Hi there. You are probably here because you read the article about me having Asperger’s syndrome. I have never seen the Mail on Sunday, but it must be a big publication because thousands of readers are coming to the blog from London today.

(For readers who did not see the article, I like it. Here’s a link. And, sidenote, the author, Louette Harding, was so good at interviewing – so patient and so insightful and I wish I could talk with her every day. But maybe that’s just because we talked about me and this is just evidence that I am really hard to be friends with.)

If you are here for the first time, here are some shortcuts to posts I’ve written about having Asperger’s syndrome:

Why I need a sick day to register my car

Five ways to be less annoying

5 Ways to make telecommuting better

Why I’m difficult at meetings

How I deal with sensory integration dysfunction

Really, though, almost all of this blog is about having Asperger’s syndrome because most of my writing is me trying to figure out the rules for succeeding in the workplace. I know that people say I have an odd take on the rules, but I think I’m usually right, I’m just more literal and more blunt than most people.

Here are some examples:

Don’t report sexual harassment

Hold CEOs accountable for their bad parenting

Living up to your potential is B.S.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

30 replies
  1. neko
    neko says:

    i think i like “The Farmer” better than his real name …. it’s a fine name, dont get me wrong: but The Farmer makes him sound even more mysterious & mythical.

    p.s. sis, pls dont worry that youre a dork & need to come across as more “normal.” seriously: LOOK AROUND YOU. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE LIKE THE REST OF US ?

  2. Irving Podolsky
    Irving Podolsky says:

    As I read the article about you and Asperger’s Syndrome, I wondered if it’s possible to have a little bit of that brain construction. Or is it all or nothing? So many of your behavior patterns I also possess. Others I don’t. Or think I don’t. Maybe I’ve compensated. Until I wrote my first novel with thousands of words, I didn’t realize I’m dyslexic, which might explain why have so many problems learning another language, spelling correctly, finding typos, and reading aloud. However, my grammar is okay and I feel beats in a sentence. Guess I’m just hardwired all sorts of ways, as you are. Love your wiring, P. Don’t change!

    Irv

  3. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    The article by Louette Harding is very well written. It’s well-structured and easy to read.
    As you say “almost all of this blog is about having Asperger’s syndrome” and I’ve learned a fair amount about AS as a result of reading this blog. It’s not the same as knowing someone “in real life” with Asperger’s syndrome (AS) but your literal and blunt ways shine through in your excellent writing to make it seem that way.
    There are proposed changes to the psychiatrist’s diagnostic manual (DSM), which include removing the category of Asperger's syndrome and redefining it as an autism spectrum disorder. The new DSM will be DSM-5 and it is scheduled to be released in May 2013. There’s an audio clip at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0084b76#p008fdnz (Chapter 2). The discussion in the audio clip relating to AS starts at the 14:45 mark.

  4. pfj
    pfj says:

    In a link, you mentioned “dyslexia for numbers.” That has a name – dyscalculia.

    I have that. Lots of people do, probably, but frequently they just think they’re “bad at math.”

    I have noticed that even though I remember what I hear –(and most of the time, better than what I read) — I usually can’t remember numbers that I have heard.

    That is, if someone says a sentence, I can sort of “run the tape back” almost like a tickertape. And the words are there, but where the number should be, there is a blank hole. As if someone burned a hole in a tickertape using a lighted cigarette. Very strange.

    As a related matter, I’ve noticed that I don’t have “fingers” in my brain for grasping numbers.

    I feel like memory is grasping (getting hold of) and then, later, placing (storing) information.

    The first action, placing, is short-term memory. The second, which is genuine storage, is long-term memory.

    (There are only my personal ideas, and words.)

    In my brain, neither the placing nor storing of numbers seems to happen. Well, if I really work on it, say, in order to memorize a phone number, I can do that. Eventually. But mostly I just have learned that numbers will not ‘stick.’

    Penelope, what are the details of your problem(s) with numbers?

  5. Yuan
    Yuan says:

    I tend to agree with you about the problems you have when it comes to dealing with people, and the strategies you propose to resolve it. I wonder – does that me asperger autistic, too?

  6. Idu Charles
    Idu Charles says:

    Penelope. Excellent blog. I have been a huge fan for over a year and learned a lot – led me to start my own blog.

    As for not being normal, please remember that great people are not normal. I have a similar health issue that handicaps me on a daily basis, but I think it also facilitates a level of creativity on my part that is unparalleled anywhere I have been in my life.

    Remember that. GREAT PEOPLE are not NORMAL. I have accepted that I am not normal; I am now open to whatever greatness may come my way through fulfilling my purpose in life, which may also NOT be normal.

    Idu Charles

  7. Simon Hay
    Simon Hay says:

    I’m here because I love your writing. I don’t always leave a comment. I quoted you and linked to you on my blog today. You talked about potential, and my work’s all about potential and possibility. Love your work, Simon.

  8. SuzRocks
    SuzRocks says:

    Wow- I’ve only been reading your blog for a few weeks, and I had no idea about all that. I think you’re an amazing person- there really is no such thi g as normal. It’s overrated- when I finally gave my self the permission to not be normal, I became a lot happier!

  9. Steve McEvoy
    Steve McEvoy says:

    Hello, I’m only here as a friend showed me the Daily Mail story and said it reminded her of me.
    I have Asperger’s and I’m looking forward to reading your blog.

    Take care.

  10. Sally Thibault
    Sally Thibault says:

    Penny, I have just come across your blog through Google Alerts. I love your honesty and your willingness to share with others your journey. I have a son with ASD, who is 25 and about to complete his final year of University. The next path is a career. School was such a traumatic experience for him, but University was a wonderful safe environment as he found a niche within his obsession. But next is the career path and I know he is feeling concerned about it. As parents, we seek to learn from those who have experienced living with Asperger’s to help our young people find what works for the next step in their lives. Thank you for writing so honestly about some of the issues he may face.

    I have a FB fan page for parents of children with Asperger’s and have linked your blog on that today.I am sure they will enjoy reading it as well.

    Looking forward to more

  11. Cary
    Cary says:

    Holy cow is that a actual insightful and balanced article from the Daily Mail. Where’s the knee jerk reaction? Or the blaming everything on political correctnes? Things sure have changed in the three years since I left the UK.

  12. DJ Kirkby
    DJ Kirkby says:

    Hi. Someone on twitter gave me the link to the DM article about you, I read it and then I came here to say hello.I have AS too. I am going to follow your links now.

  13. Chopski
    Chopski says:

    Hi Penelope,
    My wife was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when she was forty around the time our (now 7 year old) son was. She does sometimes have trouble explaining to me exactly how she feels and told me if I want to get a good look inside her head have a read of your blog. Thank you for the illuminating insight.

    All the best,

    Chris.

  14. justamouse
    justamouse says:

    Silly. We’re ALL dorks. Every one of us. Some are just better at hiding it than others. (And, what I’ve found is that the more hiding they do, the dorkier they are.) Just be.

  15. SC2
    SC2 says:

    VERY great post. I stumbled across your blog today, my brother has the same syndrome and people generally dislike him. I forwarded your blog post to him!

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