PDD-NOS? Aspergers? Atypical Aspergers? HFA? So confused! :x

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LuckyLeft
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18 Jul 2011, 10:49 pm

I'm fairly new to this page; in fact, this is my first post, and I need to speak to people who are like me. I'm confused with what is exactly wrong with me, but telling my story may have an idea of what I exactly have.


I was diagnosed with PDD-NOS when I was three years old. I was echolalic, and in my own world, and had several sensory issues. I received IEPs until I was until the 3rd grade. My obscure obsessions when I was younger included lightpoles and phonebooks. I would identify lightpoles reminding me of different types of people or with occupations, and with phonebooks, I would count up which sections would have the most pages, and compare them to Kingdom ruling. Which brings me to my other obsessions that I developed after the previous two mentioned started to dwindle. I was obsessed with encyclopedias. Mainly because of the History and the facts. While kids were reading Goosebumps, I read encyclopedias, and anything related to history. I also became obsessed with cartoon-style art I drew a lot, mainly failed attempts of Looney Tunes characters. Then, I started to obsess over dogs. I even nicknamed my little sister, who was an infant around that particular obsession, I nicknamed Rin Tin Tin, the famous TV German Shepherd. I was extremely shy, and socially awkward, and was picked on on a regular basis. I did have friends, but I have a tendency to be either too trusting, or not be at all because of it, and I was the former for a long time, which probably led to a lot of my ridicule.

Around the 5th or 6th grade, I developed a fascination with sports, football and basketball mainly. I loved keeping up with the stats, and this became my main obsession, and has continued to be ever since. I was still picked on throughout grade school, but around the 7th grade, I attempted to act like my peers, because I was so different. So I tried to adopt the slang of my peers, and that took some years to adapt. However, my immense sports knowledge helped me out with my peers, although I excessively talked about it. I figured that I found my niche to be accepted. Then my sleep issues became worse. I think I always had sleep issues (I ran recall waking up in the middle of the night with trouble breathing when I was 5), but while I was in the 8th grade, I woke up gasping for air. I ran towards my parents room, trying to scream for them, then I went unconscious. I thought I was going to die. When I awoke, I saw two paramedics around me, making sure I was OK. Within the next week, I went to get my first sleep study. The test results were inconclusive, and they couldn't put an exact name with my issues. I was diagnosed with Nasal Obstructive Sleep Apnea almost three years later, after my second sleep study.

In high school, I could barely stay awake the majority of the time. Even in gym, I played sports 'half-asleep', and was still pretty good. I had a notorious reputation for being a heavy sleeper. And when I was awake, I was always moving. I usually tapped on desks, and it became drumming once I started seeing some of my peers doing it. Of course, I did it excessively. The majority of the time I did talk, it was about sports (basketball & football), or OutKast, my other obsession at the time. I became known as the Sports Guru at the school. I didn't really joke around with other people, and as I started to understand it some, I still really never 'played around' with other people, especially females. I had no idea how to interact with girls. I couldn't read their body language, and at times I took it the wrong way, whether it was for flirtations or a simple hello. I'd react weird when girls would caress me. I can remember saying 'stop' and the guys would laugh, because I was unfamiliar with that type of touch. I'd had to learn how to act like I liked it. Or when I saw blinking lights on the TV and I ducked down on my desk and the students would laugh. I had to carry a napkin around because of my overstimulation of taste. Whenever I eat, my eyes would water (usually my left) and my nose would run (usually the left nostril now, b/c of my adenoids & allergies) uncontrollably, especially if the food consumed was sweet/sour. I can remember people saying did I cry because the food taste so good. I noticed most people treated me different, whether I was shunned or talked to differently, but I didn't really care. I always thought it was because I was shy.

