Boy, I never knew this series of posts would take me off on such a tangent but it has. These posts have a way of venturing deep into long since locked closets in my mind and unlocking them. On the good side, they have cleared out many of those skeletons who have been inhabiting them for so many years. So, permit me to do a little more clearing out. Saying that, this post is more about he interesting way my mind works and little to do with any experiences from the past.
My recent posts on logic and what seems weird to others but logical to me has given me thought about the adults I work with who have Asperger’s Syndrome. The reason why many of the adults I work with are in supervised living is because if left to their own devices, they would spend most or all their money feeding their obsessions and have no money left to pay for the essentials. Examples, Melvin, who I have talked about in ancient posts, would spend all his money on vintage post cards or models. Likewise, Ernie would spend all his on trousers. There is a gentleman named Arnold who would buy loads of Star Wars figures and the only lady in our care, Wilma, would spend all her money on clothes. This is how deep obsessions can run with people who have Asperger’s Syndrome. They are obsessed with buying the things they are obsessed with that the necessary things go out the window.
Now some of you may be thinking, “Why don’t you just stop their obsessions?” Have you ever told someone with Asperger’s Syndrome they can’t have the thing they most desire? That would be like voluntarily walking into an earthquake. Their mental state would suffer and your life would be hell. Therefore, what we do is to help them manage their spending. We allow them to buy one or two items of something they truly want in a week and the rest goes towards more necessary things. This plan works because the service users know they are still getting those things they are obsessed with without going broke. That makes everyone’s life easier.
This may appear not to apply to me because I don’t spend all my money on my obsessions. Instead, I fanatically budget my money. When the pay cheques go into my account, I already know how that money is going to be spent. Any surprise money going in or out is also immediately accounted for. I remember having to cover a shift for a colleague who had to suddenly take some time off. The colleague rang to thank me and offered to come in for a couple of hours so I could have a break. I said it wasn’t necessary and although I didn’t say this, the reason why I was willing to stay on was because I had already mentally spent the overtime. Some will say that I am just being prudent and a wise financial planner, others would call this an obsession. What do you think?
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