What made you first wonder if you could be Autistic?

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Carpeta
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29 Nov 2022, 11:13 pm

There was a very young boy at my church that was different. I understood that child when nobody else did. He gravitated towards me, and we formed a special bond. When he was old enough to be tested, he received an autism diagnosis. His family moved away; his parents and I kept in touch for a while, and they told me how I had been his best friend, how he warmed to me and no one else to the extent that they had even wondered if he had seen me as his mother. Yet none of that made me wonder what that said about myself. The moment that made me wonder was when I heard these words leave my mouth when speaking to my pastor: "I really miss [that boy who moved away]. He was the only kid I understood in the nursery." After I said it, I wondered. It was one thing to be able to bond with the one, but why did I feel I didn't understand all the others?

I am still not sure if I am autistic, but I'm confident I am somewhere in the ND family. At this point I am skeptical about the accuracy of the current definitions/categories. I'm pretty confident I have an autistic husband, and quite possibly an autistic daughter. There are diagnosed and self-diagnosed and armchair-diagnosed autistics and ADHDers in both my extended family and my husband's. I feel like I am halfway between autistic and ADHD without quite fitting either. "Gifted" was my label as a kid.


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Sciency_Owen
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30 Nov 2022, 5:09 am

Diagnosed at 16. My first suspicions of autism specifically came when I watched Community in 9th grade, due to the character Abed Nadir. Before that I had considered myself abnormal, but figured my social difficulties came down to the fact that I was well ahead of my peers academically, as I was aware of the stereotype that smart people were social pariahs.



usagibryan
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30 Nov 2022, 10:54 am

I don't know how this forum feels about this character but when The Big Bang Theory first appeared on TV my entire family and even some strangers would talk about how I was like Sheldon Cooper. Then thanks to the internet I learned that Sheldon Cooper was written with the characteristics of someone who has Asperger's Syndrome (even though the writers insist he isn't), then I looked up the characteristics of Asperger's Syndrome and was like "oh s**t that's me." At the time it was validating but now I see Sheldon Cooper as a not so charming character and the show as problematic, but maybe that's just me being influenced by internet opinion again. The first character I REALLY identified with was Adrian Monk, but he's described as having OCD which I was actually diagnosed with. Looking back I think Monk also had characteristics of someone on the spectrum. I was misdiagnosed with ADD before I was diagnosed with OCD before they wanted to test me for autism but never did, I also have anxiety and I think there are overlapping symptoms of all these and I'm still not sure what my deal is really.


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Dear_one
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30 Nov 2022, 11:29 am

Even if the experts could accurately sort out their tests to diagnose 40% AS, 30% OCD, 20% Synesthesia, and 10% Narcissism, life experiences could still make you very different from someone else with the same percentages. In practice, we are lucky to even get a shrink to admit that we have more than one condition. It is like going to a paint store to get a colour match, and they only sell the primary colours.



Da_Zero_A_Dieci
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30 Nov 2022, 7:02 pm

In my case, it wouldn't be a problem if you asked me in an appropriate way, therefore in an appropriate situation, and not to underline you are autistic, fantastic you are a genius! Or, you are autistic and you have a lot of deficits.
It depends on how you see things, it usually arouses indifference that they know it.
Many don't understand, some think wrong things about it.

Doctors usually ask me.

The absurd thing is that diagnoses are often disregarded by loved ones, who think they are a limitation.

Not understanding what others think (absence of theory of mind), does not make me perceive, for example, whether they like or dislike my person, whether they are liked or disliked, and various things like that.

§
I think it's not beneficial to tell people.

They think it's an excuse.

Many of us do this to explain how they "work" mentally.

§

In sentimental relationships it would be important to say so.

I did this, but without any understanding from the other person.

§

This is frustrating means that the other person I care about doesn't really accept me (as I am).

§

When I'm ready I'll open a thread on the subject, but I can't



Man
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01 Dec 2022, 8:27 am

I always knew it in some form or another.

It became most apparent in pre-school where I was pretty much the only outcast. It's not like the kids bullied me or anything, I just didn't have any friends.

Didn't know how to make friends!

Didn't even know why I needed friends as I was more than happy in my little world.

Shame it took me over two decades to figure out I'd Asperger's!



renaeden
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03 Dec 2022, 12:48 am

After I was in hospital for depression, I was seeing a psychologist to kind of vent about my problems. In one session, she had on the side table a copy of the DSM-IV-TR. It was opened up to the section about autism. I read some of the criteria and felt that it described me a bit.

My psychologist said that she'd like to send me to a colleague of hers that specialised in autism spectrum disorders. I replied that I'd never heard of autism (I had been very isolated, working long hours and living on my own without the internet), could I have that as well as depression? She said it could be the reason I was depressed.

