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Pengu1n
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29 Nov 2011, 3:49 am

I was not diagnosed with Aspergers until I was age 24, and personally, I feel that most of my early life was a complete waste with regards to concrete accomplishments and life milestones.

My Parents, for example, made me spend my precious free-time and extra effort bringing up and "correcting" my deficient areas (my social skills mostly) This turned out to be a massive waste of time in my best formative years with an expanding brain, since with AS, my social skills were beyond hopeless. They were obsessed though with fixing me, and they thought it better that I be average everywhere, instead of having lopsided and uneven abilities.

I could have been pursuing my interests and becoming VERY skilled and employable in those, but instead I had to waste gobs of time being miserable and trying to work on being "well-rounded" and "making friends" with people I mostly detested.

Without knowing I had AS (the root of all of my problems) ........ I had no idea where to begin to truly get my life on a good track for so long. Since I did not know the problem, it was a massive waste of time in trial-and-error to try and do things. My life was absolutely directionless since I was trying to function as an NT with no success, since I am so handicapped. With such disadvantage, its beyond hopeless to even dream of thriving while masquerading as an NT.

Also, with AS, the big problem is that I am about 7 or 8 years behind developmentally from my chronological age. Socially, professionally, and emotionally, I am about 19 years old.

With this background, the problem with this is that in school, they seemed to pile on the expectations more and more to get accepted into decent universities. In my absolute naivety, when I was about 15, I thought it would be enough just to have about a 3.5 GPA to carry on and naturally "progress" to somewhere decent after HighSchool.

But I did not take in to account that it was so expected of me that I would "fill out" a resume and applications that were complete in all facets. I did not realize that they wanted to see that you had clubs, extra-curricular activities, summer jobs, lots of friends and reccommendations, and lots of community service. With AS, all of these other standards were totally foreign and impossible to me, but schools looked as much as how you would thrive socially as how intelligent you are.

It makes sense anyway since your social skills would become the primary factor in a service economy. Its like not only did you have to have good grades, but you had to be front-loaded with so many things and basically be a miniature workaholic adult with a 15 hour day for them to even consider you. Having AS, I could come nowhere close to matching the pace that the most adept of my peers could seemingly achieve.

With AS, I derived the most enjoyment from entertaining myself with special interests....... not seeking out clubs and things of this stripe.

I feel like I was a late bloomer anyway...... its like they already expected you to be almost totally defined at age 18, and have very clear ideas, but I really had no idea what I wanted to be, and I was still very malleable at that age. I felt like I just needed to go on at a slower pace, and I would thrive more as an adult once I was out of the pressure-cooker of high-school.

It was upsetting to me how the expectations just were gradually more and more piled on. I feel like higher education isn't conducive at all to late-bloomers since they've made the standards so lofty to get scholarships and all of that. Since I had AS, I fell so far behind in the important areas so I had basically no chance. Even now, I feel like i'm still being hugely held back by my slim resume of my early years, and employers and schools want to see a laundry list of random accomplishments that are "officially" verified in some way, to "prove" that you are socially adept. Your own hobbies aren't acceptable, but it has to be something done "with" other people.

Its like there aren't any "back doors" any more........... even if you have skills and can prove it, but its become more and more standardized....... all they care about is that you are some social-conformist who is normally progressing through life.



MrXxx
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29 Nov 2011, 11:27 am

In every respect, this is the garbage that public schools in particular teach kids. And it's a bunch of crap.

Many secondary schools do it too. It's unfortunate too, that they do.

IMHO, schools that teach this load of garbage have one purpose. To churn out "well rounded" employees for businesses. People businesses can put wherever they need them at any given time.

It's a set up that doesn't work well for Autistics. Most of us need to focus on one particular thing, or at most just a few things.

The best advice I can offer you is to break all the rules. You do not have to follow the path of the masses. Find what YOU are best and happiest with, and pursue it.

I got some flack from college counselors because I signed up for a music tech degree, then took almost nothing but music and music tech classes. I took as few GE classes as I could manage just to fill the requirements. Got a few kind of rude comments from some school counselors about it. One of them said, "Most of your classes are in music. You're choices don't seem very rounded to me."

I said, "So what? Music is the field I want to work in. Why wouldn't I take as many music classes as possible to get a leg up in the music business?"

The fact is, it is NOT true that everyone needs a well rounded resume with a bunch of club memberships, community service and crap like it. If you focus in on your interest, do everything you can to become as good at that as you can, then go only for jobs (or to start your own business), in that field, nobody is going to care. What they will see is that you are dedicated to your craft. They will see value in you for the positions you go for if that's what most of your focus has been on. They will see decisiveness in you. Decisiveness is JUST as valuable as being "well rounded."

