How did you find out about having Autism/Asperger's?

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anbuend
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08 Aug 2004, 3:41 am

I was in my first involuntary commitment to a psych ward and the shrink randomly assigned to me realized something was up, talked to my parents, ran a bunch of tests, and decided I was autistic.



NoMore
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11 Aug 2004, 2:35 pm

magic wrote:
[Hmm... I 've just read my post and it sounds like description of some scientific project. I guess that my way to self-discovery was more a result of a determination than pure chance, although the latter played its role too.]


Well, you just wrote my path to AS. :wink:
All my life I knew I was gifted and chalked up all my idiosyncrasies to that. Several months ago, I accidentally ran up against AS. I was reading some posts from a gifted/talented listserv and someone described their gifted/AS child. I immediately started googling this "new" idea and WHAM it was like being hit with a ton of bricks. Suddenly, after 41 years, my whole life made sense.
Then I got angry. Then I got over it. Now I'm just glad to be able to UNDERSTAND myself and realize I am not alone!



magic
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11 Aug 2004, 5:12 pm

Cindy wrote:
I immediately started googling this "new" idea and WHAM it was like being hit with a ton of bricks.

Several people mentioned here about being hit by "a ton of bricks" or other hard objects, after they looked up AS just out of curiosity. It was a little different in my case: "Yet another autistic trait? How interesting, maybe I have something to do with autism after all." And I happily lived in darkness for two more days. Only then I checked out this "curious coincidence". Maybe I was subconsciously afraid of what was to happen next...



vivreestesperer
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12 Aug 2004, 12:54 am

A slightly longer chain of events that started with watching a movie about an autistic boy on Lifetime TV.

I read books about autism and AS out of pure intellectual interest for several months before I began to think that they actually sounded a lot like me.

All these posts just serve to illustrate how important visibility and presence in the media is. So many people learn about AS and a great variety of other things from magazines, newspapers, TV, etc. One reason why it is so great that in my local newspaper, there have been FIVE articles about Asperger's in the last two months or so - I am quite impressed. They stem from the local 9 y/o Aspie boy who was banned from the local playground, that story was on this site's front page. At first I did not see a single article about the story, but now it seems there's an update on it every week or two, and each time they run a blurb saying 'what is Asperger's' on the side. Yesterday there was an article about it on the top half of the FRONT PAGE! So even people who don't buy or subscribe to a newspaper would see it. So, at least something good is coming out of this, although it's an unfortunate thing for the little boy.

Kate



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14 Nov 2006, 10:44 pm

I wish I'd never heard about AS because I can't get diagnosed with it and can't just forget about it. I first heard of it in a forum for social anxiety, when one woman told another woman to check out a forum about AS because she might have that. Unfortunately it was a forum which threw AS in the worst possible light, being a forum for partners of Aspies who were having huge problems with their supposedly AS spouses. The main theme was "AS is bad". "People with AS can't be good partners." "Can people with AS even see anyone's point of view besides their own?" "If you are having problems with your spouse, he probably has AS." "If someone is AS and a jerk, they will not want to admit their AS. They will be in denial forever." Another focus was to try to make sure your spouse or partner got diagnosed, and if he wasn't going to get diagnosed he was in denial. Denial was a big thing.

It was the worst possible introduction to AS that someone could have had, and I've never been able to get over it. The thing is, not all the men that were being discussed were probably even AS. Some of these women read one or two things about AS and thought that because their husband was emotionally unavailable, it must mean he had AS. Some of these men were just men behaving badly. Or the wife assumed the husband was an Aspie because their kid was, since it can be genetic. (But couldn't it have come from her side?)

Even though I know this intellectually though, I can't get over the emotional impact of that forum being my first exposure to AS.

This was a few weeks after 9/11/01, and I thought that because I didn't want to go to a candlelight vigil because I didn't know anyone there, that that must mean I had AS. So I went back and started reading in that forum about their AS partner's reaction to 9/11, and sure enough, they were all skewed. One guy came in the house and said "Well, I suppose we're going to have to go to war now" right in front of the kids, scaring them to death apparently. (Although he was right; but he shouldn't have said it in front of the kids.)



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14 Nov 2006, 11:23 pm

OK, this is getting SCARY!! !! ! nomore ECHOS my life, right down to similar timing.

As for the 9/11/01 timing norah speaks of? HERE is what I thought!

1. First plane hits building! My jaw practically drops, and I think "MAN, HOW STUPID!"!
2. Second plane hits! MY GOD, it is INTENTIONAL!

Approx 2 seconds pass.

3. Well, I guess bin laden will get blamed for this too. He seemed to get blamed for every similar thing.

And NOW, they pesent more OLD news as new, claiming some "lie detectors" might be 100% reliable! WHAT A LAUGH!

