Overthinking and Why I Wouldn’t Wish It On My Worst Enemies

All of us can have the tendency to worry, or get anxious, or fear something, or doubt something, or put a little more thought into something than is worth the effort.  But not all of us are overthinkers nor does everyone overanalyze everything, and for that I’m grateful for the ones who don’t, including my wife.

Because overthinking is war, and war is hell.

Overthinking is torture.  If left untamed or mishandled, it’ll seep into your everyday life.  It’ll be there waiting for you when you wake up in the morning, follow you to work, grow louder to be heard over the noises at work, then follow you back home.  Overly worrying about something and overthinking can open a door for spiritual oppression and raise the likelihood of depression.  It saps your mental and physical energy.  It weakens your motivation and on some days even kills it entirely.  It leaves you feeling fatigued, confused, and in some cases even hopeless.

So if you can’t already guess, I am currently going through a slow process of recovering from too much overthinking that did a number on my physical and mental energy.  This overthinking was never worth it in the first place, and has the ability to destroy aspects of my life that I could never give up on.

I’m never giving up on what I’m doing, even on my hardest days.  I’ll admit, even sitting down to write this article made me feel nervous because writing an article about overthinking meant having to dwell on what I sometimes go through, which is honestly the last thing I want to do.  Training my mind not to overthink or ponder negatively however has been a hard but worthy process that’ll help me get back on my feet and coast forward with confidence.


Let Me Just Start From the Beginning With This Whole Autism Thing

Screw it, let me just go back to the beginning when I was first diagnosed on the autism spectrum.  It’s time for a soft reboot, a more open and honest edition than the one before.

This is not to say that I’ve been lying to any of you this whole time about my place on the spectrum and all the things that come with it, but after I’ve spent some time living in my own apartment and doing everything on my own, it has allowed me to take a much more focused look at myself and become more self-aware of my own habits and quirks, whether they be a direct result of autism or something else.  Since I’m living on my own now, I’m the only person I pay any attention to, which has caused me to realize things about myself and my autistic nature that I usually didn’t give a second thought about before.

If I was diagnosed today instead of June 25, 2015, there would be so many things I would tell the psychologist differently.  I would tell him most of the things I told him when I was really diagnosed, and so much more.  The diagnosis I have now is certainly an accurate summary of me then, but it isn’t quite now.

I would tell him that not only do I have full blown conversations with myself as a way to process my thoughts (which sure seems to be the only way for me), but I also have the weird tendency to veer so horribly off topic and then try to pull myself back to the original topic.  Knowing this actually helps me understand how my brain is truly wired.  I would tell him that my brain seems to stop working sometimes when I’m talking.  My words will stumble over each other and I struggle so hard to speak in a way that makes sense.  Sometimes I’ll say something out loud, remember the specific word or phrase came from a song I listen to a lot, then start singing out loud to that song (doesn’t matter if I’m alone or in public).  I would tell him that I have the tendency to make random noises or even blurt out random words (once in a while it even borders on what would be expected from Tourette’s Syndrome).  Just the other day on the bus, I randomly blurted out the word ‘wheels!’ for no reason and someone could’ve heard me.  I would tell him that I quote lines from movies, shows, games, and podcasts, and might repeat those lines twenty times in a day.  I would tell him that my brain seems to act like a slow, older computer processor, where sometimes when people tell me something, it takes me several seconds to catch on, or though I ‘hear’ the words just fine and I’m doing my best to listen, I look confused and have to ask for something to be repeated.

I would tell him that I need to ‘see’ certain things to understand them.  I had to ask my boss at the warehouse I work at the other day to show me what three boxes stacked on top and one row of four of those stacks looks like.  I would tell him that I feel the constant need to answer texts the second I receive them, which is bad when I’m at one of my jobs.  I would tell him that I obsessively think about the same things all day, and go through the exact same thought process of said things repeatedly until it’s like beating a dead horse.  I would tell him my tendency to overanalyze, overthink, and drain the fountain of certain topics completely dry.

There’s a lot more I would tell him, so much more.  Maybe the results of my diagnosis would be different now than it was then.  Maybe some day I’ll look into my other quirks and habits and trace them back to whatever source they may come from.  It’s hard to care too much about it right now though, because they haven’t impacted my life much in a negative way.  I’ve managed, I’ve survived.

Welcome to my world.

