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Featured When you first suspected you were autistic as an adult

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by hatfullofrain, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. hatfullofrain

    hatfullofrain Well-Known Member

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    How did you react? Was it a relief? Did you feel despair that it meant you would never be normal?

    What did you do?

    I was 19 when it was suggested I might be autistic. It was 1998. There was no information for women on the spectrum back then. It was seen as a thing only boys had. Women didn't have it. Adults didn't have it.

    In 2008 the internet became a more useful place for learning about autism in women, but even then there wasn't much. I devoured everything I could on the subject.

    I enjoyed learning about the subject and finding out more about how my brain works.

    We have so much more information available now, written by adults on the spectrum for adults on the spectrum.

    I feel like I've adapted well to the world around me. I've been fortunate enough to study and get qualifications in a subject I enjoyed and have found employment amongst other spectrumy people who just get me.

    What's your experience?
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
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  2. hatfullofrain

    hatfullofrain Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I should add why I believed I was autistic. I had trouble understanding other people's motivations and how to communicate with them.

    I was good at writing essays, I was intelligent, I was articulate. It wasn't that I had communication issues because I could not understand language. I just didn't understand what people wanted me to say to them.

    It was not and never has been Intuitive for me. I still hate small talk for example, but I can say the right things noe. 20 years on I have learned by watching others and through trial and error how to act and what to say and I can pass as normal. Experience has put me where I am rather than any social skills.

    I'm still not interested in mainstream things and find it hard to meet people who enjoy the same kind of things I do, which makes me feel lonely. But if I don't talk about my interests I've found that I can make friends.
     
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  3. SolarPoweredNightOwl

    SolarPoweredNightOwl Walking contradiction

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    I don't remember the age, but it would've been late teens or early 20s, as I was in college. I knew something was "wrong", something was different, but didn't know what. Autism was one of the possibilities I considered, but because the literature available to me at the time was piss-poor, I felt I didn't fit the criteria for autism. (This was also before the DSM-V, so mainstream understanding back then was even worse than it is now.)
     
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  4. Lymle

    Lymle The pattern princess

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    Me either
    People say I'm quirky but i'm okay with that.

    I look around & see a world full of mindless conformity, kinda like a big herd of cows. MOOO! (even though I love cows) just so they can feel like there apart of what's popular, even if they truly don't even like it personally.
     
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  5. hatfullofrain

    hatfullofrain Well-Known Member

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    I think that people really do like mainstream things. I just don't. I used to wonder if people liked, really liked this rubbish or were just pretending to, but realised it's only rubbish to my ears and people who are wired the same, who are more populous will set tends because they like what they like.
     
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  6. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It was the missing piece of the puzzle for me. I had worked on self development and done one to one and group therapy for many years, also cocounselling, which is a process where people act as witness and supportive listener to each other rather than pay a counsellor to do it, and I also trained in a related field. It all helped a lot with all sorts of issues that were changeable, but there was still a core of issues around unstructured social interaction that didn't seem to change.

    Researching Aspergers for work with young people with Aspergers and their families, gradually led me to information about how it manifests in people socialised as women and to recognition that this was the missing piece for me. It allowed me to change my strategies and I guess to just understand rather than keep trying to work on aspects I can't change.

    It would be a more useful revelation if there was more general understanding of the autism spectrum and how it manifests and some appreciation for the very many of us who have contributed all we can in our workplaces with some pretty good effects, but just are not socially driven. Many people with autism have contributed massively, and we have some stand out examples just as NTs do, Henry Cavendish, Einstein and Alan Turing, for example.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
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  7. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    I was working with a Social Worker who was doing grief therapy and the more we talked the more
    she started asking questions that pertained to Asperger's as it was still called then.
    I didn't know they were questions that pointed towards Asperger's and I just answered her
    questions truthfully.

    One day she told me she thought it was more than complicated grief and said she was seeing signs of
    Asperger's and said I should see a specialist and get tested.
    I did. I couldn't believe how I found answers to things about myself and my life I had always wondered
    about but never understood. I always thought it was anxiety disorder which I do have also.
     
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  8. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    It was around the age of 37 that I found out. The discovery was an eye opener for sure.
     
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  9. Alexej

    Alexej Well-Known Member

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    I am quirky too
     
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  10. Alexej

    Alexej Well-Known Member

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    For me it was my wife who kept asking questions of why I responded the way I did to things. She was asking what is going on here? Eventually, through a process of deduction and elimination homed in on the possibility of ASD/Asperger's being what was going on. (However that was after 20 years of marriage)
     
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  11. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I had heard about it from a movie, Max and Mary, then I came across some online tests that people were doiing for fun on a forum and scored quite highly on them. But I didn't really think I could be autistic, because I had two university degrees, I was in a relationship and could work. So I forgot about it for a couple of years. Then I burned out of my job and left, started a new one but lost it, and fell into depression. I then came back to it and started to read about it more, and found a list with female traits, and another with adult traits, and found that I could relate to many of the traits and ticked many of the boxes. I could link many of my issues as a child to autism, and also the mainly social difficulties I had as an adult. I also started reading about it on forums and biographies, and could relate to many of the experiences of those on the spectrum.

