Differently wired/no label? Warning: Long post

Page 1 of 1 [ 3 posts ] 

Peacewalker
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 21 Aug 2012
Gender: Female
Posts: 2

29 Sep 2012, 6:51 am

You probably get a lot of letters like this, sorry this is so long.

I have known I was 'differently wired' (in some form) for most of my life.
But I don't seem to fit the criteria for Asperger's, although I have some of the traits:
others of the traits I fit seem to coincide with traits of neurotypical giftedness in women.
I have a few ADHD traits but when I really read self descriptions of how ADD people think:
I don't think I have an ADD/ADHD mind. I might have auditory processing issues.

I am confused.

Maybe I should just call myself "differently wired" yet something in me, the part that likes to
classify and figure things out (I am a Myer Briggs INFJ: with a very strong J (Judge) trait) wants to come up with
some kind of label and figure out "why". But maybe I should just affirm and honor myself as being "differently wired"
without trying to put myself into a box?
what have others done who are in a similar situation?
When I take the online tests for Aspergers they all say I am neurotypical. That one with the visual map said
"you are likely neurotypical": my Aspie score was 52 my neurotypical score was 159.

Traits I have that seem differently wired in some form:

I have trouble listening for long periods without also being
active: either by speaking or by fidgeting/moving my hands. For this reason I sometimes come across as nervous
when I am not feeling that way. But I do not seem to have trouble paying attention other than this.

I have a strong startle response but not most of the time: only when I am deeply focused and a sudden sound
occurs without my having seen the person coming: I jump: but there is no emotional feeling attached: it is just
a physical reflex. If i see the person before I hear them, i can shift my attention and not get startled.
Bosses have become upset in their belief that they have 'scared me': I explain that they only startled me.
My brother and mom have the same trait so it may be genetic. I always try to have my desk where I am facing
people or at least can see them so this occurs rarely.

I love to focus deeply on things: in fact this seems to be a biological need of mine. For a short time I was a general computer techie at a very small company: I hated it because I was always putting out fires: never had time to get deep into anything.
I left that company and went back to programming for that reason. My hobbies consist of either reading (I literally am
always reading whenever it is appropriate: and with the new e readers and smart phones I am finding it is becoming
much more acceptable to read, say at a restaurant, or waiting for a movie to start, than it used to be!) or something
intricate with my hands like arts and crafts that involves a lot of detail.

I love to focus and dig deeply into a subject: example is this letter. But do not have a few unusual narrow interests: I am interested in a lot of things so maybe this is just neurotypical/highly intelligent trait?

I seem neurotypical in that I don't have really ingrained habits that I must follow. In fact I love change: until I bought my house I would move to a new apartment every 2 to 3 years because I would get restless. So maybe more neurotypical or ADD than Aspergers?

As a child I behaved normally except was very sensitive to criticism and name calling: the other kids discovered this and
would call me a name in order to get me to cry or hit them. The pediatricians labeled this "hyperactivity" (the term used at the time for ADD): one doctor prescribed Deanor. the next prescribed first Ritalin and Stelazine then Ritalin and Thorazine. This was in the early 1960's. FYI; in looking up the second doctor, who was apparently a pioneer with ADD: he said in an interview in the early 1970's that he would prescribe the tranquilizer as a "confidence pill" if the child needed to feel "better" when they were on the Ritalin. I don't know if we have progressed/advanced since then or it has gotten even worse for kids! As far as i can tell the pills did no good: as my problem was being easily hurt. I still have this issue but I have learned to hide it.

I do NOT have strong narrow interests: except I am an almost compulsive reader: as mentioned above, I also love words: scored in the 98th percentile on the SAT: my verbal IQ as a child was through the ceiling (math was average). People wonder how i can write excessively long emails and letters like this one: saying too much: yet also write very concise and to the point and brief haiku: it seems like a different style: the answer is: when writing a letter I focus on everything I want to say. Wehn focusing on a haiku, I focus on each and every word and if and where it belongs. Same practice.

I am a strong Myers Briggs introvert: love to be alone, need it like a vitamin. I have learned to live happily with a partner by taking occasional "solitary vacations" where I will go away for a weekend alone, rent a motel room and read, write or do crafts.

Interests in addition to reading and writing: I am getting more into the visual arts, though not really talented,
have found I love to work with my hands. Also interested in spirituality especially from an earth centered perspective.
Am involved in the peace movement. I find that as a strong introvert I need to limit what I do with people because
otherwise I "burn out" and get long colds that last 2 to 3 months: enough "down time"/unplanned time/time to be spontaneous solves that issue.

here is one reason why I think I may be neurotypical: I THINK that I "get people", understand social cues and rules, understand people's motives and where they are coming from.
I also am fine at reading faces, tone of voice and guessing how people are feeling, and I do feel empathy toward people.
When I look back: I was slow picking this up: I was learning the more subtle stuff: like how to dress, in my 20's and early 30's: but when a rule or practice was pointed out to me, I immediately understood why: i wasn't puzzled as to why:
it was only that it hadn;'t occurred to me before to, for example, tie my hair back so it wasn't flopping all over the place.
So maybe this was environmental/my not having happened to learn, rather than Aspergers?
Just as someone growing up in a remote village in a poor country might not learn to read but not have dyslexia?

