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structrix
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21 May 2014, 9:32 am

So I am still undiagnosed but I am talking to various professionals to see how I can go about getting one without paying a ridiculous out of pocket fee.

The center where I am being seen at has a monthly social gathering group for adults with autism so I decided to attend. It was movie night. It was a good movie but I wasn't sure if I should be there. Some of the adults there seemed very autistic and I felt out of place around them. I am having trouble making friends socially so I want to socialize with similar people without the stress that NT socialization entails but since I suspect myself as having Aspergers I am not sure that autistic adults (some there with their parents) is the kind of group that I should be hanging with.

I am going to go next month for their potluck but I still have qualms. Am I just being wierd for being uncomfortable? Am I just being weird because I felt socially awkward in general? I just felt wierd and then I started rocking (and so I wondered again, that maybe I should be here). I don't know. :?


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AQ= 41
Your Aspie score: 144 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 66 of 200
I am an Aspie!
Diagnosed as an adult


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Tufted Titmouse
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21 May 2014, 10:17 pm

I personally don't think you're being weird or are weird or wrong for being uncomfortable in such a situation or in any situation, really.

1) You're in a different surrounding and with people you don't know yet.

I think even for NTs, they sometimes feel a little hesitation or momentary discomfort depending on how comfortable they are with meeting strangers in a strange place.

When I got assessed as an adult almost a year ago, I was invited to attend the autism spectrum group my therapist held and I myself had a hard time being comfortable. Mostly it was because it was a new environment but also because I was hyperaware of not quite fitting in and quite self-conscious.

2) If you experience hypersensitivity towards yourself, other people, your surroundings, it can possibly also make you feel more self-conscious about 'fitting in'... or not.

For myself, I have an almost constant sense of hyperawareness of both myself, the people around me, and my surroundings in general (sensory overload) and it's almost like I can't quite relax properly. Some days are better than others and it isn't that it makes me anxious (at least, I don't feel anxious), it just makes me really sensitive to whatever's going on around me. Like... I can't help but notice EVERYTHING.

If I were just in a coffee shop minding my own business, this wouldn't really matter so much as I would just put on headphones and filter out things to a more less stimulating level.

But in a group setting where I am expected to socialize, this can really increase my awkwardness and self-consciousness and there's no way for me to really... filter it and so I just kind of have to grin and bear it.

I would be tapping my foot like crazy and constantly be fiddling with my arms and hands because I couldn't figure out where they go and I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but... it just happens.

By any chance have you tried something like Meetup (if you are in the United States) where people get together to talk or do things related to special interests?



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21 May 2014, 10:28 pm

You aren't being weird. It's hard to know what a group of people are like with only one meeting. Give it a fair chance. Also, don't assume that the group will only work for you if everyone is close to your functioning/verbal/etc. level. Every human being has experiences and gains wisdom from those experiences. You might learn more from those who've learned different lessons than you.

I have trouble socializing and keeping a social group as well. What helps me most is to find friends who enjoy my interests and go to activities that involve them. My social and verbal skills are best in that scenario.


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So you know who just said that:
I am female, I am married
I have two children (one AS and one NT)
I have been diagnosed with Aspergers and MERLD
I have significant chronic medical conditions as well


structrix
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22 May 2014, 8:26 am

Thank you for your replies. You are all right. I have tried Meetup but there are no meetups for aspergers/autistic adults where I live. I already have been diagnosed for social anxiety so I KNOW that that was a big part of how I felt there too. So we'll see.

I am one of those aspergers folks who craves friendship but dont like the overwhelming friendships that NTs have. I think that's why I tend to have more males as friends because guys don't call you up every minute to chat about every little thing, LOL.

I am going to give it another chance so I will keep you posted on that.