become more emotionally detached in certain areas and emotions and low and behold quite clinical.
My partner was my Linus blanket [Peanuts], but since we have travelled through the menopause together l have seen parts of her disappear, and be replaced with as said similar traits to me. For us to be like this is not 100% balanced, and so my balance inside the relationship has become rocked and even more quirky and challenging than before.
Admittedly, before we were an us l was horribly Aspie orientated, extremely quirky and almost downright peculiar!! However, this post believe it or not is actually about Quirks or I Don’t Know, Sink Crazies Maybe?
Packaging – l used to experience real problems opening up packages from milk cartons to letters, to cereal boxes, to well almost anything. It balanced out and now once more l have no tolerance for anything fiddly in this area. The kitchen can at times look like a mini cyclone has swept through it when l am preparing my breakfast bowl of Rice Crispies!
Handwriting – Even when at school it was not just bad, but absolutely horrendous, it is no better these days, and l dread when someone asks me to write up any kind of festivity cards, hence l tend to use the likes of Thortful and simply add in a message!
Open things that should be shut!
Something which has really increased 100 times worse than it ever used to be is when things are ajar! It is driving me nuts and to despair, see if you can see what l mean with the photographs below?
But l have developed the strangest of dance rituals known to mankind, with twitching and high kicks, palms slapping, pushing things shut and walking around mumbling! It has got minusculely bad that even if a drawer is over open by as much as 5 m my eyes are popping out of their sockets in horror!
Fidgeting – l have always been a fidget from as far back as l can remember, but this too has become far, far worse than ever before, but as l have aged, it has just increased in agitation, not just for observers to my behaviour but me too. If my leg is not dancing by itself, my feet are horribly uncomfortable and bob up and down, but l cannot seemingly sit down and say look at the television for longer than ten minutes before l have to get up, or twist around or, or, or ….
If l sit in front of my computer, it doesn’t happen as much to the same degree, l mean it does, but it doesn’t, but l have two large computer and one television screen in front of me, and l could be gaming, watching a movie and writing a post all at once.
So, to my readers, have you as you have aged with your disorder noticed any significant changes to your behaviours, strange rituals? I have many more, don’t even start me off on unregulated noises including louder voices, but have you too noticed oddities or if you haven’t already guessed I Don’t Know, Sink Crazies Maybe = idiosyncrasies?
Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger
Ps: These posts are my views on my autism/Asperger’s, they may not be everyone else’s who is on the spectrum.