Just need help coping with realization that I'm have ASD

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Deaconblues97
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30 Apr 2024, 12:53 am

I am trying very hard to find a professional to dx me, but the search if very difficult. I've taken all the tests I can find. My doctor agrees that this is the most logical reason for all the troubles I've had in my life.
The thing is I am just on such a roller coaster right now. I am so sad and then so angry. I don't know who I am anymore.
Should I look more into this adult ASD or try to stay away from it some. I've already spent weeks reading books, watching videos, and trying to figure out everything there is to know about.
Will this ever get easier to manage?
How do I manage?

I guess I'm looking for ways to cope with this surprising discovery. Any help is welcome. Thank you.



funeralxempire
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30 Apr 2024, 1:10 am

I can offer you a drink.


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30 Apr 2024, 2:04 am

From what I've heard it's very common to feel something akin to grief when getting a late age diagnosis. I think it's because you're obliged to basically re-evaluate you entire life in the context of this new information. Perhaps you've spent a long time blaming yourself for something that wasn't your fault? Maybe you'll wonder why no-one else spotted it and feel anger at the people who were supposed to be looking after you? Maybe other people treated you badly for things that are ASD related?

Its a lot to work through.


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ASPartOfMe
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30 Apr 2024, 10:25 am

Welcome to Wrong Planet.

It will get easier to cope with the realization that you are autistic but it might take some time. The best approach is to deal with one or two issues at a time. I advise this approach because autistic people tend to be poor at multitasking and good at hyper focusing on one or two issues.

It is difficult for older adults to obtain a diagnosis. Without knowing you have done to this point I am hesitant to advise you.

While you want a professional diagnosis do you need one?

There are three main reasons some Autistics need a professional diagnosis.
1. Need to have a professional validate suspicions.
2. Need for accommodations
3. Need for benefits.

There is what it called “self diagnoses” or “Self Identification”. It means what it sounds like moving on under the assumption you are autistic. The disadvantages to this approach is you do not get benefits or accommodations, will less likely to be believed if you claim you are autistic, will be judged without consideration of your issues.

Do not afraid to ask questions no matter no matter how “dumb” it may seem.


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30 Apr 2024, 12:03 pm

Where I live there are no accomodations for autistic adults.
When you turn 18 your are "cured" and many services just go away!
I got this info first hand from a lady who has mental health issues about services going away.

For twenty years there was a privately run jobs training organization called Roses for Autism but it went away.

What you can, with or without a diagnosis, is to identify things that stress you, and see if you can make them go away.
You can find suggestions on stressors and what has worked for other autistics right here!

I use high fidelity earplugs in noisy places. Some wear noise cancelling headphones.
I should find mine now that a noisy family has moved in next door.

Special glasses are another tool that may help.

Some markets and Walmart have special hours for those on the Spectrum.

I'm retired and figured out good shopping times when people are off at work.

Sometimes I pick a bad time. No problem. I see the crowd and head back out the door!
Sometimes I realize that I've had enough shopping. So I'll go home.



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01 May 2024, 12:01 am

I was late diagnosed.

It's often useful to remember that you're no more disabled than you were before you started thinking you may have ASD. It's not going to get any worse. It should get easier because when you know it's ASD, you can consciously develop coping strategies based on the traits you've observed in yourself. Of course that's just the logical angle. Emotionally it can be quite a challenge to take on board.

I was working for a UK university when I got myself diagnosed, and as the establishment had a politically-correct facade to protect, they didn't dare fail to give me one or two accommodations, without which I don't know whether I'd have been able to hold the job down much longer. My circumstances were unusual. I'd done well for many years but the management had recently been trying to hammer me into a new role that required more than could be reasonably expected of an Aspie.

Apart from the diagnosis confirming my self-assessment that I had ASD, those accommodations were the only benefit I was able to get from it. The diagnostician suggested that an advocate might be a good idea, but didn't tell me where I could get one, and I doubt any such thing existed for free.

Anyway, welcome to the club. Your condition is no disgrace. We're as good as anybody, and there's an argument that in some sense of the word we may be superior.



microprogrammer
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17 May 2024, 10:10 pm

First I just want to say that I love your username. Listening to Steely Dan defined quite a few years of my life in many ways, and I always related to that song.