I didn't start to realize my issues until I went off to college. I was from a small college town, and I decided to go to metropolitan Atlanta. Some may think this is very unusual to a person on the ASD, but I grew tired of the way people treated me, and I wanted to be around my uncles/cousin/aunt more. I had a very strict routine that I did everyday while at school. I woke up around the same time, ate breakfast, the same food, took showers at the same time every day, got my clothes ironed at the same time every day, watched the same shows at the same time. And I had practically the same exact schedule my freshman year (second semester T-TH class was ends at 3:25, first was at 3:55 was the only difference). Ate dinner at the same time, and pretty much did the same thing everything every night, unless I had to study for tests. And every other weekend I was either at one of my Uncle's house, or stayed in my dorm room all weekend, unless I had to eat. My new obsessive interest became music, I had to gather facts and listen to every form of music that I possibly could. Within six weeks I would know as much of a genre than someone who listened to it in years. I also tried playing instruments, such as the piano. I also started to become obsessive over people, especially of girls, along with the same issues. One girl that I talked to probably didn't want to be more than say 'hi', but I couldn't read that. I tend to be immature in terms of acting around females, as I would be extremely jealous and protective of her, and even had stalked her. I never tried to hurt her or anything, I just wanted to be her friend. I'd also appear awkward compared to my peers other social situations with peers, if I did decide to say something. People usually couldn't tell unless I started to hang around them, as I would say nothing, or I repeat the same stories that I would if I had to be around other people, so I kept my appearances short. Or I would appear to be inept. A few true friends I had I did start to hang around with, and I could associate my new music obsession(s). Of course, I'd still talk sports, but I music had became my focal point for about a year.

I started to notice things were wrong when I had returned home to attend a school closer to home. My old 'friends' wouldn't speak to me when I walked by, some would get mad at me saying I looked angry and didn't smile. Some I couldn't read and not tell if they wanted to be my friend or just an acquaintance, and I made the wrong move. I did happen to make a few friends, girls, actually, and even reconnect with my old ones, but they either moved, or we stopped talking because the friendships were awkward. I'd stop talking in the middle of conversations, or sometimes say nothing because I had no interest in what they were talking about. I'd also start to notice me never making eye contact when someone pointed it out. I always had that problem, but I didn't start to notice until someone pointed it out. I also had to make sure I was detailed in everything I do to not bring attention to myself. The campus I moved to was around 20,000+ students, compared to 6,500 at my old school. I'd hide in an unattended classroom where privacy was a must. I talked to my dad about it, and a lot of the symptoms I mentioned were symptoms to Aspergers. My new obsession aroused. I researched non-stop for about a week, and stopped. I noticed things that I did that were odd, such as looking through my bookbag pockets even though I had all my material on the desks, or I had to stay moving. My intentional avoidance of people/classmates, because I didn't have anything to say, and unwillingness to break my routines of walking to class. And whenever I talked to people, if it wasn't sports, or my schoolwork, it was about my unique hair texture, or my financial issues with my previous school. After that, I had nothing to say.

My parents told me of my PDD diagnosis, and I thought that I 'beat it' once I stopped receiving IEPs. I noticed over the years that people treated me different, but not quite on the level as someone with Autism/Mental Retardation. I have been able to fool most people, even to excel in controlled environments for a short time (only of my previous mentioned obsessions, History & Art. And Spanish, I was fond of my teacher...). I noticed the sound stimulations that interfered with my short term memory (along with my sleep apnea), but my long term memory is above average at the very least. I noticed my constant movement, running around the house, especially when my mind was racing, or I was listening to music. I noticed my aloof and rigid behaviors, being I didn't mind being alone. I noticed my need to clean the kitchen everyday, and how stressed I became when I couldn't clean it. I noticed my hate/fear of rejection. I noticed my naiveness in the past, and started to not trust anyone, and became angry at myself for letting my 'friends' over the years treat me the way I did, and still call them such. And I pride myself on my honesty, and me thinking that I was 'adapting' throughout middle and high school made me feel I was living a lie. I wasted my higher-range intelligence on trying to be 'normal'. It drove me insane as I picked on the research again around April of this year. The past images of ridicule & dissapointment that played in my brain cause me to speak out loud, whether with profanity or gibberish to get it out of my head. Suicide entered my head often enough. I'm somewhat better now, even though I still deal with the former at times. I figured, (with help) that I couldn't help what happened then. I've decided I need to help people like me, whether by researching for a living, or becoming a PT to help autistic kids with their motor skills.

