Does this count as being on the spectrum?

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itsme82
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31 Mar 2017, 3:35 pm

So... I've had enough of this lingering issue that I've had for many years and I want to figure out what the heck is going on. I never wanted to think of myself as being on the spectrum because I definitely don't relate to many issues of Asperger/autistic people. Let me describe where I might relate - I'm not sure if it qualifies though. Let me know. Oh and I'm a woman in my early thirties if that matters. And English is only my second language.

I realize the following is pretty long. So a very quick summary: I'm a 90% logical woman who can read some body language/facial expressions alright IRL, so I am 100% logical only online without such body language unless emotions are shown to me in an obvious enough way, having had way too much trouble with certain people due to that though. A too serious and aggressive know-it-all for their liking and sometimes if - on top of all that - I enter an extra hyperrational "anal" logical mode then no matter how much I try to tone down myself, it will end up extra bad. I also lack some people related experience due to my hearing issues. So all in all, I am sure I do miss some subtle social cues/dynamics, especially online. I try to not look "weird" IRL and I do have less of a problem IRL with people - but I want to fix the online stuff and some other people related stuff in general, which has been on my mind a LOT lately. (With that lately causing a LOT of stress subconsciously even if that mostly goes unnoticed by me.) Does all this make me qualify?



Anyway, first more about the problem. I've had people "gang up" on me before in several online places or just get hated on by some individuals. Either openly or behind my back. With me never understanding what the problem was. Never realizing that a problem is developing until it comes out clearly.

I apparently can make people uncomfortable in arguments without them saying there is a problem until it's too late and they just end up hating me individually or do the "ganging up". I put that in quotes because it's a usually spontaneous thing with the "ganging up" against me, not an organized effort from people.

But one on one talking is usually fine. It's just in groups where problems start easily. Though not always, there have been some exceptions where people had no problem and accepted me over time fine. I'm also an op on an IRC channel and that one is fine too (maybe because I am the op :) For people not familiar with IRC: it's a chat interface and "op" means the moderator of the chatroom).

I also remember being on a forum (first one ever in my life) when I was 18. People there accepted me and then said they wanted to help me have fun socially and that they'd teach me so fast :). (Unfortunately I didn't really meet them afterwards so idk what that would've meant in practice.)

This is all online. IRL I cannot talk in bigger groups because my hearing isn't good enough for that. One on one is fine IRL too. I can talk in groups if there are no more than three people besides myself and those are OK too.


The thing is however, I don't do certain disinhibited expressions/actions in many things like I read about aspies. And I don't take every single sentence literally. I just argue in a strong style, and beyond that too, in technical or logical topics on these forums, I'll freely correct some things, give my opinion to educate them etc. People find me a know-it-all or too aggressive. I do like or at last don't mind heated arguments, for sure. But I'm not aggressive without a real point. Both online and IRL, though IRL I perceive different boundaries than online - stronger ones for sure. I have some aspects of body language at my disposal there, so that helps. (I don't mean subtle emotional cues, though. More like other cues about acceptable behaviour etc.)


Where I said I don't take everything literally - it does happen that I do. This mostly happens if I'm in my "technical mode" which is pretty often in these places. Unless the sentence was coming with a big emoticon or if is written in a way that the tone is VERY obvious... many people actually don't seem to be so good at making the tone of an online sentence so VERY obvious.

In that "technical mode" I'm just logical, fully impersonal, I've actually been accused of deliberately trying to show a hyperrational mask. Because it can be so incredibly unemotional that seems not natural to some people. Except I don't know if it's a mask really. I'm genuinely simply impersonal then, I am not pretending.


Well then, I would first have to be put in a different mood to be not so logical. This is possible but online, people would often have to try at that more than once before I get put in that mood. Again, it has to be more in my face than for some other people, like I said above with the "VERY obvious" tone of a written sentence.

