I Have Asperger's

The unique perspective of the world through the eyes of a girl with Asperger's Syndrome

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Trash or Recycling

Posted by Admin on December 31, 2013 at 8:15 AM

While growing up, I remember many times where I would see a picture of a large bin with a person putting a piece of garbage into it.  Or I would see a picture of people separating items to their appropriate recycling containers.  I walk by trash cans every day.  I hear the trucks coming to collect it every week.  I know what to do with trash at these times.  

 

But when it comes to everyday life, I have no clue.  At least not right away...  

 

There are a couple of nearly empty boxes of stale cereal sitting on the kitchen shelf.   If that cereal was still edible, and I had enough for a full bowl, that would be the right place for it.  But time has passed and it no longer belongs there.  So at what point am I supposed to realize that it's time to get rid of those boxes?  When does that moment "click" and instead of pouring myself a bowl, I decide to throw away the crumbs and recycle the box?  It doesn't.  I put the box away.

 

There is a piece of candy that I find in my purse when I get home.  I unwrap it and eat it.  That's what you do with candy.  But wait....there's still something left over.  There's a wrapper that the candy was in.  I'm so engrossed in what I want to do next, that I can't process what I'm supposed to do with this leftover piece of plastic.  I either put it in my pocket or just completely drop it.  I don't want to hold onto it, but I just don't remember what I'm supposed to do.  I don't see it as garbage yet.  I see it as a piece of candy that I've eaten.  Or, perhaps I realize that there is another piece in my purse, and I might as well wait until I eat the other piece to figure out what I'm doing with these leftover remains.

 

This is how my mind works.  I have Asperger's.  I'm 24 years old, and I just finally started to realize when an item belongs in the trash or recycling.

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3 Comments

Reply Mr.Id
3:07 AM on January 14, 2014 
I am 27 and pretty sure I have aspergers. My family was very tolerant of odd people though (lived with schizophrenic family members) and so never did any real diagnosis. You post clicked with me. At this very moment there are 4 boxes of cereal, downstairs, none of which have enough for a full bowl and two of which have not been used since July. I see them, I know there is not enough for a full bowl (same with that last half ounce of milk) and that I will not eat them, but I still put the boxes back up and have left them alone. I never thought of it before reading your post, but you are right. I there was cereal in the box, so it didn't go in the trash in my mind even though I knew at the time, and still know, that I will not use the cereal. I think I'll go do this now (it is 3 am so sounds like a good time anyway).
Reply Lori D.
11:44 AM on January 22, 2014 
I have met a handful of mostly women age ranges 24 - 45 who have been diagnosed with Aspergers. All of them were originally diagnosed with ADHD and not diagnosed with Aspergers until their adulthood. I have a cousin with Autism and he is nonverbal, such a gentle soul. Your blog is really helping me learn a lot about the nature of Asperger's in a person's life. I am eager to learn more so that I can help children with Asperger's learn how to cope in any environment as they grow into adulthood.
Reply Birdie
11:00 PM on May 16, 2014 
I like to mix all the leftover cereal into one bowl if there's only a little left in each box, otherwise it just sits there not getting eaten. I hate wasting anything that I think I might eat (or do something with if it's not an edible item) at some point. The tiny little bit of milk or leftovers that I won't eat... I MIGHT drink the last drop, but the leftovers (or little bit of sour cream or something) will usually get left in the fridge until it becomes in danger of molding (or actually molding...) so I'm forced to throw it out. Hmm... this kind of ended up a random tangent, didn't it...?

Mr.Id says...
I am 27 and pretty sure I have aspergers. My family was very tolerant of odd people though (lived with schizophrenic family members) and so never did any real diagnosis. You post clicked with me. At this very moment there are 4 boxes of cereal, downstairs, none of which have enough for a full bowl and two of which have not been used since July. I see them, I know there is not enough for a full bowl (same with that last half ounce of milk) and that I will not eat them, but I still put the boxes back up and have left them alone. I never thought of it before reading your post, but you are right. I there was cereal in the box, so it didn't go in the trash in my mind even though I knew at the time, and still know, that I will not use the cereal. I think I'll go do this now (it is 3 am so sounds like a good time anyway).