Nerdy, Shy And Socially Inappropriate – A user guide to an Asperger Life is written by Cynthia Kim and is an honest insight into the life, thinking process, difficulties and challenges as well as blessings of being an Aspie.
Cynthia was diagnosed as an Aspie in her forties. As there was no Asperger Syndrome when she was growing up, instead she was always thought of as nerdy, shy or gifted who didn’t work and play well with others and someone who didn’t participate in class. It was thought of as something she will eventually grow out of. But no matter how much she tried, she never understood the secret rules that others around her instinctively grasped and she struggled to make friends, mingle in parties and even basic social interactions remained a mystery. When working on a project for her college degree on ‘describing a situation when a person’s body language didn’t match their words’, her first response was ‘What body language?’ She shares a few other instances from her life – like her feeling that there is no need to tell her daughter ‘ I love you’ as soon as she is old enough to talk, her obsessive nature, the way she rigidly controls her work environment, her intense interest in unusual topics, and many more. As she learns about her diagnosis, she views her life through a new lens and this book is all about her perspective of how Autism shaped her since childhood.
She talks about a range of topics that provide an interesting inside view into an Aspie mind. She writes in depth about growing up undiagnosed, navigating the social communication jungle, a complicated relationship with relationships, parenting Aspie style, rigid and routine, sensory seeking and sensitivities,the Autistic body, exploring the emotional landscape, executive function, the dark side, redefining myself and arriving at acceptance. I particularly liked the chapters on parenting aspie style, relationships and exploring the emotional landscape.
In the chapter – parenting aspie style, she shares a moment when she disclosed her diagnosis to her daughter, who asked her if that was the reason she didn’t have feelings! Cynthia, as any mom in her situation, feels bad and regrets not having shared her love in words over the years. She expressed her love for her daughter in practical ways, helping her with projects and other works but not in the traditional ways. It’s not lesser love, just different love!
In every chapter, she shares tips and suggestions for others on the spectrum to cope/handle different difficulties often faced by aspies. Very informative!
You can purchase this book on Amazon India