A child's view on living with Asperger’s
Matthew Readman was asked by his grade-school teacher to write a book report last year that helped both his teacher and his parents help understand his perspective about living with Asperger’s, a higher-functioning form of autism.
In grade 4, I was asked to write a book report on Frankenstein. One of the questions my teacher asked was “What character can I associate my self with and why?” My answer was as follows:
"I feel like the monster. All he wanted is to be accepted as he was, he didn’t have any social skills and tried to adjust to the world he knew. All the monster wanted was a friend. People kept being mean to him because he was different. The monster gets angry and then just wants to be left alone. I feel the same way as the monster.
"Because of my Asperger’s people see me as 'the monster' because I don’t know sometimes how to act or do things normally. I try to adjust but when I fail people are mean to me too. All I want is a friend to like me just the way I am. The only difference between the monster and me is the monster kills when he’s angry and I just cry."
My teacher responded, “As people grow, they mature and are more capable of empathy. They are more capable to see the world through someone else’s eyes. Matthew, the people will learn that you are an amazing person with a spirit full of fun and love. I know I feel blessed to know you.” - Mrs. McKenna Clemens Mills P.S.
I’m writing this article to tell other kids my age that help is out there, sometimes it takes a long time to find, but there are agencies and people who actually care...
Yes my Asperger’s still haunts me at school or social gatherings, but through the last couple of years with the help of my teachers, agencies and the love of my parents I know one day maybe not for years, but one day I will be able to show the world that I and anyone with a disability is capable of great things.
- Matthew Readman, Age 10