On Twitter a few days ago I mentioned that I went to Orange (where I was born and raised) for the day and visited my mum. Just as I was leaving she said she'd be cleaning out a cupboard and found some old papers that her father had written about me. They were notes he'd written when I was 6.
My grandfather was an intelligent man, a bicycle rider in his early years (maybe why I like the Tour de France?) who later worked as a steam engine driver (all Aspies love trains, don't they?) and then for an engineering company called Borg-Warner in Sydney. Their Australian branch doesn't exist any more.
He was interested in psychology, meditation, hypnotism etc and was a great chess player who could solve the cryptic crossword in the morning newspaper in no time at all.
The notes he wrote about me are very accurate (I think) and weirdly amazing considering I was only six at the time. They were based on me writing a story for him (including handwriting analysis) and drawing a picture for him as well as his observations and conversations with me.
The picture wasn't with the papers unfortunately but I have the vaguest recollection of it. He mentions I had no "colour sense" but posits that I must have had a limited number of coloured pencils!I can vaguely see myself drawing a red sun for example.
Anyway, I've typed out his notes which in some cases are just notes and not full sentences. In any case, I found it both fascinating and disturbing. I almost cried when re-reading it later that night.
I asked my mum why my grandfather had written this? Had she asked him to? She said no but it's obvious to me that my parents must have perceived some problems with me - being tormented at school and not fitting in with the world. I don't remember that in kindergarten or first grade but maybe I've suppressed it. I know I hated school when I reached puberty.
The mention of Cox Avenue is also bewildering. That was my third home. We lived with my great grandmother for a short while when I was born then moved to a little place called Clergate just out of Orange for a few years. I drove back and looked at that house a few years ago. It was an old rambling property with lots of space and right next to the railway line (again with the trains!). We then moved back into town at a newly built house in Cox Avenue.
I know my uncle (my mum's brother) was killed in a truck accident around that time so maybe that had something to do with it. My mum said she doesn't remember why I would have hated living there.
Apart from that it seems like I missed my calling as an artist or musician! :D
Here are the transcribed notes:
Small writing sample and coloured drawing submitted
Observation and conversation
This analysis is written in relation to a six year old boy and the remarks are comparisons to 6 year olds.
Main impression is one of intellectuality.
Clear, logical thinker. Very observant.
Thinking does not follow conventional paths but is not a rebel. Just thinks big and takes in a tremendous scope and sees always a full picture.
Is not a “quick” thinker because he is too busily engaged in observing, evaluating and collating and then “what impression will my answer make? What do they expect me to say?” When he is sure of the answer he will then reply. An original thinker he arrives at his conclusions by his own processes but may shape this answer as required by circumstances.
Shows diplomacy and tact which can range from adroitly handling people to concealment and evasion (even lying if the occasion demands it.)
Does not show spontaneity or joie de vivre. Too serious and wrapped in thought processes and evaluation.
Very good at getting the full picture and grasping all essentials. He is twice as smart as you think he is (because he can grasp and then conceal diplomatically) so do not discuss in his presence anything you shouldn’t because he has a wonderful memory and he will remember, evaluate and understand correctly. Because things that have happened (memory …) play a tremendous part of his life, your concealment may have an impact you do not appreciate. Do not attempt to disguise words or conceal – he understands and will despise your childish attempts to hoodwink him.
Do not be concerned about “concealment”. This is his way of coping and if he is not forced to conceal he will be open.
Bullying. Normal amount of experimentation. If he is not tormented by others – school teachers (unknowingly) and school mates (deliberately) he will not have the need to get “even”. He will be too busy learning.
<that’s all for page 2>
Has a slight bullying tendency and may at times be cruel to those unable to protect themselves such as small sisters and cats.
Very well balanced viewpoints and well balanced personality. Leans to the past – such as to past learning and lessons. He is evaluating the last hours – day – week – month and does not have time for now and the next minute therefore does not joyously look to the future.
Evaluates today and tomorrow from what he knows of today and yesterday.
Generally optimistic and bright in outlook
He dislikes Cox Avenue and it disturbs him more than anything else in his life. This is something he cannot cope with. He may not know why or if he does he may not tell you. (See remarks on diplomacy and tact and concealment). This is a sensitive area and any direct probing will be sensed and probably deftly parried.
Is not a rebel or an individualist – is too busy learning and evaluating his present experiences and you’d be surprised at what he already knows because the overall picture is extremely smart, clever and observant with tremendous intellectual capacity. Give him intellectual stimulation and challenges – subtly of course. He is no footballer so don’t put him on the team.
Watch that memory – he files things away for future reference. I do not mean he will recall vindictively but let him recall and express himself.
I would have liked to have seen a painting rather than a drawing as I feel his colour sense is way off – or were they the only coloured pencils he had? This could be so because he has outstanding sense of form and proportion so he would be unlikely to leave gaps and so was forced to use what was available.
Very sensitive in the matter of form and proportion. Colour sense? No! Maybe his high reasoning ability and keen appreciation of form outweighed “colour”
sense and reasoning said “Any colour is better than no colour at all – because form and proportion is more important – the full picture is more important.”
This I believe because the writing shows a great grasp of the overall picture at all times.
Things must always be completed, rounded off and tidied up and never ever be left unbalanced.
These traits are predominant.
Apart from Cox Avenue he is very happy and contented and appreciative in nature.
Has very good coordination and would shine at work requiring hand-eye and muscular coordination and attention to fine detail. Actually shows very great adaptability over a wide range of skills. Does he like music? Try the piano – you’ll be surprised.
What particular type of work? Anything at all – he can easily ape and master anything.
I saw a lot of Aspie traits in what was being described but maybe I'm over-reading it.