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Fraljmir
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13 Aug 2015, 8:41 am

Norny wrote:
I live in Victoria as well. I'm only slightly older than you.. perhaps I have spoken to you. Or maybe you know the autistic people that I have known. An interesting thought. 8)


That's definitely a thought, it makes me both equally curious and nervous thinking of it like that. The 'cool face' makes me think you know something that I don't haha. Victoria is a pretty populated state though, so the chances are slim. Who knows though.

And thanks for the concern. I'll be sure to update it here with how the diagnosis goes.



Last edited by Fraljmir on 13 Aug 2015, 8:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

Fraljmir
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13 Aug 2015, 8:43 am

SocOfAutism wrote:
You can also just tell the person you're talking to that you're nervous and afraid you'll exaggerate things without meaning to.

What you're talking about is something I studied over the Summer called disability masquerade. It's like how when I go to the neurologist I exaggerate my neurological symptoms, partially without thinking about it and partially on purpose to make sure I get the medication I need for my migraines and documentation I need for my neuro disease. It's a natural phenomenon when people are self-conscious about something like that.


Thanks for the suggestion. When you put it like that, it sounds like an easy solution. I'll be sure to mention that when I meet the psychiatrist. It's good to know that it's a normal phenomenon.



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13 Aug 2015, 8:55 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
There has been much research which points to people with autism tending to have a more "generalized" view of faces than the "neurotypical" population.

There is even a theory which states that this "generalization" of faces causes a disinclination to socialize.


True, and I think some degree of prosopagnosia is said to run at ~2% in the general population but ~67% among autistic people. But it isn't in the diagnostic criteria and ~33% of autistic people don't have it, which is a lot of people.

Reading emotions in the face is another tricky thing. Five or six years ago, I might have told you that I had no trouble reading emotions in faces, because I believed that to be true. I have subsequently learned that it is not true and there are things that I don't see but I only know about those by hearsay. I don't see them, so they don't exist to me. My wife has helped me to understand this.



Fraljmir
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13 Aug 2015, 9:09 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
True, and I think some degree of prosopagnosia is said to run at ~2% in the general population but ~67% among autistic people. But it isn't in the diagnostic criteria and ~33% of autistic people don't have it, which is a lot of people.

Reading emotions in the face is another tricky thing. Five or six years ago, I might have told you that I had no trouble reading emotions in faces, because I believed that to be true. I have subsequently learned that it is not true and there are things that I don't see but I only know about those by hearsay. I don't see them, so they don't exist to me. My wife has helped me to understand this.


Hmm, interesting. This thought has crossed my mind in recent weeks that maybe I just 'think' I can recognise emotions better than I can, because I too think I have no troubles reading emotions in faces. I took the emotion recognition test online, which I scored quite highly on (15/20), as it showed their entire face. But I tried another one showing only the eyes and I found myself getting quite frustrated at a lot of them because I just couldn't pick up what the emotion attached to them were for over half of the eyes, and had to guess a lot of them.

Maybe I have some degree of it? If you asked me now I wouldn't think so, but who knows. I also don't think I have any degree of prosopagnosia. I'm open to any test the psychiatrist will throw at me though.



Myriad
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13 Aug 2015, 10:40 am

Just wanted to say that I understand where you're coming from. I'm in a similar situation at the moment and also feel worried about the fact that I may not be on the spectrum. But Norny is right. :) It's just a label, really.

As for reading facial expressions etc., I feel as though I do okay with that too. But there's also the possibility that because you're now an adult, you've had time to learn how to read them. That's why diagnoses can be ambiguous when you're an adult because you've had years to develop skills to mask some traits. But even if that's not the case, like Adamantium said, it's not actually a diagnostic requirement. So don't worry too much. :)


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Fraljmir
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13 Aug 2015, 11:31 am

I appreciate all the support and suggestions. Thanks for all of the responses. I'm feeling a bit more comfortable about going for a diagnosis now. And yeah, it is just a label at the end of the day (a label that would make some sense of things, but a label none the less).

I'll update with how it goes as soon as I know.

Regardless of if the diagnosis comes back positive or negative I'd still like to be a part of this community. I've been reading around the forums and everyone seems to be very kind, supportive, respectful and puts forward good information. I've yet to see someone rude and disrespectful which is very commonplace in most other websites & communities.



