You Say Loner, I Say Outcast

God I hate some of these websites out there that discuss Asperger’s Syndrome. You can find them by crosschecking my list against the list that comes up on Google for AS related sites. Generally speaking, unless they are otherwise excellent sites, you’re not going to find them linked here.

For instance, I really despise the ones that describe aspies as “loners.” Okay, some aspies are loners. Definitely. Much like, “some of the population of human beings are loners.”

I’m to bet that for a lot of us out there, we’re only loners by default. You say loner, I say outcast.

What’s the difference? A loner chooses to be alone; an outcast is there by the choices of others. Sure, aspies generally have interests that can sustain them individually for long bursts. However, the outcast aspie, when not hyperfocused on a particular subject or subjects, does seek to have relationships with other humans. And more often than not, the outcast aspie is shunned by those around him or her, resulting in a loner-like state.

True, we are largely self-sustained. Also, while I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, we do enjoy the company of others and we find their input to be interesting. And if not interesting, at least helpful in distracting us from the unending cycles of thoughts in our minds. I know that personally, when left alone too long, I start replaying all of my mistakes and past regrets on an unending loop in my head that only gets louder as the days of isolation continue.

On a nearly completely unrelated note, I’m considering the concept of writing a book on Asperger’s Syndrome. Feel free to tell me I’m insane.


~ by lastcrazyhorn on May 24, 2008.

24 Responses to “You Say Loner, I Say Outcast”

  1. Nope not insane. You are one of the sane-ist person I know 🙂

    I like how you differentiated loner and outcast. You wrote so well there isnt really much for me to say other then well said!


  2. Ah, thank you kind friend. 🙂

  3. What Chey said.

  4. You too. 🙂

  5. There you are! I was worried you’d fallen into the toilet (lest anyone think I’m being really tacky, I’m referring to your illness)! I’m glad to see you are back among the human.

    I think C’s social-butterfly-ness was part of what made his diagnosis late in coming, really, and I always tried to argue this point, although not nearly as well as you did here. Well said.

    I say go for it. Having long ago stopped reading the books, I have no idea if there’s one from the perspective of an Aspie, but even if there is, there should probably be many, many more. And you would write it well.

  6. IF you check out, there are four social ‘types’ as defined by Wing:
    . The aloof group
    . The passive group
    . The active but odd group
    . The over-formal, stilted group.

    The ‘active but odd group’:
    Children of this group make active approaches to others but make that contact in strange ways.

  7. Right. I consider myself to be part of the “active but odd group.”

  8. Im wanting to write a book about CHARGE syndrome but from my perspective. I definately want the story to reflect the medical aspects and some of the diffricultlies but I dont want the book to be a ohh poor charge syndrome people. I want it to be truthful, insightful and uplifting too 🙂

    We will have to compare notes on our writing endevours 🙂 Now if only I could figure out how to start the story. I like to go from begining to end in a straight line but I always have a hard time with making the introduction part lol. Once I get past that I can write for a long time. I just need to get myself started. Any tips?

    Your friend 🙂

  9. Write first; organize later. 🙂

  10. Thanks for that advice 🙂

  11. YES definitely write a book, we need one that’s not written by a doctor and actually a proud aspie!

    i really like how you distinguish loner from outcast. it really shows how people are excluded b/c of our refusal to accommodate everyone rather than putting things on people’s disabilities…

  12. Well, you can’t edit something that doesn’t exist.

    And as for cripchick’s comment – thanks. *rubs hands together while cackling madly-ish*

  13. Oh I wrote tonnes this afternoon. I have more to add. I need to read and comment on your next blog. I read parts of the article. I shall go and respond 🙂

    After that I will write all the stuff I wrote on paper while sitting in a back yard looking at the trees.


  14. I guess the one thing that I keep running back to in my brain about this- are there any true ‘loners’ then? Didn’t at some point, even as a toddler or pre-schooler or kindergartener we all (NT, aspie, and everything in between) attempt to engage with someone else, were then outcast and eventually either decided to ‘be a loner’ (thereby avoiding the repeat rejection) or keep trying getting outcast more and more?

    (don’t know if this makes any sense, my brain is rather mush ATM)

  15. No, you’re making sense. I personally don’t know. I think someone who is a loner by choice (or so they claim) should write a book or something.

  16. fine you twisted my arm…u r insane. BUT! Yep thats a big but. insanity = progress. If u wrote a book…I’d read it :). Who better to be an authority on Aspergers than one who has it…right?!?!

    I totally understand what you mean about loners and outcasts. I too think of myself as an outcast…not a loner. I don’t mind it though…life is easier when no one wants you around.

  17. At least you don’t have to keep up with a social life . . .

  18. Definitely not insane. I would buy your book. I’ve learnt so much through reading your blog.

  19. I was a true loner until i was about 12. Although i was also an outcast as well…

    There have been some books written about autism/AS from an autistic perspective. I can’t remember any of the titles offhand tho, and i don’t own any of them, because they’re all extremely difficult and/or expensive to get hold of. We need more tho…

  20. One is by a kid name Luke Jackson. He was 15 when he wrote the book. He did pretty good for a 15 year old, but I know for a fact that I write a lot a better.

  21. I was pegged as a ‘loner’ throughout primary school, although I only preferred to be alone because it was easier than dealing with all the hurtfulness of children. In high school I was alone at lunch time (I interacted during class) because I couldn’t deal with the large friendship groups that teenage girls inevitably hang around in.
    I remeber overhearing someone in primary school, a new student, musing about whether to go say hello to me because I looked lonely, only to have another child declare robustly, “nah, she’s a loner, she doesn’t want friends.” I nearly cried when the thoughtful child took their word for it.

  22. Definitely write a book!

  23. […] person prefers solitude and thus do not attempt to invite them into the social milieu. (“You say loner, I say outcast,” proclaims […]

  24. Very interesting point you have, yes certainly the aspi has to model and build his world in perhaps less than ideal circumstances. Luckily I was blessed with an enquiring mind and an interest in many subjects, this sustained me through many years of bleak early life. God knows life would have been difficult otherwise.

    Its dreadful to think children have to go through so much crap so young, that should really be reserved for a mature mind and body to deal with. Luckily it fired me up to work hard and develop myself. And realise so many people out there are chock full of shit.

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