Frustrated Because Nobody Thinks I Have Autism

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HiccupHaddock
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07 May 2022, 1:57 pm

Please also don't see yourself as defective or a loser in any way.
Tony Atwood says he tries to help autistic people see themself as a 'first class autistic person' instead of a 'second class neurotypical person'. Being autistic means that one's neurological makeup probably makes some things difficult. It sounds like you are good with people and get on well with people in general, which is something to be proud of and happy about. Don't let the odd time when you think you didn't get it perfect get you down, nobody is perfect actually, so you should cut yourself some extra slack and pat yourself on the back that you are doing so well. 'How dare anyone judge you that has not walked in your shoes?', is what I say.



NoClueWhoIAm
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07 May 2022, 3:29 pm

HiccupHaddock wrote:
Dear NoClueWhoIAm,
I think my son is very like you. He had to go through several tough years of primary school before he was diagnosed, when he was very stressed and often upset, and teachers at the school didn't realise he was autistic and thought he was being naughty.
Last year he was diagnosed as autistic by a clinical psychologist with more than 30 years experience working with autistic children and adults.
The psychologist said my son's autism was not very 'obvious' to the average person or even school teacher, because he doesn't conform to what are people's stereotypes (e.g. he doesn't flap hands, he has ok eye contact, etc.)
The psychologist said however that just because autism is not obvious does not mean that it is any less real or that easy for the person who has it. It is a problem with society that many people are quite ignorant about the huge variety of presentations of autism.
In fact, this is probably why it takes such experienced clinicians to diagnose autism, it really can be quite subtle and present itself in many ways.
I found it useful to read Tony Atwood's book "The complete guide to Asperger's syndrome", as that gives insight into the huge variety of presentations of autism.
So please don't let anyone tell you what your diagnosis is or isn't. You could say 'I was diagnosed by an expert with x years of experience, it is a very complex thing to diagnose.'



My mom bought me that book after I was diagnosed. It was a good read, and it really does show just how much the condition varies (as you said, it varies much much more than people generally think, one can have completely different symptoms from another aspie, anyone who thinks they know what it means to look autistic or what everyone with autism is like is embarrassingly wrong). And I agree that this is a problem, I was seen as a nuisance by well. I was called socially inept, obsessive, weird, clumsy, but only rarely autistic by people who knew me. What sucks is that most of my closest friends (and even my girlfriend) also have an AS diagnosis, and they too don’t see it in me (except a couple friends of mine).

What’s really strange though is that I don’t think I really do have an atypical presentation of aspergers, in fact I seem to have almost a textbook version- the symptoms are too perfect, which you almost never see in real life. I’m almost like an aspie you’d see on TV or the picture you’d get of the condition after reading an Internet article on it. But most real aspies are not textbook cases, and most of them give off a certain conversational and body language “vibe” that others recognize and then consider that to be what makes somebody autistic, and anyone who doesn’t give off that vibe is not autistic in their eyes.

I have most of the stereotypical symptoms. In fact, that fictional boy Jack at the beginning and end of Tony Attwood’s book- who’s supposed to be a textbook example of an aspie- is in fact disturbingly similar to me (but with a different special interest). However, almost no other aspie I’ve met seems as similar to him as I do, and most don’t resemble him at all. It’s almost like my symptoms are so stereotypical that it does not look like real Aspergers- in fact, I told one of my few aspie friends who says he can tell I have it that I feel like “I’m a caricature of a person with Asperger’s syndrome, who has all the stereotypical symptoms you’d read about online and see on TV, to the point where it doesn’t actually seem like real autism.” His response? “Yes, I would agree.”



Joe90
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07 May 2022, 3:37 pm

Nobody thinks I have autism. I've never told anybody myself, but if I did I know full well they'll be surprised. But I consider it a complement, because I desire to be normal. I'm lucky I don't have many stereotypical autism traits like hand-flapping or not making eye contact or talking nonstop about trains or wearing noise-cancelling headphones all the time. I think it's these stereotypical behaviours that actually give away autism, more so than autism itself (unless you're non-verbal).

So you can say "I don't like loud noises" and people won't immediately think you're autistic unless you express you don't like loud noises in an autistic-like way, like having a meltdown whenever there's a noise you don't like, instead of just sighing or groaning like I do and saying "that's loud!" They just assume you have hyperacusis or something.


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kraftiekortie
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07 May 2022, 4:22 pm

I know I’m not really the “deep thinking, intellectual” type. Maybe it’s because I’m classic autistic.

I believe one has to know and cultivate one’s strengths before one can efficiently work on one’s weaknesses.

Do you like philosophical discourse, for example? Or do you like herbs and cooking, things like that?

I’m not going to judge you because you have difficulty with jobs.

Parents sometimes need their adult children to take care of them. Do you serve that role with your parents?



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07 May 2022, 4:33 pm

Loves the earlier term.. Infiltrator Aspie …. Btw , please don’t let other people define you . Aspies are as Aspies do.!


