The way that Aspergers has affected my life the most is not being able to drive. This is a hard concept for people to understand. Everybody can drive.
“Oh, of course you can drive, everybody can drive.”
“You just lack confidence, once you get out there, you will see how easy it is. “
“You are so smart, of course you can drive, idiots can drive.”
And the worst, a conversation I had with a health worker when Rick was in the hospital. I explained that we would be waiting for our ride to take him home. “Well you’re driving him home, right?”
“No, I don’t drive.”
“Well how did you get here?”
“A friend brought me.”
“But you used to drive, didn’t you? You just don’t drive anymore, right?”
“No, I never drove, I have Aspergers Syndrome. I think every sign in sight is instruction for me. Sensory overload.”
“But you used to drive, right?” This time with a teasing smile.
“No, I did not ‘used to drive’. What part of Aspergers do you think is funny?”
“I don’t think it’s funny.”
“No, but you think I used to drive and you think I don’t drive now because I am afraid. Do I seem like a sissy to you?”
“That’s right, NO.”
I’ve had far too many variations of that last conversation I don’t understand how anybody can decipher the traffic sign code. Stop. No Right Turn on red. Wrong Way. Do not enter. Left Turn Signal. Yield. Wrong way. Wrong way. Wrong way.
It looks like this to me every day. Every single day.
A lot of spaces look like this to me.
Driving a 3000# vehicle powered by gasoline, on the road, in traffic does not seem like the smart move to me.
Not being able to drive has affected my life profoundly
There is no doubt that I would not have run away from home at 17 if i could drive; if I believed I had options. In 1965, there were no options that I could see.