I was offered a diagnosis by a psychologist I went to after getting a divorce about ten years ago. I actually asked him to not write down a formal diagnosis on paper, because I thought it could be something to give insurance companies an excuse to refuse coverage or raise rates possibly, and I was working in the government sector and thought it might come up on some sort of background check. I know it shouldn't work that way, but I've found it pays to be a little paranoid sometimes about things like that. But I don't think there are / would be any kind of accommodations for me, in the U.S. where I'm living.

I had this hopeful vision that I might receive some form of understanding or accommodations if I came out publicly as being on the spectrum. But in reality the people I told sort of scratched their chins and cocked their heads sideways and said, "yeahh... okay, I could see that." But then went immediately back to treating me just as they had a few minutes before with no change whatsoever.

I guess it has helped me to just appreciate the notion of neurodiversity. I think it is underappreciated the way that subtle differences in social behavior can affect how people are perceived and treated. And recognizing that it's not some shortcoming or moral failing -- something we should be blamed and shamed for -- that we tend in a different direction than others, has really helped me to cut myself some slack.



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18 May 2024, 12:12 am

microprogrammer wrote:
First I just want to say that I love your username. Listening to Steely Dan defined quite a few years of my life in many ways, and I always related to that song.

Thanks, I'm not familiar with SD's material or a song alluding to my username. It started out as RoughDiamond and morphed into its present form when a website said RoughDiamond had already been taken. A rough diamond, or "diamond in the rough" is something of considerable value that is hard to recognise as such because its lack of fine polishing makes its merit hard for the less perceptive to appreciate. It kind of fits the ASD thing because again it's easy for people to dismiss or hate what they don't understand, though I coined the name years before I knew what ASD was.

You could be right about the insurance jeopardy. Personally I'm not much of an insurance person so I never considered that. My job carried lifelong tenure so employment prospects weren't an issue, though I guess they might be for those less fortunate. Even if they didn't know, I'd hate to apply for another job. It's supposed to be illegal to discriminate against disability in the UK but I don't suppose that stops them. I always stuck to science jobs, which I gather is a good move for an Aspie with a flair for science and the critical thinking necessary to do science well.

I tried telling a few people about my DX but mostly it went in one ear and out of the other. Did no harm AFAIK, but it depends who you get. I never really saw my ASD as anything to be ashamed of. I've always been hard to shame. Few have even tried and then I've usually fought back - I'm not the most popular person in the world, but I'm more ignored than actively disliked or ridiculed. I've always viewed mainstream society with some disdain - kind of "not my tribe so their views aren't very important," so my tribe has always been mostly unusual people and I never had a lot of contact with mainstreamers or I might have fared worse.



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18 May 2024, 8:28 am

Sorry ToughDiamond, I was referring to the original poster's user name, Deaconblues97, in my reply. I was assuming that was after the Steely Dan song "Deacon Blues". But I was thinking about your username too actually. I thought it might be a song name or maybe something from a book or movie. I Googled it actually, but didn't recognize anything so decided it must be something personal to you. But I really like it a lot and your explanation of it.

After trying to make a career in music I've found my way to science jobs too. Here in the U.S. (maybe it's the same other places too, I just know my experience here), the business mindset has really infected academia too. I don't see why people who are needed for their technical skills should also be entrepreneurs and influencers, but I guess that's the way the economy has pushed things. Fortunately there still seems to be some division of labor between those whose strengths are in more analytical and hands-on things and those whose strengths are more in the realm of people skills and communication.

I think that's a really important attitude to have personally -- not being easy to shame. Unfortunately I grew up in a family where almost everyone but me was an extrovert with strong people skills. They all planned to "talk for a living" in one form or another, and succeeded at that. So I was always given a hard time for having a different strength. I think that has jaded me for life to some degree, unfortunately. But I've been fortunate to befriend some fellow unusual people too over the years. Honestly what we're discussing is a little bit of what I read into the lyrics of "Deacon Blues", and how I take Donald Fagen in general, who I think wrote the lyrics.

Heck, I'll quote some. There's always a little cynical dark humor in their lyrics, which I've enjoyed.

