Monday, September 10, 2012

Patience? You mean they have a problem?

Oh, I was in such a tizzy over the fact that someone had not acknowledged receipt of my email! It was a story I had worked hard on and just a "thanks, I will read it" would have done me just fine. Days went by so I re-sent my story to said person and waited patiently. After a while longer it was almost as though I was stalking this person just to see if they would respond. Of course they didn't. Now I didn't know how or what to think.

Of course life was revolving around me at the same time, i.e. there were other things I was thinking about. I then was on FB one day and read a post by a friend whose son has Aspberger's Syndrome, just like Dr. Temple Grandin who has put that disability on the map. Now there is a condition to be reckoned with. Aspbergers is in the very complicated autism spectrum -- which means that of all the degrees which autism represents, all the shades of the disorder, Aspberger's is definitely one that has criteria. 

While in graduate school, I did some clinical work in a facility, more like a school for children with autism. I was continually stunned by the differences and variations that I saw in these children. Some were young adults. They all had autism but some were high functioning and others were not as high functioning and exhibited strange, infantile behaviors that required constant staff supervision. I can't begin to tell of you of all my readings on autism over the years. But the one that fascinated me was Aspberger's syndrome. If you get a chance, watch "Dr. Temple Grandin", the animal behaviorist and scientist with Aspberger's who went on to her doctorate and now teaches at Colorado State University. The story is nothing short of fascinating. She has autism but is so brilliant and recognizes her struggles but is no less intelligent than someone without the condition.

My reason for bringing this up in the first place, was because a certain person did not respond to my email!!

After much discussion on this subject with someone who knows this person, looking at other behaviors exhibited over the years, plus age of course, we speculated that this person needs clear instructions on whether or not to answer my mail. In other words, if the person knows to answer back to me, i.e. I tell her to do that, she will respond appropriately. Interestingly also, this person has a history of complex childhood issues and absolutely loved the movie Temple Grandin. So, we pieced all this together and concluded as best as we could that maybe this person lies somewhere in the spectrum of autism. Of course we are not medical scientists and are not claiming to be but the behavior pattern, including other features fit Aspberger's or something remarkably close to it!

This was an eye opener for me. I was on my own rant regarding the habits of this individual and was almost taking things personally. This was a lesson to me, not to do that. People come in all flavors with disabilities across the map, physical disabilities with gray shades and mental disabilities with many gray shades.

I know, it takes enormous patience to deal with issues like these. At least now I am aware that this can happen!

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