Being told that your different is hard for anyone to understand, fathom and cope with, especially yourself. But over time and through growing up, you'll hopefully learn to accept your condition (varies with how severe it may be) and try to learn/ live/ work with it. However not everybody is as understanding as you'd expect. Today, I want to share with you all on how scary that day was when I was diagnosed with a condition that will stay with me forever but also explain why it's necessary and essential to truly discover myself and see how I've changed to this day.
First of all, I am so honoured and grateful to all you Amazing people for helping AsperJosh reach over 10,000 total views back on the 25th March. It's unbelievable on how just over a year ago, I've succeeded over 10 grand of total views and just feel super chuffed that all you Awesome people have taken your time to look at my stories and read about my interests, thoughts and reviews. Give yourselves a pat on the back and a high five from me. Now I am very pleased to start writing up more stories and a couple reviews like Attack On Titan Anime Review and soon my school life and how I gradually changed through those years.
Now back to the past, you see back when I was around 5 years old, I was a little rascal with super short hair, had a huge fascination with Thomas The Tank Engine and Dinosaurs and had just had a year with my 2nd sister, Rebecca. I was in my child seat in the car with Mum and Dad on a long journey to a Hospital in Wimbledon. For on that day I was going to be run through some tests because both Mum and Dad and my pre-school teacher at the time, Mrs Pickersgill (now Mrs Russell) who was the first to notice my behavior (but I'll explain more about that when I write up my pre-school years post soon) and how I could be different and that having me checked and diagnosed will help make things easier to understand for my family and her to help me as well.
I can't remember the Hospital/ Institution precisely but when I got there everything changed. You see these nice doctors and nurses wanted to do some tests on behaviour, learning skills, physical skills etc and see what was up with me, I even had to blow into a tube to make a ball float up a tube for a small time.
Everything is all a blur to me and I can only recall fragments from that day but the one I remember most of all is the scariest unfortunately.
You see, I had to have a brain scan and with me being under the age of understanding that I have to be absolutely still and confirm the doctor's orders, it was best to use Anesthetic and help me rest during the process.
But to an alarming surprise my reaction to waking up from the sleep was the scariest experience of my life at the time. I don't know if I had a negative reaction or just the fact I had been forced to go to sleep and wake up again in a white room. I screamed, cried and became physically violent so badly that the doctors and nurses couldn't keep me under control and I was like this for quite a while, even Mum and Dad couldn't hold me and calm me down. According to them, I was acting like I couldn't see them and was running away from everybody and didn't want to be handled, touched or cuddled. It was like my vision was coming back to me (imagine the opposite of the effect in films when white brightness overwhelms you and your vision blurs until it's all completely white like death) only I wasn't dying luckily. It was like I was Michael Clarke Duncan in the film The Island where he woke up during a heart operation and ran away in terrible shock and horror because it was all a sinister experiment and that the promised land he was expecting to go to was a lie and he was terribly uncomfortable and scared for his life (I really want to write up a review in that intense film soon, it even featured Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson as our hero and heroine). Sorry, I got off topic!
Mum and Dad were besides themselves and heart broken that I couldn't be helped and they couldn't even hold me in their arms to calm me down from this terrifying experience.
But Mum found a way to calm me down, she noticed that as we had been in the play area before the operation that there was a Television with a VHS player and a few Thomas The Tank Engine, Pingu and Teletubbies videos. She ordered (well, she actually shouted) at the doctors and nurses to run the video right now and would you believe it that after propping me down in front of the television within a minute, I had calmed down magically. As Mum and Dad and the staff all calmed down like me, Mum came over (just like Tom Hanks did in Forrest Gump after meeting the most important beautiful thing he'd ever seen) and sat herself down next to me whilst I was enjoying Thomas, I turned myself and acted like nothing had happened. Mum embraced me so passionately like she had almost lost me and started crying in happiness.
After a few episodes, it was time to do one more test which involved wires. I had to have suction cups along my head for them to scan my reactions with a machine that looks like an Earthquake reader. I began feeling scared and uncomfortable again but this time, the staff had something to help calm me down, Chocolate. By eating a chocolate bar and them pointing out all the jagged patterns that my chewing was causing, it actually brought some humour into this experiment. And I'm pretty sure it was accomplished soon and they had everything they needed.
I can't remember what happened then but I'm guessing that Mum and Dad had been made aware that I had a condition called Aspergers Syndrome which is a type of Autism from The Autistic Spectrum.