Quote:
Learn to work the saxophone
(I) I play just what I feel
Drink Scotch whiskey all night long
And die behind the wheel
They got a name for the winners in the world
(I) I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues
(Deacon Blues)


And for anyone not familiar with U.S. sports (which I barely am), the Crimson Tide was the name of Alabama's college (American) football team, which was extremely popular and had one of the most winning records for a long time.



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18 May 2024, 10:24 am

I could have decided to become a scientist forty years ago.
I was a semi-finalist in the Westinghouse Science Talent Seach and a top science student at a prep school.
I got 5s on BC Calculus and Physics.
But, I also figured out there were very few science jobs and a ton of people competing for those jobs.
Instead I got a degree in electrical engineering. Not only was I inducted two engineering Honor Societies, but the math one as well, at an elite school.

There was a golden age for science and engineering when WWII war veterans returned home and taught Baby Boomers during the Space Race. A ton of money was spent going to the moon. Until we did that. Been there, done, that.
The Space program wound down very quickly.



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18 May 2024, 12:02 pm

microprogrammer wrote:
Sorry ToughDiamond, I was referring to the original poster's user name, Deaconblues97, in my reply.

Oops. :oops: I slipped up there. Easily done though. Your post was directly after mine. Still, it was nice while it lasted.

Quote:
I was assuming that was after the Steely Dan song "Deacon Blues". But I was thinking about your username too actually. I thought it might be a song name or maybe something from a book or movie. I Googled it actually, but didn't recognize anything so decided it must be something personal to you. But I really like it a lot and your explanation of it.

Very courteous of you to say so. 8) Yes, googling "tough diamond" wouldn't show much, but "rough diamond" does.

Quote:
After trying to make a career in music I've found my way to science jobs too. Here in the U.S. (maybe it's the same other places too, I just know my experience here), the business mindset has really infected academia too. I don't see why people who are needed for their technical skills should also be entrepreneurs and influencers, but I guess that's the way the economy has pushed things. Fortunately there still seems to be some division of labor between those whose strengths are in more analytical and hands-on things and those whose strengths are more in the realm of people skills and communication.

Yes the rot was setting in like that in my job too, and I was glad to retire, though some of the academics and technical staff won my high regard. Frankly I didn't notice much people skill in the admin staff, and I left the money and influencing side of it to others. If I influenced anybody it was by sharing my logic and evidence. I have little but disdain for bread heads and those "influencers" who try to sway people by what I see as brainwashing. It used to be funny when the company reps visited and got nowhere with sales talk. They'd do their song and dance, we'd just say "OK, we'll evaluate your product and let you know." They were always trying to trap us by offering a cheap machine with expensive consumables. We weren't stupid. But by the time I left, the admin people were making the decisions, and everything was disposable.

If you tried for a music career, it's hard to imagine you as not being at least quite good. I'm no virtuoso but I look like a big fish when I'm in a small pond. I even got some money for one performance, about $200 for a few hours of doing what I love. We had a great time. But I don't try to sell it. I nearly did, but I sensed it would ruin the fun.

Quote:
I think that's a really important attitude to have personally -- not being easy to shame. Unfortunately I grew up in a family where almost everyone but me was an extrovert with strong people skills. They all planned to "talk for a living" in one form or another, and succeeded at that. So I was always given a hard time for having a different strength. I think that has jaded me for life to some degree, unfortunately. But I've been fortunate to befriend some fellow unusual people too over the years. Honestly what we're discussing is a little bit of what I read into the lyrics of "Deacon Blues", and how I take Donald Fagen in general, who I think wrote the lyrics.

Yes, sticking to the right outliers has its upside.
Quote:
Heck, I'll quote some. There's always a little cynical dark humor in their lyrics, which I've enjoyed.

Quote:
Learn to work the saxophone
(I) I play just what I feel
Drink Scotch whiskey all night long
And die behind the wheel
They got a name for the winners in the world
(I) I want a name when I lose

They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues
(Deacon Blues)


And for anyone not familiar with U.S. sports (which I barely am), the Crimson Tide was the name of Alabama's college (American) football team, which was extremely popular and had one of the most winning records for a long time.

