A couple 'have you/do you ever' questions?

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fragileclover
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02 Jun 2009, 10:38 am

Sorry in advance for the length of this post. Feel free to respond to just one or two of the questions, or whichever ones apply. =)

I've been reading Tony Atwood's book, along with following some of the posts on here, and had a couple questions regarding my own experiences and those of others on the board.

1) Has your special interest ever been a person?

My ongoing special interest is film/filmmaking, and has been since I was quite young. However, there are periods of time when I will become very interested in a *person*, and will not necessarily feel the need to watch movies as much. In the past, it may have been an actor I took a special interest in, and so I could take part in both interests at once (I have attained the complete filmography on VHS/DVD of over 5 actors that I took a special interest in at various times). On four different occasions, however, I've taken a special interest in someone I know in real life...the first three were men 15-30 years my senior. These were not sexual interests, just an intense need to be around that individual as much as possible, and an intense sadness when I wasn't. I now feel that it is possible that my boyfriend is my special interest? The only time I watch movies anymore is when I am with him...I don't even have a desire any other time (not like me at all!), and I get really upset if something comes up that messes with my plans to see him.

2) Aspies are said to be clumsy, but could the opposite be true...or, could it be the case in some circumstances and not others?

I've found this characteristic of Asperger's very interesting, as I am quite positive that I have Asperger's, yet as a child/teenager, I was very athletic (and still am, to a degree). I've played softball, basketball, volleyball, and football...and have taken Tae Kwon Do...all with great success. HOWEVER, in just every day activities, I tend to be a clutz. I trip over my feet at least two or three times at work, and will sometimes bump into things (misjudge the distance between myself and the wall/table/etc).

3) Are you better able to handle social encounters/interruptions when you are already with other people vs. if you were by yourself?

I'll explain. I work in customer service at an athletic club. I stand behind a desk and check people in/answer phones/process program registrations. I noticed a distinct difference in my attitude (not outward...I always keep control at work, even if I'm feeling agitated) at work yesterday (when I was working alongside a co-worker) vs. the day before (when I was working alone). The day I was working alone, any time the phone rang, or any time a person came up a needed to register for a program, I would feel extremely agitated. Like, how dare you interrupt my alone time! However, when working with someone else, I noticed that the same things did not bother me. I attribute this to my being much more socially alert while working and talking with someone else.

4) Does anyone else have nail biting and pacing as a stim?

I've bitten my nails (and the surrounding skin) since elementary school. My parents (and friends) have tried putting aloe on my fingers, nail polish, and fake nails...but I still keep biting. When I played softball, while on a base waiting to run (offense) I would chew on my batting glove...in fact, I chewed a hole right through every finger of the glove! and, it was pretty heavy fabric. I do this most when I am driving, or sitting and listening to something not particularly interesting. I also do this with food, not just nails. Hungry or not, I will just sit and eat to keep myself occupied (not good, obviously).

As far as pacing...the moment I get to work, I will start pacing...back and forth the full length of the desk. All of my co-workers notice and have commented on several occasions...it is kind of the joke (friendly joke). They have even tied my feet together to keep me in place, and then I just started rocking/playing with my hands/etc. I never thought much about my pacing until I read about stimming, because my mom always paced while on the phone (she has no other noticeable AS traits).

5) Is OCD associated with AS? Do they go hand-in-hand?

I've never been diagnosed/sought a diagnosis of OCD, but definitely have some traits. I can't have both of my feet touching the ground when I sit. When I get to work, I rearrange the desk to how I like it, making sure everything is perfectly straight, and that the pencils, the pens, and the miscellaneous supplies are all categorized together. Slight imperfections or small details that might go under the radar with other people drive me absolutely crazy. I have a horrible time trying to show someone how to do something, because I just feel compelled to knock them out of the way and do it myself (not violently, of course).

6) Do you ever feel excited about anything other than your special interest?

I'm just beginning to realize that I do not get excited very easily...in fact, it is very rare. I recall the days leading up to going to see one of my favorite bands in concert, and while my friends might be counting down the days or show a definite expression of excitement, I tend to feel pretty neutral. I'll have a great time once the show starts, but right up until the very first note, it's no different from any typical day. My boyfriend and I worked on a national commercial the other day, and he was really excited and kept asking if I was. I told him yes, because I knew I probably *should* have been, but we may as well have been driving to the dentist.

