How to tell someone they may have Aspergers

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Do you think its better to have an Asperger's Diagnosis
Poll ended at 22 Sep 2014, 5:50 am
Yes 82%  82%  [ 50 ]
No 18%  18%  [ 11 ]
Total votes : 61

BirdInFlight
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01 Oct 2013, 2:07 pm

I can't imagine anyone wishing they were on the spectrum.......?

I started seeing myself in articles about the traits, about eight years ago, and it's taken all that time until only this year for me to stop feeling like I'd just realized I had symptoms of herpes!

I don't, by the way, have symptoms of herpes, lol! That'sjust an analogy to illustrate how unwelcome even my own suspicions were, and how horrified I spent seven years feeling, just recognizing myself in articles and other research I started doing, but NOT wanting it to be true.

It's only in the past maybe year that I've accepted it's worth pursuing evaluation for; only in the recent year that I've stopped feeling like it's a terrible thing I dreaded thinking about, and started accepting more of that other feeling, the feeling of the relief of possibly knowing I've answered my questions about "why?" -- all those ones redrobin speaks of.

I've gone from years of "Crap no, I'm normal and this is horrible to even THINK," to "if this is me, I finally GET what's been going on..."

I can't picture anyone wanting to be anything but neurologically ideal, though.

.



tall-p
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01 Oct 2013, 5:37 pm

markb wrote:
i get asked a lot on the Aspergers Test Site is how to get someone that is in denial that they may have Asperger's Syndrome. The question is often asked by spouses, teenage children and friends.


This problem does't make much sense to me. How can someone be in denial about a possible autism diagnosis that a spouse, one's children, or friends, have concocted?

It's not like having a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome is a guarantee that one's life is going to go shining... er something. And personally, if I was 100% sure that a child of mine, or a grandchild, or a dear friend had Asperger's I would NEVER say to them "I think you have Asperger's."

And it seems to me, that lots of posters here believe that the whole world knows all about Asperger's and autism, and what it means to be on the spectrum. I don't think so. I think that maybe 5% have an inkling.


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BirdInFlight
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01 Oct 2013, 7:04 pm

tall-p wrote:
markb wrote:
i get asked a lot on the Aspergers Test Site is how to get someone that is in denial that they may have Asperger's Syndrome. The question is often asked by spouses, teenage children and friends.


This problem does't make much sense to me. How can someone be in denial about a possible autism diagnosis that a spouse, one's children, or friends, have concocted?


Well I think what the OP means is that when a layperson such as one's spouse, child, friend or boss, etc blurts right out that you seem like you might be on the autism spectrum according to stuff they've read about it, there can often be a reaction of denial on the part of the person getting told this. Denial because a) it is just a friend, spouse, so it's not like a qualified person is informing them, and b) denial because it's not the most fun thing to find that someone believes you're probably autistic. Even though they're not a professional and even though it might not be a correct guess at all, it's still a bit of a blow to have someone put it into your mind. It might also be something you're already wondering yourself but are in denial about, and when someone else mentions it it's too sore a nerve they've touched.

Quote:
It's not like having a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome is a guarantee that one's life is going to go shining... er something.
Not sure what you typed there? You mean life going badly? No it's not a guarantee that everything's going to hell for you, but it's also very jarring for someone who has been trying to feel "normal" to start having the suspicion placed before them that maybe they really do face greater challenges in many ways.


Quote:
And it seems to me, that lots of posters here believe that the whole world knows all about Asperger's and autism, and what it means to be on the spectrum. I don't think so. I think that maybe 5% have an inkling.


I think you may be right. While there are a lot of members of the general public that seem to be more informed about the autism spectrum these days than there once was, I think I agree that it's probably still not as high a percentage as I know I for one often assume. Just recently someone I was talking to who actually wardens for a partially assisted-living building showed in a casual conversation that she thought ALL autism meant the person had impaired intellect and was of subnormal intelligence. She seemed unaware of the fact that autism is a spectrum and that there are people on the high functioning end that may even have above average intelligence -- yet she made this remark about someone who couldn't possibly be autistic because "she's perfectly intelligent"..... 8O This is someone who's job it is to assist with a wide range of people who have conditions physical and mental. And yet she clearly knew nothing about the autism spectrum, the high functioning end, Asperger's etc.

