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alwaysImproving
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19 May 2021, 11:26 am

Hi, hope you're all doing well! I'm a 35 year old male, and over the last few months started to realize that I might be on the spectrum, with what I guess used to be called Asperger's and is now just part of the spectrum? I was reading The Big Short, and early on I could really relate to some of Michael Burry's character traits. Later, it reveals that he discovered he had Asperger's and was listing off symptoms/traits that match, and a lot of them were things that I feel/do.

One of the biggest things impacting my overall wellness right now is the lack of sleep I've been getting for years. I've explored it from seemingly every angle, and now I'm wondering if it might be related to this? I typically have trouble falling asleep, occasionally trouble staying asleep. Does anyone have any advice that has worked for them? I'm wondering if maybe the reason a lot of common solutions haven't worked is that perhaps it's linked to being on the autism spectrum?

Also, I wanted to know what people suggest for someone my age sort of feeling out this process. Should I go to a specialist to try to get a diagnosis? Or is there potentially more harm than upside given the way health insurance works in the US? Are there any resources to find specialists? Especially for people trying to figure it out as adults. I feel like for my age group, there wasn't a lot of effort to identify this in children, but now it's almost always caught early. So it seems like the system is set up more to help kids, and I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

I'm also just wondering people's general best advice they would have overall for me.

As for my experience, some of the traits/symptoms that stick out the most to me personally are:

1. Being engrossed in things for hours on end. This dates back to childhood, sometimes it was analyzing my favorite sports team, sometimes it's learning a new passion or improving on one - from poker to investing to golf. Several times a year I'll just work all the way through the night on something like investing.

2. Making lists/spreadsheets. From my video game statistics as a kid (lol) to golf results now to poker and investing (where I guess it's more normal), I love to have lists and spreadsheets and be able to define and track stuff really specifically. This also includes to-do lists.

3. Good with numbers. I've always been able to do math quickly in my head and taken to it.

4. Often socially isolated, whether I want to be or not. I crave social interaction at times, but sometimes I can totally shut off to it, and regardless I get nervous and uncomfortable meeting new people. I also hate hate hate small talk. I love talking to people about substantive things once I'm comfortable around them, but I hate idle chit chat about nothing - again it makes me feel physically sick to my stomach. Going back to childhood, I've always had a small group of close friends, rather than a larger group of friends.

5. Repetitive behavior/habits. I'll drum my thumbs on the table the same way, or flip my cell phone or a remote back and forth in my hand the same way, etc.

6. Stronger emotional reactions than normal. I get more upset than most people when I see injustice harm others, and this can range from an isolated thing affecting one person to like wide scale human rights injustices. I also take things more personally than I should, and tend to react strongly at an emotional level to good or bad things that happen to me.

7. Anxiety over things that are outside my control. I tend to worry a lot about things I can't control, and again this spans the scale from things that impact me directly to like broad economic events that I fear are coming.

In some ways, realizing that this was likely the case was like a light bulb going off moment. "Ohhh, so much makes sense now!" In other ways, it's scary because I don't enough about it yet. Which for me, and maybe some others can relate, when I say not enough in this case it means "not everything" lol... But I'm also hopeful, because maybe knowing will empower me to learn things that will help me to improve in the challenging areas and harness the strengths.

Anyway, thanks for any and all responses!



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19 May 2021, 3:26 pm

There is nothing wrong with going for an assesment. It solves the question you have about not being sure if you are or are not on the spectrum.

I am not in the USA, but I have heard that while employers can be accomodating, they can also decide not to employ a dissabled person (Autism is classed as a dissability) which is unfair... (Here in Britain we have the opposite effect where a dissabled person is pushed forward ahead of someone not classed as dissabled as employers get grants to employ dissabled... Which is also unfair for those tallented people who are not dissabled and feel hopeless as they can't find work, so it is not easy to make a system which works well for everyone and no one really has the answers...).


