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QuiversWhiskers
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14 Oct 2016, 1:18 pm

Have you ever been in the situation where you have NT and autistic people in your personal circle who tell you you are on the spectrum and yet have professionals say you aren't but that you have a lot of symptoms? Their reasoning for saying I am not is because I have "too much self-awareness" and have too much empathy/care too much about people. And am too good at talking. I can hold a conversation. And I can. I can do very well socially. Very well when the situation is right and when I have been home doing my own thing 97% of the time.



mended
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15 Oct 2016, 1:53 pm

I don't have a personal circle. So no. I have not experienced what you describe.

Perhaps this indicates that "the professionals" you refer to are on to something.


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15 Oct 2016, 3:27 pm

Sure.
The spectrum includes extrovert personalities. Chameleon-ing is for real.
If an official diagnosis is key for you, you really need the right professionals.
Clinicians that are experienced in diagnosing adult females.

Most will need lots of additional background information especially about your childhood development. Things like pictures, home videos, interviews with family members, close friends, partners and even colleagues or school mentors can provide lots of much needed context.

In the end it is about balancing strengths and challenges. And getting appropriate support if you need it.

What other strangers think, even on this forum, is really not that important.



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17 Oct 2016, 8:27 pm

Sort of. It really depends on the situation.

I'm usually one of three people: the one I am when I'm at home (just me, and usually online), the one I am when I'm doing a "passable" job being sociable (in social situations where I'm making a deliberate effort to make new friends) and the one which just wants to get from A to B and wants the crowds to get out of my way and to get back home again.

I'm also home around 97% of the time...



2brainiacs
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18 Oct 2016, 10:00 am

I too am very introspective and empathetic. For years I had settled into my adhd diagnosis and didn't know I was on the spectrum till I was 50. I tell a few of my friends I am on the spectrum and get mixed reaction. I like when they are doubtful: that it gives me an opportunity to shed some light on how unique each individual is regardless of the box people or we want to put us in.. On the other hand I am puzzled when people so easily acknowledge that I am an aspie; I wonder was my unusualness so obvious to others? Then I realize YES I am obviously unusual and gratefully blessed to be so!
Interesting note:
those who easily accept that I am aspie are closest to me. And like me they kind of nod and say oh yeah that makes sense. (Which was my reaction when i confirmed my diagnosis).
Those who doubt are those who don't know me well and possibly feel a commonality with me (which has implications and may threaten their own,possibly mistaken, :D beliefs that they are nuerotypical.)



QuiversWhiskers
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21 Nov 2016, 2:33 am

mended wrote:
I don't have a personal circle. So no. I have not experienced what you describe.

Perhaps this indicates that "the professionals" you refer to are on to something.


So you don't have a "personal circle". Does that mean you have absolutely zero contacts with the outside world? Because that's what it means to me. I go to a small church. I have acquaintances because my husband makes friends and because of the place he goes to and his interests, a lot of those people either are or are married to or have kids on the spectrum. I have a few friends I have picked up from church in states we have lived in. I have kids. People talk to me first usually because I have little kids. If I didn't have kids, I could easily go anywhere and no one would ever seem to notice. Happened for years. Yes I am married. And it wasn't the fairy tale that NTs so easily get. I won't go into the situation or what happened because it isn't the internet's business today. Four of my five friends are on the spectrum or have intense traits; one isn't aware of it though. One of the five is not on the spectrum but her son is and I do wonder about her sometimes. Another of the five has a son on the spectrum too. I only have one living near me now. It's almost one in every state I have lived in because two are in one state together. One is my age. All others are 10-20 years older. My father was test book HFA as a child and young adult. Still is. They won't diagnose him "because he is too old for that." My mom is more classically female Aspergers if the female descriptions are accurate and I am convinced they are. My sister is not quite Aspergian and more HFA. The people who are "in the know" about autism because they live with someone autistic, that my husband knows? He talks to them and says it's crazy how similar yet different we are (the autistic people his friends are related to and me). It's truly not far fetched that I am on the spectrum.



QuiversWhiskers
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21 Nov 2016, 2:50 am

HelloSweetie wrote:
Sure.
The spectrum includes extrovert personalities. Chameleon-ing is for real.
If an official diagnosis is key for you, you really need the right professionals.
Clinicians that are experienced in diagnosing adult females.

