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Shambles
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09 Apr 2012, 7:57 pm

Hey everyone, just wondering if anyone else has this issue. . . I'm 16 and my parents are always ranting about how other kids my age can do much more than me. . .

For example, I can't operate in the kitchen because of my clumsiness and forgetfulness. ( 'you're so dopey Sharon' my mother likes to say).
I can't go out on my own as I have a terrible sense of direction. Plus I get really nervous, to the point where I am unable to function.
I am also bad at returning social gestures, especially, as I never got my mum anything on mothers day or her birthday and she got quite upset. The guilt.
I cannot go shopping efficiently as I often panic if I cant find what I need, plus im too scared to ask.

The one my parents pick on the most is my lack of 'friend contact'. I virtually never go out with the few friends I have, I hardly keep contact which is something I have to change. Apparently, I live in my bedroom which results in my parents taking my guitar off me and dis-allowing me to paint.

All these characteristics make me feed so selfish and ungrateful as I have a great quality of life and shouldn't complain of such trivial things. But theyre impossible for me to change.

Does anyone else have similar experiences to the ones I listed?


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The_Postmaster
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09 Apr 2012, 8:28 pm

I'm 16, and I was just like you, until recently. My advice: if you have any hobbies that can connect you to other people, take advantage of them. For instance, I've loved to play chess since I learned the rules 2.5 years ago, so I've joined a few chess clubs. Tomorrow I am going out for lunch with a few other people from one of the clubs. We have what we call our, "educational group," in which we each study one topic a week very intensely, then present our findings to the group.
I used to not socialize with any of my friends from school until recently, either. When I found out that the people I eat lunch with are all avid airsoft players, I ordered a gun online, and got involved. Turns out I have a bit of natural talent as a sniper.
The point is hobbies/interests make for great socializing tools, not just for aspies, but for anyone. If you have a hobby that you have in common with a group of people, that's an excuse to socialize right there, and the best part: this kind of socializing doesn't even require social skills! I can play chess for hours with a group of friends without having to make eye contact or anything the entire time. By doing this you can develop further interpersonal relationships with the people who share your hobby and this can result in socializing outside of it.



Ai_Ling
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09 Apr 2012, 8:35 pm

When I was 16, I had no friends, I was mute and had horrible social skills. I was virtually at a lost of how to get out of the rut I had buried myself in over the years. My mom and other adults of authority would try to encourage me to talk to people, go up to people or invite people over. I was at a complete loss.



ThinkTrees
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09 Apr 2012, 8:39 pm

I relate to all the characteristics you describe, except for clumsiness.

Really, you are fine, just a few modifications to ensure your ability to function as an individual.

I keep a list for shopping, so that the overwhelm as I enter the supermarket doesn't get the better of my plans.
If you can't find what you need, calmly walk each aisle, and you will eventually come across it.
Write out a map for where you're going, train stations, bus stops, etc. Or use a GPS.
Have a calendar or alarm notification system (on your phone or such) to tell you to get gifts as required.

If you must have regular friend contact so that your guitar & paint is not taken away, then create a notification system for that too.
You must play music & paint, that's really important to who you are.

Your writing suggests that you are in fact appreciative rather than ungrateful, and respectful of your parents, rather than selfish.
The clarity of communication also indicates a definite lack of dopeyness.
Asking for help & suggestions from others is a positive thing to do, and not mere complaining, which is when you're not trying to change things for the better & are just bemoaning problems uselessly.

Try to let go of expectations to be like others, as your uniqueness is a gift to this world.



JesseCat
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10 Apr 2012, 1:01 am

I would offer a virtual hug, but aspies are notorious for not liking physical contact, so I will send my condolences.
You sound JUST like me when I was 16.

I had friends, but would prefer to stay in my room, creating art, playing my guitar, writing poetry and short stories.

I would rarely venture out on my own because my directional sense was absolutely horrid. Mind you, I'm a New Yorker-we're supposed to be savvy on those matters. Which just made it worse :oops:

I had TERRIBLE social anxiety and couldn't go shopping on my own either. The thought of going up to a salesperson and asking a question made me want to vomit.

The same with social gestures and reciprocating gifts/etc.

My parents basically though I was a selfish sociopathic piece of s**t. And a lazy useless "waste of life" as well. (I don't have the most caring parents. They were actually physically and verbally/emotionally abusive to me for the first 17 years of my life, but that's another story.)

I wasn't diagnosed with AS until 8 years later.


I'm 25 and they're JUST starting to understand that I am on the autism spectrum.

In a sense you're lucky if you were diagnosed at 16.

So yes I can relate to what you are experiencing. You are definitely not alone.