Looking back on my past as a young one, I do actually recall moments when I did say things that sound different plus I always hated others touching my stuff and messing up my colour co-ordinated Thomas The Tank Engine set with all the others from Tidmouth Sheds. Plus Mum says that sometimes I didn't pay attention to her unless she spoke to me in a specific way and how she remembers the first time I misunderstood how some English words have double meanings, for example, "I don't mind whether you paint or draw your picture" now to me back then, she said "weather" which to a 5 year old means sunshine, rain, snow etc. You see what I'm getting at here?!
As for Saturday, well...
But as you can see that Saturday has been eventful and therapeutic not to mention nostalgic for myself in sharing this very important story with you all.
And I did enjoy re-watching a few epic episodes of Attack On Titan and tomorrow I'm going to upload a lot of the NerdBlock stuff I don't really want to my eBay page (j05h_g).
Plus it's Leg day tomorrow morning with Richard and Liam.
And on Monday, I had the pleasure of watching Home and Cinderella with Amy. Both films were excellent and really loveable especially Jim Parsons and Rihanna voicing the main characters in Home, they were both so loveable especially the fact that the main alien was voiced by Sheldon and he was so adorable. I enjoyed Cinderella but I was more interested and keen to watch the shot Frozen Fever special before the film. That, ladies and gentlemen, is really worth the watch and they've still got it on singing songs whilst sprinkling it with lots of humour and loveable moments. Now I want the sequel to hurry up!
Over my life, I've always hated being different, honestly. I hated being Autistic and not knowing how to communicate with people during my school life. I was always living in my own world and whenever words came out of my mouth, it was either about Disney or films that people didn't want to talk about or I was just so socially awkward that I didn't learn social skills until my College years as well as learning to talk to girls and understand why I was pushy when not hanging out all the time and that I had to be patient and learn who my real friends are and that I can't be friends with everybody. It's like I grew up later than everyone else.
Mum has mentioned to others over the years that she believes that she knows why I am Autistic. You see, there was this Doctor called Andrew Wakefield who believed that the MMR Vaccine (Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine) had a connection with producing a higher chance of young children acquiring Autism somehow. But who am I to know all that technical mysterious mumbo-jumbo, if it's true then whoops, looks like I have it due to that.
But maybe it was my destiny to be born with this condition?! I asked Dad once if he had dropped me when I was little? Of course, he hadn't! And that's good because then I would have Brain Damage,
Damage, Damage, Damage, Damage?! But that's no laughing matter, it's just a joke I once saw on The Simpsons when Homer yanks out a chip in the back of his head and he says Brain Damage like that.
One thing to take away from this story is that if you as parents with your own children or a teenager who feels different in some ways whether they be subtle or obvious, I think it's the right thing to have them checked out. I mean, isn't it better to know why you are this way than feel different and alone?
When I was in College, I had somebody come up to me during lunch who looked confused and upset and came clean with me that he had been diagnosed with several traits in Autism. He felt like his world had been turned upside down and felt lost and didn't know how to feel or what to do besides coming to me for advice and comfort. I was rather surprised as well as honoured to comfort him.
I told him how I would tell anyone -
"You may feel like you now belong under a label or a category that defines you, but in reality, you've been told important news that you just can't comprehend right away. It will take time for you to understand all of this but most of all, you need to smile. Understand that you now know the truth which is far better knowing than never knowing at all. You just gotta keep going and enjoy your life no matter what is thrown at you like how I'm going to do. You may even learn how to use your condition to your advantage, I can use my memory to recall things I love off by heart though I struggle with some work as it's not something I'm very fond of. And I can impersonate many voices to make people laugh and smile. Plus I like feeling organised and ready with a plan for everything but also learning to cope with change and surprises because not everything goes according to plan, right?!"We can't let a label stop us from living our lives, we need to overcome barriers, open our hearts and minds and maybe slowly change and adapt to help make others feel comfortable with us as much as we want to feel comfortable with society. I've learnt over my whole life so far on shaking off old habits that restricted me and made me an outcast, some I still have to this day but I look far different to how I was as a child or 5 years ago when I was in puberty at Forest. I'll explain more in the next few school posts over the coming months.
I think the most important thing to take away from all of this is to understand and believe in yourself no matter what. I'm no Doctor, but my diagnosis is to diagnose people/ friends or family who you feel to be different but do it at a reasonable age, perhaps over the age of 12 because to a kid who is 5 years old and requires Anesthesia it might turn out horrific when he wakes up again. I have no idea or can't begin to describe how others will react to the tests compared to what they were like 16 years ago let alone how that person will comprehend learning that he or she is different, but in a unique way. It's your job as parents or as friends to help us understand others as well as helping them understand themselves so that they can learn to love themselves for who they truly are instead of trying to be or ignore something that they're not.