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KinetiK
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08 Aug 2011, 7:23 pm

So I'm pretty sure and mental health professionals are pretty sure that I have Asperger's, there aren't many questions about that, but I do have what I think are ADD-ish traits:

- Careless mistakes. I know I'm very detail-oriented when it comes to certain things (like spelling) but I do things like lock myself out of my car, put paragraphs in papers out of order etc. more than the average person.

- Losing things. It used to happen every day, but it's gotten better lately. It goes hand in hand with my extreme disorganization, as I never know where to put things.

- "Impulsive" statements. I put this in quotes because it seems like what I do might be slightly different than what ADD people do in regards to this. I usually think before I speak, but sometimes I will do the opposite and say something dumb without thinking about it beforehand (usually happens when I'm emotional, happy, sad, upset, etc). I usually realize my mistake instantly after I say it.

- Zoning out. I remember sitting in my 9th grade geometry class and staring at the teacher the entire time. Near the end of the class I asked her to go over a homework question, when she told me (quite angrily I might add) that she had just gone over that exact question, in detail, not 2 minutes earlier. I was looking at her and the blackboard for the whole class, but I guess it just didn't register in my brain that that's what she was doing. I do this with books too, I'll read 15 pages and then forget literally everything I just read.

- Loss of train of thought. Happens multiple times per day. I will think about looking something up on Wikipedia or Google or something, open a new tab, and then forget what I was just about to look up. 90% of the time it comes back to me in a couple minutes however.

- ADD meds seem to help me. I'm on 15mg of Focalin daily right now, and while it increases my stimming a bit, I can and do go into hyperfocus. I've been on Focalin since I was a preteen though, so it's kind of hard for me to compare a before and after.

In spite of all this, I seem to have less spontaneity and less or a hard time finishing projects than most ADD people I've talked to. I also have a high need for routine, I can play the same video game for 4+ hours a day, months at a time, and I can analyze myself and what's going on around me pretty easily when I need to. As long as I am doing some sort of stimming (moving my finger in my pocket, tapping my knee, etc) it's easy for me to sit still. I don't have a strong desire for physical play/activity, and never did, even as a small child. I also had extremely good grades throughout elementary, middle, and high school, and I can memorize things easily and do very well on standardized tests. ADD people seem to universally test badly in school and on the SAT/ACT, no matter how smart they are.

So, for those of you that actually read this whole thing, what do you think? I know that many of the things I pointed out can be applied to AS as well due to the fact that AS/ADD people both share deficits in executive functioning. Do other pure AS people "zone out", lose train of thought, lose things etc. often? It's not part of the diagnostic criteria but I have a feeling they can be purely AS symptoms as well.



FlamingYouth
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08 Aug 2011, 7:51 pm

KinetiK wrote:
- Careless mistakes. I know I'm very detail-oriented when it comes to certain things (like spelling) but I do things like lock myself out of my car, put paragraphs in papers out of order etc. more than the average person.

Everybody makes careless mistakes. You don't see all of everybody else's personal lives, you have no idea what mistakes they may have made when you weren't around.

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- Losing things. It used to happen every day, but it's gotten better lately. It goes hand in hand with my extreme disorganization, as I never know where to put things.

Lack of organization is an Aspie trait

Quote:
- "Impulsive" statements. I put this in quotes because it seems like what I do might be slightly different than what ADD people do in regards to this. I usually think before I speak, but sometimes I will do the opposite and say something dumb without thinking about it beforehand (usually happens when I'm emotional, happy, sad, upset, etc). I usually realize my mistake instantly after I say it.

Asperger's trait

Quote:
- Zoning out. I remember sitting in my 9th grade geometry class and staring at the teacher the entire time. Near the end of the class I asked her to go over a homework question, when she told me (quite angrily I might add) that she had just gone over that exact question, in detail, not 2 minutes earlier. I was looking at her and the blackboard for the whole class, but I guess it just didn't register in my brain that that's what she was doing. I do this with books too, I'll read 15 pages and then forget literally everything I just read.

That can happen with Asperger's. People with Asperger's, if it's a subject they are not interested, they zone out all the time and get very little, if any, of what was just said. Much less than the average person. the difference between Asperger's and ADD is for Asperger's, if it's a subject they are REALLY interested in, they will really pay attention extremely closely. They get obsessed with the subject. They can think, for hours and hours, about the subject. And if something is said that particularly interests them, they think about it non-stop for hours after it was said. When we are thinking about one subject, we have a very difficult time thinking about something else, we have a very difficult time changing the subject. Sio we can think about what interests us for hours and zone otu what doesn't interest us.