For me I reached a point where I could not ignore the situation I was in and actually it dis not hit me that I needed to be assessed until almost too late, as I had hit several hard hitting burnouts and could not work any more, as each time I tried I hit another burnout and each burnout I hat hit me harder then the one before...
And I dis not know that they were called burnouts until I had the last one while I had already joined this site. (May have been breakdowns. I don't know. All I know is I came very close to not being able to walk or drive with the last one and I was mentally "Glitching" which is scary!)

But my advice is to anyone who is wondering if they are on the spectrum or not is that if you have traits and you are struggling, then it probably is a good idea to be assessed.



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19 May 2021, 8:31 pm

First: Hi! Welcome to WP! I hope you find it a nice place to revisit.

Then: I can't respond to all of your points, and some of my responses will be incomplete or maybe wrong, but here goes...

alwaysImproving wrote:
One of the biggest things impacting my overall wellness right now is the lack of sleep I've been getting for years.
I haven't mastered this one, myself. Sometimes I have trouble going to sleep, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep. Usually the problem is my mind will be churning on something and not want to stop. However, sometimes I've gotten some very good ideas or insights this way, so go figure.

I do find a regular routine for going to bed, including trying to keep a consistent bedtime, helps. A little.


alwaysImproving wrote:
Also, I wanted to know what people suggest for someone my age sort of feeling out this process. Should I go to a specialist to try to get a diagnosis? Or is there potentially more harm than upside given the way health insurance works in the US? Are there any resources to find specialists? Especially for people trying to figure it out as adults. I feel like for my age group, there wasn't a lot of effort to identify this in children, but now it's almost always caught early. So it seems like the system is set up more to help kids, and I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction.
I'm in the U.S. I was 64 when I (and my bride) concluded I was probably a "High Functioning Autistic", or was nearly one (we got some reinforcement from the Autism-Spectrum Quotient Test). I was very curious and wanted to know. My insurance provider's web page lead me to believe I could seek an Adult Autism Assessment without going through them but I telephoned them anyways, just to be sure.

Sigh. That is when things got frustrating. Sometimes I was told I did not need a referral, sometimes I was told my Primary Care Physician (PCP) would need to request a referral for me. Just to be cautious we got my PCP to request a referral. Later I think I figured out what was going on: I think the correct story is I would not need a referral if I used one of the insurance company's network providers, but there were no suitable network providers near me so that meant I would have to go off-network and that required a request from my PCP. None of their telephone agents ever explained that. Note: Don't assume the insurance rep on the phone is explaining things correctly or completely. I think Adult Autism Assessments must be unusual.

The insurance company quickly sent me a referral. A bad referral! They referred me to a counseling practice and when I called them they said they did not do assessments! Then the insurance company gave me four more useless leads. Finally they said I could find my own provider to do the assessment but it had to be a licensed Psychologist with ABA certification--that is also wrong! I wasted months trying to find one of them until some nice person from an ABA practice explained to me that I just needed a Psychologist to do the assessment--the ABA bit is for treating autism, after a diagnosis, typically in children! It turns out the correct thing to look for was a licensed psychologist that did autism assessments.Note: Don't assume the insurance company knows what it is talking about. I think Adult Autism Assessments must be unusual.

And you're correct, even when you know what you are looking for it isn't straightforward to find one. I don't think very many Adult Autism Assessments are done and did not find any practice's web page that said they did them. What I did was:

[*] I used https://www.findapsychologist.org/ to find psychologists near me that "did" Autism.
[*] I used the state licensing Board's web page to verify they were licensed.
[*] I looked at the Psychologist's web page to verify they worked with Autism and took "old" patients. (Note: I didn't see any whose web page said they did Adult Autism Assessments, probably because there's not much business in that!)
[*] I ended up with eight possibles...they did stuff with Autism and took patients as old as me. Naturally I called the nearest one first. It was a practice with several Psychologists but one of them seemed a possible candidate.
[*] The Office Manager answered my call and said she did not think anyone at that practice did Adult Autism Assessments but she would check. She called me back and said one of they Psychologists could help me...and, by the way, it isn't the one I had tried to reach.

