Do I have ASD, or any similar condition? [LONG]

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JXPW
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16 Dec 2016, 3:23 pm

Note: Long post.

Hi, about 2 weeks ago I decided to look up Asperger's Syndrome on Google after somebody had mentioned it to me (unrelated to myself though), and after reading the symptoms, a lot of them seemed to be things I do experience or have experienced at some point in my life. So I have been researching (obsessing?) over this for this period of time and have collated some symptoms that I think are key, and it would be very good if you could give your personal opinion on whether you think I have ASD or something similar. Firstly, here are some scores on some tests I have done online. Please note that they may be biased as they were all done after I knew of the symptoms and also because any form of diagnosis like this would greatly relieve me so naturally I will be biased toward Autistic answers.

RAADS-R:
147 (May be inaccurate - I am 14 and the test is for adults so this is probably quite inaccurate but I did it anyway.)

"Aspie Quiz":
139/200 ND
64/200 NT

Baron-Cohen's AQ Test:
40/50

Secondly, when I was young I was at first thought to have signs of Autism which were overlooked, and I highly doubt that they were checked by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or paediatrician. An example of this I was told is that my first word was "Door" and not any common first word. The reason for this was because as a young child I liked opening, walking through, and closing doors for hours on end. Also when I was of quite a young age (I have been told this within the last few years by parents in an unrelated matter) I apparently collected names of cars in my head and would name them on the road often, at a very young age, which I believe is a symptom of ASD, and also I have read that other people (diagnosed) had this as a child with different types of knowledge.

Today, I show many symptoms if not more of some and less of some, ie completely different developments, although this may just be my memory. For example, I quite often experience lots of anxiety in places others would be fine in. Another example would be that I have quite a few GI problems, which is apparently associated with ASD, though probably just a coincidence considering that a large percentage of the populus also have these types of conditions.
Also, I repeat certain words to myself (rarely) or when around others as it feels almost relieving. I usually repeat 2-4 different words or phrases that I have heard from others or on the internet (Note: I have heard all of them and not actually read them which may affect this. These words sound nice to me and are usually related to comedic things or something I find funny and audibly pleasing.)

Also, this seems normal to me but maybe worth mentioning. I am always chewing on something, usually pens or pen lids, or I will be moving my fingers around if I'm not using them, or if I am using them then I will tap my foot a lot.

I also have problems with any sexual related things. Kissing in movies is enough to send me out of the room. Anything with discussion of these matters (in game-show type programs such as QI (British programme on TV)) will make me uncomfortable.

Not sure if this Autism or anything related to Autism but I sometimes struggle to remember things short term, ie. I quickly forget things I'm thinking which can be very irritating.

I also have meltdowns over computer things, usually when debugging something and when I fail several times. I get very angry at this and usually throw my chair across my bedroom. Note: To my knowledge I have only given up on computer projects twice ever: both were particularly long and I ended up losing interest.

Touching anything such as velvet will make me instantly recoil whatever body part that has touched it and hearing the sound of rubbing paper will also have a similar effect. This is particularly bad as I deal with this at school everyday. I am still not used to it and have to cover my ears if it is prolonged. Possibly related to these symptoms but not really sure. Another thing linked to this is that I cannot function if there is loud noise ie. talking in a classroom, and I do tend to hear small noises others do not, which I believe is a symptom.

I have problems with eye contact and find it very unnatural and it feels very wrong to me, so I try to avoid it.

Finally, I have a very intense interest in computers, anything else will quickly bore me unless it is STEM or gaming.

However, looking at symptoms, I don't have certain symptoms which are listed, and that seem pretty important. For example, I think I understand phrases that people say but don't mean, ie. sarcasm, but I came across a phrase the other day "the apple of my eye" which I have never heard, and don't "understand" per se but I do know what it means after looking up on Google. I am a little confused though after reading about ASD if the problem that Autistic people have with these types of phrases is that they don't understand them after actually being told what they mean or just that they don't know without being told the meaning.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, I would greatly appreciate a reply with your opinion, particularly if you have experience with this kind of matter. I apologise if this is just a complete hypochondriatic affair and that all of these symptoms have been blown out of proportion in my mind, but for now I cannot tell.



