Ever stood in front of the microwave and forgot why you were standing there??


For that matter have you ever opened the fridge door and forgot why you opened it? I have, matter of fact I have closed the fridge door or left from in front of the microwave depending on which one I was doing; and then gone back to my bedroom or wherever I was prior to the microwave or fridge and then I will remember why I was at the microwave or why I had opened the fridge. At times like these I feel like a real idiot! However, the worst is when I am in the middle of something and get distracted and then end up doing something else only to be distracted again by the cat or my mom and start something else. Then later I will notice 2-3 things half done and have to finish them (hopefully before I get distracted again).

Past Examples of things I have left undone would be:

  • turning the washer on and forgetting to put detergent or, softener in and/or leaving the lid up
  • leaving the fridge door open
  • leaving the dishes half done
  • leaving drawers or cabinets open

By now I am sure you are thinking I must be a little senile. My mom says I remind her of an absent-minded professor; because I don’t see the forest for the trees. Unfortunately, I see and hear way to much. My mind just processes things different. You see I believe I have Asperger’s Autism. If you know anything about autism you know that we are overwhelmed a lot by our environment. Me, well I get distracted by all the input. I can be talking about something very serious then see a butterfly or a flower and then I am looking at the butterfly or smelling the flowers and the person I was talking to is left hanging. You have to be quite patient when you are around me.

Since I turned forty, (seven years ago) I also noted a decline in my memory. So, I have to write everything down now. Problem is when I lose where I put the piece of paper! Ha Ha! I try to keep my room organized and everything in its place so, this does not happen but, a lot of the time life or, pain gets in the way. I now have a Calendar that I write all my appointments and important things I have to do on. This helps a lot.

Even with all the bad there are still some good things I have gotten from having autism. I have a heightened sense of smell that tells me when the litter box needs changed, when food is done, and when I need to bathe. I enjoy flowers and outdoors more because of my sense of smell. I also have a strong sense of textures. This can be good and bad. Especially with food, I cannot stand certain food textures. However, I love soft fur,  clothes and blankets. No wool for me or anything that is scratchy. Which also means there are no tags on any of my clothes.

Now you know you are not alone when it comes to being forgetful or needing everything to be in a certain order!

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Living with Asperger’s Autism


I was born in September of 1966. Back in those days people had no clue what Asperger’s was. If you were dysfunctional or acted strange you were put in an institution. I have to give my mom a lot of credit here because she never did that to me. When I would have flunked kindergarten my mom convinced the teacher to pass me. My mom and grandmother thought it was because I four years old when I started kindergarten not turning five till the end of September. The truth of the matter was kindergarten had been way too overwhelming for me. I wasn’t used to so much noise, and the lights were way to bright! Nap time was another challenge; by the time we were supposed to lie down I was too keyed up from all the input and would either cry or throw a royal fit. Normally, I was quiet and withdrawn preferring to escape inside my head then deal with school and everyone in it. I don’t remember a lot of my early childhood but I do remember I had no social skills to draw from and my mom was told I was retarded by my kindergarten teacher. But you know I wasn’t and am not retarded. At the tender age of five I could already read a newspaper out loud to my grandmother. I knew my colors and how to count but it took me till I was in third grade to learn the alphabet.
In first, second, third, and fourth grades I had sessions with therapists and tutors sometimes twice a week other times every day. During some of these sessions there were toys piled high on a table in the room and the therapist would watch me play. In other sessions they would just talk to me. In 4th grade my therapy visits were eliminated when I went to the first visit that year and looked at the psychiatrist who was there to evaluate me with another table filled high with toys and said “You want me to play with these toys so you can watch me and see if you can determine what type of therapy I need.” By then I was tired of being evaluated all the time when I played and tired of having to see a therapist. I told the Psychiatrist that I needed a tutor to help me catch up with the other kids; not see a therapist who only further alienated me from the other kids. The psychiatrist said I was fine after that. He also said I was a lot smarter than the teacher’s thought and I was not retarded. I remained in tutoring until the beginning of fifth grade at which time I was caught up with my peers.
My difficulty in school was always related to how I related to things or how I interacted with other children. For the most part I found other children mean. I went through a lot of bullying too, which made k-6 years almost unbearable. By high school I learned to mimic other kids and how they socialized so I did much better.
When I look back on my life and then think about my life now I realize I still suffer from a lot of Asperger’s related issues.
1. Hypersensitivity to noise: (in high school this diminished now a days it’s back with a vengeance) I like quiet and soft light; it bothers me if it is too bright outside.
2. Hypersensitivity to sensations: If I am hot I am extremely hot to the point of getting very fidgety, if I am cold I am freezing. I cannot nor have I ever been able to tolerate tags in my clothes and clothes have to be washed sometimes three times before they are comfortable to me. Certain smells bother me and there are certain foods I cannot eat because of the texture and the texture I can’t tolerate can change on me.
3. Routine: I need a least a day or two to prepare myself for changes and when I work I must have a certain routine to keep my stress level down. I also have to have a certain amount of down time between being at work and not being at work or I panic.
4. Obsessions: I get obsessed easily for instance I watched extreme couponing once and ended up getting a notebook, and dividers and I would go to the recycling centers and collect grocery sacks full of coupons and that’s all I would do from the time I got up to the time I went to bed. The same with scrapbooking. Its like I go through these extreme phases where I eat , breathe and sleep whatever I am obsessed with at the time.
5. Poor social skills: though my social skills have gotten better and I have learned to recognize some facial expressions I still will ask someone if they are mad at me because I read their facial expression wrong. This drives my mom crazy at times. Used to drive my best friend nuts. In-addition I tend to talk before I think and I tend to tell everyone my life story even if I just met them. I also tend to answer a question literally I have no buffers. For instance one of the things that got me into trouble at my last job was because I had an elderly client ask me what the scar on my left forearm was from. Instead of making up something or hedging the question. I told her the truth, that I had tried to commit suicide 20 years ago. I didn’t go into detail that’s all I said but this caused the patient to request another nurse because she was afraid I would get upset and try to commit suicide in her house. Which to me is a really weird reaction as I had never done anything to make her think that and she always requested me prior to that.

