How do you feel about your diagnosis?

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MingyJongo75
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02 Jul 2012, 12:21 am

Sorry if you feel I am being too direct about the title. I am trying to get volunteers for my college social science paper. I had to choose a "group", so to speak, that represents a part of myself and write a report based on that "group." Autism is the only thing that comes to mind. I have my own experiences considering I have HFA myself, but I want to get to know you. To reevaluate, I have a few specific questions. Did your self-perception change from receiving your diagnosis? Do you see autism as an identity or a handicap? If you had a serum that could "cure" you of autism, would you take it? How do you compare yourself to "neurotypical" persons if you feel any different from them? How does the autism affect your academic and social lives?



Radiofixr
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02 Jul 2012, 1:13 am

I have had it all my life it is who I am and when I finally found out what it was for sure I now had a name and now still live with it every day-and no I would not take a serum as a cure-I am who I am so I will keep it-I have no social life and it made me good in my career in electronics.


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Callista
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02 Jul 2012, 1:29 am

MingyJongo75 wrote:
Did your self-perception change from receiving your diagnosis?
Not appreciably. I knew I was different; autism just meant I had a name for it.

Quote:
Do you see autism as an identity or a handicap?
Both. Autism is a part of who I am; disability itself is a part of who I am, and can be a positive identity. I don't think the value of a human being has anything to do with their skills or deficits; and I don't think disability has anything to do with whether your life is better or worse than anybody else's. Disability is a neutral fact for me, part of my normal life.

Quote:
If you had a serum that could "cure" you of autism, would you take it?
If I had a serum that could cure me, I'd also have a Nobel prize for having disproved most of modern medicine. Seriously, though, no, I wouldn't. "Me-without-autism" is not the same thing as "me". It would be like committing suicide.

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How do you compare yourself to "neurotypical" persons if you feel any different from them?
How am I supposed to know what a neurotypical person feels like? I've never been NT! For what it's worth, though, I am rather interested in NTs, and in people in general. I like to study how people--autistic and non-autistic--think, learn, and interact with their environment.

Quote:
How does the autism affect your academic and social lives?
I don't really have much of a social life; I get a small amount of socialization with people who have similar interests. I'm content with this small amount because I'm very introverted and too much socializing would just be exhausting. As for academic--well, I'm good at school, but my autism does result in some impairments for which I need to have accommodation. Most of the time, that just means things like distraction-free testing, help with organization, and having a case manager to help with paperwork and similar. I'm getting through school with fairly intensive help from the disability services department; but the grades I get are my own, and reflect my own learning--I don't get any "unfair advantages".


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Palakol
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02 Jul 2012, 1:31 am

I felt like everything suddenly made sense. Like when you've been driving for miles and the car seemed really hard to control but you stubbornly decide to push on. When you finally look one of your tires happens to be flat. Basically it kind of feels good to have a label other than "weird" or "coward" or "liar" or "p*ssy" or "unsocial prick". Suddenly, not everything is actually entirely my fault.

MingyJongo75 wrote:
Did your self-perception change from receiving your diagnosis?

Not really. I just stopped trying to be somebody else (i.e. my extremely popular and charismatic cousin/best friend).

MingyJongo75 wrote:
Do you see autism as an identity or a handicap?

A handicap in the world run primarily by Neurotypicals. An identity to people who accept me. (A few of my colleagues actually think I'm quite interesting and fun. At least that's what they tell me.)

MingyJongo75 wrote:
If you had a serum that could "cure" you of autism, would you take it?

Probably not. I've been like this too long. Besides, it would probably change my whole perception of the world. That would probably be a scary place. Like waking up in a different planet / dimension or something. (Of course this is Autistic me talking. I don't really know what a Neurotypical would feel, only what an Autistic person pretending to be a Neurotypical would.)

MingyJongo75 wrote:
How do you compare yourself to "neurotypical" persons if you feel any differe.nt from them?

Like I previously said, I cannot personally compare myself to them since I have no way of knowing how being a Neurotypical would feel like.

MingyJongo75 wrote:
How does the autism affect your academic and social lives?

High school was tough. I couldn't conform to the standards and I barely made it. College was a lot easier and fun because it was more relaxed. I was good, but I wasn't the best. Social life is rather superficial. The regulation "what's up?", an awkward smile, a lot of questions that I apparently should already know the answer to. I just try to do what everyone else is doing because that is what is expected of me to be able to function as a member of a team. I am able to make it work for me though. I can be the funny guy who pushes the conversation to levels nobody wants to go to. I embrace my "weirdness". "Wear it like armor, and nobody can hurt you with it."



Last edited by Palakol on 02 Jul 2012, 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

1000Knives
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02 Jul 2012, 1:37 am

When I got diagnosed I didn't believe it for a couple years until I saw other people with it and compared them to myself and did my own research.

