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I think I might have an autistic spectrum disorder... Watch

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    First of all, this is not internet diagnosing - it's not hearing of something, Googling it then seeing how many of the symptoms I can match. My friend is studying it as part of his degree and he was discussing ... and a lot of the things he was saying sounded very familiar.

    Evidence
    - not being able to guess what people are thinking or how they'll respond: I've never been able to do this. Whilst a lot of people seemed to have an inherent of what comes next in conversation, I never have. My humour is very hit and miss; I do have a sense of humour, but a lot of the time people just don't find it funny.

    - heightened senses to some stimuli: there are quite a few examples of this in my past. I hate the colour yellow, it hurts my eyes. I write with fountain pens because the sound of ballpoint on paper drives me mad; no one else can even hear ballpoint on paper. As long as I can remember, labels have been removed from my clothing because when I was a kid, apparently I used to scratch myself until I bled where the labels rubbed against my skin.

    - repetitive behaviour: where should I begin? When I was a kid, I used to play 'games' where I'd arrange my toys. I eat the same meals on the same day every week, and not doing it is distressing. I listen to the same song over and over again. I always approach computer games in the exact same way, even if I know it failed last time.

    - intense interest in specific things: I have a very deep interest in the life of Monet ... which doesn't sound unreasonable, until you realise I don't care for his art. I like knowing how cameras work, but I don't have any particular feelings about photography. Even in school, I was fascinated by statistics without caring much for the wider maths.

    - speech and tone differences: my speech wasn't particularly delayed, maybe a few months ... but people are forever telling me I keep very strange tones, sound bored when I'm discussing something I'm enthusiastic over, etc. They tell me to be quiet, but I don't think I'm being loud and I'm certainly not angry or shouting. I've been told I have a habit of 'parroting' what people have said as well - "Can you pass the ketchup?" and I'll say something like "Yes, I can pass the ketchup" as I do it. Also been told that it's a very formal manner of speech - I speak in pretty much the same manner as I have written this post.

    - trouble forging social connections: I have friends, although perhaps not with the best grounding (none of us fit in at school) ... but never feel the compulsion to befriend people, and I'm not as close to them as they are to each other. It's not because I was isolated as a child - I am an only child, but my parents regularly set up 'play dates' - so it's not like I couldn't have friends, just I didn't want them.

    - lots of allergies: been told this one is still quite controversial, but it's possible that a lot of people with AS disorders have a lot of allergies, and that is certainly true of me. Penicillin, MSG, bananas, too many chemicals to name, wasp stings, peanuts possibly...


    I've never really considered anything to be wrong with me until now, but hearing this and a lot of the common signs are very visible in me and my childhood. I'm an almost-twenty year old female, though, surely someone would have picked this up by now? Should I do anything about it?

    TL;DR version: Nearly twenty year old female hear about AS disorders from an academic source and a lot of the common signs are ringing true throughout my life. Never really considered much to be wrong until now - is it possible I have an undetected AS disorder and, if so, should I do anything about it?
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    I probably have a lot of symptoms from a lot of different disorders, but that doesn't mean I actually have any of said disorders.
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    (Original post by Drunk Punx)
    I probably have a lot of symptoms from a lot of different disorders, but that doesn't mean I actually have any of said disorders.
    Yes, but I have a lot of symptoms from the same disorder - the more you match, the more likely it becomes that you have it. That's all a professional diagnosis would consist of, I'm sure.
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    Go to the doctor?
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    Disorders like this are easy to associate with - it is a 'spectrum' after all. Lots of people will have high scores, but at the end of the day... can you not function in life? Will giving yourself this label help in any way?

    Stop worrying.
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    The only thing they can do is cognitive behavioural therapy I think (although don't hold me to that), to help you integrate with others better or whatever, but if you don't feel it's a problem, then don't bother, unless you really want confirmation you have some form of autism.
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    Why do all these slack jawed morons insist on visiting the TSR 'hospital' to try and diagnose their disorders, which, let's be honest are more likely to be wishful thinking because they're a socially inept and want an excuse for it.

