Editor's note: Michael Ryan is an assignment producer who works on the CNN.com homepage.
By Michael Ryan, CNN
(CNN) - I am not an expert on Asperger's syndrome. But I am an expert on me, and I have Asperger's.
And attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. And a bit of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Having all three disorders together is not unusual, my doctor says.
Like you, I get angry sometimes. And, like you, I would never think of channeling that emotion into violence.
There is no direct connection between violence and autism. None. I don't break things. I don't hit my dogs. I keep a small Tupperware container in the house to catch insects so I can transport them safely outside before my cats or wife see them. I don't disparage hunters, but I could never kill another creature. I just don't have it in me.
For the most part, I am just like you, just a bit quirky. All right, a lot quirky.
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at email@example.com.
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