Being well rounded isn't necessarily bad, it just doen't fit with Autism.

You're 27 years old now. Forget about all the crap that doesn't matter. Forget about what you think people expect of you. Time to grow up and take control. Do what YOU want to do, and do it very well.

Once you do become good at it, and maybe even the best in your field, you can yell at all those voices in your head from the past.

"IN YOUR FACE!! !"


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rabbitears
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29 Nov 2011, 1:56 pm

I feel like a late bloomer too in social and emotional aspects. I used to try to hide the fact that I'm "weird" and tried to conform to what others expected of me. And I'm always thinking "why do I need to be part of the system?" I don't want to, but I cannot get away from it. I have no control over any of this and it stresses me out all the time. I hate the idea that all people have to progress and pass so many milestones in their lives just to be accepted by others as a person.

I feel like there are too many expectations of me to do what I'm "supposed to do" instead of what I want to do. It's not as if what I want to do is going to harm or offend anyone.

Anyway, I feel all these un-necessary failed milestones have halted my development in some areas.


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dianthus
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29 Nov 2011, 3:34 pm

MrXxx wrote:
I got some flack from college counselors because I signed up for a music tech degree, then took almost nothing but music and music tech classes. I took as few GE classes as I could manage just to fill the requirements. Got a few kind of rude comments from some school counselors about it. One of them said, "Most of your classes are in music. You're choices don't seem very rounded to me."

I said, "So what? Music is the field I want to work in. Why wouldn't I take as many music classes as possible to get a leg up in the music business?"


I wish I had your fortitude. I went to college to study music. I didn't care about getting a degree at all, I thought it would be a nice byproduct if I got one, but I really just wanted to take music classes. The music program at the college didn't serve my needs anyway, they were very traditional and didn't a composition major at all. I should have just transferred to another school but I let them browbeat me into thinking I had chosen the wrong area of study. I also listened too much to all the people who told me, there aren't enough positions available in classical music, you'll never be able to make a living at it, blah blah blah.

Yeah the education system as a whole is designed to turn out good employees, people who can follow instructions and adjust themselves to fit where they are needed.



ECJ
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29 Nov 2011, 4:54 pm

rabbitears wrote:
I feel like a late bloomer too in social and emotional aspects. I used to try to hide the fact that I'm "weird" and tried to conform to what others expected of me. And I'm always thinking "why do I need to be part of the system?" I don't want to, but I cannot get away from it. I have no control over any of this and it stresses me out all the time. I hate the idea that all people have to progress and pass so many milestones in their lives just to be accepted by others as a person.

I feel like there are too many expectations of me to do what I'm "supposed to do" instead of what I want to do. It's not as if what I want to do is going to harm or offend anyone.

Anyway, I feel all these un-necessary failed milestones have halted my development in some areas.


That's what I think and feel like too.
My parents have, at times, almost seemed determined for me to be part of the system and a "well-rounded" person, but I don't want to be part of the system, and am beginning to think I'm ok as I am. And it's by life to live not theirs. It doesn't really matter that I've not reached certain milestones until later than most people. I'm going at my pace.



Pengu1n
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01 Dec 2011, 2:52 am

^ I appreciate the above sentiments. Mentally, I am also just hard-wired to be a "specialist" type. I've always just known what I like, and I always felt I had little need to try new things I just knew I would hate.

My parents would force me to "get my feet wet" with many new hobbies........... but I always knew I would hate anything if it involved ...... lots of other kids, catching a ball, uniforms, math, science, overnight stays, etc, etc. Despite some other latecomings, I had an early keen sense of my own strengths and weaknesses. I think I was just naturally turned off since everything they threw at me was all of the same stripe, and i knew I would detest it.

Sometimes I weep looking back and thinking what a waste of time it all was. I don't think my parents or anybody really tried to give me anything that played to my strenghts, but they were just trying to shape me into what they wanted me to be.



OJani
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01 Dec 2011, 4:40 am

Here are my thought about this. I'm sorry if you feel your parents did too much to shape you at their will, but there's definitely a part that seems to be necessary in retrospect, namely, basic social skills. Without that, anyone with great talents can not be a part of a team, you're just not enough to do everything by your own these times. You always must rely on others, at least partly when you're trying to accomplish something.

There's always the question with choosing the right profession. It's difficult for everyone, including NTs. Basically, you can choose a career in the area of your special interest(s) or you can choose something else that seems to be more viable (a better choice financially) at the moment. With the latter, you can pursue your special interests in your free-time at your will. With the former, you have the opportunity to accomplish more, but it also seems to be the rougher ride in my opinion.