What It’s Like To Date My Introverted Girlfriend

Dating my girlfriend is like a box of chocolates.  I never know what I’m going to get each day I’m with her.  There are days when she has a lot to say, a lot of energy to expel, and her feelings and expressions have a wider range, and then there are days where she has the thousand-yard stare, with her face almost completely devoid of expression, and she looks like she’s about to pass out into sleep right where she’s standing.

Do you ever have that moment in your life when something so small and seemingly insignificant happens that means something amazing to you that you feel like popping open a bottle of champagne?  That’s me just about every time my girlfriend has a topic of her own she wants to bring up when I text her at night.  It means conversation will be had, and it’s wonderful.  Whenever my girlfriend suggests doing something with a group, the feeling is like soaring high on wings like eagles.  You feel like maybe, just maybe, introducing her to other people has helped her step out of her comfort zone.

After a couple hours being around other people, she says that her brain is screaming at her to retreat to be alone somewhere, and there’s nothing I can do about that but let her go be alone.  Whenever we part ways, she goes to regain her energy while I spend some time losing my own and soon have to talk to someone else to get it back.

There will be times when our conversations are on fire and we go on for a while bouncing our words back and forth between each other, but then the fire will start to die out, and I still have the energy to keep going but the ‘social light’ is dying in my girlfriend’s eyes.

I asked her once why she, as an introvert, would ever even glance at the idea of getting married, and her response was that it’s because she would be marrying the person she ‘hates the least’.  In other words, she would be marrying the one person she enjoys spending time with the most out of everyone her introverted nature allows her to interact with.

You might think I’m frustrated.  You might think I’m venting about my girlfriend in a negative way.  These aren’t complaints.  These aren’t criticisms.  They are part of what makes up my girlfriend, but only part.  She is an introvert, and nothing will change that aspect of her.  She may be able to step outside her comfort zone and meet more people or spend longer periods of time around others including me, but she will always be an introvert that needs time to herself every now and then, so that she can regain energy to give next time we see each other.

Dating someone who is not only introverted but also on the autism spectrum has brought on a very educational and informative two and a half years for me with its own ups and downs, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  Though my extroverted self and her introverted self have clashed, very few moments in my life can top the time when my girlfriend called me ‘God’s best for her’.  Very few moments can top the time when my girlfriend told someone we know that God brought along the guy that was meant for her.  Her lack of emotional expression doesn’t mean she’s beyond any feelings.  She gets stressed, even anxious at times.  She gets happy.  She gets frustrated.  She has even cried.  Not often but enough to show that at the end of the day she’s still a human that needs to be treated as such.  She’s not emotional, but she has a talent of being emotionally supportive.  The times where, despite her pragmatism and lack of emotional expression, she reaches out and makes my day with encouraging words, physical affection, and random, infectious smiles reminds me that what makes her different from me is partially what makes her precious, and doesn’t make her any less lovable.

I don’t just love her.  I’m also proud of her, for how much she has grown during the time I’ve known her and how much I’ve seen her step outside her comfort zone and try new things, just as I have in the process thanks to her.  Women like her can and deserve to be loved, just like neurotypical women, both extroverted and introverted.


The Hardest Week At Royal Family Kids

Two weeks ago from today was my fifth time volunteering at Royal Family Kids.  For those of you who don’t know, it is a camp for abused and neglected foster children where we give them the ‘royal treatment’ and give them the best experiences they’ve probably had in their whole lifetime. After the first time volunteering, I was deeply moved by the experience and vowed to keep going every year as long as this particular camp keeps coming back.

After the second week there, I had pretty much assumed that I could predict how hard every time at camp would be.  The camper I was assigned to for three of those trips was very introverted, quiet, and easy to work with.  After he ‘graduated’ last year (meaning he grew too old to go), I was assigned a new camper.  One who was the polar opposite of the previous camper.  Day in and day out at camp, he tested my patience and exhausted me both physically and emotionally in ways I’ve never been tested or exhausted at RFK before.  He was a very good kid but a rebellious one too.  I sat with him and listened as he explained his emotional pain, the kind that no child deserves to carry.

There was one evening when we were walking back to our cabin and my camper was already upset.  He was feeling guilt that he didn’t deserve to have.  He blamed himself for the far too many times he had been taken from one home and put into another, and he desperately missed his biological mother.  He sat on the steps in front of the cabin, telling me to go away and that he didn’t want me there.  Since the rules didn’t allow me to leave him alone and since I didn’t want to leave him to begin with, I sat on one of the steps behind him, telling him that I can’t leave him because he’s important to me.