Most will need lots of additional background information especially about your childhood development. Things like pictures, home videos, interviews with family members, close friends, partners and even colleagues or school mentors can provide lots of much needed context.

In the end it is about balancing strengths and challenges. And getting appropriate support if you need it.

What other strangers think, even on this forum, is really not that important.


It's just a bit frustrating. Been in limbo on this for years. In one moment my psychologist will imply that I am on the spectrum. In another, he says not. It's like he can't decide and doesn't really want to commit either way. For me, just having the confirmation of a professional would go a long way.

There are lots of videos and pictures of me as a child. The videos really embarrass me. I can hear how fake my words were and at those times where I am trying to be excitable, there is no expression or very little on my face. There are professional pictures where I am not smiling because I hated the photographer's attempts to get a smile. It really irritated me that they were trying to force me to smile. Other times it was because I was on the verge of crying for no known reason. There are a lot of normal-looking pictures too taken at home. And some videos where I appear to be showing emotion in the face mostly when pretty hyper.

My mom won't be able to give much information. She thought it was all shyness. She wasn't much aware of me. I was her confidant. She needed me to be stronger than she and so she has this image of me being absolutely perfect. I had crippling OCD. This didn't faze her enough to seek any sort of medical or psychological treatment. She did once when I was six after a relative told her I needed to be seen by someone. after that I was left on my own. I have to believe any other parent would have done something other than scream at me, "You need help!" I cannot describe how debilitating it was. The stuff I had was "normal" to her. It wasn't normal to other people though.

My father sees it but before he knew anything about ASD he would tell me I was bipolar. He believed he was bipolar. I don't have any symptoms of bipolar. But because he knows how alike we are, he pegged me with bipolar because that's what he believed he had. Now he knows he is very likely ASD, he thinks I am too.



QuiversWhiskers
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21 Nov 2016, 2:55 am

gee_dee wrote:
Sort of. It really depends on the situation.

I'm usually one of three people: the one I am when I'm at home (just me, and usually online), the one I am when I'm doing a "passable" job being sociable (in social situations where I'm making a deliberate effort to make new friends) and the one which just wants to get from A to B and wants the crowds to get out of my way and to get back home again.

I'm also home around 97% of the time...


It's of some comfort to know those times when I can't hide it that it's not mental illness. It's just ASD traits showing. And even if someone else might be thinking there is something mentally "wrong" with me, I don't have to absorb that belief anymore.



QuiversWhiskers
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21 Nov 2016, 3:10 am

2brainiacs wrote:
I too am very introspective and empathetic. For years I had settled into my adhd diagnosis and didn't know I was on the spectrum till I was 50. I tell a few of my friends I am on the spectrum and get mixed reaction. I like when they are doubtful: that it gives me an opportunity to shed some light on how unique each individual is regardless of the box people or we want to put us in.. On the other hand I am puzzled when people so easily acknowledge that I am an aspie; I wonder was my unusualness so obvious to others? Then I realize YES I am obviously unusual and gratefully blessed to be so!
Interesting note:
those who easily accept that I am aspie are closest to me. And like me they kind of nod and say oh yeah that makes sense. (Which was my reaction when i confirmed my diagnosis).
Those who doubt are those who don't know me well and possibly feel a commonality with me (which has implications and may threaten their own,possibly mistaken, :D beliefs that they are nuerotypical.)


I am diagnosed with major depression and OCD. I have also been told by two different professionals that I have ADHD. I used to not believe in ADHD. No wonder I was so miserable. It's been great finding out what ADHD is and there is this one book one of them have me that has actually been really helpful in the executive dysfunction department. Still can't keep up with it all though. I also have sensory processing issues. That is not diagnosed but it's pretty apparent to people. Someone once told me I am extremely sensory sensitive. I didn't know anyone could or would notice something like that. Extremely obvious to my husband and now extremely obvious to me. I didn't know it until my husband pointed it out to me years ago that it drove him nuts how I would just "shut off" after being out with him for an hour. It's why I bang myself against walls in weird places with people noise. It's why I can't watch a basketball game from the sidelines. Why I have so much trouble with lighting. Why sprinklers make me itch. Why I was perpetually peeved as a child because of my clothes. Why I get anxiety around certain smells. Why I would leave a busy event when younger and replays of all of it would swamp me for hours afterwards as if it was all still going on. It's why I had such severe selective mutism. Why the soft inner side of sweatshirt material makes my skin ache. Why I listen to things on repeat for up to hours. I'll stop here. I don't really like to talk about stimming sometimes. It's kind of private and sacred in a way. I feel that way now. I have posted long descriptions of that here before but it's not something I am comfortable talking about all the time.