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- Loss of train of thought. Happens multiple times per day. I will think about looking something up on Wikipedia or Google or something, open a new tab, and then forget what I was just about to look up. 90% of the time it comes back to me in a couple minutes however.

I do that all the time, and I have Asperger's. But it could be a trait for both ADD and Asperger's.

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- ADD meds seem to help me. I'm on 15mg of Focalin daily right now, and while it increases my stimming a bit, I can and do go into hyperfocus. I've been on Focalin since I was a preteen though, so it's kind of hard for me to compare a before and after.

That's interesting. There are no Autism or Asperger's meds. People who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder are stuck with it for life.

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In spite of all this, I seem to have less spontaneity and less or a hard time finishing projects than most ADD people I've talked to.

That's interesting, because most Aspies have a hard time finishing big projects without the help of an NT.

I
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also have a high need for routine, I can play the same video game for 4+ hours a day, months at a time, and I can analyze myself and what's going on around me pretty easily when I need to

That's definitely an Aspie trait.

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I also had extremely good grades throughout elementary, middle, and high school, and I can memorize things easily and do very well on standardized tests. ADD people seem to universally test badly in school and on the SAT/ACT, no matter how smart they are.
Aspies generally do well in school, although sometimes they are put in Special Ed classes because some school administrators view them as "learning disabled." In my Elementary school, we all had to take a big test to see what level of classes we were qualified for middle school/ I tested as Honors, but I also tested as disabled. So I was put in all special ed classes for my first year of middle school. I have a friend with Asperger's Syndrome who also tested honors and disabled, he was more fortunate, he was put in honors classes in middle school. I always did well in school, but I feel like people held me back.

A lot of the symptoms you mentioned are in fact Aspergers' symptoms. The interesting thing is that you said ADD meds help you. Generally speaking, their are no meds that help people with Asperger's. Some people with Asperger's might take meds for depression or anxiety, or any other condition they may also have. Asperger's is commonly co-morbid, which means that people who are diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome are often diagnosed with another disability as well (Bi-polar, Tourette's syndrome, OCD, etc.). You may have both Asperger's Syndrome and ADD. I'm no doctor, so I don't really know, but it is possible.



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08 Aug 2011, 8:00 pm

KinetiK wrote:
Careless mistakes. I know I'm very detail-oriented when it comes to certain things (like spelling) but I do things like lock myself out of my car, put paragraphs in papers out of order etc. more than the average person.


Could be wrong, but I think this could be happen due to a lack of executive function which can occur in either ASD or ADHD (or with something else).

KinetiK wrote:
Losing things. It used to happen every day, but it's gotten better lately. It goes hand in hand with my extreme disorganization, as I never know where to put things.


Goes with executive function impairments again.

KinetiK wrote:
"Impulsive" statements. I put this in quotes because it seems like what I do might be slightly different than what ADD people do in regards to this. I usually think before I speak, but sometimes I will do the opposite and say something dumb without thinking about it beforehand (usually happens when I'm emotional, happy, sad, upset, etc). I usually realize my mistake instantly after I say it.


Probably ADHD. Could also be ASD as well, maybe, but I know-for example-I do not usually notice my mistake until after I have said...nor are my comments impulsive (or "impulsive").

KinetiK wrote:
Zoning out. I remember sitting in my 9th grade geometry class and staring at the teacher the entire time. Near the end of the class I asked her to go over a homework question, when she told me (quite angrily I might add) that she had just gone over that exact question, in detail, not 2 minutes earlier. I was looking at her and the blackboard for the whole class, but I guess it just didn't register in my brain that that's what she was doing. I do this with books too, I'll read 15 pages and then forget literally everything I just read.


Depends. People with ADHD "zone out" because their minds are distracted by outside things or inside thoughts. People with ASD often "zone out" in the sense that they find it difficult to pay attention when they are not interested in the subject or because of sensory issues. It sounds similar, but it is not the same thing.

KinetiK wrote:
Loss of train of thought. Happens multiple times per day. I will think about looking something up on Wikipedia or Google or something, open a new tab, and then forget what I was just about to look up. 90% of the time it comes back to me in a couple minutes however.


I would relate this more to ADHD...

KinetiK wrote:
ADD meds seem to help me.


Then you like have ADHD either with or without ASD. ADHD meds do not help people with JUST ASD (I read a few studies regarding this).


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LrdVapid
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08 Aug 2011, 8:01 pm

AS and ADD are not mutually exclusive. I believe there are a few people who post regularly that have said they have been diagnosed with both. A lot of the traits you have listed could certainly be attributable to ADD. If medication helps, they are probably due to ADD. I have never heard of anyone with autism being helped by medication. You might want to do a search to find the posts about people with both diagnoses. It may help you sort through what is causing what.