That part I've put in bold resonates well with me. Winners don't need my help and they don't get it. I worked with one guy who was proud of emptying bars. 8O I thought that was extreme but somehow refreshing. Another guy who dug our band said if he got some money he'd pay for us to cut an album, but added that if it made us rich and famous he'd never talk to us again. Outliers often stand mainstream ideology on its head like that.



microprogrammer
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18 May 2024, 5:01 pm

I guess I was pretty good with music about 15 years ago, mostly guitar. For many years I really enjoyed it. It brought me a lot of good times and inspiration. Honestly taking it too "seriously" in a career sense might have been what turned me away from it. I hope I can keep that in mind with everything else I pursue, now that it's been mentioned.

I also want to keep that in mind about "winners". I try to think that the best reasons for doing things are because it's practically useful and good for society, in some sense, and because it's genuine and personally meaningful. I feel that "winneritis" can set in with people and end up leading them astray when they start having some success and don't keep what really matters in mind. I think there's a lot of room in the world to earn a living and to be useful without putting one's self ahead of others.



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19 May 2024, 12:39 am

Yes I'm something of a conscientious objector to elitism, though those who like inequality would probably say that's because I can't get such a role myself. Not really true. I was once put in charge of a few members of staff, but it seemed wrong to push them around and I wouldn't do it even though the management clearly wanted me to. There wasn't the machinery to bust me back down to my old grade, so they were stuck with the situation. Dad was very similar. They made him a foreman and he hated it so much that he told them to shove it and went back to his old position.

It sounds to me like your musical skills are (or were) likely good enough to perform. If you're doing it for free they don't expect miracles. What style is it?



microprogrammer
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19 May 2024, 1:38 pm

I hope to avoid a management job, if possible. I might accept one where I was still one of the people doing the work, just with making a few more decisions, if someone felt I was suited for such a job. Though I have come to respect the people who are oriented towards leadership, who sit at the top of the organizations I've worked for. I'm glad somebody does what they do, however I may find myself butting heads with people oriented to filling those roles sometimes :) Actually one guy I worked side by side with in an entry level government position years ago has now made his way to the highest levels of U.S. federal government. He and I working together were an odd couple who you might say had a lot of "productive disagreements". My dad was the same way too actually. Towards the end of his career he took on a management position, and in a few months he was so unhappy with it that he opted for early retirement.

I'd say my skills "were" pretty good more than "are" pretty good, because I haven't played much in recent years. I've just found myself getting wrapped up in other things lately. I think part of my difficulty getting established with music is that I couldn't settle on a style or genre. I guess if I had to try to sum up my tastes I'd say they were centered around classic rock from the 60's to the 80's, but especially things that had some bluesy, jazzy, or folk-y influences. Cream, Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison, and Tom Petty come to mind, and of course Steely Dan. Earlier on I liked some punk and hardcore too, Fugazi is a band that comes to mind in that style, along with a whole host of independent and local bands that I would go see in small venues here and there. I think I never managed to find my own voice in the midst of all those influences, but it may be that I just gave up trying too early and should have kept practicing and writing. But because of different situations I ended up working a lot and moving around for a while, and got out of the habit.



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19 May 2024, 6:20 pm

Well, good collective progress thrives on constructive criticism. In my case some of my bosses seemed threatened by my presumption that my opinion was as worthy of airing as theirs, but the better ones valued my input. People skills also help. I'm certainly glad to be out of it. I've seen one or two good scientists promoted out of doing what they love and excel at. They get good money but not so much job satisfaction.

Those are good bands IMO, especially Cream and Tom Petty. Jack Bruce can get too jazzy for me at times, but he's written some beautiful songs. Yes full-time jobs do get in the way of music. You might find your talents come flooding back pretty quickly if you dust off your guitar.



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19 May 2024, 10:08 pm

Quote:
In my case some of my bosses seemed threatened by my presumption that my opinion was as worthy of airing as theirs, but the better ones valued my input.

I have definitely run into this, very recently in fact. I was working with my boss on something, and in that case I knew a specific piece of information that would save us some time. I almost didn't say it though, thinking the boss might be offended. I did say it, and tried to say it very mildly, but I think he was still slightly offended. I left work on Friday wondering if in some ways I would have been better served by letting him figure it out on his own. A little waste of time vs. not having an irritated boss to deal with. Part of me says I "shouldn't" have to think that way. But I've had enough bosses to know that many of them do respond that way. My people skills have slowly improved over the years, but I know that polishing them further will surely save me more grief.

I might have to get the guitar out of storage and dust it off.