IRL I would automatically read some facial expressions a bit better and I can enter the not-so-logical mood a bit more easily - being impersonal is my default IRL too though. But online I just have the computer monitor in front of me, no facial expressions or other nonverbal context! IRL too, I won't read subtle facial expressions, just the more obvious ones, no problem with those though. No problem with copying other people in visible behaviours and staying in line with my behaviour IRL since I'd hate to look weird/out of line.


The other thing that I don't know whether it qualifies as being on the spectrum is my sense of humour. By default I hardly ever laugh or be humorous because I hardly spend time with people who'd put me into that mood. I can suddenly develop some sense of humour though if they happen to do that to my mood. Again, it can take a bit of time though to get there in some cases. But by default, no... I don't easily get into that place with the mood.

And then if I am in my default "humourless" mode, in that more "serious mood", I will still be able to see if something was a joke but then I might react in a way that in my opinion should make it still obvious that I saw it was a joke and enjoyed it a bit for a second, yet other people think I missed it was just a joke. Basically what I do (if this is online) is, I first put an emoticon of smiling or laughing and then I ask something about the joke if I happen to be interested in its logical meaning too. And people often just somehow forget that I actually put that emoticon there before going into the impersonal-logical-literal mode... Weird.


More on being so um, logical. My logic is very distinct/concrete and incredibly detail oriented but also very thorough. It helps that I definitely do not always expose my thought processes of how I analyze things, especially not IRL with most people, since I just don't tend to be interested in that IRL, I'm more paying attention to other things instead and anyway, that stuff would be out of line behaviour.

But on some forums if I get into that mode of mine too much because of being driven to understand something ASAP - tbh, this urgency has been more often the case since I've got into trying to understand myself and people more -, then I do have to expose my hyperlogical thought processes and then no matter how much I try to tone it down, no matter how many "please" and "thanks a lot" etc phrases I add, no matter how much I just try to ask the most important questions or add the most important corrections and don't express the rest, while withholding any impatience and the "aggressiveness", people can still end up feeling uncomfortable. Like recently, I thought I was really being fine and the person still ended up upset secretly until later it all came out. I'm at a loss for words with that one really.


So all in all, I'm pretty logical though I don't see myself as 100% rational. Not always hyperrational-hyperlogical. I also don't live in some abstract world in my head enough to call myself 100% rational. If this makes sense. But, with people, I need emotions shown in my face enough to see them but then I can react well to them. I can miss or not get conscious enough - only get half-conscious of it before it gets dropped from my awareness - of some emotional aspects of situations that most people are attuned into - online especially, IRL this is only if it's subtle expressions because those can confuse me and I'll assume they are negative - and then I just shut down, I'll simply stop doing whatever I was doing to not be out of line.

But I don't despise emotions, I never think of other people as "too emotional" or "irrational". I'm just not so in touch with some of them myself. And I have realized that I have these problems the most if I get in that too hyperrational mode, which yeah, is more likely to happen online. The more frequent know-it-all mode is still quite logical though so that can still offend or upset people, just maybe with less crazy results, though this depends on the specific people too. More okay IRL but - besides not being interested in stuff requiring that mode and being aware of some nonverbal aspects more - I talk less anyway, since I find talking draining.


I took some asperger/autism tests online before, never qualified for it. There was this really long one once that asked about neurotypical vs asperger things in several domains of functioning. I came out very neurotypical in perception and quite strongly neurotypical in talents too, a bit more borderline-ish in the communication/relationships area, where I had a low-ish score of the neurotypical skills but also scored low-ish for the aspie type of approach for communication/relationships. And I had 1-2 talents that were not neurotypical. This isn't news to me, I know I have this side of mine that crunches numbers like a machine lol. That's what's not neurotypical about my talents. Also, my being more literal than quite some people, though not 100% literal since it also depends on context/situation as I explained above.