Let me give you a clue. They will NEVER do that! HECK, expert brain surgeons don't claim to know precisely where anything is. It is a wellknown fact that 90%+ of memory is not memory at all, but RELATIONS! With all that, even a precise test can't be reliably interpreted. So why do the people fall for it?

Steve



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14 Nov 2006, 11:26 pm

On another discussion board that I used to frequent (and still occasionally post in), there was a discussion thread about Asperger's. Initially I didn't give it much thought. But a couple of things that got mentioned about AS rang a bell, so I did some research on my own... the rest is history. ;)


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SteveK
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14 Nov 2006, 11:28 pm

BTW Norah,

NTs want things THEIR way! Just look at that mother here speaking of how she forced hugs! I would "zone out"(almost a vacat stare, but I think it is just a way the mind reorganizes, etc... Maybe NTs do it also. It tends to happen more with kids though) sometimes when I was a kid, and my mother would try to grab my attention. I was FORCED to sit doing nothing to keep HER driving somewhat safe! INCREDIBLE!

Steve



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14 Nov 2006, 11:28 pm

I discovered AS while doing research about my niece, who school officials suspect has AS. During my reading, it became very obvious that many of the traits and characteristics of AS match my personality. This just occurred recently, and I am 55 years of age.
At last, the failed relationships, never marrying, few friends, spotty work history, eccentricity, etc., all began to make sense. It is a relief to understand this about myself, as it answers so many questions I have had about myself.
I am disappointed I did not discover AS when I was younger. I feel I could have made better choices if I had been aware of certain inherent traits of AS. I started a business a couple of years ago, the success of which was relatively dependant upon networking and professional relationships. Needless to say, I ws unsuccessful in the business. As I have always been rather gifted intellectually, I had attributed my many previous missteps to bad luck, or lack of sufficient effort or planning. I imagined I only needed to try harder.
I also wish my parents had known before they passed away. I think they would have been relieved to understand that I am an aspie.



Last edited by Iam on 15 Nov 2006, 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Corvus
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14 Nov 2006, 11:34 pm

I looked up, one day, while curious and bored, what "loners" were on the internet.

I read about various conditions.

I got more interested in psychology.

I found out a ton about aspergers.

I self diagnosed myself giving my last 24 years of my life (read all) some understanding



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14 Nov 2006, 11:37 pm

I was told when I was very young, however I learn for myself in detail when I was around 8, reading a medical book I borrowed from the library at school.


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15 Nov 2006, 12:47 am

Ultimately, it was a news article on TV.

Using search engines and the internet, I spent a lot of effort trying to find some kind of unofficial diagnoses about what I felt was wrong with me.

Then about 5 years ago, I was halfway listening to the TV when a piece about Asperger's came on. I didn't pay any attention to it at first but as they described the syndrome more and more things just started to click in my head. The symptoms seemed to describe all the things were wrong with me to the letter. But my life was in a lot of turmoil back then. Although I wanted to learn all I could about the disorder, I forgot about Asperger's.

It was only years later that I just had a brain fart and started looking up my symptoms again. And it led me to Asperger's.

So it was a tv news magazine show that I first learned about Asperger's.



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15 Nov 2006, 1:11 am

I found out about AS after my son was diagnosed with autism. He was three and started to regress and began having issues that I recognized as being sensory so I just thought he inherited those traits from me. I had not heard of autism before so we took him to several professionals to confirm the HFA. After that I started looking into the spectrum of autism and found out about AS and it seemed to fit better than the OCD and dysthymia labels I have. The sensory issues that I had from when I was a baby were another clue.



markaudette
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15 Nov 2006, 1:43 am

You know, in a perfect world, my Dad (an Aspie too) should have been the one to get diagnosed first. And some time when I was a kid, I should have gotten diagnosed.

But that's not the way it happened. I was the first one to get diagnosed. Then I had to backtrack and realize I had inhereted AS from him.

It's unfortunate that Asperger's Syndrome wasn't ANYWHERE on the psychological radar when my dad was a kid in the 30's and 40's.



WildMan
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15 Nov 2006, 2:35 am

It is very strange for me to encounter all these people who haven't been caught up in the mental health system since early childhood. Or infancy, for that matter.

I was diagnosed as autistic when I was still in diapers. Before that they thought I was retarded.

I was marginally aware of the word "autistic" throughout my teen years, but that was not my foremost worry. Between age 12 and age 16 I was considered to have been a childhood schizophrenic... and it was really, really bad. It's hard to say now... to this day nobody knows what really happened. I only know those years were one big black hole.

When I was about 22 years old I was told I had "Asperger Syndrome." I'd never heard of it. I knew I was autistic but the word didn't mean too much to me. Even at 22 I was still in recovery from the four years of extreme mental punishment, so it was still not at the forefront of my daily life experience.

It's just so weird for me to encounter people who have what I have and yet who have not been in "the system" since they were very, very small.

I've been willfully out of the system since my mid-20s... but for the majority of my life, I was always caught in its very depths.