Page 1 of 2 [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Tudball
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 25

26 Aug 2011, 11:00 pm

Hello, I'm a 17 year-old first-year University student from the United Kingdom. I don't usually like to drone on about myself, but I'd appreciate any input.

When I was about 6 or 7, I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. I had poor motor skills, severe anxiety, obsessive tendencies, poor social skills and blinkered fascinations with obscure topics (school shooters, North Korea, China, etc.). These characteristics seemed to indicate Asperger's Syndrome. I had terrible trouble in school, especially after my family moved to Canada. I was placed in a behaviour class, and was monitored by an educational assistant. I was prone to frequent melt-downs, usually brought on by my anxiety. Eventually, my Mum pulled me out, and I was home-schooled. Afterwards, I decided to go back to school, and although I still suffer from social anxiety (not uncommon), the traits associated with Asperger's Syndrome no longer seem to dominate my behaviour. I am now a fairly sociable person, despite my anxiety, and I feel that I present myself as a pleasant and calm individual.

My Mum feels that it was a misdiagnosis, and that my behaviour was entirely the result of my anxiety. We looked up the symptoms of a variety of different diagnoses, and she feels that 'gifted' best represented my behaviour as a child. Personally, I dislike being labelled, especially as something as obscure as 'gifted'. I'm not sure that I agree. Even today, I am absolutely fascinated by North Korea. I have been ever since I was a little boy, and I'm planning to work as a developmental economist in the country when I finish my education. (Unfortunately, that means attending Oxford / Cambridge / LSE for graduate studies! Who knew you needed to be so qualified? 8O )

I know that my diagnosis isn't important in the long-run, but it would be nice to know what was up when I was a little guy!

Thanks, guys! :D



Callista
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Age: 36
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,395
Location: Ohio, USA

26 Aug 2011, 11:15 pm

Autistic kids learn stuff. By the time they're adults, they know a lot more than they did when they were little. The idea that if you're autistic when you're seven, you'll still be exactly the same when you're 17--total fallacy. You'll have learned a LOT. It's pretty normal for an autistic seven-year-old just getting the hang of conversations to be in a mainstream classroom at 17, or for a socially awkward seven-year-old to appear neurotypical by seventeen.

I'm the opposite of you, BTW: I was thought to be "gifted" as a child and am now known to be autistic. They are easily confused because of how obvious the autistic person's skill in their areas of strength can be.

Gifted typical kids tend to be socially gifted too, but it's not impossible, I guess, to have delayed social skills plus giftedness... honestly, though, that kind of a jagged skill profile generally makes me think "autism".

It could just be that you learned enough that you no longer have autism-related impairments, in which case you'd be a "lost diagnosis" rather than a misdiagnosis. The difference is that if you had the diagnosis at one point but it no longer applies, your brain's still wired in the autistic style. Diagnosing someone who hasn't got any impairment is pretty nonsensical, thus the "lost diagnosis" phenomenon.

If you're still doing fine socially and taking care of yourself without any problems by the time you're living on your own (rather than in a dorm), you can probably safely say that you're no longer diagnosable. Autism shows up the most dramatically when you are expected to have major increases in independence: 2-3 years (speech and end of infancy); 5 years (school); 12 years (junior high); 18 years (university), and whatever time you first move into your own apartment and attempt to support yourself by your own income. If it doesn't show up at that last stage of independence, you can safely say that, autistic wiring or not, you can't be diagnosed.


_________________
Reports from a Resident Alien:
http://chaoticidealism.livejournal.com

Autism Memorial:
http://autism-memorial.livejournal.com


League_Girl
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 23,609
Location: Pacific Northwest

26 Aug 2011, 11:28 pm

It did sound like you have it so it's hard to tell if you have it now. You may have learned to adapt.



Tuttle
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,172
Location: Massachusetts

26 Aug 2011, 11:52 pm

Am another one of those who when young was considered "gifted" and who now has gotten an AS diagnosis.


To me it sounds like you learned enough coping skills that you're no longer diagnosable - apparently that happens to something like 20% of cases. At this point you have the autistic brain wiring, but not the impairments that lead to a diagnosis, and you wouldn't be able to get a diagnosis now.

We have no way to get enough information to determine whether it was a misdiagnosis or a case of a "lost diagnosis", but do know that the lost diagnosis isn't actually that uncommon.



Tudball
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 25

27 Aug 2011, 12:04 am

Well, I've always being considered gifted. My mathematics skills were apparently "off the charts". In Canada, they administer tests for the gifted programme when you are about 11 or 12. I wasn't admitted, however, because I under-performed in the creative thinking section. To be honest, I remember not understanding the question at all! :oops:

I have a nifty ability to visualise and conceptualise mathematics problems in my head. When I was younger, I always found my own methods of solving maths problems (which, admittedly, were convoluted and nontransferable). I attributed that to Asperger's Syndrome, but I'm not sure if maths skills are a common AS trait?