Myriad
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13 Aug 2015, 9:57 pm

Fraljmir wrote:
I appreciate all the support and suggestions. Thanks for all of the responses. I'm feeling a bit more comfortable about going for a diagnosis now. And yeah, it is just a label at the end of the day (a label that would make some sense of things, but a label none the less).

I'll update with how it goes as soon as I know.

Regardless of if the diagnosis comes back positive or negative I'd still like to be a part of this community. I've been reading around the forums and everyone seems to be very kind, supportive, respectful and puts forward good information. I've yet to see someone rude and disrespectful which is very commonplace in most other websites & communities.


You're welcome. I'm glad you're feeling a bit better about it all and I'm certainly interested to see what the outcome will be!

Looking forward to reading some more of your posts. :)


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14 Aug 2015, 12:35 am

Fraljmir wrote:
Norny wrote:
I live in Victoria as well. I'm only slightly older than you.. perhaps I have spoken to you. Or maybe you know the autistic people that I have known. An interesting thought. 8)


That's definitely a thought, it makes me both equally curious and nervous thinking of it like that. The 'cool face' makes me think you know something that I don't haha. Victoria is a pretty populated state though, so the chances are slim. Who knows though.

And thanks for the concern. I'll be sure to update it here with how the diagnosis goes.


Don't worry, there's nothing I know that you don't. I would have told you via PM if there was.


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sleepingpancake
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14 Aug 2015, 1:11 am

its okay to be nervous, just be as honest as you can.....wish i could have one too.is there a resident psychiatrist here?just joking


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Fraljmir
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14 Aug 2015, 12:39 pm

I've been extremely bored today. It turns out I have to wait until Tuesday to be able to make a booking, as the psychiatrist isn't in until then. It's the only thing on my mind at the moment, I'm unable to enjoy anything else. I figured I might as well write any and all of the symptoms I may have down to pass the time, and because it gives me a better understanding of myself. If I was this productive with everything I did, jeeze, things would be so much easier. Some of you may find some of my 'stories' funny or relatable, the propeller one is my favourite. Do you think I should print this out and show the psychiatrist when I see him? It will probably help the awkwardness of having to remember things on the spot.

Anyhow, here goes!

- Didn't smile until 3 months old.

- Opened Thomas The Tank Engine cards without asking if they were mine (they were in their packaging & on the kitchen table, they were a present for a cousin (4-5 years old)).

- Strongly disliked visiting relatives/leaving home (5+ years old).

- Liked saying prayers with mum before bed and couldn't sleep if I didn't, but didn't understand what the prayers meant (didn't realise they were religious, was just a habit, I'm not religious today (5-13 years old)).

- Didn't like school, claimed I was "bored" and "didn't learn anything" (kindergarden).

- Didn't understand other people's feelings. Examples:
// Sister talked to mum about one of her friends and said she didn't like her (something along those lines). Next time I saw sister's friend I told her that my sister said she didn't like her. Sister got angry with me, I didn't understand why. (10-12 years old).
// Met sister's friend. Asked who a girl was on a picture on the fridge. She told me it was her sister who had passed away. I kept asking questions about her sister, even though she was getting visibly upset. She gave me a toy to try and make me quiet, but I kept asking questions about her sister. Didn't understand she was getting upset (10-13 years old).
// Dad's friend is fairly short. I was reading the Guinness World Records, and saw records on the smallest & tallest men in the world. I found this interesting and asked Dad's friend "if you were the shortest person in the world, and I was the tallest, what would we say to each other?". Didn't realise this was rude (13-15 years old).
// I was at a friend's house, he was trying to sleep and I kept talking about a picture on the wall, and how it was just like something I'd seen somewhere else. Kept going on about the picture for about 20 minutes, even though he kept agreeing and telling me he was tired. Didn't understand he wanted me to stop talking. (8-10 years old).
// Had a friend come over. I got a phone call and talked on the phone for about an hour with another friend. He was clearly bored and asking if we could go outside. Mum called me upstairs and told me I was being rude, and to hang up on the phone. Didn't understand how I was being rude. (9-12 years old).

- Saw school presentation on germs, become very germaphobic to the point where if someone touched food I wouldn't eat it. If someone drank from a straw and offered me some I wouldn't drink from it, even if the straw was turned upside down. Was out with a friend & his parents having fish & chips, they put their hand in the bag and I told them "I wouldn't eat it because it was dirty". They were very concerned and I didn't understand why. Germs still make me feel uncomfortable today, but able to ignore it (5+ years old).

