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Could I be on the spectrum? So confused.

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by Lentil_curls, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Lentil_curls

    Lentil_curls New Member

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    I'm a very nearly 30 year old woman and only recently discovered that female symptoms of Asperger's can be quite different to those experienced by males, which has led me to wonder whether I might be on the spectrum as a few things seem to 'fit'. Does any of the following strike you as being autistic?

    • I was massively quiet and withdrawn throughout my childhood and this continued into adulthood. Socializing has never come naturally to me. I remember going to playgroup as a 3 or 4 year old and feeling so lost because other children were happily playing and I would wander around on my own not knowing what to do. It was the same at school at the age of about 6 where I remember just standing in the playground on my own not knowing how to engage with the other kids.

    • At the age of 4 I remember feeling scared and crying because I was going to a birthday party and felt overwhelmed by the prospect of it. When I got there I was more interested in hanging out in the kitchen with the kid's mum than playing with the other children! As I got older it got a bit more bearable.

    • At school I was deathly quiet and only really had one friend at any time. Any more than that just felt overwhelming and I didn't understand how to make friends. I still don't! I go through the motions of being friendly to people but other than a smile and a "hello" I have no idea what to say to people. Saying that, I have one friend who I see now and again and that seems to be enough for me. I wonder how much of this is just low self-esteem and social anxiety though rather than being typical of autism.

    • I took an aversion to a couple of styles of clothes when I was little because the design felt uncomfortable to me. I hated the stiff fabric at the crotch of trousers and the elastic at the bottom of a pair of leggings. I don't think this is such a thing for me as an adult, nowadays I just hate anything impractical which means I never wear heels, skirts or jewellery.

    • I'm very sensitive to light, noise and temperature. A motorbike roaring past is like nails being scratched down a blackboard for me and even when there is complete cloud cover the sky feels too bright. If it's hot then I'm really hot.

    • My mind wanders and I space out a lot. This was often commented on when I was at school. I once got shouted at by a teacher at the age of about 8 for asking him what to do next because I hadn't picked up on the fact that everyone else was sitting down and reading and that was the thing I was supposed to do. I somehow missed instructions at school too and often ended up being behind on a question because I had been so absorbed in it and hadn't acknowledged the next task.

    • I'm clumsy. I drop food on my top at pretty much every meal time and often completely manage to miss my mouth when having a drink!

    • I feel about 15 sometimes, not 30. I wouldn't say I have the interests of a 15 year old but in terms of social development I don't think I've massively improved since then. I'm certainly not ready for anything like having children and deep down I suspect I never will be as I don't see myself ever having the stamina for it (or any desire to change my 'safe' existence, as terrible as that sounds).

    These are just a few things off the top of my head. My father was emotionally abusive growing up and could be physically aggressive if pushed, so I wonder if the problems I had socially existed in part because of a bad, scary home life which left me with low self esteem. My social insecurities now are possibly residual because I didn't have the confidence to develop socially the way that my peers did. I have quite a growing collection of arid plants in my conservatory which could be considered my special interest, but what is the real difference between a 'special interest' and a plain hobby? I don't understand that. I seem to understand how conversations work but continuing them is the hard thing. Eye contact I'm surprisingly good at but it does make me uncomfortable. I'm not particularly fascinated by numbers or obsessive about organization. I wonder what the really defining thing about female autism is as the symptoms seem so broad and can be attributed to any number of other things, such as social anxiety and sensory disorder.

    Any feedback greatly appreciated. I've always felt like the odd one out and I feel like I've got to the point where I need answers on why I seem to struggle with things that other people don't. :confused:
     
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  2. dragoncat16

    dragoncat16 Active Member

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    Your experience is very similar to mine, though not in every detail, and I was diagnosed with AS just recently. You could try some online tests to see where you stand. Just search for the ones in my signature and see how you do.

    To answer your question, the difference between a "special interest" and a "hobby" is that people on the spectrum have special interests and neurotypicals have hobbies.
     