That's how I successfully found the Psychologist who did my assessment...and I honestly don't know if I was the first one she ever did. Note: Adult Autism Assessments must be unusual. Don't expect to find it listed on a Psychologist's web page. Don't expect the person who answers the phone for them to know. And maybe group practices are good candidates because they can sort it out internally.

The psychologist I used did not take insurance or coordinate with the insurance company. I paid the bill...happily because I received a diagnosis that explained so much. Later *I* submitted the paperwork for partial insurance reimbursement (it's possibly a good thing I got that referral!). Note: I don't know how it'll work for you but, in my case, the insurance company only knows what I told them--I got an assessment and it cost this much. The Psychologist's bill I submitted to the insurance company did not include the diagnosis.

Advantages of getting a professional assessment?

[*] Finally knowing the truth! It explained so much of my life!
[*] Not having to qualify things, as in "I think I'm probably..."
[*] Getting a correct diagnosis! ADHD and mild Autism have similarities. And there are other diagnoses in that vicinity, too--for instance, BAP

Also, personally, I thought the assessment was kind of fun! There is a specific set of things they should be checking but parts of my assessment were clearly geared for children.

alwaysImproving wrote:
As for my experience, some of the traits/symptoms that stick out the most to me personally are:
Your interests and mine overlap. I retired from IT and still think computers are fun (I don't like to trust them, but I like to play with them!).

You will probably enjoy playing with BBCode, I do. And on one WP topic I even managed to use Excel to crunch some data an spit out some BBCode.


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AnonymousAnonymous
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20 May 2021, 8:26 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :D


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alwaysImproving
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20 May 2021, 10:32 pm

Mountain Goat wrote:
There is nothing wrong with going for an assesment. It solves the question you have about not being sure if you are or are not on the spectrum.


Yeah, I think from a personal/medical/therapeutic standpoint it's only helpful.

Mountain Goat wrote:
I am not in the USA, but I have heard that while employers can be accomodating, they can also decide not to employ a dissabled person (Autism is classed as a dissability) which is unfair...


I'm self-employed, so fortunately this isn't a concern for me. But I do worry with our healthcare system about it being some sort of pre-existing condition that could get me denied for coverage, depending on how things play out politically here with regard to healthcare in the future.

Mountain Goat wrote:
For me I reached a point where I could not ignore the situation I was in and actually it dis not hit me that I needed to be assessed until almost too late, as I had hit several hard hitting burnouts and could not work any more, as each time I tried I hit another burnout and each burnout I hat hit me harder then the one before...
And I dis not know that they were called burnouts until I had the last one while I had already joined this site. (May have been breakdowns. I don't know. All I know is I came very close to not being able to walk or drive with the last one and I was mentally "Glitching" which is scary!)


I'm sorry to hear that, and I hope things are going better. Is this a common thing with people on the Autism spectrum? I actually work really really hard in spurts, then burnout and take a couple weeks or sometimes even a month off. Fortunately my line of work allows me to do so, but otherwise I've often wondered if it would be a problem in a normal job or if I wouldn't burn out if my work was more rigid as far as schedule goes, and less pressure on me personally.

But maybe this has more to do with me than with the work, if it's a common thing?

Thanks for the reply!



alwaysImproving
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20 May 2021, 10:41 pm

Double Retired wrote:
First: Hi! Welcome to WP!


Thank you! Thanks for the reply.

Double Retired wrote:
I do find a regular routine for going to bed, including trying to keep a consistent bedtime, helps. A little.


Yeah, I've tried this but it doesn't help much at all unfortunately.

Double Retired wrote:
I'm in the U.S. I was 64 when I (and my bride) concluded I was probably a "High Functioning Autistic", or was nearly one (we got some reinforcement from the Autism-Spectrum Quotient Test). I was very curious and wanted to know. My insurance provider's web page lead me to believe I could seek an Adult Autism Assessment without going through them but I telephoned them anyways, just to be sure.

