On August 6th "Alicia W." made the following comment on the Asperger Syndrome post:
Even though I have Asperger's, I did still find myself agreeing with a lot of this. I've noticed I tend to do some of this stuff over the years, either by analyzing my own behavior from when I was younger or by having it pointed out to me. My symptoms have seemingly improved, or become more manageable over the years, I think in large part because I had a pretty good level of support in school. Either way, it's actually rather embarrassing to look back on. None of it was really my fault, as I couldn't help it, but I definitely [get] why people found me a massive pain while I was growing up. I also definitely understand why people would still find me annoying. I've improved a lot over the years, but I [make] no effort to pretend I'm anything close to normal. I'm just slightly less insufferable.
Alicia W. actually doesn't sound insufferable at all. It's always the people -- with Asperger Syndrome or otherwise -- who have no clue that they're insufferable who are in fact that way. And we all have embarrassing behavior to look back on over the years.
Alicia brought up an interesting point, though, about the difference between people who've been officially diagnosed with ASD -- and therefore are at least somewhat self-aware -- and those who haven't. Undiagnosed Aspies are far less likely to be aware of their own idiosyncrasies, and hypocrisies.
And older people who grew up before Aspergers was generally recognized are far less likely to have been diagnosed.
The two Aspies I know best were never officially diagnosed, and therefore make no attempt to rein in their own behavior. Both frequently think they're right even when they're obviously not, and neither seems to feel the least embarrassment about the incredibly lame excuses they make when they're proven wrong.
I suspect that if they had been diagnosed when young, each would make some effort to be less Aspergery.
An initial diagnosis of Aspergers must come as a body blow to those who receive it. But going through life with a little self-awareness does make things easier on those around you.