31 and just self diagnosed, but some bits don't fit...?

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Do you like to slide down banisters?
Yes 56%  56%  [ 10 ]
No 44%  44%  [ 8 ]
Total votes : 18

WillWasHere
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21 Jun 2009, 1:13 pm

Michjo wrote:
Nobody fits everything on the diagnostic criteria. I wouldn't doubt you had aspergers from your description and the fact you display hypertelorism :wink:


Goes to wiki hypertelorism...



DavidF
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22 Jun 2009, 7:51 am

Hey Will :)

You are a lot younger than me and obviously have had an idea that you were AS for some time. For me, the diagnosis was somewhat of a relief as over the years I'd thought that I may have one of the other mental disorders (e.g. bipolar, schizophrenia etc). I've always been terrified of those. Due to my exposure in early life, that sort of thing equated with basket weaving (a real cliche), shuffling in a circle, people in white coats, electric shock therapy, being a zombie controlled by massive drug doses. Need I continue. So, being diagnosed as AS just meant I was wired different and there was nothing that could be done (with regard to a 'cure'). In general, I also appear to the general world as 'normal'. The few people that I've told are rather surprised because some have known me for years. To most people, I'm just a quiet guy who gets rather focused. People have to be really close to me to see me as I really am. When I feel cornered, I go from mild mannered to very aggressive in a very short time. If I can escape, I can keep things reasonably under control.

Anyway, enough about me. Good luck with making the necessary adjustments to achieve your goals.



tiffofdoom
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25 Jun 2009, 7:02 pm

Will,

I KNOW JUST WHAT YOU MEAN, about having "too much empathy" for Asperger's.
And if you're anything like me (which you do sound to be), then I think you'll come to realize you're not nearly as good with it as you think.

I was always observant, in strange ways. But never felt like I could "claim" such. On one hand, I could look at a person and know instantly that they were lying, as well as decipher their real feelings, hidden under the social sort of lies - for example, sensing when people were friendly, but really couldn't stand me, or someone else.
On the other hand, I frequently found myself in situations in which someone would be very angry/upset/hurt by me, and I'd have no idea why. A friend once WENT OFF on me, rattling out this list of offenses that boggled the mind (or my mind, heh) and generally just falling to hysterics over my many sins against her.
I thought she was crazy, and ust patiently waited for her to finish, very nervous at all her emotional hooting. Didn't know whether to laugh, or just run away. When she finished, with another big "I never want to see you again!" I just said "Okay. Sorry you feel that way," and walked away. Didn't speak to her for years, because, after all, she had made it very clear she did not want to see me. How was I supposed to know she didn't mean it, and REALLY wanted me to come find her again, and renew the friendship.
We're friends again, now, and she laughed her ass off, when I finally told her that I really, truly had no idea how I had offended her so greatly. I was just being Me.

As I hit my teens-to-twenties, I developed the skills to easily dissect my friends, cutting to the heart of their problems and secrets with almost unerring accuracy. This was not just some fancy of mine; I was known for this. Many, many people are not comfortable speaking with me, when I'm focused, simply because they know I will hone in on them in that way.

Etcetcetc. I was a genius with empathy, obviously. I can even score very high on those "EQ" quizzes.

I, too, read "Look Me in the Eye," and was a little disturbed by how many things were familiar. But I discounted it, and Asperger's, because once again...it seemed like I didn't quite fit. After all...I'm Miss Empathy, right?


It took having three kids all seemingly exploding into weirdness, all around me, to make me start asking serious questions about what made ME so very Odd. I have two little girls, with mostly subtle AS traits, and a few more "obviously autistic" red flags, like toe-walking and stims. Then one son who is MUCH more obvious, in his behavior.
Their weirdness made me start digging. And when everything kept coming back to Asperger's, in these kids who act so much like me, I finally had to sit down, set all my rigid ideas of what I "knew" about myself down, and start from scratch, evaluating my life.

OMFG, did the scales ever get peeled back, lol.
Where my infamous "empathy" was concerned, I first started to research it, to make sure I really knew what it was. Little things I had been reading made me start to question my ideas. Apparently, empathy, for NTs, involves naturally thinking as others do. "Putting oneself in their shoes." Suceeding, at least to some degree, at instinctively understanding what they are feeling or thinking. It is, from what I've learned, a constant connection of sorts, to your fellow man.

My "empathy" involves examining other people like lab specimins. Applying pattern recognition to their behaviors/expressions. Very, very outside-looking-in. Once I begin to see the truth, I was stunned at how utterly blind I'd been - not only did I not have this sort of empathy, but I still found it difficult to believe it really existed.
NT empathy is, above all, natural. Even insensitive assholes have it, though they may not care about the things they sense from other people. The empathy I have is very much a learned skill, and only occurs when "turned on." I may understand others very well, and care greatly about them. Or, I may not even remember they exist for long periods of time, and/or never notice their feelings. If I am not focused in on a friend's mental state, then he or she will need to TELL me, quite explicitly, what their needs/wants/feelings/etc are, or I will not only not know, but it won't occur to me to care. I think I'm generally a very nice person, but I just DO NOT think about other people.

I'd also thought I was excellent at "reading" people. No problems with non-verbal communication, here!
Not so much. Again, when I put aside what I thought I knew, and really examined myself, I was surprised to realize that what I "read," most of the time, was a person's voice. Apparently, I am sensitive to small vocal cues, while blind to most else, unless something reminds me to focus and pay attention. It seems much like one eye compensating for a loss of vision in the other; my abilities in one area were able to compensate so well they completely fooled me.

I don't see people waving at me. Don't always hear my name called. Ignore gestures. Often do not understand why people are smiling, frowning, or just have an odd look on their face. The bulk of human communication is lost on me, and it took me thirty years to notice.
If that doesn't scream "Asperger's" I don't know what would, lmao.


And empathy? Forget about it, heh. I frequently forget other people even really exist, the way I do; I'm always having to remind myself that other people have independant thought and feelings.
Again...when I PAY ATTENTION, when I turn that laser on, I'm an expert on human behavior. But the rest of the time, I'm so firmly locked down into myself that there is almost NO getting through, much less getting in.


Recheck your ideas about your own empathy. Clear your bias, and really LOOK back at your life. You may be surprised how autistic you really are.


Oh, and so far as the clumsiness? That was always another contradiction, for me. If you throw something at the back of my head, I will probably whip around, catch it, and lob it back at you, with the quickness.
But if you say "Here, catch this!" and slooowly toss an easy catch at me, I will either fumble it horribly, or possibly even manage to fall down while jumping back away from it.
I walk into walls and door frames all the time. I have been known to fall down, while standing still, and often my hands will just randomly open up and drop whatever they're holding. I really think my brain just can't pay attention to where I am, or what I'm doing, and I know that when I focus on a physical act, it will usually go horribly wrong, lol.
I'm strong, I'm very fast, and at times, my reflexes are extraordinary. The only reason I never liked sports, is because I hated the "team" part. And yet I am also a total GOOBER, physically.
So yeah...lots of variability, in Asperger's, it would seem. ;)

Also, I must say, I love your picture. You look maniacally excited. Do you often walk around with that face? :P



pluto
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26 Jun 2009, 5:00 pm

Hi Will and Welcome to WP.
I feel the same as yourself,I'm not particularly clumsy and I reckon empathy is one of
my attributes but on the other hand I've probably got some ASD-related traits that others
wont' have.


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I have lost the will to be apathetic