BONUS: Speaking of dentists...how many of you would rather have your teeth pulled out/cavities drilled, than get a cleaning with those awful metal instruments, sandy toothpaste, and gross fluoride solution?



Xs142
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02 Jun 2009, 10:58 am

1) Has your special interest ever been a person?

Yup, Oliver Sachs got a whole lot of loving for a while, so did Terry Pratchett..


2) Aspies are said to be clumsy, but could the opposite be true...or, could it be the case in some circumstances and not others?

Some list this as a criteria, others don't, but it goes up and down for me, watch me try to crawl out of a bed when stressed...
Generally just 'normal' in my own opinion.


3) Are you better able to handle social encounters/interruptions when you are already with other people vs. if you were by yourself?

Being in control and prepared for plausible scenarios is key for handling social interaction properly, also having someone in charge and leading helps.


4) Does anyone else have nail biting and pacing as a stim?

Nah, I pull my beard instead.


5) Is OCD associated with AS? Do they go hand-in-hand?

Not really as OCD is defined,
some have habits others don't. But it's very common.


6) Do you ever feel excited about anything other than your special interest?

Never.


BONUS: Speaking of dentists...how many of you would rather have your teeth pulled out/cavities drilled, than get a cleaning with those awful metal instruments, sandy toothpaste, and gross fluoride solution?

I can't stand dentists or minty toothpaste and I'm lactose intolerant,
once every few years they drug the hell out of me and fix me up, that's kinda it.
Thankfully they just released a new toothpaste here without mint in it so I'm starting to get into the brushing.



Sora
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02 Jun 2009, 11:15 am

I can't think of what else to write about the questions to make my answer longer, but I can answer them all.

fragileclover wrote:
1) Has your special interest ever been a person?


I never had special interests as defined by ICD and DSM, so no.

fragileclover wrote:
2) Aspies are said to be clumsy, but could the opposite be true...or, could it be the case in some circumstances and not others?


I have excellent fine and gross motor skills, my fine motor skills were always noticeably advanced as a child. I always attributed that partly to my AS/HFA.

fragileclover wrote:
3) Are you better able to handle social encounters/interruptions when you are already with other people vs. if you were by yourself?


I handle them best when I'm by yourself, one person at a time. I do not mind social encounters though and I do not have anxiety.

fragileclover wrote:
4) Does anyone else have nail biting and pacing as a stim?


Nail biting, but not as a stim. I started out of boredom as a kid and sadly, haven't quite managed to stop and may happen to do so when I'm bored. Personally, I don't pace.

fragileclover wrote:
5) Is OCD associated with AS? Do they go hand-in-hand?


There's a high percentage of children and adults with both OCD and AS. They can go hand in hand, but don't necessarily. The repetitive behaviours in AS are different from OCD, though in a person with both they can mix and combine.

fragileclover wrote:
6) Do you ever feel excited about anything other than your special interest?


I feel excited about lots of things (but then, I don't even have a special interest).


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marshall
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02 Jun 2009, 11:22 am

fragileclover wrote:
3) Are you better able to handle social encounters/interruptions when you are already with other people vs. if you were by yourself?

Yes! I'm exactly like that. I can't stand interruptions when I'm working by myself or deep in thought. I suppress the urge to snap at people in public or on a job but I react with irritation towards friends and family. I also have a bad habit of answering questions or responding to small-talk attempts in auto-pilot mode where I'm not even thinking about what I'm saying. I'll just blurt out some stock phrase response while my mind is 90% elsewhere. :lol:



Abstract_Logic
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02 Jun 2009, 11:55 am

1) Has your special interest ever been a person?

Two of my special interests are people: Albert Einstein and John F. Nash (American Mathematician and inspiration for the movie A Beautiful Mind and the book of the same name by Sylvia Nasar)

2) Aspies are said to be clumsy, but could the opposite be true...or, could it be the case in some circumstances and not others?

I'm not sure about this one. I'm neither too clumsy nor very graceful. I'm average when it comes to motor coordination.

