The Asperger’s Effect – It’s a way of life

It’s been a few months since I have wrote anything to do with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is the developmental learning disability that I have had since I was three years old. In that time, my friends and peers have asked me to start writing more about my (disability) superpower that has made me the individual that I am today.

In this first article out of five, I explain about how my Asperger’s is more than just a disability and a way of life. There will be videos and in-depth articles detailing my own experiences with living with Asperger’s. This may be an eye-opener for someone who you may know that lives with this developmental disability.

As you probably know many times, I have Asperger’s Syndrome. This means I find it difficult to pick up on basic social cues such as making eye contact, reading body language and misinterpreting jokes and comments made by other people. That is true to an extent, but as I have grown older, I have improved with social cues but I still make the usual social mistakes. It’s perfectly okay and there’s absolutely nothing I should be worried about!

Living with Asperger’s can be quite difficult for me, particularly with the ongoing graduate job hunt. Whenever I receive an unsuccessful application for a media or data analytics job, my immediate response is frustration and I start to question my performance with how I approached the job description. As a perfectionist, it can be painful and can leave me wanting to go into the middle of nowhere to destress myself.

However, the more knockbacks I receive, its fuelled my passion to keep persisting and applying to find my first job. I’m very lucky to have an amazing set of friends who understand me for who I am, as well as being with me every step of the way. I always feel if I need to talk to someone, I know who to text, call or message to talk things through. Sometimes I want to shut myself off from the world, but I find it does more harm than good.

It’s hard to accept rejection in any form, but with Asperger’s, its even more difficult due to the fact that Aspies find rejection harder to take because we want to be recognised for the positive contributions we make to society. Yes, its difficult finding a graduate job in this competitive media industry, but you get back up and you live to fight another day because Rome was never built in a day.

If it was not for having an amazing support network which includes the Tableau and data visualisation community, as well as friendships and media networks, it would have not moulded me into the journalist I am today. By talking to extraordinary people, it has made me realise how lucky I am to be in this position and that my disability is my way of life. Having Asperger’s is no excuse to sitting at home and doing nothing, being proactive and persistent is a much better lifestyle than being fed a diet of Jeremy Kyle.

My next piece will document the day I live with Asperger’s and how I see the world through the power of my iPhone.

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