Lyle and Lilly Thompson

 

            “We have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a form of high-functioning autism,” Lyle continued, pinching and rubbing his earlobe. “I am interested in science and math, and my sister likes art.”

            “We do schoolwork, and we are good at what we are interested in,” Lilly added.

Lilly and Lyle Thompson are on the Autism spectrum with Asperger’s. What does that mean?

Individuals with AS and related disorders exhibit serious deficiencies in social and communication skills. Their IQ’s are typically in the normal to very superior range. They are usually educated in the mainstream, but most require special education services. Because of their naivete, those with AS are often viewed by their peers as “odd” and are frequently a target for bullying and teasing. They desire to fit in socially and have friends, but have a great deal of difficulty making effective social connections. Many of them are at risk for developing mood disorders, such as anxiety or depression, especially in adolescence. Diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorders should be made by a medical expert to rule out other possible diagnoses and to discuss interventions.

Lilly and Lyle are twins who were diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the same time. They both face similar problems, but in different ways. Lyle is the typical loner who only cares about his interest at the time. Lilly craves connection with people her own age, but is bullied because of her differences.

When they were offered a spot in group, their parents were skeptical, but after several assurances from Dr. Embry, they finally allowed it. Fearing their children are too young to be exposed to others who are different, despite them being in high school, they are torn between letting them grow up and keeping them protected.

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Blind Ride

Up. Down. Up. Down.

As a child, would you be dared to do it? To be strapped into a cold, unfeeling contraption and be taken on a wild ride. Up…up…up…then down! Down, down, down the steep drop only to be dragged back up. There would be a loop just to make it interesting, but you had seen the whole track before you’d gotten on. You knew it would stop, and you could brag to your friends that you were no chicken! That you had dared to ride!

Can you see it? Can you see the rollercoaster of your childhood? Yes? Now, do me a favor. Before you even get to the park, close your eyes. They’re glued shut now. There’s a coaster there that you’ll be on for the rest of your life, but it will constantly change, and there’s no peeking!

You don’t remember when it started, when you were guided into the seat to be strapped down. The click of the restraint is so soft you don’t recognize that it’s locked in forever. You don’t realize at first that it won’t go away, not even if you scream or get sick of the ride. Because you no doubt will. You will want off eventually, but there’s no way to get off.

That is the world of my bipolar disorder.

My particular brand of bipolar disorder is fast and intense. Up. Down. Up. Down. Throw in a loop to keep her guessing. And that’s within the space of a few hours. Most people get ups and downs that last for weeks to months. Mine can last less than an hour before I’m thrown in a new direction.

I’ve seen that some people don’t believe in what I have. They don’t believe that bipolar can be that fast, that it’s only a part of my personality and not a chemical imbalance. It’s impossible for bipolar disorder to be like that. My response? Meet me.

I go up and down, with the added bonus of social anxiety and other delightful surprises from Apsperger’s autism, a very high-functioning form of the condition that is no longer recognized as separate from high-functioning autism.

I am very open about my bipolar. I am very open about my Asperger’s. I see no reason not to be. It’s disconcerting to actually be the one on the ride. The observers need at least a little warning of why I get very quiet then start shouting random songs, why I stubbornly try to talk about one subject, whatever my current Aspie interest is.

I still can’t tell how high I will go up, how low I’ll go down, how long it will last, or even which one is next. I’m sure that on this side of heaven, it won’t go away completely. But, I can hope it’ll get better. Just live one day at a time. That’s all I can do.

Truth

I have read Randy Alcorn’s Lord Foulgrin’s Letters and its sequel The Ishbane Conspiracy so many times I’ve lost count. Something that I’ve always been bothered with is the fact that they felt a missing piece of themselves, that they knew they were looking for Something and Someone great. I have never felt those longings. I have a theory on that that I would have to share.

When I think back, age didn’t matter. I think I was five, because it was before my parents’ divorce, so we’ll say five or six to give us a little wiggle room. I don’t remember much. I don’t remember if I was reading my Bible. I don’t know if I watched Storykeepers, which is a television show about the lives of early Christians in Rome. I don’t have any idea of what I was doing before this happened. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to the story.

I remember crying harder than I’ve ever cried before or since. I was on my knees by the window that was to the side of the foot of my bed. And I was praying. I remember saying ‘please’ a lot. I was crying and saying something like, “Please, God, forgive me! I know I don’t deserve it! But please! Forgive me!” And I honestly believe he did.

Fast-forward through my life, and I got into things I shouldn’t have. I was reading things I had no right to then started writing them when other people weren’t giving me what I wanted. I was lost…or was I? Was I a lost sheep? Or was I a sheep that had just strayed?

When I was sixteen, my bipolar disorder surfaced, and it is BAD. I hardly have any normal periods. To top that off, we found out that all my life I’ve had a type of high-functioning autism called Asperger’s Syndrome. But something else happened when I was sixteen. I started writing a book. That book turned into three, and I called it the Lost Scrolls Trilogy. My father had prayed for me to use my writing as a good thing. He didn’t know what I was writing, but he wanted me to use it for the Lord. And I did.

The thing that gives me pause is, throughout all my life, I’ve had certain things that stuck with me to this very day. But that day at the foot of my bed, while I was on my knees, seems so out of place. I believe God claimed me then. That is the only thing I can think of that would produce so many tears and so much impassioned pleading.