    So one day, I asked my mum, do you think I might have Aspergers (pre-DSM 5)? She didn't know what that was so I send her some links to read up on it, and she said yes, I think you do have it, and that autism had been suspected by my remedial teacher when I was a child. I was going through a crisis, going through a lot of difficulties, so decided to get tested. So I did, and I was diagnosed with Asperger's.

    It was a relief, because for years I had realised that I was different, or found some things hard which came naturally to other people, and I knew I had cognitive functioning differences, not just down to personality. I was glad to get some answers and to be vindicated.
     
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  12. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    I have always felt like I was different, since elementary school. I had interests in science, medicine, and history, and was very serious compared to other kids. I also did not engage in activities with other kids, as there were no kids my age where I grew up. So I was a loner and have never made friends easily. However, I learned through experience how to fit in and mask the ASD over roughly 60 years, and it never occurred to me that I was autistic.

    Due to chronic sleep problems I sought medical help, and eventually was referred to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with ASD, General Anxiety Disorder, and depression in January 2020.
     
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  13. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    Most of my life, I knew that I was different from everyone around me. Now I know that we are all different, but I am a lot different than everyone else. Worse yet, I did not know how or why I was different. This was how my life was. I have a wife and a big family. I always worked doing the same thing. But I always felt that difference.

    When I was 60, I saw a documentary about John Elder Robertson. This documentary did a very good job describing what it was like to be on the spectrum. I was astonished, it felt like they were talking about me! I started researching autism and by the time I was 62, I was sure that I was autistic. However, I wanted to know for sure. I got my GP to refer me to a psychologist with experience in autism. I went to 3 appointments and took a bunch of tests. At that time the criteria used was the DSM-4. I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (DSM IV 299.80).
     
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  14. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I always knew my brain worked very differently from others, but I lived with it. To avoid the "social smackdown" (negative social consequences for getting something wrong in social situations) I consciously watched "normal" people and imitated them.

    At age 48, they cancelled every project at work that I was an expert in. I freaked out. It was all I could do to hide my feelings, not start throwing stuff, walk out and quit, rant, scream, etc. During a moment of mindfulness, I thought, "This is not how an emotionally mature adult reacts." I got into counseling and he diagnosed me as autistic.

    My first reaction was over-analysis. I listed all my behaviors that were different from "normal". I studied up on autism. I read the DSM-IV section on autism. I joined this forum that same day and started reading the various resources.

    After I saw how much of my behavior, my personality, my interests, my talents were affected by autism, I had a small identity crisis. I wondered, "If you take away the autism, what is there left of me? Where is the me?" My conclusion was that everyone is born with gifts and flaws, and that all we are responsible for is our decisions - what we do with it. That helped me through the hopeless period of thinking that autism has limited or doomed me to certain paths.

    I am now to the point where I think about it every day, but it is "background noise". It doesn't drive my every thought.
     
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  15. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    Thank you for this thread, @hatfullofrain. I enjoy reading other people's stories. It's amazing how many start with, "I always knew I was different."

    It make me think, we should have a a section in the forum where each person could post their own story. Like a shared blog, with one entry allotted to each person, maybe.
     
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  16. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Met this fantastic friend and wanted to understand better and somehow l self-discovered , now l am self -diagnosed as this and everyday has gotten better because l can run into my spectrum cave when things seem a bit busy - like l allow myself the luxury of taking care of me now not pushing myself to be something l am not.
    Always felt different but decided It was okay to be different.
     
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  17. Tony Ramirez

    Tony Ramirez Christian with Asperger's Syndrome

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    After I dropped out of college and went into a computer program for disabilities I found out I had Aspergers when I was 20 years old.

    Of course at the time all I heard was how intelligent they all were and I was a C average and I failed college I could not have it but I had too because I did some things my sister did who is fully Autistic, and my social skills were terrible I use to avoid people, even sneaking out. I hated loud noises and heard even the tiniest of sounds. I also got board easily.

    It was not until many years later after I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome that later found out that they were not all super genius.
     
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  18. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I guess 19 is technically an adult, but also, is it really?

    Even though you didn't ask I'll answer how I reacted to being told I was when I was 14, which was to completely disregard it. I was depressed. I actually forgot about it for years. It wasn't until the past few years that I've really paid any attention to it.
     
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  19. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    I was in my late twenties when was diagnosed. I remember crying for a few days. Not because I was upset about the diagnosis, but because I was sad about my younger self never feeling accepted or good enough and not understanding how other people got their social life together while I tried really hard and failed. I was sad because I wished I had known sooner that there was an explanation for why I was different from my peers.

    Other than that the diagnosis made sense to me and I didn’t have trouble accepting the diagnosis.
     
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  20. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Think it's always amazing to find out that some people actually did like me despite l am different. My biggest blunder is saying something not thought through or juvenile behavior. My attorney told me the judge signed my registration for affidavit in new state, and l started jumping up and down in a elevator! Then l immediately thought what the ???? Why did l do that? This was before l knew l was a spectrum flyer. So knowing late in life is helping understand a long past history.
     
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