it occurs to me that i learned how to react to pain, that i learned all my social skills, that none of this came easy or naturally.

it was a fight in grade one where five or six boys were beating me up after school for being a sissy, and taking piano lessons. i was wearing my best red-and-white striped shirt, and after they busted open my face, the front was only red.

i remember thinking how stupid it was, as they hit me with rocks, sticks, and pulled my hair, that they were doing this to me. it seemed that they were getting aggravated by the fact that they were beating the hell out of me without me screaming or crying.

i said "ow" when one of them slammed my face into a boulder, shoving my teeth straight through my lip. not because it hurt any more than anything else, but because it was something that they did in archie comics when they got hurt, and i thought maybe it might be appropriate.

the kids seemed satisfied at this, and took off just as my piano teacher was coming out the school door. she was shocked, and took me inside, where she cleaned me up and called my mother.

she kept saying to her that i didn't cry a bit, that i was such a brave boy for not crying.

it didn't seem logical to me to cry, it didn't seem like it'd help anything.

it's only now that i think back, and i think perhaps a six-year-old debating the logic of crying with his tooth through his lip and covered in blood and needing stitches was possibly a sign that things were not quite right.
Nevermind that Hans Asperger didn't actually -create- the syndrome, he just first described it. And nevermind that without him, we STILL wouldn't know what to do about it.

And never mind that without Uta Frith translating his paper into English, a couple of years before the DSM-IIIR came out, we wouldn't have an official iagnostic code. (the original version of this node linked to Uma Frith -- thanks to everyone who pointed it out to me!) And never mind that without the diagnostic code, the disabled-services departments of our schools wouldn't ever be open to us.

(Disabled Services? What the hell do they have to do with anything, you might ask? Well, many people with Asperger's Syndrome can't handle dual forms of input -- so they can't take notes effectively in class... and thus, they're accused of having poor study skills. Disabled Services generally assists learning for those with actual physiological disorders; however, with the advent of the American Psychiatric Association and their diagnostic classifications, schools were forced to treat mental disabilities as actual disabilities. This is a GOOD thing for those of us who can't get ahead in school.)

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