Even with all the adversity I have had through my life I keep plugging away. One thing that has helped is my writing whether it be journaling or writing stories it’s the one way I have been able to connect with people without feeling at a disadvantage.

Asperger’s and Me


Asperger’s and Me

I was born in September of 1966. Back in those days people had no clue what Asperger’s was. If you were dysfunctional or acted strange you were put in an institution. I have to give my mom a lot of credit because she never did that to me. When I flunked kindergarten my mom convinced the teacher to pass me. My mom and grandmother thought it was because I  four years old when I started kindergarten not turning five till the end of September. The truth of the matter was it was too overwhelming to me. Too much noise, the lights were too bright and I did not want anything to do with a nap. Plus how could I sleep with all the distractions and noise. I was usually either very quiet or I acted strangely. I just remember having no social skills and being extremely shy. It wasn’t that I was dumb I could read a newspaper out loud to my grandmother and I knew my colors but it took me till I was in fifth grade to learn the alphabet. It took me to my senior year of highschool to get good at mimicking the behavior of others and learning to maintain eye contact. I think the eye contact was the hardest to learn and I still struggle with it from time to time.

In first, second, third, and fourth grade I had sessions with counselors/tutors sometimes once a week sometimes twice a day. During some of these sessions I was to play with the toys on the table and the counselor would watch me in 4th grade the counselor visits were eliminated when I went to the first visit that year and looked at the counselor and said you want me to play with the toys so you can watch me and see if I play like a normal kid, right? The counselor visits slowed way down and eventually tapered off after that. I still had tutor visits though until the middle of fifth grade.

My difficulty in school was always  related to how I related to things or how I interacted with other children. For the most part I found other children mean. I went through a lot of bullying too, which made k-6 years almost unbearable.  By high school I learned to fairly mimic other kids and how they socialized so, I did much better.

When I look back on my life and then think about my life now I realize I still suffer from a lot of  Asperger’s related issues.

1. Hypersensitivity to noise (in high school this diminished now it is back with a vengeance) I like quiet and low light, it bothers me if it is too bright outside. I also hate crowds and having people other than family & maybe a friend. Though I don’t socialize with friends anymore.

2. hypersensitivity to sensations: if I am hot I am extremely hot to the point of getting very fidgety, if I am cold I am freezing. I cannot nor have I ever been able to tolerate tags in my clothes and clothes have to be washed sometimes three times before they are comfortable to me. Certain smells bother me and there are certain foods I cannot eat because of the texture and the texture I can’t tolerate can change on me.

3. Routine I need a least two or three days to prepare myself for changes and when I work I must have a certain routine to keep my stress level down. I also have to have a certain amount of down time  between being at work and not being at work or I panic. After about four hours I start panicking and having anxiety attacks.

