Anyone got the answers to these questions?

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rebbieh
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12 May 2012, 4:49 pm

1. How is it possible for me to have AS? Is it genetic? I mean, the only one in my family diagnosed with an ASD is my cousin. He's got classic autism (and epilepsy). My mum probably has OCD and/or ADD/ADHD. How could I have AS (I'm not officially diagnosed yet by the way)?

2. Is it possible for AS "symptoms" to worsen with age? I've shown some traits my whole life (lack of eye contact and pretend play, social issues, started walking and swimming late etc) but some traits have become more visible later in life. My sensory issues and my adherence to routines are examples of that. I think I've always had problems with it, but they've become more visible since I moved away from home and started to take care of myself. Is that normal?

3. Anyone got any advice on what to do when I experience serious anxiety? I try to calm myself down in various ways but I often end up violently ruffle and pull my hair (not pull it out, just pull it) or hit my head with my hands.



edgewaters
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12 May 2012, 4:56 pm

In answer to question 2, I would say that yes it can get worse as you get older. Not because the condition itself is actually progressing - more because the gap between you and others becomes more and more blatant, which turns into something of a vicious cycle. The stress causes more anxiety, the anxiety causes your problems to be less easy to manage, meaning you function less well, meaning the gap widens even more, which causes more stress, which causes more anxiety, and so on.

It's particularly true when you go from the structured environment of school with its clearcut expectations to the unstructured adult world.

Of course it can be managed it just means you have to put extra effort into things, the more you manage it now, the less of a vicious cycle you will get into. At age 21 I think you have good probability to manage it once you're aware of the cycle, while the gap with your peers is still not so wide.



Last edited by edgewaters on 12 May 2012, 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kill231
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12 May 2012, 4:59 pm

rebbieh wrote:
1. How is it possible for me to have AS? Is it genetic? I mean, the only one in my family diagnosed with an ASD is my cousin. He's got classic autism (and epilepsy). My mum probably has OCD and/or ADD/ADHD. How could I have AS (I'm not officially diagnosed yet by the way)?

2. Is it possible for AS "symptoms" to worsen with age? I've shown some traits my whole life (lack of eye contact and pretend play, social issues, started walking and swimming late etc) but some traits have become more visible later in life. My sensory issues and my adherence to routines are examples of that. I think I've always had problems with it, but they've become more visible since I moved away from home and started to take care of myself. Is that normal?

3. Anyone got any advice on what to do when I experience serious anxiety? I try to calm myself down in various ways but I often end up violently ruffle and pull my hair (not pull it out, just pull it) or hit my head with my hands.






1 The genes from all of that may of combined in some sort to give you AS

2 and 3 ???????


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MotherKnowsBest
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12 May 2012, 5:00 pm

1. Research has shown that AS has a very strong genetic component but that there are other, as yet unidentified factors too. AS is polygenic, which means there are several genes involved, so no everyone in a family has it, although research has again shown that family members without AS are much more likely to have AS traits.

2. It is possible for AS symptoms to get worse with age. It varies from person to person. Some traits may improve, others may deteriorate. I found I sudden got a lot worse because I reached a point where trying to fit in became too exhausting. I couldn't keep it up any longer.

3. The key for me is to try and stop anxiety getting bad in the first place. Personally, once I reach the point where it is severe, there is little I can do, other than go to bed and try to sleep it away. Think about the anxiety triggers and work out ways to avoid them.



Rebel_Nowe
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12 May 2012, 5:08 pm

1) Though there do seem to be genetic components to ASDs, they can come from totally nowhere. Also, your family clearly has some unstable brain genetics. Any genetic instability of the brain genes seems to cause various mental illnesses and disorders to run in a family.

2) It's totally normal for such traits to at least become more apparent as one ages. The older you get, the more responsibility you have, the bigger and more difficult to deal with the world becomes. This leads people (not just people with ASDs) to look for some way to control their worlds. A lot of psychological pain in the world comes from people warping their views of reality unrealistically to feel as though they have more control, but that's a different discussion altogether. >_> What I'm getting at is that people was AS tend to control their world by ordering it in particular ways and then protecting that order. It only makes sense for that to increase as there becomes more world to order.

3) Try listening to your body before you get that stressed. I find that I don't reach levels of minor self harm, if I let myself stim like crazy in lesser ways, before I get to self harm, during times of high anxiety. You could also look into some cheap, homeopathic anti anxiety pills. CVS and walmart carry Hyland's Nerve Tonic, and it works wonders for me. Someone has been buying out the 50 count at my CVS like crazy for a while now, though, forcing me to half sprint through walmart once every two weeks. >_>



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12 May 2012, 5:11 pm

Also, it's not long term advice, but your age is listed as 21... and nothing can bring me down from meltdown or near meltdown states quite like a few shots of rum. I don't seriously recommend this outside of emergencies, though. <_<



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12 May 2012, 5:55 pm

1) Nobody was diagnosed with it before the 90s, so it's possible that somewhere along the line, someone in your family had it and didn't know. It's also possible that it comes from a combination of traits.

(In my case, my mom has anxiety/depression and possibly mild OCD, and my dad may have mild ADHD. So it could be a combination of their traits. However, I also suspect that my uncle has Asperger's, though he was never diagnosed. So it could have been passed down through one side of the family, unbeknownst to anyone.)

2) I suppose it's possible. I thought that about myself at one point, but in retrospect, I was just becoming more aware of my own behaviors.

3) Just excuse yourself if you're in a public setting and go someplace private to work it out. IMO, There's nothing wrong with what you're doing, as long as you're not hurting yourself.



rebbieh
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13 May 2012, 1:06 am

scubasteve wrote:
1) Nobody was diagnosed with it before the 90s, so it's possible that somewhere along the line, someone in your family had it and didn't know. It's also possible that it comes from a combination of traits.

