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Getting an Asperger's Diagnosis as a 19-Year-Old

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For 19 years, I felt like a pufferfish in a pond of goldfish. Always defensive of myself, always trying to stay out of trouble, and for the most part not playing with people on the playground.

I was teased for my huge obsession with the Jonas Brothers, and my consistent talking about them pushed people away from me. No one seemed to want to hang out with the girl who only wanted to talk about this one subject. I never quite understood why people didn’t ask me to hang out as often as they asked their other friends to hang out. A lot of times they didn’t put any effort to hang out with me at all. I was always the person asking and constantly being turned down because they already had plans or they had to do something with their family. Somehow I was never able to ask at the right time.

Although I got along fine with adults, and could get along well with students when I wasn’t obsessing about the Jonas Brothers or something else, I often found myself turning to adults more than kids my own age to engage in conversation. I struggled to see when it was becoming too much.

After having struggled through my first semester of college both socially and academically, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s. I finally had an explanation for my intense interests and my social struggles. I chose to embrace my Asperger’s and learn more about it. I wanted to be fully aware of my struggles and my strengths, and I wanted to make people more aware of what it means to be an Aspie.

I don’t want people to feel sorry for Aspies and other people on the autism spectrum, I want people to accept and learn from people on the spectrum.

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Thinkstock image by Marjan_Apostolovic

Originally published: February 20, 2017
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