ASPartOfMe
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16 Dec 2016, 4:14 pm

Short term memory problems can be an issue with low working memory which is part of a wider condition known as Executive dysfunction common in people on the Autism spectrum

Quote:
Individuals with autism commonly show impairment in three main areas of executive functioning:[54][55][56][57]

Fluency. Fluency refers to the ability to generate novel ideas and responses. Although adult populations are largely underrepresented in this area of research, findings have suggested that children with autism generate fewer novel words and ideas and produce less complex responses than matched controls.
Planning. Planning refers to a complex, dynamic process, wherein a sequence of planned actions must be developed, monitored, re-evaluated and updated. Persons with autism demonstrate impairment on tasks requiring planning abilities relative to typically functioning controls, with this impairment maintained over time. As might be suspected, in the case of autism comorbid with learning disability, an additive deficit is observed in many cases.
Flexibility. Poor mental flexibility, as demonstrated in individuals with autism, is characterized by perseverative, stereotyped behaviour, and deficits in both the regulation and modulation of motor acts. Some research has suggested that individuals with autism experience a sort of ‘stuck-in-set’ perseveration that is specific to the disorder, rather than a more global perseveration tendency. These deficits have been exhibited in cross-cultural samples and have been shown to persist over time.



People with executive dysfunctions have trouble with multitasking which includes following a conversation where there are multiple participants.

You have have a number of core traits associated with Asperger syndrome. I do not know you except for your one post so I do not know if you exaggerating traits based on a desire to be Autistic.

Quote:
when I was young I was at first thought to have signs of Autism which were overlooked, and I highly doubt that they were checked by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or paediatrician


This statement has me curious. What do you mean by that? The reason I ask is that some parents will not tell their children they received an Asperger/Autism diagnosis because of stigmas or out the belief that their child will not live up to their potential because they will believe they can not do things because the diagnosis says so. Disability does not automatically mean inability. I would ask your parents if you were ever diagnosed or checked for autism or other conditions when you were very young.

Are these "Aspergers" traits impairing your life? Are your obsessions and sensitivity to touch causing you to have lower grades that you should for a person of your intelligence? Are you being teased or bullied? If these traits are causing you problems it is time to tell your parents you would like to pursue an Aspergers diagnosis so you can receive treatments and accommodations or just know what you are dealing with.


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JXPW
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16 Dec 2016, 4:33 pm

Hi, thanks for the reply. What you described about Executive dysfunction is a problem that I have, especially the multitasking problem; I shut down whenever more than one person talks to me at once, which I thought was normal and multitasking in general is an impossible task.

Quote:
when I was young I was at first thought to have signs of Autism which were overlooked, and I highly doubt that they were checked by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or paediatrician

I apologise for the poor wording of this quote, I mean that I have been told in the past that my parents had suspected Autism after the whole "first word" problem but they don't know much about Autism in general and when I appeared to develop as a normal child (apart from that and some other small things) they disregarded this idea. What I meant by "checked by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or paediatrician" is that I don't remember visiting any doctors or specialists - I don't normally remember things from that long ago but visits to doctors or paediatricians stay in my memory. As for impairing my life; to some extent, they do, and I wouldn't have pursued this otherwise, but they don't to the point where I am serverely depressed (to my knowledge) though I am a very, very pessimistic person which seems like depression. I have read quite a bit about the symptoms and quite a few of them seem to be like small things that have changed my life in negative and positive ways. I was bullied in primary school and didn't really have any friends until Year 5/6 and now I have a few close friends in Secondary. Again thank you very much for the response, it really helps me as this is currently a dilemma that is taking my mind over until I am quite sure of whether I have this condition or not. Also, I will try to collect more evidence and then request a diagnosis.