“I’m important to you?!” My camper responded.  It sounded like he was having a hard time believing me, and given his history, it made sense.  That week was the time I had to show him as much as possible that people can stick by him no matter what and are.

After almost a whole week of being accepted and then rejected by him over and over again and struggling with his rebellion as he tested my perseverance with him, he came up to me on the last morning, told me he loved me, and said that he didn’t want to leave the camp.  Later when he wrote something on a rock he was meant to throw into the campground lake as a symbol of leaving something behind, I couldn’t read what he wrote, so I asked him.  It was set like a dramatic scene from a movie. Without looking up at me, after a short pause, his answer was:


Right then and there, I saw a child weary, sad, and heartbroken from the crap the world has dealt him.  Right then and there, I was heartbroken myself, because this young child with a winning smile, wide-eyed enthusiasm, and the desire to sing used that word to describe himself and how he was feeling.  That day was the day I cried harder than I’ve ever cried in my life, and I honestly thought I had cried as hard as I could before that.

When we all returned from the campground for the children’s guardians to pick them up, the children were all getting on a stage to sing a few of the songs they learned at camp.  My camper didn’t want to go up and sing with them, as he was already feeling very down on himself for losing so much of his voice while at camp.  I told him he should do it, but he kept turning down the offer, so I left him alone.  A few minutes later however, he asked me if I really wanted him to go up and I told him I would love it if he does.  He let that be enough, and he joined the rest of the kids to sing the songs.

Parting with him when his guardians came to pick him up was one of the hardest moments of my life.  I knew that I was going to see him again eventually, but having to part ways in that moment was still heartbreaking and challenging.  When he hugged me before leaving, he didn’t let go for a while.  I told him I’ll see him again and he said ‘okay’, and it was clear in his tone that he was sad to go, but was willing to trust me when I said that to him.

So many of these moments I just mentioned felt like scenes out of a dramatic movie, so I wondered how I would be able to tell these stories to my friends without them thinking I was lying.  Even after all that though, even though I’m still recovering from that week and probably will be for a while, and even though that was easily the hardest and most challenging week I’ve ever had at RFK, I cannot wait to apply again for next year.

I (Sort Of) Fell Into the Past Last Week

This last Tuesday night, I got off the bus after work heading to a place I was staying at for a week while my parents were on vacation.  It’s dark, it’s almost 9:00, and I step off feeling a strong, crazy sense of deja vu.  Deja vu was easily the appropriate phrase of that week, as I walked down very familiar streets and took very familiar bus routes, all around where I used to live with family friends nearly three years ago.  At the time, it was common for me to get off work fairly late and head back home, getting dropped off at the same spot and walking the distance to finish my trip.  Only this time, since I was staying somewhere else, after passing a street and walking a few blocks, I took a right instead of a left.  That’s when the similarities practically ended, and it’s jarring.

When I went back to the house the second night there last week, I had to remind myself out loud to take a different turn than what I remember being used to.  It was a weird experience feeling like I had fallen into the past.  Just to make it even weirder, I played music on my iPhone that I used to listen to all the time during my trips back home three years ago.  Then, while reliving these walks over a couple nights, I got to reflect on what has changed in my life.  I got to reflect on how I’ve changed.

Nearly four years ago was when I went through some of the worst depression I’ve ever experienced in my life before and since.  It was a cluster of different factors that caused this, but while I have a few fond memories of that time period, I realize they’re honestly few and far between, especially when I take a step back and look at the bigger picture of it all.  While walking back to the place I was staying at, I also happened to be texting my girlfriend, even joking that I have fallen into the past and that I’m talking to my girlfriend from the future, which made the whole experience even stranger.  Three years ago, I didn’t have a phone plan, so there was no texting while walking back home.  I even stopped at the crossroads where I had to take a right and took pictures of the same streetlights I took pictures of three years ago.  It was an experience of revisiting the past, but also realizing what I’ve gained since then.  A higher self-esteem, a better view of myself, an amazing girlfriend whom I’ve been with for nearly two years now and, though it’s a small thing, a freaking phone plan.  I even spent a few minutes thanking God for the things I learned at the time and what I’ve gained since then.

