Apergers and dating
He’s also partway through shooting a documentary, , to showcase the relationship challenges facing adults with the disorder.
Dating can seem like a distant mirage or “a shiny sports car,” prized but perpetually out of reach — “or I guess in today’s case, a Tesla,” says one of his doc subjects onscreen.“Intimacy can be difficult for people like us, because we have a tough time showing our emotions and talking about our emotions,” says another.
Now Mead, a burgeoning filmmaker who pays the bills with a day job in sales at HMV, hopes to spread the word beyond his community on just how hard it is for people with his condition to foster romantic relationships — just like everyone else, only more so.
On shift, he harnesses his love of multimedia to engage customers on topics from audio technology to syncopated beats, rather than smooth-talking or aggressive sales tactics.
In the building on Queens Quay hosting the session, Mead speaks with fluid confidence and openness about his own struggles with the socially obstructive syndrome.
He scopes his statements broadly, then zooms in to the relevant point.
Until age 12, Mead had trouble computing why events and activities, even small ones, might not match up with the daily schedule.
“He died seven years ago next month and we’re still talking about him.”His mind moves at a fast clip in a group setting, but he’s at ease.
It’s a level of social comfort he’s worked hard, and long, to attain.‘Imagination on loudspeaker’Raised in the heart of Richmond Hill with his younger brother, Cameron, Mead struggled through much of his childhood, despite receiving plenty of professional support in the classroom and the clinic.“Things had to happen on time,” says his mother, Lori Bateman.
Particularly acute in people diagnosed, Asperger’s symptoms can be “prominent in so many other people,” Mead notes.“The most off-base stereotype about people with Asperger’s syndrome is that we’re stupid socially and we can’t read a lot of social cues.”He says he’s sometimes blind to certain indicators like eye contact or crossed arms, but research backs up his argument, with studies highlighting the wealth of empathy many Asperger’s “sufferers” possess.“Another stereotype is that we’re all nerds.
There is some truth to that; we are extremely smart, and many people with Asperger’s are very, very brilliant,” he says, eyes twinkling as his mouth moves from smirk to full-blown smile.“Still, it’s nice for us to look someone else in the eyes, and see them looking back.”The campers Diagnosed at 17, Durham works as an office administrator in Burlington, collects salt and pepper shakers, likes to cook shrimp scampi and describes herself as “a huge theatre geek.” She “loved” Kinky Boots. I just haven’t had the guts to do it.”Benny Lai, 37Lai, who was diagnosed only recently, works at his family’s sheet metal business and loves the Raptors — evidenced by the bold purple T-shirt he sports at the dating day camp.
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A caregiver had suggested the family see a specialist after watching him interact with other 3-year-olds. Only more intense.“I woke up in the morning, every morning, 6 a.m., to a question about the Jurassic period,” Bateman recalls. For years, their lives revolved around train shows, the nearby GO track and CN lines. Often Bateman or Mead’s father — the couple separated when he was young — would head to the airport to watch the planes take off.