Asperger’s 101: What it is like to go to a new place

Autism 101 is a series to dispel misconceptions about Asperger’s and Autism in general. I write this post with the help of my 7 year old son, Brady. I could not express these opinions without his input or approval. This is a record of our experience. I am not an expert. I am just a parent telling my story.

This is how it feels for me to go to a new place. This is not exact because I can’t show you what is in my head. This is just a sketch to give you an idea. I think in parts and build my pictures piece by piece before I can see the whole.

I am someplace new.  I don’t know what it is yet, I am building it up from parts so I understand it.

I don’t see The Big Picture in a new place. I see parts. I have to see all the parts and put them together before I understand. If it is too much then I close down and don’t take it in. This is normal. If you see too much light, don’t you turn your face? It is the exact same thing. I take many small parts and put them together to form the whole. This can take a long time. It can take months.

The next time I visit, I see more.

I can’t turn my way on and off. This is how it is for me all the time. In a group setting or a new place, this is a big challenge. I only see parts of the room. Like a shoe, or a book, and so on the room reveals itself as I process each piece. I try to keep most of my day the same and only build in a few new experiences. That way I don’t use up all my energy.

I’ve been here a few times but I don’t have the whole thing yet. I am not comfortable yet.

At school the kids talk to me and I don’t answer all the time. I don’t answer if there is too much going on. That is another story for another time.

It’s a house. I can see it now.

The more things to identify, the harder I have to work. I like uncluttered spaces. I like clean shapes. I like order. If you take order away from me, I get lost. I think most kids learn best when it is peaceful. It is not just me.

This is a house. It is made of up many elements.

It can take me the whole school year to learn my classroom. In kindergarten, I learned the desks and chairs well before I learned my classmates. My mom thought it was strange that I knew the teams, the structure and the elements of the room and not the kids. I thought it was strange that she knew so much about the people in my room but so little about what walls and how the room was arranged.

Did you notice that the doorknob was taken out? It used to be there. I noticed.

I hope this page helped you understand what it feels like to wear my brain for a time. Thank you for visiting. I like to see my visitors from all over the world.

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7 thoughts on “Asperger’s 101: What it is like to go to a new place

  1. Awesome Brady…I’m so inspired by you. I’d love to hear sometime why you chose to take the doorknob off in the last picture. I’m just wondering.

    Reply

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