Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Discussion in 'Health Forum' started by ODFFA, May 21, 2018.

  1. May 21, 2018 #1

    ODFFA

    ODFFA

    ODFFA

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    So... here's a little confession for you guys:
    I've been brooding over this and reading up for months on end and... I suspect very strongly that I may be on the high functioning end of the Autistic Spectrum (formerly Asperger's). As some here know, I was diagnosed with Dyspraxia a few years back. Many of these neurodiversities do overlap in certain areas, and there are often comorbidities between them. Apparently (and I never knew this until recently) Dyspraxia + Asperger's is a pretttty common one.

    I made the grave, grave mistake of confessing this suspicion to my mother earlier today. Not in that she didn't believe me. She strongly suspects the same. But I could tell the mere mention of it irritated the hell out of her. (We have a rather strained relationship. Also, she's really not the most patient of people, to put it charitably.)

    The point of this thread, really, is just to make contact with any other people (or empathetic parents of people) on here who might be on the spectrum, too. It'll probably be a lonnnng time before I'm able to go for an assessment to have my suspicions confirmed / disproved. But I am and have been really struggling. Even if it turns out I'm wrong, I'm still far from neurotypical and have always felt a kinship with people with ASD/ADHD/Dyslexia, etc. So, here's a thread. Feel free to post any experiences here and/or drop me a PM if you feel like chatting about neurodiverse things.

    Oh, and I'll keep you posted on the final verdict.
     
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  2. May 21, 2018 #2

    thunderdog38

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    Well hello! I am also diagnosed with an ASD, saw your thread and thought I would try to make a connection.
     
  3. May 22, 2018 #3

    loopytheone

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    I'm autistic, as a few of the people on this forum might know.

    I was only diagnosed when I was 26, so it was many years of being frustrated and confused as to why I struggled with things so much before then. It helps a lot to be able to explain to people what my issues are and what help I need.
     
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  4. Jun 15, 2018 #4

    petersmyth79

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    ASD here, was diagnosed at 6 years of age. It has made life very difficult
     
  5. Jun 15, 2018 #5

    Tad

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    My son may be ASD; his initial diagnosis was non-verbal learning disorders§ , but there is overlap between the two and while the Dr. felt that the nvld was the more useful diagnosis for him you could argue either.

    As they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. My wife and I both recognize traits of his in ourselves. Neither of us was ever assessed as kids (because back then you didn't get assessed unless you were having a lot of rouble functioning, generally), so I don't know whether either of us would have / would currently meet any such criteria.

    § non_verbal learning disorder implies that verbal skills are strong, it is the more intuitive, non-verbal, things that are hard. Like understanding how people are feeling, or the flow of a team sport, or group norms of behaviour that have not been articulated
     
  6. Jun 15, 2018 #6

    ODFFA

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    Hi petersmyth79! It's nice to learn of kindreds here I would never have known about otherwise. And... yeeeah. It gets really tough. Don't know about you, but the thing I find hardest is the impatience of NTs. Some are amazing once they understand your condition. And then there are those who just want you to get on with it and don't want the bother of trying to understand. It can really hurt when you're trying your darnedest to keep up appearances, still fall short, and have people accuse you of just being weak-willed or looking for excuses. I just always think, "Dude, if I could cruise through life the way you do, don't you think I would rather be doing that than this?"

    I'd always wondered when you'd talk about your son what he'd been diagnosed with. I hope college is treating him well. I'm glad things have been changing in our societal awareness. At least we're informed enough nowadays to be able to speculate on these things. Is your son part of any forum-like communities? Because I can definitely relate to feeling a thousand times more myself in a "place" like Dims than in person. And if I can establish a rapport with someone via text, it takes away a lot of the anxiety that meeting them in person for the very first time would bring.

    Your explanation of NVLD also brought up the one area where I sometimes doubt my little self-diagnosis: not understanding how people feel. I doubt that I struggle with this one too much. Though, that might speak more to the difference of females with ASD vs. males. And the stigma that people on the spectrum all have a total lack of empathy.

    But the flow of team activities, instructions that are merely implied, group norms and subtle gestures... lawrd, what a minefield :D I also have some "stimming" behaviours that I do -- strictly in private, but still. It was such a weird feeling catching myself out every time after I'd become aware of it. Then there's fussy eating and sensory overload. Whenever I look into ASD I'm constantly having these jaw-dropping "there's no way I don't have this" moments. So, we'll see. Hopefully in the not-too-distant future.
     
  7. Jun 15, 2018 #7

    loopytheone

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    There is certainly a range with autistic people in terms of ability to understand how people feel, and experiencing empathy. Some autistic people are even hyper-empaths.

    The whole female/male thing is a big factor as well. Bear in mind that most traditional descriptions of autism refer solely to males. Females are punished for a lack of empathy/social understanding from a very young age so intelligent autistic girls often learn to interpret these things. Certainly I learnt how to do as a sort of survival technique; in order to avoid getting told off/punished, I learnt what to look for and how to react to other people. You take me out of a situation where I know the likely emotions/reactions though? I have no idea what is happening.
     
