hi, still questioning, maybe you can help?

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Deej
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14 Sep 2006, 5:47 am

Hi there, thanks for existing :)

I am a 31 year old male.

Apolgies for the length that this is bound to be, I have a lot to get out there right now and waaay to much time!

I certainly have more than enough symptoms, but I am pretty sceptical when it comes to these things. In one sense I would be relieved to finally have an answer, any answer, on the other I have some pretty strong convictions around labels and what they do to people. My doctor suggested that this may be a possibility but I wanted to look into it more before going ahead with a diagnostic process.

The one thing that I was really wondering about when considering whether AS is accurate for me is that I had delayed language development. My early childhood was dominated by a lot of trauma and neglect from my bio-dad. Lots of violence and yelling and general psychiotic behaviour. Talking was making my mother and sister targets, so in theory I stuck to babble and sitting on my feet rocking back and forth and playing quietly. I was often unresponsive to attempts to communicate with me and get my attention. I was initially diagnosed as autistic at that time. I started talking in foster care when I was three and the diagnosis was dropped. My symptoms were attributed to traumatic stress disorder.

By the time I was 6 I was hand-writing, reading newspapers, and teaching my classmates that they were all made of jeans... well, I meant genes, but boy did they laugh at that one.

Some of the 'symptoms' that I do have, you can skip this if you aren't fascinated with other peoples wierdness:

- extreme eye contact aviodance, for my entire life to the point of making other people angry at me. lots of trust issues in relationships because of that.

- fidgiting and minor tics especially when I am stressed, beards, hats, cuticles, snot, dirt under my finger nails, rubbing dead skin off my neck and face... totally gross stuff but I fidgit with all of it

- textural issues, I sucked my thumb into my mid 20's. My pillow had to be crumbly soft with an old soft cotton pillowcase that I would rub between my fingers and against my nose. So much shame in that, but there it is. Funny thing is that I just stopped out of the blue. I need a heavy blanket, even when it is 30 celsius, there are more too

- lots of sleep disturbance issues, insomnia, involutary movements and jerks. Once I am asleep I am hard to wake though and can sleep for 10-12 hours easy.

- advanced vocabulary, I have been far ahead of the curve for most of my life. Always felt more comfortable with adults than other children.

- extreme difficulty 'figuring people out', I have an annoying tendancy to constantly ask my friends and family what other people are thinking, "Do you think she likes me?" is a classic for many people, but I take it to extremes. I don't lack self confidence or have any image issues or the like. I just can't read people very well and am very prone to misreading peoples intentions. I tend to be drawn to people with strong, bossy and direct personalities even though they drive me nuts at the same time.

A funny memory: "Should we go, I think she might be mad?" - meanwhile shes balling and screaming at me and throwing things... "Ya think she might be mad D... do you really think so?" "Well, she asked me what I though of her haircut... so I told her!", "Next time try and be more subtle than 'Did you pay for it?'..."

One of the gazillion example of my uh... unique charm.

- missing social cues, often putting it together hours or even days later. Not to make myself out as some sort of player, but these two story are pretty funny in retrospect.

I once had a girl that I was intensely attracted to step out of her shower wearing only a towel, put her arm up the door frame, show me as much leg as was possible and lower her eyes at me and say "Isn't it nice that it's finally just the two of us here?" I said, "Yeah, we don't get to spend much time together" and went back to studiously flipping the french toast... DOH! It's nice that I can laugh about it now.

On the other side of the issue, another girl that I was attracted to had been very forward with me the night before. The next day I phoned her up for coffee, she came over to my house, sat down on the couch and asked "How are you?"..."Actually I'm pretty horny!", she looks at the ground "We'll we'd better get you out there and meet someone for ya." We had a very uncomfortable coffee. I was so ashamed and emberrassed that I just totally melted down. That night I left a nasty note on her door calling her all kinds of terrible things. Years later we talked it out, she was very, very nice for leaving it at "Sometimes we all go a little nuts, thank you so much for apologizing", we were never close again though.

Yeah, all of these things are starting to make a lot more sense...