- Liked to be very precise with being equal. I would count food to make sure everyone got the same amount. Got unhappy if I didn't know it was even (7-12 years old).

- Played a scary video game. Became very scared opening doors in the house, because I thought there were "monsters behind them". Had to have my sister open doors for me before I walked inside. Was literally petrified of something jumping out and shooting me (5-8 years old).

- Oldest sister chased me with a toy gun. I was terrified and crying because the gun was very loud, flashed and had smoke come out of it when fired (5-7 years old).

- Picky eater. Won't eat seafood or rare meat, among other things. Don't like the texture and smell of seafood or meat with blood. Don't like fruit when mixed in with meals, but like fruit alone.

- Remember pointless things, such as selling a yellow toy bus at a garage sale for $10. It was the only thing that sold that day (6-8 years old).

- Often in conversation if I have something I want to say, I'll wait until someone stops talking and then say it, even if it's no longer relevant.

- Until 12-15 years old, never understood the plots to movies. I used to just watch the movie, without paying attention to what the actors were saying.

- Obsessions. I have tendancies to find something interesting, and go "all out" on it for a few weeks or months until either it's completed or I get bored of it. During these "obsessions", I find very little else enjoyable to do, and feel like I need to keep researching as much as I can. Examples:
// I watched the movie Land Before Time over and over again. I used to watch the movie, rewind it, and then watch it again without doing anything inbetween (4-5 years old).
// When I get a good idea for a 'project' I'll work non-stop on it for days or weeks until it's done. I've done this when I get an idea for a video to edit, or for a game to program, or for a website to create (15+ years old).
// Was very into Karate for 5-6 months, was constantly looking up more information about it- about different styles of karate, about the belt process, about the language behind it, about the Sensei's who started certain disciplines, about where the disciplines originated from, read the translation manual and was very strict on abiding by the rules in the dojo, constantly wanted to practice more, even outside of lessons (17-18 years old).
// Am also very into reading about Aspergers after considering that I may have it. Have spent the last 3 weeks constantly reading information about it, and comparing how I do or don't match the traits of Aspergers. Have read people's experiences with it, and have watched videos describing what it's like to live with Aspergers. Ironical (19+ years old).

- Prefer being alone. I like to have a place where no-one can enter, makes me feel more relaxed. Don't feel as comfortable when other people are near me or able to reach me without me allowing them first.

- Often play one video game repetitively until I get bored of it, and then moved onto another video game. Friends used to get annoyed at me when I wouldn't want to play a game with them (9+ years old).

- Until 14-15 years old, when someone said "Hi, how are you? My name's ----" my response would always be something like "Hi". Didn't know they expected me to respond with more.

- To counteract the point above, at the age of 14-15 I started experimenting with "socially acceptable" responses. It was extremely awkward at first, but now when someone says "Hi, how are you? My name's ----", I always respond with the same thing, every single time. It's like I have "scripts" set up for each situation I expect to find myself in. I still hate small talk though, because you never know what someone's going to say and I don't have responses prepared for that.

- I sometimes use the wrong facial expressions with certain emotions, but I always realise I'm doing it. For example, with something upsetting I might feel the need to smile or grin, but I'm usually able to hold it back, knowing that it wouldn't be appropriate. Made for a very awkward funeral when I was younger, when everyone else was crying and I was sitting there smiling.

- I very rarely approach other people, I wait for them to approach me.

- I don't like hugs or hand shaking. It doesn't bother me overly, I'll do it if someone leans in for the hug or hand shake, but if it was up to me I'd prefer not.

- There was one time when I wanted change in order to play games in an arcade and I had a $10 note, so I took something that looked cheap from the shelf to the counter. They wrapped it for me and I gave them the money. I put my hand out expecting change and they said that the price was $10, so there was no change. I handed them the thing I brought back and said I didn't want it anymore, even though it was already wrapped. I didn't see how this was rude (5-7 years old).

- I am absolutely horrible at talking about emotional things. I literally have to sit there and think for a minute or even longer before words come out of my mouth, if it's something I'm secure about (by that I mean something I usually keep to myself).

- Sometimes I need people to explain things to me more than once. Not overly common for me, but not rare enough to dismiss.

