Growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome by Daniel Jones
Written on 4th Sep 2017 by Alex Lowery
Today we have a guest article by Daniel Jones. Daniel is 31 years old and is on the autistic spectrum. He has an excellent YouTube Channel called ‘The Aspie World’ with a wide variety of videos on the subject of autism. Click here to view the Channel on YouTube. This is an article about his experiences of growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome. Enjoy!
My name is Dan, I was born on the 15th of July 1986 in Wales UK. I have Asperger’s Syndrome. For me growing up was as awesome as it was terrifying. I am the youngest of 3 siblings and my older brother and sister were super outgoing very social and wanted to do cool things, where as for me, I wanted to stay indoors, study star wars movies, VR, Computers collect toys and play computer games.
I was always fascinated by computers and virtual reality so much so that one of my favourite shows, was ReBoot and John Quest. I used to sit for hours with books or magazines with information about computers in (before internet). I remember once my brother took me to an internet cafe in the 90s and I just did a search for VR and was in awe! This was not the same for my siblings as they wanted lots of friends and to go out and do stuff with their friends, I only really have one friend who was a dyslexic kid who loved creating stuff and loved computers and aircraft so we got along ok.
Home life was interesting, as my parents took me to see specialists in about 1994/1995 but they couldn’t figure out why I was the way I was, this is mainly due to the fact that the small sleepy island I grew up on didn’t really have any access to the early diagnosis formalities that were just on the brink of public domain. This caused dead ends and a lack of proper support in the realm education. I did enjoy however collecting toys and lining them up as if on display which was one of my favorite things to do, even if my parents wanted a group shot of us, I’d bring the toys along!
This leads me onto school. It was super difficult to be at school when I was below the age of about 13, this is because I got really anxious about going to school, the kids the noise, the not understanding conversations, the teachers scared me, the food freaked me out. Basically it was a bad combination, and it created a lot of absences from schooling. I did have a special education teacher who helped me read and write, and try to integrate more with the other kids but I used to want to sit in and research Encarta on the computer when the other kids were out playing in the yard.
When I got to secondary school it was easier to stand being in school as I got involved in music, so I used to focus almost all my energy on making music and skateboarding along the computer / gadget obsession.
I guess growing up with ASD is really difficult at times, and even more so when you don’t have access to the proper support or care network that you need. That all being said, I feel like being in mainstream school helped me learn more about the social part of life (maybe a little slower than most) but I picked up some awesome ASD hacks.
Also, all the VR and gaming research paid off, as I graduated from Bangor University with a BSc in Chemistry, and from my dissertation I created a chemistry teaching tool in MineCraft, that was so novel even Microsoft were interested in it, and a few other companies, so who knows where that will lead, but I guess everything happens for a reason. VIDEO OF MINECRAFT WORLD LINK BELOW:
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