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iamtheblob
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24 May 2019, 3:18 am

Hello!

I've just joined Wrong Planet. I was diagnosed with ASD level one a few months ago. I'm 35 years old. I've studied philosophy in the past and have also made performance and video work as a contemporary artist. My main employment currently is as an English language teacher for adults.

I wanted to join Wrong Planet as I'm struggling to wrap my head around my diagnosis, and what it means for my future. The diagnosis provides a useful insight into why I've struggled with organisation, executive function and aspects of communication in relationships. But it's hard to know what the next step is! At the moment I also believe I'm struggling with a low level of depression, probably related to the frustration I feel with being on the spectrum. I have a therapist who I see fortnightly.

I'm keen to learn more about managing energy levels. I find sleep so difficult to manage, as I do general organisation.

I'm looking forward to being part of the community!

CR



RussD
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26 May 2019, 12:23 pm

I was diagnosed around the same age as you. Don’t expect people to care about autism. Most of them will downplay it or try to make you feel like you don’t have it. As far as helping yourself after being diagnosed, giving up alcohol, processed foods and chemicals in general make you feel a lot better. Sunglasses and hats are key as well.



Magna
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26 May 2019, 12:26 pm

Welcome. WP is a wonderful place to be. What sort of struggles are you having about your diagnosis and what it means for your future?


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"There is no love of living without despair of life." - Albert Camus

AQ-43 (32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism).
EQ-14 out of 80
Rdos: Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 173 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


AnonymousAnonymous
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26 May 2019, 12:28 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :D


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Mountain Goat
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26 May 2019, 12:30 pm

Welcome. A friendly lot in here.


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I do not know if I have asperges/autism or not. Waiting an assessment.


Trogluddite
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26 May 2019, 12:35 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet.

In a sense, I think you've already made the best "next step" - finding somewhere to learn more about autism as seen "from the inside" by other autistic people. It's not unusual to find it a bit of a "roller-coaster ride" after a late diagnosis; not necessarily all bad or all good, but certainly rather disorientating at times. Before making any drastic changes, I'd advise you get your bearings first. Autism expresses itself in a multitude of different ways, but there's a lot to be learned from the connections you can make with people who you share particular traits with - and if you're anything like I was (diagnosed 3 years ago at 45), you'll also have many "aha" moments where you discover new concepts that help you to put your traits in perspective.

Best wishes.


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iamtheblob
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29 May 2019, 5:09 am

Thanks for the replies! People here seem very generous.

Perhaps one of the main struggles I've been having is just integrating the diagnosis with my own understanding of my personality. I keep finding myself thinking things like: which parts of my personality are 'the diagnosis', and which parts are me? Obviously you can't really separate the two so easily - I am, after all, a person who has fit the criteria for ASD all my life. It does affect how I see myself though. It's hard not to feel like the diagnosis makes you somehow defective, particularly because so many of the diagnostic criteria focus on shortcomings.

Paradoxically, at other times I have trouble believing that the diagnosis is "real". I'm not sure if this is just textbook denial, but I catch myself thinking that perhaps I've made this all up, or that this is just a matter of normal human difference being overly pathologised and medicalised. This is the case even though I fit so many of the criteria for ASD!

These sorts of musings aside, the things I find difficult are executive functioning tasks. I am incredibly slow and often quite disorganised because I find many basic tasks just overwhelming to execute (unless they are things I do everyday and I'm very habituated to them). I certainly have sleep issues, though melatonin, earplugs and an eye mask seems to help. I get stuck in grooves of obsessive, usually unhelpful thought. My poor little brain is constantly whirring in social situations trying to make myself 'fit in' and not seem weird. I could go on!

I'd be interested to hear how others go about using this forum.

Cheers!

CR



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29 May 2019, 9:02 am

I have not been diagnosed and though I believe that I am mildly on the spectrum, I would be surprized if when I get tested that I am found not to be on the spectrum... If I am not I expect it to be close rather then definately not...
Though let me get to the point incase I go on another tangent. You mention something that I am thinking about. The autistic traits (Which are ones I have suddenly discovered since I have been on here and I had never thought I had (As usually things are given labels where one may not associate onesself as having it until someone explains how they have it and one is suddenly shocked when one knows one also has it... (I have had shock after shock after shock in this way since I have been on this site which has not actually been that long. I joined to ask a single question)... The autistic traits... Well, as I had previously just thought they were my character and they are... And I never thought that I could possibly be mildly autistic [Why I am waiting to be tested... Which if the waiting list stays the same it will be over a years wait but I'm hoping it will reduce now they have a new assessment centre] so finding out that some aspects of my character could be related to traits of mild autism, how does one work out which aspects of my character are not autistically linked and which are? Oh gosh. If I didn't tend to get nurvous and clam up unable to speak what is on my mind when at the doctors (I go into a default setting which does not speak about the issues I came in with to ask about!) and I hope I won't clam up while being tested... especially if I get the chance to ask questions... But if I am able to ask questions and am not clammed up there will be a torrent of questions coming out in such volumes that I doubt they could possibly answer them!
If I am on the spectrum do I consider it a dissability. Well. One aspect if it is caused by autism I am definately without doubt effected in a physical way and that is energy loss, as at times just walking from the car to a shop and walking round a shop is out of the question. (Even if it is a bright and airy shop with no one in it). Yet, on other days I can almost climb Everest. (Well, maybe Snodon rather then Everest... But you get the picture). It is the energy loss situations is what led me eventually via a series of unusual coincidences to follow the trails leading to the autistic spectrum. And in a way I am excited as for all my life I have been struggling assuming it was caused by mystery allergies or anything else it could be, and now at last if it is related to autism I have found the cause! And why excited? It is not just finding the cause but I now jnderstand it so I now know how to adjust to reduce the occasions which trigger it. Even if I am not found to be autisic, I have already traced most of the causes to stress, as prior to this I disn't have a clue as I didn't even know the build up to having it was called stress. My mum mentioned it about a year ago and I didn't catch on at the time what stress was. It is not quite the same as what I thought stress was as it seems combined with worry or agitated etc.. On edge... And some triggers to this happening are when I get asked to do something like help someone lift something or look for something for them when it came out of the blue and I had not forseen it coming.
Anyway... Sorry, I have put so much as I get carried away in my typing...


