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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 18 Aug 2017
Age: 19
Gender: Female
Posts: 1
Location: Texas, USA

Yesterday, 5:44 pm


I just joined.

I'm a 20-year-old college student with Asperger's Syndrome and mild autism. I've been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and mild autism at some point in my childhood. Unfortunately, I didn't know about that until I was about to start middle school. At first, discovering my Asperger's and mild autism kind of made sense. It made me realize why I didn't think like most people or fit in very well. But, at the same time, I didn't really like the sound of being different from everybody else. After I started high school, I had to accept myself being an individual with Asperger's and mild autism. Although I did just that, I knew that I would facing a lot of challenges and trying out new things.

This is the first time I'm joining an online community. So if I mess up on something, I apologize.

Yesterday, 6:20 pm

Welcome! :D Good to have you aboard.

First, Asperger Syndrome IS autism. In fact, in the new DSM-V, the diagnosis of Asperger's Disorder has been eliminated entirely, in favor of the term "High Functioning Autism," or even simpler "Autism Spectrum Disorder," the specific designation of just WHERE on the spectrum, noted by various subcategories.

Second, I personally contend that there is no such thing as "mild autism," only superior coping skills.

Autism essentially, is just a neurological hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli, meaning our nervous systems have no natural filters when it comes to exposure to sound, light, touch, social cues, etc. It all comes in booming into our brains turned up to 11, and where normal people automatically tune a lot of it out and interpret the rest as a silent language, we can't - meaning our brains have to process each and every bit of noisy data one piece at a time, and sometimes it's just more than we can handle. It also means we notice a lot of tiny details normal people don't, but we miss a lot of important signals, too, so we often don't really fully grasp what's going on.

Coping Mechanisms
are those personal "cheats" that you develop over many years, that help you fake your way through daily interactions with normal people. Sometimes we get so good at faking it, even seasoned Mental Health Professionals can't tell we're handicapped at first glance. But we are. So no matter how sophisticated our abilities to fake our way through social situations and such, eventually it takes it's toll, in terms of physical exhaustion and often depression as well. Not to mention the isolation of not being able to function adequately in interpersonal relationships.

IMHO, the better your Coping Mechanisms, the more High Functioning you appear, but I'm not convinced it means "less autistic." I may seem (or even feel) more autistic some days than I do on others, simply because I'm too tired to fake it.

"I don't mean to sound bitter, cynical or cruel - but I am, so that's how it comes out." - Bill Hicks