Archive for February, 2010

Amy Bishop and AS/NLD Issues

February 17, 2010

I obsess sometimes, and put together facts in strange ways.  At the risk of AS or NLD stereotyping, here are a few reasons I’m willing to bet Amy Bishop almost surely suffers from either AS, NLD, or maybe both (again, not an excuse of any type, but part of an explanation).

1) Seeming trouble with good posture; abnormal gait

2) Imprecise facial expressions–looks into the distance

3) Creative writing hobby–working out past difficulties through writing as opposed to speaking.

4) Strong interest in virtual life and video games (important note: not everyone with AS or NLD likes computer games–I guess it’s individual–I have never gotten into them myself).

5) She is said to be quiet much of the time, with outbursts at inappropriate times.

6) Her face looks really still in pictures.

Of course, I don’t know.  I’m not a psychologist or doctor.  I feel like a voyuer for getting into this story so much, but I also believe that early treatment prevents violence.  Who knows if certain tragedies could really be prevented, but it’s worth trying.


NLD, Choking, Swallowing, and Hiccups

February 17, 2010

I seem to choke, have trouble swallowing, and get hiccups more than most people. Sometimes I wonder if these symptoms are part of the NLD’s physiological side-effects.

When I get the hiccups, they last for 15-20 minutes sometimes. The classic remedies don’t always help, and often they are bad hiccups. Another cause could be allergies, but I’m trying to be better about taking OTC allergy medicines.

I recently read that swallowing is a very complex bodily process. I was glad to learn that it’s deceptively simple, having had recurring trouble with food getting stuck in my throat, and a constant battle to stay hydrated. Sometimes water hurts my stomach, even when I really need it. I’m pretty sure choking can be tied to NLD. I get confused about all that must be done coordination-wise at meals.

Amy Bishop and the possibility of AS or NLD

February 16, 2010

Amy Bishop seems to have trouble with reading and responding to conversational cues, and is said to struggle generally in social situations, plus have some absolute-type opinions.

I’m not saying it’s an excuse, but I want people to understand what NLD is and how we can help ourselves and each other deal with it in positive ways. Otherwise, I fear that homicide or more commonly suicide, and even more commonly non-lethal self-harm, is more likely in people with these disorders. Had a specialist not helped me, I don’t know what my future would have been like. I could be homeless, selling drugs, a prostitute, et cetera.

I’m definitely following the Bishop proceedings. I’m very sad about the families, students, and university.

NLD and Getting Fired

February 16, 2010

A couple years ago, I got fired from a temporary job. In my state, an employer needs no reason to end a temporary position. So it wasn’t a wrongful termination . . . but, I was treated adversely as a direct result of my disclosed NLD issues.

I had told my ex-boss in person and in writing about my NLD issues several times.

I had a difficult boss. A negative coworker, who hated our boss, befriended me. Our boss never expressed concern about the office negativity. Being just out of college with NLD, I didn’t know before it was too late. I–and not the coworker–was terminated.

I’ve run into this ex-boss since, and we have re-established a kind of awkward civility. He has never apologized, and I continue to feel angry for how this was handled.

He harassed me about the LD issues (i.e., “you don’t talk to me . . . therefore we’re terminating”) without prior warning or trying to work on things, and left me to the hell of endless interviews.

Employers need to better understand that NLD can be positively dealt with, and have “Workplace Positive” programs. We with NLD are susceptible to peer pressure and manipulative behavior. Parents and other adults can be a big help with monitoring this. I wish my parents had helped me.

NLD and Volunteer Work

February 16, 2010

Today I’m catching up on my blog before I turn to my daily life. I need to vent and get some of this stress out before I go to my volunteer workplace and then my night class. I am a project/research assistant and writer/editor, and part-time student.

I had to change my expectations–I thought I’d get another full-time job, but 40 interviews later, finally realized (and I hope truly that this helps someone else) I needed to change my strategies.

I pitch projects now, and start by volunteering sometimes. I still apply for regular jobs, but I know our economy is so horrible that freelance work is often more realistic. It’s also hard being a volunteer for much of it. I feel resentful, but will be happy once I get home. I am overwhelmed as well, getting ready to take the bus, and trying to eat before. I have such a weird diet that my favorite thing is to cook at home.

Struggles within the family . . .

February 16, 2010

I don’t get along with one of my relatives. A family authority figure picks fights, treats me in a condescending way, and is disrespectful of my special needs.

One thing that makes me particularly angry is he promised there would be money available for my future education. What he didn’t think about, I guess, was the living expenses or the current tuition rates.

Shortly after my college graduation (I had high grades), I was accepted to a graduate program at a top-tier university.

This relative couldn’t have been more non-supportive, and wouldn’t even express pride at this achievement. He then said the only way I could go would be with my own money, but also refused to co-sign loans. So I wasted time applying to a program I could never attend. Did I mention that my family visited the campus?

I am sorry to express all this resentment.

I guess life with NLD is like the different conflicts we learn about in reading class in grade school–depending on what happens when: -person v. self; -person v. person; person v. family; person v. society; society v. person, et cetera.

Much family literature says to cut yourself off from the difficult people, but what if your disability places limits on your earning potential and/or you can’t find work right away? I get scared when people talk out of one side of their mouths, because we with NLD are more gullible sometimes, and aren’t going to see all the social cues, despite being intelligent.

I Miss My Cat

February 16, 2010

Losing a pet is a special hardship when you have NLD, or a similar disorder. I experience my relationships with my pets as being similar to those with humans, and even closer. I recently found a website about a girl with AS who has a therapy dog:

I used to have a wonderful cat who I loved like a child. I skipped vacations out of concern for the cat. I paid the cat’s vet bills even though I was unemployed. She was a family pet, but became my full responsibility when my parents moved cross-country, leaving me to be a house-sitter.

Then the cat became ill with an autoimmune disorder. My brother was home at the time. A family fight ensued. We begged my parents to come back and help, but they refused. All the bills fell on me, even though I was unemployed. The cat had to be put to sleep. An extended relative promised to reimburse me, but never did. Meanwhile, my parents criticized the decisions that were made about the cat’s care from afar. I say a) they should have come back if they were so upset, and b) it should have been a shared cost, given that this was a family pet. Fast-forward to now, when I have a hyperactive young adult dog, also technically a family pet. The love is the same, and my work search continues. I know I will get paid sooner or later, but I still worry. I don’t know if it’s NLD or not, but I have an incompatible relationship with one of my parents.

NLD’s Tough Introduction

February 11, 2010

I find it very hard to tell people that I have NLD, despite knowing I’ll have an easier time if I do. In part, I find it awkward to bring up a new subject, particularly one so personal to me. I hate picking out the things I struggle with and putting them into a list. I hate having to explain: this is why I’m abnormally phone-shy, for instance. Most people can effortlessly make a phone call, but I find it scary and challenging. I’d rather send texts. I’d also rather email, of course, than make a call. And I could never work a job that required cold-calling. Familiar calling is tough enough. I was 17 at the time of my diagnosis. I’d be interested to know how old people were when they were diagnosed and how old we are now. I’m very glad for the correspondence I’ve received and am now reading through it. I will respond to each note soon. I wanted to thank every single reader for reading this blog. If there are topics you want me to write about, please tell me. I will do my best to discuss them. More later.