black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.


"I am not an expert on Asperger’s syndrome. But I am an expert on me, and I have Asperger’s."

Editor’s note: Michael Ryan is an assignment producer who works on the homepage.

And attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. And a bit of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Having all three disorders together is not unusual, my doctor says.

Like you, I get angry sometimes. And, like you, I would never think of channeling that emotion into violence. There is no direct connection between violence and autism. None. I don’t break things. I don’t hit my dogs. I keep a small Tupperware container in the house to catch insects so I can transport them safely outside before my cats or wife see them. I don’t disparage hunters, but I could never kill another creature. I just don’t have it in me. For the most part, I am just like you, just a bit quirky. All right, a lot quirky.

I am pedantic. I usually have no expression on my face or in my speech. I cannot look you in the eye. (I’ve learned to look people in the mouth or nose.) I cannot have a conversation of more than a few words with you, but I can lecture you ad nauseam on U.S. atomic bomb tests, the Cleveland Browns, beagles, Japanese society.

When you speak to me and I look away intently, I am parsing your words and running through scenarios based on your request or statement in an effort to understand you. Please bear with me.”

You should probably read this: I Have Asperger’s; I Am Just Like You

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