- use of humor especially wordplay, oh yes... my day to day humor is all about opinting out the absurdity of the little (and sometimes big) games that people play and the wierd things that people say without realizing what they are saying. I thought that I was just more clever than them, but now I am learning that I may actually live on a whole nother planet, Literalis. No one can stand watching the news with me, I just fire quip after quip and can get myself laughing to tears without having any idea how annoying I'm being.

- obsessive interests, spent most of my teens in the basement making games, about anything, sports, war, roleplaying, fast food, ecology. Whatever I wanted to understand I would make a game out of it. For example I was interested in the rise and fall of ancient empires, Alexander the Great in particular, when I was in grade 6 I would make gigantic maps of fantasy worlds with incredibly ingenous game-systems that would create the history and culture of these fantasy worlds with a few rolls of the dice. I would sudiously create detailed maps for each era and big historical events. I could spend entire days doing this, and often did.

I am still prone to this kind of thing, but I am a bit better about focusing my interests on things that are a bit more practical like computing or arts. That doesn't stop me from playing an online soccer management 'game'; going over the stats, making new tactics, trading 'players' compulsively, watching my matches over and over again and analysing every tactical nuance for several hours a day. Even when there is nothing to do in the game but wait till the next 'match' is played several days later. It's a fun game, but 2 hours a week would be sufficient if I was able to control my obsession.

Hmmmm... Is dork as cool as geek yet?

- savant like creative side, I am a very talented artist, singer, musician, dancer, producer, writer, poet and actor. I hate to talk about it actually, but every time I try anything creative I immediatley excel far beyond any training that I could possibly have. I don't even know what I am doing, but I have had many people say that I am tuned into "something that the rest of us don't have access to" or that I am "magical"... eck, gag. Interestingly, once I am "found out" like that, I lose a signifigant amount of interest and ability in whatever it was and move onto something else. All I know is that as long as I can keep my ego out of the process I can astound myself and everyone who sees or hears what I am doing. It's harder to do when you have other peoples accolades come into the process. I have kept more and more of my talents "secret" and purely for my own enjoyment as time has moved on.

The one that I have avoided the most is acting, it scares me how easily I loose myself and become someone else. It really creeps me out. The thing that really makes all of this 'savant-like' is that I can't life draw, read music, remember lines, understand anything about compositional theories or scales, write a novel, comprehend poetic rules or tango for the life of me. I have tried and tried to learn 'skills', but all I have is engulphing, overwhelming, out of my mind talent for being talented. Sometimes my creative energy is so intense that I feel like I am going to explode.

- innapropriate behavior, as mentioned above, you don't want to ask me how I am doing... I will tell you exactly how I am doing. Bosses hate that. It wasn't till I started reading up on AS that I realized that they don't actually want to know. I really had no idea and thought that it was kind of rude to ask when you don't care. I get very confused by "Whats up?" or any sort of 'figurative' speach. It takes me time to process subtlies and innuendo. Over the years I learned to pass off these social problems with a persona of "cool detatched mystery". I pretend like I know exactly what is going on, but I am too 'cool' to acknowledge it. Which is kind of sad.

- clumsiness when I was young. I didn't lack in athletic ability, but I could never remember the less obvious rules while I was actually playing. I was always getting called for 'three in the key' or offsides in soccer. I drove coaches nuts. I wasn't able to ride a bike untill I was 15 years old. This has gotten better after much effort at improving my co-ordination, but I still get "lost in the game" when playing sports. I do have very good foot and hand-eye co-ordination.

When I am 'in the zone' I am quite a good athelete. I can also remember every minute detail of those moments and replay them over in my head years later. What may take only seconds on the field will just slow right down and I feel like I am moving in slow motion. The same thing happens when I am dancing, I move 'inside' the music and can intuitivley pick up on shifts and flows within songs that I have never heard before. I can't play drums, but I can drum along with the most complex rhythms and fills. It's like I actually slip into the future a bit... I know that sounds crazy, but it is exactly what it feels like. Its so slow and peacefull there, even if the music is roaring along at 180 beats a second.

- isolating. I do tend to isolate, and am presently in one of those fazes. I am fortunate that I am tall and somewhat attractive and was a 'sexy' dancer from what I hear, and that has made it a bit easier for me with women.

