Friends and family don't accept ASD diagnosis.

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RobotPirateDinosaurs
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27 Dec 2015, 4:02 pm

I only recently found out I have Asperger's (or ASD). I've told one close friend and one family member. Both have previously made comments about my behavior, or lack of, which are very typical. I thought these people, of anybody, would be most receptive to hearing this news since they have both noticed my traits. But, when I told them, I just got this kind of dismissive eye rolling type response. They both basically said I don't really have Asperger's. I totally did not expect this response. I've never made claims that I had some other condition that turned out not to be true. So, I don't understand why they act like I'm just making this stuff up or it's not a real thing. Also, they've heard of Asperger's, but don't know exactly what it is, so they don't even know what it is that they are denying. For me, it makes so much sense and explains so much. Now I don't want to tell anyone else. Wondering if anyone else has had this experience and what you did?



ASPartOfMe
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27 Dec 2015, 6:03 pm

There are a lot of people who do not understand Aspergers, or think it is a fake syndrome used by people to make excuses for bad behavoir, think it is real but that a lot of people fake it to excuse bad behavior, or think it is massively over diagnosed because it is supposidly trendy.


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27 Dec 2015, 6:10 pm

RobotPirateDinosaurs wrote:
I only recently found out I have Asperger's (or ASD). I've told one close friend and one family member. Both have previously made comments about my behavior, or lack of, which are very typical. I thought these people, of anybody, would be most receptive to hearing this news since they have both noticed my traits. But, when I told them, I just got this kind of dismissive eye rolling type response. They both basically said I don't really have Asperger's. I totally did not expect this response. I've never made claims that I had some other condition that turned out not to be true. So, I don't understand why they act like I'm just making this stuff up or it's not a real thing. Also, they've heard of Asperger's, but don't know exactly what it is, so they don't even know what it is that they are denying. For me, it makes so much sense and explains so much. Now I don't want to tell anyone else. Wondering if anyone else has had this experience and what you did?


This drives me screaming up the walls: people who will gladly admit they know nothing about the autism spectrum, but still feel confident telling you you're not on it. :x



SocOfAutism
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27 Dec 2015, 6:12 pm

Some people think autism in general, but especially Aspergers, is the latest overdiagnosis fad. This is because "all of a sudden" people are hearing about autism a lot, and it seems as though lots of people they know are autistic when 15 years ago they had never met an autistic person (or so they thought).

This is like how there are "suddenly" more hispanic people in the US. It used to be that there was no way for hispanic or latino people to identify that way. You could say you were black, white, or asian, with nothing in between. This may seem ridiculous now, but that is actually the way official US race records were kept. There is still often no "other" category, so if you are mixed race, a pacific islander, an american indian, or something else, you don't have a way to identify. So anyway, we now have standardized classifications for hispanics in the US, so it seems as though we now have more of this kind of people. We probably don't have that many more than we used to. It's just that we now have a way to speak about being a hispanic or latino person and previously we didn't.

Okay so it's the same way with being autistic. People on the spectrum are already present all around us. They may or may not identify that way, and may or may not be identifiable by other people. Your family and friend haven't gotten used to this idea yet. Unfortunately, it may be on you to educate them. I would continue to press the issue. Tell them that it is important to you and you would like them to be respectful and listen to what you're saying.



RobotPirateDinosaurs
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27 Dec 2015, 11:06 pm

SocOfAutism wrote:
Your family and friend haven't gotten used to this idea yet. Unfortunately, it may be on you to educate them. I would continue to press the issue. Tell them that it is important to you and you would like them to be respectful and listen to what you're saying.


You're right. I probably should not give up yet. Thanks for the support. I hate to admit it, but it really hurt my feelings the way they responded. This is a huge deal for me. I thought that it would be easier for people to understand me or at least excuse my atypical behavior if they knew. Or at least it would make it easier on me. I get really embarassd at the way I am when I let my guard down and my aspie self slips out. Especially at work. I've gotten good at faking normal, but it is so freaking exhausting and I just want to relax and be myself. I'm just not sure how to proceed now.



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27 Dec 2015, 11:36 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
There are a lot of people who do not understand Aspergers, or think it is a fake syndrome used by people to make excuses for bad behavoir, think it is real but that a lot of people fake it to excuse bad behavior, or think it is massively over diagnosed because it is supposidly trendy.
That's been my experience so far. My parents have blown me off about it (willing to talk to a doctor to answer questions though).


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SocOfAutism
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28 Dec 2015, 2:48 pm

My husband has said that it's easier to fake being neurotyical in most interactions with strangers and acquaintences, but with people who know him well, it comes off as creepy. And it's too stressful for him. It would be like wearing a mask ALL the time.

For both RobotPirateDinosaurs (awesome name) and zkydz - You might want to try writing an email or letter to your loved ones expressing how you feel. It might also help if you put in a few scenarios of everyday life and what's going on inside you when the scenarios happen. People often have a picture of how their loved ones "are" and if they are told that picture isn't correct, they tend to balk. Like, no no, I'm not a cat, I'm a dog. It's hard for them to accept.

Scenario One: When I'm at work and a co-worker walks up to me and asks a personal question I'm not expecting, I feel [put in how you feel here, and what you have to do to formulate a response].
Scenario Two: If I have had to be social for many hours I have to do [whatever] for [amount of time] to recover.
Scenario Three: When people touch me [in this way] I feel [this way].