Until I find out more about myself, I've been keeping to myself, more than usual. I think I could get a lot of closure if I knew what exactly I had. I know I've been officially diagnosed with OSA and PDD-NOS, but do I have ADHD? OCD? AS? A specific Personality Disorder? Is all of that tied in with an ASD? I've told a few people that I had Aspergers, but I've been second guessing myself lately. I want to get this right. I've felt like I can associate with AS with the majority of issues, but not quite all of it. Would that have to do with my early intervention and being raised NT the majority of my life?

Maybe this is why they are eliminating the Aspergers and PDD-NOS by 2013, I suppose....



Last edited by LuckyLeft on 20 Jul 2011, 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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19 Jul 2011, 12:05 am

LuckyLeft wrote:
. . . I've decided I need to help people like me, whether by researching for a living, or becoming a PT to help autistic kids with their motor skills. . .

I compliment you on wanting to help others. :D Have you thought about medical school and becoming a doctor? I mean, the real thing and why not! The interesting thing, the higher one is in a field, the more idiosyncrasies and quirks are accepted, hopefully because your colleagues are concentrating on what you can do.

The way I understand Asperger's / Autism Spectrum is as certain characteristics:
'clumsy' social skills (although can also be good in some areas)
intense interests
living more an inside life
maybe sensory issues.

I mean, it's definitely a spectrum, and it's not just a one-dimensional spectrum.

---------------

Socially, what's helped me, is the idea of a medium step, getting feedback, another medium step, and so on. May sound quite obvious, but it's helped me quite a bit. And I also like the idea (just in zen-like fashion) of letting a medium mistake simply be a medium mistake.



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19 Jul 2011, 12:10 am

Yes, that's exactly the reason for the change--there's no real gap between AS, PDD-NOS, and classic autism. They're not eliminating AS and PDD-NOS, though; they're merging everything. So in 2013, people like me will no longer be stuck in diagnostic limbo (I have at some time or another been diagnosed with all three).

You are probably, like me and about two-thirds of the Spectrum, PDD-NOS, also known as "atypical autism". Like you, I had odd speech as a child and some difficulty learning to take care of myself, but today I have normal speech (including slang/colloquial when I choose to use it) and don't need help with the basics anymore. The early speech issues ruled out Asperger's and would've meant a classic autism diagnosis in early childhood; but around age nineteen or twenty I had fixed the speech issues, and by twenty-two was living mostly independently (I am still not financially independent), which ruled out classic autism. Thus, PDD-NOS. Welcome to the biggest chunk of the Spectrum. Atypical is typical for autism; odd, no?

People often think that autistic people don't grow and change. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like any child, an autistic child will blossom in a good environment, learning useful skills. Some learn faster than others; some will get to the point where there is no longer any impairment. This group--the "lost diagnosis" group--cannot be diagnosed anymore in adulthood, but will still have the autistic brain that they had when they were little--they have just learned to use it effectively to live in a world where autism is not the norm. But just because you have learned to speak, take care of yourself, and negotiate the world reasonably well, doesn't mean that you are in the "no impairment" category. Autism blends quite smoothly into the typical, and in between typical and obvious autism is a large group of people who are mostly independent, needing some help, usually struggle socially, may need accommodations at school and/or work, and are still using a great deal more effort to do everyday things than NTs do. This is the typical position for the autistic adult--semi-independent, mildly to moderately disabled.

Personally, I think that with the useful therapies available today, we will be able to improve the living situations of autistic adults. Recent developments in disability rights are helping open the workplace and school system so that we can learn and get jobs, and minor accommodations of the sort needed by semi-independent adults are also getting somewhat easier to come by. It's not easy yet--not by a long shot--but we're getting there. I think it's going fast enough that our children will find it easier, and our grandchildren may have full equality.