I think it's not a bad idea just to copy what others do until you have matured to the degree you can decide what to do with your life.

In Hungary, I think we (my generation) were less hard-pressed to comply with expectations such as being "well-rounded" or having many references when applying for a job or anything (I don't think having many friends is a requirement anyhow). It seems to be getting tougher here too, though.

Anyway, I'd recommend always keep in mind that the path of lower resistance rule applies for Aspies too, just consider issues with executive dysfunction and ADHD traits...


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Pengu1n
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01 Dec 2011, 1:36 pm

It seems to me more and more these days that its virtually impossible to succeed anymore without the social resume. All the academic clout in the world just isn't enough, as more and more social prerequisites are being thrown out there. That's my perception of it at least.

It seems like there are so many social hurdles to go through before you finally get to that "dream job" at the end of the tunnel.



MomoAspie
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24 Sep 2017, 6:02 pm

Hi Pengu1n:

I don't know when you'll see this, but your posting about being a late bloomer was very familiar to me so thanks for posting. I am a mom of an Aspie but didn't realize I was an Aspie until I was trying to find out why my son wasn't NT (when he was already 17. He had hopped and flapped a little, but we were always in denial because he seemed otherwise pretty NT). I have had almost no friends in my life, partly because I was shy, but later because I had no social skills and a mom who just complacently said, "Be yourself". Coaching me would have helped me so much!

To shed some light on parenting for you, as parents, we want our kids to be NT. At least your parents cared enough about you to try to get you there. No one wants their kid to be an outcast. My parents didn't give a hoot about me! They never talked to me, my dad was verbally abusive, they favored my brother just because he's a boy. My son told me recently that he didn't realize he should have friends until we made such a big deal about it in middle school—he was fine being alone.

It wasn't until I searched the internet and realized that I am Aspie too. This is why I always unknowingly say offensive things, have always been a decade behind in maturity, do better with written communication, and am too literal. I think the only reason no one has told me off is because I am sweet and pretty. Realizing I am AS, a few years ago I told my (now 21 year old) son that I think we are both Aspies. And I have coached him about good social skills since I have a good idea of social skills, now at age 53 (although my bad habits are hard to break). Anyway, we have never been officially diagnosed, as is there a reason to be?

I'm sorry you felt like your parents wasted your time, but they obviously didn't understand the real you. If I had known my son was Aspie, I would have parented differently. I didn't force him into a lot of social situations, but did encourage him to make friends and wasn't happy when he chose socially inept ones because I wanted him to learn social skills from others. There were many years where I just picked him up from school for lunch so he wouldn't eat alone. He is doing well in college now that he is on a campus with welcoming and diverse people . . . but I always worry that he'll lose the friends due to his autism . . . he has found that ESL students are more literal so he feels more comfortable with them.

Please don't hate your parents for caring about you—we all do our best as parents. And again, at least they care.

Unless you are your own boss, office politics is alive. Life is politics. We shouldn't have to conform, but in public, we have to.

I wish you all the best.



Scorpius14
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24 Sep 2017, 7:50 pm

although diagnosed as a child I was only told and felt like I had the condition at the age of 12 when I was more capable of understanding more complex things and also feel like i am mentally years behind. I had also wasted away time spent at university because whilst I had excelled at IT and able to fix computers without help, I was also interested in music and gaming at the time so I applied to an average university which barely makes it to the top 100 in the UK, and got into a gaming course. To cut a long story short I failed after 2 years (failed 1st year, retook it and failed again) and established it wasn't my intelligence but my social skills that made me fail - or it could be the way one affects the other.



LilZebra
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24 Sep 2017, 10:05 pm

Pengu1n wrote:
I was not diagnosed with Aspergers until I was age 24, and personally, I feel that most of my early life was a complete waste with regards to concrete accomplishments and life milestones.

My Parents, for example, made me spend my precious free-time and extra effort bringing up and "correcting" my deficient areas (my social skills mostly) This turned out to be a massive waste of time in my best formative years with an expanding brain, since with AS, my social skills were beyond hopeless. They were obsessed though with fixing me, and they thought it better that I be average everywhere, instead of having lopsided and uneven abilities.

I could have been pursuing my interests and becoming VERY skilled and employable in those, but instead I had to waste gobs of time being miserable and trying to work on being "well-rounded" and "making friends" with people I mostly detested.

Without knowing I had AS (the root of all of my problems) ........ I had no idea where to begin to truly get my life on a good track for so long. Since I did not know the problem, it was a massive waste of time in trial-and-error to try and do things. My life was absolutely directionless since I was trying to function as an NT with no success, since I am so handicapped. With such disadvantage, its beyond hopeless to even dream of thriving while masquerading as an NT.


