“Aspie and Allie” is the first attempt at blogging for either of us, so please be patient. While this blog focuses on serious topics, we hope to include humor when we can.
Motivated by several aspie and autism blogs, and the MANY helpful comments we’ve read on those blogs, we decided to experiment with our own blog. Considering the hurdles that we have already overcome, and looking ahead to an unknown future, we both feel that our experience could be helpful to others with similar challenges. Not necessarily helpful in the sense of being a “how-to” resource or a step-by-step guide, but helpful in the sense of encouraging others to seek assistance with their own challenges.
Why “Aspie and Allie” ?
“Aspie” is a label adopted by some who are diagnosed with asperger syndrome, on the autism spectrum. “Allie” is intended as a complement to “aspie.” It is a contraction of the term “allistic,” first coined by Andrew Main in 2003, to describe people who are NOT autistic.
We prefer “allistic” to the more traditional “neurotypical” as a way of describing people who don’t have autism, because “neurotypical” seems to imply not having any other neurologic difference, such as attention deficit or bipolar disorder.
The origins of THIS journey (by the Aspie half…)
Prior to August of 2013, I didn’t know very much about autism. In fact, saying “I didn’t know much about autism” might be overstating the extent of my knowledge about autism. It was none. Nada. Zip. Nil. And my knowledge about asperger syndrome was even less than that. Asperger syndrome was not something that affected me, not something I needed to know about for my work, and therefore not anything that was on my radar screen. Until one evening in the summer of 2013. Actually, since I like to be precise, let me clarify. It was on Sunday, July 14th, 2013. Sometimes my need to be precise gets in the way of my message, but I digress. On that particular summer evening, my wife and I were emotionally and physically exhausted following yet another round of miscommunication, misunderstanding, anger, frustration, and withdrawal. After years of increasing difficulty in communicating with each other, it seemed that we might be rapidly approaching the end of the line for our relationship. We had managed to sit down earlier that afternoon in a Starbucks, and through an emotionally draining conversation, agreed to seek counseling for our problems. Later that evening, my wife told me that she felt she had reached her breaking point, and had nothing to lose. Fearful of my usual negative reaction to any sort of personal critique, she courageously chose to share with me that she thought I might have asperger syndrome. She handed me a short book to read (The Other Half of Asperger Syndrome, by Maxine Ashton), and then sat quietly on our bed, waiting for my reaction.
Fortunately for us, the stars aligned that fateful July night, and I did not experience one of my typical “negative reactions” to such intense personal feedback. Instead, I was astounded to find myself described in great detail in the book that I had been given. This self-recognition piqued my curiosity, leading me to learn more, to read more, and to start LISTENING to the answers my wife provided whenever I asked questions. This process ultimately enabled me to recognize myself for what I am… a person with autism… a person with asperger syndrome… an aspie… and thus was begun the discovery of my true self, AspieKent.
It turns out that learning about my previously undiagnosed autism was the start of a great journey for us. The journey has (so far) been filled with a wide range of emotions and experiences, ranging from relief to anger, from understanding to frustration, from intense sadness to pervasive joy. The journey is still new, and only time will tell what the future has in store for us.
Thanks to the bloggers who’ve inspired us, and thank you for reading this far. We truly appreciate the support this community has provided to us.
Contact us at: Aspie.and.Allie (at symbol) gmail (dot) com
replacing (at symbol) with “@” and (dot) with “.”