One coping technique that I have used to get past my shyness and build up some friendships was to befriend the most eccentric outgoing social-butterfly that I could find. I met one person in the 'city' in 10 years of living there, she was bouncing around the dancefloor mocking everyone behind thier back and wearing crazy 70's retro clothes. I walked up to her and tapped her on the shoulder, she spun around and yelled "What the hell do you want?", I knew that was the right person for my 'needs'. I fumbled out that I just wanted to introduce myself and invited her out for coffee. Every friend that I had there could be traced back to that one awesome person, even if her haircut was pretty brutal.

I tend to be very loyal to a fault to the people who 'understand me' and have little tolerance for all of the 'effort' of making new friends 'up to speed'.

- difficulty in crowds, I am very good with people one on one, when there is only one person to deal with, if you put two people in the same room as me I get very quiet. What I am actually doing is watching everything that they are doing and trying to learn about them by watching how they interact with other people. Never really thought about it too much before, but I am begining to see why I would do that.

-overwhelm, I was the worst line-cook ever. Just terrible. Give me 10 bills and I would be standing there reading them over and over trying to remember what I was doing. I eventually learned to cope and developed systems and routines that would get me through a rush, but it was hell for me to manage that many things going on all at once. If something unexpected came up... who the hell goes to a pub and orders a $25 steak dinner anyways... it could completely melt me down. Fortunatley I worked with a friend who whas very understanding. I was much better with pizza, one pie at a time I can do.

- repetativeness, you wouldn't believe how much editing it has taken me to write this out. For every three sentances I write one of them is just repeating the same thing that I just wrote in a different way... uuugghhh.

- self absorbed - ya think?

If you have read this self-involved drivel this far, thank you.

Thats all I got for now, but really there is so much more, and I have a lot of questions.

How critical is the language onset issue? It seems to be very emphasized in the diagnosis. Does the rest of this sound like AS? From what I have read it seems to, but you guys would know better than I.

Thanks for taking the time,

D



alex
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14 Sep 2006, 7:49 am

Welcome. I don't think there is a language delay for people with Asperger's Syndrome. Is that what you're asking?


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larsenjw92286
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14 Sep 2006, 10:05 am

Hi!

Welcome to Wrongplanet!

I hope you enjoy posting here!


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superfantastic
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14 Sep 2006, 11:13 am

Hi and welcome,
you do sound like an aspie but maybe something else also. Maybe HFA (high-functioning autism) because of the language delays, but that might just be a result of a traumatic childhood.



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14 Sep 2006, 11:14 am

I think the explaination for the language delay is logical...you were aware that you were not on a safe environment and compensated.It is difficult to remember every thing from that age put some traumas are seard into our brains.retreating to your own world is something that AS people can do well and will do when dealing with stressors....so,I dont think that it "excludes" you.Alot of the other stuff points to AS(I'm sure you know that because you knew enough to list traits "specific" to AS.)Nobody can DX over the internet....takes specialist alot of time to know what to ask and how to analyse info.There are so many elements to consider and when we look at our self I think we can put a magnifying glass on certain aspects and blinders on for things that dont fit(at least I do).or sometimes the opposite...I have thought ...there is NOWAY I have AS because.....and when I bring it up with the specialist I am seeing ,he will say....wrong....that doesnt exclude you....it is confusing...


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Jutty
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14 Sep 2006, 12:54 pm

trying to figure out which forum this post is in.



pluto
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14 Sep 2006, 3:43 pm

Hi and welcome
I don't think language delay is a major factor,but I've read that if
you're talking about infant years then only 50% of those with AS
are 'fluent' at 5 years of age,according to research reported by
the expert Tony Attwood. It must be difficult to tell at that age if
you are just quieter for other reasons
A lot of Aspies actually go on to overtake others in terms of
language skills and wordplay. From your post that seems to be one of your own gifts and the other traits you mention seem to point towards
the possibility of AS.



Deej
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14 Sep 2006, 7:30 pm

Thank you all for your insights.

I had my intake at metal health today and have an appointment with a psychologist for November to look into this and some other issues that I am having.