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Norny
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07 Jul 2014, 4:01 pm

There are a lot of people that seek diagnosis, and the majority that aren't diagnosed as children research the autism spectrum to help determine whether or not they have an ASD. On the internet and in books, many symptoms and traits are listed and described in detail, but evidently not to a point where doubt can be sufficiently erased.

What's frustrating is that no solid information exists regarding the extent to which certain symptoms must be present for them to be considered as caused by autism. The closest thing to this is the overly vague 'significantly impairing' statement under the diagnosis listed in DSM V.

Just as an example, I sometimes may think to myself that every autistic person will have deficits in non-verbal communication, but then I could read an account by someone on the forum that does not struggle with facial recognition etc and considers themselves to have excessive levels of empathy. Though I am likely wrong, I can't help but think that a person such as that must be misdiagnosed, as it completely contradicts the nature of every autistic person I have ever known (in this narrow context alone), and most NT's experiences with autistic individuals. It eliminates the possibility to think that an autistic will have problems with non-verbal communication, and really makes it seem impossible for there not to be multiple kinds of autism.

I have even read about autistic individuals that claim to have good social skills. Whether or not they're blind to the fact that they really don't (confirmation bias perhaps), it stands to loose chance that some are correct that they do.

There really is no other disorder (or disease for that matter) that apparently presents so differently among individuals. I don't lack belief in the idea that each autistic is different - it's not a matter as to whether one is extroverted or introverted or anything like that, but rather actual characteristics of the disorder.

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So what are valuable signs that one is not autistic? Are there any at all, or is the disorder too complicated?

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Kurgan
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07 Jul 2014, 4:35 pm

There are rules against "more autistic than thou" threads. It's difficult to tell over the internet who has the disorder and who doesn't. There are a few who diagnose themselves with it because they saw someone on a reality show with it, or because Asperger's is becoming the "new bisexual", but most people who obtain an official diagnosis, are on the spectrum.

(And having a good social intuition when you're on the autistic spectrum, is like being able to see well when you're legally blind.)


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skibum
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07 Jul 2014, 5:08 pm

People can have inaccurate knowledge of themselves as well. I thought I was a lot better socially in certain ways but my husband reminds me often that I am not.


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kraftiekortie
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07 Jul 2014, 5:25 pm

I have "subnormal" empathy at times; in fact, I don't feel truly empathetic at all if I haven't experienced what I'm supposed to be empathetic FOR. I am able to express sympathy honestly--but not empathy in these instances. It's rather frustrating, really.

My social skills are better than they used to be--but they are by no means up to a "typical neurotypical" level. I have a penchant for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, and I receive awkward glances frequently (which I didn't discern when I was younger, though I can discern them now). I am an amiable fellow, but somewhat of an awkward fellow sometimes, thus fitting in with Tony Attwood's notions pertaining to (in essence) "desiring social contact, but attempting to obtain it in an awkward manner."

I have mild sensory issues--especially when I'm bombarded all at once. I can't "do two things at once."

I used to be a "little professor" with a pedantic rhythm to my speech, though I did not a pedantic manner, overall. I was a rather silly kid, actually.

I was in special schools most of my academic life, though I never received any particular academic "accommodations." I was able to graduate from a regular college without accommodations. I did irritate some of the students who were within my major (speech pathology). However, over time, I became accepted, albeit somewhat grudgingly by some. I made an effort to improve my overall public presentation.

Until the age of 5, I exhibited rather "Kanner-type" symptoms. Upon the attainment of speech, I become "Aspergian," so to speak. I've said this many times; perhaps I'm repeating myself too much! LOL

I believe I am on the Spectrum in some way, and hope to advocate well for others on the Spectrum.



Last edited by kraftiekortie on 07 Jul 2014, 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Marybird
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07 Jul 2014, 5:43 pm

If you don't meat these criteria:

Quote:
Autism Spectrum Disorder 299.00 (F84.0)

Diagnostic Criteria

A. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as manifested by the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive, see text):

1. Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, ranging, for example, from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back-and-forth conversation; to reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect; to failure to initiate or respond to social interactions.

2. Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, ranging, for example, from poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication; to abnormalities in eye contact and body language or deficits in understanding and use of gestures; to a total lack of facial expressions and nonverbal communication.

3. Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to absence of interest in peers.

Specify current severity:

Severity is based on social communication impairments and restricted repetitive patterns of behavior (see Table 2).

B. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive; see text):

1. Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech (e.g., simple motor stereotypies, lining up toys or flipping objects, echolalia, idiosyncratic phrases).

2. Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns or verbal nonverbal behavior (e.g., extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take same route or eat food every day).

3. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g, strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interest).

4. Hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interests in sensory aspects of the environment (e.g., apparent indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement).

Specify current severity:

Severity is based on social communication impairments and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior (see Table 2).

C. Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities, or may be masked by learned strategies in later life).

D. Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.

E. These disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) or global developmental delay. Intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder frequently co-occur; to make comorbid diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability, social communication should be below that expected for general developmental level.



Last edited by Marybird on 07 Jul 2014, 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kraftiekortie
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07 Jul 2014, 5:53 pm

I don't believe one must meet ALL those criteria. I'd have to research DSM IV to find out exactly how many.

I meet at least half the criteria at this moment. Historically, I met most of the criteria.



Marybird
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07 Jul 2014, 5:58 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I don't believe one must meet ALL those criteria. I'd have to research DSM IV to find out exactly how many.

I meet at least half the criteria at this moment. Historically, I met most of the criteria.

Historically counts. But there must also be current impairment for a diagnosis.



