Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Sameness of Days

Reprinted from here


The Sameness of Days

Those of us with Aspergers/Autism find it difficult to navigate in an environment that is both foreign and un-inviting to us.

On one hand, you will find we like things in our environment, the same each day. We may wear the same clothes, watch the same tv program’s, eat the same food. We like things ordered, and to a degree, predictable. We want to find the keys and remote in exactly the same place each day.

We almost ritualise certain events. I myself have a tendency to eat virtually the same things everyday. Breakfast is usually hot oatmeal cooked on a stove (NOT microwaved!) It’s not that we don’t know how, it is that innately we desire a sense of control and order over our environment. This is shown in the things we say and do. For variety though, I do have polenta occasionally, Cheerios, and on Wednesdays and Sundays – an omelette which I make for myself. It’s not laziness or lack of initiative, or even lack of knowledge (I am an accomplished cook.) We have a daily schedule, to which invariably, we internally adhere.

We sit in the same place in restaurants. Why? Because we know where everything is. God help us, if the floor is wet, and we have to sit someplace strange. (The booth next door.) I am fortunate in having a friend here, that understands that I need to scope out the inside of a restaurant to make sure it is not too crowded. Autistics NEVER like to have their escape path to the outside, blocked. Perhaps unconsciously, we position ourselves so that we can always see the exit. When things get too intense for us from a sensory overload (just several people talking at the same time in a room, makes a cacophony of sound, that overwhelm many of us.) I have left meetings simply because my escape route was suddenly cut off. Sometimes we need to exit a situation, that becomes over stimulating for us.

I was in the Emergency Room of a hospital here last week. Many of us, can’t filter out the distractions: lights, sounds, colors, noises, or odors that envelop us. And so we may ask to dim the lights, close the curtain or close the door. Anything to block the over stimulation. When I informed the staff that I had Aspergers, I might as well have said I am from another planet. Most Medical Professionals I have discovered, are 129% clueless when it comes to Autism.

My Primary Care Doctor, let me explain to him, what having Aspergers is like for me. He took the time, to accommodate Autism. His welcome and inviting tone and manner greeted me when I was finally transferred to a room. I didn’t have to explain. He already knew. More people would be wise to follow in my physician’s footsteps, and take a few minutes to educate themselves, on how Autism affects our daily lives.

A good place to start: All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome by Kathy Hoopmann

As much as we like things to stay the same, we also want to form bonds and friendships. That is an area, where we Aspies (as we call ourselves) don’t function well. We are unable to read the social cues and body language of the people around us. It is very hard for us to form relationships, simply because we don’t have the skills necessary to do so.

We isolate ourselves from a harsh and cruel world, because we are tired of the rejection and snide comments made by NT’s. (Neuro-Typicals. Our name for people that are NOT on the Autistic Spectrum.) We sit in the corner, and pretend to be a wall flower. We don’t belong. We don’t fit in. We feel like the proverbial square peg in a round hole. We go into survival mode. Magical thinking.

If we sit in a corner, we can be invisible and won’t have to talk. Gosh what do we talk about? I don’t watch sports, and the weather: Yup it’s hot out there, all right! Aspies are not interested in weather, or sports per se. But I speak for myself only. We’d rather discuss: books, movies, politics, religion, sex or music. Anything other then the dull. Mundane. Ordinary. We might discuss things which are resolutely insignificant to the world, but which makes our inner world, revolve.

Yeah we’re the kid in the corner who sits by himself, because he is so beaten up emotionally, that removing himself mentally into an imaginary world, might be the only method of coping. I am the adult, who sits in the same booth almost everyday, orders the same thing off the menu everytime, and sits alone. I talk to imaginary friends as well, because there is no one else.

Pets for many of us, are the only creatures we know on the planet, that won’t automatically judge us. They love unconditionally: just as I am. We don’t have to hide who we are. We are free to be ourselves. They give back to us, the love that the world so harshly with holds.

Many of us, are penurious. We give our time, instead of money. All we want is to be recognised for our contribution, however small it may be. We depend on others to remind us of God’s love and God’s forgiveness, by returning a simple please or thank you. Basic Human kindness. The little things.