I think there are still quite a lot of people who simply haven't heard enough about autism to have any clue, leading to just as much likelihood of possibly mistaken declarations of "You can't have it" as "You do have it."


.



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01 Oct 2013, 7:17 pm

BirdInFlight wrote:
Quote:
And it seems to me, that lots of posters here believe that the whole world knows all about Asperger's and autism, and what it means to be on the spectrum. I don't think so. I think that maybe 5% have an inkling.


I think there are still quite a lot of people who simply haven't heard enough about autism to have any clue, leading to just as much likelihood of possibly mistaken declarations of "You can't have it" as "You do have it."



I agree... plus you also have to consider what it exactly it means to "understand autism." I've been learning about it for some time now, an there is still plenty that confuses me. I'm even here actively spending hours a day corresponding directly to people on the spectrum and I STILL don't fully understand it. It's a complicated issue, and the "Autism Awareness" ribbons on the backs of people's cars do nothing to actually spread awareness.



BirdInFlight
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01 Oct 2013, 7:25 pm

CuriousMom123 wrote:
BirdInFlight wrote:
Quote:
And it seems to me, that lots of posters here believe that the whole world knows all about Asperger's and autism, and what it means to be on the spectrum. I don't think so. I think that maybe 5% have an inkling.


I think there are still quite a lot of people who simply haven't heard enough about autism to have any clue, leading to just as much likelihood of possibly mistaken declarations of "You can't have it" as "You do have it."



I agree... plus you also have to consider what it exactly it means to "understand autism." I've been learning about it for some time now, an there is still plenty that confuses me. I'm even here actively spending hours a day corresponding directly to people on the spectrum and I STILL don't fully understand it. It's a complicated issue, and the "Autism Awareness" ribbons on the backs of people's cars do nothing to actually spread awareness.


Absolutely; I'm kind of on the same journey; I've been finding out more about it for years off and on, more intensely in the past few months, and the more I learn the more I see I have yet to learn -- it's an incredibly complex array of diverse issues all along the spectrum. There's a lot to have to understand and even when one is actively pursuing understanding it's never really going to be all there, so how much less the general public who don't have it on their minds the way I do or you do? I do wish there was more general information and awareness. I think it would be better all around, for everyone.

.



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02 Oct 2013, 12:41 am

BirdInFlight wrote:
Quote:
And it seems to me, that lots of posters here believe that the whole world knows all about Asperger's and autism, and what it means to be on the spectrum. I don't think so. I think that maybe 5% have an inkling.


I think you may be right. While there are a lot of members of the general public that seem to be more informed about the autism spectrum these days than there once was, I think I agree that it's probably still not as high a percentage as I know I for one often assume.


Sadly in my country this persentage is also about right for psychiatrists. 8O

I think autism sucks. When I talk with normal ppl about autism they think about Rainman and just some are really informed and if I talk with psychiatrists and Psychotherapists even they very often don't know much about autism. :?


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tall-p
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02 Oct 2013, 12:43 am

Quote:
It's not like having a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome is a guarantee that one's life is going to go shining... er something.


BirdInFlight wrote:
Not sure what you typed there? You mean life going badly? No it's not a guarantee that everything's going to hell for you, but it's also very jarring for someone who has been trying to feel "normal" to start having the suspicion placed before them that maybe they really do face greater challenges in many ways.

My little point is that telling someone that they may have Asperger's is not cool... imo.


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05 Dec 2013, 5:00 pm

Hi all,

I have an employee who:

Is disturbed greatly by unforeseen events.
Likes a planned schedule.
Does not like eye contact.
If stressed, gives masses of unwanted information.
Is happier to talk on the phone than in person.
People who have known autistic people or children understand what happens and how to avoid causing him stress and have asked me if he knows.

