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@Gerald Wilgus
It is sad, I can't deny that. Yet, maybe there were positives too?

On an interview I heard with Temple Grandin she said that parents and children introduce themselves to her all the time and what they want to tell her about is their autisim. She said she would rather hear about the book they just read or the project they are interested in. She said she didn't think childrens lives should be about their autisim.

While understanding and specific to me education might have have helped me go further, it might have, unintentionally, created a world for me that was about my disability. We can never know for sure.

Another point I want to make is, I had quite a few challenges growing up. As an adult I floundered, lost in an abusive marriage and deep emotional pain. The scars are still there but I had a transformation from a passive, trusting, naive door mat, to me. The me I am may not have been possible without the challenges. I quite like myself now. I really don't want to give that up. But dang, if I could pair my mind with my 20 year old body, I might become an astronaut. :)
I wonder about how any of us cope, especially when undiagnosed, yet do not identify as our dysfunction. I never experienced an abusive relationship yet feel scarred by a lack of any intimate social relationship at a time of life when this is important for social development. Rebuilding myself from percieved rejection probably let me understand the relationship I wanted, so I was prepared to really see the personality of my spouse when I met her though I cannot understand emotional/social signals. That was the only positive to come out of that trauma.

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