I was sitting here this morning, tweeting about my book, which, as you know, I am very proud of, and I got to thinking about how I got here (shameless plug here: https://www.amazon.com/Carl-Parker-Paint-Aspergers-Through/dp/1983471097/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516377406&sr=8-1&keywords=Carl+Parker%3A++A+Life+in+Paint ). It's no secret by now that I was diagnosed with Asperger's in my 30's, but it's really only now that I'm beginning to understand what that diagnosis means.
For me, it put a lot of things right; it made much of my behaviour make sense. That being said, given the time in which I was growing up and the circumstances of my family, I'm thankful that I wasn't diagnosed as a child. While my childhood and young adulthood was fraught with frustration on all sides, at least I wasn't assigned with a "disorder" and treated accordingly. This gave me freedom, in a sense, to explore a world without limits, without preconceived notions of what I was, or wasn't capable of achieving. For that, I'm grateful.
Times are different now and I'm pleased that there is more understanding now for young people coming up, but I do think that understanding is still limited. To that end, I'm going to explain, at least from my point of view, what a "spectrum diagnosis" is and isn't. First, it's not a professional proclamation that you, your child, whomever, is Sheldon Cooper. I loves me some Sheldon, but we are not all socially awkward science guys. I know a couple people like that, but that's not who we all are. What we are, to me, and if you open your eyes and pay attention, you'll agree, are people, people with needs and feelings like everyone else, even if we don't express it the way you do. We're people who are, generally speaking, highly intelligent and we see and experience the world in a way that is different than the so-called neuro-typical person. But different isn't bad; in fact it's great because without a different point of view, where would we go? How would humanity progress without someone, not willing to, but just naturally, thinking outside the box? Inside the so-called "box", I could probably paint, according to the standards and schools of thought that dictate what art is. But without those constraints, without the ability to perceive, or even give a crap, about the "way things are done", I'm free to create whatever universe I please, in whatever form I please, with my brush and for that, I'm truly grateful. So, for all my fellow "Spectrum Dwellers". be you, be proud and change the world!