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ParadoxicalVoid
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27 Jun 2011, 7:55 pm

Hey everyone, Michael here.

Well, I'm not really sure where to start, and I have so many things that I want to say. While I haven't been officially been diagnosed with HFA, I'm quite certain that I do have it.

Also, I often have trouble organizing my thoughts, so I apologize if what I'm saying, or trying to say, gets a little confusing at times...

I guess I'll just jump right to it and start listing some of the many characteristics and problems that I have, both mental, physical, and psychological, that seem to be commonly associated with with people who suffer from some form of autism.

Some physical traits that I have, that seem to be common among people with some form of autism, are--a very prominent and slanted forehead, round and sunken eyes, a small upturned nose (my dad had a very small nose, so that, plus autism, probably has a lot to with it), and a small chin/weak jawline. To make matters worse, I'm 6'4 and 220 pounds. So basically, I look like a cave troll. Sometimes it seems as if people are frightened by me... Not a good feeling.

Some mental problems that I have: An obsession with detail. I'm not even sure if "obsession" would be a fair word to use. It's like my brain is automatically attuned to every little detail. When I'm introduced to a new place, I don't really pay attention to why I am there. Does that make sense?

I'm more concerned with all the sounds, colors, and shapes. I'm paying attention to things like--the color of people's clothes, the style and color of people's hair, the sounds of cars driving by on the roads, and the sounds of nature (wind, birds, insects, etc.). I even have a bit of trouble reading an unmarked, analog clock. It's like my eyes go straight for all the finer details of the clock, and not the actual time

All of these things, I feel, are being consciously processed by overactive areas of my brain. And that's NOT what my brain should be focusing on; It SHOULD be focusing on more important tasks. Such as, social communication, information processing, and short-term memory (my short-term memory is pretty much non-existent).

This auto-attunement to detail also makes it very difficult for me to drive (recently got my temps). I definitely should NOT be paying attention to someone's license plate when there is a red light or stop sign up ahead.

I'm also a perfectionist, and I live a very ritualistic life. Everything I do eventually turns into a very unhealthy obsession. If I fail to meet a goal that I have set for myself, it usually results in me spiraling into a depressed state.

I'm also very sensitive to certain noises, lights, and odors. Some examples would be, bright rooms, flickering lights, perfume, hair products, car exhaust, etc. When I was younger, I suffered from migraines, and there were lots of odors that would actually trigger my migraines. I would always throw fits when my mother used hair products or perfume because I was so sensitive. Of course, once we discovered I was suffering from migraines, she of course stopped using these products.

I definitely have some learning disabilities. My biggest problem is probably my ability to communicate. I pretty much shut down when I meet someone that I am unfamiliar with. It' hard to explain, but it's a major problem in my life. I am also TERRIBLE at math. I'm pretty good at basic math (addition, multiplication, and division), but when it comes to algebra? Forget it. I just CANNOT string together and process that much information. I also have a really hard time following directions. I remember trying out for sports when I was younger, but I always struggled so much, because I just could retain or understand the directions that were be given to me by the coaches.

On a more positve not, I am very talented when it comes music and art, something that I'm very thankful for. I recently started drawing photo-realistic portraits. It would be great if I could turn it into a career. But, I have a long ways to go before that happens. Oh well, it's something that I'm good at and enjoy, and it's pretty much the only bright spot in my life, so I will just keep at it and hope for the best.

Thanks for taking the time to read all of that, lol.



MakaylaTheAspie
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27 Jun 2011, 8:08 pm

It sounds more like Asperger's Syndrome. But that's just me.


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27 Jun 2011, 8:11 pm

The cognitive patterns that you have described are consistent with those of ASD. Auto-focus on detail, sensory processing issues, verbal communication issues...they definitely fit the picture. I really resonate with the fixation on detail, because it does seem like every little detail is incoming, and that can be very overwhelming. But it is not entirely a negative for your brain to focus naturally on details, as this same trait that interferes with some of your functioning may underlie your artistic talents as well.


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27 Jun 2011, 9:51 pm

MakaylaTheAspie wrote:
It sounds more like Asperger's Syndrome. But that's just me.


How do you distinguish between HFA and AS?



MakaylaTheAspie
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27 Jun 2011, 9:58 pm

Verdandi wrote:
MakaylaTheAspie wrote:
It sounds more like Asperger's Syndrome. But that's just me.


How do you distinguish between HFA and AS?



That's what it sounded like. I think this guy's gotta provide a little more info though. I was just stating my opinion of what I thought it was.