But, for sure, a friend of mine once told me that he sees me as needing sentences put with mathematical precision when we Skype. I think he exaggerated tho'. This is also more online again, where I cannot put ambiguous lines together if things are moving too fast in a chat - I can actually put them together if I am allowed to go into reflection mode for a few seconds but that requires silence - or they are to do with subtle-ish jokes that I'm not familiar with etc.

It doesn't help that I'm not familiar with many social and cultural things since I don't socialize much, part because of my hearing and part because I'll get oblivious of that aspect if people don't put me into that mood as explained above. I'm also really bad at certain "witty" jokes yeah, regardless of situation, my mind just will never work in a way to follow witty wordplays etc.


The closest thing to me thinking (beyond the special skills thing as above) that I could be partially on the spectrum or having some related issue was when I used to go to a running forum. I had some conflicts there though not too many, some people were cool - but then I heard from someone later that some of the runners from there met IRL for some dinner and they'd talk about me behind my back, claiming that I was "weird and exhausting". That hit really hard. I never want to be seen as "weird". Don't know why, I just don't want to, it's just something I always had about not wanting to look weird or out of line with my behaviour. I don't want to get looks from people and whatever.

On that forum, I was definitely doing some of the know-it-all behaviour and some arguments especially when someone would piss me off. I also had a public blog where I wrote a lot about my analysis of my training using a lot of numbers, technical terms etc. I did not do the version of the extreme hyperrational thing asking people about stuff with me wanting to figure out something ASAP, though (that's really more about people stuff lately, as I said - on pop-psychology forums).

The other closest thing was really recent, on one of those pop-psychology forums, where I was deliberately making so much of an effort to not get the previous really bad experience about people "ganging up" repeated. I toned it all down as much as I could. Yet it repeated.



Well... What do you think? Thanks for any thoughts.



itsme82
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31 Mar 2017, 4:48 pm

Oh wow reading the NT/AS open hotline thread, the first two pages already have very helpful answers from "NTs" on different types of intents for avoiding certain longer term social consequences and types of diplomacy for that etc. Stuff I've never ever thought of in my life. I'll also never be like that but I can just accept some people are like that, I guess.

(Though, with the diplomacy stuff, I do think I should learn to pay attention to certain consequences beyond just shallow social stuff that doesn't interest me. It would be good for some other important objectives. Like, not alienating myself from a group if a friend of mine belongs there so that I can still help my friend if needed. This happened before that I couldn't help my friend because of that :( )

At the same time I could not relate to the extreme stuff like the self-harming stuff described there or how some AS girl was saying that they don't understand how other people can't always just say what they mean. Hmm.

I guess the best way I can sum up myself is I have enough "street smarts" (put in quotes... didn't find a better word for now, sorry) to not qualify for stereotypical AS. Like I totally get that the 100% literal rational stuff is not realistic to live by. I have the instinct for that fine. But I'm still too blunt for the more socially skilled type of NT, I lack the instincts or whatever other skills for many subtle social/emotional aspects.

Does that qualify as some version of AS then? For people who went TLDR on the above :lol:



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31 Mar 2017, 5:26 pm

jennyishere wrote:
I agree that this is a great idea, Greentea. Ok, in answer to Monkey's question, I'm NT and yes, I think I can notice fairly subtle signs of Asperger's in someone. I've been a teacher for 25 years and have taught a number of students diagnosed with AS and many others who showed common AS traits. Also, my son has a close friend whose brother and father have AS and I have an online friend with it as well, so I've had plenty of opportunities to become familiar with a range of traits. For me, some of the most noticeable traits are reduced expression in the voice and face, reduced or unusual eye contact, awkwardness in friendly social interactions, slightly stilted or formal use of language and greater than usual interest in particular topics. I'm a bit of a people-watcher in general- I find people interesting and pay attention to their characteristics and quirks, whether they're AS-related or not. I can't guarantee that I would notice really subtle signs of AS in someone, though- there must be a point where they become so subtle that they're no longer noticeable. I hope this is helpful. Jenny


