“Many meltdowns and outbursts in public are caused by sensory overload. First of all, the police and other emergency workers need to be trained so they understand how sensory over sensitivity can cause meltdowns. Training of the police would help prevent these unfortunate incidents from being repeated. Meltdowns are different than ordinary anger because the entire nervous system has gone into overload.”http://templegrandin.com/faq.html

 My first (apparent) major meltdown occured in a shopping centre. I’d bought a drink, sitting as quietly as I could, already stressed and anxious, didn’t know why at that stage, when a family just sat themselves down at my table with a ” You don’t mind do you?”. I could feel the stress rising, not anger just this overwhelming sense of vunerability and, I think, fear. I started to rise to leave and one of the children bashed his hand on the table, yelling. This sent my drink flying all over me and me into meltdown. I don’t remember the rest really but I ended up in a locked ward with a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. That was 25 years ago. Recently that dx was changed to Aspergers and now, knowing that, I realise this was most probably a sensory overload that led to a meltdown.

Residual Asperger’s Syndrome

I have been reading up a lot on my diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. At 62 years old I guess I have many, more memories/experiences than most Aspies to think about in relation to those things that cause Aspies anxiety, stress and collectively see us live into the shadows,  This many years has taught me a lot. The best thing It has taught me is how to camouflage to some degree, my Aspie-ness. This brings me to  “Residual Asperger’s Syndrome’. Much of what I’ve read about it, has been written, with a tone of indignation,  that a diagnosis of Residual Asperger’s Syndrome means “Milder Asperger’s”, so mild as to not be a problem anymore. Some interpretations have bordered on but stopped just short of using the word “cured”.

This is very, very misleading to NT’s and Aspies alike. 

Qwaniton on SlashDot said “there is no such thing as Asperger’s Syndrome “residue”. He believes Asperger’s Syndrome does not go away. “Asperger’s Syndrome”, he said, “is a part of the way your brain is constructed” and “Asperger’s Syndrome is who you are.”

He is correct but only partially.  Asperger’s can’t be cured, it does not go away and it is forever who we are because our brain is wired very differently and that does not change but I disagree with Qwaniton when he said, “there is no such thing as Asperger’s Syndrome “residue”.

As I understand it, Residual Asperger’s Syndrome means that I have learnt by mimic, rote and other methods  to conceal or camouflage some of my traits and Qwaniton inadvertantly goes on to aptly describe the residual component of Aspergers very well when he added later:

“Asperger’s is definitely something you can work through.

However, it isn’t about “controlling or “curing” Asperger’s.”            

What it is is simple:

Pretending to be neurotypical!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The thing about Asperger’s is that quite a lot of us, never truly understanding neurotypicals (Aspie-speak for ‘normal’), we learn how to “whitewash” our way through everyday life by emulating neurotypicals.”

And that is what happens we act and some are diagnosed as adults as Residual Asperger’s Syndrome until they get a lot older, like me,  and the symtoms seem to resurface.

ictus75 on Wrong Planet said “Nothing has really changed except as I get older I tend to hide my Aspergers less, so it may appear that I have it more”

I can tell you that after 62 years of being Aspie, like many older Aspies, my traits are becoming obvious again and I wonder if it’s because I’m exhausted with acting,  tired of having to interpret something I have no capacity to comprehend, a world that I am on but have never felt a part of. All this time, I’ve done the hard work,  I have tried to comprehend the Neurotypical world.  I have really tried and I can’t. How bout you NT’s have a turn. Try, at the very least to tolerate or at best, to respect that I am not retarded, I’m not “weird”. As Temple puts it,

                                    I’m different but not,  never ever,  less

                                            and accept me being me