The second half of the week was almost another beast entirely.  It’s possible the gloomy weather had something to do with it, but I felt more down about being in the neighborhood.  I wished that things didn’t go as badly as they did back then, and I wished for some of the things I lost at that time.  It goes to show that not all wounds just disappear overnight.  People still have scars, and it takes years for some people to truly heal.  Nearly three years isn’t that long a time.  During this time, I had to basically rebuild my self-esteem from the ground up and seek out counseling in order to get help moving on.  Even after all this, a few scars still remain.  I still think about that nine-month period from over three years ago at least once or twice a week.  Still, one thing I did realize even with the lower second half of the week, I am stronger than I was then.  I have a much more positive view of myself now.  I actually kind of like myself now, which is saying a lot compared to how I felt several years ago.  I want to live a life of purpose and go far.  I’d be lying if I said that that’s exactly what I wanted for myself several years ago.

To all those who rooted for me at that time and still do now, thank you.

My Top 5 Favorite and Most Highly Recommended Books Of All Time

This week I’m doing something a little different.  I’ve been reading for more than half of my life now and occasionally I’ll run into a book that turns out to be something truly special.  They connect with me in a way very few other books can.  That being said, I’m going to list my top five favorite and most strongly recommended books of all time (in no particular order), with a few reasons attached for why I love each book.  One thing I’d just like to say right off the bat is that each book is almost an entirely different genre and the story very different, which personally makes me happy because it means there’s a variety of different genres that have appealed to me.  So without further ado, let’s jump in!

  1. Eli by Bill Myers (2000) – Eli is about a man named Conrad who ends up in a terrible car accident that puts him in a comatose state.  Even though he’s in the hospital in comatose, Conrad finds himself thrust into a world where Jesus has come to earth for the first time in the modern day, not two thousand years ago.  It’s a powerful story involving some of the same themes as the Gospels, but with a modern twist.  Many events from the Gospels are retold here with a modern sheen to make it more relatable.  This book really moved me to tears, reminding me of Jesus’s sacrifice and how He has his own versions of justice and mercy (two words that are actually brought up rather frequently in this book) that far transcends our own understanding.  It’s a story about a man’s second chance of redemption while on the verge of death.  Because it came out eighteen years ago, it might feel a little dated in terms of the modern implications, but if you don’t mind hopping back to a time before social media and iPhones (yeah, I knew you would), then this book will not disappoint.  I read it in 2011, eleven years after the book came out, and it still connected with me just as well as it would’ve back in 2000.

2. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006) – Cormac McCarthy has always been an author that approaches his stories with unique writing styles, and this one is no exception.  This story is about a man and his son (both left nameless) traveling through post-apocalyptic America.  It’s a simple premise with a very bleak, tragic, and somber atmosphere.  We’re never told what happened that caused America to become the wasteland it is in this book, but that doesn’t make it any less compelling or even just simply good.  Cormac writes with broken grammar, reflecting the brokenness that is the world the father and son now live in.  There are no chapter breaks despite it being over 300 pages long, and even the dialogue feels broken and repetitive (you’ll also need to read closely for the dialogue since there are no quotation marks).  The style in which the book was written is just as affecting as the story that’s told, and there’s very little hope offered here.  However, there’s just enough of a spark that’ll make you want to keep reading.  You find yourself rooting for the father and son to make it to their destination and find a happier life in a place that’s unbelievably bleak, where animals no longer exist, fires rage, and cannibals roam the lands.  It is a real treasure, and I highly recommend it as well as a walk under the sun afterwards.  This book will really make you realize how good you have it.

3. What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson (1978) – In 2013, I went through a Richard Matheson phase, where I was going out and reading all kinds of books and short stories he wrote, some of them I loved and some of them not so much, but regardless I was hopelessly intrigued with his writing.  Finally, I picked up What Dreams May Come, which was a different kind of story than what I was used to by Matheson, given that he wrote a lot of horror.  While there are a few elements of horror in the story, this is something deeply profound.  It’s about a man named Chris who dies in a car accident (yes, another car accident book) and goes to Paradise in the afterlife (this is not heaven from the Bible, sorry).  Shortly afterwards, his wife commits suicide in the wake of her husband’s death and ends up going to hell.  Determined to be reunited with his wife, Chris is willing to descend down into hell to rescue her so that she doesn’t have to continue enduring eternal suffering.  This is a powerful book but a controversial one too.  Many Christians would probably take issue to how much this book contradicts what the Bible says about the afterlife.  Now, I’m well aware that this is fantasy and don’t believe a lot of the things this book depicts, but it does support questions I’ve had about the afterlife.  If a loved one of mine doesn’t make it to heaven but I do, how would I really feel?  Surely I wouldn’t just shrug it off, right?  If you go into this book knowing it’s fantasy, then you’ll probably enjoy this book just as it is.  I for one highly recommend it.

4. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick – This book has stuck to me like a fly that just won’t go away.  Several years after reading it for the first time, it still lingers in the back of my mind.  It’s like honey and glue sticking to my brain.  It makes me cry whenever I open it to certain sections.  I still think about it often, and I’ve recommended it to several other people.  This book is about a young man named Leonard, whose eighteenth birthday is the day he plans on killing his ex-best friend and then himself.  Yeah, sounds pretty bleak, and for a while it really is.  For a significant portion of the book, Leonard is in a dark place.  He has his grandfather’s war trophy, a Nazi P-38, which he intends on using against his former friend and himself.  Written with broken prose at times and letters written by Leonard that are meant to come from his future wife and other important people he hopes to have in his life, this book is one of the most moving, emotionally gripping stories I’ve ever read.  It can also be–hard–to recommend to people.  While I personally loved this story for its themes and direction, this is easily the most controversial in the list for its content.  There’s more R-rated content here than in any of the other books, and while I found a lot of it to actually be justified given the context, other readers might feel squeamish reading.  This book deals with depression, trauma, suicide, and loneliness, and Matthew Quick  does not hold back when it comes to depicting these things.  I love this book because of the way Matthew handled the themes, and how I related to a few of the things Leonard was thinking.  The letters in particular really got to me because of the ‘better’ future it painted.  It’s something we all hope for, and it’s one thing that keeps us going.

5. The 39 Deaths Of Adam Strand by Gregory Galloway – Finally, there’s this jewel of a book.  Adam Strand isn’t depressed, he’s just bored.  So he kills himself.  Thirty-nine times.  Each time he kills himself, he comes back to life unscathed from his attempt and walks it off like it was nothing.  He wants to die and stay dead, but for some reason (one we’ll never actually find out) he can’t seem to stay dead.  There’s actually very little story to speak of here, but that’s actually part of its beauty.  It remains engaging by showing us how Adam’s life goes and how this ability to come back to life affects him.  He eventually comes to learn that there’s more he needs to do in his life, even if they may just be little things.  With the exception of Adam’s strange resurrection power, this book is very grounded.  The character development is subtle at its finest, and the few relationships Adam has feel organic and vulnerable.  By the end of the book, Adam isn’t a ‘changed man’, but he’s close enough to be well on his way.  The book doesn’t fall into most YA cliches, and every time you think it’s about to, it takes you in a completely different direction and introduces something different.  Gregory Galloway is a literary genius, and I’m honestly shocked that this book isn’t being read in a college class.  If a sloppy, graphic movie like mother! is being shown in classes, then this book has every right to be read.  This is a strong recommend if you don’t mind a little language and of course some details involving suicide attempts (that of course, end up fruitless in the end).


Autism Awareness Month Is Upon Us Again

Well, I was going to write and publish Part 2 of Intellectualism vs Emotion this week, but then I realized that it’s now Autism Awareness Month.  Several years ago, I decided that this blog was going to have a specific theme, and if you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you’re well aware that that theme is autism.

Now it’s National Autism Awareness Month.  More often than usual, you’re seeing the color blue around.  The White House was lit in a solid blue just the other night to acknowledge this month.  The employees in the County Sheriff’s office in Johnson County, Kansas is acknowledging the month by wearing blue Autism Speaks bands which they received as donations.  Today, the Newton Learning Center will be celebrating the month with their fifth annual Reno Aces Night.  Tenth grader, Briana Ward, a young teen on the autism spectrum, will be throwing out the first pitch in the game.  I think it’s great that autism has its own month in the year to really be acknowledged and respected.  This of course, doesn’t mean that autism and how it affects people should be ignored for the remaining eleven months in the year, but seeing as how the autism spectrum gets its own month to be noticed is a step in the right direction.