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08 Aug 2011, 8:03 pm

LrdVapid wrote:
AS and ADD are not mutually exclusive.


ADHD seems to be one of the most common co-morbids a person can have with ASD...at least around here.


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KinetiK
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08 Aug 2011, 8:43 pm

Quote:
That's interesting, because most Aspies have a hard time finishing big projects without the help of an NT.


Well I procrastinate to dangerous levels, but if I need to do it, I will. A couple of semesters ago in college we had to write a big computer program, this project was meant to be completed over the course of 3 weeks. I didn't start until the night before it was due, and I sat at my laptop and hammered it out for 9 hours straight. I got a B+.

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Generally speaking, their are no meds that help people with Asperger's.


Wow, I didn't know that. I'm tempted to just not take them next week and see what happens. It's really hard for me to tell whether meds help though, because I have alexithymia. My emotions are hard to access and evaluate, so whenever a psychologist or someone asks me "How are you feeling?" or "How have you felt last week?" I literally don't know. Heck, I have a hard time even remembering what I ate earlier in the day.

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People with ADHD "zone out" because their minds are distracted by outside things or inside thoughts. People with ASD often "zone out" in the sense that they find it difficult to pay attention when they are not interested in the subject or because of sensory issues.


I'll zone out for both reasons. I'll look at a shiny object or something that interests me, as well as constantly think about situations/ideas in my head that will take precedence over whatever I'm supposed to be doing.

However, after reading you guys' posts and thinking about my childhood a little bit, I'm thinking that I may not have the typical ADHD-type distractibility. I seem to have more of the ASD type, I will attempt to pay close attention to things that interest me, and succeed most of the time. These periods, though, are punctuated by severe "zoning-out" episodes that last for minutes at a time. I'll listen to a professor talk for an hour, and recall 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there incredibly well, but then have periods of 5 minutes in between where I didn't process a word that was said because I was thinking about something else, like a joke, or had a song in my head, etc. After a little while I can yank myself out of it and continue right where I left off like nothing happened.

I'm thinking I might also have verbal processing issues also, this seems to make sense with me sometimes being oblivious to what people (including lecturers) are talking about.



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08 Aug 2011, 10:29 pm

That verbal processing thing is a good point, and makes me wonder about myself. I find that a lot of the time I just bluff my way through conversations, or I'm not present, such as in group conversations or in a lecture or something. Often If I'm trying to work out how someones feeling (which I often do) I read their facial expressions.



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08 Aug 2011, 10:48 pm

I dunno, but it sounds almost identical to my experiences. I have very poor working memory, organization problems, difficulty finishing tasks, etc. I have done well in classes, and that is also somewhat atypical of ADD. I zone out, not because I am distracted, but because sometimes information just doesn't process. It's like I fall asleep for a short time, without actually sleeping. I've had more than a few people tell me that I sometimes "check out". I'm there physically, but my mind is elsewhere.

I, like you, can spend hours playing the same video game.

Meds help me as well. I'm currently taking Adderall and, as much as I hate to admit it, it does help my concentration issues. However, it does make my "stim" behaviors much worse.


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08 Aug 2011, 10:50 pm

pirate wrote:
That verbal processing thing is a good point, and makes me wonder about myself. I find that a lot of the time I just bluff my way through conversations, or I'm not present, such as in group conversations or in a lecture or something. Often If I'm trying to work out how someones feeling (which I often do) I read their facial expressions.

I miss quite a bit of what is said, so I spend a good portion of my time trying to "guess" what the topic of conversation was and what the proper response is. Sometimes I am able to fill in the gaps, and other times I come to some pretty strange conclusions. Group conversations I usually can't keep up with, but I do try. Hehe.


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08 Aug 2011, 11:06 pm

According to DSM-IV, you should not get a diagnosis for ADHD if you meet the criteria for AS - they ARE mutually exclusive.

But in practice some clinicians do give both diagnoses. After all, while most Aspies meet the conditions for ADHD, not all do, so it does mean something. Of course, most Aspies also meet the conditions for sensory processing disorder, and often a mood or anxiety disorder as well. You could in theory get a handful of diagnoses when you are diagnosed with AS.

DSM5 will remove the exclusion of ADHD when AS is diagnosed. So ... soon it will be officially OK to diagnose both. In the meantime, it happens anyway.



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09 Aug 2011, 8:45 am

I'm diagnosed with PDD NOS and have had a world-renowned expert on ADD tell my parents I didn't have it (he wasn't an expert on autism, so he thought I was just gifted). However, I identify with a lot of what people with ADHD say about themselves, especially those with the inattentive subtype (I'm not at all hyperactive). And according to the new DSM criteria, I have ADHD-I now, but didn't as a kid.