ASPartOfMe
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17 Dec 2016, 4:09 am

JXPW wrote:
Hi, thanks for the reply. What you described about Executive dysfunction is a problem that I have, especially the multitasking problem; I shut down whenever more than one person talks to me at once, which I thought was normal and multitasking in general is an impossible task.
Quote:
when I was young I was at first thought to have signs of Autism which were overlooked, and I highly doubt that they were checked by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or paediatrician

I apologise for the poor wording of this quote, I mean that I have been told in the past that my parents had suspected Autism after the whole "first word" problem but they don't know much about Autism in general and when I appeared to develop as a normal child (apart from that and some other small things) they disregarded this idea. What I meant by "checked by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or paediatrician" is that I don't remember visiting any doctors or specialists - I don't normally remember things from that long ago but visits to doctors or paediatricians stay in my memory. As for impairing my life; to some extent, they do, and I wouldn't have pursued this otherwise, but they don't to the point where I am serverely depressed (to my knowledge) though I am a very, very pessimistic person which seems like depression. I have read quite a bit about the symptoms and quite a few of them seem to be like small things that have changed my life in negative and positive ways. I was bullied in primary school and didn't really have any friends until Year 5/6 and now I have a few close friends in Secondary. Again thank you very much for the response, it really helps me as this is currently a dilemma that is taking my mind over until I am quite sure of whether I have this condition or not. Also, I will try to collect more evidence and then request a diagnosis.


I am glad to be of help. I am all too familier with multitasking problems and problems following conversations with multiple participants.


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neurotypicalET
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17 Dec 2016, 4:17 am

Sorry but I just can't help it...
@AsPartOfMe why would anybody desire to be autistic? I don't know what's its like in the US but from where I live , autism is a curse....in fact the only people who wears anime clothing or do cosplays in my country are only neurotypicals...most autistics in my country even those who are very high on the spectrum wears regular clothing...you can only tell there autistic when they do something inappropriate in public...which they try to hide...


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strings
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17 Dec 2016, 8:39 am

neurotypicalET wrote:
Sorry but I just can't help it...
@AsPartOfMe why would anybody desire to be autistic? I don't know what's its like in the US but from where I live , autism is a curse....in fact the only people who wears anime clothing or do cosplays in my country are only neurotypicals...most autistics in my country even those who are very high on the spectrum wears regular clothing...you can only tell there autistic when they do something inappropriate in public...which they try to hide...


I think AsPartOfMe was essentially paraphrasing something that the OP himself said, where he noted the possibility that he might be biasing his thoughts and answers somewhat towards an ASD conclusion because it would be greatly relive him to get such a diagnosis.

I think I know exactly what JXPW is meaning by this, and indeed I have very similar feelings myself. In my case I would express it as a feeling that while I wouldn't have wished to have an ASD, other things being equal, the fact is that, as I have only recently recognised, I have had all the social and other difficulties associated with the autistic traits all my life. Given that, it would indeed be a relief to find that I do indeed have ASD, since it would provide a way of understanding things about myself that I have never until now understood.



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17 Dec 2016, 10:29 am

Based on your testing scores, interests and sensory issues, ASD is a strong possibility. Welcome to WP!

I could describe a lot of similar things about myself:

I had an early interest in books and music. My mom said when I was a little girl, I could recognize the record that was playing by the pattern on the record. I'm no good at any sort of pattern recognition now.

I was always a cat lover. My favorite books were about cats-particularly Siamese cats. I used to collect cat-related items and my favorite-far and away-were Siamese. I have had two Siamese cats as pets-both of them Lynx/tabby points.

I have a great long-term memory, but a terrible short-term one, particularly if I can't sleep well. Between 2011-2013, I got zero sleep and couldn't do anything. Thankfully, my brain has finally begun to recover from that.



JXPW
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17 Dec 2016, 11:07 am

Thanks everyone for the replies.
@strings and @neurotypicalET: You are about right about what you said, and I would say it isn't really a desire but more just the relief of knowing that it isn't like this for everyone else.
@IstominFan: Thanks for the welcome. I too have problems sleeping, though it may be unrelated; I will probably look into this further as it is a big problem for me.



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17 Dec 2016, 12:07 pm

neurotypicalET wrote:
Sorry but I just can't help it...
@AsPartOfMe why would anybody desire to be autistic?


Probably because to explain why they were always picked on and treated different or to explain why they have always struggled and felt different than others and to explain their failures. I don't think it means they want to be autistic, it just means they want an explanation for their struggles and for things that's happened to them. It's like if someone had been dealing with chronic pain, the last thing they would want to hear is that they are normal because they would want answers to why they are always in pain. They know it's not normal and that lot of people don't deal with it on a daily basis.


