• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”
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Aspies Find a Way

Aspie Determination
A few weeks ago my husband emailed me this picture. He said, “This is an Aspie Mouse!” There is nothing that is impossible, you will just figure out a way to get what you want. 

I like Aspie Mouse. I thought that was very insightful and observant on hubby’s part, and hopefully meant to be a compliment.


I heard someone say that some people have trouble thinking outside the box, but Aspies don’t even know that a box even existed! 

I never could understand why others could not seem to solve problems, when to me the solutions seemed simple. But, when I offer my solutions people usually scoff at them. Apparently, my ways are not the way things are done, or more commonly I’m told that it is impossible and can’tbe done. 

Ever since I was very young telling me I could not do something was a sure fire way to get me to do it. I refused the whole idea of cannot

I believe that my Asperger’s Syndrome is at least partly responsible for my stubborn unrelenting determination. The rigidity in my thinking does not allow for the answer to be NO, not when the answer needs to be yes.
If it was something that I wanted to do, or accomplish, there is nothing in the world that could convince me I was incapable of doing it. Unfortunately, life has beaten that optimistic perspective out of me, and I’ve become resigned, complacent, unlike myself, and very unhappy about it. 

The battle with my IT class’s sound byte instructions this weekend made me want to quit. I wanted to drop the class. I wanted to drop the whole idea of school altogether (all or nothing as always). I was about to give up, then I thought about Aspie Mouse.

Now I know what I must do; I must beAspie Mouse, become one with the little mouse trying desperately to find a way to that cheese.


I need to print out the picture of this little mouse, pin it to my bulletin board above my desk, and look at it every time I think I can’t, it’s impossible, or I want to give up.

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.