- This is a real big one for me. When I walk around, I wonder if I'm supposed to keep a "blank face", or if I'm supposed to have a slight smile. So I usually end up consciously making an effort to have a "normal face", which ends up looking strange. People often tell me I always look "happy", but in reality I'm just trying not to stand out.

- Sensory problems. I prefer dark rooms over light rooms, and I even find it easier to talk about emotional topics when in a dark room. When I was younger, my teachers told my mum to give me a hearing test, because I was ignoring them in class and they thought I had very poor hearing (I just didn't hear them). Got 500/500 on my hearing test. Sometimes I can still zone out and not hear people, but rarely.

- I have poor hand-writing (fourth grader's scribbling, if that), it also took me a very long time to learn to tie my shoes.

- When I was 5 or 6, I wanted my parents to buy me a car so I could take the motor out, put it in my bag and attach a propeller to it so I could fly to school. I was furious when they refused.



Myriad
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15 Aug 2015, 11:24 am

^ Yep, I definitely think it would be a good idea to take this list with you. Maybe even go through the DSM-5 criteria for ASD and make notes about where you think you fit criteria.

I can relate to having this consume all my thoughts, too. Just try to jot down all that you can, then try to let it go for a while as only your psychiatrist will know for sure. I hope you can get your appointment soon. :)

Oh, and I also can relate to a few points you mentioned, like the ones about remembering pointless things and feeling the need to have my say even after the topic has passed. It was an interesting read!


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Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 129 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 100 of 200
You seem to have both neurodiverse and neurotypical traits
AQ: 39 / 50


Fraljmir
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15 Aug 2015, 11:55 am

Myriad wrote:
^ Yep, I definitely think it would be a good idea to take this list with you. Maybe even go through the DSM-5 criteria for ASD and make notes about where you think you fit criteria.

I can relate to having this consume all my thoughts, too. Just try to jot down all that you can, then try to let it go for a while as only your psychiatrist will know for sure. I hope you can get your appointment soon. :)

Oh, and I also can relate to a few points you mentioned, like the ones about remembering pointless things and feeling the need to have my say even after the topic has passed. It was an interesting read!


Thanks for your input. That's a good idea to take note of where I fit into the DSM-5 criteria. Also, something I found very interesting is that I found a document from 1995 (when I was born) which has some information about difficulties I had back then. From the document which was when I was 10 weeks old "Slow to maintain eye contact- tends to fix upwards on objects. Not smiling as yet." I took a copy of that, which I'll also show the psychiatrist when I meet him.

Luckily, I've found something to do which will take my mind mostly off of this. I just started watching The Big Bang Theory (haven't tried it before now), and am enjoying myself. I'll most likely end up knocking out a few seasons while I wait for my appointment.



Myriad
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16 Aug 2015, 11:17 am

No worries. I'm sure the psychiatrist will be interested to see that document.

That is a good distraction. :P I've only seen a handful of episodes and want to watch it from the start but have never gotten around to it!


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Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 129 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 100 of 200
You seem to have both neurodiverse and neurotypical traits
AQ: 39 / 50


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16 Aug 2015, 11:23 am

I think you should make any list that you show the psychologist shorter, and the items should describe consistent lifelong patterns of behavior that affect you a lot. Items about specific incidents should be removed, as anyone can find specific incidents in their lives that fit the autism criteria. Also, it would be good to get parent input, like the psychologist interviewing one of your parents about your childhood history observed from outside your own mind and memories. A short list (3-5 items) of major impairments (esp. work or school related) would help too. The best thing is to fit all lists on 2 pages in my opinion.


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Fraljmir
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09 Sep 2015, 4:17 pm

It's been a while since I've updated this, but I haven't yet been diagnosed so I don't have a whole lot to add. In short, I went to see the psychiatrist, and I didn't connect with him at all unfortunately. I felt very uncomfortable and I wasn't able to get my points across to a level that I felt satisfied with. He said that I "almost definitely" have Aspergers, and dismissed my depression. The psychiatrist referred me a psychologist (this was two weeks ago), who I saw yesterday. I connected with the psychologist much better, and he also agreed that I likely have Aspergers, but understandably he doesn't diagnose people on a first session. I felt comfortable enough talking to him and I feel like I was able to get the points across that I wanted to. He said that I likely also have Dysthymia (a milder, chronic form of depression). I'll be seeing him again in two weeks, so I'll post here again if there's any more news.