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carly
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04 May 2010, 9:48 am

Ever since my son was diagnosed 2 years ago, I have wondered if I have the same condition. Here's what makes me think yes.

I had selective mutism as a kid
I was diagnosed with OCD at age 10
I had HORRIBLE tantrums as a kid and still do occasionally
I have always had an obsession/ special interest.
I get super nervous in groups


Here's what makes me think no

I've never really had sensory issues as long as I can remember, except for when I'm upset and then I don't like people to touch me.
I've always had at least one friend ( I was never really dorky but not popular, just somewhere in the middle and probably seen as a little eccentric.)
I have pretty average smarts
I am a radio personality, but one reason I love the job is I'm all alone!
I think I've come to interview ok
I actually majored in communications in college. Is that an oxymoron or what?


What do you think?



dt18
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04 May 2010, 10:54 am

If you want to know for sure, I'd go and get tested. But what you've indicated are definitely some signs of Autism/Aspergers. You don't have to meet all the criteria to be considered on the spectrum. Autism affects everybody differently. I, myself, don't have all the symptoms of Autism. Even though I am high functioning autistic. I didn't talk until the age of 3. I flapped my hands until I was in 7th grade. I rocked as a little kid. But, fast forward to today, and I don't do any of those things. If you're over I'd say the age of 25 and talked to me, you probably wouldn't even notice I have autism. I don't even have sensory issues anymore and routine or lack of routine doesn't affect me at all anymore. The only way autism really affects me now is my social awkwardness, more so in people of my own age group.



cthulukitty
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04 May 2010, 11:09 am

carly wrote:
Ever since my son was diagnosed 2 years ago, I have wondered if I have the same condition. Here's what makes me think yes.


This is a completely reasonable thing to wonder, since the evidence strongly favors genetic inheritance as the primary cause of autism. Even if you are not diagnosable, you may have many of the characteristics. Unfortunately, AS is recognized as a medical disorder rather than a potentially benign variation in human brain development, so the diagnostic system is set up specifically for people who are having problems in their lives. Thus, if you're experiencing psychological distress, you probably have AS, and if you aren't then you probably don't. Then there's the question of exactly how much distress counts as medically significant, and how exactly to measure that. So the question of whether or not you have AS is more complicated than a simple yes or no answer can address.

The better question is: does the medical framework around which AS is understood provide a useful frame of reference to understand yourself and your son? It's my belief that Aspies don't so much lack social skills; we just have a different set of them. When I talk with friends and students on the spectrum, it's not uncommon for us to take turns going off on long spiels about topics that interest us. Neurotypical conversation seems to involve much more rapid back and forth, with much less emphasis on trading information than on simply talking for the sake of talking. Is one style of communication better than the other? My gut says no. So it may be very helpful for you to understand how your son communicates, how he likes to portion his attention, and how his unusual sensory process affects his view of the world. You may find that you and he have an awful lot in common.

Quote:
I had selective mutism as a kid
I was diagnosed with OCD at age 10
I had HORRIBLE tantrums as a kid and still do occasionally
I have always had an obsession/ special interest.
I get super nervous in groups


Those sure sound like typical symptoms to me.

Quote:
Here's what makes me think no

I've never really had sensory issues as long as I can remember, except for when I'm upset and then I don't like people to touch me.
I've always had at least one friend ( I was never really dorky but not popular, just somewhere in the middle and probably seen as a little eccentric.)
I have pretty average smarts
I am a radio personality, but one reason I love the job is I'm all alone!
I think I've come to interview ok
I actually majored in communications in college. Is that an oxymoron or what?


The one sensory issue you describe is very common among Aspies. As for others, how can you be sure that you don't have sensory differences? You've never experienced another person's phenomenology, and sensory experiences that seem normal to you might be very alien to someone else. It's not as though autistic people hallucinate; we just process sensory information in a different way from neurotypicals. In particular, we tend to focus on details and data and we are often blind to the big picture, and certainly to many human behaviors.

Autistic people want friends, and those of us who are high functioning enough to interact with other people invariably end up making a few. The fact that you've had some does not in any way rule against AS.

Aspies range across the entire IQ spectrum. You don't need to be a genius to have Asperger's Syndrome, nor do you need to be "mentally retarded" to be autistic.

It's not at all odd that you have skills and interest in communications. Many Aspies love to think about information, and how it is coded, transmitted, and manipulated by various technologies. In many ways this focus on data-driven, word/symbol-based communication makes up for our deficits in intuitive social and emotional intelligence. Perhaps you chose to study communications because you had always found communication difficult and wanted to learn more, or because communicating through a technological medium is more natural for you than face to face conversation. Talking on the radio is by no means something I'd expect a high functioning Aspie to have a hard time doing. We love holding forth for an audience; it's just hard to function in face-to-face group social settings. The radio completely removes you from nonverbal audience feedback, which is the main area where autistic communication falls apart.

So are you an Aspie? Maybe. It really depends on what utility the concept provides for you.


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Willard
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04 May 2010, 11:20 am

carly wrote:
I've never really had sensory issues as long as I can remember, except for when I'm upset and then I don't like people to touch me.