Given it’s National Autism Awareness Month, different news outlets and people have published tips for how to understand autism.  One in particular I’ve found is from Julia Hood from the Pingree Autism Center of Learning.  Her tips are as follows:

  • Recognize that you cannot always tell if a child has autism – or other disabilities – just by looking at them. (My own note: this is especially true for individuals who are high-functioning).
  • Don’t judge others by their child’s behavior. It is important to be understanding that there could be more going on than just what appears.
  • If a family member or friend has a child with autism, offer to help them. Ask, “Is there something I can do to help you?” (My own note: This is especially helpful for school or college students on the spectrum.  We need to be willing to accommodate).
  • Educate yourself about autism and other disabilities, especially “invisible disabilities”.
  • If you do know a family with a child who has autism, find out what their interests are prior to scheduling an activity. Also, find out if there are certain things that are ‘triggers’ and lead to disruptive behavior.

This year, upon learning that National Autism Awareness Month was upon us again, it makes me think about the people on the spectrum in my life.  I think about my middle brother, my girlfriend, and a few friends of mine who are on the spectrum.  I think about how diverse they actually are when it comes to their place on the spectrum.  That’s why autism is referred to as a ‘spectrum’ to begin with.  All people on the spectrum may have a few traits in common, but all of them also have vastly different traits as well.  That’s why when you meet one person who has autism, you’ve met only one person on the spectrum, not all.  It’s one of the ways that autism is unique.  If there is one message that I want to send to people for National Autism Awareness Month this year, it’s this: be careful to not lump all autistic people in the same group.  Understand that all autistic people have their own unique places on the spectrum, which makes them different.  Don’t let this discourage you when it comes to learning about them or trying to understand them.  Research is key, but you can also ask autistic people questions.  A lot of people on the spectrum who have been diagnosed are willing to answer any questions you might have, and even if it’s difficult for them to explain certain things, sometimes all it takes is an observant eye to recognize certain behaviors, habits, and patterns.

So in conclusion, I encourage you this month to take some time to learn about autism, and how you can make people on the spectrum feel more welcome in this world.

Intellectualism vs. Emotion: How We Can Differentiate Between the Two Part 1

I’m keeping the post short today with some facts I’ve learned recently while doing research on intellectualism.  A lot of people on the autism spectrum tend to be intellectual rather than emotional.  Now, the general idea most people have about intellectualism is that it’s supposed to mean ‘smart’ or ‘intelligent’.  What it actually means is pretty different, but with a few similarities.  People who have an intellectual mind are people who make decisions based on what is rational or logical, rarely what their ‘feelings’ or ’emotions’ are telling them.  To put it simply, people with an intellectual thought process make decisions from the brain, not from the heart.  The idea that the person processes things from a ‘logical’ standpoint is where a lot of people tend to think of intellectualism as simple ‘smarts’, when in reality it really is just the ability to observe things in a way that most people should.  Using your head more than your heart is something that has always proven to be the smarter choice anyway.  Using your heart has proven to lead to hasty, irrational decision making that I myself have done to a fault too.

My girlfriend is a perfect example of one I know personally who makes decisions based on rationalism and logic.  She’s easily the Spock in the relationship and I’m the Kirk.  She’s the brains of the relationship and I’m the heart, as we both have acknowledged at one time.  Though this has sometimes led to us butting heads over certain things, we don’t try to encourage each other to think more like the opposite of how we already think.  Allowing the relationship to be balanced out through two different modes of thinking has allowed us to feel satisfied in the relationship since we’ve been willing to make compromises for each other, and we learn to understand how the other thinks, therefore we don’t try to do the same thing over and over again.  I have the tendency to feel emotions across a wide range and in certain points to an extreme, while my girlfriend mostly stays reserved and only feels about two or three emotions, most of the time feeling them in the extreme since they’re not things she feels often in the first place.

Now, to cap this short article off, not every person on the autism spectrum is an ‘intellectual’.  Obviously, since I’ve been diagnosed on the spectrum and I’m writing this blog.  There are people on the spectrum who think intellectually and there are people who aren’t on the spectrum that think intellectually (I can even think of a few people I know who are in the latter).  What I’ve observed when it comes to intellectuals and emotional people who happen to be on the spectrum, I’ve found that if a person fits one category, it’s usually to the extreme.  An autistic intellectual may seem like he or she has very little emotion at all and can even come off as mechanical.  This isn’t to say of course that we should just assume they have no emotion at all and therefore treat the person differently.  People have some range of emotions no matter how limited it may be.  An autistic person who’s driven by emotions might act dramatic as he goes about it and work tirelessly to succeed in doing something if it’s on his (keyword:) heart.  As I’ve said before, autism is a wide spectrum, and while most people on it will share some of the same traits, most of them have very different traits as well.