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thevard
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27 Mar 2015, 7:16 pm

Hi everyone,

A while back, I went to see a professional about the possibility of having AS. The end result of the evaluation was that I supposedly didn't have a restricted enough range of interests, and therefore did not possess any form of autism. For a while, I accepted the diagnosis of the professional who gave it to me. Recently, however, I have begun rehashing my history and looked for more information online.

Why have I done this, you might ask? I'm not really certain what got my mind focused on this topic again. Allowing for a potential lack of objectivity on my part, I could say from an outside perspective that I'm simply desirous of an image that makes me feel special.

On the other hand, I think back on my life and see many instances where social faux pas and coming from a different mindset has caused me to appear strange to others and be a social outcast. In my past, I also see cases where I have taken statements by others too literally. Added to this little laundry list is a characteristic I've worked to change, and that is that I tend to be very poor at judging the trustworthiness of others. In cases where friends of mine felt an instinctive sense of fear when in proximity to a person that I knew to be of bad character from horrible experiences of my own, I noted that before anything terrible happened, I felt completely okay with this person.

This kind of behavior traces back to elementary school for me when I traded my winter coat for a three-ring binder from some older kid who simply wanted to take advantage of me. I remember my mother being quite angry about that one! And I can understand what happened. But back then, I was simply a naive kid. Is this any worse than a normal child? I have no idea.

To this day, I still have trouble reading through certain social situations where sarcasm is being applied, and the counselor I meet with on a regular basis has also noticed that I seem a bit naive. She has said that in some areas, I am developmentally more mature, while in others much less so than what would be expected for my age group. It has been chalked up to traumatic past life experiences, but I've noticed that there are many people who have faced similar challenges without necessarily having the same traits that I do.

While my "interests" aren't circumscribed or restricted, I do tend to follow a daily routine. I also have many interests which can border on obsessions that cause me to lose sleep at night if I'm not careful. Often, as I'm in a library at night reading through some material, I've wished that there were more hours in a day so that I could research more information about whatever topic happens to be my temporary obsession at that point.

As far as stimming behaviors go, I have noticed that, as a kid, I occasionally did things like spinning in cricles, or making certain noises with my hands, in a very repetitive and occasionally publicly annoying fashion at school. I also had a huge pacing habit. Today, I could attribute my current nervous behaviors more to anxiety than simply a desire to stim: I tend to chew on my knuckles quite a bit, so much so that I have a couple callouses on my hands from it. I've been asked about those a few times lol. ("What's that!?")

I haven't yet proposed this possibility to my counselor for fear that she might condemn the thoughts I'm having outright without any consideration. I like doing my own research though, and I feel like some others in the autism community might have some interesting pointers in the right direction, or perspective that might allow me to see myself in a more accurate light. That's why I'm posting this.

People in public, especially young people, often notice outright without any direct interaction with me that there is something different and strange about my personality and character. One of my old acquaintances mentioned to me that a girl spoke to him from across the room about me, asking me who I was, and saying that I seemed odd. There's gotta be some pattern here, right?

I might add more to this post in the future, but that's all I feel like adding for now. Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear from at least a couple of you soon in reply.



kicker
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27 Mar 2015, 8:05 pm

Would it be helpful to you to seek out others that know you well and ask them to describe you? This way you aren't influenced by subjectivity about yourself.



Jensen
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28 Mar 2015, 1:59 pm

Don´t let that one argument stop you. Nobody has all the traits. In here you´ll find a greatnumber of diagnosed people with many/versatile interests, so don´t buy it.
When I read your self description, I would say, that it looks aspergian.
Go on remembering and writing!

Like kicker says: Ask someone to describe you - or even better - fill out the rdos aspie test AS IF THEY WERE YOU.
Do it yourself at the same time.
Aspie quiz is not by any means diagnostic and it can easily be manipulated, but it may give a hint.


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28 Mar 2015, 2:17 pm

thevard wrote:
While my "interests" aren't circumscribed or restricted, I do tend to follow a daily routine.


