Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Asperger's and Teaching

Often, people say: "Asperger's? But how can you possibly teach if you have it? It must be a torture!" They are wrong. Many people with Asperger's thrive as teachers. It's the unstructured, unscheduled and unplanned communications that are a struggle. If I can prepare for an encounter and especially if the roles are strictly defined (me - teacher, you - student), teaching offers a welcome release from some of the issues attendant on having Asperger's.

Except on bad days, of course. They don't happen often but they do happen. And when they do, many things become a lot more difficult. Speaking becomes kind of a challenge. Which is not a good thing for a huge lecture class. You start speaking and then you kind of blank out and stand there with your mouth wide open hoping that the words will come eventually. To make matters worse, today I scheduled an observer to come to my class. The colleague who came to observe is a very nice person, and even if he noticed my unexpected pauses I don't think he will mention them in a report. Still, it didn't make me happy to have observation coincide with one of the bad days.

As I wrote before, Asperger's has many positive sides and I would not be without it if you paid me for it. It's not all fun and games, however, and bad days prove that everything good comes at a price.

By the way, it took me almost an hour to write this short post because on bad days my vision also gets impaired and I keep hitting the wrong keys.

Not to worry, though. It usually goes away by the next day.


Anonymous said...

You have Asperger's? I knew you were retarded!! HAHAHAHAHA

Clarissa said...

This disgusting individual writes from Port Orchard, Washington. I wonder, is everybody equally dumb and sexually frustrated in that town? Or is it just this particular freak?

Izgad said...

I have a very easy time winding myself up and talking for forty minutes. The difficult part for me is trying to make my classes interactive.

Clarissa said...

I usually ask them to get together into groups of 3 and discuss the questions I put up on the PP Presentation.

Yesterday, I was complimented by my observer on making a large 80-student class interactive. When they speak in little groups, it gives me a welcome break as well.

Triin said...

Are students not abusive if they know you have Asperger's?
Do they know you have it?

Clarissa said...

No, the students don't know and neither do the colleagues. People mostly imagine Asperger's to look like what they see in television shows. So if I tell people that I have it, they mostly don't even believe it because it's not immediately visible. :-)