Prepare to enter the wild and wooly world of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by intellignce, quirks, social difficulties and downright strange and oddish behaviours.

People with Aspergers generally are high functioning in everyday life but have great difficulty connecting with others due to the inability to read faces, body language and subtle verbal clues. They also tend to take words literally and have a hard time multi-tasking.

Oversensitivity to touch (clothing has to be soft and often the tags removed), light (do not leave home without the sunglasses), sound (loud noises and noisey places are avoided), taste (many Aspies have quite a limited diet and are frequently very picky eaters) and smells makes the everyday existence more of a challenge.

Fasten your seatbelts and come on in...
To find out more about what Aspergers is..please check out my earliest blog entries

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Smell and Aspergers

I didn't realize this..until I found myself on a trip, away from home and in a strange, new location...but...
I Smell Everything
I, literally, go around and smell things and environments. When I got into the car with my travel companions..the smell of peoples was overwhelming. There was hairspray, perfume, deodorant, sweat, a whole lot of different things going on to the point that I was very unnerved and questioned whether I could make a three hour journey with so many strange and foreign, well, alarming odors. It did diminish as the trip wore on. I got used to it and adapted.
Next stop was the hotel where I would be staying for a couple of nights. Right away I noticed that I was curious/ apprehensive about how the room would smell and i was relieved when it was just fine.
I found myself smelling everything, from the bedding, to the towels, the new soap, the water, food served to my companions, drinks, etc.
And not only was I smelling things but environments as well..every new restaurant, restroom, meeting room and location.
My Eldest son, who also has Aspergers, had always, as long as I could remember, overtly smelled everything and I found it to be...rather queer, unsightly and downright embarrassing so I think that is why I put my need to smell underground. I really did not care to look that silly and out-of-place.
So, once I discovered that I did this..and, quite honestly, I never knew this until last week, I wanted the reason, the rational, the why.
In thinking about it, I smell in order to: a) figure out if my environment is safe, acceptable, comfortable, free from danger, poison and other unpleasantries. b) discover what I can safely touch. I notice that I do not touch unless I smell and realize that it is okay and will probably not harm me. c) in order to tell what is real or not. Say, artificial flowers versus real ones or the wonderful smell of real leather as opposed to irritating fake plastic furniture and such.
Smells are orientating..I found myself gravitating toward flowers that smelled familiar when I ventured into a brand new, large store full of odd, unusual and somewhat threatening odors. The scent of the familiar was very comforting and reassuring...downright calming and peaceful.
I love standing outdoors and just engaging, experiencing the variety of scents of nature, the flowers, the trees, the soil, the leaves...its a cacophony of pleasantries, familiarity and home.
Throughout the summer, I fill my home with freshly cut flowers, herbs and even aromatic tree branches. And in the winter, I utilize the grocery store flower selection quite liberally and it is more common than naught, to find flowers in my home.
I will no longer castigate Eldest for his overt nostril flares. I finally get it. Its a good thing :)

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