For this list of traits (from the NT/AS hotline thread), how I qualify or don't qualify:

- My default face is either unemotional or slightly "angry" but I can - unconsciously - become very expressive around some people. I mean I don't notice myself that I am expressing some emotion, it remains nearly fully unconscious for some reason, but if I look in the mirror in these cases, I'm always very surprised that I look so incredibly expressive. I just have no idea what it looks like until I check in the mirror. I may not even be aware of the emotion itself until then. Some people have commented on some of my expressions being cute. Always positive comments. So I don't think I make too weird faces. I'd really hate doing too weird stuff as I said.
Btw, I never try to intentionally express anything on my face beyond just smiling. (Alone, just to see if it works) I had 1-2 tries at intentionally expressing some subtler feelings (or my idea of what these look like) and of course it ended up not showing like that, at all. It just doesn't work. Zero conscious control over such things. More aware of what I feel internally though and more control over that, but not very good awareness or control of that either.

- My sense for eye contact is good. An automatic sense of it really. When to hold it, for how long, etc. I had a period with bad social anxiety where I avoided looking at people but that was something else. (Fixed since then. After fixing that, it was easy to remember how to make eye contact again, it all came back effortlessly.)

- I can feel very awkward in some social interactions when I'm to make a move but I half-consciously "imagine" that I must look weird with all people staring at me. The fix for that is simply making myself look around at people. Then it's all back to normal. I can still have hiccups with becoming too rigid with some moves of mine (when a bit too affected by the remnants of the social anxiety) so that could look slightly awkward, but it's not very noticeable, I think. I have a good awareness of what movements look weird/awkward in general. I used to have zero problem with this before the social anxiety came up but I was also very unaware of people as a group, I just did not have that perception at all. And when I got more social and so I wanted to pay attention to people as a group (IRL) it is when the social anxiety instantly developed. At age 13.

- As for stilted language: not IRL - my use of language is very everyday style by default. If I get into some deeper topic online then it can become formal. Or if I try too hard at coming off nice for something important, that can end up weirdly formal too.

- Did not have any crazy interest in particular topics as a kid, then I did develop an interest in some numbers related stuff at age 12-13. I never showed it to others, I thought it would be too weird/out of line so no way I'd show it... Past that stage with the numbers stuff now. Otoh I can only talk long if someone makes me talk about topics I have dug into deep enough with my logic. These topics are always with a real life goal though. I'm not the type of person who analyzes much without such a real life objective in sight. But I do get deep in it then. Like right now. :D



itsme82
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31 Mar 2017, 9:30 pm

OK I guess so far I'm talking to myself only 8O but at least it helps me think while I'm also reading up on the whole topic.


So, I think, I'm not AS because I can switch out of the too logical mode(s) into normal "realistic logic". I call it that because by default I'm still more a logical type than a people-oriented person. So not pervasive enough to qualify as the actual disorder.

(I think this is because, as I figured a long time ago, I just have enough of the instincts that AS people don't seem to. Btw, interestingly enough, it's partially mood dependent how effectively I can switch. Also I did bury myself in work too much for years and lost all connection to people even online then and that also affected my ability to connect to people, I kind of forgot it a bit, got rusty, whatnot.)

So all in all, I may not be the best socially but I don't have the disorder itself. Still, looks like I'll find the forum useful for some things. In part because some social tips and tips on how people work are helpful in general even without being AS, I suppose. And in part because of the hyperrational "AS mode", I do need to get out of it in those certain situations and figuring out some people related stuff that I missed out on before due to my special circumstances (hearing).


If I'm wrong on any of this, someone please correct me. Thanks a lot for reading any of this!

PS: Also I didn't find a better forum section for this. Did I post this in the wrong one though?