  8. Jun 15, 2018 #8

    ChubbyPear

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    But the flow of team activities, instructions that are merely implied, group norms and subtle gestures... lawrd, what a minefield :D I also have some "stimming" behaviours that I do -- strictly in private, but still. It was such a weird feeling catching myself out every time after I'd become aware of it. Then there's fussy eating and sensory overload. Whenever I look into ASD I'm constantly having these jaw-dropping "there's no way I don't have this" moments. So, we'll see. Hopefully in the not-too-distant future.[/QUOTE]

    ^ this all applies to me too. I'm very empathetic once I know what's going on with someone. I can't usually read them though. This makes it really difficult to foster good relationships. Women, more so than men, expect everyone to be a mind reader. I can pass for normal in a brief meeting but most people assume I don't like them (the social cues problem, particularly flirting) and many pick up on my "issues" as they get to know me better.
     
  9. Jun 15, 2018 #9

    Tad

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    "I'd always wondered when you'd talk about your son what he'd been diagnosed with. I hope college is treating him well. I'm glad things have been changing in our societal awareness. At least we're informed enough nowadays to be able to speculate on these things. Is your son part of any forum-like communities? Because I can definitely relate to feeling a thousand times more myself in a "place" like Dims than in person. And if I can establish a rapport with someone via text, it takes away a lot of the anxiety that meeting them in person for the very first time would bring"​

    I try not to talk about him too much. But yes he's made online contacts via the Deviant Art community (he draws fox women and bird women and such), and his University is just fantastic about supporting kids with various issues -- he gets to write his exams in small rooms, to avoid the sensory overload, and gets extra time due to his slow writing (even after a lot of work with an occupational therapist his writing is slow and cramped). The one issue is that he only writes cursive (never could master printing at anything more than an extremely slow rate) ... and he's encountered a couple of TAs that can't read cursive because a lot of schools have dropped it. A small challenge when the person marking your mid term can't really read it! (The slow 'coding' is one of the things I share with him. Aside from multiple choice exams I never left one early, and always could have gotten more marks if I'd had more time. I thought that was just how exams were meant to be)
     
  10. Jun 15, 2018 #10

    loopytheone

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    Wait... you mean, that's NOT how they are meant to be? I mean, I went all the way through university but I never left early and always wished I had more time. I thought that was how they were supposed to be?
     
  11. Aug 14, 2018 #11

    ODFFA

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    So... I've gone back and forth on whether / when to update you guys. I said I would, and now that clarity has been reached, suddenly I find the thought of "coming clean" kind of intimidating. I guess because I don't want to be viewed like a totally different person by the people I've gotten to know and care about here.

    But yeah. It turns out I am on the autistic spectrum.

    Of course, having done the bits of research that I'd done, I'm not exactly surprised. But it is a weirdly novel feeling to have it confirmed that this label does indeed apply to me. I'm the same person with the same strengths and challenges I've always had. They're just all more understandable now, in the context of Asperger's / HFA. I'm still getting used to it all in a way, now that it's official.

    (Also, I'm doing better now than I was a few posts ago. I can be too candid for my own good sometimes and it gets sooooo tempting to let it all out when the overwhelm strikes. But I'm really, really trying to better balance the depressing posts out with positive ones :oops: )
     
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  12. Aug 15, 2018 #12

    DragonFly

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    That was brave if you, I appreciate your being so open. There is something liberating about being able to put a name to things. I am a Lupus and have Fibro. When I was finally diagnosed I cried. I felt like I was finally in a place and not invisible.
     
  13. Aug 15, 2018 #13

    Tad

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    For me, my only concern is how you are feeling about the diagnosis. (You ara still you, awesome interesting and all that you've always been)
     
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  14. Aug 16, 2018 #14

    ODFFA

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    You're the sweetest, Tad.

    I feel mostly good about it. It's a matter now of knowing where to push myself a little more and where to cut myself some slack. As in, not deciding that I shouldn't try certain things just because I know I'm on the spectrum. And on the other hand, when I am having a difficult day, understanding my sensory and other processing issues so I don't give myself hell on top of it all. (Something we're apparently famous for, and one of the easiest traps for me to fall into.)

    The other difficult part about the formal diagnosis is telling people about it. Contrary to what it might seem like here, I'm not planning on spreading the news far and wide to people in the IRL. But I know once in a while situations will present themselves where disclosing will be the best thing to do. At those times, all I can do is hope the label won't change someone's attitude toward me for the worse.
     
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  15. Aug 18, 2018 #15

    loopytheone

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    I've found it helpful to tell people when I need more support, but I totally get being wary about it.

    Also, autistic person high five! *raises hand*
     
  16. Aug 18, 2018 #16

    ODFFA

    ODFFA

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    [​IMG]
     
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