    If you want a proper diagnosis, visit a doctor if you so wish.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Disorders like this are easy to associate with - it is a 'spectrum' after all. Lots of people will have high scores, but at the end of the day... can you not function in life? Will giving yourself this label help in any way?

    Stop worrying.
    I don't know, I think I might like to know. I was bullied horrifically for a lot of this throughout my school years - it's no fun being the six year old using a mahogany fountain pen (oh yeah, can't hold metal either) or the kid who is forever mocked because she had a breakdown when a nice country walk tried to go through a field of rapeseed. It would be nice to know why it happened.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I don't know, I think I might like to know. I was bullied horrifically for a lot of this throughout my school years - it's no fun being the six year old using a mahogany fountain pen (oh yeah, can't hold metal either) or the kid who is forever mocked because she had a breakdown when a nice country walk tried to go through a field of rapeseed. It would be nice to know why it happened.
    Well... for me such a diagnosis wouldn't really mean much - its just one neural abnormality we choose to label 'autism' or another we don't have a label for (because one isn't needed, perhaps) - if you really want a diagnosis though i'm sure a doctor would be happy to see you.
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    Because it's a spectrum all people fit onto it. Some further down than others. If you're able to function sufficiently in society then it's nothing to worry about. Most people may exibit some traits that are 'autistic like' traits, since most people have a multitude of aspects to their personality and mind.
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    Isn't this just a subjective scale anyway? Or is there a definite cut off point between having it and not having it? A lot of the symptoms seem like they could be shared by a lot of people, or perhaps just amplified natural human characteristics.
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    I have Aspergers.

    You do seem to have several of the symptoms. However, to be diagnosed with AS you need to have the triad of impairments and then a range of traits, not just several traits. If you don't have the triad the most you can have is PDD-NOS and that diagnosis isn't v. helpful because hardly anyone has heard of it. I did want to be diagnosed with AS, but only as a means of explaining my odd behaviour. It's not like I tell people in advance, but say, in the future with jobs and things, I can let them know why I do certain things. PDD-NOS can be treated a bit like ADD, like a 'made up' disorder. The major point you're missing is repetitive movements (such as stimming) and needing a strict routine, that kind of thing. You have poor social skills and obsessional behaviour.

    And Aspergers in girls is notorious for being detected very late, or not at all. I won't go into it, but hardly anyone knows what ASDs really are. My parents hardly know anything about it, at first they said about me "we've seen people with autism on TV...you're not anything like that". Lots of adult Aspies suffer severe anxiety because they've pretended to be NT all their lives.

    Go to your GP, lay it all out carefully, tell them you've been considering this for a while etc (I would wait for a few months so they can see it's not just a whim, I thought about it for two years before I told my dad I thought I had it and if I'd told him after a week or something he wouldn't have taken me seriously) and ask to be referred to someone, who will evaluate you. I believe you when you say you're not just internet diagnosing. But I would keep researching. A while after I found out I had it, I kept reading up about it and every so often some little weird quirk of mine would suddenly be explained. It's weird
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    (Original post by chinaberry)
    The major point you're missing is repetitive movements (such as stimming) and needing a strict routine, that kind of thing. You have poor social skills and obsessional behaviour.
    Repetitive movements... Would that be things like rocking backwards and forwards, or continually interlocking your hands?

    Routine with regards to things like meals have to be eaten on time, and I wake up at the same time, on the dot, every day. But I just assumed that would come from patterns in my childhood. :confused:
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Repetitive movements... Would that be things like rocking backwards and forwards, or continually interlocking your hands?

    Routine with regards to things like meals have to be eaten on time, and I wake up at the same time, on the dot, every day. But I just assumed that would come from patterns in my childhood. :confused:

    That's it- look up stimming. Rocking, hand flapping, visual, verbal stimming etc etc.

    Did you need to go the same way to school every day, did you separate your food at the table, does going on holiday and disrupting your natural routine make you a bit upset? Things like that.

    I think an ASD is a definate possibility, but obviously I don't know how intense these things are. All we can do on the internet is confirm that yes, those are autistic behaviours and that no, you wouldn't be wasting your time checking it out.
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    (Original post by chinaberry)
    That's it- look up stimming. Rocking, hand flapping, visual, verbal stimming etc etc.

