How My Life Is a Highway as Someone With Asperger's


As someone with ASD, I often express myself through metaphor to give others a deeper understanding of what I’m trying to communicate. I wanted to give my own twist to the “life is a highway” metaphor by describing how my Aspie life relates to different types of highways.

Super fast express lane on a Sunday morning — things that pop up in my mind really easily:

Music references (lyrics, bands, you name it). 80s/90s television shows. What I was wearing the day in fifth grade when band was cancelled because my teacher’s mother had died. Perseverating thoughts (both bad and not so bad). Inspiration for creating medically-related song parodies. Dates — the numbers kind. The Japanese word for “splint.”

Freeway gridlock in horrible weather and already 45 minutes late to work — tension, discomfort, anxiety:

Work social events. Criticism. Being cold while indoors. Geometry theorems and proofs. Using the telephone. Locker rooms when there are other people. The sound a crayon makes when it needs its paper torn back (least favorite sound). Malls. Depression in general. Group projects in school. Having to be picked for a team in PE (usually last). Not knowing who to sit with at lunch.

The road I have to take when there is a detour due to road construction and I wind up in the boonies. I may get to my destination eventually:

Sarcasm. Coordination. “How do I know this person?” People’s names. Verbal, impromptu communication — enough said.

Highways that go through tunnels in mountains — usually things I am not totally aware of or get super focused on:

Flirting. Talking loudly. Taking 45 minutes to write a four-paragraph mass email at work for something that really bothers me and I feel strongly about correcting. Being naive. Uncertainty if something had or is going to offend someone.

Finally, that pleasant drive — windows down, music up and nice scenery:

Proof-reading the reports of other people. Staying home. Algorithms. Swings and rocking chairs. Photographing close-up macro shots. Independent movies. Soft, fuzzy things like when I touch all of the towels and blankets at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

I still have many more highways to ride in my life and I look forward to the unique adventures ahead.

Getty image by Den Belitsky.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

7 Ways to Support a Family of a Child With a Disability

As I parent my daughter with autism, I can’t even count how many times people have told me how sorry they are that she has autism. I always wonder, “What are you sorry for? Did you take one of her toys or skip ahead of her in line?” Now those are things someone can be [...]
Little girl wearing a fancy pink dress and a football helmet, showing her muscles and making a "fierce" face

My Daughter's Autism Changed My Life -- For Good

My daughter has deep chocolate brown eyes that are almond-shaped and totally captivating. Her nose turns up slightly at the end, just like mine, and scrunches up when she’s excited. She has sweet rosebud lips that haven’t changed one bit since she was an infant. She is fiery, passionate, wildly imaginative, and full of joy. [...]

Autistic Adults Give Advice to Parents Raising Kids on the Autism Spectrum

As a parent of two children with disabilities, I naturally relate to other parents who live similar lives. While some people will never understand what our everyday lives are like, I known other parents of kids with disabilities get it. This understanding has been a most wonderful gift. A few years ago, however, I began [...]
Boy on the street.

What I Believe as a Teen With Asperger's

by Jared G. I am one of many people in this world who are born with a disability that cannot be seen. To my parents I am exceptional; to my siblings, I am annoying. I am not that different; I love model trains, train and video games, and World War I/World War II documentaries. I [...]