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Having Aspergers syndrome and having a successful life in Japan

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  • Having Aspergers syndrome and having a successful life in Japan

    Hi GP,

    Long-time reader and a first time poster. Long story short, I have professionally diagnosed Aspergers and due to work circumstances will be living in Japan for awhile. Just got to Tokyo and got my living situation sorted out. A few of my friends from back home are telling me that it will be very hard to live here as a foreigner that does not pick up on social cues or read "the air". Though I genuinely do not care what others think of my eccentric behavior. I realize that simply acting differently or eccentric in public here will earn me some ire. As bad as it sounds, I am totally comfortable with making Japanese people feel uncomfortable as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. I (barely) passed the third level of the “ú–{Œê”\—ÍŽŽŒ±. My Japanese friend in my home country was among those warning me that many natives here might not accept my behavior.

    Is it possible to integrate here in Japan as a foreigner with Aspergers, and are there any other foreign aspies out there in Japanland, and if so how did you guys cope? If you want to answer by PM that is fine too!

  • #2
    Originally posted by gaijin_goofball View Post
    Hi GP,

    Long-time reader and a first time poster. Long story short, I have professionally diagnosed Aspergers and due to work circumstances will be living in Japan for awhile. Just got to Tokyo and got my living situation sorted out. A few of my friends from back home are telling me that it will be very hard to live here as a foreigner that does not pick up on social cues or read "the air". Though I genuinely do not care what others think of my eccentric behavior. I realize that simply acting differently or eccentric in public here will earn me some ire. As bad as it sounds, I am totally comfortable with making Japanese people feel uncomfortable as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. I (barely) passed the third level of the “ú–{Œê”\—ÍŽŽŒ±. My Japanese friend in my home country was among those warning me that many natives here might not accept my behavior.

    Is it possible to integrate here in Japan as a foreigner with Aspergers, and are there any other foreign aspies out there in Japanland, and if so how did you guys cope? If you want to answer by PM that is fine too!
    the locals do not look kindly on those who are mentally handicapped, like yourself. You will be fired, and rather quickly, I would imagine, if your employer ever learnt of your condition. The fact that there is no Japanese version of Bill Gates is proof enough. If you just want to be another quirky gaijin, no one will consider you odd in any way. You just may have to explain the reason for your behaviour from time to time...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by well_bicyclically View Post
      the locals do not look kindly on those who are mentally handicapped, like yourself. You will be fired, and rather quickly, I would imagine, if your employer ever learnt of your condition. The fact that there is no Japanese version of Bill Gates is proof enough. If you just want to be another quirky gaijin, no one will consider you odd in any way. You just may have to explain the reason for your behaviour from time to time...
      Well basically ... what Well bicyclically said. It will be very hard for you here, I imagine. You really need to start "caring what people think about your behaviour", especially in the workplace. Unlike the US, your condition will not give you an excuse here, and while you think that "making people uncomfortable" is okay, its the kind of thing that will land you in Japanese prison for 23 days. "Suspicious" Is enough in this country.

      Good luck though. I hope you find some very sympathetic coworkers and friends.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by gaijin_goofball View Post
        Hi GP,

        Long-time reader and a first time poster. Long story short, I have professionally diagnosed Aspergers and due to work circumstances will be living in Japan for awhile. Just got to Tokyo and got my living situation sorted out. A few of my friends from back home are telling me that it will be very hard to live here as a foreigner that does not pick up on social cues or read "the air". Though I genuinely do not care what others think of my eccentric behavior. I realize that simply acting differently or eccentric in public here will earn me some ire. As bad as it sounds, I am totally comfortable with making Japanese people feel uncomfortable as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. I (barely) passed the third level of the “ú–{Œê”\—ÍŽŽŒ±. My Japanese friend in my home country was among those warning me that many natives here might not accept my behavior.

        Is it possible to integrate here in Japan as a foreigner with Aspergers, and are there any other foreign aspies out there in Japanland, and if so how did you guys cope? If you want to answer by PM that is fine too!

        Hoping that you are the boss and/or at least talented enough such that you can compensate for your eccentricities by relying on your position/expertise.

        I have taught several Aspies over the years and once I learned about what their trouble was, I could deal with them fairly well. They didn't find jobs, however. Hide your condition as best you can.

