Quin Goyer

As Interviewed by Eli Goyer, March 15, 2011

Quin Goyer: In His Own Words

Eli: Do you feel as though youíre different from other kids your age?

Quin: Absolutely, although not so much as when I was younger. Iíve sort of been caught up to or just superseded by other people. I was more advanced for my age early on, but nowadays I might actually be a bit behind.

Eli: When were you beginning to realize people were treating you differently?

Quin: As soon as I was able to realize how other people were treating me really, which was later on than it was for other kids

Eli: When did you begin to feel as though your teachers were treating you differently?

Quin: Really around kindergarten or so. Preschool was generally without problems, but from kindergarten on, the teachers started recognizing behaviors that were unusual for my age.

Eli: When were you first diagnosed with Aspergerís Syndrome?

Quin: I forget exactly, but I think it was between when I was five and when I was eight.

Eli: What was your reaction to that diagnosis?

Quin: Not even relief so much as just thinking it was about time that people actually figured out what it was.

Eli: Did it change the way your friends or teachers treated you?

Quin: Friends? No. Although that might just be because I didnít have that many real friends at the time. TeachersÖit changed a bit, but it didnít really start to affect them that much for a while.

Eli: What about your family?

Quin: No. My family was already aware of the things that were unique or problematic with me.

Eli: How did things change when you entered middle school?

Quin: For the worse, although thatís true for pretty much anyone. Middle school is already socially frustrating and a rough time for any child, so when you have AspergerísĖand therefore social difficulties in addition to thatĖthings just get worse.

Eli: Did you feel discriminated against by other students, teachers or administrators because of your Aspergerís?

Quin: Students? Not so much. They generally just tended to feel a bit awkward around me. It wasnít really that they were hostile; they just preferred to hang around other people. Teachers? Generally, no. Although there were a couple of cases likeÖone every year or so. With administrators? Yes, especially in middle school, although Iíd rather not get into names and that sort of thing.

Eli: How do you think your teachers perceived your Aspergerís Syndrome?

Quin: Iím not sure exactly. I have trouble telling how other people perceive me.

Eli: Do you think your teachers understand your needs?

Quin: Many of them? Yes. Others seem to perceive it as an excuse or some sort of ďpopĒ medical diagnosis thatís used to get out of troubles that they feel are more ďpersonality flaws.Ē

Eli: How do you tell when they do or donít?

Quin: Well, Iíve gotten better at reading their facial expressions and the undertones of the way they talk to me. But mostly itís from their actions.

Eli: Whatís your opinion on the ďCure AutismĒ groups?

Quin: Very good work, especially those who work with people with more severe autism. Although Iím not sure exactly how essential it is to someone that is higher-functioning, like myself.

Eli: Do you think that thereís anything wrong with having Aspergerís Syndrome?

Quin: Yes, but only in the sense that thereís something wrong with being lactose intolerant or having a peanut allergy.

Eli: Why do you think that the most common approach to Aspergerís is to try to ďfixĒ it?

Quin: Well, to be honest, Iíve toyed with the idea of wanting myself to be fixed. But really itís not something that you fix so much as something that you help medicate or just help with difficulties that arise.

Eli: Do you think of autism activism as being like the Civil Rights Movement?

Quin: Well, I think thatís a bit overreaching in terms of its effectiveness. Itís certainly important and it helps people that otherwise would have a great deal of difficulty, but itís not quite as far-reaching or essential as that.

Eli: Do you think that it made it harder to work alone at your courses?

Quin: Alone, no. Iíve always liked working by myself anyway. However, it did make group work much harder. People with Aspergerís tend to have trouble in social groups anyways. So have the people youíre having trouble with be responsible for part of your gradeÖ and things get bad very quickly.

Eli: Do you see Aspergerís as a condition or as part of who you are?

Quin: Both. Itís a condition, and thereís not really any denying that without lying to yourself. But itís a part of who I am, just like anybodyís conditions are a part of who they are.