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22 Nov 2016, 8:27 am

High-functioning adult women have three strikes against them when seeking a diagnosis. As others have said, you need to find a professional who has experience seeing past coping mechanisms and gendered stereotypes.



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22 Nov 2016, 11:39 am

I had to go to the national autistic society to get my diagnosis because adult females are much harder to diagnose apparently. You need like a super specialist. Honestly we should start like a sticky thread for specialist doctors who are actually good who we can have a private consultation with as I have a friend who even went to another country to get diagnosed after her friend recommended them, that way we can help each other out perhaps?

In my experience empathy and autism are not such a stereotype, I've met plenty of autistic girls who love hugging and being caring/nice. Some would even buy me presents because they cared for the friendship that much. Sadly they moved and I don't have an aspie bff anymore. :(


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23 Nov 2016, 2:45 pm

Ooh yes, it makes me mad to think about it. Part of my old treatment for depression means I attend a group therapy class every week, where there is a mixture of all sorts. It must have been sometime last year when I idly mentioned how my parents had fought to put me on a waiting list for an Asperger evaluation (I was on the list for two years until my appointment last week!) A certain individual in the group of which whom I dislike immediately said, "Oh you don't have that, I have a friend with that, so I know". Exact. Words. She spoke so condescendingly, that even though I had my own doubts at the time, the insinuation was that I was attention seeking, and trying to sound special. Very rich. :/


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zkoc2076
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25 Nov 2016, 10:19 am

Yes. Well, similarly to poster above I haven't a circle, but family does and even a stranger asked me "are you on the spectrum" 3mins into a conversation. My first psychologist kept harping on that the social things are just issues of self esteem and didn't really take the other symptoms into consideration at all. I would definitely advise switching because then I went to a psychiatrist who was much more observant because right after greeting she observed that I walk on tiptoes, and that I am harder to understand than my mom (even though me being younger when I emigrated it should be the reverse) because of odd tone/phrasing, this expert led to diagnosis (and I was there for depression, so it's not like I explicitly went there because of Aspergers' and yet she still noticed).

Also my utmost respect to you for doing well socially! :) I have social anxiety so under any circumstances I cannot , though incidentally when I was a toddler I too was very conversational, apparently I weirded out the gardener asking "do you know what the universe is" when his own kid the same age only said "mama". :D



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25 Nov 2016, 1:01 pm

It doesn't matter how many symptoms you have, they have to cause you an impairment and make it hard for you to function day to day life. But there is a gray area, if you were going through a hard time and you were having a hard time functioning because of the environment like for school for example and the only way to get through school is to have the diagnoses, they give it to you so you can use it to get the help you need. But I think being told you have lot of symptoms is a validation you need to hear so you know it's not all in your head and you aren't imagining it. Now for a diagnoses, that I don't understand if you have been told you have symptoms. To me that would be official enough even if it's not written down.

Also autistic people lack self awareness? What does that mean? That they don't know they are different or don't know their own flaws or impairments?

But this has happened to me too as a kid. Teachers thought I had autism and was even diagnosed as autistic at one of my schools (I assume it's not a real DX since only professionals can do it, not teachers but it's still written down on paper) and at my other school it was possible autism-mild (assuming also not a real dx since it was the school district that put it down) but none of the professionals ever thought I had autism except for that one doctor which my parents never took me to again. It was only language disorder I had and one social worker said I had that and autistic like behavior but everyone else over looked my symptoms and my speech therapist was the first to suggest I have symptoms when my mom said I didn't have AS because she had me tested for it. But a year later I got my AS dx and my psychiatrist said he thought I had an ASD, mild. The other kids just thought I was retarded or stupid.


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08 Dec 2016, 7:06 pm

LOL/ hun you sound amazing.
I love people who are too awesome.
most people are average and blend in with a crowd of unambitious people perfectly.
unambition.... ugh



QuiversWhiskers
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18 Dec 2016, 12:59 pm

I was talking with a newish friend the other day and she told me she knew I was on the spectrum from the start. I thought I was being "good" when we first met. I guess there are always some things showing even when I think there aren't.