3) Are you better able to handle social encounters/interruptions when you are already with other people vs. if you were by yourself?

Yes, if I am with a few people and have already been talking for a while, or exposed to social interaction, I am more prepared to handle new encounters than I would be if I was alone.

4) Does anyone else have nail biting and pacing as a stim?

I don't bite my nails, but I do pick at them quite often. I also have a pacing stim.

5) Is OCD associated with AS? Do they go hand-in-hand?

OCD is associated with AS; however, I do not believe they go hand in hand. It is vitally important for doctors to discriminate between the two when making a diagnosis. OCD can, however, accompany AS. Bear in mind, the obsessions of OCD cause anxiety and depression in individuals. They feel compelled to perform rituals because they fear something bad may happen. AS, on the other hand, individuals derive pleasure from their obsessions and stims (which can appear to be compulsions).

6) Do you ever feel excited about anything other than your special interest?

As a general rule, if I'm not excited about it, then it isn't a special interest. ;)



GhostOfTheChameleon
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02 Jun 2009, 12:16 pm

1) Has your special interest ever been a person?

Yes. Frequently.

2) Aspies are said to be clumsy, but could the opposite be true...or, could it be the case in some circumstances and not others?

I walk very clumsily, and I stink at sports. I can't catch a ball. I frequently run into walls and corners.

But it's virtually impossible for me to trip or drop anything. I'm really good at catching things I've just dropped. VERY good at it. And when hiking I can run up/down a mountain (in bursts, as stamina allows) without worrying too much about losing my footing even when I hit unexpected loose rocks, gravel, etc. Sometimes I jump back and forth between nearly vertical rocks on my down or up... without any real problem. I guess it's kinda like a game? Lots of fun.

So I guess it's both. I do have noticeable motor impairment.

3) Are you better able to handle social encounters/interruptions when you are already with other people vs. if you were by yourself?

I need time to prepare myself. Adding more people than I was prepared to handle just drives me deeper and deeper into an anxiety-filled neurosis.

4) Does anyone else have nail biting and pacing as a stim?

Nope... I have others, and lots of them.

5) Is OCD associated with AS? Do they go hand-in-hand?

I don't know.

6) Do you ever feel excited about anything other than your special interest?

Generally speaking, no. No I don't. If it's not a special interest, I have to force myself to pay attention to it, usually, and/or totally fake interest.



Last edited by GhostOfTheChameleon on 02 Jun 2009, 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pigeon309
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02 Jun 2009, 12:16 pm

1) Has your special interest ever been a person?

Well, It's more like if I get fascinated by a subject in general, and there's someone concerned with it, I will develop a strong interest in the person. For example, when I was much younger, I was very interested in the Simpsons, and became obsessed with Lisa Simpson to the point which I began to model my behaviour on hers. It happens less now, and the memories of it actually embarrass me a bit.

2) Aspies are said to be clumsy, but could the opposite be true...or, could it be the case in some circumstances and not others?

Well, of course, everyone is different, so I suppose it may be true for some people. Personally, I am quite clumsy.

3) Are you better able to handle social encounters/interruptions when you are already with other people vs. if you were by yourself?

I find it hard to evaluate my own actions, especially social ones, but I think it's probably easier when I'm with people. If I'm by myself I'm usually deep in thought about something that interests me. When I'm with someone else, I'm already having to consider how to act around them, so I suppose I'm more prepared for another person. Then again, too many people at once would make me feel stressed.


4) Does anyone else have nail biting and pacing as a stim?

Yes, I do, especially pacing.
5) Is OCD associated with AS? Do they go hand-in-hand?

There are certainly some similarities with OCD and the AS preference for order. I don't have a diagnosis of OCD, but I'm very concerned with certain things that might be associated with it. If, for example, my left foot touches a line on the pavement, my right foot has to touch it in exactly the same place.

6) Do you ever feel excited about anything other than your special interest?

Sometimes, but the feeling isn't as common and intense.
BONUS: Speaking of dentists...how many of you would rather have your teeth pulled out/cavities drilled, than get a cleaning with those awful metal instruments, sandy toothpaste, and gross fluoride solution? I am definitely one of them. I despise toothpaste. It's far too minty for me.



willa
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02 Jun 2009, 12:27 pm

1) Has your special interest ever been a person?