We all need affirmation. What’s that? It’s simply saying the right thing, at the right time. Looking beyond the quirks and eccentricities, to see someone and something of value. Few people are willing to take the time to get to know us, let us stumble through friendship, and make a deep and enduring impression on our lives. Those few that do venture into the world of Aspergers, may find a deep, abiding friendship and loyalty that is unparalleled in their own world. But until that happens, everyday is like the day that came before. Nothing varies. Nothing changes.

Wayno Guerrini

Infusing Hope

My daily devotional from Our Daily Bread directed me to the second chapter of Ruth. Whoa! It’s been years since I have read this book. Actually it had been so long, that I had to look up in the index of my Bible, just to find where it was. It is tucked neatly between Judges and 1 Samuel.

As I began to read, I noticed something that said: Pay Attention! As I read, I begin to see God’s providence unfold in the story I was reading. Wait! Let’s skip back to chapter 1 of Ruth. The Book of Ruth is the story of devotion, dedication, hope, and redemption. All of that packed into 4 chapters.

As I re-read the second chapter, I couldn’t help but notice how God provided for his people. They didn’t have welfare in those days. If you were poor you gleaned in the field after the harvesters. Ruth came to glean in the field of Boaz. Backbreaking hard work. Where just enough was gathered to keep body and soul together.

But was it fortune that smiled on Ruth that day, or divine providence?

Boaz replied, “I have been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband — how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” (Ruth 2:11-12)

You see what he said there? Man! That’s hope! He said the right thing, at the right time. Affirmation.

Do we infuse hope into the lives of others? Today a bedraggled individual walked into a restaurant. You could read the dejection, humility, and humbleness in his face. He sat for awhile, to enjoy some cold water, and to escape the blistering heat of the Arizona landscape. I was beside myself. I didn’t know what to do. I said: “God my brother is in need here. How do I infuse hope?” I am not an evangelist nor did I feel he needed to see my mouth flapping.

I remembered how one day, a person did something for me totally unexpected. A random act of kindness. She purchased a gift card, came over to my table, and said: This is for you. And just walked away. I don’t know who this person was, or why she did that, but it has always served as a powerful reminder of God’s providence for me.

Yes that was the right thing to do. I went to my car, got some money, and purchased a gift card for him. I went to his table, laid the card there and said: This is for you. As I walked away, he said: Thank you! I was more then re-paid.

How are you impacting your world? How are you infusing hope into the lives of other people? Do people only see our mouth working, or do they see Jesus in our actions and deeds? I pray that I instilled in this man today, the love of God through my actions. My brother is in need, how can I help? That should be a daily prayer. Emily Dickenson said:

“Hope is the thing with feathers,
that perches in our soul.

and sings the tune without words,
and never stops at all.”


The Zombie Apocalypse

32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[c] is near, right at the door. 34Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[d] but only the Father. (Matthew 24:32-36 NIV)

A lot of us poked fun at the end-of-the-world doom sayers. The Bible tells us confidently that NO one knows the day or the hour, except God the Father.

When you hear someone giving a date, be it 1972, 1994, 2011, 2012… you can depend on what the Bible says. No one knows. When someone gives us a date for the end of the world, they are manipulating. The question is why? Publicity, folks. I did NOT see, or hear anyone saying repent. What I heard is, “The end of the world is coming.” The end is coming, but NOT on man’s schedule.
The rapture or catching away spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 WILL happen. I believe we are the final generation. The time to prepare, is now. But what if I am wrong, and the rapture doesn’t happen in my lifetime? I have lived with this hope, all my life. It is called the blessed hope of the Church. But what if I am wrong? Phillipians puts it best:

21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. (Phillipians 1:21-24)

Rest assured Jesus will return for his followers. We shouldn’t follow anyone who sets dates. We should follow Christ, and his example. Be the best representative of Jesus and his love, to a lost and dying world.

We rush headlong sometimes, trying to get a person to the point of salvation. Instead, invest a little time in their lives first. Get to know someone, see things from their point of view, and share the gospel courteously, instead of cramming it down someone’s throat as happened to me this week. Be kind. Be gentle. LISTEN! We have 2 ears and 1 mouth. Listen twice as much! Let your life do the talking, not your mouth.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Rev 22:20 NIV)