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102190
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30 Dec 2010, 12:04 am

Hey guys, I'm new to this forum and was hoping for some insight from your knowledgeable community. I'm a 20 year old female and I think I fit some of the characteristics of Asperger's, but not all. When I was 3, I spent an entire year of my life naked because clothes bothered me. Throughout elementary school, I would cry about the seams in my socks. I have always had weight issues because of my extremely selective eating habits - I have lived on macaroni and cheese/bagels/other carb foods, candy/sweet stuff, etc. all my life. On the other hand, loud noises don't really bother me, and I actually prefer bright colors. I have always had social difficulties. In first grade, my teacher had to send a note home to my parents because I wouldn't stop kissing my classmates' cheeks. Around 3rd-4th grade, I started getting bullied for things such as my weight, appearance, and odd disposition. This continued through about 8th-9th grade. At that time, I developed extreme social anxiety. I sat in the back of all my classes, and was practically a mute. I was nervous when people watched me do anything - eating, writing, etc. I was too nervous to talk to anyone, and only had one very close friend who I had known since first grade. Otherwise, I felt very alone. As high school progressed, I was able to grow out of the anxiety and make small talk/have conversations, but I still have problems really making friendships/asking people to hang out and things. I felt strongly about the same boy for six years (he felt the same), but could never really talk to him or push the relationship further. I only held one job for three months, don't drive, don't go out, have never been kissed, etc. and my only friend has moved to Florida. This sounds like a ramble, but I'm just very curious and tired of being alone, so I wonder if a diagnosis could help me improve my social skills and make friends/get a boyfriend etc. So, is it Asperger's or just social anxiety? I don't know if this is worth noting but I got diagnosed with ADD this past summer, I've heard that ASD+ADD are often mixed up or are co-morbid conditions. Thanks for reading, and for any advice/insight you can offer :D



Salkin
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30 Dec 2010, 8:31 am

Well, I'm not a doctor or psychologist, but to me it sounds like you quite possibly have AS. Clearly you have/had some sensory issues; it's different from person to person, not everyone has the whole range of them. The lack of a "social compass" where you can't quite tell what's appropriate (or couldn't, anyhow) also seems to indicate AS. The social anxiety sounds like it may have developed as a result of all that.

Whether a diagnosis would help you with social skills is hard to say. The diagnosis itself might help you relate to your nature. Whether there's further help from the shrinks depends very much on where you are and what sort of services and help are available locally. It's possible CBT (cognitive-behavioural therapy) could help with the social anxiety.

Where I live there are classes available on communication skills and the like for people with an AS diagnosis. You might want to do some research on whether there's anything like that where you live.



102190
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30 Dec 2010, 9:40 am

Thanks so much for your reply! I'm going to be seeing a doctor to discuss all of this, but I'm still a little bit skeptical. I can use/understand sarcasm, I don't have any repetitive movements, I don't have any obsessive interests like trains or horses, though I can get very absorbed in my writing/the internet. I guess I might be more on the mild side, but we'll just have to wait and see. :)



theexternvoid
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30 Dec 2010, 9:44 am

102190 wrote:
Thanks so much for your reply! I'm going to be seeing a doctor to discuss all of this, but I'm still a little bit skeptical. I can use/understand sarcasm, I don't have any repetitive movements, I don't have any obsessive interests like trains or horses, though I can get very absorbed in my writing/the internet. I guess I might be more on the mild side, but we'll just have to wait and see. :)

I asked about the sarcasm thing here and the concensus was that lots of diagnosed aspies do well very with sarcasm. The lack of special interests or repetitive motion is a more significant question.



Salkin
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30 Dec 2010, 9:51 am

You're welcome :)

Did you never have stims or repetitive movements, or do you just not have them now? I don't have very many now, but I think I may have had as a kid. I do find certain shapes somehow appealing and have a tendency to run my fingers along objects that have them, which is somehow soothing. This includes the curls of my own hair at times. I've experimented a bit and found some movement patterns can be soothing as well - I think it may have been something I had beaten (not literally!) out of me during childhood.

The special interests thing is kind of diffuse with me. I certainly do spend a lot of time on the computer and if there's something I'm interested in at the time, I can spend countless hours reading about it - this is off and on. As a child I was really into airplanes and aviation, played flight simulators, books detailing different airplane types and models were treasured possessions.



102190
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30 Dec 2010, 9:57 am

Salkin wrote:
I certainly do spend a lot of time on the computer and if there's something I'm interested in at the time, I can spend countless hours reading about it - this is off and on.


I do this ALL the time!



starygrrl
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30 Dec 2010, 10:02 am

This can either be inattentive AD(H)D or atypical autism spectrum disorder. I noticed no obsessions or stimming. Everything else though is similiar. I have an ASD and my boyfriend has ADD, there are differences, but also alot of similiarities. But he can read body language, but has alot of executive functioning issues. I can't read body language and don't have as many executive functioning issues. I get crazy obsessed with stuff, he doesn't. He can be very social and thrives in social environments, but he struggled throughout his life. I have a limited gauge with regards to how social I am and struggle in certian contexts. I have sensory issues and he does not. He gets distracted easily, I have extreme amount of focus and can get things done and almost nothing can disturb me. We both stim.
Believe it or not I think one partner with ADD and one partner with an ASD is as close to an ideal as it gets. The person with AD(H)D will have sympathy and understanding for the person who has an ASD.
That is why it really does take somebody trained in both to tell the difference. With the information you provided, it can be either.



102190
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30 Dec 2010, 10:14 am

I guess I'm not too obsessive, but I do have obsessive tendencies. I freak out about cleanliness, a lot of the time just touching something that feels dirty makes me run to the sink to wash my hands. At the same time, I don't have any rituals or anything, so I don't think I have real OCD. When I was a kid, I do remember having to have all of the things in my room in a certain order, and if someone moved something, I would freak out.



starygrrl
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30 Dec 2010, 10:58 am

102190 wrote:
I guess I'm not too obsessive, but I do have obsessive tendencies. I freak out about cleanliness, a lot of the time just touching something that feels dirty makes me run to the sink to wash my hands. At the same time, I don't have any rituals or anything, so I don't think I have real OCD. When I was a kid, I do remember having to have all of the things in my room in a certain order, and if someone moved something, I would freak out.


That is not what I mean by obsessive. I am talking about interest obsession. For example knowing everything about a particular topic or interest. Not the OCD type of obsessions, but more knowing a great deal about something of interest. These things can seem very random and very detailed to most people. For example somebody having a comprehensive understanding of the mechanical workings of vintage telephones, or they can be seemingly mundane until you realize the detail of understanding. I can go on, but it seems to be one of the defining parts of being on the spectrum, intense focused interests. Women on the spectrum seem to cycle through them quicker or carry more than one and they often seem to be fairly typical for the gender (thus why girls fly under the radar throughout childhood). For example a girl on the spectrum may be obsessed with horses, but can name every sub-species of horse, their evolutionary orgins, their latin names, etc.

Everybody is different with regards to this, but when people say obsession they are not talking about cleanliness or OCD obsessions, though OCD can certianly be a co-morribund with AS. They are talking about an intense focus on interests, beyond NT.