Hello. I seem, at first appearance, to be a normal, everyday girl. Then you get to know me. I change from a 'normal' girl to a somewhat immature, kind of shy or else too talkative, definately immature young woman. You begin to wonder what's up with me when I talk on and on obsessively about one topic, even when everyone around me lost interest ten minutes earlier. You find it strange that I freak out about change, about meeting new people. You're amazed by my memory, the way I can ramble off random facts about any number of subjects. You might even be unnerved by how real imaginary characters, be they from my fantasies or another's, are to me. Eventually, I may become too much for you to handle, to deal with. You begin to wonder, what is up with me? Now I will tell you.
I have Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), a high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Because of this, I have trouble reading social cues. I am often off in my own little world. I can not think like most other people do. It often makes me more immature than would be expected from someone my age.
'That's impossible,' you might think, because I am intelligent and seem normal at first. It is not. I am simply high-functioning. That does not mean I do not have this disorder.
You may think I'm just making excuses. It may seem that because there are no outward signs of a disorder, nothing obvious, that means it isn't there. That's not true. Perhaps I have spent years developing coping skills, so that I might not stick out so much.
You may think you don't know me. Perhaps not. Perhaps you do. I might be your sister, your daughter, your roommate, your friend. I might be the quiet girl in the back of the room, or the person who seems cold and aloof.
Don't judge me because I might be different. I am a person like you. I know that I am not like others. I often want to join your world, but can't. Please don't ignore me. Don't walk away, thinking I'm a freak. Perhaps, someday, you will be trying to connect to the outside world, as I am now.