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Bigbang
Snowy Owl
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21 Jul 2010, 11:51 am

Hello to you all, it's been awhile since I haven't posted here.

I'm in the process of trying to get a diagnosis for Asperger because I just can't stand how I struggle with my life nowadays. Around 2-3 years ago, I got really interested in learning about AS and althought I identified with all the symptoms, I never embarked on the process of getting an official diagnosis.

I thought that learning about my quirks and weird personality would have been sufficient to cope with my daily problems by myself. It worked in a way ; I am now better at taking care of myself, I cook, I clean, I lift weights and take good care of my appearance, I try to avoid getting too much absorbed in special interests, I try to focus more on others needs in social situations and be less introvert (despite the anxiety)... but I'm now 28 years old and have no friends and never had a girlfriend, which is downright frustrating considering all the efforts I make everyday.

So I'd like to know what kind of help or support I can expect after I am officially diagnosed. I have heard of speech therapy, and I think this could be immensly useful as communication is the aspect of my life I struggle the most with. I am from Montreal, Canada. Do you think this service is available here? Also, for those who tried speech therapy, did this help you with communication skills?

Right now I'm in a consistent state of anxiety as I can't stop thinking about what I should do to overcome my issues. What hurts me the most is the inabilty to have a girlfriend, and of course all the frustration and low self-esteem that comes along. I feel like the perfectly tamed dog acting without the slightest reward, while watching all the other wild and dirty dogs getting plenty. I mean, I look almost like a top-model as I take very good care of my appearance, I train and eat a rigid menu everyday to have an appealing body, I read and educate myself to be interesting, I play the guitar, I'm kind to other people... and yet I go home all alone while watching the other guys getting girls by sitting on their couch watching TV, eating McDonald's and acting like jerks.

To be frank, girls actually seem to find me attractive, sometimes even as if I'm the perfect male, but I just can't handle talking to them, which makes me feel very bad about myself. Anyways, maybe I'm ranting too much now, and the main point of this post was to figure out what help I can expect after I get a diagnosis.

Thanks in advance for you help.



leejosepho
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21 Jul 2010, 12:42 pm

Bigbang wrote:
To be frank, girls actually seem to find me attractive ... but I just can't handle talking to them, which makes me feel very bad about myself.


Your mention of your dilemma takes me all the way back to 3rd grade. A new girl came into our class one day, and I immediately "fell in love" and began planning to marry her ... and over the nine years that followed to the time of graduation, I was only able to ever actually approach her and say something maybe a half-dozen times. And of course, I had that very same problem many other times all along the way. Eventually, the best I could do was to rescue-capitalize on the desperation of someone three years younger struggling to get to the surface from within an abusive home.

The next time someone seems to notice you and there is no one between you and you are fairly sure she is not already in a relationship with someone else, just quietly say something simple, like "Hi", and ask whether she might like a cup of tea or whatever and to sit and talk for a bit. If she accepts, move slowly enough to be graceful and get situated, then just tell her your deal. Tell her you are interested in getting to know her a little, and that you are quite unsure about how to proceed ... and if she has not gotten up and walked away by then, just tell her a little about yourself and ask where she grew up or what kind of day she is having. The woman you seek is ultimately going to look past your externals and want to know more about the man within.


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My search ended at 59 ... right here on WrongPlanet.
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Bigbang
Snowy Owl
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21 Jul 2010, 1:31 pm

Thanks for your advice, but I dont think I'm ready to make a move like that just yet. My social anxiety is just so high that I kinda lose control of my mind when the situation is too stressful ; it feels like a meltdown, even though I don't seem perturbed externally. I can handle talking to people if they ask me questions slowly about vague subjects, but whenever I have to open up about my opinions or feelings I feel almost persecuted and I panic as I can't control where the conversation is going (and fear it might require too much emotion/expression, which I can barely handle). So I seem to be looking for withdrawal against my will, which let people believe I just want to be left alone even if I would like to create bonds.

This is why I'm seeking for external help, as I don't think I can overcome this anxiety by myself... it's really not the kind of anxiety that just threatens you and you can choose to fight agaisnt, its that kind of feeling where you just stand there blankly and helplessly and feel exhausted by the situation.

