Tag Archives: APD

Here is a short autobiographical story guest post from David Zornetsky

(David Zornetsky is a 31 year old man on the Autism Spectrum and a member of Adaptations)

I was born on December 3, 1979, and diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome during Kindergarten.  AS is characterized by obsessions, repetitive body movements (such as hand flapping), and difficulty socializing with people, among other things.

During my years in elementary school, as a result of my inability to socialize, I had very few real friends.  I spent most of my time daydreaming about life during 18th – Century America.  This continued throughout my graduation from a two – year college (by that time, I also focused a lot of my thoughts on science fiction).  I felt very lonely, and at times, depressed.  This got me on medication.

My middle school years were the worst, in that I was the victim of endless bullying.  This was partly my fault because, out of fear for my family’s financial situation, I developed a habit of scanning the floor for money.  The other children saw this, and began harassing me.  It took endless work by my parents, teachers, and school psychologist to get me to stop this habit, which soon led to a dramatic decrease in incidents of teasing.

High school was much better in terms of bullying, but there were two new problems.  First, I became desperate for a girlfriend, and never got one, despite my having asked many of them out for a date.  Of course, the reason for this is because I never gave myself a chance to get to know them.  I just went right up to them and asked them out.  Second, out of jealousy of the girls, I wanted to wear skirts.  While I may never know if my school would have allowed it (a few are alright with the boys cross-dressing), I was too afraid to ask my parents if I could do it, which was understandable, given the taboo of the issue.  This filled me with severe anxiety and frustration, and actually led me to become psychotic, and I was therefore taken to a school for students with problems.

When I went to a four – year college (from which I did not graduate), out of extreme desperation, I finally was able to make more friends.  Yet, I talked to them mostly about a relatively new obsession of mine – lgbtq rights (a lot of this had to do with men cross-dressing).  Also, I began wearing skirts (first, it was women’s skirts, but then I switched to skirts designed for men, as well as kilts).  I felt a lot happier, and even received a handful of compliments on my new attire.

Now, I am doing much better.  I have many friends at a Jewish Community Center, and despite my obsessions, I have broadened my topics of conversation with them to include things such as a variety of political issues, my interest in writing, science fiction and technology currently available, and my recent investment in the stock market.  In addition, we sometimes discuss our interest in entertainment and what we have done during the past few days or weeks.  Finally, thanks to encouragement from my parents, it has only been during recent weeks that I began joining in other people’s conversations.

(more posts to come from Autistic Artistic Carnival very shortly…)



Autistic Pride Day 2011 and a one on one Chat with Amy Nelson

My friends, Amy Nelson and her husband Gareth, are the founders of Aspies For Freedom, a website forum for people on the Autism Spectrum in which I am a member of. Her and husband are very unique and interesting people to talk to. They have different ways of thinking, a more positive way of thinking about the Autism Spectrum which is why Amy and Gareth created Autistic Pride Day, a day for any one on the Autism Spectrum to get to celebrate the strengths and unique intricacies about being on the Autism Spectrum. While chatting with Amy on Facebook, I asked her questions about Autistic Pride Day.

This is the Q and A with Amy Nelson:

When were you diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum (Aspergers, …)?

I was diagnosed in 1997.

How did you form aspiesforfreedom.com? When did you form the site?

Gareth and I formed the site in 2004, with 2 other aspies we know called Wolfy and Shadow. We wanted to create something proactive and positive, that wasn’t patronising, which many groups were at the time.

What was the idea for Autistic Pride Day on June 18?
The idea for APD was to counter the many negative autism cure events and dates that were happening at the time. We wanted to make something truly positive.

Why ask others to celebrate Autistic Pride?

We want people to enjoy the day any way they choose, including celebrate if they wish.

How can others feel more positive about who they are to celebrate pride in themselves?

It’s a kind of positive self-fulfilling prophecy. I think it’s wonderful that so many people are organizing and celebrating, and that alone makes me feel so happy, to be united with other autistics all around the world.

What is your biggest strength in your life that helps you through each day?

My biggest strength is my strength! Luckily I am very strong, and just keep plodding on through adversity.

Who is/are your hero(s) in your life? What do they do to help you?

I can’t think of a hero that is alive at the moment. But a wonderful inspiration to Gareth and I was our friend, Patty. Sadly she passed away in 2005. She was an amazingly intelligent autistic woman, a great friend and help to us. She is dearly missed.

What is your special interest? What do you like to do?

My main special interest is collecting dolls. I drive everyone crazy going on about them lol.

What positive features do you like about being on the Autism Spectrum?

I am really glad that I can be honest, not be swayed from honesty by trying to impress people and being worried about public appearances, vanity, etc.

How do you use these positive features to move forward in your life?

Hard question, not sure right now.

How do you want to help out other people on the Autism Spectrum?

The main thing I would love to do is to help autistics who are homeless or displaced in temporary accommodation. Having the security of a home is absolutely essential, but housing problems often arise as an issue for autistics at various points in their lives. Homelessness is terrible for anyone, but more so for autistics I feel. Facing the stress of communicating with strangers, moving treasured possessions, having uncertainty, etc. I would much prefer all the money being wasted on researching an impossible and phony cure would be better spent on helping adult autistics, and autistic families who are homeless.

What is success mean to you? Do you believe we can all succeed?

Success is a very personal perception. I can only speak for myself, I take one day at a time otherwise life can be too stressful. Small successes day by day add up to a lot.

How can other people (NT’s) understand people on the Autism Spectrum better?

I wish I knew a definitive answer. The best we can hope for is education, education, education.

Is it possible we can all live harmoniously?

Absolutely. However, world peace is a huge goal that we may never achieve.

Do you think people can really understand that there is no real “normal”?

Not until they experience it. Education, experience, honesty, if someone like Stephen Spielberg came out and admitted he was on the spectrum it would immediately improve millions of our lives. People who have that ability have a duty to act, in my opinion.

What do you look forward to in the future?

Tomorrow and APD!


Autistic Pride Day 2011 starts today June 18 and like any other Autistic Pride Day beforehand, we need to feel energized to fulfill our unique perspectives, intricacies, and build our self esteem to feel just as proud as any Neurotypical feels. It does not matter who you are and what you like, you really are who you AUT to be!!

More posts coming for Autistic Pride Day June 18 as well as The Second Annual Autistic Artistic Carnival!!