You kind of sound a bit like me, except my Dad was a lower AS than me, and my Mom, well, I am still trying to figure her out. I know she had Anxiety issues. Don't know if she was AS or NT.

My Mom did have a cousin who was our Aunt. She is NT and if I had been born into Aunt's family or sent off to their family as a "foster child" (didn't happen) I would have been more pressured like you to be NT.

Former Social Worker Aunt has been trying to "psychoanalyse" me since I've been born in '66.

She's getting old though, she's 74 yo. now, so it's only a matter of time that I won't have her criticism of me to listen to. But at the same time I have enjoyed talking with NT (I call it "clinical") Aunt because we do share some common interests.

Quote:
Also, with AS, the big problem is that I am about 7 or 8 years behind developmentally from my chronological age. Socially, professionally, and emotionally, I am about 19 years old.


My experience is that there is not much difference between a 19 yo. and a 24 yo. My experience is that I was still living at home in 1985 at age 19, and was already livilng on my own by '89 age 23 1/2. But every kid is different. Some kids move out as soon as they "age" to 18 years.

Quote:
With this background, the problem with this is that in school, they seemed to pile on the expectations more and more to get accepted into decent universities. In my absolute naivety, when I was about 15, I thought it would be enough just to have about a 3.5 GPA to carry on and naturally "progress" to somewhere decent after HighSchool.


My parents paid for my two younger sisters tutors so they could graduate Grade 12. Didn't do that for me, and I'm the eldest. In fact, I failed Grade 12 in 1983-84 and I didn't even wear a gown, despite my Grade 12 English teacher encouraging me to attend. I was sooo embarrassed that fine day June 1984... At least I wore a beige suit. Aunt was there, and didn't really say anything.

Quote:
But I did not take in to account that it was so expected of me that I would "fill out" a resume and applications that were complete in all facets. I did not realize that they wanted to see that you had clubs, extra-curricular activities, summer jobs, lots of friends and reccommendations, and lots of community service. With AS, all of these other standards were totally foreign and impossible to me, but schools looked as much as how you would thrive socially as how intelligent you are.


Between Grades 1 (Sep. 1972) thru start of Grade 7 (Nov. 1978) I was a Cub then a Boy Scout. My Dad chased me around the house with his belt in '78 (and previous years) because he wanted me to finish my Spelling homework on Scout night Wednesday. My Dad was a Sociopath/Psychopath. He wanted control. So he stopped driving me to Scouts. I remember the time period in Canada. That's when they converted our city speed sign from miles to kilometres.

What I'm saying is this...While I attended a "club", it really didn't make a difference to me in my "career" as a Data Entry Clerk.

Quote:
It makes sense anyway since your social skills would become the primary factor in a service economy. Its like not only did you have to have good grades, but you had to be front-loaded with so many things and basically be a miniature workaholic adult with a 15 hour day for them to even consider you. Having AS, I could come nowhere close to matching the pace that the most adept of my peers could seemingly achieve.

With AS, I derived the most enjoyment from entertaining myself with special interests....... not seeking out clubs and things of this stripe.


Quote:
I feel like I was a late bloomer anyway...... its like they already expected you to be almost totally defined at age 18, and have very clear ideas, but I really had no idea what I wanted to be, and I was still very malleable at that age. I felt like I just needed to go on at a slower pace, and I would thrive more as an adult once I was out of the pressure-cooker of high-school.


My experience was that I didn't "bloom" until about age 37. That's when my Mom said one day "how did you become so wise Jim?"

My experience, as I've said elsewhere on this forum is to basically "chill out" during your 20ies. Unless you're studying to be a Doctor, Lawyer, Dentist, there is no rush to grow up. So just tell those to "buzz off". Everything works out in the end.

Then of course if World War 3 happens and 1/2 the planet is blown up, well, we'll have other things to worry about then, won't we.

Quote:
It was upsetting to me how the expectations just were gradually more and more piled on. I feel like higher education isn't conducive at all to late-bloomers since they've made the standards so lofty to get scholarships and all of that. Since I had AS, I fell so far behind in the important areas so I had basically no chance. Even now, I feel like i'm still being hugely held back by my slim resume of my early years, and employers and schools want to see a laundry list of random accomplishments that are "officially" verified in some way, to "prove" that you are socially adept. Your own hobbies aren't acceptable, but it has to be something done "with" other people.

Its like there aren't any "back doors" any more........... even if you have skills and can prove it, but its become more and more standardized....... all they care about is that you are some social-conformist who is normally progressing through life.


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Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 123 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 116 of 200
You seem to have both neurodiverse and neurotypical traits