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01 Apr 2017, 4:55 am

In case someone finds it easier to read this post than the previous posts, then, since I'm still curious about input and I would really really appreciate it - I found this good thread by Elusivesquirrelgirl and modified their list of symptoms for myself:


I used to have these temporarily, not in my entire life (got rid of these issues):

COMMUNICATION

Social situations/relationships/emotional issues


- Severe social anxiety
- Would take a lot of energy to be around lots of people, even if I didn't play an active role interacting or in conversation. (Was just very stressful and draining. So bad that I stayed at home from high school and avoided university as much as I could.)
- Social events would be very stressful - the more people were to enjoy themselves, the worse
- Actively tried to avoid communicating with others, avoided opportunities to spend time around most people
- A period of being extremely obsessive about specific important people (close friend, romantic interest) though I didn't show it to them much (just a bit). I processed through most of it since then, required a lot of analysis to sort it out...


I have had/still have these:

COMMUNICATION

Social situations/relationships/emotional issues


- Excluded in school (middle school: more actively excluded, high school: I just didn't belong and when I gave up trying to connect with most of the other girls, they started to think I looked down on them)
- "Ganged up" on in online groups, the experience repeating in different groups, other conflicts
- Once (that I know of) got described behind my back by people as weird and tiring
- Prefer to have enough time alone
- Still sometimes boundary issues but just by being too blunt
- Attempted to integrate with social groups, but usually not completely accepted. Rarely it does happen with some of them, though.
- Investing myself completely in one other person in a romantic relationship, who I would do absolutely anything for. Except I've never been infatuated like OP said they have. (Why is this AS though?)
- Under serious stress of being (subconsciously) worried about coming off well and about communication in general - mainly with guys I'd be trying to get to know, for romantic purposes, sometimes other situations too -, I have before lost all control over social expression and so some stuff I'd say came out wrong or I'd just have other cognitive overload. This is also related to my hearing issues but that's only part of it, I think.

Language use

- Mainly online: people claimed I use too difficult words
- Mainly online: need people to be very precise if people aren't specific enough about who they're referring to, or what they mean. (I never want to try to read between lines and guess - I hate that! But I can figure out what was meant if I stop for a few seconds and wait for the "insight" to come to me. But in a fast moving online conversation in a chatroom there is no time for that.)
- Sometimes stumble in speech when starting to speak
- I can't repeat things verbatim (but I repeat the meaning just fine. This is AS related?)
- Have a hard time understanding what people say in songs a lot
- Take a little longer than most people to actually understand the point of quite some jokes. With certain kinds of witty wordplays and such I never get the point.
- I have a hard time translating feelings into words. Mainly, I have a hard time to get people to hear it because it comes out too matter of fact.
- I consider writing to communicate things to people much easier. Not as draining as talking.

REPETITIVE BEHAVIORS / Organization, rules, and standards

- When I had some extreme psychological upheaval going on once, I did feel out of control when I let go of a bit of my routine. Otherwise this was never a problem before that but since then I got a bit OCD about keeping those bits of my routine to feel like I'm anchored/oriented OK.
- I don't like certain unexpected changes, changes in plans I can deal with even if it gets annoying (then sometimes it's not annoying, depends) but then some negative changes completely out of the blue on a course towards a goal of mine really really disorient me and I really waste time to be able to reorient and pick it up again. This is for complex situations only though where I get to feel that I have to analyze a lot of new information to solve it.
- I find the need to excel in any goal I decide to set for myself. (This is AS? Not just conscientiousness?)
- I like finding the right arrangement of objects, though it rarely gets to feel like an obsession and then it's just OCD I think.
- Feel an intense need to get certain tasks accomplished, when I set my mind to it. (This is AS and not just conscientiousness?)
- Like to create lists, organizations, etc. (This is AS and not just conscientiousness?)



kraftiekortie
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01 Apr 2017, 8:37 am

It seems like you might be on the Spectrum.

The only way for me to truly offer an educated guess is if I actually meet you and hang out with you for a while.



