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klin
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05 Mar 2017, 10:47 pm

Probably like others here, I came to 'wrong planet' hoping to find out if I am actually an aspie. I'm wondering if you might be able to help me out a bit and see if the experiences I (a female) describe sound aspie-like or just generically maladjusted. More generally, I'm interested in the female profile of Asperger's and how much social performance figures into it. I hope that through telling you about my experience you will feel welcome to share yours and together we can perhaps develop a more robust notion of how female presentation of Asperger's differs from the male type.

a short description: I was always quite reserved and frequently selectively mute in youth (some acquaintances, I was later told, assumed I actually was mute!). yada yada.... more generic stuff, was in top standardized test percentiles, had some good friends but extremely compliant and a 'doormat,' jokes sometimes went over head... In high school I began to display psychological problems (depression etc.), and this was helped a bit with therapy but has come back with a vengeance over the last couple of years.

Now I'm a young adult (still a student) and have had a curious resurgence of debilitating anxiety. Lately it has even prevented me from studying, which I used to love. People who know me find me nice but (I assume) probably a bit dull. I've sometimes overheard people who don't know me well or at all say I'm selfish or self-absorbed. This usually surprises me because when I am with and around others I am usually thinking about what they think of me and how to behave. Is this selfishness, wanting myself to be what others want, not wanting to be a source of frustration for them? This gets me to the question of whether I might be an aspie and to what degree 'social performance' might mask the female aspie type. There is almost no one I feel naturally myself around, and when I begin to open up with someone it usually coincides with me talking more about myself or my interests, and I know that I shouldn't hog the conversation so I usually try to be quiet in an effort not to monopolize.

Some other notes: In high school I would go into rages at home in ways that at the time might have been read as something a person with borderline pd would do. Lately I've realized I seem to have poor executive functioning (simply *cannot* keep my room neat, to the point that my floormates remark and lend me their brooms). I tend to be impulsive and have a hard time envisioning future possibilities for myself.

I come from a family that was very strict about social matters and etiquette and I wonder if this might have enabled me to learn to comply with others' expectations especially well. I think I can be very successful socially but I don't think I can be *myself.* Sometimes when I'm totally alone (usually, away from school) I have moments when I can run around and talk to myself, read things out loud, be physically expressive... but a part of me is thinking 'stop being so childish!'. I think that this free self is something of the 'real me.' When I am with people I watch for cues for what to do, but in certain circumstances I simply cannot think of what to say and just end up repeating some stupid phrase or nodding like a bimbo. I worry that I come off to others as unintelligent. On the other hand, I think that when I want to I can be quite expressive in prose, and quite creative under the right conditions. :D

So... does this seem like someone who simply has an underdeveloped sense of self and purpose, or someone who might actually be on the spectrum? Also, what do you think is the role of 'performativity' in female aspie presentation? Do other women on the spectrum have similar stories from their youth? Any related thoughts? I'd love to heard from you.

Thanks for reading!



klin
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06 Mar 2017, 12:25 am

please reply :cry:



iliketrees
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06 Mar 2017, 12:49 am

klin wrote:
please reply :cry:

This time has fairly low traffic.

Can you see whatever support is available at where you're studying?



kraftiekortie
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06 Mar 2017, 1:24 am

I am of the opinion that a little etiquette isn't a bad thing....but that, sometimes, people emphasize the superficial aspects of it over the substantive aspects.

I feel the goal is for one to "be one's self" as much as possible, while continuing to treat people decently.

To respectfully disagree when you don't agree--but be able to express the disagreement, nevertheless.

Especially with the "selective mutism," there are some "Aspie" traits in you, it seems. I don't know if you are Aspie, though. An evaluator knowledgeable about autism spectrum disorders would be better placed to determine this.

What are you going for, in college/university? Do you have any thing which especially piques your interest?



NikNak
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06 Mar 2017, 3:29 pm

I can't relate to some of what you've said, at least on a surface level.
I'm diagnosed but probably not your typical presentation as I apparently sit right at the border.

You certainly sound as if you have some social traits but do you also have any non social traits? A 'special interest' or sensory issues for example?


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xxJennaxx
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06 Mar 2017, 3:51 pm

Do any of these apply to you?

- Trouble describing your emotion
- Struggles making up a story
- An intense occupation with something
- Being unwilling to change any familiar routines
- Feel daunted by people's constant eye contact
- Feel overwhelmed in situations with a lot of people or noises
- Don't feel obliged to organize any social interaction with others
- Usually find it easier to befriend older or younger people

These are just a few additional symptoms I can think of that might make it more clear if you lean towards neurodiverse, rather than a different mental health condition.