    Did you need to go the same way to school every day, did you separate your food at the table, does going on holiday and disrupting your natural routine make you a bit upset? Things like that.

    I think an ASD is a definate possibility, but obviously I don't know how intense these things are. All we can do on the internet is confirm that yes, those are autistic behaviours and that no, you wouldn't be wasting your time checking it out.
    I rock and interlock the hands, but don't really flap them (unless you count tapping them on chair arms.) What are visual and verbal stimming?

    There were shortcuts to and from school, but after I'd found one way I never wanted to go any other. I'd do things like eat all the chips first, then all the fish fingers, then all the baked beans - they could never mix. I eat the layers of a lasagne seperately, even now. I could never sleep when on holiday.

    So an ASD is worth checking? Like I say, I've had a pretty rough time with all of this - even if nothing gets done, if I get the test and it shows I do have an ASD, I feel like it'd help inside, if that makes sense (does it?)
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I rock and interlock the hands, but don't really flap them (unless you count tapping them on chair arms.) What are visual and verbal stimming?

    There were shortcuts to and from school, but after I'd found one way I never wanted to go any other. I'd do things like eat all the chips first, then all the fish fingers, then all the baked beans - they could never mix. I eat the layers of a lasagne seperately, even now. I could never sleep when on holiday.

    So an ASD is worth checking? Like I say, I've had a pretty rough time with all of this - even if nothing gets done, if I get the test and it shows I do have an ASD, I feel like it'd help inside, if that makes sense (does it?)

    Some people do a wide range of stims and some people only do one or two. I personally have loads. I keep them all in at school (and people still do notice!) and at home it all comes out. Do you do it more when you're stressed? I do it when I'm stressed, or just because it feels better. The food thing sounds classic as well. Do you have a lack of empathy, are you clumsy, when you were little did your parents notice that you never pointed to things or react to your name, stuff like that. I'd give you a list of stuff but it would take me ages to write it all out

    Yes, it absolutely makes sense. It's really cool knowing you finally fit in somewhere. And I'd say it's worth checking. But if I could give you a piece of advice, it would just be to wait a bit. Because doctors are pretty busy and they won't bother to tell people who are genuinely bothered and just an internet diagnoser apart. If you go in and say, I've been researching this for a while now and every time I feel more and more like I have this, they'll take you more seriously. It's not in their interests to diagnose over-21s and if you don't have a particularly caring GP you'll have to push pretty hard. Sorry you've had a rough time.
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    If it helps, I've got PDD. Noone ever seemed to suspect it, it was only when my cousin was diagnosed with aspergers that I realised there was anything even remotely unusual in my behaviour.

    Its up to you how you handle it though. Me? I don't tell anyone. I could probably name all the people who know on one hand because as much as it helps to explain my struggles to myself, I don't really feel others need to know. I also feel like if they knew then they would adapt to me, and realisticly thats not what I want.

    On the other hand, maybe you want a concrete diagnosis so you can present it to people and they will be considerate. I know occassionally the b/f forgets and thinks I'm being cold or distant or whatever and I have to remind him that I'm not and why.

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    (Original post by chinaberry)
    And Aspergers in girls is notorious for being detected very late, or not at all.
    I was thinking as I read the OP, if this was a male everyone would assume he was autistic.
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    (Original post by MancStudent098)
    (Original post by chinaberry)
    And Aspergers in girls is notorious for being detected very late, or not at all.
    I was thinking as I read the OP, if this was a male everyone would assume he was autistic.
    Why is that, may I ask?
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    Definitely sounds like there's a strong possibility.
    The lack of wanting friends doesn't sound quite as AS though from my experience...as those with AS seem to have a tendency to really want friends, and want to be liked...but just cant and cant work out why.

    Of course everyone is different though. Those with ADHD i've found seem to exhibit those kinds of friendships so it could be comorbid?

    My mum didnt get diagnosed until she was 38. So yes, it's extremely easy to go undetected, especially as many AS develop coping mechanisms to hide their difficulties.

    I definitely recommend trying for an assessment. But be warned, you could have a fight on your hands.
 
 
 
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