A common thing I have heard from various people is that a lot of people on the autism spectrum (especially Aspies) are either geeks or nerds and that is a good thing. I have also been told on numerous occasions that a lot of people are undiagnosed in engineering professions or professions related to working on computers. My own observation has been that this is true. It also seems true that there are a lot of geeks and nerds who fall somewhere on the autism spectrum who have gone undiagnosed for one reason or another. Me personally, I identify myself as a nerd/borderline geek. Nerd sounds cooler, so that is why I go with that term.
The reason a lot of people in the engineering or computer professions tend to go undiagnosed is because they are able to financially take care of themselves and even form some bonds with their co-workers or friends from school who share similar passions. A while back I made a YouTube video about The Big Bang Theory and how I felt many of the characters, especially Sheldon feel somewhere on the autism spectrum. It is my theory that the people involved on the show are well aware that these characters have Asperger’s Syndrome, but just like in real life, they go undiagnosed due to their ability to find intellectual and financial success. Social success, however, is another story altogether.
However, I want to add that there are other nerds and geeks that are on the autism spectrum that have gone undiagnosed. What I mean by this is that there are people who aren’t as financially successful like the characters on The Big Bang Theory. Where do you meet such interesting people? A common meeting ground would be major conventions like Comic Con and Anime Expo or BotCon or pretty much anything related to nerd/geek culture. Me, I am very much guilty of going to such conventions, and I have even started Cosplaying which is where you dress up as characters from TV shows, comic books, anime series, video games, etc.
Now, I also want to say that there are a lot of people not on the autism spectrum who are into what is considered this nerd culture. As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say that things like comic books and Star Trek have finally become the trendy popular things with society as a whole. Nowadays, it seems to be cool if you are into these sort of things whereas back in the 80’s and most of the 90’s, you would be shunned by society for liking these things. I guess the moral of the story is that society was behind times and for once, those of us on the autism spectrum were ahead of times. Actually, I would argue that a lot of us with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are very much in-tune with what is going to be the next big thing before the rest of society. For instance, I used to be big on technology, and I think there are a few Aspies who know what the next big technological breakthrough is going to be before the general audience.
So, what is that I am trying to get at? I guess I am saying that it is cool to be a nerd or a geek or both. Today, society seems to be more open and liking Iron Man and Captain Kirk can actually be seen as something cool and not something that only dorks like. I think this is a good thing. I am rather happy to see a lot of other people take passion in my likes. And, I think the direction society is going in is a good thing.
With that said, I welcome your comments and/or questions. What are your thoughts? Am I right? Did I get some things wrong? I look forward to hearing from you, and with that said, I would like to wish everyone a most awesome day of awesomeness!
Just as a quick nerd/geek culture bonus, here is a video I did a few years ago about Star Wars vs. Star Trek!