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  3. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    IMG_0337.JPG If you go to Wikipedia which I do a lot look up developmental disorders there are developmental disorders related to autism which are not exactly autism for instance psychologist think the start of seeing you in the session That you may be autistic but it could be that you're not socialised at one of the reasons for diagnosis but if you are in the UK after the age of 25 there is no formal education for people on the autism spectrum there are certain support groups and there is one college which is not very far from me, never been to the college you can look it up on the website,can't remember the exact address I know it's the initials ESPA its based in Sunderland Tyne and Wear.
    I wasn't diagnosed until I was nearly 46,there a lot of undiagnosed people on the website ,you only need a diagnosis if you are trying to get benefits or accommodations at your place of employment or education.
     
  4. Rich Allen

    Rich Allen Well-Known Member

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    If you suspect you have it, you should seek official medical guidance from your Doctor.
     
  5. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Let's just say that while we don't all share the same traits and behaviors of being on the spectrum that it's worth your time to remain here, read up and determine what you may or may not have in common with so many of us. And to get a better sense of who and what we- and you may be through directly interacting with us.

    Welcome to AC.
     
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  6. Ragnahawk

    Ragnahawk Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes.

    You shouldn't think of being autistic as defective, or disabled. Rather all these other people are "commercial" model robots and we are "business" model robots.

    Hyper Focusing

    Friend is outcast or guardian. (Girls do this pick me up where I see someone struggling and I want to help)

    Sensory Output Deficiency (Sounds, Sight, Geo Spatial Awareness)

    Choosing to be around elders over same age (Someone to talk to that I think will listen)

    There's definitely more. Just go read The Complete Guide To Asperger's. I only hit on the parts that immediately stuck out to me.
     
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  7. Ragnahawk

    Ragnahawk Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Last check in the block. You don't like to make eye contact. You'd probably find yourself looking at their face, mouth expression if you do look there.
     
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  8. Beguiling Orbit

    Beguiling Orbit Neurotribe Champion V.I.P Member

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    Have you tried taking the Aspie Quiz? It's not an official diagnosis, but it's a good place to start and can offer you some insight.
     
  9. kay

    kay Well-Known Member

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    Sounds close enough to stick around here. I can relate to a lot of what you said.
     
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  10. xudo

    xudo something V.I.P Member

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    Maybe, maybe not. If you want to know, then you need to seek out a professional who specialises in Autism.
     
  11. Ragnahawk

    Ragnahawk Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Noooooo. Blind faith in professionals is not good. Psychology is so biased that anybody could craft it to their perception. Read. That. Book.
     
  12. xudo

    xudo something V.I.P Member

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    I don't know what book you're talking about, and also I do have faith in Psychology. So much so that I have a degree in it. You are also entitled to your opinions and it doesn't change the fact that nobody on the forum can diagnose someone.
     
  13. Ragnahawk

    Ragnahawk Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Okay so explain what happened between d s m 4 and d s m 5. Then tell me your opinion.
     
  14. Beguiling Orbit

    Beguiling Orbit Neurotribe Champion V.I.P Member

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  15. xudo

    xudo something V.I.P Member

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    It's neither my job nor my place to explain the changes to the DSM to anyone. Maybe just let the thread get back on topic.
     
  16. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    It's worth recognizing something that comes up a lot here. The difference between healthcare systems that may or may not offer direct access to a neurological diagnosis. After all, this forum caters to an international audience. Reflecting that some of us do not have socialized, single-payer health care and thus cannot get such a diagnosis particularly easily, or without great cost in fees or co-payments. Assuming of course that they are even insured, which may or may not be the case.

    Perhaps the OP can tell us where she resides which may shed more light on her actual possibilities and alternatives regarding possibly being on the spectrum of autism.

    At least I think most of us can agree that arriving at this forum is a start, wherever it may lead to. :)
     
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  17. xudo

    xudo something V.I.P Member

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    Fair point, as I do tend to forget that not everywhere is as lucky as we are to have free healthcare. We take it for granted, and often times don't even consider that people in other countries have to pay.
     
  18. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    I've never come across any socialized healthcare system that could be considered truly "free" by a government dispensing such services or the taxpayers who ultimately pay for them. ;)

    Though I agree in a collective sense that it's better to have such a system than the chaos we have in the states at the present. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  19. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    Free at point of use is the phrase that covers all.
     
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  20. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Semantics. But then there are also acronyms taught in macroeconomics.

    TANSTAAFL: "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch." ;)

    Where all goods and services exist at a cost to someone. Just not necessarily everyone.
     
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