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Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 29 of 200

I have Asperger's and OCD. I love languages.


klin
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06 Mar 2017, 10:33 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies!
In response to @xxJennaxx , I would say the following of what you listed apply to me:

- Struggles making up a story --- I'm not sure I quite know what you mean by this, but if you mean to imply difficulties lying or giving false accounts, then yes, I have been told I am very 'transparent'
- An intense occupation with something
- Being unwilling to change any familiar routines
- Feel daunted by people's constant eye contact
- Feel overwhelmed in situations with a lot of people or noises

I'm not sure about this one, since I don't know many people outside my age range:
- Usually find it easier to befriend older or younger people

I also tend to stim by touching/picking my skin and find it hard to focus unless I'm touching something.



klin
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06 Mar 2017, 10:38 pm

@kraftiekortie 's question, I study philosophy. I've also been really interested in psychology/psychoanalysis as well. I also love Ingmar Bergman films.



klin
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06 Mar 2017, 10:44 pm

Sorry to post these three responses separately...
@ NikNak , I do have some auditory issues and am very sensitive to sound (to the point that it seemed at one time that I had a schizotypal profile, though I don't have the 'odd beliefs' one would expect to accompany that).



NikNak
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06 Mar 2017, 11:02 pm

klin wrote:
Sorry to post these three responses separately...
@ NikNak , I do have some auditory issues and am very sensitive to sound (to the point that it seemed at one time that I had a schizotypal profile, though I don't have the 'odd beliefs' one would expect to accompany that).


I also have auditory issues (tangled up with attention and personality I'm sure) that point towards a potential processing issues.

It's interesting that you mention schizotypal as there are a lot of threads on here mentioning symptom crossover, misdiagnosis, and even dual diagnosed (I think) with AS.

To qualify for an ASD diagnosis you need meet the criteria for at least two items in the RRBI domain, one of which is sensory symptoms (and 2 for social I think?).

As has been mentioned, you could be BAP which is when someone is subthreshold and/or has symptoms in only one domain.


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Also have OCD and various 'issues'.


iliketrees
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07 Mar 2017, 12:46 am

You had 4 replies



Shahunshah
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07 Mar 2017, 4:37 am

Hi Klin I personally find it very interesting that the rate of females that have been diagnosed with autism is far less than males, I think a reason for this could be that females are better at blending in. And my experience has confirmed this I have seen a number of aspie girls at the high school I go to, you can barely tell they have been diagnosed because they have so much friends and seem on the surface to be good communicators. Their is one persistent autistic trait I notice in them, some of them tend to constantly talk about their favourite interests despite the person they are conversing with being somewhat silent.

But then again I have seen the opposite.


klin wrote:
@kraftiekortie 's question, I study philosophy. I've also been really interested in psychology/psychoanalysis as well. I also love Ingmar Bergman films.


What interests you about philosophy?



klin
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09 Mar 2017, 7:47 pm

@Shahunshah, I found I drifted gradually into philosophy. It was a combination of an interest in formal methods, in writing, and in interpretative work. I think like many who move to the discipline I am driven by a compulsion to interpret and extract meaning from things. That sounds potted, but I'm not sure how to speak in less general terms about the motivation without sounding pretentious. I don't like to take anything for granted intellectually; I like knowing all of what's taking place, and furthermore I like the theoretical power I can acquire through study of such a foundational discipline. As soon as I get swept up into other humanities disciplines I feel like I'm being coerced into a loaded methodological framework. While philosophy is of course not free of its biases and disciplinary proclivities, I feel like there I have a greater range of theoretical motion (at least ideally, this isn't always the case of course) -- even for critiques to be asserted against philosophy itself. To me, philosophy (in its ideal form, which might not be the analytic tradition -- that's my bias!) has the peculiar feature of being both closer to art than many other humanities disciplines AND more rigorous than them, which I think makes it an extremely exciting field to work in.

I'm starting to think that I am not in fact an aspie but just have some social tendencies and inhibitions that are a bit aspie-like. It does seem that a lot of my friends over the years have been people whom NT's might scoff at as 'on the spectrum' (special interests, perseverative, somewhat socially awkward or disengaged). However I think my affinity for this doesn't speak to a shared type -- just superficial similarity.



klin
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09 Mar 2017, 7:51 pm

@iliketrees sorry for slow response! I think there are resources but they presuppose a diagnosis. I'm also starting to think I'm not an aspie after all, just an anxious and socially inexperienced NT.



iliketrees
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10 Mar 2017, 12:53 am

klin wrote:
@iliketrees sorry for slow response! I think there are resources but they presuppose a diagnosis. I'm also starting to think I'm not an aspie after all, just an anxious and socially inexperienced NT.

I know my cousin got diagnosed with another neurodevelopmental disorder from going to the student support system, they can (here at least) lead you to assessment services. Even if it's just that you're anxious, they may have some kind of counselling or something. I think you should see someone if whatever it is is getting in the way of studying.