For my life on the spectrum, click here.

I’m a woman in her early forties who was beset in October of 2013 with a nerve entrapment due to an abnormal conformation of my shoulder blades.  I have been dealing with chronic pain every day since.  Along the way, I discovered that I have a Level I Autism Spectrum Disorder, colloquially known as Asperger’s, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

I have been to countless doctors, and undergone dozens of procedures to mitigate my pain and CFS, many of which have been chronicled on this blog.  However, as a strict rule, I do not allow any treatment advice to be posted in the blog itself nor (especially) in the comments section.  Medical assistance can – and should – be found elsewhere, among professionals whose business it is to provide it.

I also see medical professionals to help manage my autism.  But even though it is hidden from most neurotypical people, it strongly informs my life both inside and out.  It, too, is without cure, and any comments that suggest otherwise will also not be permitted.

This blog was created in March of 2014 as a way to try to process what was happening to me. It is my hope that by sharing it with you, we can both gain something, or at least learn something, from my experience.  Please feel free to read, comment, share your experiences, and share these posts with others.

Good blogs I follow:

More Than A Headache

On She Goes


11 Responses to About

  1. Charles S Perkins says:

    I just read your WAPO editorial and I am floored. I was recently diagnosed as an adult in his 30s with ADHD. The last few months I’ve been experiencing upper back pain and vertigo. Regular PT has helped dramatically with both. But I also dove down a rabbit hole.

    And here I am. I appreciate the blog and look forward to reading more.


  2. Ragan Graves says:

    I have been married to an Autistic Man for nearly 26 years. He is a good man with a good heart. My 30 year old stepdaughter has Aspergers, my 24 year old son is Narcissistic and on the spectrum, and my 21 year old daughter has Aspergers as well. All formally diagnosed. I am neurotypical and happening upon your article in the Washington Post was a true Godsend to me and I am sure so many others. I forwarded it to my youngest who is currently a senior in college living in her own space, as roommates understandably never worked out.

    Since the coronavirus she has been inside having her lectures online with her professors. She explained to me how much easier it is to concentrate and learn from the lectures without the anxiety of having to be about other people. Trying to put on the facade that you so articulately have described. I have 26 years experience with being the odd man out in my family. There has been no outside support that we haven’t had to pay $180 an hour for. I am 55 and I want to make a difference. I want to see how we can bridge the gap. I would really love to talk to you about it. Is it possible to communicate with privacy? I am happy to give you my email or even telephone number. I believe that we can make a bigger difference in the world then you are already admirably doing already. Bravo!


  3. Matt Medina says:

    Hello, TGA, you have a wonderful blog here. I found you through your article on WP (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/03/03/you-dont-look-autistic-reality-high-functioning-autism/?fbclid=IwAR2rPlFn3MK4Rig4H6e1Zb6GJsF3_F3zwfngtUQ9uItbSYxDpX3bCUg9VjY)

    I’m part of a team of autistic writers and influencers who distribute and articles about autism. Come check us out at https://embraceasd.com/

    And thank you for the great content!


  4. Kerry says:

    Your WP article was eye-opening for me. It could have been the voice of someone I care about who is just beginning a journey for diagnosis. Please keep writing!


  5. Victoria Testerman says:

    I just read your article and want to share. I am neuro-typical, out-going and consider myself very socially aware of people around me. Yet I was married to my husband for over 30 years before I realized he was a high functioning autistic. I was jokingly describing my quirky better half to a stranger when the man said, my husband sounded like Asperger to him. I researched and was shocked. It took a year before I told my husband – for fear of insulting him. Instead he was so relieved once he did the research. He always knew he was “different” but simply adjusted his behavior as best he could. I now adjust mine too: I refuse to take offense, overlook the small stuff, guide him better when he struggles, and now never leave alone for a minute at a work party (I knew he didn’t like them but never realizes he is in a state of panic every second I’m away). Lastly, he was a stay at home father who raised an out-going neuro-typical daughter. Continue to educate and inspire.


  6. Kara Murphy Gwaltney says:

    Thank you so much for your WaPo Perspective. My son is almost 17 and was diagnosed at 8. It was a fight with the schools since he was “so smart”. He is amazing at accommodating himself when the environment proves to be too much but has not yet developed the tools to advocate when in a social situation. Also – applying to colleges has put him in analysis paralysis. Any suggestions for how we can support and encourage him through the process?


    • C. M. Condo says:

      Thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog. The most important thing my incredible parents did for me was that they never made me feel like there was anything wrong with me; they loved me unconditionally for being my strange little self, and it sounds like you do this for your son, and he is so lucky to have you. He is brave for even wanting to go to college, and he is blessed to have parents that are engaged and involved in him achieving his goals.

      That said, it sounds like he may be dreading going to college and being away from his safe home space, and because he is on the spectrum, he may not be able to understand this feeling, never mind articulate it. The separation from my parents when I went off to college was terrifying for me, but I didn’t realize it until they were about to leave from driving me there.

      I recommend asking him what his goals are and helping him find a place close to home where he can achieve them, even if it’s just community college to start. Also, bear in mind that autistics overload easily, and on average, it takes us 6 or 7 years to complete a four-year degree.

      Your continued support of him through this process, whatever path he takes, will be the most important factor in his success. Good luck!


  7. B says:

    Hello! Your post about not “looking autistic” was wonderful! Thank you! My daughter is 12 and amazing in so many ways! A lot of your post resonated with me regarding what she seems to struggle with, socially. Could you share how you were diagnosed? We had her evaluated through school and the ASRS and speech protocols came up empty. She struggles with executive functioning, sensory processing and attention and also is gifted. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on whether I’m missing a piece to support her best.
    Thank you!


    • C. M. Condo says:

      Thanks so much for reaching out! I suspected I might be on the spectrum while I was still in my thirties, but it wasn’t until my first attempt at grad school that it became evident that the way my mind worked was very different from that of the other students. I wound up undergoing a lengthy battery of psychological and intelligence tests by a licensed psychologist to figure out what was going on. It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth it to have the validation that my issues were due to a genuine neurological difference and not just me “not trying hard enough” or “not paying attention.” Good luck to you and your courageous daughter! Feel free to reach out anytime through my website at http://www.christinemcondo.com -Best, C.


  8. emilyannab says:

    Hello TGA,
    I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! You inspire me and others by blogging. Details can be found here: http://morethanaheadache.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/very-inspiring-blogger-award/
    Thank you for blogging and continuing to inspire,
    PS: Feel free to do whatever you like with this award. You’re not obligated to do anything with it if you don’t want to. I just wanted to let you know that you inspire me to continue to blog. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Cheryl-Lynn says:

    Pleased to read more..Love your blog already, thanks to finding you through Justine. Blessings xx

    Liked by 1 person

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