What many people probably know about autism comes from movies like Rain Man, in which a person with the disorder has some amazing talent but isn't able to interact socially. While people who have autism do behave this way sometimes, autism is a spectrum and it doesn't always look like what we've come to expect from movies and books.
One Uruguayan man with Asperger's syndrome is breaking down this stereotype, by publicly talking about his symptoms on Humans Of New York.
“I have Asperger’s, but I wasn’t diagnosed for a long time," he said in the post. "I was a polite child. I found it easy to concentrate at school. I had some problems socializing but that’s pretty normal for children."
His symptoms were much more subtle than being unable to interact with his peers or at school.
"My problem is that I’m too transparent," the post said. "I kept trying to fix people. I could never just stand aside and let things be. I kept telling people what was wrong with their lives. I thought I was helping them. I just wanted everything to be in order. But I accidentally stirred up so much negativity. Now I’m sometimes afraid to talk to people. I don’t want to cause any problems. There’s no danger in what I just said-- is there?”
His post reminds us not to expect every person with Asperger's or autism to act exactly the same. As Stephen M. Shore, former board president of the Asperger's and Autism Network, said on the organization's website, "when you meet one person with Asperger's — you’ve met one person with Asperger's."