About this time last year I met a 20 year old and became friends with him. He comes across as quite confident, witty, talkative, has very good body language, and is able to be laid back and casual. Overall a solidly NT personality. He is not academically well educated and he left school with poor GCSEs. He is quite bad at maths but better at English although he doesn't particularly enjoy reading anything. Until he started a foundation year at university last October to study social work he has drifted between jobs in restaurants and takeaways, a carer in a nursing home, and unemployment. His main interest is rap and hip-hop music. Something I am not and will never be interested. Rap lyrics are a strange and incomprehensible language to me.
He describes himself as mixed race of British and Bangladeshi origin. His surname is Bengali but he is visually white with blue eyes and dark brown hair so does not appear foreign.
What intrigued me is that he commented that I could have AS judging from my mannerism. Later in the year he became adamant that I had AS. Things started looking suspicious. Only one other person I have met has ever mentioned that I could have AS and he had a medical background. How could this unassuming 20 year old know so much about AS and effectively be able to diagnose me?
It turned out that he had AS himself. He was diagnosed quite young around the age of 5. In secondary school he had support and counselling services. After leaving school he managed to claim some disability benefits. He told me that he was bad at football and team sports as a kid and had communications difficulties with other kids that when described to me had hallmarks of AS traits. When I first met him he didn't have many friends and the two he introduced to me were black but of Christian origin. I interpreted this that he might have had difficulty making friends at school.
Somehow he has grown out of AS and has become NT.
To complicate the situation he became a revert Muslim two years ago at the age of 19 although he is not particularly knowledgeable about Islam nor committed in practising. Only occasionally does he go to the mosque and he doesn't read many books about Islam. He claims that he made dua to Allah and this cured him of his AS.
Is this really the case?
One thing that I am aware of is that the Muslim community is very behind the curve when it comes to ASD and mental health
I have to say that Muslims with AS are extremely rare individuals almost unknown to the AS community. This makes it hard to make comparisons from this angle although he is not from a traditional Islamic background and he understands / is shaped by modern western culture. Over the past year or so his social circle has shifted more towards Muslims – mostly of south Asian origin. He has not embraced Asian culture. His AS had gone before he started getting involved with the Muslim community so they have no knowledge or experience of it.
I told him that he might never have had AS but was instead misdiagnosed with the condition. He denied that then told me about meetings with psychologists and counsellors when he was a kid and the disability benefits he received.
Can anybody explain him to me?