I seem to like to do a deep analysis of my ex-boyfriends and I guess volleyball coach is no different. I try to think about what makes a person; all the good and bad things about them.
I’m making a diagnosis for volleyball coach that he is on the autism spectrum, and specifically that he has Asperger syndrome. So here is my case:
“People with Asperger syndrome usually have good language skills, but they may still find it hard to understand the expectations of others within conversations, perhaps repeating what the other person has just said (this is called echolalia)…”
If I speak in generalities about say, weekend plans he has a difficult time trying to figure out what he needs to do. He will often ask me to repeat what it is that we are doing and lay it out for him in a timeline fashion, which he would repeat and ask for details.
When I told him that the he needed better bedsheets because women like nice bedsheets, he did not get the hint that he should get bedsheets. When the issue came up down the line he said he thought that I was joking or wasn’t serious when I asked him to get new bedsheets.
People with Asperger syndrome may “Appear to be insensitive, seek out time alone when overloaded by other people, not seek comfort from other people, appear to behave ‘strangely’ or in a way thought to be socially inappropriate”
This is true of volleyball coach! I can see the way he is unknowingly insensitive to some of the people on his volleyball team. I’ve seen him directly ignore one of his player saying goodbye to him, and just kissed me goodbye instead. He didn’t realize that one of his player had not eaten breakfast while we were going through a drive-thru and did not ask if she wanted anything. When I brought over the cake for him, he strangely did not offer it to his roommate because he didn’t pick up on the cue that his roommate wanted some.
I brought him to a wedding and more than half the time he pulled me aside to try to get away from it all even though he knew other people there. We missed out on many photographs. I thought I enjoyed my alone time, but it was not appropriate of him to seek out solitude given the social setting.
“The world can seem a very unpredictable and confusing place to people with Asperger syndrome, who often prefer to have a daily routine so that they know what is going to happen every day. They may want to always travel the same way to and from school or work, or eat exactly the same food for breakfast”
This is the main reason why I thought volleyball coach could be good for me and the bane of his existence. He wakes up early every day, walks his dog, has his breakfast which was up until he started the diet toast everyday, goes to work, and does sports on a schedule. Before he met me, he didn’t even use a calendar because everyday was the same, every week was the same.
“The use of rules can also be important. It may be difficult for someone to take a different approach to something once they have been taught the ‘right’ way to do it. “
Absolutely. This was his approach when it came to volleyball. He had this notion that most players had poor grasps of basic volleyball skills and they all had to go back to re-learn the basics. This is why he made me move from the intermediate class to his own beginners class. He showed frustration because people who knew how to play the game and wanted to play it for fun did not want to go back to the basics for the entire class.
I went to his class and frustratingly listen to him explain the bare bone fundamentals of the sport to players who were also frustrated and just waiting for him to get to the point and start getting into the doing part.
Every weekend he would ask me what the plan was. Unless I had something big and planned in advance, I prefer to have an unstructured weekend. If I move things around too much, he didn’t like it.
“Many people with Asperger syndrome have intense and highly-focused interests, often from a fairly young age. These can change over time or be lifelong, and can be anything from art or music, to trains or computers.”
Yep. He had a few highly-focused interests. He likes strategy in general. He loves volleyball and is very serious about the strategy behind it. He also watches YouTube videos about volleyball and told me that he was one of the few players that picked up the sport as quickly as he did as an adult. Given his physical limitations, I think that he has mastered this highly-focused interest of his. When he was younger, he was in to competitive magic cards, which apparently according to him means it requires a very deep knowledge of all of the cards from various editions.
“People with Asperger syndrome may also experience over or under sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light, colours, temperatures or pain.”
And lastly, this explains why a grown adult man has to sleep in his pyjamas and is so attached to his blankets (which are actually towels).
So, autism, and specifically Asperger is what I believe volleyball coach has.
Volleyball coach also has been diagnosed (professionally) with psoriasis, an auto-immune skin disease that causes skin flakiness. Instead of going to a dermatologist, he only goes to a naturalpath who prescribes vitamins and a secret blend of powder that looks to be turmeric to be applied.
Okay so what I didn’t know about psoriasis is that if it gets bad, it can cause arthritis. He often wakes up feeling sore, but as I read the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis more thoroughly he actually assumes many of these symptoms including the sausage-like fingers and toes, to the constant complaint of stiffness, to reduced range of motion, to the diarrhea.
Am I going to tell him that he has autism and arthritis? No. I don’t see the point. I’ve told him to go to real doctors and he isn’t listening to me so there is no point in saying that I’m convinced that these are his diagnosis. I’m not a doctor. Something just caught my curiosity about volleyball coach and some of his odd actions as I mulled things over and made me think that he is a bit different.