No, I'm pretty good at setting up defensive mechanisms when it comes to people.

2) Aspies are said to be clumsy, but could the opposite be true...or, could it be the case in some circumstances and not others?

I walk into walls, have horrid butter fingers, trip over myself constantly, cant play video games cause I cant even cordinate my fingers to buttons. But I can write my full name, address, phone number and email on a piece of paper smaller than a penny. I've always had a real great natural artistic talent for drawing. WHen it comes to super fine motor skills i'm the opposite of clumsy.

3) Are you better able to handle social encounters/interruptions when you are already with other people vs. if you were by yourself?

Hmm, cant really say or think about past situations. I think in theory, it would be easier if i'm with someone.

4) Does anyone else have nail biting and pacing as a stim?

I've always bitten my nails and I pace like crazy. My mom always hated it, I also cant stand still, I have to at least rock on my feet.

5) Is OCD associated with AS? Do they go hand-in-hand?

I think there is correlation, but no connection.

6) Do you ever feel excited about anything other than your special interest?

Usually not, even if its something I know will be good and exciting, I am usually nervous, not excited.


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AJCoyne
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02 Jun 2009, 12:58 pm

1) Has your special interest ever been a person?

I did have an odd obsession with Tobey Maguire when I was about 11 8O Eek! How humiliating...I can't believe I just typed that!

2) Aspies are said to be clumsy, but could the opposite be true...or, could it be the case in some circumstances and not others?

I am only clumsy around people I like/want to impress. Like, once I got into this fight and I was smooth...I mean, real smooth...my reflexes were perfect and I did this really cool backhanded slap...but another time I was trying to flirt around someone I liked and I fell over D: Still haunts me...

3) Are you better able to handle social encounters/interruptions when you are already with other people vs. if you were by yourself?

No, I feel more awkward...if someone approaches while I'm in a group, I tend to take a back seat and end up being ditched. :?

4) Does anyone else have nail biting and pacing as a stim?

I used to bite my nails, but this has moved onto scratching my cuticles and other things with my hands such as playing with keys and puzzles. I pace around, but only when I am nervous.


5) Is OCD associated with AS? Do they go hand-in-hand?

No clue.

6) Do you ever feel excited about anything other than your special interest?

Unsure...I can certainly say that I don't get excited by things like my birthday and Christmas anymore, which is sad. :(

Sorry, I haven't been very descriptive with my answers...guess I'm not really in the mood.



pschristmas
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02 Jun 2009, 1:28 pm

1) Has your special interest ever been a person?

Yes, a couple of actors, but I won't say which ones. It's kind of embarassing at my age.

4) Does anyone else have nail biting and pacing as a stim?

I never thought of nail biting as a stim, but I do it a lot. I do pace. I'll pace when I'm excited about something or working on a problem. When I was a kid, I used to pace in circles.

6) Do you ever feel excited about anything other than your special interest?

Occasionally, but like you I've realized that I don't get excited very often. I've had people asking if I'm excited to be starting graduate school and I find that I'm really not. I was very excited and nervous before I got the word that I'd been accepted, but now that I know? Not really, although once I come up with a thesis topic, I very likely will be again. :)

Regards,

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02 Jun 2009, 1:34 pm

1) Has your special interest ever been a person?
Two words: Kurt Cobain. (Although, there have been plenty of others. Some of them were guys I actually knew, when I was a teen, but most have been famous guys.)

2) Aspies are said to be clumsy, but could the opposite be true...or, could it be the case in some circumstances and not others?
I'm a fairly good dancer, I like to think. The rest of the time, I bump into dust bunnies. :lol:

3) Are you better able to handle social encounters/interruptions when you are already with other people vs. if you were by yourself?
Sometimes. Sometimes not. Depends on my mood. If I'm alone in my office at work and engrossed in something, I'll almost jump out of my skin if someone appears at my door.