And something else is that I was only FIVE! For so long I have wondered why I didn’t have a moment that I knew that I was His, well and truly, and oh-so-fully. I think that I do have one, and it isn’t forgotten as I have thought to myself that it might be. I think I was five years old when the good Lord showed me my sin, and He took me to my knees so I could, in a very childlike way, confess my sins and ask for forgiveness. It’s only sad that it took sixteen years for me to realize that.

As one of my characters in my book states, “The Great Shepherd finally caught me, Fily. I was a naughty little sheep, but he forgave me and is bringing me to the rest of the flock.”

And ain’t that the truth?

Through Aspie Eyes

Here’s one of the reasons college is a bad idea for me. It is a look into Aspergers Autism, which I do have. And before you comment, “Aspergers doesn’t exist anymore,” I say it does. I do not agree at all with what the ‘professionals’ did to the Autism section of the DSM. They are wrong, in my opinion, as Aspergers is a specific branch of Autism. Anyway, rant over. Please enjoy. 🙂

 

Crowded rooms, professors and students passing by

Running and shouting loudly to friends

They brush me, bump me, touch me, too.

They talk and talk all the time!

Why can’t they leave me alone?

 

I step outside into blinding light,

Flinching as pain assails me.

The students all hustle by, questioning me.

No I’m not fine, but I don’t tell them that.

Why can’t they leave me alone?

 

Itchy fabrics, uncomfortable clothes,

With flowing skirts, flapping against my legs.

Textures always grating against my skin.

Why can’t I wear what I want to?

Why can’t they leave me alone?

 

No, I won’t eat what’s on the plate!

It doesn’t feel right to me.

That’s like fire, and that is icy!

They snap and growl for me to eat.

Why can’t they leave me alone?

 

More talking, more people! That’s quite enough!

It’s much too loud in here!

Incessant talking and buzzing lights!

I don’t want to stay! I wanna go home!

Why can’t they leave me alone?!

 

Cover my ears, bite my lip

Rock back and forth to soothe

Eyes close tight then a sudden touch.

A hand covers mine and up I look and see

A promise to be left alone!

 

Silence, peace, and tranquility

Just me and my thoughts right now

I am home and in my room, surrounded by all I love.

I can do what I want and love it, too.

They finally leave me alone.

 

My interest blocks out the noise

That the rest of the house makes

I am absorbed in this writing

Making new places where there are

Places everywhere to be alone.

 

Love Who You Are

To start off on a good note, I am me. To be more specific, I am a girl of eighteen years and I have Aspergers autism, which means I have trouble socializing, have repetitive behaviors, and have intense interests in a few narrow subjects. I do not think it is a disability, no matter what people say. One person I know put it like this: “It’s not a disability. It’s a different ability.” That’s how I view it! Sure I have trouble talking to people, and I’m uncomfortable with touching, and I can’t eat some foods because of how they feel in my mouth (it’s a texture thing), and loads of other things, but this is the way God made me.
I knew that he had made me unique from everybody else long before I knew I had Aspergers. He made everybody unique. It’s the one thing everybody has in common! There are tall people, short people, people of different colors and creeds and backgrounds. There’s so much diversity! But if that’s such a good thing, why do we all try to melt into the crowd? It doesn’t matter which crowd. We just want to fit in. At least somewhere! And sometimes, if we don’t fit in somewhere, or feel like we don’t, we force away our own uniqueness, our gifts and talents, and fit ourselves into a niche that we weren’t really made for. The scary thing is some people succeed at that!
Years ago, my dad had a friend who put together a puzzle that was a mirror or chrome, something to that effect. Each puzzle piece was exactly the same color, exactly the same shape (except for the edges), each piece created exactly the same. How boring is that? How excruciating would it be to put that puzzle together? I mean, there was just one color. I don’t know about you, but the sameness would have got to me.
Sometimes I think humanity is like a puzzle and each person represents a single piece. Now that piece can be a rainbow of colors, or just one or two. It can be a two pronged puzzle piece or it can have ten! In the Message Bible, Genesis 1: 27 says that God made us in his image, and to reflect his nature. While we are separate, we show certain sides of God, but together, with all our differences, all of our puzzle pieces with all the different shapes and colors and sizes, we reflect God more fully as he truly is!
I’ll be honest here. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to fit into the ‘normal’ stereotype. To have girlfriends and go to the mall and shop ‘til I drop and care about fashion and….that’s when I laugh. I just can’t imagine me ever being into that. I am one of the rare girls who doesn’t give a hoot about fashion. I love who I am and I don’t want to be anybody else!
Now don’t get me wrong, fashion and being ‘normal’, shopping and having best girlfriends are just fine! It just is not me. If you are the type that hangs out at the mall every day, then don’t let me stop you. Go and do it if that’s what you like. Love who you are! I mean, why shouldn’t you? God made you that way!
Don’t try to be a piece of the mirror puzzle. Be you! God made you you for a reason! You reflect a part of God that no one else reflects! Be happy about that! Love who you are and let that set you free! And remember this: God values you and loves you just the way you are. So you should too.
I mean, how boring would it be if we were all created alike? What if we all had the same personality, same likes, same dislikes, same EVERYTHING? I can’t even imagine that. There’d really be no need for conversations, would there? I mean, everybody else would agree with you on everything. That’s just so dull. Good thing we’re not all created alike, eh? 🙂