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01 Apr 2017, 7:50 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
It seems like you might be on the Spectrum.

The only way for me to truly offer an educated guess is if I actually meet you and hang out with you for a while.


Thanks for the input. What signs would you be looking for if you were to hang out with me? :)

Actually, I can describe what you'd see if this helps any.

My physicality is normal, my bodily awareness, movements etc. Eye contact would be normal if I actually decide to pay active attention to people. By default I may look very closed off and unapproachable though, I suppose I just really know how to draw up the boundaries but this is a bit deceptive, see below on how readily I'm responsive. I'd also look pretty tense/rigid in my body especially if I'm not fully comfortable around you yet, so you'd have to involve me with strong enough positive emotionality and attention before I loosen-lighten up a bit.

So yeah, emotionally I don't often take the initiative to connect and only for short times, but if you do so, I would be mirroring your expressions automatically without even being aware of it much. If you don't involve me in this way, but I'm interested in the situation then I'm still easily attuned into things going around me with a task oriented approach (not emotional).

I would not be talking much by default beyond responding readily to what you say, but you could get me to talk about topics I have a good understanding of, as long as you show interest, you ask questions, you add your own thoughts and so on. I hate talking to a "wall", I prefer real interaction with both parties being active (though I'm quite ok with my talking partner talking a bit more than me). I always give my full attention when interacting with someone and people notice this (they like it). So when I talk, if someone doesn't say anything, I will ask pretty soon if they are interested and probably will drop the topic.

Oh and yes, I do easily enter a (not too deep) feeling of connection with people if they initiate with me, even if I originally looked closed off. With almost anyone really, initially, whoever approaches me, I enjoy the small talk for a minute or two just for the sake of striking up that bit of connection, but if they prove to be too boring after that, I will excuse myself politely. If it's someone actually holding my interest (or some good topic), I can be fine with longer interaction but I'm decently picky with that.

A friend once claimed you'd notice something "different" about me though at first sight. He can't really describe what that is lol, just that I'm not the average person. I don't behave in any weird way in terms of what I do or say so it must be something else about me. (Idk if to do with my um, less than perfect hearing in any way.)

Where I'm not sure entirely if I can relate to AS, especially online (IRL is better, more social cues are visible IRL), is with my being so blunt easily when the situation is no longer explicitly social and nice. Whenever I'm strongly driven for an objective with my task orientation. Whenever I'm less focused on politeness, instead I'm more being myself but at the same time not in a positive enough social mood to keep enough diplomacy and to be able to be less serious and less analytical. (The inability is also because of bad experiences with people earlier in school etc.) Then I make social mistakes, make quite some people (not everyone) uncomfortable (this issue is online mostly) and miss social dynamics about certain really indirect aspects of diplomacy. But then, if I'm with the friends (both online and IRL) who know how to put me in good moods and make me feel connected longer than a short time, make me feel truly strongly involved and not stay too serious, I don't have this issue.



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02 Apr 2017, 8:28 am

Much of what you say occurs among people who are not autistic as well. I would call it "feeling out people." There is a certain reticence to you--but this occurs amongst shy people who aren't on the Spectrum.

Do you get overwhelmed by such things as bright lights and many people talking at once?

Do you realize that people get bored of you if you monologue?

Does the pursuit of a particular interest interfere with your functioning in life? Do you forget to shower or eat because of this interest?

Did you have difficulty in transitioning from one thing to another in the past, or now?

How was your functioning as a child?

If all that you mentioned started, say, during your adolescence, and you had little or no problems in childhood, you're probably not on the Spectrum.



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02 Apr 2017, 9:30 am

If you meet 10 aspies, you'll encounter 10 different people. Individual quirks are not part of the diagnosis.

The only thing that counts is the diagnostic criteria, this is from DSM4 (roughly corresponds to ICD-10).