Depends on your definition of circumscribed and restricted.

thevard wrote:
As far as stimming behaviors go...I could attribute my current nervous behaviors more to anxiety than simply a desire to stim


Stimming IS the result of anxiety.

Autism is too many sensory neuroreceptors in the brain, thus too much sensory data for the brain to process, thus hyperstimulation of the nervous system. Intense World Syndrome is the current buzzword. Autistics live in a state of heightened anxiety, compared to what neurotypical people experience. Stims like rocking, swaying or headbanging are outlets that help diffuse that anxiety. :bounce:


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Aniihya
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28 Mar 2015, 3:54 pm

I would consider asking the psychiatrist or neurologist to maybe consider PDD-NOS. It really doesn't sound like HFA or AS because some traits are missing however enough traits exist to qualify for atypical autism or PDD-NOS.



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28 Mar 2015, 4:03 pm

I have cycling areas of interest, so I have many interests but cannot pursue all of them during the same time period. I tend to exhaust one and then move on to another, until I eventually come back around again to the same one. In this way, I pursue, usually singly, for periods of time, drawing, music, poetry, and other areas of interest that I've developed over the years. Every once in a while, I pick up a new one, but there are specific ones I've had for years, and I just keep going around and around, enjoying each one as it comes up again. I also sometimes try out new things that don't become areas of interest over the long term.

I had to get evaluated twice, because the first psychologist to assess me wasn't qualified to do an Asperger's assessment. I was later apologized to and told I'd been assigned to him by mistake. As it turns out, I recently learned he doesn't even believe in Asperger's, which would explain why he thought I wasn't on the spectrum when I didn't appear to have obviously severe enough symptoms of classic autism. Also, he had some outdated ideas about autism, such as that every autistic is completely unable to connect with anyone at all. I have a girlfriend.

I'd get a second opinion, if I were you. It's what I did, and I'm really glad. Also, even if you're not diagnosable because not all symptoms are sufficiently apparent, that doesn't mean you don't have struggles because of legitimately exhibiting just some of the traits. If you go for a second opinion, I think you should seek a professional who understands the spectrum and its symptoms much better than the first person you went to.

Good luck to you! I'm sorry for anyone else to have to go through such a struggle to get whatever is going on properly acknowledged, but I know what it's like. I encourage you to keep going and see this through. Let us know how things turn out.


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thevard
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29 Mar 2015, 9:23 pm

MindWithoutWalls wrote:
I have cycling areas of interest, so I have many interests but cannot pursue all of them during the same time period. I tend to exhaust one and then move on to another, until I eventually come back around again to the same one. In this way, I pursue, usually singly, for periods of time, drawing, music, poetry, and other areas of interest that I've developed over the years. Every once in a while, I pick up a new one, but there are specific ones I've had for years, and I just keep going around and around, enjoying each one as it comes up again. I also sometimes try out new things that don't become areas of interest over the long term.


Hey, that reminds me of what I do much of the time. I have a set of a few interests that tend to revolve, along with 1 or 2 overriding interests that somehow tie them all together, kind of like a tapestry of knowledge. Explaining how that works would be a bit baroque and abstract, though, so I'd prefer not to bother with explaining that too much.

kicker wrote:
Would it be helpful to you to seek out others that know you well and ask them to describe you? This way you aren't influenced by subjectivity about yourself.


I had a friend take the Aspie Quiz alongside me at the table this evening. I uploaded the score profile here for whoever might like to read it: Vard's Quiz Results. It seems like the judgment from this specific quiz is that it places me in the middle of the NT/AS range. Is this the one most people take?