Word of advice-it does get better. Having AS is not a get out of jail free card-I was forced into several sales jobs where I had to learn social skills rather quickly.
My social skills noticeably improved after being undiagnosed for so many years and being forced to "come out of my shell".
Now I think of social skills as an algorithm to learn. Just another set of social rules to learn to succeed in life.
Now I have no problem going up to people and talking to them on a superficial level.

But as for the friend part-that can't be forced. Not to mention as aspies we are prone to being taken advantage of.
So all I have to say is be careful. Personally I have been taken advantage of one too many times when I was younger and I don't want to see that happen to another aspie.



Shambles
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10 Apr 2012, 5:56 am

Thanks for the replies guys :)

@ThinkTrees ... That was a lovely post thankyou very much :) also thanks for the suggestions I'll be sure to try them out.

@ JesseCat ... Wow. You can actually relate to everything I said, even though I havent been diagnosed an aspie. My mum is suspicious of me having autism, but when I suggest getting it checked out she gets upset. Also, im sorry to hear about your upbringing, but am glad that your social skills improved :) ... Thanks for the optimism. :)


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10 Apr 2012, 9:22 am

Shambles wrote:
Hey everyone, just wondering if anyone else has this issue. . . I'm 16 and my parents are always ranting about how other kids my age can do much more than me. . .

For example, I can't operate in the kitchen because of my clumsiness and forgetfulness. ( 'you're so dopey Sharon' my mother likes to say).
I can't go out on my own as I have a terrible sense of direction. Plus I get really nervous, to the point where I am unable to function.
I am also bad at returning social gestures, especially, as I never got my mum anything on mothers day or her birthday and she got quite upset. The guilt.
I cannot go shopping efficiently as I often panic if I cant find what I need, plus im too scared to ask.

The one my parents pick on the most is my lack of 'friend contact'. I virtually never go out with the few friends I have, I hardly keep contact which is something I have to change. Apparently, I live in my bedroom which results in my parents taking my guitar off me and dis-allowing me to paint.

All these characteristics make me feed so selfish and ungrateful as I have a great quality of life and shouldn't complain of such trivial things. But theyre impossible for me to change.

Does anyone else have similar experiences to the ones I listed?


What they took away your guitar and dis-allow you to paint, because you don't have a crap load of freinds to hang out with all the time? that's terrible. But yeah uhhh I kinda feel like they are the ones being ignorant, rather then you being 'selfish' or 'ungreatful' I mean they won't let you do harmless, wholesome activities like painting? But anyways just try not to feel to badly about yourself and well yeah I am not sure exactly. Once your 18 you'll probably have more options and are legally an adult for the most part for whatever that's worth.


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Moridin8
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10 Apr 2012, 10:16 am

Heh. sounds like me when I was a teen and whilst I am mildly clumsy, i'm not too bad. I also only have one friend (aside from my Wife... and I still wonder how *that* happened 8) )

Forgive my directness on this - because I had a similar thing with my parental units... but...

Your parents are being selfish dicks. They *really* need to get an education on AS and how it affects people and more specifically what it's like for you and they *really* need to STOP putting you down with offhand comments like 'you're so dopey'... I mean... WTF!?! Thing is though, that the only way that will happen is if you are able to take an active part in that education.

Are you in the process of being Diagnosed?



Shambles
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10 Apr 2012, 10:32 am

O

Sweetleaf wrote:
Shambles wrote:
Hey everyone, just wondering if anyone else has this issue. . . I'm 16 and my parents are always ranting about how other kids my age can do much more than me. . .

For example, I can't operate in the kitchen because of my clumsiness and forgetfulness. ( 'you're so dopey Sharon' my mother likes to say).
I can't go out on my own as I have a terrible sense of direction. Plus I get really nervous, to the point where I am unable to function.
I am also bad at returning social gestures, especially, as I never got my mum anything on mothers day or her birthday and she got quite upset. The guilt.
I cannot go shopping efficiently as I often panic if I cant find what I need, plus im too scared to ask.

The one my parents pick on the most is my lack of 'friend contact'. I virtually never go out with the few friends I have, I hardly keep contact which is something I have to change. Apparently, I live in my bedroom which results in my parents taking my guitar off me and dis-allowing me to paint.

All these characteristics make me feed so selfish and ungrateful as I have a great quality of life and shouldn't complain of such trivial things. But theyre impossible for me to change.

Does anyone else have similar experiences to the ones I listed?


What they took away your guitar and dis-allow you to paint, because you don't have a crap load of freinds to hang out with all the time? that's terrible. But yeah uhhh I kinda feel like they are the ones being ignorant, rather then you being 'selfish' or 'ungreatful' I mean they won't let you do harmless, wholesome activities like painting? But anyways just try not to feel to badly about yourself and well yeah I am not sure exactly. Once your 18 you'll probably have more options and are legally an adult for the most part for whatever that's worth.