Sigh. That is when things got frustrating. Sometimes I was told I did not need a referral, sometimes I was told my Primary Care Physician (PCP) would need to request a referral for me. Just to be cautious we got my PCP to request a referral. Later I think I figured out what was going on: I think the correct story is I would not need a referral if I used one of the insurance company's network providers, but there were no suitable network providers near me so that meant I would have to go off-network and that required a request from my PCP. None of their telephone agents ever explained that. Note: Don't assume the insurance rep on the phone is explaining things correctly or completely. I think Adult Autism Assessments must be unusual.

The insurance company quickly sent me a referral. A bad referral! They referred me to a counseling practice and when I called them they said they did not do assessments! Then the insurance company gave me four more useless leads. Finally they said I could find my own provider to do the assessment but it had to be a licensed Psychologist with ABA certification--that is also wrong! I wasted months trying to find one of them until some nice person from an ABA practice explained to me that I just needed a Psychologist to do the assessment--the ABA bit is for treating autism, after a diagnosis, typically in children! It turns out the correct thing to look for was a licensed psychologist that did autism assessments.Note: Don't assume the insurance company knows what it is talking about. I think Adult Autism Assessments must be unusual.

And you're correct, even when you know what you are looking for it isn't straightforward to find one. I don't think very many Adult Autism Assessments are done and did not find any practice's web page that said they did them. What I did was:

[*] I used https://www.findapsychologist.org/ to find psychologists near me that "did" Autism.
[*] I used the state licensing Board's web page to verify they were licensed.
[*] I looked at the Psychologist's web page to verify they worked with Autism and took "old" patients. (Note: I didn't see any whose web page said they did Adult Autism Assessments, probably because there's not much business in that!)
[*] I ended up with eight possibles...they did stuff with Autism and took patients as old as me. Naturally I called the nearest one first. It was a practice with several Psychologists but one of them seemed a possible candidate.
[*] The Office Manager answered my call and said she did not think anyone at that practice did Adult Autism Assessments but she would check. She called me back and said one of they Psychologists could help me...and, by the way, it isn't the one I had tried to reach.

That's how I successfully found the Psychologist who did my assessment...and I honestly don't know if I was the first one she ever did. Note: Adult Autism Assessments must be unusual. Don't expect to find it listed on a Psychologist's web page. Don't expect the person who answers the phone for them to know. And maybe group practices are good candidates because they can sort it out internally.

The psychologist I used did not take insurance or coordinate with the insurance company. I paid the bill...happily because I received a diagnosis that explained so much. Later *I* submitted the paperwork for partial insurance reimbursement (it's possibly a good thing I got that referral!). Note: I don't know how it'll work for you but, in my case, the insurance company only knows what I told them--I got an assessment and it cost this much. The Psychologist's bill I submitted to the insurance company did not include the diagnosis.


Thanks... This is helpful, and goes into a lot of the stuff I'm concerned about. I think my approach is going to be two-pronged. One working with the insurance company to see what I am entitled to and what will be covered, and one trying to find the best psychologists near me - hopefully some who do work with adults regularly - and then I can cross-reference and see if any are covered. If not, it might be worth paying out of pocket for an initial assessment. I do live near a big city (Philadelphia), and Autism Speaks has a facility there, so I may reach out to them first and see if they can point me toward anyone. I think most/all of what they do local to me is for kids.

Double Retired wrote:
Advantages of getting a professional assessment?

[*] Finally knowing the truth! It explained so much of my life!
[*] Not having to qualify things, as in "I think I'm probably..."
[*] Getting a correct diagnosis! ADHD and mild Autism have similarities. And there are other diagnoses in that vicinity, too--for instance, BAP

Also, personally, I thought the assessment was kind of fun! There is a specific set of things they should be checking but parts of my assessment were clearly geared for children.


Yeah, I think it would explain a lot in hindsight if I'm correct. I am always one who wants more information about these things rather than less, so knowing seems better. If I could learn about it more and learn about myself more, maybe it would allow me to develop good strategies for myself.

alwaysImproving wrote:
As for my experience, some of the traits/symptoms that stick out the most to me personally are:
Your interests and mine overlap. I retired from IT and still think computers are fun (I don't like to trust them, but I like to play with them!).

Double Retired wrote:
You will probably enjoy playing with BBCode, I do. And on one WP topic I even managed to use Excel to crunch some data an spit out some BBCode.


It's funny you say that. I was really into learning HTML when I was in middle school, and I'm a prolific multi-quoter on all the forums I've been on which usually involves using some BBCode or other similar code, but (no offense to whoever runs this site) this seems outdated to me now... One of my forums switched to Discourse, and the software is INSANELY good. I was really nervous about it at first, because I was so used to using the BBCode or something similar on the prior forum... But after like two days I was hooked. Now going back to more traditional forum software feels like using a rotary phone or something.



autisticelders
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21 May 2021, 5:08 am

welcome, I searched a long time for official diagnosis before I found the right psychologist. So frustrating, expect most people you have contact with about getting assessment as an adult to be unhelpful. I started a blog during my search for understanding about autism, learning about it and trying to find diagnosis. I agree with what has been posted above, so eloquently about how to go about a search but also have several other ideas based on my own experiences. You are definitely not alone!! ! Learning about my own autism gave me a new perspective for self understanding. What a relief. The best part was finding out I was not "the only one" and that everything was not "all my fault" ( Look at my profile page for a link to the blog. I write especially for older folks seeking to learn more about autism and to obtain diagnosis ) Glad you are with us!



Double Retired
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21 May 2021, 11:13 am

alwaysImproving wrote:
Thanks... This is helpful, and goes into a lot of the stuff I'm concerned about. I think my approach is going to be two-pronged. One working with the insurance company to see what I am entitled to and what will be covered, and one trying to find the best psychologists near me - hopefully some who do work with adults regularly - and then I can cross-reference and see if any are covered. If not, it might be worth paying out of pocket for an initial assessment. I do live near a big city (Philadelphia), and Autism Speaks has a facility there, so I may reach out to them first and see if they can point me toward anyone. I think most/all of what they do local to me is for kids.

(1) The Psychologist who did my Adult Autism Assessment initially indicated the price was a little over $1,000...but then realized an intelligence test wasn't needed (based on my academic history, work history, and Mensa membership). The final bill ended up at $800. I assume your bill could vary from that by hundreds of dollars...up or down...depending upon your psychologist's fee schedule.

(2) I'm too new to this to have interfaced with any of the Autism organizations (my diagnosis was followed by holiday season :santa: , tax season :hmph: , surgery season (I'm old) :silent: , and then Pandemic season 8O ), But I do know many Autistics dislike Autism Speaks. From my vantage point, given where I landed on the Autism Spectrum I do not want a cure--for me it is a difference, not a disability. Opinions on this vary, even on WP.


alwaysImproving wrote:
It's funny you say that. I was really into learning HTML when I was in middle school, and I'm a prolific multi-quoter on all the forums I've been on which usually involves using some BBCode or other similar code, but (no offense to whoever runs this site) this seems outdated to me now... One of my forums switched to Discourse, and the software is INSANELY good. I was really nervous about it at first, because I was so used to using the BBCode or something similar on the prior forum... But after like two days I was hooked. Now going back to more traditional forum software feels like using a rotary phone or something.
You're young. The first programming I did was on an HP 9100B programmable calculator my high school had...it was the size of a cash register. This was back before the Internet and PCs. By the time all this newfangled technology took over I was a paper-shuffler. But, computers are fun toys!

Regarding WP, however, elsewhere on WP I've seen it described as "no longer under development; it's best regarded as WYSIWYG". It started small and has been kept available because some folk like it. (I like it and the folk here.) But, for the price, it is a bargain!


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When diagnosed I bought champagne!
I finally knew why people were strange.


Juliette
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21 May 2021, 11:36 am

Hi AI and welcome :). My understanding of why so many of us have sleep issues is down to not producing enough Melatonin, something that comes natural to most. Being prescribed Melatonin(a hormone that’s naturally produced in the NT population generally), can help with this. It can wear off though, as the body adjusts to it, and some have experienced next day side-effects(feeling drowsy, nauseous). Many of us are night owls. I find reading myself to sleep helps. I’ve never taken melatonin supplements myself, but have family members who have.