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19 Jul 2011, 12:16 am

LuckyLeft wrote:
. . . My new obsessive interest became music, I had to gather facts and listen to every form of music that I possibly could. Within six weeks I would know as much of a genre than someone who listened to it in years. I also tried playing instruments, such as the piano. . .

That's a little bit how I drift into new interests. Now, do you have an ability to 'dance' an interest as it were? To try it on and see if you might be interested in it? Whether this interest is architecture or a specific artistic type of building, or something in medicine like influenza or this methicillin-resistant Staph aureus.



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19 Jul 2011, 8:37 am

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
LuckyLeft wrote:
. . . I've decided I need to help people like me, whether by researching for a living, or becoming a PT to help autistic kids with their motor skills. . .

I compliment you on wanting to help others. :D Have you thought about medical school and becoming a doctor? I mean, the real thing and why not! The interesting thing, the higher one is in a field, the more idiosyncrasies and quirks are accepted, hopefully because your colleagues are concentrating on what you can do.

The way I understand Asperger's / Autism Spectrum is as certain characteristics:
'clumsy' social skills (although can also be good in some areas)
intense interests
living more an inside life
maybe sensory issues.

I mean, it's definitely a spectrum, and it's not just a one-dimensional spectrum.

---------------
.
I thought about being a doctor, but my GPA isn't quite high enough, and I don't know if it will be by the time I graduate. I made the Dean's List last school year, but my GPA was around 2.8 after my freshman year. I was so angry about that, (and still kinda am). I felt I was too focused on trying to be like everyone else, and not on my school work. Less attempts of social interaction....better grades. And I thought about the quirks being accepted as well....



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19 Jul 2011, 8:42 am

Callista wrote:
Yes, that's exactly the reason for the change--there's no real gap between AS, PDD-NOS, and classic autism. They're not eliminating AS and PDD-NOS, though; they're merging everything. So in 2013, people like me will no longer be stuck in diagnostic limbo (I have at some time or another been diagnosed with all three).

You are probably, like me and about two-thirds of the Spectrum, PDD-NOS, also known as "atypical autism". Like you, I had odd speech as a child and some difficulty learning to take care of myself, but today I have normal speech (including slang/colloquial when I choose to use it) and don't need help with the basics anymore. The early speech issues ruled out Asperger's and would've meant a classic autism diagnosis in early childhood; but around age nineteen or twenty I had fixed the speech issues, and by twenty-two was living mostly independently (I am still not financially independent), which ruled out classic autism. Thus, PDD-NOS. Welcome to the biggest chunk of the Spectrum. Atypical is typical for autism; odd, no?

People often think that autistic people don't grow and change. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like any child, an autistic child will blossom in a good environment, learning useful skills. Some learn faster than others; some will get to the point where there is no longer any impairment. This group--the "lost diagnosis" group--cannot be diagnosed anymore in adulthood, but will still have the autistic brain that they had when they were little--they have just learned to use it effectively to live in a world where autism is not the norm. But just because you have learned to speak, take care of yourself, and negotiate the world reasonably well, doesn't mean that you are in the "no impairment" category. Autism blends quite smoothly into the typical, and in between typical and obvious autism is a large group of people who are mostly independent, needing some help, usually struggle socially, may need accommodations at school and/or work, and are still using a great deal more effort to do everyday things than NTs do. This is the typical position for the autistic adult--semi-independent, mildly to moderately disabled.

Personally, I think that with the useful therapies available today, we will be able to improve the living situations of autistic adults. Recent developments in disability rights are helping open the workplace and school system so that we can learn and get jobs, and minor accommodations of the sort needed by semi-independent adults are also getting somewhat easier to come by. It's not easy yet--not by a long shot--but we're getting there. I think it's going fast enough that our children will find it easier, and our grandchildren may have full equality.


That's comforting to hear. :)

I don't know how I would go about telling people whenever I get back into the general population. I know there's some people who will think there is nothing wrong with me. I might just keep it to myself......