People develop coping mechanisms over years and learn to ignore what they're repeatedly told doesn't exist. You may have sensory issues that you aren't consciously aware of because you've just learned to repress them. Actually, getting 'super nervous in groups' is a sensory issue.

carly wrote:
I've always had at least one friend ( I was never really dorky but not popular, just somewhere in the middle and probably seen as a little eccentric.)
I have pretty average smarts


Yeah, that's what I used to think, too. I had no idea just how dorky and eccentric those around me thought I was. :geek: And most of my friends were also Radio geeks obsessed with music and/or comedy.

Average to high IQ is typical with AS. Autism is not Downs Syndrome.

carly wrote:
I am a radio personality, but one reason I love the job is I'm all alone!


Alone in a closed room, stimming and playing music - the only social interaction on a studio line, with faceless people who don't seem real (to whom you can be as rude as you want, without getting smacked) - no nonverbal cues to decipher, no body language to watch for...just pure, unadulterated words - where one says what one means and means what one says - unless one is putting someone on for the sake of comedy...did it for more than 30 years. It was an Autistic's dream job..

Except for remotes. Gods, I hated remotes. I would pay someone else to take a remote so I didn't have to go, and when I did have to go, I'd say hi to the saleslut, meet-n-greet the client, then go outside and do all my breaks from behind a dumpster. People, *bleah*

carly wrote:
I think I've come to interview ok


On-the-fly, or from notes? I can interview all day if I'm given a little time to prepare and even meet the subject early and get comfortable chatting. It's when the PD walks into the control room unexpectedly in the middle of an airshift and says "Hey, this is Fred Goobersmootch with the local Committee for the Advancement of Fecal Fungi - they're doing a Chili Cookoff Fundraiser this weekend - here's the brochure - He's in a hurry, so I need you to interview Fred on the air right after this song." 8O WTF!?! Instant on-air train wreck, every time. Hyperventilation, flop sweat, stammering, mind...going...totally...what were we talking about?

Or did you mean job interviews? :?


carly wrote:
I actually majored in communications in college. Is that an oxymoron or what? What do you think?


I thought the Oxymoron was the idiot who does the infomercial about removing tough stains. :wink: Our problems come from social interaction - in real time with live people - broadcast communications is a whole different planet - I'm funny as hell when I don't have to look my audience in the eye - and I'm an excellent writer, got 14 Addys to prove it. So don't sell yourself short - you might be one of us after all. :D



Last edited by Willard on 04 May 2010, 1:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

dt18
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04 May 2010, 12:13 pm

Willard wrote:
carly wrote:
I've never really had sensory issues as long as I can remember, except for when I'm upset and then I don't like people to touch me.


People develop coping mechanisms over years and learn to ignore what they're repeatedly told doesn't exist. You may have sensory issues that you aren't consciously aware of because you've just learned to repress them.

carly wrote:
I've always had at least one friend ( I was never really dorky but not popular, just somewhere in the middle and probably seen as a little eccentric.)
I have pretty average smarts


Yeah, that's what I used to think, too. I had no idea just how dorky and eccentric those around me thought I was. :geek: And most of my friends were also Radio geeks obsessed with music and/or comedy.

Average to high IQ is typical with AS. Autism is not Downs Syndrome.

carly wrote:
I am a radio personality, but one reason I love the job is I'm all alone!


Alone in a closed room, stimming and playing music - the only social interaction on a studio line, with faceless people who don't seem real (to whom you can be as rude as you want, without getting smacked) - no nonverbal cues to decipher, no body language to watch for...just pure, unadulterated words - where one says what one means and means what one says - unless one is putting someone on for the sake of comedy...did it for more than 30 years. It was an Autistic's dream job..

Except for remotes. Gods, I hated remotes. I would pay someone else to take a remote so I didn't have to go, and when I did have to go, I'd say hi to the saleslut, meet-n-greet the client, then go outside and do all my breaks from behind a dumpster. People, *bleah*

carly wrote:
I think I've come to interview ok


On-the-fly, or from notes? I can interview all day if I'm given a little time to prepare and even meet the subject early and get comfortable chatting. It's when the PD walks into the control room unexpectedly in the middle of an airshift and says "Hey, this is Fred Goobersmootch with the local Committee for the Advancement of Fecal Fungi - they're doing a Chili Cookoff Fundraiser this weekend - here's the brochure - He's in a hurry, so I need you to interview Fred on the air right after this song." 8O WTF!?! Instant on-air train wreck, every time. Hyperventilation, flop sweat, stammering, mind...going...totally...what were we talking about?

Or did you mean job interviews? :?


carly wrote:
I actually majored in communications in college. Is that an oxymoron or what? What do you think?


I thought the Oxymoron was the idiot who does the infomercial about removing tough stains. :wink: See, I don't think you have a full grasp of just what Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism really are - our problems come from social interaction - in real time with live people - broadcast communications is a whole different planet - I'm funny as hell when I don't have to look my audience in the eye - and I'm an excellent writer, got 14 Addys to prove it. So don't sell yourself short - you might be one of us after all. :D


That would be Oxyclean. The guy who did those infomercials was Billy Mays. He died last year. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_mays

An oxymoron is basically something that contradicts itself. As in I like to talk, but I like to be alone, etc.