Autism Interview #81: Englebert Lau on Late-Diagnosis Asperger’s Syndrome

Englebert Lau
Englebert Lau is an autism advocate and Information Technology Business Analyst. Englebert was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 30 and blogs at The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome where he shares a lighthearted perspective on Asperger’s syndrome. He’s also been published in Autism Parenting Magazine and The Art of Autism. This week he shared some of the most valuable resources he found upon first receiving his diagnosis.

When did you first start your blog The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Aspergers? What do you hope readers gain from it?

I started my blog in 2015. I’m hoping that other people on the autistic spectrum may be able to learn from my experiences.

What was it like receiving a diagnosis at the age of 30? Had you a name for your autistic identity earlier, how might things have been different for you (if at all)?

It was helpful to receive a diagnosis at the age of 30. I found it useful to read the following books below. I was able to learn about coping mechanisms from other people on the autistic spectrum. If I learned about the autistic spectrum earlier, I could have learned more about coping mechanisms at a younger age (instead of developing my own coping techniques by using trial and error).

  * Be Different (by John Elder Robison)
* The Complete Guide To Asperger’s Syndrome (by Tony Atwood)
* Pretending To Be Normal (by Liane Holliday Wiley)
* Thinking In Pictures (by Temple Grandin)

Other than your work as an autism advocacy writer, what other work do you enjoy professionally?

Currently, I work as an Information Technology Business Analyst.

You’ve written about Aspergers and dating. Do you explain your diagnosis to women you are interested in (or are currently) dating? Why or why not?

I’ve explained my diagnosis to my current girlfriend. I should mention that if I was dating, I would be hesitant about explaining a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome to a new girl.  Asperger’s Syndrome is very difficult to explain. Over time, I would eventually explain my diagnosis of a mild case of Asperger’s Syndrome so that the girl has a better understanding of my perspective on how I approach different challenges in social situations.

What are some of your hobbies/interests?

Outside of work, I enjoy playing hockey and going to a kung-fu class. I should mention that I have unusually thorough knowledge in my areas of interest. For example, I have an extensive knowledge of hockey statistics. I also enjoy watching many TV shows and movies.

What mistakes do you see neurotypical autism advocates make?

My concern about neurotypicals is simply that they don’t understand what Asperger’s Syndrome is. I generally have to explain that Sheldon Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory” or Abed Nadir on “Community” have Asperger’s Syndrome. However, I don’t fully match either portrayal.  For example, neither Sheldon nor Abed are particularly interested in dating neurotypical women.  My own personal experience suggests that dating can be extremely challenging for a person with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Who is your greatest ally and why?

I’ve been fortunate to meet different friends over the years. Many of my friends tend to have education in the fields of Computer Science or Engineering. I tend to get along the best with other people who tend to deal with situations with more logical approaches instead of relying on emotional decisions.

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