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lightsandsounds
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02 Oct 2014, 5:04 pm

Hello,
I was diagnosed with AS at the age of 12. Four years later whilst I was in a psychiatric hospital because of severe depression, a different group of experts told me that if had an autism spectrum disorder, they all did too. Lately I have felt deeply bewildered by these two conflicting diagnoses and I am rather desperate for elucidation. I will be extremely thankful for replies of any kind.

I will proceed by introducing myself. I am a 21 year old male and I currently study physics at a university in Germany. The first signs of behavioral abnormality that I can recall occurred when I was in kindergarten. The pedagogues where quite alarmed by me seemingly not acknowledging their existence whilst I was playing with Legos and they were telling me it was time for my nap. Three women were standing behind me and repeatedly calling my name, to no avail. I was then quite startled as one of the women attempted to gain my attention by touching my shoulder. As she spoke to me, I looked at her mouth instead of her eyes. This led the three women to come to the conclusion that I was deaf and could lip-read. Of course, the doctor that my parents brought me to following this incident could easily determine that this was not the case. In fact, my parents could not go to restaurants with me as I would cry hysterically every time. As I gained the power of speech (at a normal age), I was able to explain that I found the magnitude of the sound excruciating. If it is of any relevance, I remember the situation and can say that I did not care about the three women and ignored them by choice, not because my focus could not expand beyond what I was doing. I was also unable to wear normal clothing (such as jeans) until I reached adolescence, as it felt too rough on my skin. I spent spend most school breaks alone playing with marbles and spin tops or maybe wondering around examining things like the roots of trees. I was completely aware that this was not normal but I didn?t enjoy doing the things that most of the other children were doing(football) and found it hard to become friends with the others. I would also like to add that I was perfectly cable of playing ?pretending ?games with other children, including creating the entire scenario for these games. My father often had to take days off work because my teachers where concerned about my strange behavior. Furthermore, the few friends that I have have often pointed out (independently, as they do not know all each other) that I see things too rationally. In fact, just today I have been told that I do not understand emotions very well because they are not rational. I denied this accusation explaining that emotions are indeed rational and have a purpose that can be explained by Darwinian science. For example, the feeling of disgust serves the purpose to warn against dangerous foods and the associated facial expression (constriction of the face openings) serves the purpose of avoiding dangerous inhalations. He told me that I didn?t understand what he meant. I also walk up and down my room very often when I am stressed (in extreme cases I do this for hours). I dive very deeply into topics that interest me. There are many examples of this but I would like to recount a particular event. In high school, we all had 2 months to prepare a presentation about a topic of our choice. After a short discussion, my math teacher agreed to let me hold my presentation about ?complex numbers?. I became so fascinated by the topic that I neglected everything else around me, which included every other subject (that shows that this had nothing to do with me wanting good scores) and researched for hours every day. On the day of the presentation, the teacher warned me that I would not get a good score because I had not abided by any of the guidelines. I had not prepared handouts of my classmates, I had not sent anything to my teacher for him to correct before I speak in front of the class, I came late etc? All I had done was prepare the PowerPoint. I was very nervous and I stood there strangely, squeezing my shoulder muscles with my hands the entire. After a few moments, my teacher noticed that my presentation was not normal and he stopped taking notes. My classmates told me that he was staring at me and the projection in awe. About seven minutes into the presentation, he interrupted me and told the class that I had just explained things he didn?t understand at university. At that moment I felt very embarrassed because I knew I had gone too far and that everybody must think I am strange. I continued talking for the next hour and my teacher told me he had never seen anything like it and that he was simply ?shocked?. He told the class that the level was so high he felt like he was at university again. Of course, I received the highest possible score. I went home after that, because I didn?t want anybody to talk to me about it. Everybody already knew I was strange because I was always alone and I had just made it worse. As an adult, I strangely no longer have any difficulties with sensory processing and I am capable of acting normal in in front of other people if I wish to. It is important to add that I didn?t want to be autistic and did my very best to make the experts believe I was neurotypical the second time I was being tested for AS (this included lying about my history).

But would an individual with AS really be able to fake it in front of a team of experts? Do you think I have AS?

Thank you very much for reading this. Any sort of reply is would be great.



Last edited by lightsandsounds on 04 Oct 2014, 2:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

progaspie
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02 Oct 2014, 6:24 pm

So you say a different group of experts told you that you didn't have ASD, because if you did, then they must all have ASD as well. So I guess you mustn't have been suffering from severe depression either, because if you were, those same group of experts must be suffering from severe depression as well. Idiots.
I would trust your original diagnosis of AS at age 12 and learn to live with having AS. Hope you are recovering from your depression and stay away from psychiatric hospitals.



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02 Oct 2014, 6:30 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. It is very interesting. I read it as if I were reading a good book. I don't think you can fake being NT in front of people who are real experts and really know what to look for. The way some of the tests are done, if they are done thoroughly, they are done in such a way that you can't tell what they are looking at. Also there are signs that show up that you may not be aware of. Tony Attwood says that there are even physical characteristics that show up in the facial structure and if you know how to look you will see them. So you might be able to fake with clinicians who are not as skilled but I don't think you can fake with true experts who really know what they are looking for.


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kraftiekortie
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02 Oct 2014, 6:33 pm

Hi Skibum--I haven't "spoken" to you in a while.



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02 Oct 2014, 7:22 pm

It depends on the severity of AS. Some people can?t hide but others can if they want. It also depends on the level you've adapted to and upon the ?expert? examining you. Not all of them are as, adept and thorough, as each other. Some take a course and that's it others have been examining AS their entire lives so there is an extreme variance of experience and subsequently skill. It also impairs accuracy when you lie to them so I?d take your earlier diagnosis as more accurate. And to your question, yes, it is plausible that some can fake it. It depends to the degree you lie and hide(suppress yourself) do it enough and a diagnosis is impossible to make anymore.



Protogenoi
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02 Oct 2014, 9:06 pm

If you have a lot of money, you could always go for a third opinion and go for best two out of three.
I think you should settle for your original diagnosis.



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02 Oct 2014, 10:52 pm

I suspect that if your symptoms are severe enough to show through even when you're deliberately trying to hide them, that they must be real and your initial autism diagnosis was in fact correct. It could be that the doctors at the psych hospital just didn't know anything about AS.


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