4) Does anyone else have nail biting and pacing as a stim?
Not nails. (I have a long-time thing - I think of it as more of a nervous habit - of picking the dry skin from my lower lip. Sorry if that's TMI and I know it's a bit gross, and I'm not sure if it's stimming or not.) Also, as I said somewhere a short while back, often when I listen to music I have to get up and walk around or move somehow. But that's not really pacing.

5) Is OCD associated with AS? Do they go hand-in-hand?
I hope not. My mother had OCD, and it got worse as she got older, and frankly I want no part of it because I have more interesting things to do with my life than compulsively count stuff (her particular ritual). I suffer from anxiety, which I know is at the root of OCD, but I honestly think that's from having grown up round the motherbeast and having her worry about every tiny thing I did. When I was in my bouts of depression I did find myself compulsively doing the same jigsaw puzzle over and over, and playing interminable games of Tetris - neither of which I really enjoyed, they were just ways of stopping myself from dwelling on Really Bad Stuff. I have other, more constructive obsessions which I actually enjoy these days. (And I haven't looked at a jigsaw puzzle in years. I really can't stand the things now.) I hope I've escaped that particular family gene.

6) Do you ever feel excited about anything other than your special interest?
Hmm...Yes, although not nearly as much. Special interests, plural, because I have a whole bunch, and one of them (medical terminology) takes up a large amount of my job, so it's pretty easy for me to get enthusiastic. I often can't understand what other people get excited about....(as in 'OMGBigBrotherisbackon!! !'...watch my stony impassive face, folks. I find my personal world inestimably richer.)

BONUS: Speaking of dentists...how many of you would rather have your teeth pulled out/cavities drilled, than get a cleaning with those awful metal instruments, sandy toothpaste, and gross fluoride solution?[/quote]
I had one pulled a short while back and it wasn't really a big deal (I was more fascinated by the fact that it had a cyst at its root, which the guy showed me...sorry, I am the TMI queen!), although obviously I'd prefer to keep as many teeth as I can hold onto...but what really always got me at the dentist was the noise of that thing they use to prod the amalgam into your cavities. Yuck, yuck, yuck. And I'm always for some reason worried that the proby thing he uses to descale them will somehow slip and go in my eye.


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02 Jun 2009, 2:29 pm

1) Has your special interest ever been a person?
Yes, both actors/actresses and people I know in real life.

2) Aspies are said to be clumsy, but could the opposite be true...or, could it be the case in some circumstances and not others?
I totally support the clumsiness correlation. I'm incredibly clumsy.

3) Are you better able to handle social encounters/interruptions when you are already with other people vs. if you were by yourself?
Well, I can "keep it together" more when I'm around somebody, because I hate crying in front of people.

4) Does anyone else have nail biting and pacing as a stim?
No. My main stims are rocking and wringing my hands.

5) Is OCD associated with AS? Do they go hand-in-hand?
Yes, the two occur together quite frequently. I have comorbid OCD, pure obsessional type. Most Aspies have some sort of obsessive-compulsive symptom, but not every Aspie has full-blown OCD.

6) Do you ever feel excited about anything other than your special interest?
I get very excited about things very often, but my excitement is always related to my special interests. :lol:

BONUS: Speaking of dentists...how many of you would rather have your teeth pulled out/cavities drilled, than get a cleaning with those awful metal instruments, sandy toothpaste, and gross fluoride solution?[/quote]
I have a horrible OCD fear of the dentist. I have never had a cavity, thankfully. I did have to have a baby tooth pulled when I was 9, and the Novocaine injection was incredibly painful. As much as I hate the scraping part of teeth cleaning, I'd rather go through that than have an actual procedure done. But the dentist is just a horrible experience that is filled with intense anxiety and painful sensory issues. The only part of the dentist I like is the fluoride. I think it tastes very good.
-OddDuckNash99-


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02 Jun 2009, 2:48 pm

1) Has your special interest ever been a person?

OMG, yes. A person I knew. To the point of obsession, meaning it went from pleasant to extremely unpleasant when I couldn't be around them. It was actually kind of frightening, because I knew it was inappropriate and I had to be very careful not to let on or cross boundaries.

2) Aspies are said to be clumsy, but could the opposite be true...or, could it be the case in some circumstances and not others?