(In my case, my mom has anxiety/depression and possibly mild OCD, and my dad may have mild ADHD. So it could be a combination of their traits. However, I also suspect that my uncle has Asperger's, though he was never diagnosed. So it could have been passed down through one side of the family, unbeknownst to anyone.)


That's true. I don't really suspect anyone else has got Asperger's but I wouldn't be surprised if my aunt and my grandmother have either Schizoid or Avoidant Personality Disorder. But they might just be extreme introverts. I dont' know. All I know is my cousin's got classic autism and that my mum probably would've been diagnosed with either ADD or ADHD and perhaps OCD when she was a child if those diagnoses would've existed back then. I'm pretty sure I've got AS. At least that's the best explanation I've come across.

scubasteve wrote:
2) I suppose it's possible. I thought that about myself at one point, but in retrospect, I was just becoming more aware of my own behaviors.


Yes, it might be the same for me. I might just be more aware of my "odd" behaviours nowadays. But I do think some of it has gotten worse with age. It's probably a mixture of those two.

scubasteve wrote:
3) Just excuse yourself if you're in a public setting and go someplace private to work it out. IMO, There's nothing wrong with what you're doing, as long as you're not hurting yourself.


I've only recently realised that I'm a bit self-harming. I have been my whole life, but I didn't realise until recently. Whenever I think of the word "self-harming" I think of cutting and things like that, which is something I've never done. But I guess hitting/banging my head, sometimes (quite rarely) slapping my face and pulling my hair are self-harming behaviours as well.



HK416N
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13 May 2012, 1:30 am

dunno bout first q
2 yes can get worse over time.. I used to suck stuff up.. sponge so that no1 saw.. it is bad
3 for nerves try grab yer hair.. as much as u can and pull it all at once.. dont try to rip out.. just pull and feel it



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13 May 2012, 1:36 am

hair pulling is not always bad.. try pull and hold steady for long time.. feel it and head muscle go soft... head stops hurting dis way
even easier if other ppl do it for you... its not weird



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13 May 2012, 3:59 am

2) I just wanted to point out that it can also get better with age, just as it can get worse. Whether your AS itself gets better or worse, you'll probably learn to compensate better, so that's something positive. It's unlikely that you'll "unlearn" compensating (though you may just choose to stop doing it).

For me it has gotten easier. I was definitely more obvious as a kid (looking back now) and other people also tended to treat me as weird more frequently then than now. At the same time I thought I was more different as I got older. At first these two observations seemed contradictory, but then I realised that they're not: as I became more aware of my differences I learnt to compensate for them better, so that others became less aware of them. Some stuff that used to be hard is now almost natural to me, like asking staff where to find something in a supermarket.



rebbieh
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13 May 2012, 2:56 pm

FMX wrote:
2) I just wanted to point out that it can also get better with age, just as it can get worse. Whether your AS itself gets better or worse, you'll probably learn to compensate better, so that's something positive. It's unlikely that you'll "unlearn" compensating (though you may just choose to stop doing it).

For me it has gotten easier. I was definitely more obvious as a kid (looking back now) and other people also tended to treat me as weird more frequently then than now. At the same time I thought I was more different as I got older. At first these two observations seemed contradictory, but then I realised that they're not: as I became more aware of my differences I learnt to compensate for them better, so that others became less aware of them. Some stuff that used to be hard is now almost natural to me, like asking staff where to find something in a supermarket.


How'd you learn to "compensate for them better"?



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13 May 2012, 8:12 pm

rebbieh wrote:
How'd you learn to "compensate for them better"?


Partly by observing other people and imitating them. Partly by reasoning about things that NTs just get intuitively. Until I found out about AS I assumed that's how everyone learnt.

As an example, joining a group of people at a party used to be a near-impossibility for me unless someone more or less grabbed me by the hand and led me there (or least said "hey, FMX, come and join us"). It seemed really awkward to me and kind of rude - like I'd be "interrupting" them. When I'm in some interesting conversation with a person I don't want someone else joining in! But through years of observation I learnt that others are not like me. They don't seem to mind if you just walk up - so I tried it anyway, even though it seemed weird. It didn't work so well at first, but over time I continued observing and refined my rules. I realised things like:

*) The social rules at a party are a bit different to other settings. Every person there has implied some degree of willingness to talk to people they don't know just by attending.
*) If 2-3 people look to be in a deep, serious discussion then walking up to them is not a good idea, but walking up to a larger group that look to be joking around is probably fine.
*) If you walk up confidently, like you're meant to be there, with a smile and a nod this is likely to be accepted. If you have fear and anxiety written all over you people really will look at you weird.

Easier said than done and I'm by no means great at this now, but I'm a lot better than I used to be and it does get easier with practice. It still feels a bit wrong, but I know on a rational level it's likely to be OK, so I do it - and it usually is. Taking things literally is another thing that you can compensate for by learning to look for an alternative meaning. If a statement seems a bit odd in the literal sense you can look for another sense. That also gets easier with practice and you learn more and more specified phrases that have figurative meanings over time. This is what I mean by compensating.



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14 May 2012, 12:26 am

yea.. if you dont get sumthing.. can just pretend they said stuff u did get..
NT seems they dont wanna say stuf rlly anyways.. just talk for talkin.. not mean to understand
try fix that and they get mad at u... fake it and yer good.. hate it.. but works.. :(



rebbieh
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14 May 2012, 9:42 am

I've actually got another question as well (yes, I like asking questions). So question number 4: is it normal to not really wanting to socialise with people if you've got AS or is that a trait of Schizoid Personality Disorder? I guess SPD could be a comorbid, right? I mean, I want friends, but often (not all the time) I just feel like I don't want to socialise with people or that I don't have enough energy to do so.