I pretty much hate it. Don't see a huge point in it, especially since there's not much that can be done to fix it. I have NVLD, though, and my symptoms are more just NVLD that acts like Aspergers/HFA. But yeah, knowing I'm basically half retarded doesn't make me sleep well at night (NVLD is an IQ split, my verbal IQ is like 130+, but my nonverbal IQ is like 80, and this includes the social things, but also visual and spatial processing, too.) I pretty much just see myself as being brain damaged. Whether or not it's a "good thing" in the longrun, I can't see the future, but I can't say it's been too helpful in my life thus far.

Yeah, overall, I think it would have been better to remain in blissful ignorance.



Newbie2012
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02 Jul 2012, 7:34 am

1000Knives wrote:
When I got diagnosed I didn't believe it for a couple years until I saw other people with it and compared them to myself and did my own research.

I pretty much hate it. Don't see a huge point in it, especially since there's not much that can be done to fix it. I have NVLD, though, and my symptoms are more just NVLD that acts like Aspergers/HFA. But yeah, knowing I'm basically half retarded doesn't make me sleep well at night (NVLD is an IQ split, my verbal IQ is like 130+, but my nonverbal IQ is like 80, and this includes the social things, but also visual and spatial processing, too.) I pretty much just see myself as being brain damaged. Whether or not it's a "good thing" in the longrun, I can't see the future, but I can't say it's been too helpful in my life thus far.

Yeah, overall, I think it would have been better to remain in blissful ignorance.



I think the thing that is helpful to me is knowing what i can control. The little things like making more eye contact alone has made a huge difference in the way people respond to me. I actually think I am better off knowing. The fact that I was born with a lot of other physical issues such as cleft palate and lip have probably made it easier for me to accept that I am also on the autism spectrum. I actually wonder if the reason I have autism doesn't stem from the syndrome I was born with (opitz syndrome). I guess what I am trying to say is always knew something wasn't right. I always thought my social problems were connected to my physical shortcomings. This may very well have been true to an extent, but I think most people jusge each other based on personality. I was told for years that the social aspect of my life would get better as I got older, but I never found that to be the case because I didn't know any better. Now that i do know, it has made a huge difference as far as how I feel about my past and the power I have going into the future. If I work on some of the smallest things I do because of autism, it will make a huge difference. It already has! Obviously, you can do what you want, but I think it is better to stay positive!



Monkeybuttorama
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02 Jul 2012, 9:48 am

MingyJongo75 wrote:
Sorry if you feel I am being too direct about the title. I am trying to get volunteers for my college social science paper. I had to choose a "group", so to speak, that represents a part of myself and write a report based on that "group." Autism is the only thing that comes to mind. I have my own experiences considering I have HFA myself, but I want to get to know you. To reevaluate, I have a few specific questions. Did your self-perception change from receiving your diagnosis? Do you see autism as an identity or a handicap? If you had a serum that could "cure" you of autism, would you take it? How do you compare yourself to "neurotypical" persons if you feel any different from them? How does the autism affect your academic and social lives?


If you are OK with self-diagnosed (I didn't see anything indicating one way or another)...

I found it rather liberating; I always just thought I was really strange. Turns out, I was right, just for reasons. ^_^

I don't see it as either an identity or a handicap; I wouldn't be who I am without it, and I've learned how to use some aspects to my advantage, such as by finding people eager to learn and discuss with whom I can relate. I didn't always feel this way, and I still occasionally have "I want to be normal" meltdowns, but for the most part, I have good feelings about it.

I would not want a cure; There is nothing wrong with me to cure. I am who I am, and a cure would make me someone else.

I'm not sure what you mean by "How do you compare yourself to "neurotypical" persons if you feel any different from them?" but I suppose that if I were to say.. NTs pose specific interaction challenges to me, and I find those challenges difficult sometimes, but I don't see myself as better or worse, just different, like I grew up in a different culture and was transplanted to this one. I've always said I belong 1000 years in the past, 1000 years in the future, or 100,000 light years away. :p

My schooling has been a challenge thus far. In primary education, I was teased mercilessly, misdiagnosed and medicated and punished. Currently in college, I find it very difficult to pay attention with so many people offering distractions, and I have very little tolerance for the "know-it-all" type who thinks it's wise to try to correct the professor (when they are wrong, of course) or people who constantly talk during class, and have been known to chew them out. (I don't understand why you'd want to pay for school, but not pay attention, not further your education and career, life, etc.)

My social interactions have slowly come around; I used to have no friends at all. I was OK with that. Now, just being myself, I have a good base of friends who accept me for who I am, without change, without question. They understand that I'm not exactly like them, and they prefer it that way, even if they don't know why. I do find it difficult to interact with people I *need* to impress, such as the family of my BF, because that's a difficult thing to do when you don't know how, but I seem to have stumbled upon the only group of people of that size (he is the youngest of 7 at 32, so his siblings all have families, and the gatherings are huge) that I've ever met that doesn't think anything of how strange I am, and is willing to see past small issues.


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