4. Obsessions: I get obsessed easily for instance I watched extreme couponing once and ended up getting a notebook, and dividers and I would go to the recycling centers and collect all the coupons and that’s all I would do from the time I got up to the time I went to bed. The same with scrapbooking. Its like I go through these extreme phases where I eat , breathe and sleep whatever I am obsessed with at the time.

5. Poor social skills: though my social skills have gotten better and I have learned to recognize some facial expressions I still will ask someone if they are mad at me because I read their facial expression wrong. This drives my mom crazy at times. Used to drive my best friend crazy and the people I was in a relationship with because I always thought they were mad at me or something was wrong with them when there was nothing wrong. In-addition I tend to talk before I think and I tend to tell everyone my life story even if I just met them.  I also tend to answer a question literally I have no buffers. For instance one of the things that got me into trouble at my last job was because I had an elderly client ask me what the scar on my left forearm was from. Instead of making up something or hedging the question I blurted out that it was from when I had tried to commit suicide 20 years ago. This caused the patient to request another nurse because she was afraid I would get upset and try to commit suicide in her house.

There are other symptoms but it is getting late and I am tired.

Welcome to my world


Once again I find myself unemployed and struggling just to survive! Thankfully I live with my mom or most certainly I would be on the street! There are several ironic things about the situation I find myself in. First off I have a BA in Healthcare Administration, a KS and MO LPN license and a medical coding and billing certificate. Having all this should make finding a job quite easy. Which it would be for a normal person. When you lose jobs as quickly as I do after a while you run out of places to work.

To simplify I seem to get jobs quite easily it is just that I don’t seem to be able to keep them very well. The longest job I have ever had was two years, but it was for a nursing agency and I only worked two days a week normally. The longest FT job I have had has been one year. I have spent a lot of time thinking on this subject and trying to figure out exactly what is so wrong with me that I cannot seem to keep a job.

I have come to the conclusion that the reasoning is complex and there is no short answer. Take the last job I had for just shy of six months as a home care nurse for a well-known home care company. I was complimented numerous times for my computer documentation and my paperwork. The downside which I thought I hid well was the toll the job was taking on my body.  (I have arthritis, fibromyalgia, extreme pain issues, diabetes, as well as a long list of other physical health issues.) The job turned out to be a lot more physical then I realized, which caused a back injury in which I was off for over 8 weeks, and other physical issues that caused me to be close to the limit on missed days at work. Every place and time I have ever worked I have had trouble maintaining good attendance due to my physical and mental disabilities.

Then on the very day I came back from being off for over 8 weeks for a back injury, I get called into the office and am told that I have been getting a lot of complaints from patients because I am either too slow or act like I don’t have any confidence. Oh and there were a couple of other complaints relating to the fact that I tend to be an open book and tend to talk before I think. Well long story short a few days later I was pulled back into the office my schedule cleared for the day. I knew when I went this could not be good news and it wasn’t  I was fired. I was told it just wasn’t a good fit. Of course I was pretty beat up about it but it has caused me to re-evaluate my life and I finally settled upon a reason for my failure at keeping a job and I have through research and thru participating in research studies and testing come upon a reason for my struggle at keeping a job and for my struggles growing up.

I have Aspergers Autism. In 2008 I was taking care of an autistic child twice a week who has a sister who has Aspergers. The mom of both girls gave me reading material on both Autism and Aspergers syndrome. It was then that I began to notice the similarities between myself growing up and how I  interact with the world  with the stories of other kids and adults who have Aspergers syndrome.

I tried to tell my mom about the fact I may have Aspergers syndrome and how the difficulties they had were almost identical to the ones I had. My mom however shrugged it off and said I needed to stop thinking about such things and keep working on getting more work. At the time I thought ok it doesn’t matter anyways.

Now I know that’s not true. Trying to be normal & acting normal is very hard for me because 1. I am not normal I don’t think like other people do, I have trouble reading people’s emotions, and trying to act appropriately. 2. I have a lot of physical pain and anxiety related disorders that affect my work & cause a lot of problems and stress.

Thanks for listening!

Life goes on by Stacey Feitz


Climb a mountain…
Fall down a hill…

Run a mile…
Stumble a block or two…

Flying high…
Fall out of a tree…

Get back up and start again…

Ride a bike…
Skin a knee…

Get well…
get sick…

Get rich…
Get poor…

Spirits soar…
Down in the dumps…

Speak up…
Life is tough…

Start all over again…