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19 Jul 2011, 8:45 am

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
LuckyLeft wrote:
. . . My new obsessive interest became music, I had to gather facts and listen to every form of music that I possibly could. Within six weeks I would know as much of a genre than someone who listened to it in years. I also tried playing instruments, such as the piano. . .

That's a little bit how I drift into new interests. Now, do you have an ability to 'dance' an interest as it were? To try it on and see if you might be interested in it? Whether this interest is architecture or a specifitertistic type of building, or something in medicine like influenza or this methicillin-resistant Staph aureus.


I went into specific subgenres at a time. For example, Southern Rap, then East Coast Hip-Hop. Acid Rock, then Progressive Rock. I even went about it by year (1969, 1994, 1971, etc.) But once I stopped, I stopped entirely. I still listen to music from time to time, however



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19 Jul 2011, 11:07 am

Quote:
I don't know how I would go about telling people whenever I get back into the general population. I know there's some people who will think there is nothing wrong with me. I might just keep it to myself......
Your choice :) Most people choose to tell close friends but not everyone in general. There's a good middle ground where you can tell people in general about the specific traits that are relevant to the situation but not actually mention the diagnosis--for example, "I'm really bad at figuring out what people are feeling," or, "The smell of perfume totally gives me a headache." That is sometimes an easier approach because you don't have to give the whole spiel about what autism is and exactly how it affects you.


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19 Jul 2011, 1:13 pm

LuckyLeft wrote:
. . . I noticed my naiveness in the past, and started to not trust anyone, and became angry at myself for letting my 'friends' over the years treat me the way I did, and still call them such. And I pride myself on my honesty, and me thinking that I was 'adapting' throughout middle and high school made me feel I was living a lie. I wasted my higher-range intelligence on trying to be 'normal'. It drove me insane as I picked on the research again around April of this year. The past images of ridicule & dissapointment that played in my brain cause me to speak out loud, whether with profanity or gibberish to get it out of my head. Suicide entered my head often enough. I'm somewhat better now, even though I still deal with the former at times. I figured, (with help) that I couldn't help what happened then. I've decided I need to help people like me . . .

I have had thoughts of suicide, too. And it hit so suddenly it scared me. Then it became this OCD-type thing in which I'm trying to push the thought out or trying not to have the thought, and I'm much more aware of the thought and it's like the thought is in charge, not me.

Well, it's just a thought, like a hundred thousand other thoughts, good, bad, indifferent.

I currently prefer more of a zen approach, the metaphor of the chattering monkey. Also the wave metaphor. The thought rises, but then on it's on accord, it falls. Or, just let the thought bounce around as it will.

It also helps to talk with someone, maybe just our community here. I myself have not had good experiences with so-called mental health professionals. I have gone 0 for 3, or even 0 for 5 if you look at it a different way. One person who was helpful was a speech therapist helping me with my more nasal than average voice, and who I felt I could talk with about social issues. With the psychiatrists, psychologists, etc, I have found them to be egotists, prima donnas, "be righters," ideologues, shoe horners, etc. (By "be righter," I mean, the professional views it as more important that he or she be right, than the client's life going well! It's incredible once you think about it. And by "shoe horner," yes, they're trying to shoe horn you into a particular diagnostic box.) Other people have had more positive experiences, and more power to them. But I really think any field that bats 0 for 3 is actually a pretty mediocre field, let's just say that. The field needs some help.

You might have more luck with just a plain old regular doctor like a family practitioner or internist whom you feel has some horse sense and you can halfway talk with. And the sleep apnea may be relatively easily correctable. Positive air pressure, is it called? A little mask with a machine that keeps the air pressure at a certain minimum and thus keeps the channels open, and then you just breath in and out above this minimum. Or, depending on the specifics, a minor operation that removes the obstruction.

Now, socially, you might be ahead of where I am. I remember getting angry at periodic times at age 24 as I wrote fiction, including joy of life fiction and including erotic fiction, and then remembering times people didn't exactly act in a joy of life fashion but were instead unnecessarily mean or put me down to score points with the group or some BS like that.

