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Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Just learnt today that I no longer have "Asperger's Syndrome", but instead "Autistic Spectrum Disorder" (ASD).
Good. That makes a lot of sense.
This change has been made in the new DSM-5, a book containing standard psychiatric conditions, used as a reference book by psychiatrists throughout the world.
No more do I have to explain the meaning of the word "Asperger's", where it came from, and the nature of the condition the Austrian paediatrician of that name first recognised back in the 1940s.
I'd invariably say: "It's a form of autism", a word most people recognise.
I don't have to do that any more.
It's the good old KISS principle at work: Keep It Simple Stupid.


In the past I've been concerned about whether to tell a prospective employer about my Asperger's Syndrome or not.
Now I'm finding the bigger issue is to whether to tell them that I have cancer.
Surely it's no big deal these days, with one in three Australian women getting it, and one in two men.
I went for a job last week and wrote it on the form wanting to know about my medical history.
You're in a bind if you answer it truthfully, or if you do not.
I really want the job, but haven't heard back.


My cancer is now officially in remission.
Has been since I started taking a daily Arimidex tablet some 12 months ago.
It is designed to block the oestrogen stored in my muscles which feeds my type of hormonal cancer.
Two amorphous masses of cancer cells visible in 2013 can no longer be seen.
They hiding in a bunker just waiting for an opportunity to come out and wage war on me again.
I've been told to lose weight, 20kg in fact, and amazingly, have just lost 5kg simply by being conscious of what I put into my mouth.
I'm no longer a mindless eater!
What a different this had made to my sense of having some control over my life.
And to a new sense of achievement and 'can do' attitude.
I'm inspired to lose the other 15kg now and will do strenuous exercise to shift it.
Another positive outcome has been that my sense of taste has returned, no longer deadened by constant intakes of sugar and salt.


For people with Asperger's Syndrome, the organising and planning part of the brain doesn't work. This means I'm constantly floundering about, without any sense of purpose or direction.
Rather, I have lots of different purposes and directions, always going off on different tangents, and unable to stick to the one thing.
I once described it well in a poem I wrote: 'Like a rudderless ship not yet sunk.'
This defective 'executive function' of the brain makes it impossible to be successful in life, in a career or in finding a marriage partner.
I'm not complaining about this, just explaining it.
I fully accept I have Asperger's Syndrome and would never try to change myself.
I'm shocked when someone says to me, "Isn't there some type of pill you can take for it?"
Then I want to laugh.
A woman who recently said this to me has a son diagnosed by a psychiatrist with ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder.
It struck me that this is a false 'disorder' created by the society in which we now live.
Back in the 19th century, a 13 year old boy disinterested in school and unable to focus there could leave and work on the family farm or business with his father.
This would have been considered perfectly normal.
Now there is too much emphasis placed on fitting into the school system and doing well there.
It's simply the wrong time and place for this boy, not a psychiatric condition.