There is more and this has been going on for the 4 years I have known him. I treat him in a different way now as my wife is a TA in a special needs school and has told me how modify my reactions and instructions to guide him.

Other managers do not understand and I have guided meetings etc to give my friend support - so that things that are a problem are avoided.

Recently, more people have asked me directly if he knows what the 'problem' is. That is people outside the company who know the signs.

Today I have had to tell him to be aware of his reactions to others and decide if his reactions are appropriate, in a work environment. Shouting and being overly 'stressed' is not acceptable. Clients have walked out when presented with something they do not understand and see as 'boiling over'. He is a good guy, everyone knows that, but it is (and always has) affected his well-being as well as the working environment for others.



I can let things run on and keep presenting difficult situations for him (in the normal course of our work, for which others have no trouble) OR I can tell him what I think.


My plan is to do that away from work (in a pub or quiet cafe) and therefore disassociate our professional relationship. The formal 'telling' to consider his reaction is done. that is my work commitment. It has been done by other managers in less sympathetic ways many times before. The rest (the hint) has to be informal?

So if I am wrong; he already knows; or it is a complete surprise or: I am simply wrong. Away from work it can be forgotten, I can apologize and that is and end to it (maybe) and we retain the carefully managed status-quo.

If I am right, it makes life easier and happier for him.


Thoughts please!



dogshome
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07 Dec 2013, 3:32 pm

I didn't do it.

Who am I to diagnose something or someone?

According to my man, the event happened, but he doesn't think the other events were a problem. There is no reason to doubt that assessment.


I concluded that the reported events afterwards have been bigged up by the other guy who didn't forgive or forget. He was the one reporting them and he definitely understands how my man reacts and what pushes his buttons. A grudge.

So the status quo continues and we still respect and talk to each other. I should have listened to my man first.


As for the other guy? I'll talk to my boss....



droppy
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07 Dec 2013, 3:49 pm

When my mother tells my father he has Asperger's he doesn't believe nor want to hear it and acts like if he had been offended. I think he does not want to feel like he's the "cause" of my Asperger's.



tall-p
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08 Dec 2013, 7:15 pm

dogshome wrote:
I didn't do it. Who am I to diagnose something or someone?

Exactly! Good for you.

I have weaved my way through life using aphorisms and little lessons I learned from some philosophers and writers. One "teacher" made a big impression on me long ago was Gurdjieff http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurdjieff . One of his teachings was to exercise what he called "external considering." What he meant by that was when you have an insight into someone's way of experiencing the world, then you have an excellent opportunity to give them special gifts that you know they will enjoy. And that is a kind and gentle way of testing your (dx) insight.


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08 Dec 2013, 8:07 pm

markb wrote:
A common question i get asked a lot on the Aspergers Test Site is how to get someone that is in denial that they may have Asperger's Syndrome.


How to "get them"? What does that mean?

Get them to DO something?

Do what?

Admit they might have it?

To get a diagnosis?

What?



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09 Dec 2013, 11:50 am

I honestly don't understand fnord's or tall-p's vehemence towards people who would suggest they might have autism. The sad thing is that I feel like I -should- understand because of seeing other people get just as upset with someone telling them 'you might have x', where x is a mental condition/illness/problem of some sort.
Is it upsetting because you're assuming you know more about the individual than they do? Surely that might be a possibility if they are so bad at socializing that they don't know they're bad at it. Or is it the negative stigma attached to it, even though you yourself don't attach something negative to it?
For instance, my sister's a very prickly person who had blatantly gone through serious mental distress in her life, (crying a lot, never wanting to do anything, cutting herself) but absolutely refused to think that something might be wrong. When family members were to tell her something, even when being told in a non-threatening way, she'd get incredibly, incredibly upset, saying that they don't know anything, that medical professionals don't know anything, etc. Nevermind that the same of the people telling her this themselves had been diagnosed with depression, mania or bi-polar. She wouldn't even listen to me much later when I told her that she had symptoms of celiac disease that mimicked my own, a *known* genetic, hereditary, testable condition, and got upset when I was trying to push her to get the *proper* medical test for it, an intestinal biopsy.
I've insulted people when suggesting they might have a mental illness on forums.