I'm actually pig-ignorant on this subject, which is why I appreciate all of your input! :D The possibility of it being a "lost diagnosis" does seem plausible. When did you get your Asperger's Syndrome diagnoses? Is 6 or 7 too early to tell, usually?



Tuttle
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,172
Location: Massachusetts

27 Aug 2011, 12:13 am

Tudball wrote:
I'm actually pig-ignorant on this subject, which is why I appreciate all of your advice! :D The possibility of it being a "lost diagnosis" does seem plausible. When did you get your Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis? Is 6 or 7 too early to tell, usually?


6 or 7 isn't usually too early to tell - I think 6-12 is the most common age range for diagnosis. However, you can't know when someone is 7 what they will be like when they're 25. Some people do learn coping skills better, and do find ways to make up for their impairments until the point that they're not impairing them anymore. In those cases, its not that they weren't diagnosable when they were kids, its that they no longer meet the diagnostic criteria.


Personally, I didn't get my official diagnosis until I was 22. However, when I was 13 is when the idea of me being an aspie first came up. I self-diagnosed at age 13 after a psychologist who was not qualified to diagnose me told me that I was probably an aspie. My case however does need to take into account that I'm female, and that they don't like diagnosing females - some people think its a "male's disorder" and don't let the idea that a female is possibly on the spectrum enter their mind.


As for whether math skills are an AS trait - I've found that aspies tend to be at the extremes much more often than NTs for math - both at the top and at the bottom. This only makes me want to teach aspies math more.

However, finding alternate methods to solve problems such as those in math is an aspie trait.



SammichEater
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Mar 2011
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,903

27 Aug 2011, 12:34 am

Callista wrote:
I'm the opposite of you, BTW: I was thought to be "gifted" as a child and am now known to be autistic. They are easily confused because of how obvious the autistic person's skill in their areas of strength can be.


Me too. Before I knew about AS I just assumed that it was due to my giftedness, however it is apparent that this is not the case. I've always had many of the characteristics of giftedness, but even when I'm around other intelligent people of my age, I just don't connect with them.

Tuttle wrote:
6 or 7 isn't usually too early to tell - I think 6-12 is the most common age range for diagnosis. However, you can't know when someone is 7 what they will be like when they're 25. Some people do learn coping skills better, and do find ways to make up for their impairments until the point that they're not impairing them anymore. In those cases, its not that they weren't diagnosable when they were kids, its that they no longer meet the diagnostic criteria.


I've displayed some aspie traits ever since the age of around 3. I don't think I could have been diagnosed until I was at least 8 though, and from the ages of 11-12 I almost didn't have any symptoms. But since then, it would take an extremely incompetent psychiatrist not to diagnose me with AS.

Tuttle wrote:
However, finding alternate methods to solve problems such as those in math is an aspie trait.


And one of my favorite ones. :D


_________________
Remember, all atrocities begin in a sensible place.


Last edited by SammichEater on 27 Aug 2011, 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

anneurysm
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,243
Location: Ontario, Canada

27 Aug 2011, 1:38 am

Tuttle wrote:
To me it sounds like you learned enough coping skills that you're no longer diagnosable - apparently that happens to something like 20% of cases. At this point you have the autistic brain wiring, but not the impairments that lead to a diagnosis, and you wouldn't be able to get a diagnosis now.


Strongly agreed with this. What I'm wondering is where those 20% of those people are, how they function, and if they have problems in areas unrelated to AS (i.e. anxiety, depression).

To Tudball: I'm in the same boat as you. It doesn't mean that AS is completely eliminated from our systems though, since our default brain wiring may be one of a genuinely AS individual. We also still continue to have traits, although we may not meet the criteria for a full diagnosis...like you, I have good social skills but strong obsessions,. It's all about how you manage these traits that make a difference.


_________________
I am an anomaly. Diagnosed with borderline,"tentative" Aspergers at 7 as the school board required me to have a label in order to receive special education services. I did not fit criteria for ASD but that was the closest label that fit my behaviour at the time.

My longtime psychiatrist has confirmed that I do not qualify for an ASD diagnosis (but have traits & OCD-like traits).

Mostly keeping a distance from ASD-related things (including WP).


littlelily613
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Feb 2011
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,608
Location: Canada

27 Aug 2011, 12:16 pm

It does seem like you have had many Aspergers traits. That being said, you also had intense anxiety (which you said brought on your meltdowns). While many people with Aspergers do have co-morbid anxiety, it is also possible for non-autistic people to have anxiety that produces autistic-like symptoms in some people. These symptoms come from the anxiety (ie. the anxiety was there first, and not the autistic-like traits) and--although they may be long-term--those traits are not permanent. If your anxiety was first, then you likely just had/have anxiety. If your autistic traits were first, then it is possible you had both mild AS and anxiety and learned coping strategies for the AS. While a lot of people with AS are misdiagnosed with something else, people seem to miss the fact that people can be misdiagnosed WITH AS too.