I hope I didn't make it sound like my parents are terrible people. . . Its just that sometimes I, apparently, get too reclusive and need a break. My mother says that she mostly does it to give me a break and to spend time with the family more otherwise I'd drive myself nuts O_o ... I suppose she's just trying to help me.


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Sweetleaf
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10 Apr 2012, 10:40 am

Shambles wrote:
O
Sweetleaf wrote:
Shambles wrote:
Hey everyone, just wondering if anyone else has this issue. . . I'm 16 and my parents are always ranting about how other kids my age can do much more than me. . .

For example, I can't operate in the kitchen because of my clumsiness and forgetfulness. ( 'you're so dopey Sharon' my mother likes to say).
I can't go out on my own as I have a terrible sense of direction. Plus I get really nervous, to the point where I am unable to function.
I am also bad at returning social gestures, especially, as I never got my mum anything on mothers day or her birthday and she got quite upset. The guilt.
I cannot go shopping efficiently as I often panic if I cant find what I need, plus im too scared to ask.

The one my parents pick on the most is my lack of 'friend contact'. I virtually never go out with the few friends I have, I hardly keep contact which is something I have to change. Apparently, I live in my bedroom which results in my parents taking my guitar off me and dis-allowing me to paint.

All these characteristics make me feed so selfish and ungrateful as I have a great quality of life and shouldn't complain of such trivial things. But theyre impossible for me to change.

Does anyone else have similar experiences to the ones I listed?


What they took away your guitar and dis-allow you to paint, because you don't have a crap load of freinds to hang out with all the time? that's terrible. But yeah uhhh I kinda feel like they are the ones being ignorant, rather then you being 'selfish' or 'ungreatful' I mean they won't let you do harmless, wholesome activities like painting? But anyways just try not to feel to badly about yourself and well yeah I am not sure exactly. Once your 18 you'll probably have more options and are legally an adult for the most part for whatever that's worth.


I hope I didn't make it sound like my parents are terrible people. . . Its just that sometimes I, apparently, get too reclusive and need a break. My mother says that she mostly does it to give me a break and to spend time with the family more otherwise I'd drive myself nuts O_o ... I suppose she's just trying to help me.


My parent's certainly aren't perfect either, so I was not assuming they are terrible...those comments just seem like they'd be pretty hurtful and taking away the things you do enjoy because you don't have a lot of friends just seems pretty harsh. I mean if my mom had taken away my books or drawing notebook at that age I would have been devistated because I didn't have any friends to go hang out with, my parents argued a lot so it was not necessarily pleasant to hang out with them so it would have been like preventing me from even having a little enjoyment from activities I did alone.

But yeah I guess I can see her reasoning, but If she is at all the type of mom you can talk with about these things...maybe you could educate her more on how AS effects you. Also I am not sure how attached you are to painting or playing guitar but if those are special intrests for you, you might want to try and explain not being allowed to do the things you do enjoy because you don't enjoy the same activities as everyone else or whatever is actually more detrimental than helpful. I mean if she feels you should spend more time with the family maybe a compromise of some sort could be made rather then just not being allowed to do anything you like so you will be forced into spending more time with the family as the alternative is sit in your room and do nothing.


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Shambles
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10 Apr 2012, 10:41 am

Moridin8 wrote:
Heh. sounds like me when I was a teen and whilst I am mildly clumsy, i'm not too bad. I also only have one friend (aside from my Wife... and I still wonder how *that* happened 8) )

Forgive my directness on this - because I had a similar thing with my parental units... but...

Your parents are being selfish dicks. They *really* need to get an education on AS and how it affects people and more specifically what it's like for you and they *really* need to STOP putting you down with offhand comments like 'you're so dopey'... I mean... WTF!?! Thing is though, that the only way that will happen is if you are able to take an active part in that education.

Are you in the process of being Diagnosed?


Well, my mum is suspicious of me having autism, but when I suggest getting it checked out she gets upset .... She thinks that I fake it for attention sometimes ... I understand why she thinks that though because when I was very small I used to pretend I was ill for my mothers attention ...... Now it's the complete opposite, I hate the attention.


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Sweetleaf
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10 Apr 2012, 10:47 am

Shambles wrote:
Moridin8 wrote:
Heh. sounds like me when I was a teen and whilst I am mildly clumsy, i'm not too bad. I also only have one friend (aside from my Wife... and I still wonder how *that* happened 8) )

Forgive my directness on this - because I had a similar thing with my parental units... but...

Your parents are being selfish dicks. They *really* need to get an education on AS and how it affects people and more specifically what it's like for you and they *really* need to STOP putting you down with offhand comments like 'you're so dopey'... I mean... WTF!?! Thing is though, that the only way that will happen is if you are able to take an active part in that education.

Are you in the process of being Diagnosed?