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Last edited by Jakki on 07 May 2022, 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lady Strange
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07 May 2022, 7:16 pm

Thank you for making this thread. I still struggle some with this, though my husband will point out how I am most definitely autistic it can still be hard when I seem to be able to blend in (in certain situations), and how others who don't really know about autism think it must only be XYZ traits when it is a whole lot more nuanced than that. I also empathize with not wanting to be misunderstood. Its hard to have people doubt this fundamental thing that you have discovered about yourself. Its almost like having an arm missing and people looking at you and being like "you're fine, there is nothing wrong!" despite you clearly struggling to be like those around you with both arms. Ok not the best analogy but its what I came up with off the top of my head, please don't be upset. :D



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07 May 2022, 8:38 pm

I think you should stop asking people if they think you are autistic. I rarely do that but can understand why you want to be acknowledged as autistic. I think all your friends will be perfectly understanding if you just acknowledge them as ND or NT. I'm talking about doing this passively, not making a point of it. That is, only bring up a comment about it when there is a reason to such as someone questioning the others behavior.


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07 May 2022, 9:28 pm

For those of us with mild symptoms, I like what CarlM said!


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NoClueWhoIAm
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08 May 2022, 12:16 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
I know I’m not really the “deep thinking, intellectual” type. Maybe it’s because I’m classic autistic.

I believe one has to know and cultivate one’s strengths before one can efficiently work on one’s weaknesses.

Do you like philosophical discourse, for example? Or do you like herbs and cooking, things like that?

I’m not going to judge you because you have difficulty with jobs.

Parents sometimes need their adult children to take care of them. Do you serve that role with your parents?



I am 100% a deep, intellectual and philosophical thinker. I know nothing about herbs and cooking, except that I can only tolerate very few foods.

You know, now that I’m really thinking about it, there’s a good chance that the people who don’t think I seem autistic either don’t know about many of the symptoms, or they aren’t saying what they really mean. That’s not to say they think I am but are lying, but quite possibly have no real opinion on the matter. I’ve noticed that people contradict themselves constantly and almost always never voice their true thoughts. And this includes people on the spectrum just as much as NTs.



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08 May 2022, 6:11 am

Do you have any particular favorite philosopher?

I know of quite a few people here who enjoy this sort of discourse. Maybe you could cultivate your philosophical proclivities here, and derive enjoyment as a result?



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08 May 2022, 10:15 am

munstead wrote:
Kraftiekortie I have to say you are one of the most considered and calm people that I have come across online. It seems as though you are in a bit of a zen state, it is very nice to observe. Once again, nice counsel and observations.


Me too K! Thanks for all your kindly doing it!



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08 May 2022, 5:21 pm

NoClueWhoIAm wrote:
I am 100% a deep, intellectual and philosophical thinker.

Likewise. Throughout my adult life I've thought of myself as "a deep thinker but not a quick thinker."

I suspect that people with a strong intellectual orientation are much more common among autistic people than among the general population (though still a minority among autistic people too). After all, as autistic people, we need to use whatever analytical abilities we may have in order to compensate for lack of the kinds of knowledge that most other people acquire more easily. Thus autistic people are relatively more likely to have strong analytical abilities -- and some of us also enjoy thinking.


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autisticelders
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09 May 2022, 5:16 am

You know, now that I’m really thinking about it, there’s a good chance that the people who don’t think I seem autistic either don’t know about many of the symptoms, or they aren’t saying what they really mean. That’s not to say they think I am but are lying, but quite possibly have no real opinion on the matter. I’ve noticed that people contradict themselves constantly and almost always never voice their true thoughts. And this includes people on the spectrum just as much as NTs.[/quote]

Great insight!

I think a lot of people don't mean it literally so much as they are trying to be reassuring or comforting or otherwise consoling. Stigma still shows itself in so many ways. If they tell you you "seem" "normal" they are not being critical but trying in a sort of ignorant way to be inclusive. I am not offended by this. If anything I am a bit amused and hope they leave me with a bit of curiosity to seek more info about autism.


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09 May 2022, 10:13 am

autisticelders,

Since I'm an Aspie I will be honest...I am not an expert on NT behavior. But I have stumbled across some relevant educational material on the Internet. For instance, you might find this uncyclopedia.wikia.com entry on "Neurotypical syndrome" interesting.


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Lady Strange
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09 May 2022, 6:17 pm

Double Retired wrote:
autisticelders,

Since I'm an Aspie I will be honest...I am not an expert on NT behavior. But I have stumbled across some relevant educational material on the Internet. For instance, you might find this uncyclopedia.wikia.com entry on "Neurotypical syndrome" interesting.


I like that Neurotypical Syndrome one, good stuff! :lol:



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09 May 2022, 6:53 pm

Lady Strange wrote:
I like that Neurotypical Syndrome one, good stuff! :lol:
I wonder if there will ever be a vaccine to cure it.


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