About

My name is Alex and I’m a full-time software developer, married and 40-ish. Originally from Lancashire, now living in Hampshire. I have a knack for technology but I’m not so good at dealing with people. I discovered I have Aspergers Syndrome a few years ago. It explains a few things about me. I also began transitioning from male to female recently and am now living full-time as a woman.

I am writing this blog because I want to and I enjoy writing. I find that putting down how I am feeling in words helps me deal with those feelings. Some of what I write here is very specific to my own experience; other posts are more generally descriptive of the life experiences of people on the Autism Spectrum. I am not going to draw boxes around parts of my posts at any point and say “this only happens to me”. This is my blog and it is all about me. I don’t apologize for that. But I have found that some of my experiences are similar to other people’s.

I first started writing this blog because I had read a number of other people’s accounts of their experiences and found that it helped me by making me aware that there were other people out there with experiences similar to my own. I hope that what I write here helps others in the same way, by showing that they are not on their own in living with Autism or Gender Dysphoria.

Some of my posts express my opinions on various topics. These are my personal opinions. Feel free to disagree — that’s your right — but remember I’m not forcing you to adopt my opinion; I expect the same courtesy in return.

38 thoughts on “About

  1. Introducing myself as I have commented more than once in your blog:

    Female, programmer, not married, not Aspergian as far as I know, but I’ve always been odd and lately I’ve been recognizing I have far more Asperger traits than the average person. From what I’ve gathered so far, I seem to be in the middle between NT and Aspergian.

      • I’m not a programmer, although I know a fair bit of website stuff like php and mysql (and html which is NOT programming, it’s markup. I slap web developers who insist it’s a programming language with a large fish). But I mainly work with programmers, which is fun because compared to them I’m a social skills wizard. Which is how I ended up in tech support. 😛

        • I’m now thinking of carrying a large fish around with me. I’m guessing the type of fish isn’t as important as it being large and preferably wet? At the risk of incurring piscine wrath, I will venture my opinion that CSS does have elements of functional programming. (*ducks and hides under desk, peering out occasionally in case of rapidly approaching fish*)

          Programmers are a lot like children: we like toys (Ooh! Shiny!), are easily bored by things that don’t interest us (yawn) and can spend hours at a stretch working on something that the rest of the world would find unimportant (if they even noticed it existed at all).

          I *love* the tech support guys where I work: they protect me from the customers 😉 Plus, after spending 3 months doing tech support myself I appreciate how hard some of the work can be. And that was *without* answering the phone!

          • Yep, that’s exactly how I see my job: distracting the customers so the programmers can do the REAL work. I’m good at it, I know enough techie stuff to solve most things by myself, and on the rare occasions that I need to ask the programmers to fix something for me, I can give them a pretty good translation of what the customer says the problem is. I love my job.

            • Absolutely agree. Insulate the programmers from disturbances. After all, my blog doesn’t write itself 😉

              I even write *code* sometimes! Real code. With curly brackets and stuff.

          • I approve of the large fish (in my mind, autisticook now looks like the fishmonger from Asterix hitting the bard (yes, I often use comic imagery as my thinking language, though my brain is very multilingual, both fortunately and unfortunately)).

            Before programming, I have been in academy, and there people are a lot like children (and very odd) as well. I find ways of getting into environments where I am far from being the weirder one, I guess. However, I have worked outside academia and programming too, and there I used to behave as a very different person (very reserved, always quiet, always in my corner). When the ration of odd/not-visibly-odd people is too small, I seem to go into pself-protective mode.

            And thanks for all customer service people who let us do the rprogramming part in peace 😀

  2. Howdy! love your blog by the way!
    Anyhow, a blog that i am an admin of ( the adresss is http://asdcommunity1.wordpress.com/) is compiling a list of “Awesome Autism Blogs” and i think that we need to include yours on this list. This list basically works as a kind of directory, so people can hear more about similar blogs about Autism/ Neurodiversity.
    If you want to be involved, please reply to this comment!

  3. Hi Ben,
    I like reading your blog because I have a 17 year old son who has Aspergers. He finds it impossible to talk about how he experiences the world, so I try to learn from others. I am trying to get him to engage with the idea of life beyond school and computer games at the moment, it’s a struggle for both of us. I fear he will never really be self sufficient.
    Thank you for your insights. BTW Im a business analyst (software) living in Melbourne Australia.
    Kelsey

    • Hi Kelsey, thanks for stopping by. While I can’t comment specifically about your son’s situation — everyone is different — I know that I find it so difficult to think about my own future: I just can’t imagine anything other than tomorrow being much like today. Self-sufficiency is an ideal: the truth is that most people, autistic or not, are not fully self-sufficient. What is more important is to identify the areas where somebody needs help and try to provide them with support for those; to make sure that there is somebody they can feel comfortable approaching to ask for assistance. I’m glad you find my writing helpful, and wish you both well.

    • Something that I read on another autistic adult’s blog (I need to look up the exact quote because I keep paraphrasing it) discussed the point of independence versus self-sufficiency. Independence is the ability and being allowed the possibility of making your own choices, of setting your own priorities. For her, she said it was being allowed to choose what to have for dinner, even though she needed help getting it into her mouth. (And yes, there are autistic adults who need that kind of help and yet are verbal enough to write blogs about their life. It’s not a case of “if you can’t do A, then you can’t do B either”). And she said that self-sufficiency was different, because nobody she knows is self-sufficient. Her aide has kids in daycare (supervised by another person). Her mother takes the bus (driven by another person) to come visit her. Everyone relies on society to take care of stuff that they can’t do. Only farmers grow their own food. So her point was, why strive for self-sufficiency when it’s completely normal to be supported? We just need support in different, sometimes additional ways. 🙂

      However, I do understand that you’re worried about your son. I think most parents are worried that their kids will never be able to take care of themselves, but you have more reason to worry. Being an autistic adult is hard. But it’s not as bad as some professionals make it out to be, either. Sometimes it just takes us a little longer to learn necessary life skills. And *every* 17 year old would rather sit in their room and play computer games than start a job. 😉

  4. Update on the Poetry Group: I am going to have to put this off till next week. I began my new work schedule and I am tired. We have the list and if either of the two that submitted ideas as to how to set up this group would like instead to “take over” I am all for that. Just email me or comment here and I actually hope someone takes me up on this offer. I wanted to be a “participant” not the leader on this. But I will help construct the format of the group and provide the “platform” obviously for the setup and if no one volunteers I will group people next week and simply set a date to have your poem posted, maybe a label and tag we will all use, and a date to try and have reviews done (a week shouldn’t be hard). I will wait and see what kind of responses I get here.

    I am going to tag this post with PCG1 for now.

    -Opinionated Man

  5. Pingback: more fish | bunnyhopscotch

  6. Hi! Just wanted to say I’m happy I found your blog today, it’s not everyday I come across something interesting. I’ve met many in the software development field who are Aspies too, so it makes me wonder what it is about that career that appeal so much to an Aspie. I suspect I’m an Aspie and will also be pursuing a career in software development soon, so it just makes me wonder…Anyway, keep up the good work!

  7. Hello, I love this blog so much, I have aspergers, and am FTM transgender, and I live in hampshire too! It’s nice knowing theres someone out there that also has ASD and is trans. I dont know what I’m accomplishing writing this but yes, I think this blog is great

  8. Pingback: Cross-Blogging | The other side

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