I also periodically got angry at age 29 when I was working in my Dad's accounting office (mistake) and my thoughts kind of turned to high school and the times people were mean short of physical violence. I would have to go to the small bathroom and write some of this down and then once on paper it was recorded and then didn't bother me as much (that usually worked, not always).

We as people on the spectrum can definitely learn things including social skills.

About work . . . at a grocery store, I was basically treated as a weird, retarded person. At H&R Block I was treated as a valued co-worked who could help other people including the office manager with the computer system, and who was a positive, constructive person. So there's an inverse relationship. At an "easy" job, things go poorly and I'm treated badly. At a "hard" job, things go relatively well and I'm treated well. (still a lot of random flux, a lot depends on whether the specific people there are positive, constructive people or not) But there really is that inverse relationship.

H&R Block is an unethical company because it does not meaningfully disclose to its clients its practice of third-party bank cross collection. But, it was less unethical company with me working there because I did make an effort to disclose. Which wasn't easy, because the practice is completely out of left field. If the client has the tax prep fee taken out of the refund, that goes through H&R Block's corporate partner bank and the client's entire refund is at risk. (Happens in the neighborhood of 1 out of 100 times)

The other big issue is that a lot of employees are looking forward to the bonus. And it's not my position to rain on someone else's parade, unless maybe I'm specifically asked.

Anyway, I did pretty well with these genuinely difficult social issues. I think the fact that is was a somewhat formalistic setting, and the fact that I got a lot of trial runs with similar conversations. It gave me face-to-face client experience, broadly transferrable.



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19 Jul 2011, 1:30 pm

Callista wrote:
Quote:
I don't know how I would go about telling people whenever I get back into the general population. I know there's some people who will think there is nothing wrong with me. I might just keep it to myself......
Your choice :) Most people choose to tell close friends but not everyone in general. There's a good middle ground where you can tell people in general about the specific traits that are relevant to the situation but not actually mention the diagnosis--for example, "I'm really bad at figuring out what people are feeling," or, "The smell of perfume totally gives me a headache." That is sometimes an easier approach because you don't have to give the whole spiel about what autism is and exactly how it affects you.



I've thought about that, and I wondered if they would ask why and it turns into a much, longer conversation...Which is a area I need to leave alone for now. But I may consider opening up in the future.....



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19 Jul 2011, 1:37 pm

I've already pretty much melded them all in my head.

Autism.

They're all Autism.

The thing is, it's always been different in every single person that has it anyway, no matter what it's called. Two people with Asperger's might be totally different from one another while one person with PDD-NOS might be a lot like someone else with HFA. It's all a spectrum, and Autism encompasses all of them.

It's not really going to change any of us, or how it's dealt with. The only thing that will change is that post like the OP's will eventually not have to be made anymore.

At least it'll be restricted to understanding the more simplified criteria for Autism. There is still going to be some confusion about that.


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19 Jul 2011, 1:40 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
LuckyLeft wrote:
. . . I noticed my naiveness in the past, and started to not trust anyone, and became angry at myself for letting my 'friends' over the years treat me the way I did, and still call them such. And I pride myself on my honesty, and me thinking that I was 'adapting' throughout middle and high school made me feel I was living a lie. I wasted my higher-range intelligence on trying to be 'normal'. It drove me insane as I picked on the research again around April of this year. The past images of ridicule & dissapointment that played in my brain cause me to speak out loud, whether with profanity or gibberish to get it out of my head. Suicide entered my head often enough. I'm somewhat better now, even though I still deal with the former at times. I figured, (with help) that I couldn't help what happened then. I've decided I need to help people like me . . .

I have had thoughts of suicide, too. And it hit so suddenly it scared me. Then it became this OCD-type thing in which I'm trying to push the thought out or trying not to have the thought, and I'm much more aware of the thought and it's like the thought is in charge, not me.