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Verdandi
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27 Jun 2011, 10:00 pm

MakaylaTheAspie wrote:
Verdandi wrote:
MakaylaTheAspie wrote:
It sounds more like Asperger's Syndrome. But that's just me.


How do you distinguish between HFA and AS?



That's what it sounded like. I think this guy's gotta provide a little more info though. I was just stating my opinion of what I thought it was.


Okay, thanks. Mostly I was curious as to how you distinguish one from the other.



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27 Jun 2011, 10:04 pm

Verdandi wrote:
MakaylaTheAspie wrote:
Verdandi wrote:
MakaylaTheAspie wrote:
It sounds more like Asperger's Syndrome. But that's just me.


How do you distinguish between HFA and AS?



That's what it sounded like. I think this guy's gotta provide a little more info though. I was just stating my opinion of what I thought it was.


Okay, thanks. Mostly I was curious as to how you distinguish one from the other.


The only difference that I'm aware of is that there's a language delay associated with HFA and not AS.


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MakaylaTheAspie
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27 Jun 2011, 10:13 pm

SammichEater wrote:
Verdandi wrote:
MakaylaTheAspie wrote:
Verdandi wrote:
MakaylaTheAspie wrote:
It sounds more like Asperger's Syndrome. But that's just me.


How do you distinguish between HFA and AS?



That's what it sounded like. I think this guy's gotta provide a little more info though. I was just stating my opinion of what I thought it was.


Okay, thanks. Mostly I was curious as to how you distinguish one from the other.


The only difference that I'm aware of is that there's a language delay associated with HFA and not AS.


You make a good point.


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27 Jun 2011, 10:14 pm

SammichEater wrote:
The only difference that I'm aware of is that there's a language delay associated with HFA and not AS.


Language delays are not required for a diagnosis of "classic" autism. There are four criteria under that category, and only one is a delay in speech.

Also, AS does cause delays in language usage, hence things like literal interprations and semantic-pragmatic issues. However, speech delays are supposed to be ruled out for a diagnosis of AS.



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27 Jun 2011, 10:17 pm

SammichEater wrote:
The only difference that I'm aware of is that there's a language delay associated with HFA and not AS.


I used to use the terms interchangably until I read a book entitled, simply, "Aspergers Syndrome". It explains many slight differences between Aspergers and high-functioning classic autism. So HFA could refer to all high-functioning people on the autistic spectrum or to HF people with classic autism.


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ParadoxicalVoid
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27 Jun 2011, 10:18 pm

Thanks for speedy responses everyone.

What about the facial features? Are facial abnormalities common among people with autism?

I'm in a pretty bad spot right now. I'm currently dealing with some pretty major problems (agoraphobia, anxiety, depression, etc.). I've pretty much withdrawn myself from society. I even avoid most of my family, with the exception of my mother and grandma. Most of my friends have moved on with their lives and kind of left me in the dust. I can't really blame them. I feel like I'm just a burden to most people, and I just don't know what to do.

What can I do about this? Are there any types of therapy or medications that have helped any of you?



Last edited by ParadoxicalVoid on 27 Jun 2011, 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MakaylaTheAspie
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27 Jun 2011, 10:20 pm

ParadoxicalVoid wrote:
Thanks for speedy responses, everyone.

What about the facial features? Are facial abnormalities common among people with autism?

What can I do about this? Are there any types of therapy or medications that have helped any of you?

I'm in a pretty bad spot right now. I'm currently dealing with some pretty major problems (agoraphobia, anxiety, depression, etc.). I've pretty much withdrawn myself from society. I even avoid most of my family, with the exception of my mother and grandma. Most of my friends have moved on with their lives and kind of left me in the dust. I can't really blame them. I feel like I'm just a burden to most people, and I just don't know what to do.


I don't think so, because I look "normal" (so people say).


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27 Jun 2011, 10:44 pm

ParadoxicalVoid wrote:
Hey everyone, Michael here. Well, I'm not really sure where to start, and I have so many things that I want to say. While I haven't been officially been diagnosed with HFA, I'm quite certain that I do have it.
I am also TERRIBLE at math. I'm pretty good at basic math (addition, multiplication, and division), but when it comes to algebra?


I would wait to get a official diagnosis before discussing the likelihood any further. Just so you know, my daughter was diagnosed with HFA at the age of 5. However she was recently a recipient of the principals award for mathematics for coming top out of 300 students.

Having HFA does not make you any more likely to be intellectually inferior to a comparable person with AS. In my daughter's case it's primarily her behavior in relation the pragmatic use of language.