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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 1 Jun 2023
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Posts: 1
Location: Houston

01 Jun 2023, 3:23 pm

Hello, My name is Zach. My online friends call me Helms. I have only come to realize that I am autistic in the last several months. I am 48 and a US Navy veteran. I live in Houston Texas.

I believe the rigid structure of the military made it much easier for me to mask. Plus, I have found that once I know what to expect to hear it is much easier for me to understand what is being discussed. The range of topics being narrow also helped. It is only now that I am out of that structured environment that it has become inescapable the difficulties I am facing particularly in social situations and taking non-verbal cues from my girlfriend.

I am looking for help.

I read and answered "I Think I Might Be Autistic" by Cynthia Kim and I have every symptom to varying degrees.

Knowing that I spent the early part of my education in Special Ed I find myself asking how did they not know and if they did know why didn't they tell me.

This forum feels vast to me. Any suggestions for where to start would be much appreciated. Please and Thank you.

Double Retired

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Joined: 31 Jul 2020
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,451
Location: U.S.A.         (Mid-Atlantic)

01 Jun 2023, 3:56 pm

Welcome to another military veteran! My bride and I are both Air Force veterans and my Dad was in the Navy when my parents met, married, and had me.

Prior to 2019 I knew nothing about Autism my ignorance...would have abruptly rejected any suggestion that I might be Autistic.
(What I knew about Autism then: I had heard of, but not seen, the movie Rain Man.)

Reality gave me a hint to learn more about Autism (via the Internet) and the more I read the more I thought it fit me. Then I got my bride to read about it and she also concluded that it sounded like me.

But I did not consider the poorly-educated opinions of a couple of amateurs to be very credible. Then I found:
This test: Autism-Spectrum Quotient Test (AQ)
I took the test and my score indicated "significant Autistic traits".

They my bride took the test on my behalf, answering the questions the way she though I should answer them, and she got the same result I did.

That is when I decided to get a formal Adult Autism Assessment. And it was kind of fun and in 2019 I was formally diagnosed as:
I am now Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1 (Mild)
It explained so many things. I did get champagne!

As you seek your own answers be forewarned: Many of the traits of Autism are not unique to Autism. There are other diagnoses that overlap some characteristics of Autism. While I think "Autism" was a great diagnosis, the best diagnosis is a correct diagnosis.

Good luck!

P.S. With hindsight, I don't think the Autism was much of a problem for me when I was in the Air Force—in fact, since I was in computers, the Autism might have worked to my advantage.

On the other hand, in my 50s I learned I had a congenital heart valve problem. It would have impaired me doing anything athletic. I think that heart problem complicated my time in the Air Force.

When diagnosed I bought champagne!
I finally knew why people were strange.

Winters Gate

Joined: 20 Apr 2023
Gender: Female
Posts: 713
Location: Scenic over there

01 Jun 2023, 5:34 pm



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Joined: 2 Jul 2004
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 45,055
Location: Abbottistan

03 Jun 2023, 12:49 am

Welcome to WP from a fellow Houstonian!

Who’s better at math than a robot? They’re made of math!

Now proficient in ChatGPT!


Joined: 26 Mar 2023
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 902

03 Jun 2023, 9:00 am

Welcome, it can be rather overwhelming to find this kind of thing out so late, but things should improve dramatically as you better learn how to adjust your living environment to better suit how your brain works.

Do not underestimate how much of an impact things like hearing protection and labels can make in terms of quality of life.

It's personally taken me a bit to get used to the concept of there being other people out there that I can relate to as I had met like 2 people in the previous 4 decades of life that seemed to actually get me.


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 68,434
Location: Portland, Oregon

03 Jun 2023, 3:05 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :)

Silly NTs, I have Aspergers, and having Aspergers is gr-r-reat!