_________________
Diagnosed with classic Autism
AQ score= 48
PDD assessment score= 170 (severe PDD)
EQ=8 SQ=93 (Extreme Systemizer)
Alexithymia Quiz=164/185 (high)


Wayne
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 15 Nov 2009
Age: 45
Gender: Male
Posts: 365

27 Aug 2011, 6:31 pm

Callista wrote:
I'm the opposite of you, BTW: I was thought to be "gifted" as a child and am now known to be autistic. They are easily confused because of how obvious the autistic person's skill in their areas of strength can be.


So autistic people aren't considered "gifted" even if they have high intelligence? Bummer.



littlelily613
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Feb 2011
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,608
Location: Canada

27 Aug 2011, 7:21 pm

Wayne wrote:
Callista wrote:
I'm the opposite of you, BTW: I was thought to be "gifted" as a child and am now known to be autistic. They are easily confused because of how obvious the autistic person's skill in their areas of strength can be.


So autistic people aren't considered "gifted" even if they have high intelligence? Bummer.


I think you can be both. :?


_________________
Diagnosed with classic Autism
AQ score= 48
PDD assessment score= 170 (severe PDD)
EQ=8 SQ=93 (Extreme Systemizer)
Alexithymia Quiz=164/185 (high)


Callista
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Age: 36
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,395
Location: Ohio, USA

27 Aug 2011, 10:02 pm

Wayne wrote:
Callista wrote:
I'm the opposite of you, BTW: I was thought to be "gifted" as a child and am now known to be autistic. They are easily confused because of how obvious the autistic person's skill in their areas of strength can be.


So autistic people aren't considered "gifted" even if they have high intelligence? Bummer.
They can be. That's called "twice-exceptional", when you're both. But giftedness can hide autism so easily, and autism can be mistaken for giftedness; and anyway, IQ tests are close to inapplicable when it comes to autism.

As best I can tell, if you're autistic and you're mistaken for gifted, chances are your areas of talent will be in the gifted range, even if your overall IQ score is in the average or even below-average range. That's what fools them--the assumption that if your talents are in the gifted range, then all your other skills will be, too. That doesn't work if you're autistic.

If they mistake you for NT gifted and you're autistic (gifted or not), they'll assume you're "underachieving" in your areas of weakness.

If they mistake you for autistic and you're actually NT gifted, then you might end up with treatment you don't need and a stereotype that applies even less than it does to autistics.

If they correctly diagnose the autism but don't take your talents into account (whether you're gifted or not), then you end up having everybody concentrate on your weaknesses, and you don't get to develop your talents.

So, however way it goes, it's not good. It all comes from people assuming that a simple word like "gifted" or "autistic" can mean anything globally about a person.


_________________
Reports from a Resident Alien:
http://chaoticidealism.livejournal.com

Autism Memorial:
http://autism-memorial.livejournal.com


kfisherx
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Nov 2010
Age: 56
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,192

27 Aug 2011, 10:54 pm

Uh.... my official DX (or rather non-official since I won't let them write it on paper) is Gifted/ASD.

So yeah.. It is possible.



Meow101
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Age: 57
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,700
Location: USA

27 Aug 2011, 10:54 pm

Wayne wrote:
Callista wrote:
I'm the opposite of you, BTW: I was thought to be "gifted" as a child and am now known to be autistic. They are easily confused because of how obvious the autistic person's skill in their areas of strength can be.


So autistic people aren't considered "gifted" even if they have high intelligence? Bummer.


One can be both gifted and have AS. I was in gifted classes in school, but I also have AS. While my intelligence and academic skills are fine, my social skills and emotional communication suck.

~Kate


_________________
Ce e amorul? E un lung
Prilej pentru durere,
Caci mii de lacrimi nu-i ajung
Si tot mai multe cere.
--Mihai Eminescu


Callista
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Age: 36
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,395
Location: Ohio, USA

28 Aug 2011, 1:12 am

Yeah, I didn't mean you can't be both. Of course you can. It's just that autism can be mistaken for giftedness when giftedness (as defined by "significantly higher than average ability in most or all areas of development") is not actually present. This is a problem because autism means there are real impairments present and they can go unnoticed and unaccommodated when people think that you are "just a gifted child".

If you're autistic, you are probably simultaneously really good at some things and really bad at other things--even if those average out to the normal range. But if they see the "really good" skills and mistake you for gifted, that can be a problem, because they're not going to have a clue that the "really bad" skills even exist. Of course the opposite can happen--they just see the "really bad" areas and think you've got a global delay. Not good either way.


_________________
Reports from a Resident Alien:
http://chaoticidealism.livejournal.com

Autism Memorial:
http://autism-memorial.livejournal.com