Having Asperger’s makes it hard for me to understand what people are thinking, why people react to situations the way the do, and how other people connect with their friends and family.
I have always loved watching TV and movies. Even when I was little I would stay inside and watch the same show over and over again. I soon found that watching the characters in the experiences. I always found it hard to relate to the world around me. I found it challenging to follow and remember all of the lives and information about the people close to me.
But when I was watching a TV show, like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, I found it easy to follow all the characters information and the sub characters they interacted with. When someone gave me important information about themselves I would try to picture it using the characters in “Buffy”. This helped me remember social interactions much better and allowed me to understand the persons actions in the stories they would tell me.
In the past I have found it difficult to remember when things have happened in my life. I would mix up things happening in the summer with things that actually happened in the winter. People often talk about our brains having folders with different information stored in each folder. But it was like my brain had only one folder and therefore all the information I took in was put in that one folder, making my brain a jumbled mess. But when I was watching “Buffy” I could differentiate between each season and each episode easily. The information was clear and linear in my brain. After realizing this, I tried to think of the seasons of weather like the season of “Buffy”. I would put each memory in a “season folder” in my brain which made my brain less of a mess and I was able to remember things in the way they actually happened.
I have always thought that people make no sense. Their actions do not always correspond with what they are really feeling and the way they interact with others do not follow any concrete patterns. These things are true, but by watching “Buffy” I have been able to see the so called patterns that young adults follow when they interact. I would watch two characters on “Buffy” have a conversation and understand why Buffy would flip her hair, or why Willow would look down and away when talking to Oz. I would them apply what I watched to my interactions with others. This helped me understand people much better so that interacted with people did not have no be so scary.
My parents always wanted me to read books or go out and play with friends. They saw me sitting in front of the TV and thought that I must just need an extra kick to be social, or that I was shy and they just needed to bring me out of my shell. I wish I had the words back then to tell them that social interactions terrified me and by watching TV I was doing research for the future. I hope that parents who may read this will understand that your child or friend that spends a majority of their time in front of a screen is not lazy or disinterested in the world, they may simply be trying to make it a little less scary.
Here is a video I thought was very interesting. It is about a boy who learned how to relate to the world trough different Disney movies.