My one major social issue, which seems hard wired; is my issue with timing of speech; I sometimes inadvertently
interrupt people: not because I WANT to, and NOT because I don't understand that this is very annoying: but because
either I do not detect whether someone has just paused, or is really "done" talking, or else sometimes I just have so much trouble focusing on what they are saying/processing it, and then focusing on what I need to say, (it's like juggling balls)
that I lose my concentration on timing and start to speak.
This is why I think I might have some kind of auditory processing problem. But never had trouble learning to speak,
and don't hear words distorted: it just seem as if I process auditory input more clumsily, and am not as comfortable
with it, as input seen or felt: I feel the same way about tryng to remember verbal instructions, as i do when dealing with
math. Not talented in it.


Another reason I may have some degree of "different wiring" in some form is that I recently found out I have a very mild degree of prosopagnosia: I took a memory test (as a sort of control when investigating these tests as a sort of normal 'control' when worrying about my mother's memory issues): found my verbal memory and number memory were fine: but my memory for faces was in the 1th percentile: 99 percent of my age, gender, educational level did better. looking back this is something I have always had: not something that is starting to happen; I don't have trouble recognizing people I know: but in things like movies: for example: in the movie 'School Ties" I had trouble differentiating between some of the characters because they all dressed alike and had similar haircuts. Similar issue with blond female characters in another movie: telling the protagonist from another character.
his is an embarrassing issue with those of a different ethnic background: as sometimes I DO have more trouble: even people at work I've dealt with: and I worry that they may think it is just another instance of a prejudiced person thinking "they all look alike" when it's not that. I wonder if this comes from the fact i am very nearsighted: but they only recognized it when i was 8: was 20/200 vision: and certain facial recognition learning things did not happen due to my not being able to pick out faces at a distance prior to my getting glasses???

A couple of people who themselves had Aspergers told me they thought I did. But I realize: that they were not professionals.
I think that because I do not have a lot of difficulty, that I would NOT be diagnosed with this.
I may be a neurotypical individual who happens to have a few of the traits.

Still puzzled, but maybe the best thing is just to say: "I am differently wired, don't fit any particular box?"

wondering if there is any advantage in getting a professional (one familiar with SEVERAL categories not just one,
an d would be helpful if they are neurodiverse themselves) to give me their theories?

If my goal is not: services, and I don't need therapy: and my goal is just self acceptance, and self awareness
to carry forth into the next 40 or so years of my life, then that may be enough. But something in me wants
to figure this out. Not because I am upset about it but sort of an intellectual puzzle?

But I know people are complicated: I would have made a good birdwatcher because I like to classify (but also like to notice the gray areas) but it's not like classifying birds: you would not say about a bird that "it has some sparrow traits but then
again it might be somewhat pigeon". people are different from that.

Again sorry that this is so long.\

I would like to hear what others think. i know you get a lot of similar letters that can be annoying. Okay if people write back, okay if they don't.. Maybe this is something I need to figure out myself rather than get input from others?

I am not signing this with my real name: because I know that these posts may be public/seen outside the forum.
So I will sign as, a nickname I don't use anywhere else:

Tree



MrObvious
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 26 Nov 2011
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 106

29 Sep 2012, 5:04 pm

The fact that you shake your leg is a sure fire sign your ADHD. You don't have to be hyperactive to have it. The way you described it sounds like me when I don't take my meds. The way my p-doc says to diagnose it the easiest is to get some ADHD meds and if you feel more calm and focused you have it. Reading your post it sounds like your are just extremely introverted and self aware. My wife has the same personality rating and is very astute about her emotions and aware of how others feel. She is a natural born psychiatrist. It sounds like you are as well reading your post. I didn't read all of it due to my attention span but personally (bear in mind I'm reading some text, I'm no doctor, but I just have some experience with this) it sounds like you're just a severely introverted ADHD person.



StarTrekker
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,184
Location: Starship Voyager, somewhere in the Delta quadrant

29 Sep 2012, 8:29 pm

I agree with MrObvious; the traits you describe (love of change, exceptional focus, inability to sit still etc.) all sound a lot more like ADD (perhaps not ADHD) than Asperger's. None of the traits you describe save perhaps the prosopagnosia are AS related, and prosopagnosia can be a distinct disorder in itself (though generally more severe than you describe). Frankly I don't think you have anything to worry about concerning the possibility of having AS, though you might find it prudent to have a doctor look at you for signs of ADD.


_________________
"Survival is insufficient" - Seven of Nine
Diagnosed with ASD level 1 on the 10th of April, 2014
Rediagnosed with ASD level 2 on the 4th of May, 2019
Thanks to Olympiadis for my fantastic avatar!