Life has a way of working out

Dylan ‘Dielawn’ Volk is a comedian featured weekly on SiriusXM’s DirtyPop with Lance Bass and on his YouTube channel “Dielawn Comedy.”  He is also co-author of Chasing The Rabbit: A Dad’s Life Raising a Son on the Spectrum available on www.Chasingtherabbit.org

     As someone with high-functioning Asperger’s, everyone takes you as normal. So I basically have to work hard enough everyday to meet people’s expectations so they won’t perceive that there’s something off about me. It’s almost like being undercover and trying not to get ‘found out.’ But what am I going to do walk around with a T-shirt that has a little disclaimer on the front? Everyday I struggle with things like maintaining relationships, making eye contact with people, navigating conversations appropriately and trying to make sure I pick up on every complex social cue I might miss. Life, as far as interacting with other people socially, is literally like an obstacle course to me. But before this gets too dark, it evens out and I found for me there is an upside. As far as the career side of things for me, being a comedian/entertainer who makes people laugh on my Instagram (@RealDielawn) and YouTube channel (DielawnComedy) and is featured on SiriusXM’s DirtyPop with Lance Bass, it couldn’t be much better. I had always been the guy who makes people laugh with my charisma and my quirky personality but since pursuing it as a career professionally it has been nothing but success so far. Literally not one major bump in the road yet, and I’m not afraid to brag about it because for some people (especially people with Asperger’s) almost nothing else in their life goes smoothly, and they get one area of greatness that is miles beyond anyone else and makes up for it. Back in high school the same kids who I could make laugh to tears in school and would enthusiastically yell “Yo Dielawn!” down the hallway when they saw me, would be the ones who weren’t down to hang out with me on the weekends. I still struggle like crazy to build/maintain relationships with friends and with girls. It still blows my mind because I know with certainty if you pull up one of my YouTube song parodies or sketch comedy videos you will LOVE it. But then they will be the same ones not calling me back, note messaging me back on Facebook and ignoring my snapchats. Maybe because I did some super-subtle thing to rub them the wrong way? Who knows. Some neurotypical people may struggle and have to work really, really hard to find success in their careers, I don’t. But anyone with Asperger’s knows that many of those neurotypical people are the ones with a ton of close friends around them the whole time supporting them. They are the people that in high social are valued to spend every Friday night with. They are desirable people of the opposite gender who many want to share their lives with. I’ve never got to have that. Life has weird ways for people with Asperger’s of rewarding us for the stuff we have to go through. It took me 23 years to figure out what my way would be. I can tell others for advice, it’s all about finding that one thing that because of your Asperger’s gives you an advantage over other people, over other people and running with it. And if you can find a way to succeed in one area of life and it comes as natural to you as breathing in-and-out, don’t feel guilty about it! Because if you can relate to any of the struggles I’m talking about, you better believe you deserve it! And by the way, a side note, don’t just let people ignore your calls or texts because of something you did related to your Asperger’s, you’d be surprised how much helpful social advice you’ll get from by being appropriately assertive with people.