About This Specimen . . .


I’ve never understood the command, “Tell me about yourself?” Its not really a question; I mean, who does that? Well, lots of folks, but why? It seems so specific to some yet is so general. Tell you about myself. In what context? Who I am in terms of the rest of the human race? The role I play to my friends & family. Tell you what costume I wear cleaning toilets, that I play a mean kazoo, or that I enjoy piña coladas and getting caught in the rain. Okay, I don’t, that is from a song in the 70s but you get my point. That is a lot of ground to cover when you “ask” someone to them you about themselves. Stop doing that!

Perhaps if you learned your lesson . . .

It would never be in your best interest to ask someone with Asperger’s to “tell you about themselves.” You have opened up a can of worms. The conversation would go something like this:

(Players in this scene are a Neurotypical, an NT or someone without AS, Asperger’s and an Aspie, a cute moniker for those with Asperger’s. They are generally not fans of “cute” but will tolerate the term and some are even fond of it.)

NT: “So, tell me about yourself.”

Aspie: Sits quietly and has a conversation in their head. “Tell me about yourself?” Like what? What do you want to know? How do I answer that? Where do I begin? What part of myself? Is this a literal description or interpretation? Crap….I can’t answer this.

Aspie answers shrugging: “I don’t know.”

NT: “Well then, tell me your interests.”

Time to catch a life raft and try to save yourself! The flood gates have opened and whatever your plans are for the next thirty minutes, they have just been thwarted. Interests alone could take seemingly forever as they have to be thoughtfully crafted, listed alphabetically and explained in detail to ensure there is no confusion that they are interested in entomological collections including all 200,00 holotypes plus hundred of thousands of additional paratypes and other secondary types and has collections from the Nearctic and Neotropical regions. They will share the importance of collections arranged by taxon; lower categories (genus, species) are arranged alphabetically, and for select taxa, they are further organized by country of origin within each species and so on. 

Aspies are truly interesting people who take great interest in the things which interest them and no interest at all in the things which don’t. People are a good example. When an Aspie happens upon someone they like, they like them a lot and in fact become a “specimen” for their collection. They will study you with the same intensity they do other interests until the lose interest, which may or may not take time, it just depends on how interesting you are. So if an Aspie loses interest in you quickly you might consider that you aren’t as interesting as you thought!