When I had my interview to determine if I had AS, I noticed that, of the pair of therapist and clinical supervisor who spoke with me, the supervisor in particular seemed critical from the outset of the idea that I might have AS or be on the spectrum. He asked me why I was seeking a diagnosis in a somewhat angry/combative tone of voice, and he seemed skeptical of the idea that I might have AS simply from the fact that I hadn't been identified as a younger child. I also might have semi-consciously framed my responses in such a way as to play down certain traits and characteristics, because I was worried at the time how being diagnosed as having AS would affect my autonomy legally. I wasn't well-informed on that issue at that time. Overall, if I think of the interaction between myself and the therapist and his supervisor, I would say that we didn't develop good rapport.

The clinical supervisor's final opinion was that some of the traumatic events I'd faced while growing up had caused some developmental delays that stunted my maturity in some respects. The younger therapist who was being supervised in the encounter seemed to want to emphasize certain AS-oriented traits before they convened in private to discuss their opinions. Afterward, it was all the supervisor's opinion that manifested in the discussion.



MindWithoutWalls
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13 May 2015, 5:49 pm

thevard wrote:
When I had my interview to determine if I had AS, I noticed that, of the pair of therapist and clinical supervisor who spoke with me, the supervisor in particular seemed critical from the outset of the idea that I might have AS or be on the spectrum. He asked me why I was seeking a diagnosis in a somewhat angry/combative tone of voice, and he seemed skeptical of the idea that I might have AS simply from the fact that I hadn't been identified as a younger child. I also might have semi-consciously framed my responses in such a way as to play down certain traits and characteristics, because I was worried at the time how being diagnosed as having AS would affect my autonomy legally. I wasn't well-informed on that issue at that time. Overall, if I think of the interaction between myself and the therapist and his supervisor, I would say that we didn't develop good rapport.

The clinical supervisor's final opinion was that some of the traumatic events I'd faced while growing up had caused some developmental delays that stunted my maturity in some respects. The younger therapist who was being supervised in the encounter seemed to want to emphasize certain AS-oriented traits before they convened in private to discuss their opinions. Afterward, it was all the supervisor's opinion that manifested in the discussion.


I had my initial assessment with someone who wasn't even qualified to do such an assessment, as it turned out. My case was given to him by accident. I've since learned that he not only doesn't believe in Asperger's at all, let alone in adults, but he also doesn't believe in a bunch of other things, such as PTSD. He also appears to be full of prejudices of various sorts, including certain attitudes about gender. This was reflected in his ridiculous report and the unpleasant way he treated me during the appointment in which he told me of his conclusions. In addition, he questioned, in what seemed to me to be a doubting and kind of aggressive sounding way, why I would need to be diagnosed. The agency apologized to me and gave me a new assessment with someone much better. My younger sister came to my second set of appointments and was able to tell the psychologist things my mother (who is deceased) had said about me years earlier, which helped to clarify things and add info. I spoke of online tests I'd taken, and the psychologist sent home the best questionnaire he could provide (geared for children, unfortunately, but usable enough anyway) to be filled out by people who know me well. As a result, I got a very clear diagnosis at age 44. You can read about my entire journey here: A Mid-Forties Butch Aspie Makes Her Way - by MindWithoutWalls

I'd seek a second opinion, if I were you. Make everything about yourself be right up front instead of downplaying anything. That's why you're there, after all. It's not the same as overemphasizing, which my be a fear that's holding you back. Let the person assessing you decide what's important and what's not. Present your self-testing scores. Bring in anyone (or a letter from anyone) who knew you at a very young age who might be able to offer some insight. If you need help formulating a response to why you need to know if you're on the spectrum or not, feel free to either print out my list of reasons to refer to, stating that you found it helpful, or use my list to help you create your own that you can write or print out for yourself to take with you. Here's the link to that: My Argument for the Need for Diagnosis - by MindWithoutWalls Also, if it helps you to think about the things that have given you the sense that you're on the spectrum, you can review my list and then make your own that pertains to your life. Here's the link to mine: My Asperger List - by MindWithoutWalls

I hope that helps. Please post if you need anything else - and certainly to tell of your progress. I hope you're able to get a new assessment with which things work out better.


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