        Good luck!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by gaijin_goofball View Post
          Is it possible to integrate here in Japan as a foreigner with Aspergers, and are there any other foreign aspies out there in Japanland, and if so how did you guys cope? If you want to answer by PM that is fine too!
          No problem. If you enter a Japanese IT company, you will find that your behaviour will be quite the norm. Just watch what the others do and repeat. No need at all to show any personal emotions...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by well_bicyclically View Post
            the locals do not look kindly on those who are mentally handicapped, like yourself. You will be fired, and rather quickly, I would imagine, if your employer ever learnt of your condition. The fact that there is no Japanese version of Bill Gates is proof enough. If you just want to be another quirky gaijin, no one will consider you odd in any way. You just may have to explain the reason for your behaviour from time to time...
            Aspergers is not a mental disorder lol. My reason is that I am a foreigner, same as you silly foreigners that cannot use chopsticks. Regardless, I don't really care what people think of me whether they are Japanese or not. Since I am on an expatriate contract, I think that my foreign chain of command will take care of insulating me from some of the idiotic local cultural elements and groupthink.
            Last edited by gaijin_goofball; 2013-07-23, 10:18 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by gaijin_goofball View Post
              Aspergers is not a mental disorder LOL
              No it is not, but the Japanese do not make the distinction!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Super Grover View Post
                ....I have taught several Aspies over the years and once I learned about what their trouble was, I could deal with them fairly well.
                I had a university student once who just sat quietly in class smiling. When class was over he wouldnft leave until he went through a ritual of looking under his desk, out the window and then paced about room. All of which took maybe 10-15 minutes.

                None of the other students seemed to mind and ignored him.

                He never did any of the class assignments but he did have a friendly smile and he did show up ever week.

                So I gave him a B.

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                • #9
                  I had this guy last year! Serious OCD! Not Asperger's, though. He did well enough, but it took him twice the time to do it.
                  We have 2? students with Asperger's now. One is the typical type -- narrow focus and able to retain massive amounts of info. on a specific topic (he has a better memory than I do), has trouble with humour and idiomatic language, poor penmanship, etc. Nice fellow. Another has trouble with voice modulation and eye contact and sometimes has outbursts (not so uncommon, I have learned). He is clumsy and can't swim or ride a bike (this student's case is more extreme).

                  At university, it is easy to just let other students have their space, but in the workplace it will surely be different.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gaijin_goofball View Post
                    As bad as it sounds, I am totally comfortable with making Japanese people feel uncomfortable as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. My Japanese friend in my home country was among those warning me that many natives here might not accept my behavior.
                    They haven't kicked out iidesune or The F.G.-san yet for odd, annoying behavior, so I think you're good to go.

                    Encouragingly,
                    A.

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                    • #11
                      The real problem here is not the medical fiction of a wholly fabricated syndrome itself, as Japanese are more sophisticated than North Americans when it comes to Talk Show Medical conditions,, but that the OP is obviously one of those that embraces it as though it's a virtue not a vice. That'll fly like a lead balloon.

                      Besides, he's a troll.

                      I think that my foreign chain of command will take care of insulating me from some of the idiotic local cultural elements and groupthink.

                      ?????

                      It's that Lowd and Prowd Ameritwat that was just banned a bit ago.

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                      • #12
                        And why is this in Relationships???
                        reclassify in health or maybe GP should create its own mental issues sub-forum?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by curing View Post
                          reclassify in health or maybe GP should create its own mental issues sub-forum?

                          We already have one. It's called posting on the General Forum..................

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by curing View Post
                            And why is this in Relationships???
                            ....
                            OP is beside himself over this issue...?

                            This issue is tearing him apart???

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gaijin_goofball View Post
                              Aspergers is not a mental disorder lol. My reason is that I am a foreigner, same as you silly foreigners that cannot use chopsticks. Regardless, I don't really care what people think of me whether they are Japanese or not. Since I am on an expatriate contract, I think that my foreign chain of command will take care of insulating me from some of the idiotic local cultural elements and groupthink.
                              as stated, in this country it is! all neurological based conditions are treated by Psychiatrists, NOT Neurologists. In this country, you are considered to be cursed with a mental affliction. you cannot drive a car. no one would consider marrying you. If you were a Japanese national, you could get government disability allowances!!

                              PS: this is Japan. We do not use insulation here. and the local cultural elements and the group think are inescapable.... it would be like trying to ignore the cicadas song....

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