Hello, I'm new. I was diagnosed HFA/Aspergers 4 days ago

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Blender
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14 Nov 2014, 5:21 pm

I'm 43, married to a beautiful NT woman. We both brought kids in to a blended family. Hence the name I picked.

Six months ago, my wife and I were researching mental health topics in an effort to help my eldest daughter who suffers from severe OCD, when she happened upon a book about Aspergers. As she read it, she began to see that it described me. She brought it to my attention and I had the surreal experience of seeing myself described in a book on mental disorder.

I came of age before Aspergers was recognized and described in medical literature. I had to forge my own path through a world that has been a hostile and bewildering place.

I thought I was alone.

I have always been different from other people. I have had few friends in my life and those that know me always chalked my behavior and idiosyncrasies up to affectations and eccentricities.

I needed to know. I needed confirmation.

I was diagnosed with Aspergers four days ago by a psychologist with over forty years of experience. The DSM-V be damned.

I have extensive experience in learning to communicate with NTs. I will help where I can.

PS: My avatar is an image from an MRI of my own head that I cropped and added green and pink to.



AspieUtah
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14 Nov 2014, 5:37 pm

Blender wrote:
...PS: My avatar is an image from an MRI of my own head that I cropped and added green and pink to.

That is interesting. Was the MRI part of your diagnostic assessment?

Welcome to Wrong Planet!


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Diagnosed in 2015 with ASD Level 1 by the University of Utah Health Care Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic using the ADOS-2 Module 4 assessment instrument [11/30] -- Screened in 2014 with ASD by using the University of Cambridge Autism Research Centre AQ (Adult) [43/50]; EQ-60 for adults [11/80]; FQ [43/135]; SQ (Adult) [130/150] self-reported screening inventories -- Assessed since 1978 with an estimated IQ [≈145] by several clinicians -- Contact on WrongPlanet.net by private message (PM)


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14 Nov 2014, 5:39 pm

hello, welcome to wp!

i think a lot us here can really relate to the needing to know/needing confirmation part. i'm still trying to get a diagnoses myself, i'm glad you got one! were you very relieved?


i like your avatar, very cool.



Blender
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14 Nov 2014, 5:49 pm

The MRI was to rule out a physical cause of chronic headaches. The headaches were later determined to be due to anxiety related stress. I have a lot of that.

I have mixed feelings about the diagnosis. In some ways I am relieved. In some ways I am upset because I have had dealings with mental health people before for anxiety and depression and they didn't catch it.



B19
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14 Nov 2014, 6:58 pm

Blender, accepting this news is a process in several stages, not a momentary event. Everyone goes through an adjustment process, not in the same ways and stages for everyone, though common themes link different experiences of adjustment. Grief is one part of this transition process. And that may come and go in many cycles before you resolve it. There are gains, there are losses. Sometimes it helps to keep a running record of the two, dating each entry, to map your course to assimilation.

Because of your experience as a later discovery adult, you can probably to some extent imagine and relate to the astonishment of mine, which took place in my 6th decade. My initial response was a profound relief, quickly followed by regret and anger for all the waste that accrued from the ignorance about Aspergers and how that affected me. Then I felt extremely angry and sad at the unfair, untrue and unkind stigmatisation of the ASD community. Then I felt relief that the final missing piece in my self-understanding gave me access to the full picture and I celebrated that. Sometimes I get very irritated with some NT ignorance. I get enraged at hatespeech aimed at ASD partners and at the "disease mongers" who peddle ASD as a disease for cure so that they can solicit funds for their own benefit. I felt quietly proud of my self too, in that despite all that, not knowing, the invisible barriers and discrimination I faced, I made my way through it, despite the dehumanisation that is thrown around about ASD people. You name any feeling at all, I experienced it during my first year adjustment process. The only one that I didn't go through was "Why me?" Instead it was Why not me? Now I can see clear intergenerational lines of ASD in five generations of my family. A lot of people seem to go through a very defeatist phase after diagnosis, and I can understand that, though it didn't happen for me. I saw possibilities for a future happiness that had eluded me before the mystery was resolved.

Welcome to WP. We are a mixed lot here (diversity is the spice of life) but you will meet some terrific people and learn a massive amount especially about things that you never realised before were part of your ASD self.



Blender
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14 Nov 2014, 7:17 pm

Thank you, B19. I am experiencing quite a mix of emotions. I am going to continue seeing the psychologist that diagnosed me for a while to continue this process and work on the anxiety.



