Sunday, 31 May 2009

Take me back to the year 2000

Today is the ninth anniversary of my diagnosis with Asperger's Syndrome. I haven't had a party or celebrated it in any way, shape or form. I haven't even mentioned it to anyone. The only notable memories of days that have coincided with the anniversary, has been in 2001, when I felt pleased that my website had just appeared on the Internet, and in 2006, when I visited Harrogate for the day. This was my first ever visit there.

What has changed for me since the diagnosis? I dread to think where I would be or what I would be doing now had I not been diagnosed. I can view this from the opposite angle, and ask what my life would have been like had I been diagnosed five or ten years before, but I will never know that either, so it is futile to speculate.

In the time since my diagnosis, I designed my website, which took off hugely, even more than what I imagined, when I put it on the Internet, particularly between August 2001 and September 2002.

I think I missed my chance in one respect. 2001/2002 is when I should have capitalised, and wrote a book about my life and experiences with AS. I didn't. Therefore other books have been published by authors with AS, which have made them famous. However, my motive was to help other people. flush other Aspies out to design their websites, and raise awareness, rather than become famous. I still could write a book in future, even though I accept my publication probably will not have as big as an impact as it would have ten years ago.

After September 2002 my website continued to make an impact, although in future, it almost certainly will never again scale the heights of its first 18 months or so. Whilst I still get the occasional guestbook signing and email, they seem to have tailed off from about October last year. Several factors are responsible. My website needs to be updated. There is a lot of information which needs to be included on it. Society has moved on. Awareness and information about Asperger's Syndrome have increased.

Despite the trend of blogs and social networking sites in the last three years or so, my website has enabled me become acquainted with several people who I otherwise would not have. I don't need to give long, rambling, monologues about my condition, because I can simply refer them to my website, and of course, I still get the satisfaction from people informing me that my website has helped them.

The diagnosis has given me time to reflect on myself and my life, and of course, self-awareness, which I did not have before learning that I had AS. I know what social situations I can cope with, mentally and sensory wise, and those which will cause me to mentally overload.

Of course, I am not 100% content with my life. There is a great, great deal, that I would like to change, but overall, as a result of all these factors, my life is a great deal happier now, than it was before I was diagnosed, and before I learned that I had AS.


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