Someone passed along a link stating that girls manifest Asperger’s syndrome differently than boys do. This may in part account for the ten to one ratio of boys to girls who are diagnosed with it.
I’m interested because I have a girl among the testosterone-ridden throng in my house, so I went over to the article, and instead I found myself.
It’s really disturbing. I’ve been thinking for a while I probably do fall a bit on the spectrum side of things, that my character traits are less “geeky” than “problematic.” It makes a lot of sense, and yet at the same time, I didn’t want it to be true.
In my own personal fashion, I reacted to it by thinking to my guardian angel, “See, you really did get a substandard human.”
But overall, that’s not fair. First off, haven’t I been the one telling my son all along that he’s not defective or disabled because of his Asperger’s? That it’s simply a bundle of skills and difficulties which is common enough to have picked up its own name?
Secondly, I’ve self-diagnosed, and considering some of the other things I’ve self-diagnosed with over the years, that’s about as reliable as tossing dice. I get it.
I’ve had my obsessions, of course, just like Kiddo#1 has.
“Girls tend to get obsessed with things that are a little less strange,” says Elizabeth Roberts, a neuropsychologist at the Asperger Institute at the New York University Child Study Center. “That makes it harder to distinguish normal from abnormal.”
The article mentioned horses, and horses was one. But maybe that’s also at the root of a two-decade-long fascination with angels?
So here I am, suddenly questioning my own identity, and it’s uncomfortable.
In addition to more socially acceptable obsessions, Roberts says, the Aspie girls she sees are more adept at copying the behaviors, mannerisms and dress codes of those around them, than Aspie boys tend to be.
This comes on the heels of a conversation with my mother about how some of Kiddo#1’s behaviors resemble some of mine (although about ten times stronger than mine) when I was a kid. So I wonder.
But I’ve also been asking myself, does that make me any different than before? I’ve already got so many labels slapped onto my life: “Mother” and “Writer” and “Christian” and on and on and on. What’s one more or less? The application of the label doesn’t really change the contents of the jar, only how we understand what’s inside.
Assuming the label fits.