Tuesday December 15, 2015

'Asperger's is not a disability,' says 11-year-old Devin Smyth

"I want people to know that kids like me do want friends and I do care about what others think," says Devin Smyth on living with Asperger's.

"I want people to know that kids like me do want friends and I do care about what others think," says Devin Smyth on living with Asperger's.

Listen 5:20
"I live with an extra smart brain, I have Aspergers." - Devin Smyth

Devin Smyth lives in Lethbridge, Alberta. He is 11 years old and has Asperger's.

He and his mom, Wendy Smyth share an essay they wrote together about what life with Asperger's is like for Devin.

Read the full essay:

My Reality and Some Fantasy by Devin Smyth

I am almost 12.
I like video games, movies, riding my bike, fancy cars, creating my own movies, making paper planes, origami, and other stuff. I like girls,nice people and I like my family.
Sounds normal but I'm not.
Everyone is different, I'm really different.
I live with an extra smart brain, I have Asperger's.
My brain is very busy, I am always thinking and hearing everything, even when people think I'm not. I remember lots of details in my memory like an elephant. It can be annoying.
I think so much about things, I get stressed out and often get mad or sad.
I get sad at school a lot because I don't get the kids and they don't get me. I want to skip right to being an adult.
I have been teased a lot by boys who don't get me, they mock me or laugh at me. Most girls are nice.
The worst thing about Asperger's is that I try to think people are being kind, because I've been told to think positive. Well duh, If I can't tell if someone's being nice or mean, how is that going to happen? Its called reading tone and cues. Got an app for that Apple?
I know kids are immature and they can't help that their not smart enough to know better.
It still bugs me though.
I wish I was included or that I was good at sports so I could have friends like everyone else.
But I hate sports and I'm not a sports kind of guy.
I want people to know that kids like me do want friends and I do care about what others think.
I read the definition of Asperger's and some of it is for me and some not.
I know I plug my ears when things are loud or I think its going to be startling, I know I talk about the same things a lot, but its my coping.
I talk about my interests because I get nervous that kids won't like me or I will say something wrong and get teased.
When I talk about facts and my interests, then I'm talking but not.
Most of all, I notice that people on tv who are supposed to be sorta like me, have friends and sometimes even a girlfriend.
I wish that was me. Other kids like me at places I've been don't have friends.
The writers need to give their head a shake.
It's not fun never going to birthday parties, never being included in anything unless a teacher makes them, never having a friend invite you to visit like my brothers do, and it really sucks that I have 7 more dreadful years of school ahead.
But I will be strong and courageous because my mom loves me and she doesn't give up.
That is my most important and valued lesson in life, I can persevere.
And I know I will be rich someday, and do lots of cool work like helping poor people and design cool clothes for movies or invent cool technology.
Then when kids who had been mean to me want to take advantage of me, I'll say "sorry suckers, you had your chance." And my pretty wife and me, will drive off on our yacht to see mom and maybe dad if he is still alive, at her nice old folks home I will buy her in Hawaii.

This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar.