Page 1 of 1 [ 5 posts ] 

22Phoenix22
Butterfly
Butterfly

Joined: 11 May 2021
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Posts: 10

17 May 2021, 8:12 pm

Hey, everyone. I posted recently asking what the difference between Asperger’s and Autism is, and which one I had. I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond to that post, and while I learned a lot, I still feel confused.
The person who diagnosed me (who DOES have the credentials to do so and apparently specializes in it) told me that I just have Asperger’s and NOT Autism. She said this was because I only had the social communication problem, despite having a lot of other Autistic traits. I honestly felt like she ignored a lot of the other problems I was facing, as she seemed reluctant to diagnosis me as being Autistic. I don’t know which one I have at this point, so I thought I’d ask all of you.
I listed my Autistic and/or Asperger’s traits below with some brief examples. Of course, there’s a lot more examples that I’m not putting in, so this doesn’t turn into a huge essay. If you make it to the end, thank you very much for taking the time to look at it. And thank you in advance to everyone who responds to this post; I really appreciate it!

My Traits:

—I have very few interests; my interests are mostly that of writing, art, and martial arts. I’ve tried a few times to pursue other things, but I quickly lose interest or will only be “into it” for a brief time. Writing, art, and martial arts are the only consistent interests I’ve got. This has caused a problem for me when trying to get through college in the past, as I couldn’t find a major I liked at all; it’s also made finding jobs hard, and I’ve therefore remained at the same job for 5 years despite trying to leave multiple times to try out something else. I just don’t have interest in other things.
—With things I have no interest in, I don’t pay any attention at all. I’ve missed a ton of information when it comes to adulting tasks like car maintenance and house fixings because I literally have zero interest and can’t focus on them. I always need to ask for help with these things despite being shown how to do them before.

—When doing my few interests, I lose track of the time and literally forget to exist. I will sit at the computer for five hours straight, not taking any breaks to eat, drink, use the bathroom, or stretch. I literally forget all existence as I write and/or draw. While this has helped me be productive, it’s also caused me to neglect my health big-time. No matter how much I try to stop this behavior, I still can’t seem to.

—I have a difficulty with communication. I’ve always struggled with it. Sometimes, I just can’t speak, like there’s something physically keeping me from uttering a single word. I would actually go mute on my dad for no reason growing up; it’d only last a few days to a week, but I could never say why I’d do this. One time though, I didn’t speak to him for literally four years; the longer I went without talking, the more I just couldn’t do it. I had no reason for this. We DO speak now, as I was finally able to overcome that blockage; but at times, I still kinda go mute (not talking to him if he calls, typically). In middle school, I was also selectively mute, not speaking to 95% of the students at my school, and only saying a few words to a handful of students.
—Sometimes, I really enjoy talking to others and will want to speak with them. In some of these cases, I will literally not stop talking. But other times, it’s like I’m “turned off” and can’t have any sort of interaction with anyone, and will completely zone out (whether I mean to or not). It’s like I just don’t have the energy to deal with people.
—I’ve actually used sign language or writing to communicate before. If people couldn’t understand my signing, I’d act it out so they’d understand. This would be if I just literally couldn’t bring myself to speak.

—I seem to have delayed comprehension. When people speak to me, I hear their voices (I can even hear small noises across a noisy room!)…but I can’t make out any words. This definitely happens if anyone has a strong accent; I won’t understand a single word. But even for people speaking perfect English with no accent, I just struggle to comprehend what they’ve said. Other times, someone will say something to me and I hear the words, but they just don’t comprehend in my brain. So then I ask them to repeat, and as I ask them to repeat, it’s like the message comes through and I don’t need them to repeat. Or I ask them to repeat like three times because it’s just not comprehending with me.
—I sometimes have a hard time reading people, and especially with “reading between the lines” when people are speaking. I know I’ve been “manipulated” before because I wasn’t able to understand someone’s intentions. I’m typically okay with knowing people’s emotions though, but sometimes it can be unclear with how a person feels towards me and/or what their intentions are for me.

—I sometimes struggle very much with eye contact. In the past, I could never hold eye contact. When I was in college and started doing martial arts, I started getting better. But then I held eye contact TOO strongly, staring people down the whole time they spoke and making them uneasy. I try not to do that now, but the lack of eye contact thing is happening again. I keep struggling to make eye contact with customers or even coworkers and family members. I still can’t look my dad in the eye; I haven’t been able to since that first year I went mute on him.
—Sometimes I also rely on my coworkers to take the lead. I just can’t make eye contact with customers or bring myself to speak to them, so my coworkers have to do so instead, while I “concentrate” on doing the physical part of the job.
—I am also more responsive than taking the initiative. Someone has to ask me how I’m doing in order for me to use that generic, “Good, how about you?” response. But if they say “what’s up” instead of “how are you”, I have no idea how to respond and usually don’t—it throws me off. I also don’t tend to say “hi” to people unless they say “hi” first.

—I tend to have a monotone voice. I struggle to bring emotion into my voice when I’m not doing voice acting for a project. I also keep the same neutral expression. I’ve been trying to change this, but I’m not really sure how to go about it. I do make funny faces and talk in funny voices when playing around with my family/friends, but otherwise I don’t really make different expressions or have different emotions in my voice. I also don’t use gestures.
—I tend to speak too loud when I think I’m being quiet and whispering. And then I’ll speak too low/muttering despite thinking I’m talking loud and clear. It’s very frustrating!

—I struggle to understand jokes and/or sarcasm. I usually need jokes and common sayings explained to me. I’ve misinterpreted sarcasm so many times too, or I even take people literally when they’re not being literal. I also seem to lack “common knowledge” topics (probably due to my limited interests) that when I ask, “who’s that” or “what’s that” about famous/popular things, people stare at me like I’m crazy.

—I’ve ALWAYS had a hard time making friends. I’d usually have 1-3, depending. I trusted teachers more than students and was a “teacher’s pet”—not in the way of trying to get them to like me so I could pass a class, but because I was genuinely interested in them and wanted to be like them and be their friend. Students, on the other hand, were very hard to get along with or trust.

—I rely a LOT on schedules and to-do lists. I make so many each week, and if I get through things faster, I HAVE to update my lists. I actually just got a Schedule app, which has been so helpful in remembering to do things, like chores. (I will get my laundry started and then forget it in the dryer for hours if not days.)
—I think one of the reasons why I haven’t been able to leave my current job is because there’s a literal to-do list there for preps/chores and a set structure on how to do things. When I tried to work elsewhere, they wouldn’t have clear lists, so I’d not know what to do or feel awkward the whole time, especially if I felt hostility towards me for asking what to do.
—I also tend to be really punctual about things. I’ll do things at an EXACT time, and I’ll arrive early to places. If I have a doctor’s appointment, I’ll make sure I’m not doing anything or getting started on any projects (especially with writing or art, as I forget what time it is), so that way I don’t miss the appointment. This usually leads to an unproductive day until after the appointment is done.
—I’m also super organized…literally folders in folders in folders on my computer.

—I’m very sensitive. High-pitched and loud noises bother me so much. I’d fear the vacuum as much as the pets growing up, though I’ve gotten better with it now. But if I hear any sort of high frequency, it hurts my ears so badly, though it doesn’t bother anyone else (if they even hear it). I also used to have a really sensitive nose that I’d have to pull my shirt up over my nose when going into certain stores with my mom; my sense of smell has luckily faded a bit. I also have this thing about textures; I canNOT touch any sort of sandpaper-type feeling, which means I can’t wear jeans (not that I care) and I can’t even file my own nails.
—I’m also super sensitive to touch. I don’t like touching people or having them touch me, at least in that affectionate sort of way like a hug or even a high-five. At my martial arts school though, I have no problem getting on someone’s back in grappling or punching them in sparring. I can even stand doing chokes and being choked, usually without issue. But if a doctor tries to look in my ears or touch my throat, I freak out big time and flinch badly.

—I have this weird thing with numbers. I’m not a math person…but I LOVE to see patterns with numbers and read license plates. I also remember dates really well.

—I go around my house making weird noises for literally no reason (at least, most times). This has been something I’ve always done, and still do to this day. I nearly shrieked in one of my classes once because I just couldn’t stand being in there and was getting super restless. I also HAVE to do certain things, like stepping on leaves when going on walks. I can’t control myself.
—I used to always tap my fingers and bounce my leg. I finally broke this habit because it annoyed my dad so much, and I instead scratch my head or rub my fingers on my shirt to give them something to do. I just feel the need to keep my hands moving; the tapping has recently returned.

—I used to walk on my toes ALL THE TIME. It literally gave me knee issues that I had to consider stopping martial arts at one point. But I can now walk with my heels touching the ground again, thankfully. I’ve read that people with Autism tend to toe-walk. I also heard something about overbites and/or biting the bottom lip a lot, which is something I have and something I do…

—I feel dependent on my parents. I always need them to do things for me because I just don’t understand or even know how to do them or that I should be doing them. An example is that my mom had to wash my hair for me in middle school, when kids are supposed to be able to shower on their own at that point. My parents think I’m not going to be able to move out/live on my own, and that I’ll be with them forever (I’m 23 now). I’m trying to be more independent and do more chores, but there’s a LOT I don’t know…

SO if you made it to the end of this mini essay…which one does it sound like I have? Do you think I have Asperger’s or Autism, or could I be considered both? I know that Asperger’s IS on the Autistic spectrum so I should be considered “both”, but my doctor was adamant about me NOT having Autism. I'm still just confused with which one I have, if it's one or the other, or if I'm "both" and allowed to use either word.
Thank you for taking the time to read and respond!



Jiheisho
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 21 Jul 2020
Age: 57
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,507

17 May 2021, 9:28 pm

You have Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. I was diagnosed last year. My doc said I have autism and Asperger's was no longer a diagnosis. I relate to many things you have said, but I have no problem getting jokes. I don't have problems speaking.

If you like the Asperger's label, use that. If you are comfortable with autism, that is fine. I use autism.



22Phoenix22
Butterfly
Butterfly

Joined: 11 May 2021
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Posts: 10

17 May 2021, 10:39 pm

Yeah, my doctor said Asperger's was no longer a diagnosis either, but still diagnosed me with it and said I do NOT has Autism. So I was very confused! But it's nice to hear that you share a lot of these traits; if you were diagnosed with Autism and relate to a lot of my traits too, it's probably safe to say that I DO have Autism after all. Thank you for your input! By the way, if you don't mind my asking, what "level" of Autism are you? Like Level 1/High-Functioning?



aquafelix
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2019
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Posts: 950
Location: Australia

18 May 2021, 5:26 am

My psychiatrist did the same thing when giving me my diagnosis. She used the term "aspergers" too. when I asked her about it later and said the term was no longer current. She said I was technically correct and that I have Autism Spectrum Disorder but she chose to use the term Aspergers as she thought that would be more acceptable to me. I was autistic, but was intelligent and verbally capable, which is what Aspergers means and is still used by clinicians to mean that, even if it's not a part of the diagnostic categories



22Phoenix22
Butterfly
Butterfly

Joined: 11 May 2021
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Posts: 10

18 May 2021, 9:26 am

Yeah that makes a lot of sense. With my doctor belittling Autistic people and making it seem like having Autism was a crime, it definitely made me think that Autism was such a horrible thing at first. Of course, I have a friend who's Autistic and have done a lot more research, and when I saw how similar Asperger's and Autism are to each other, I know that's definitely not the case. It just seems like there's a lot of negativity around Autism, but not Asperger's. So maybe she was trying to save me from facing that...despite being one of the people creating negativity around Autism in the first place. I'm glad someone else has faced the same issue, since I was really confused. Thanks for sharing!