A lighthearted look at co-morbidities.
Us autistic types are often considered flakes and weirdos.
You might call us Aspie flakes. You might even say each one of us is like a whole box of flakiness. You might even capitalise the F and make it sound like a breakfast cereal. Aspie Flakes anyone?
And inside every box of Aspie Flakes (or should I say inside every individual Aspie flake) is a free gift.
It could be:
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Autism/Asperger’s are obsessive disorders anyway but OCD is distinguished by the compulsion to do either what you fear doing or to fanatically protect yourself against the worst. More about this another time (if we’re spared).
- Dyspraxia (usually one in every pack): Just a posh name for poor co-ordination as far as I’m concerned. Poor co-ordination is one of what I was taught were the five key points of Asperger’s anyway so I never saw any point in getting a separate diagnosis of it anyway.
- Attention Deficit Disorder (the lucky ones get hyperactivity thrown in absolutely free). Again not something I’ve ever been diagnosed with but I needed extra time in my GCSEs and household chores can prove challenging when they mount up.
- Anxiety: Don’t know that I’d match NHS criteria for this but I know what it is to dread getting up and going to work for fear I’ll only remember 9 important things out of 10 and get bollocked for forgetting the tenth. This has happened on more than one occasion in more than one workplace in my case.
- And many more besides…
These conditions can exist without the individual having an autistic disorder and vice versa. But in many cases it’s so easy for them to ride on the coat-tails of the classic symptoms of autistic disorders.
I’m no scientist. I can’t explain the genetic or chemical links between autism and these other conditions. I only know that the posh term for these additional conditions we suffer from is co-morbidities.
In future blog entries I hope to have a look at some of these and how they have manifested in my own life as well as perhaps those of others too.
Of course I may get a better idea and never get back to this one (rather like how George Michael never did a Listen Without Prejudice Volume 2). But hopefully in this little attempt at a comic vignette I have highlighted something of how autism can bring other disorders with it.
So sweetened with a little humour and the milk of human kindness, we wipe the sleep from our bleary eyes, and look into the carton and under the bag of Aspie Flakes.
And hopefully with fewer crappy cereal puns.