Quote:
"(I) Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:

(A) marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction
(B) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
(C) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interest or achievements with other people, (e.g.. by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
(D) lack of social or emotional reciprocity

(II) Restricted repetitive & stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

(A) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
(B) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
(C) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
(D) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects


(III) The disturbance causes clinically significant impairments in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

(IV) There is no clinically significant general delay in language (E.G. single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years)

(V) There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction) and curiosity about the environment in childhood.

(VI) Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia."


(Someone should sticky the diagnostic criterias and point to them whenever this question comes up, i've seen this kind of topic about a billion times over the years.)


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02 Apr 2017, 11:21 am

Indeed there must be a problem on a communicational point of view: I find it unusual to post such a long post, given that few would read it up to the end (i'm sorry to say). It is unusual, but not typical to autism.

You say you did not qualify for autism according to the tests.

Well, when we autists do the test, we just know this Is it, even while doing the test. It is like a revelation and that explains everything, ourselves, the others, everything. Apparently, not your case. :)



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02 Apr 2017, 2:37 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Much of what you say occurs among people who are not autistic as well. I would call it "feeling out people." There is a certain reticence to you--but this occurs amongst shy people who aren't on the Spectrum.


That skill of "feeling out people", right, that makes sense, I don't do that in a refined way.


Quote:
Do you get overwhelmed by such things as bright lights and many people talking at once?


No to the former. The latter is N/A because my hearing physically isn't good enough to follow many people talking at once IRL. (I can only hear one person at a time and only when I know when they are going to speak.) Online it's no problem e.g. in a chatroom.


Quote:
Do you realize that people get bored of you if you monologue?


I don't read subtle cues well but I'm aware of some basic dynamics of interaction so I feel it when it seems too much time passed without the talking partner being explicitly engaged. If someone is bored but pretends to be actively engaged then I would usually have no way to see beyond that mask.

However, I definitely don't like to monologue for long anyway. As I said I hate talking to an unresponsive "wall". You would have to do active efforts to make me talk about my understanding of my interests anyway, I wouldn't do it much by default. You'd have to ask questions and you'd have to add your own comments or thoughts. You'd at least have to say "oh I see" stuff like that and nonverbal expressions along with it to show active interest. I like attunement like that.


Quote:
Does the pursuit of a particular interest interfere with your functioning in life? Do you forget to shower or eat because of this interest?


If I analyze something for long it's always with a real life goal in mind. It would be too draining after a while otherwise, I'd have no real motivation to keep doing it.

I'm aware enough of my body so I shower and eat regularly.

So my answer is "no" overall.


Quote:
Did you have difficulty in transitioning from one thing to another in the past, or now?


Yeah, I don't like to change to some new thing without reason. I prefer achieving my goals first before I'd change any direction. I take my time to immerse first before I actually change to something else.


Quote:
How was your functioning as a child?

If all that you mentioned started, say, during your adolescence, and you had little or no problems in childhood, you're probably not on the Spectrum.


As a kid I was totally unaware of groups so I behaved in whatever ways I wanted to behave... but also had a couple friends so I didn't really worry about other kids not accepting me.

I was great with achievements and I was content with having just 1-2 friends, so my functioning was good in that sense.

But obviously I was not able to keep up with it when I had to develop more social skills or that skill of "feeling out people". As a teenager, when I got interested in people in the context of groups beyond just separately interacting one on one, the very first day of my being interested, I instantly managed to start developing severe social anxiety. (My less than perfect hearing didn't help either, sure.) I did fix that social anxiety later, though.

I managed to develop it because I could not read subtle cues well. I thought it was all negative. Maybe some of it was negative (because these were the same kids who earlier did exclude me for a while) but in retrospect, nope not as negative overall as I managed to interpret back then.

So I clearly always had issues with some subtler aspects of communication especially in group settings or if the context was not clear enough e.g. with guys (for the romantic aspect). That would mean too much disturbance for my cognition and I could totally freeze or have other cognitive overload with a lot of confusion in these cases but this doesn't happen often. Part of it is due to issues with my hearing, again.