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17 Dec 2016, 12:21 pm

neurotypicalET wrote:
Sorry but I just can't help it...
@AsPartOfMe why would anybody desire to be autistic? I don't know what's its like in the US but from where I live , autism is a curse....in fact the only people who wears anime clothing or do cosplays in my country are only neurotypicals...most autistics in my country even those who are very high on the spectrum wears regular clothing...you can only tell there autistic when they do something inappropriate in public...which they try to hide...


For most it is not a matter wanting to be autistic but as League_Girl said to find out why they are they having problems so they can deal with it. If you are an adult autistic it is likely you have gotten a lot of wrong answers/misdiagnosis so to finally find one that fits can be a relief. As for Aspergers type of Autism it is often stereotyped in the media as socially awkward geniuses so a person with no friends, no relationships so a few think it is a cool or trendy thing to be. If a person thinks that way he or she will find out they are mistaken.

America is a very extroverted, social, multitasking culture which puts Autistics at a significant disadvantage. The Analytical type mind is often looked down upon here.


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17 Dec 2016, 12:35 pm

You have done some deep research if you know about GI-related comorbids. Congratulations!

Autism is currently defined as having deficits in social communication and repetitive or routine behaviors. While you mentioned several repetitive and routine behaviors, I don't remember reading about any of your social communication deficits (reluctance to initiate conversation, respond appropriately or practice the give-and-take of conversation). Perhaps you forgot to include them. Then again, I might have missed them. (UPDATE: Found your mention of social anxiety. My mistake.)

Meanwhile, you seem to have a collection of impairments which impress me as being related to autism. Don't worry about your age regarding your screening-test scores. Most screening and diagnostic tests for adults are designed for individuals in their mid-teens through adulthood. So, your scores should be pretty accurate.

I believe that it is great you have come here to further your knowledge of autism, including possible effects in your own life. Keep asking questions. We love to answer questions. :)


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JXPW
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18 Dec 2016, 1:19 pm

@AspieUtah: Thanks for the reply - I haven't researched too deeply (yet) but I do intend to in the near future. The reason I know about the link to GI problems is because of looking at what other people have said on several websites, but if it is actually a known comorbid with links that have been professionally studied then I intend to research this further as I have been diagnosed with several GI illnesses by Gastroenterologists, which will help (in my mind) with the self-diagnosis if ASD or Aspergers, depending on how strong those links are between GI illnesses and ASD/Aspergers.



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18 Dec 2016, 1:29 pm

JXPW wrote:
@AspieUtah: Thanks for the reply - I haven't researched too deeply (yet) but I do intend to in the near future. The reason I know about the link to GI problems is because of looking at what other people have said on several websites, but if it is actually a known comorbid with links that have been professionally studied then I intend to research this further as I have been diagnosed with several GI illnesses by Gastroenterologists, which will help (in my mind) with the self-diagnosis if ASD or Aspergers, depending on how strong those links are between GI illnesses and ASD/Aspergers.

The last time I read research about GI and autism (a year or two ago, so I doubt much has changed), it seemed to be treated as subclinical (a legitimate comorbid, but not its own diagnosis). But, many other subclinical conditions are described in autism, so I have no reason to believe that GI issues would be treated similarly. In fact, the pending ICD-11 and ICF diagnostic criteria will likely include GI-autism conditions among its myriad of autism-related physical conditions list.


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18 Dec 2016, 1:51 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
neurotypicalET wrote:
Sorry but I just can't help it...
@AsPartOfMe why would anybody desire to be autistic?

For most it is not a matter wanting to be autistic but as League_Girl said to find out why they are they having problems so they can deal with it. If you are an adult autistic it is likely you have gotten a lot of wrong answers/misdiagnosis so to finally find one that fits can be a relief.

I agree. For me, I never desired to be autistic. Rather, I just wanted an explanation. For me, it's comforting to be able to attribute certain behaviors to something. Likewise, it's comforting to know that I am not the only person with this "condition".



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19 Dec 2016, 8:33 am

I've had definite minor GI problems all my life; they finally seem to be getting better in my "old age."

I was a vomiter as a classically-autistic child. One of my first memories is the ever-present smell of vomit. I think I might have been hit for it, too (though that "memory" could have been part of my "psychosis").

I wouldn't be surprised if it is found that there's a correlation between GI problems and autism---though GI problems are not an inevitable component of autism. And, of course, GI problems could exist in the absence of autism.