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07 Jul 2014, 6:10 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I don't believe one must meet ALL those criteria. I'd have to research DSM IV to find out exactly how many.

I meet at least half the criteria at this moment. Historically, I met most of the criteria.


You must meet all 3 from A and at least 2 from B


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kraftiekortie
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07 Jul 2014, 6:14 pm

If you met me, and you were a "neurotypical" person, you would think that I'm weird. You would wonder "what's up with this guy?" If you were ignorant, you would want to avoid me.

I admit I have some regrets that I haven't done more with my life. It's possible that my Aspieness contributed to my relative lack of accomplishment--or perhaps I'm just making excuses. My desire is to be a Transitions Counselor for adults on the cusp of independence. I hope that my Aspergerian features do not interfere with this ultimate ambition. As it stands now, I'm too much into myself, and my special interests.

But I definitely fit somewhere on the Spectrum. If I were to work in a more socially-dynamic profession, I don't think I'd last long. I'm fortunate I have a job which doesn't require too much social interaction.



kraftiekortie
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07 Jul 2014, 6:33 pm

1 from Column A has hurt me greatly, and continues to hurt me. I want to be a caring person at the right times--but my lack of empathy, except for situations I have actually experienced what the person needs empathy for, really gets in the way.

2 from Column A was rather severe when I was younger, but is much less severe now.

3 from Column A is still rather severe. My only "friend" is my wife at this point, and I can't confide in even her. I have a few "acquaintances," with whom I keep in contact sporadically. I am not affected by all this most of the time, though I get lonely at times. There is a superficiality about my relations with people. I have, however, been able to begin incipient friendships on this website.

1 from Column B--not really, except for occasional idiosyncratic phrases.

2 from Column B--I'm not blatantly ritualistic; but when the routines of my day are tampered with, I get very tense, angry, and have thrown tantrums in the subways when my train is late. I've had cops come up to me in wonderment about my tantrums.

3 from Column B--not severe, but my "special interests" do interfere with the performance of required tasks. I've gotten into debt because I didn't follow up on payments, because I would forget to make them due to my obsession with these "special interests."

4 from Column B--Mild, and getting more mild by the year. I am hypersensitive to loud sounds; I hate the TV to be at even a moderate volume; this irritates my wife. I should probably get headphones. I have an aversion to tags on my clothes. I am quite fascinated by kaleidoscopic-type things. I like tacky things sometimes because they match my preference for colorful things.

C. Symptoms have always been apparent--much more severe before age 5, to a "Kanner" extent; somewhat severe until adulthood; less severe at present.

D. I am significantly handicapped socially, though it's getting much better. I would be significantly handicapped vocationally if I didn't have my socially-isolated job.

E. It was thought I might have an intellectual disability when I was very young--but it turned out that I didn't.

Sorry for this comprehensive, self-absorbed little missive.



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07 Jul 2014, 6:41 pm

If someone doesn't act weird/silly at least part of the time they're probably not autistic although they should try to act relatively normal while in public either way.



Kurgan
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07 Jul 2014, 7:33 pm

ASdogGeek wrote:
kraftiekortie wrote:
I don't believe one must meet ALL those criteria. I'd have to research DSM IV to find out exactly how many.

I meet at least half the criteria at this moment. Historically, I met most of the criteria.


You must meet all 3 from A and at least 2 from B


I meet all from B. 8)


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nerdygirl
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07 Jul 2014, 7:38 pm

I have had a few diagnosed autistic piano students, from very different families with very different child-rearing philosophies.

Of course, individuals have differing degrees of severity, but the family environment must also play a part in how much these characteristics are evident, especially as the individual gets older.

My current autistic student is 13 now, and you would *almost* not know. I doubt that those who have not been told can tell. The main thing about him is that he has few friends, though he is a friendly kid. I know when he is having an "off" day, but the "off-ness" is so slight that another might just find him grumpy or having an "attitude problem" at the moment.

He went through intense therapy when very young and his parents have done several things to reduce the severity of his symptoms. I wonder how many would think he would not qualify for a diagnosis now. I personally don't see any unusual behaviors at least in public. I do not know how he is at home, but he's a really great kid. We get along great!



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07 Jul 2014, 9:22 pm

Marybird wrote:
If you don't meat these criteria:
Quote:
Autism Spectrum Disorder 299.00 (F84.0)

Diagnostic Criteria

A. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as manifested by the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive, see text):

1. Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, ranging, for example, from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back-and-forth conversation; to reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect; to failure to initiate or respond to social interactions.

2. Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, ranging, for example, from poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication; to abnormalities in eye contact and body language or deficits in understanding and use of gestures; to a total lack of facial expressions and nonverbal communication.

3. Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to absence of interest in peers.

Specify current severity:

Severity is based on social communication impairments and restricted repetitive patterns of behavior (see Table 2).

B. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive; see text):

1. Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech (e.g., simple motor stereotypies, lining up toys or flipping objects, echolalia, idiosyncratic phrases).

2. Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns or verbal nonverbal behavior (e.g., extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take same route or eat food every day).

3. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g, strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interest).

4. Hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interests in sensory aspects of the environment (e.g., apparent indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement).

Specify current severity:

Severity is based on social communication impairments and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior (see Table 2).

C. Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities, or may be masked by learned strategies in later life).

D. Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.

E. These disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) or global developmental delay. Intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder frequently co-occur; to make comorbid diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability, social communication should be below that expected for general developmental level.


This. It's just a developmental disorder defined by this criteria, not some other race or species or something and if you don't meet it you don't have the disorder.



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07 Jul 2014, 10:41 pm

If you have good social cognition, highly empathic, and able to practice good social skills in real-time interactions.


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