I put this together a few years back now ...
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/counting-sheep-sleep-issues-on-the-spectrum/

All that you wrote re your experiences/traits are very familiar to me and I’m sure most of us. We feel “more” generally, than “less”, unlike what is commonly reported by those who don’t understand what it means to be on the spectrum. Anxiety is the dominant emotion in autism. Our sense of self is referenced to “people”, “settings”, “objects”, “routines” ... and any change to these can have quite an effect. Working with it, rather than against it is highly recommended. It doesn’t change your ability to do what you wish to do, in life, but it can alter how you must go about it.

It makes so much sense to learn what to avoid and what to push yourself through, in order to benefit your life ultimately. Diagnosis or no diagnosis, you are still “You”. I’m not one for disclosing being on the spectrum to anyone, but it’s useful in understanding yourself.



alwaysImproving
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21 May 2021, 1:30 pm

autisticelders wrote:
welcome, I searched a long time for official diagnosis before I found the right psychologist. So frustrating, expect most people you have contact with about getting assessment as an adult to be unhelpful. I started a blog during my search for understanding about autism, learning about it and trying to find diagnosis. I agree with what has been posted above, so eloquently about how to go about a search but also have several other ideas based on my own experiences. You are definitely not alone!! ! Learning about my own autism gave me a new perspective for self understanding. What a relief. The best part was finding out I was not "the only one" and that everything was not "all my fault" ( Look at my profile page for a link to the blog. I write especially for older folks seeking to learn more about autism and to obtain diagnosis ) Glad you are with us!


Thank you! I'll check out the blog!

Double Retired wrote:
(1) The Psychologist who did my Adult Autism Assessment initially indicated the price was a little over $1,000...but then realized an intelligence test wasn't needed (based on my academic history, work history, and Mensa membership). The final bill ended up at $800. I assume your bill could vary from that by hundreds of dollars...up or down...depending upon your psychologist's fee schedule.


Yikes. Probably worth it as a one-time expense that will benefit me a lot moving forward, but definitely worth fighting the insurance companies pretty hard on.

Double Retired wrote:
(2) I'm too new to this to have interfaced with any of the Autism organizations (my diagnosis was followed by holiday season :santa: , tax season :hmph: , surgery season (I'm old) :silent: , and then Pandemic season 8O ), But I do know many Autistics dislike Autism Speaks. From my vantage point, given where I landed on the Autism Spectrum I do not want a cure--for me it is a difference, not a disability. Opinions on this vary, even on WP.


Interesting, I never knew that about Autism Speaks. Do they only consider it to be a disability? I mean, I certainly feel like if it's what's causing my insomnia, that's a negative that could classify as such... But a lot of the other things are either positives or just different but neutral.

Double Retired wrote:
Regarding WP, however, elsewhere on WP I've seen it described as "no longer under development; it's best regarded as WYSIWYG". It started small and has been kept available because some folk like it. (I like it and the folk here.) But, for the price, it is a bargain!


Makes sense!

Juliette wrote:
Hi AI and welcome :). My understanding of why so many of us have sleep issues is down to not producing enough Melatonin, something that comes natural to most. Being prescribed Melatonin(a hormone that’s naturally produced in the NT population generally), can help with this. It can wear off though, as the body adjusts to it, and some have experienced next day side-effects(feeling drowsy, nauseous). Many of us are night owls. I find reading myself to sleep helps. I’ve never taken melatonin supplements myself, but have family members who have.

I put this together a few years back now ...
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/counting-sheep-sleep-issues-on-the-spectrum/


Interesting, thank you! Do you know what dosage people usually try with melatonin? I've tried it a few times without much noticeable improvement, and my understanding was that our body could only process like 0.3mg anyway, so going above the 3mg dosage is pointless... But others have told me higher doses could be beneficial.