Well, my mum is suspicious of me having autism, but when I suggest getting it checked out she gets upset .... She thinks that I fake it for attention sometimes ... I understand why she thinks that though because when I was very small I used to pretend I was ill for my mothers attention ...... Now it's the complete opposite, I hate the attention.


Who hasn't pretended to be sick at least once as a small child? either to get out of school or get attention. I mean its kind of ridiculous she clearly acknowledges you don't function normally and could have AS.....but thinks you're faking it for attention based on something you did as a little kid. I just thought that was pretty normal for little kids before they've really learned more effective ways of getting peoples attention.


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Moridin8
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10 Apr 2012, 10:54 am

Shambles wrote:
Well, my mum is suspicious of me having autism, but when I suggest getting it checked out she gets upset .... She thinks that I fake it for attention sometimes ... I understand why she thinks that though because when I was very small I used to pretend I was ill for my mothers attention ...... Now it's the complete opposite, I hate the attention.


Hmm.... based on what you are saying here, my thoughts on selfishness stand. Her getting upset at you suggesting getting yourself checked out sounds like a form of manipulation to me... Be careful.

I know this AS group link I am about to post is for an area a little further west than your current location, but they have helped me a lot and the least that can happen is that you are pointed in the right direction. Please contact these guys: [Autonomy Shropshire] and see about chasing a diagnosis...

I hope things get better for you.



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10 Apr 2012, 12:30 pm

What everybody else has said, roughly. But I'd like to add, especially for your kitchen problems, but for your whole life: with or without AS, you can _work on_ your clumsiness and forgetfulness. Get a timer to set for when something is due to come out of the oven, and then don't leave the room while it's baking: there are other useful things you can do there while you're waiting. _Practice_ moving slowly and carefully. It'll slow you down, but keep you safer when you're doing something like slicing or grating. Nobody likes blood in their carrot salad (joke). Gradually, with more confidence, you can speed up. Maybe never able to keep pace with your mother, but better than you are now. Be certain that you have a good hold on a dish, so that there's no way it can fall, before you take its weight off where it's sitting. Don't say you "can't", just say "If I'm careful, I can!". I was a legendarily clumsy kid, and I've functioned in a kitchen for over fifty years now. Think about what you're doing, don't start daydreaming about your special interest.

I have no sense of direction either. You get through that by studying, and I mean _studying_, maps and a compass. For more money, you can get a gps. Then _study_, think about that. I've never gotten permanently lost, and I've always driven a car too. As Daniel Boone once said, "I've never been lost in the woods. One time I was bewildered for three days..."


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biribiri20
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10 Apr 2012, 1:03 pm

I will be 22 in a few months and that's pretty much spot on with how I've felt for so many years. I have trouble going to places like supermarkets where I don't know where certain items are and I'm too nervous to ask for help so I just end up not getting them. If there are other people in the aisle, I'll feel uncomfortable and sometimes I'll wait until they leave before picking up what I need. My older brother gets mad at me sometimes because he calls my cell often, but I rarely call him. I don't get anything for my parents on mothers or father's day or even Christmas. I do tell them that I love them, but I guess that's not enough. I've just recently started hanging out with my friends and while I'm learning to have fun with them, it also bothers me because while I'm with them, I'm constantly thinking about how I'd be able to get home afterward and what would happen if I were to get lost. My parents are religious and want me to attend church with them but I feel so uncomfortable there, to the point where I would cry while I was there. The kids there weren't exactly the nicest either. Even now, I still get scolded by my parents for many things that they say they shouldn't have to remind me of at my age. I am very clumsy and I usually spill the laundry soap when I'm trying to wash my clothes, among other things. I even spilled a pack of blueberries last night, despite trying my best to avoid it. I forget to change my bed sheets and I have trouble telling when my clothes and said sheets should be washed. My mom even says I still walk and dress like a kid and that I need to start caring more about my self image. I don't care about makeup or dressing feminine or any of that stuff. They don't like that I walk around the house with my teddy in my arms. They mention how my cousins and their friends' kids are doing this and that for their parents yet I can hardly do simple things for them. I have told them I have issues with these things but they just chalk it up to excuses on my part. They don't even take my ADD seriously. It's like you try so hard but no one notices the things you're able to do right and only pick up on the things you can't do. Even though I'm pretty much in the same boat as you right now, I believe it does get better eventually. Even now, I am able to go to the bank and deposit money on my own and even talk to my professors sometimes; things I couldn't do at all two years ago. My parents hate that I live in my room too and also tend to take my guitar away. Bleh. Well it's frustrating, but at least it's nice to know you're not alone in this, right? :wink:


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Diagnosis: ADHD-PI, suspected AS
Your Aspie Score: 142 of 200, Your NT Score: 74 of 200, You are very likely an Aspie
AQ: 38/EQ: 16/SQ: 52