Those above scenarios are usually things that are standard to neurotypicals, but unique for aspies and auties. I would say most neurotypicals do, say, and feel only one or two things in all three of those scenarios, which they would see as inconsequential.



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28 Dec 2015, 4:24 pm

SocOfAutism wrote:
My husband has said that it's easier to fake being neurotyical in most interactions with strangers and acquaintences, but with people who know him well, it comes off as creepy. And it's too stressful for him. It would be like wearing a mask ALL the time.

For both RobotPirateDinosaurs (awesome name) and zkydz - You might want to try writing an email or letter to your loved ones expressing how you feel. It might also help if you put in a few scenarios of everyday life and what's going on inside you when the scenarios happen. People often have a picture of how their loved ones "are" and if they are told that picture isn't correct, they tend to balk. Like, no no, I'm not a cat, I'm a dog. It's hard for them to accept.

Scenario One: When I'm at work and a co-worker walks up to me and asks a personal question I'm not expecting, I feel [put in how you feel here, and what you have to do to formulate a response].
Scenario Two: If I have had to be social for many hours I have to do [whatever] for [amount of time] to recover.
Scenario Three: When people touch me [in this way] I feel [this way].

Those above scenarios are usually things that are standard to neurotypicals, but unique for aspies and auties. I would say most neurotypicals do, say, and feel only one or two things in all three of those scenarios, which they would see as inconsequential.
What's funny about it is that they know the behaviour, but won't listen about the cause. For instance my Mom went on and on about how my Dad is 'determined' to do (fill in the blank with Aspie behaviour and locking in on things) and I tried to explain that he is not determined. He literally cannot control it. Total denial. Can't convince someone if they will not even consider it.

It is also compounded by the fact that my Dad's profession played right into his Aspie traits. He was successful because of those traits (Electrical Engineer) and they can't see that what was once a help is now a hindrance. The old "It worked then, it will always work."


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Veilmenacex
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28 Dec 2015, 5:20 pm

SocOfAutism wrote:
Some people think autism in general, but especially Aspergers, is the latest overdiagnosis fad. This is because "all of a sudden" people are hearing about autism a lot, and it seems as though lots of people they know are autistic when 15 years ago they had never met an autistic person (or so they thought).

This is like how there are "suddenly" more hispanic people in the US. It used to be that there was no way for hispanic or latino people to identify that way. You could say you were black, white, or asian, with nothing in between. This may seem ridiculous now, but that is actually the way official US race records were kept. There is still often no "other" category, so if you are mixed race, a pacific islander, an american indian, or something else, you don't have a way to identify. So anyway, we now have standardized classifications for hispanics in the US, so it seems as though we now have more of this kind of people. We probably don't have that many more than we used to. It's just that we now have a way to speak about being a hispanic or latino person and previously we didn't.

Okay so it's the same way with being autistic. People on the spectrum are already present all around us. They may or may not identify that way, and may or may not be identifiable by other people. Your family and friend haven't gotten used to this idea yet. Unfortunately, it may be on you to educate them. I would continue to press the issue. Tell them that it is important to you and you would like them to be respectful and listen to what you're saying.


there is nothing long with overdiagnoses of Asperger's because it just means people are going to get help with their social skills and communication and employment support etc to compensate for their disability.



deafghost52
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18 Mar 2016, 7:03 am

SocOfAutism wrote:
Some people think autism in general, but especially Aspergers, is the latest overdiagnosis fad. This is because "all of a sudden" people are hearing about autism a lot, and it seems as though lots of people they know are autistic when 15 years ago they had never met an autistic person (or so they thought)

It's a funny coincidence, but my therapist said pretty much the same thing recently, and explained that before Autism/Asperger's, it was Bi-Polar Depression, and before that Dissociative Identity Disorder, and prior to that it was Schizophrenia (which, apparently, is why he doesn't think I have Asperger's - because of his bias against fads like those). Honestly, I would argue that they're not so much diagnostic "fads" as they are diagnoses made prevalent within the context of that culture and time period, when they probably would have stood out more. It's kind of like how there's a spike in PTSD diagnoses during war-time, when veterans are returning home. My psych professor also explained that it depends upon cultural norms and mores across different countries and periods of time, and how they affect perceptual biases of people's behavior (like how ADD/ADHD may have have less awareness in a smaller, hunter-gatherer culture than it would in a larger, more industrial one). I also think it depends upon how much we've learned about each condition, because even just when I was a kid not that long ago, there was A LOT less information about autism than there is today (whether or not it's entirely accurate information today is debatable, but there is more of it).


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18 Mar 2016, 12:52 pm

I'm sorry they're not being supportive about it. I only had one friend at the time of my diagnosis, who took the same attitude, and that definitely hurt. (We're no longer friends.) My parents have been very understanding, but my brother just 'politely' pretends that I don't have an embarrassing psychiatric condition.

I've definitely noticed a trend in which people who are knowledgeable about autism have been understanding and supportive, and those who are ignorant insist they know better than the so-called 'experts', and it's all just a silly fad. I've learned to accept it, but hopefully in time this attitude will change, and 'autism phobia' will join 'homophobia' as an ignorant, hateful, outdated attitude that has no place in modern society.