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PhoenixRising
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30 Apr 2014, 3:06 am

This question is particularly targeting those people who have an official diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder or are the relative of someone(s) with an official diagnosis, therefore belonging to the Broad Autism Phenotype.

Do you believe that it is typical for those who do not meet the criteria for an Autism Spectrum Disorder but have autistic traits to feel like there is something "wrong" with them and continually want an explanation for this? And to feel like they themselves have autism? And to feel like they wish they could get support for their own autistic traits?

What should they do if they feel like that?
Should they seek help?
Where can they get help from?

Examples of traits may include such things as obsessive thinking, dislike of change, solitary interests and behaviour, high anxiety, and difficulties with emotional regulation.

I have my reasons for asking this question but am curious and eager to know what you think.



linatet
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30 Apr 2014, 5:40 am

This is hard to say... Broad autism phenotype is a personality, isn't it? So I don't think they may be looking for some sort of answer... At the same time I think almost everyone feels different from the others in some point of their lives, so..
if they feel like getting some help probably the best step would be seeing a psychologist. And make sure they have experience/expertise in autism/aspergers because a person that has broad autism phenotype traits may be on the spectrum .



MrGrumpy
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30 Apr 2014, 5:49 am

PhoenixR - for what it is worth, I would say that in practical terms there is very often no meaningful difference between a formal diagnosis and a self diagnosis. There is no universal agreement on a way to identify a person with a mild ASD, and there is no single treatment for the condition.

My answers to the questions in your 2nd paragraph would be yes, yes, and yes.

My response to the issues raised in your third paragraph would be to say that if somebody already knows that they don't meet the criteria for a formal diagnosis, then they have probably already sought some kind of help or done some kind of research.

I think that sometimes there is a kind of Catch22 in operation. If you are sufficiently well-informed to be able to go in search of an ASD diagnosis, then arguably you are already demonstrating a form of obsessive behaviour which might be an indicator of an ASD. However, if you are sufficiently high-functioning to be able to ask the appropriate questions, then it is quite likely that a formal diagnosis will be more difficult to justify.

It is a characteristic of ASD, that people actively seek out a diagnosis, even though they know that an ASD cannot be treated. A neuro-typical person is more likely to ignore whatever symptoms they might have until a visit to a medic is unavoidable. A neuro-typical is likely to be seriously worried that their self-diagnosis might be confirmed, whereas the neuro-diverse person is more anxious about having their self-diagnosis denied.



kraftiekortie
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30 Apr 2014, 8:39 am

I had a very classically-autistic presentation until age 5. Then I presented a more Aspergian clinical picture. As of this time, I am not sure if I would completely fulfill the diagnostic requirements for Asperger's--perhaps I'm PDD-NOS (according to the outdated DSM-4)?

I, mostly definitely, would deem myself within the Broad Autism Phenotype.

In my opinion, a diagnosis--whether obtained formally or via self-reflection/research, should never stop anyone from achieving one's goals within the predominantly neurotypical world.

I sometimes make excuses for myself--I have to stop that.