Quote:
- Careless mistakes. I know I'm very detail-oriented when it comes to certain things (like spelling) but I do things like lock myself out of my car, put paragraphs in papers out of order etc. more than the average person.


I make careless mistakes a lot. On math tests, generally I lose several points on careless mistakes. 'Checking my work' doesn't seem to help, unless I do the whole problem over again, which is sheer agony.

Quote:
Everybody makes careless mistakes. You don't see all of everybody else's personal lives, you have no idea what mistakes they may have made when you weren't around.


And everybody makes social faux pas, too. Doesn't mean they have the same social difficulties as AS. It's a matter of degree.

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- Losing things. It used to happen every day, but it's gotten better lately. It goes hand in hand with my extreme disorganization, as I never know where to put things.


Definitely do that too. Like you, it's lessened with age, mainly because I've learnt strategies for it. I put many things I'll need in multiple settings in my jacket pocket so I always have them. (Plus overfilled pockets give me deep pressure.)

Quote:
- "Impulsive" statements. I put this in quotes because it seems like what I do might be slightly different than what ADD people do in regards to this. I usually think before I speak, but sometimes I will do the opposite and say something dumb without thinking about it beforehand (usually happens when I'm emotional, happy, sad, upset, etc). I usually realize my mistake instantly after I say it.


I make impulsive statements, but in a different way again. I don't tend to say something dumb and realize immediately after saying it that it's dumb (if I say something dumb I only realize much later that it was dumb, which I figure is more poor social skills than impulsiveness). But anything I think I tend to say, or else I'm not able to speak at all. I've told people I barely met that I'm autistic and was sexually abused (I've learnt to be more reticent about mentioning sexual abuse after a couple encounters with creeps who decided to come on to me immediately after hearing that, when I thought the exact opposite response would be more appropriate). I also find it difficult to lie, unless I convince myself the lie is true. Generally whatever I think, I say.

Quote:
- Zoning out. I remember sitting in my 9th grade geometry class and staring at the teacher the entire time. Near the end of the class I asked her to go over a homework question, when she told me (quite angrily I might add) that she had just gone over that exact question, in detail, not 2 minutes earlier. I was looking at her and the blackboard for the whole class, but I guess it just didn't register in my brain that that's what she was doing. I do this with books too, I'll read 15 pages and then forget literally everything I just read.


I zone out when I'm not interested or I'm focused on something else. When I'm interested, I pay attention to every word and tend to talk a lot as well. I've gotten in trouble with some professors for talking too much, but the only way I can keep myself from talking is to make myself zone out, in which case I may as well just not attend the class. However I sometimes manage to write my questions/comments down and discuss them afterwards, but with some they don't make sense unless they're said at the right time.

Quote:
- Loss of train of thought. Happens multiple times per day. I will think about looking something up on Wikipedia or Google or something, open a new tab, and then forget what I was just about to look up. 90% of the time it comes back to me in a couple minutes however.


I don't tend to have that (no more than most people I think). But I'm very tangential, and I'll go off on tangents and forget what I was originally talking/thinking/writing about. For example, once I was thinking about a theory of why people do bad things and got hung up on a single example and ended up thinking up a theory about how pedophiles go from being attracted to kids to actually abusing them. (Basically, desiring children but believing their desire is wrong causes personal suffering similar to a closeted gay, and like a gay person they resolve the conflict by restructuring their morality so they don't see their desire as wrong anymore. Unfortunately, unlike gay people, pedophiles acting on their desire cause harm to children.) I don't really mind being tangential, but I have had to learn strategies to get things done anyway.

Quote:
- ADD meds seem to help me. I'm on 15mg of Focalin daily right now, and while it increases my stimming a bit, I can and do go into hyperfocus. I've been on Focalin since I was a preteen though, so it's kind of hard for me to compare a before and after.


Never taken ADD meds, and I'm not planning to try them. I have no idea if they'd help or not. On the one hand, I have an anxiety disorder (PTSD) and I've been told that stimulants are a bad idea for people with anxiety disorders. On the other hand, I've realized recently that I have a bit of a caffeine addiction (Coke, not coffee - I hate even the smell of coffee) and I can drink a two-liter Coke bottle before bed and as long as I go to the bathroom iot won't disrupt my sleep. I don't seem to focus any better on caffeine that I can tell, though I do breathe better (asthma can be helped by stimulants).

But I like being the disorganized tangential person that I am. I firmly believe that my creativity is due to being tangential. And it's so fun to wander along the paths my mind takes me, and look up several hours later to find out that while researching autism I ended up learning about 1p36 deletion syndrome instead.