Well, it's just a thought, like a hundred thousand other thoughts, good, bad, indifferent.

I currently prefer more of a zen approach, the metaphor of the chattering monkey. Also the wave metaphor. The thought rises, but then on it's on accord, it falls. Or, just let the thought bounce around as it will.

It also helps to talk with someone, maybe just our community here. I myself have not had good experiences with so-called mental health professionals. I have gone 0 for 3, or even 0 for 5 if you look at it a different way. One person who was helpful was a speech therapist helping me with my more nasal than average voice, and who I felt I could talk with about social issues. With the psychiatrists, psychologists, etc, I have found them to be egotists, prima donnas, "be righters," ideologues, shoe horners, etc. (By "be righter," I mean, the professional views it as more important that he or she be right, than the client's life going well! It's incredible once you think about it. And by "shoe horner," yes, they're trying to shoe horn you into a particular diagnostic box.) Other people have had more positive experiences, and more power to them. But I really think any field that bats 0 for 3 is actually a pretty mediocre field, let's just say that. The field needs some help.

You might have more luck with just a plain old regular doctor like a family practitioner or internist whom you feel has some horse sense and you can halfway talk with. And the sleep apnea may be relatively easily correctable. Positive air pressure, is it called? A little mask with a machine that keeps the air pressure at a certain minimum and thus keeps the channels open, and then you just breath in and out above this minimum. Or, depending on the specifics, a minor operation that removes the obstruction.

Now, socially, you might be ahead of where I am. I remember getting angry at periodic times at age 24 as I wrote fiction, including joy of life fiction and including erotic fiction, and then remembering times people didn't exactly act in a joy of life fashion but were instead unnecessarily mean or put me down to score points with the group or some BS like that.

I also periodically got angry at age 29 when I was working in my Dad's accounting office (mistake) and my thoughts kind of turned to high school and the times people were mean short of physical violence. I would have to go to the small bathroom and write some of this down and then once on paper it was recorded and then didn't bother me as much (that usually worked, not always).

We as people on the spectrum can definitely learn things including social skills.

About work . . . at a grocery store, I was basically treated as a weird, retarded person. At H&R Block I was treated as a valued co-worked who could help other people including the office manager with the computer system, and who was a positive, constructive person. So there's an inverse relationship. At an "easy" job, things go poorly and I'm treated badly. At a "hard" job, things go relatively well and I'm treated well. (still a lot of random flux, a lot depends on whether the specific people there are positive, constructive people or not) But there really is that inverse relationship.

H&R Block is an unethical company because it does not meaningfully disclose to its clients its practice of third-party bank cross collection. But, it was less unethical company with me working there because I did make an effort to disclose. Which wasn't easy, because the practice is completely out of left field. If the client has the tax prep fee taken out of the refund, that goes through H&R Block's corporate partner bank and the client's entire refund is at risk. (Happens in the neighborhood of 1 out of 100 times)

The other big issue is that a lot of employees are looking forward to the bonus. And it's not my position to rain on someone else's parade, unless maybe I'm specifically asked.

Anyway, I did pretty well with these genuinely difficult social issues. I think the fact that is was a somewhat formalistic setting, and the fact that I got a lot of trial runs with similar conversations. It gave me face-to-face client experience, broadly transferrable.


Believe it or not, I'm second guessing whether or not to get surgery or not. I've been like this for so long, I don't know how much I would change. I've felt my sleep apnea helped disguise my eccentric behaviors (or accentuate them, in some cases), and had an easier time masquerading my issues. My doctor said that adenoid removal would be my best chance, but I'm in college, so I have no money for that type of procedure right now. Nor do I have enough for an CPAP (Central Positive Air Pressure) Machine, as the best are for over a grand. I developed a tendency to write down what happened and my thoughts when I'm really angry as well. I stopped doing that not too long the near psychotic episodes that I had. I didn't realize me pushing out my thoughts were OCD, and thought it was more schiz-like if anything.....