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BTDT
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29 May 2019, 9:34 am

Now that you have a diagnoses, the most useful thing I find are finding ways to reduce the stress in my life.

Sometimes, I don't even realize that an issue I have is related to autism. Or, sometimes I know but I just forget. For instance, I bought some fleece PJs and then found I couldn't wear them. Like other Aspies on the forum. But, I can wear 100% satin polyester PJs, unlike some Aspies that can't wear polyester.

So, I'd keep and open mind about what you read here. You may find some useful stuff here. And a lot you can ignore.



Mona Pereth
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03 Jun 2019, 4:29 am

iamtheblob wrote:
Thanks for the replies! People here seem very generous.

Perhaps one of the main struggles I've been having is just integrating the diagnosis with my own understanding of my personality. I keep finding myself thinking things like: which parts of my personality are 'the diagnosis', and which parts are me? Obviously you can't really separate the two so easily - I am, after all, a person who has fit the criteria for ASD all my life.

Indeed you really can't separate them.

That's one of the main reasons why a lot of us don't like the idea of a "cure" for autism per se. A lot of us would welcome "cures" for specific, more narrowly-defined problems that we have, but we fear that a "cure" for autism per se would turn us into completely different people, robbing us of strengths, talents, and joys as well as taking away our disabilities, and generally turning our lives and our sense of self completely upside-down.

iamtheblob wrote:
It does affect how I see myself though. It's hard not to feel like the diagnosis makes you somehow defective, particularly because so many of the diagnostic criteria focus on shortcomings.

It is indeed defined in terms of shortcomings. However, there are also strengths and talents that are more common among autistic people than among the general population.

iamtheblob wrote:
Paradoxically, at other times I have trouble believing that the diagnosis is "real". I'm not sure if this is just textbook denial, but I catch myself thinking that perhaps I've made this all up, or that this is just a matter of normal human difference being overly pathologised and medicalised. This is the case even though I fit so many of the criteria for ASD!

Indeed a lot of us feel that it has been overly pathologized and medicalized. Welcome to the neurodiversity perspective.

Still, there are things we do need help with, and the diagnosis is a gateway to getting whatever help is available.

iamtheblob wrote:
These sorts of musings aside, the things I find difficult are executive functioning tasks. I am incredibly slow and often quite disorganised because I find many basic tasks just overwhelming to execute (unless they are things I do everyday and I'm very habituated to them). I certainly have sleep issues, though melatonin, earplugs and an eye mask seems to help. I get stuck in grooves of obsessive, usually unhelpful thought.

These are all issues that a lot of us have, and that are worth getting therapy for.

iamtheblob wrote:
My poor little brain is constantly whirring in social situations trying to make myself 'fit in' and not seem weird.

Those of us who manage to do a perfect job of fitting in and not seeming weird do so at great cost to themselves. It always takes a huge amount of effort. Autism doesn't just mean being delayed at learning social skills; it means having underlying neurological issues (the specific issues varying from one autistic person to another) that make socializing in the NT world intrinsically difficult.

In my opinion, we need autistic-friendly social spaces and autistic-friendly workplaces, so we can be free to be ourselves (at least for the most part) and focus on being productive instead of on trying to fit in. To that end, we need to build the autistic community, hopefully with help from the larger "autism community" (parents and professionals).


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- Finally diagnosed with ASD in May 2019, after having suspected it for over ten years, and after having deeply explored the autism community for over one year while waiting for and obtaining diagnosis.
- In longterm relationship with boyfriend who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2001.
- Long history of participation in various oddball subcultures.
- My "Getting to know each other" thread: Hello from NYC.


Last edited by Mona Pereth on 03 Jun 2019, 4:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mona Pereth
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03 Jun 2019, 4:38 am

Mountain Goat wrote:
If I didn't tend to get nurvous and clam up unable to speak what is on my mind when at the doctors (I go into a default setting which does not speak about the issues I came in with to ask about!) and I hope I won't clam up while being tested... especially if I get the chance to ask questions... But if I am able to ask questions and am not clammed up there will be a torrent of questions coming out in such volumes that I doubt they could possibly answer them!

To avoid clamming up, I would suggest preparing an organized typewritten list of all your personal difficulties, and bringing that with you. Before my first appointment I prepared a list of my traits in all the following categories:

- Social difficulties
- Sensory sensitivities and other sensory oddities
- Executive functioning issues, part 1: attention issues
- Executive functioning issues, part 2: miscellaneous
- Unusual habits and routines
- Miscellaneous difficulties
- Non-problematic additional reasons to suspect autism


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- Finally diagnosed with ASD in May 2019, after having suspected it for over ten years, and after having deeply explored the autism community for over one year while waiting for and obtaining diagnosis.
- In longterm relationship with boyfriend who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2001.
- Long history of participation in various oddball subcultures.
- My "Getting to know each other" thread: Hello from NYC.


Mountain Goat
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03 Jun 2019, 5:18 am

Thank you Mona Pereth.


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I do not know if I have asperges/autism or not. Waiting an assessment.