So I went along to see this autism psychologist who asked me if I was prepared to go through the diagnostic process of being evaluated for autism. I said ok. She was lovely and I did my best to answer her questions honestly. Sure enough, autism. All my research on what autism actually was and how it affected me came later.



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03 Dec 2022, 1:02 am

I was reading about autism when I was 14 and I realized some of it sounded like me and it would explain why I had always been the way I was, why I was so rigid with play and didn't understand other kids had their own ideas and why I liked things the same and why change always made me feel uncomfortable and why I found rules confusing. I asked my mom if I was autistic and she said no. Then when I was looking up Asperger's, autism results kept popping up so I asked again if I'm autistic and they said no. So I asked why does autism pop up when I look up Asperger's and they said it was a form of it. When I saw the AS criteria and the autistic disorder criteria, they both looked the same but were both a little different because autistic disorder had the lack of imaginative play part and lack of spoken language. Then it made sense why I had signs of autism but wasn't autistic, AS was a form of it so it made sense and it didn't just appear in 6th grade when I was diagnosed.


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PhosphorusDecree
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10 Dec 2022, 7:48 pm

A friend said she thought I had Aspergers about 16 years before I went for a diagnosis - at the time I didn't agree as I had a very stereotyped idea of what people with Aspergers were like and it wasn't like me. Bascially, neat, orderly, scientifically-minded and pedantic; whereas I was a shambling mass of chaos, artistic, and of a more laissez-faire attitude.

When it eventually clicked, I was volunteering as a receptionist at a mental health community centre. The idea was that this would help get my social anxiety under control by repeated exposure. But after several months I realised I was just not getting any better at all at the interpersonal skills required, even though I felt more bored than anxious. Something else had to be going on. I think it had slowly trickled in that my earlier impressions about autism were inaccurate, so I could seriously consider it.


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10 Dec 2022, 9:07 pm

A friend’s girlfriend responded to my thoughts on something by saying “that’s because you’re autistic.”

I laughingly told a fellow teacher who had known me well for 13 years “M thinks I’m autistic.” She laughed too and said “Duh!” Then she looked at me funny and said “you didn’t know that?”

Reflected that maybe that was why I could never spot the autistic kids in my classes - they seemed fine, they were just the kids I liked and could talk to easily. Read some books on autism in girls trying to better understand how to help one of those students - pages of my life.

Still not diagnosed. Not sure what I would do with a diagnosis besides pay for it and have to write it on forms.



FleaOfTheChill
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10 Dec 2022, 9:34 pm

I recall my one ex asking me if I was on the spectrum and I basically laughed that off. I had some seriously ignorant ideas in my head about what autism was. Years later I ended up in the office of a therapist who asked if I had ever been evaluated for autism. She was certain that was what was going on with me and she got the dx ball rolling for me. My ex had a total 'told ya so' moment. :lol:



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11 Dec 2022, 12:17 am

I was really slow to realise.
Even after I had to take 6 months off work due to burn-out... and even after I was having trouble with parenting and had come to the realisation that there was some hard-wired problem in my brain, I still didn't get the picture. I just had a complete misconception of what autism was. Never saw myself in Sheldon Cooper, at all.

Then a few years ago I was watching an episode of "24 hours in Emergency" and there was a woman who'd been kicked by a horse, and the way she was reacting to people was just like me, and I thought to myself "how strange - she's acting just like I would"... and then they said she had Aspergers.

So I looked up Aspergers online and found a table of specifically female ASD traits - and I found myself ticking every one. Was in shock for a few days after!



Magda.Regula
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11 Dec 2022, 10:03 am

I will be 45 in two weeks and live in the UK but I was brought up in rural Poland. Surprisingly enough there was a girl in my primary school diagnosed with Asperger's but she had no friends and never spoke with other kids on break while I did.

Then, in my early 30s I read an article about a woman diagnosed with Asperger's and I had similar traits but that woman was only wearing black or grey clothes and I thought I love colours so it's not that.

And then my current partner who I met on dating website said he's waiting for Asperger's diagnosis so I started reading about it and finally found an article stating that women present differently and are often undiagnosed. I received my diagnosis six months later.

Now it's called autism but to be honest I prefered the term Asperger's. Some people use the word 'autism' instead of 'learning disability' and it thrn gets very confusing.



peaceheartco
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14 Dec 2022, 11:52 am

I had a boyfriend whose nephew had autism. I didn't quite know what that was, at the time. I asked him to describe what some of the symptoms were and when he said things like he has trouble understanding fiction, I thought, "He sounds completely normal. That's exactly like me!" I, then, connected with an autism specialist, and after all of the testing, I came back "positive." I was very happy and it gave me a huge sense of relief.


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15 Dec 2022, 3:46 am

finally somebody mentions fiction. :o



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16 Dec 2022, 11:03 am

I never suspected it. When I was 10, I had trouble with a lot of things and a psychologist decided I had it. That was that.


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