Yes, I really do look like that...

For those of you who are desperate to see what I look like, here I am...

Photograph taken by The Casting Suite, London. More images can be seen here.

Hello and welcome to ASFTHM. My name is George. I am 31 and I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome back in the 1990s. A person who has Asperger Syndrome like myself can be very intelligent for his or her age. Asperger Syndrome is usually more common in boys than girls. Usually people who have Asperger Syndrome can be more intelligent than people who just have autism, but sometimes people who have autism can also be intelligent as well.

Autism and Asperger Syndrome breaks families hearts. It can even effect the way familes function too. When I was at school I knew that I was different, but I didn't know what made me so. Yes, I was bullied at school. The kids, or the teachers didn't know why I was different. Neither did I, come to that. Doctors and psychologists said that I was like a missing peice in a jigsaw puzzle. A lot of names were chosen for what I had wrong with me. Looking back to my school years back in the 1980's, it made me wonder whether or not if I was diagnosed back then, would it have made my life easier or not? Some people say yes it would, because it would have helped me get the right support needed for school, while others say no, because if the kids knew about it, they would make my life worse. Kids seem to want a perfect world, which they know they can't have. If there's something wrong with you, you're a prime target for bullying. Sometimes I wonder if there is a God, then why does he allow difficulties like these to happen?

People with Asperger Syndrome can't understand social signals. I have never found it easy to make friends. I have made friends in the past, but with great difficulty. To me, having a relationship is like winning the lottery; it seems as remote as winning the lottery, anyway. Some of the signs to look out for in Asperger Syndrome include a lack of eye contact from person to person; enjoys talking about the same subject all of the time, (which can sometimes be boring to a normal person); being reluctant to try out anything new or unfamiliar; jerky hand or body movements; enjoys handling some things that may make a person with Asperger Syndrome insecure if they are without it: a blanket, a soft toy, – a sort of comfort if you like. However they can do well at some things as normal people (e.g. working on a computer, tuning in a video recorder etc…), but these obviously don’t really have or need any social understanding. Some of these I have mentioned above were signs that I had when I was first diagnosed.

Obviously, a child with Asperger Syndrome will grow up to be an adult with Asperger Syndrome. It's the adult years that are more vunerarable to people like that. I am dreading what the future might bring, myself. The wide world can be so cruel to vunerable people, and some people can't or refuse to understand that there's anything wrong with you.