RoadRatt
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14 Nov 2014, 9:39 pm

Hey Blender welcome. :sunny:


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19 Nov 2014, 7:29 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet!


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20 Nov 2014, 12:17 am

Welcome ! :wink:



UncannyDanny
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20 Nov 2014, 1:00 pm

Hello, Blender. Welcome to Wrongplanet. :)



BassAlien
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21 Nov 2014, 1:05 pm

Hi! I just joined a few days ago. I am 27 and have only just learned that I am an Aspie, although I have not had a diagnosis.

Your description of your life 'not knowing' has really struck a chord with me, although from the sounds of it you have perhaps fared a little better than I have. I have always had terrible trouble in the workplace, particularly.

I look forward to seeing your posts on here, I am sure there is much I can learn from you about coping out there.

:)



claritydesired
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28 Nov 2014, 1:17 pm

Hi all, I appreciate this thread. I just realized that my 60-yr old husband has Asp. We've been together over 30 yrs. The scales fell from my eyes just Tues. this week about him. I believe he has no idea what ASD is, but he has struggled all his life with many things. In the past few days, I've also posted in a Members Only thread ("Think husband has Asp, input please?")- I think is it's title. There I detailed many of his traits if you want to read several lengthy posts; I won't repeat them here. But it now all makes sense why conversations are baffling and he says or does things that are not appropriate or out of place... I've constantly tried to "train" him over the years, the rules of people.. after being so puzzled it is a relief for me, but I wonder about him.

My curiosity here focuses on one finding out, and I appreciate you all describing what the "process" was like. I will re-read to absorb. I am curious what to do with knowing this, yet my husband has no clue, I believe. Nor does he have any interest in counseling, self-improvement. (been there, done that... yes- before ASD was identified! I get the frustration, of going to counseling for 5 years in our marriage, but he had gone to psychiatrists before I even knew him. They said he was depressed, "nervous", according to his parents. He's never wanted to talk about those days.. He suffers from a defeated perspective in life, and I wonder if it would be worse for him to know.. While I would hope that him knowing would provide relief from guilt, and even from me to let him know I finally understand and release him from all the things that have hurt me, I have no clue what to do with my new view of him. I did tell my adult daughter and will tell my sons. It is helpful for us to know.

I am curious if all of you found out on your own- by your own will for self-progress- or, can you fathom someone trying to reveal this to another person? Do any of you know of people who have been told- as an adult- when they were not searching for answers themselves? I feel a great sense of responsibility to be careful, respectful, and try to keep his dignity. So I won't do it unless/if it is recommended after great consultation.. asking you who have AS seems helpful. I only hope 2 things: relief for him & our family out of understanding, and also if it could allow us to make some improvements in the functioning of our household and lives also. My burden in responsibility there is also described in the Members only thread. THANK you for any and all input! This new world opened up to me just 3 days ago, and I want to learn and find a wise path. Many mixed emotions myself, but understanding is a good thing for me. :)



B19
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28 Nov 2014, 5:50 pm

Read Tony Attwood's "The Complete Guide to Aspergers" which will give you a very comprehensive guide to evaluate your hunch as probably correct or not.

Hope that you will find your answer from it. Best wishes with that.



claritydesired
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28 Nov 2014, 6:42 pm

Thank you for that book recommendation! I notice a few Asp. books online, but surely don't know which are best to start with. I will go shopping ASAP. I just spoke to a coworker of my husband, who has worked with him 29 yrs, and he gave me his perspective, agreed. He said out-of-place anger has almost made my husband lose his job several times. He said everybody at work has wondered "what is wrong with him".. :cry: Interacting with people does not work well. His boss actually referred him for a psych evaluation years ago, but of course I have no knowledge of details of that. I am sorry for the suffering, shame and pain that AS people go through. I was just thinking, like if a person was obese, but they could not help it due to metabolism.. how awful to live with, the judgement, comments, embarrassment.. Surely knowing it's not your fault has to help a little, even though they would still have to live with being fat... Just trying to wrap my head around this from a perspective I don't have being a NT... I will proceed with caution, and no matter what- I am really glad to try to understand a world of many people that have been misunderstood. I want to care for my husband and treat with dignity as best as I can know how...
thanks :)



B19
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28 Nov 2014, 6:52 pm

You are welcome. TA's book is by far the best. It's lovely to read your concluding comment about maintaining your husband's dignity. Good for you.