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Today is International Asperger’s Day. It is celebrated today because the man who first recognized this was Hans Asperger who was born on this day in 1906. Although Asperger’s Syndrome is now classified as Autism Spectrum Disorder those of us whose lives have been touched by this still refer to our loved ones as Aspies and indeed they refer to themselves as Aspies.

My grandson Tristen has Asperger’s Syndrome. It has been a long hard struggle for him but he is doing fantastic now. He has well above average intelligence. He is a junior in High School and already colleges are trying to convince him to become a student at their institution. He is in National Honors Society. He has overcome bullying because he is different. He has learned how to make friends.

What is an Aspie like? An Aspie will walk a mile in heavy traffic to make tea for me when I am sick. An Aspie will come over and clean out and tune up my computers. Did I mention we refer to him as Tech Support? An Aspie is a person who towers over me and will wrap his arms around me and say, “I love you Aunt Michele.”

How does an Aspie think? These are some thoughts Tristen had posted on Facebook.

Vision: How can the future be so hard to predict when all of my worst fears keep coming true?

Wishes: When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteor.

Tradition: Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.

The Secret of Success: What is The Secret? Pretend you've already achieved it- Then offer to sell The Secret to others.

Pressure: It can turn a lump of coal into a flawless diamond, or an average person into a perfect basket case.

Problems: No matter how great and destructive your problems may seem now, remember, you've probably only seen the tip of them.

Pessimism: Every dark cloud has a silver lining, but lightning kills hundreds of people each year who are trying to find it.

Overconfidence: Before you attempt to beat the odds, be sure you could survive the odds beating you.

Madness: Madness does not always howl. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "Hey, is there room in your head for one more?"

Indifference: It takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile, but it doesn't take any to just sit there with a dumb look on your face.

Government: If you think the problems we create are bad, just wait until you see our solutions.

My Aspie is smart, funny, generous, and loving. Today is International Asperger’s Day. It is a day to let the world know you love an Aspie. I love you Tristen.

Originally posted to michelewln on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:40 AM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets , Parenting on the Autism Spectrum, KosAbility, and KOSpectrum.

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