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rabbitears
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19 Jan 2011, 12:51 pm

I think I probably have something within the autistic spectrum, but I dont know how to bring it up with my parents etc. I dont know if they might think I'm just 'jumping on the bandwagon' if I were to mention it, (as it seems like everyone is getting diagnosed as something or another these days.) I think they might have some idea, but maybe they dont want to bring up the subject either. I just don't know. It would also be really strange gaining a diagnosis at age 19 aswell. Has anyone else had a late diagnosis or are in the same or similar situation I am in?



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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19 Jan 2011, 1:05 pm

If you're going to do it, I'd recommend that you soft-pedal the idea to your parents 'may have Asperger's,' that kind of thing. And also mention Bill Gates, Richard Feynman, as example of people on the spectrum, possibly, who are definitely creative and different, who accomplish a great deal, and who find others they can work with although it may take a while

(although we then get into the whole 'Asian student myth,' so to speak, as an analogy. And in our case, it needs to be pointed out that not everyone on the spectrum has skills that are so directly marketable or rewarded by existing institutions)



rabbitears
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19 Jan 2011, 1:20 pm

Yeah, I mean I'm no Bill Gaites or anything, and I dont think I really have substantially high levels of intelligence or immense Talents. But I have looked up a lot about the condition and so much of it relates to me.



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19 Jan 2011, 1:54 pm

Well, I'm not Bill Gator either. At the ripe old age of 48 (being ironic here, please work with me!), I haven't yet made a bunch of money.

But that's kind of what we have to negotiate. One stereotype of the person rocking by themselves. Another stereotype of the person genius in some area. Whereas, I tend to be more of a generalist. And we're just different. here at our group, we're different all across the board. And that's probably a good and healthy thing.

like we sometimes say, you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism.



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19 Jan 2011, 2:13 pm

rabbitears wrote:
. . . But I have looked up a lot about the condition and so much of it relates to me.

Now, we certainly want you here. I want you here, maybe as a person on the spectrum, maybe as a 'bridge person' who has some traits but not all.

In fairness, I should be honest with you about something. You may have heard of the 'medical student's disease' where the medical student thinks he or she has some rare and exotic disease that they just been reading or studying about, when how likely is it, really? Or, if a person simple cuts up a horoscope column and throws individual horoscopes into a box and draws one at randomly, it can seem to apply.

Point is, please go slowly. And this might present an opening. Maybe a news article from New York Times or Sydney Morning Herald (something further away somehow seems more authoritative!) and show it to a parent, 'might have it,' that kind of approach.

Now if an argument starts, even the beginning stages of an argument (parents want to assume the best about their child, and don't want someone criticizing the child even if that someone is you!)

Maybe, you could say something like 'I might have it, might not. There are pluses and minuses either way. But it is good to understand oneself.' And that last part, that kind of benign statement, is awfully hard to argue with. You would be basically side-stepping and avoiding being drawn into an argument with your parents.

Good luck either way! :D Please keep visiting with us here. I got to go, but maybe later.



Jeyradan
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19 Jan 2011, 2:52 pm

I was diagnosed at 21.

In fairness, though, I will add that I was diagnosed only because there actually were issues that were impacting daily life - people who interacted with me regularly were noticing (and pushing for evaluation), I was in post-secondary education and struggling to perform despite the fact that I understood everything I was being taught and far more, and in short, I had a reason for diagnosis.

If you are in the educational system, struggling, and feel that you may sincerely need accommodations to help, an evaluation may be worth pursuing.
If you are at work and having difficulty, and you think you may want to use a formal diagnosis as a tool either in gaining accommodations or for self-preservation, an evaluation may be worth pursuing.
If, however, you are just curious, then it is probably not necessary to have a diagnosis. Certainly that's no reason not to, if you want to be evaluated, but you should be able to tell for yourself with your research, self-evaluation, and probably the input of those around you.

Decide what traits make you think you may have Asperger's, decide whether or not they are truly impacting your life (and if so, how and to what degree), find out whether or not other people see these traits in you, and finally, decide what a diagnosis would do for you that would make you wish to have one.

Then you can decide whether or not it is worth the trouble of introducing the idea to your parents (which is not always the easiest thing to do; I didn't even tell my parents) or going for an evaluation (obviously, other factors such as cost of evaluation will come into play here).

Either way, you are welcome in the WrongPlanet community - you don't have to have the paperwork to play on this playground!



rabbitears
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19 Jan 2011, 3:05 pm

Thanks for the advice guys, I think I'm going to take my time and think this through, and gather up some ideas. I'll keep you informed.



-froggo-
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19 Jan 2011, 4:26 pm

I suggested the idea to my mother, and she seemed to deny it. But, more recently, she's been bringing it up every few days which probably means she's been considering it. Especially since she's been pointing out characteristics my father has which I also have which fit the spectrum.

What I'm trying to say is: even if your parents deny it at first, they may need some time to think it through.



Vannah
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19 Jan 2011, 7:52 pm

My mum completely agrees that I perfectly fit the criteria for Newson's Syndrome / Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome (an autism spectrum condition) and frequently asks me why I have trouble with ___, why I can't do ___ etc etc. She's totally exasperated and yet will not understand the fact that PDA explains most of my shortcomings, difficulties and general idiosyncrasies... And sees no reason why I should get assessed for an autism spectrum condition.
Moral of the story, people can be irrational :P

If the autistic traits you've identified in yourself are posing problems for you in your life, don't think twice about getting support.

Either way, have you taken the "Aspie Quiz" (http://www.rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php) or the autism quotient test (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aqtest.html)? They're time consuming but will quite nicely help to confirm or dispell your concerns. And the results might be something to show to your parents to help your case.


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AQ; 33

Aspie Quiz; Your Aspie score: 146 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 61 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie


Cicely
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19 Jan 2011, 8:06 pm

I was diagnosed at 17, and it's been very helpful. Better late than never.

My parents were skeptical when I first brought up Asperger's, and they were reluctant to let me be evaluated for it. I'd done a lot of research by that point, so I had plenty of articles and books for them to look at, which helped support my suspicions. The fact that I'd put so much thought into it at all helped them see how serious I was about Asperger's. But my anxiety problems were what helped convince them. They eventually realized that I did have legitimate problems, regardless of what the diagnosis might or might not be.

So, my advice: Present them with scholarly information about ASDs. Give them time to digest the information and reflect on things. Emphasize that you do have real issues and differences and could benefit from an evaluation.



rabbitears
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20 Jan 2011, 5:56 am

I took the Autism Quotient Test a few weeks ago and scored 34.



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20 Jan 2011, 12:57 pm

There are 40-year-olds who get diagnosed with Asperger's.



rabbitears
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20 Jan 2011, 3:58 pm

True, but AS wasn't very well known back when they were children so many people went undiagnosed until later on in life. It seems like most people from the generation after with Asperger's would be much more likely to have been diagnosed earlier on in life.



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20 Jan 2011, 5:07 pm

It doesn't matter if you're diagnosed late. It's better to have a diagnosis. It will make life easier.



rabbitears
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20 Jan 2011, 6:02 pm

Yeah, I think I just need to build some courage up before I start to tell anyone I know personally about whats going on.