But I still don't GET why this is insulting. Is it because of the negative stigma associated with it? What is it about someone suggesting something about yourself that is so infuriating? Seriously, this is me asking because I want to understand, not me saying in a roundabout way 'you're wrong to get angry when people suggested it, don't be so childish'.

As to people wanting to have autism, it's not that they're perfectly normal and suddenly want to have it. They want an explanation about who they are because they know that they are having problems within their lives, and they want to be able to understand who they are better, and having a diagnosis could give that to them. I would love to be diagnosed with autism, I could probably get disability money then, (I have an extremely shoddy work history, I've nearly given up on being employed) I would feel less pressure to have to socialize, I wouldn't feel so embarrassed when I make a social faux-pas, I could explain my deficits as executive dysfunction due to autism. But I don't have it as far as I know, (even though I might have it) and so instead I'm simply a lazy person who's given into their problems instead of conquering or working through them. I used to at least be depressed so I could blame my other problems on that, (I shouldn't say that as a good thing, it was horrible not wanting to live, but at least there was an excuse hiding there), but I want to keep on living. Instead I'm just selfish and lazy, negative things, bad things. Autism isn't bad.


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Raziel
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09 Dec 2013, 12:31 pm

cavernio wrote:
I honestly don't understand fnord's or tall-p's vehemence towards people who would suggest they might have autism. The sad thing is that I feel like I -should- understand because of seeing other people get just as upset with someone telling them 'you might have x', where x is a mental condition/illness/problem of some sort.


I once did that, very I was very sure. There was a father with his 12 year old son and the son behaved severely autistic. So I asked the father of the boy, eventhough I've nver seen him befor and so I found out that the son was actually diagnosed and had a conversion for like one or two hours. :)

So of course sometimes it can get really annoying if ppl get asked questions very often, but how do you wanna find out if a person has a diagnosis or not if you don't just simply ask? :?
... I mean noone has to tell ... even if ppl ask, but I would have wished someone would have told me a bit earlyer a few things, but in the western society ppl usually don't do that. I met a guy who is from an Arab country and told me that he found it very strange when he is on a bus and ppl just look at each other without saying a single sentence and he found that's awfull. 8O
So in different cultures, ppl think differently and actually I heard it several times that autistics behave like from a "wrong planet", but I've the feeling that they also adjust to their cultural environment, eventhough not in such a strong way as NTs do.


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09 Dec 2013, 12:33 pm

cavernio wrote:
I honestly don't understand fnord's or tall-p's vehemence towards people who would suggest they might have autism. The sad thing is that I feel like I -should- understand because of seeing other people get just as upset with someone telling them 'you might have x', where x is a mental condition/illness/problem of some sort.


I once did that, very I was very sure. There was a father with his 12 year old son and the son behaved severely autistic. So I asked the father of the boy, eventhough I've nver seen him befor and so I found out that the son was actually diagnosed and had a conversion for like one or two hours. :)

So of course sometimes it can get really annoying if ppl get asked questions very often, but how do you wanna find out if a person has a diagnosis or not if you don't just simply ask? :?
... I mean noone has to tell ... even if ppl ask, but I would have wished someone would have told me a bit earlyer a few things, but in the western society ppl usually don't do that. I met a guy who is from an Arab country and told me that he found it very strange when he is on a bus and ppl just look at each other without saying a single sentence and he found that's awfull. 8O
So in different cultures, ppl think differently and actually I heard it several times that autistics behave like from a "wrong planet", but I've the feeling that they also adjust to their cultural environment, eventhough not in such a strong way as NTs do.


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