In a formal enough setting or if there are no such special disturbances I'm totally fine though. With the romantic context also I am fine now with guys, that was only an issue when I was younger (and it definitely came from the hearing issues too lol, the very first time a guy went up to me to talk to me as a teenager, it happened too sudden for me and so I got too confused-surprised and as a result I couldn't hear him at all and that set the tone for those kinds of situations for a while with my social anxiety on top).



Last edited by itsme82 on 02 Apr 2017, 3:42 pm, edited 5 times in total.

itsme82
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02 Apr 2017, 2:43 pm

LaetiBlabla wrote:
Indeed there must be a problem on a communicational point of view: I find it unusual to post such a long post, given that few would read it up to the end (i'm sorry to say). It is unusual, but not typical to autism.

You say you did not qualify for autism according to the tests.

Well, when we autists do the test, we just know this Is it, even while doing the test. It is like a revelation and that explains everything, ourselves, the others, everything. Apparently, not your case. :)


I know it was long but that's precisely why I added the summary at the start of it for people who don't have the time/interest/attention span to read it all. I don't view it as a "communicational" problem, since this is a written form of communication I expect people are free to read as much as they want, the summary, or more than that.

IRL I would not talk that much no way, it would definitely be out of place like that (unless it's like, giving a presentation that's supposed to be that long or whatever, you get what I mean).

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that you responded and to be entirely clear, I'm not placing expectations on you or on anyone to read it all. And I hope you didn't think I thought everyone must read it from start to end lol.

Hope that's clear then. :)

As for the ontopic part of your input, interesting. I had a revelation of sorts reading the NT/AS hotline thread with NTs giving advice on some subtle social dynamics but I guess you are indicating that that on its own isn't specific enough to AS people. The tests on AS do ask about more things than just missing some subtleties of social dynamics/politics and nope, no such revelation from tests ever.



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02 Apr 2017, 3:10 pm

Ichinin wrote:
If you meet 10 aspies, you'll encounter 10 different people. Individual quirks are not part of the diagnosis.

The only thing that counts is the diagnostic criteria, this is from DSM4 (roughly corresponds to ICD-10).


Thanks for giving me that diagnostic criteria, I didn't have it.

I'll highlight what applies to me enough, the rest doesn't.


Quote:
"(I) Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:

(A) marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction
(B) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
(C) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interest
or achievements with other people, (e.g.. by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
(D) lack of social or emotional reciprocity

(II) Restricted repetitive & stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

(A) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
(B) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
(C) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
(D) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects


(III) The disturbance causes clinically significant impairments in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.



So do I understand this right, if nothing applies from "Restricted repetitive & stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities" then I cannot be diagnosed as AS? If you agree with this, then I guess I have my final answer.

To elaborate a bit:
I do have intense interests and my focus is very narrow, but it's all for a real life goal, I like to contribute to people's good with my understanding and I don't analyze anything for long if there is no goal in mind. So I suppose that doesn't count.

As a teenager I did have one interest that did not have a real life goal... that I hid from others because I was aware it would be VERY weird. I somehow outgrew that though, hm. And as a kid I had none of that.

As for the failure to develop relationships or share enjoyment etc, I mean I got very oblivious to all of it over time after my childhood. I was able to do it as a small kid, somehow naturally then I tuned out of all of it (did have long term boyfriend though). I started working on this recently but it's been incredibly stressful trying to integrate myself socially...



kraftiekortie
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02 Apr 2017, 8:01 pm

You might not be on the Spectrum per se....but you might be within the Broad Autism Phenotype. You should research it.



itsme82
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02 Apr 2017, 8:17 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
You might not be on the Spectrum per se....but you might be within the Broad Autism Phenotype. You should research it.


Thanks for that tip, going to look at it!