What I would like to learn is how to open up to people and be able to be more expressive without getting hit by a panic attack. I mean, I can't even say "Hey, how are you?" to people as this requires to much expression and emotivity from my part, and I fear the conversation might end up in territories I'm not comfortable in. I would like to train these abilities, as I know practice makes perfect, but I know from experience that I can't handle practicing those skills in everyday situation, which makes me more and more cold, introvert and depressed. I think practicing my expressivity in a more controlled atmosphere would be best for me, as even adopting an emotive voice makes me very nervous (even if I'm alone).

I know this might sound like I want to transfer all my problems in someone else's hands, but I can assure you I'm far from lazy or irresponsible. I improved all the other aspects of my life all by myself, but sadly it seems like I really need external help for coping with social situations.



PunkyKat
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21 Jul 2010, 2:52 pm

What "help" I got or what actually helped me.

I was a foster child and my biological mother was severely autistic but at the time was just considered mentaly retarded. In case your wondering, she was raped. Eveyone one at social services was worried I would be "retarded" too and I was forced to go to a preschool program for underprivlaged kids so I could learn "social skills" my mom says. The whole family also was forced to see a phycologist who told my adoptive mother that my problems were as result of her "coldness" twoards me. This was the late eighties and early nintees by the way. He also said that I belonged in an instittion. My mum wanted to homeschool me from the start but everyone kept telling her I needed to be around other kids in order to learn how to be social and not so agressive. Public school just taught me how to be more agressive and even more anti social. My mum also made me go to a swimming class for kids with autism but it was geared twoards lower functning kids and I was the most HF one there and my instructor was a b***h. Telling me I could never be a vet because of my poor math skills never helped and it just made me even more unmotivated. The things that did help me were:

My mum taking me out of public school and homeschooling
Accepting the fact I was never going to be be a social creature
Letting me engage in my special intrests and letting me talk about them whenever I wanted
Lettting me have a bearded dragon


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rmctagg09
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21 Jul 2010, 3:13 pm

When I was diagnosed, I was 15 years old. My mother suspected that I was autistic, but I lacked the cognitive impairments for classical autism, and she'd never heard of Asperger's. The funny thing was, I wasn't even aware of Asperger's myself until I was diagnosed as I'd only started using the Internet for things besides reports and Zelda fansites. I only went to speech therapy when I was a toddler because I wasn't speaking on time, for reasons I don't think were related to my autism. Since I've gotten diagnosed, I've never been to any groups, since the only one in my area is for lower-functioning autistics.



leejosepho
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21 Jul 2010, 3:30 pm

Bigbang wrote:
... I seem to be looking for withdrawal against my will, which let people believe I just want to be left alone even if I would like to create bonds.

This is why I'm seeking for external help, as I don't think I can overcome this anxiety by myself...


There is certainly nothing wrong with that.

Who is a non-threatening friend or associate with whom you *can* have a bit of conversation? Just sit with that person and share some of the things you are saying here. Part of the solution, and I do mean only *part*, is for you to discover interactions with select others actually *can* be safe ... and once you are able to better trust someone who has heard you and understands, you might have the beginning of a "safety circle" where you could eventually converse with a woman.


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I began looking for someone like me when I was five ...
My search ended at 59 ... right here on WrongPlanet.
==================================


Bigbang
Snowy Owl
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21 Jul 2010, 9:39 pm

Thanks a lot for your feedback leejosepho. I'm still not quite sure what I should do to acquire better social skills though... still wandering what help is offered to Aspergers. I know many have been deceived at the services offered to them, but speech therapy appeals to me and I'm curious to learn what help it could provide me.

So, has anyone tried speech therapy?



buryuntime
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21 Jul 2010, 9:46 pm

Quote:
So, has anyone tried speech therapy?

Speech therapy tends me more geared to people with speech delays, stuttering issues, etc.

Frankly, there aren't many services for adults with autism.



SuperTrouper
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22 Jul 2010, 11:00 am

I'm looking into speech (more like language) therapy right now at the place I had OT. My problem is that I can't produce novel speech, create new ideas, verbally. Only through writing. My speech is basically echolalic... sometimes quite complex echolalia, but unless I've read it, written it, or heard it before, I can't say it.



vivinator
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22 Jul 2010, 11:10 am

had speech, occupational, and physical therapy through elementary but not necessarily for all of elementary. had a speech delay and think I had some problems with pragmatics.
late walker gross/fine coordination issues


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-as of now official dx is ADHD (inattentive type) but said ADD (314.00) on the dx paper, PDD-NOS and was told looks like I have NLD