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19 Jul 2011, 1:48 pm

LuckyLeft wrote:
. . . Believe it or not, I'm second guessing whether or not to get surgery or not. I've been like this for so long, I don't know how much I would change. I've felt my sleep apnea helped disguise my eccentric behaviors (or accentuate them, in some cases), and had an easier time masquerading my issues. . .

I've kind of used sleep deprivation as my drug of choice, too! The day kind of swims more. Things hurt less. I'm more in the moment.

I do not know whether trying to push a thought out is OCD or not. But I do know that for me it has been counter-productive, and I've had more luck with letting the thought be and just waving at the thought as it were (as if it's a 'frenemy,' the classic friend/enemy). And that's kind of in general line with my approach of 'making friends with my OCD,' which has kind of worked for me, but other people may have had success with other approaches.

---------------------------

I do want to say this about medical school. Yes, the numbers matter as you know. But, as a backup plan, it always seems to be the last educational level. That is, if you went on to grad school and got a masters in biology or chemistry or even something like anthropology, that would de-emphasize your earlier grades and they would mainly focus on these grades. That combined with a good MCAT and you'd have a reasonable chance. And really, good junior and senior grades, even combined with somewhat sketchy freshman grades, and the MCAT of course, you still might have some reasonable chance.

Now, the question is, is this something you want to do? Maybe read some medical school biographies and see what you think. :D



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19 Jul 2011, 4:53 pm

MrXxx wrote:
I've already pretty much melded them all in my head.

Autism.

They're all Autism.

The thing is, it's always been different in every single person that has it anyway, no matter what it's called. Two people with Asperger's might be totally different from one another while one person with PDD-NOS might be a lot like someone else with HFA. It's all a spectrum, and Autism encompasses all of them.

It's not really going to change any of us, or how it's dealt with. The only thing that will change is that post like the OP's will eventually not have to be made anymore.

At least it'll be restricted to understanding the more simplified criteria for Autism. There is still going to be some confusion about that.


I think there's going to be confusion either way, one will have more positives than the other, and we'll find out soon enough. Or the people who'll be diagnosed after 2013.......



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19 Jul 2011, 4:58 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
LuckyLeft wrote:
. . . Believe it or not, I'm second guessing whether or not to get surgery or not. I've been like this for so long, I don't know how much I would change. I've felt my sleep apnea helped disguise my eccentric behaviors (or accentuate them, in some cases), and had an easier time masquerading my issues. . .

I've kind of used sleep deprivation as my drug of choice, too! The day kind of swims more. Things hurt less. I'm more in the moment.

I do not know whether trying to push a thought out is OCD or not. But I do know that for me it has been counter-productive, and I've had more luck with letting the thought be and just waving at the thought as it were (as if it's a 'frenemy,' the classic friend/enemy). And that's kind of in general line with my approach of 'making friends with my OCD,' which has kind of worked for me, but other people may have had success with other approaches.

---------------------------

I do want to say this about medical school. Yes, the numbers matter as you know. But, as a backup plan, it always seems to be the last educational level. That is, if you went on to grad school and got a masters in biology or chemistry or even something like anthropology, that would de-emphasize your earlier grades and they would mainly focus on these grades. That combined with a good MCAT and you'd have a reasonable chance. And really, good junior and senior grades, even combined with somewhat sketchy freshman grades, and the MCAT of course, you still might have some reasonable chance.

Now, the question is, is this something you want to do? Maybe read some medical school biographies and see what you think. :D


I'm definitely going to some sort of post-grad school afterwards, I just haven't decided whether or not it'll be for PT or not. My major will be Biology/Chemistry, more than likely. I will definitely make an attempt of some Med School Bios when I get the chance. I just worry about the amount of money in loans that I will have to pay in the future. That's what my folks tell me!



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19 Jul 2011, 5:18 pm

It's a lot of loans, but you can get a good amount of scholarships just for being a female in a science field. And anyhow, as a college student you'll be used to living on a small amount of money, so when you have a job, just stay at the same level of spending and you'll have them paid off pretty quickly.


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