No, I've always been very athletic. I grew up in the country, ran wild, rode horses, built forts, climbed trees... very few bumps or bruises. Even did horse-back gymnastics in college.

3) Are you better able to handle social encounters/interruptions when you are already with other people vs. if you were by yourself?

I think this is a yes... I also tend to respond in grumpy mode when I'm solo, 'cause I'm usually engaged in something. For many years, heaven help whoever called me on the phone, because that is always an interruption.

4) Does anyone else have nail biting and pacing as a stim?

Hadn't thought of it as a stim, but I do do them both.

5) Is OCD associated with AS? Do they go hand-in-hand?

Certainly not in me.

6) Do you ever feel excited about anything other than your special interest?

Only briefly, a passing moment. Like the others who have posted, once the ticket is bought, the fact accomplished, the decision made, it goes onto the back burner and life goes on its merry little way.



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02 Jun 2009, 2:53 pm

fragileclover wrote:
2) Aspies are said to be clumsy, but could the opposite be true...or, could it be the case in some circumstances and not others?

I'm generally uncoordinated when it comes to sports but I'm okay working with my hands. I was able to play with Legos at a very young age so my fine motor skills are okay. Taking things apart and putting them back together was a childhood obsession of mine. My legs are rather stiff and clumsy though.
Quote:
4) Does anyone else have nail biting and pacing as a stim?

I have to pace when I think. I can't do heavy thinking while sitting in a cubicle. I get uncomfortable when I have to sit for too long. I don't know if this is AS related in any way.
Quote:
5) Is OCD associated with AS? Do they go hand-in-hand?

I've never been diagnosed/sought a diagnosis of OCD, but definitely have some traits. I can't have both of my feet touching the ground when I sit. When I get to work, I rearrange the desk to how I like it, making sure everything is perfectly straight, and that the pencils, the pens, and the miscellaneous supplies are all categorized together. Slight imperfections or small details that might go under the radar with other people drive me absolutely crazy. I have a horrible time trying to show someone how to do something, because I just feel compelled to knock them out of the way and do it myself (not violently, of course).

:lol: at the bold part. There was once an SNL skit with an IT guy who yelled "MOVE!" and pushed people out of the way. I feel like that a lot - though luckily I can repress the urge to be rude. I'm so impatient.

Quote:
6) Do you ever feel excited about anything other than your special interest?

There's too many things in life where I feel that I'm expected to feel excitement. I can't even fake it to do the socially acceptable thing and humor people, at least not for more than a few minutes without being instantly gripped by mental exhaustion. I think this trait is the source of all my apparent laziness and tendency to procrastinate. Yet I'm highly motivated, even driven, when it comes to stimulating activities and obsessions. I just do not get NT's who can get themselves excited about any type of social related activity.



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02 Jun 2009, 3:29 pm

1) Has your special interest ever been a person?

A real person? Not really. A character? fffffffyyyyeeah. I won't go into that. XD

2) Aspies are said to be clumsy, but could the opposite be true...or, could it be the case in some circumstances and not others?

Maybe I should mention I have HFA, not AS.
I can't dance, like, at all. (I mean I can swish around, but actual dances with steps: no) Does that count?

3) Are you better able to handle social encounters/interruptions when you are already with other people vs. if you were by yourself?

Definitely, it's way easier when I'm with other people.

4) Does anyone else have nail biting and pacing as a stim?

I bite my nails, but mostly to keep them even. It's worse when I'm nervous but I'm still paying attention to keeping them even. I don't pace.

5) Is OCD associated with AS? Do they go hand-in-hand?

I dunno. When I was a kid I used to be kind of obsessed with stuff like... my socks being even, and if I pulled one up I have to pull it up a little more than the other so I could pull THAT one up, or else they'd feel different on my legs. But that kind of thing was really annoying so I made myself stop.

6) Do you ever feel excited about anything other than your special interest?

I usually get excited for almost anything. Like, if someone's going to the store I'm like OMG CAN I COME?

BONUS: Speaking of dentists...how many of you would rather have your teeth pulled out/cavities drilled, than get a cleaning with those awful metal instruments, sandy toothpaste, and gross fluoride solution?[/quote]

No, drilling and pulling is worse.


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