Rooted, I used to think.

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Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008 @ 3:26 pm

One day last week I was in the library studying. I needed a break from whatever I was doing, so I pulled a book off the shelf beside me. The topic was how autistic children learn.

Having worked with autistic children before, I was interested to find out the ins and outs of what I had observed. I read the preface and the first chapter, which described certain characteristics of autistic people.

I was surprised to see how many of them I have:

-obsessive about not touching certain fabrics, especially synthetics
-dislike of wind blowing on the skin
-high discomfort in loud, busy public areas
-difficulty in making or maintaining friendships
-eating disorders
-nail biting
-sensitivity to loud music/noise
-eczema, allergies
-occasional stuttering
-poor handwriting

Now of course, I function in normal society. I am not autistic, and I don't mean to downplay the seriousness of the disorder. What I am observing is a collective cause of my 'quirks', an extremely mild developmental disorder that groups my issues into one basket and makes me feel like less of a failure.

I shop by touching first and looking second. I touch sweaters before I try them on, and all synthetic fabrics give me the creeps. Daniel bought us a new couch with a cotton cover because I refused to let my bare skin touch our previous cheap synthetic couch. We had to get wool area rugs because I wouldn't walk on synthetic carpet in bare feet. D's mother gave me beautiful moccasins for Christmas one year, and they lay unworn because the lining if fake sheepskin.

I didn't know that I didn't like fans until I had a b/f with a fan in his room. I wouldn't let him have in on if I was in the room, and that problem continues today.

Anxiety in crowded public spaces? See my previous restaurant panic attack entry. It has happened since then, at the take-away sushi place in the village.

Difficulty in making or maintaining friendships. Well, I don't have any real life friends that I go and do things with, except for D and my immediate family.

Eating disorders. I have been anorexic, and I have been COE, and I think that I am finally normal, though I avoid anything 'unhealthy' according to my criteria.

Nail biting. Been doing so since I was 12.

Loud noise/music. I am constantly telling D to turn down the stereo and the alarm clock. Every single day.

I've had eczema since I was a young child, and it continues on my hand and chest. I am allergic to most metals and more recently wood (jewelery). I get hay fever fairly badly for 3 months of the year.

Occasionally I stutter. I know it's happening, and it's embarassing. This is a newer one. I don't remember doing it before I was an adult.

Poor handwriting. There is a very poignent moment from my grade 6 year, where a classmate told me that my handwriting was akin to the handicapped girl's (we had integrated special needs kids in the class). After that day, I worked very, very hard to write more neatly.

That being said, most of this I have the power to change. I can force myself to work most of these things out... I just find it interesting. I don't normally self-diagnose, but this is just interesting.

Roots | Shoots