Have you ever been bullied at school? Teased in an unkind way?
Perhaps you tried to join in a conversation and the little knob of people you were addressing just kind of broke up and walked away. What does a person do with that?
For me, it became a memoir, a Kindle book called Unforgiving, Memoir of an Asperger’s Teen.
I wrote about the incongruous juxtaposition of events in my teenaged life: the unpleasantness of being targeted by a child molester, dealing with an Asperger’s personality when no-one knew what that was, and getting the lead role in a National Film Board film. Circumstances which in combination, isolated me from my family and my peers.
My intention in writing this book was to illustrate how a series of events in a young teen’s life can create an overwhelming and pervasive sense of isolation from family and community.
Another Aspie, Tom Angleberger, has written an article on how Asperger’s powers his writing. Angleberger is the author of a series of young adult books who uses unpleasant incidents from his school days as fodder for his plots. Angleberger has published many books in which his knowledge of Star Wars along with embarrassing moments in his childhood create humorous adventures for his characters, always with positive conclusions.
Some of his titles include Darth Paper Strikes Back and Emperor Pickeltine Rides the Bus. He combined his fascination with origami along with his love of writing to produce R2-D2’s Guide to Folding. He currently has 52 books in print and nearly two hundred thousand reviews on Goodreads!
As for being autistic, Angleberger says the constant flow of words from his brain to his pen have helped him have a career he loves.
You can read more about this author at: https://origamiyoda.com/ or find his books on Amazon, or in bookstores.
That other autists like Kelly Brenner[i], a Seattle based naturalist who writes about urban nature, can become successful authors is not just a recent occurrence. A behavioral analysis site declares that historically, authors such as Emily Dickinson, Hans Christian Anderson and Lewis Carroll are thought to have been on the spectrum[ii].
Interestingly, an American university research project published in July of 2020 indicated that autistic students out-performed their classmates in essay and project writing[iii]. The main issue for students with autism, the study findings suggest, is overcoming perfectionism.
Shauna Marie Henry[iv] writes to expose ‘the elephant in the room’. She says having an Asperger’s viewpoint gives her stories a unique look at social conventions.
For many of us, being an Aspie doesn’t smooth the pathway to a seamlessly successful social life. At least not in our early lives. But certain aspects of our condition, including our unique perceptions, our different ways of processing information, and our ability to find humour in the most socially disastrous circumstances, or even just to survive them, can be seen as positive attributes.
For some, even fodder for a career we love.
[iii] Comparing the writing skills of autistic and nonautistic university students: A collaboration with autistic university students Kristen Gillespie-Lynch, Emily Hotez, Matthew Zajic