All I know was that my mother tried to enroll me in a mainstream school in India, but was unable to do so because according to her they wanted to put me in a “mental asylum.” Luckily I was able to enroll in a mainstream school in the U.S. but here people described me as a “psycho” and as a “sociopath” since they found my silence and appearance to be unnerving. It took twelve years of being called “retard” by my own stepfather and peers till I met people in college who were educated about Aspergers Syndrome and helped me understand how I am exhibiting the traits of an Aspie.
I learned that my childhood obsessions of whales, Scooby-Doo, Lilo and Stitch, Indiana Jones, and Pokemon weren’t abnormal addictions, but normal traits of an Aspie. I never saw my experiences with Aspergers as a disorder/disadvantage; rather I see it more as a unique vantage point that I happen to have. I believe that awareness groups should not only have the goal to spread awareness of disabilities/disorders but to also enable people who have disabilities/disorders to decide their own limits rather than by the people around them who don’t share their experiences.