Juliette wrote:
All that you wrote re your experiences/traits are very familiar to me and I’m sure most of us. We feel “more” generally, than “less”, unlike what is commonly reported by those who don’t understand what it means to be on the spectrum. Anxiety is the dominant emotion in autism. Our sense of self is referenced to “people”, “settings”, “objects”, “routines” ... and any change to these can have quite an effect. Working with it, rather than against it is highly recommended. It doesn’t change your ability to do what you wish to do, in life, but it can alter how you must go about it.


Yeah I definitely want to work with it, not against it. To me it's about trying to improve the sleep, that's the only working "against it." The rest is understanding it, understanding why I'm feeling anxiety in a certain situation at a fundamental level, and then trying to adjust how I frame a situation mentally or approach it in order to reduce those feelings.

Can you elaborate on what you mean by "Our sense of self is referenced to “people”, “settings”, “objects”, “routines” ... and any change to these can have quite an effect."

I've always found the concepts of the sense of self, self-love, and self-esteem to be confusing and almost like some other dimension that doesn't make sense. When people say stuff like, "You have to learn to love yourself," I don't really understand how that works. I don't love or hate myself, I just am. I can feel pride or shame in myself for various behaviors, I can see strengths and weaknesses in myself, but I've never understood how to express love inwardly toward oneself as opposed to outwardly toward others, which feels natural. Is what you're saying sort of along those lines?

Juliette wrote:
It makes so much sense to learn what to avoid and what to push yourself through, in order to benefit your life ultimately. Diagnosis or no diagnosis, you are still “You”. I’m not one for disclosing being on the spectrum to anyone, but it’s useful in understanding yourself.


Interesting, I've already discussed with all of my close friends whether they think it's possible. I got a few "Yes, definitely possible" responses, one "I'd be shocked, no chance," and one, "I assumed you already knew and were diagnosed."

I don't feel any shame about it, and I trust them not to treat me differently or judge me based on both our shared values and the friendships, so I wasn't too reticent and wanted to gauge their responses to help me decide how to proceed. I definitely don't feel a need or desire to disclose it to everyone in my life if I am diagnosed, though. But, yes, learning what to avoid or how to frame different events to help influence my reaction, and what to push through and how to best do so, seems important to maximizing my quality of life.

And thanks for the link about sleep issues, I'm definitely going to review some of that!



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Location: Surrey, UK

21 May 2021, 3:28 pm

In regard the dosage ...

“ Young children should avoid melatonin unless otherwise directed by a doctor. Doses between 1 and 5 milligrams (mg) may cause seizures or other complications for young children.

In adults, the standard dose used in studies ranges between 1 and 10 mg, although there isn’t currently a definitive “best” dosage. It’s believed doses in the 30-mg range may be harmful.

In general, it’s better to start low and move up slowly and carefully if you see encouraging results.

Source:
https://www.healthline.com/health/melatonin-overdose

Re Sense of Self ... This isn’t tied in any way to Self Love or other such feelings towards one’s self. This is in reference to Neuro-Cognitive perspective. The Sense of Self is notoriously difficult to define. The difference in Sense of Self between a typically developing child and that of an autistic child has fascinated researchers and clinicians for decades.

An autistic person tends to have an ever-fragile Sense of Self, something we go from birth through our entire lives with. There’s a book entitled “Autism and the Development of Mind” by R. Peter Hobson as well as “The Cradle of Thought”. These are heavy going reads, but explain the differences between the autistic and the neurotypical mind in developing.

Self/other differentiation - The ability to differentiate between self and other is also essential for the development of self-awareness, which appears to be impaired in autism. For a better understanding ...
https://www.intechopen.com/books/recent-advances-in-autism-spectrum-disorders-volume-i/atypical-sense-of-self-in-autism-spectrum-disorders-a-neuro-cognitive-perspective

Basically, we cope far better if things are more the same/familiar, than different. This doesn’t mean we can’t push ourselves out of our comfort zones with great benefit, so far as travelling, taking the jump from one safe, known part of our lives to an unknown, less secure one. However, there tends to be initial issues, eg physical issues where perhaps our bodies “shut down”, or we have “meltdowns” beyond our control, until we adjust to the new and different. We have to basically “learn” every new person who enters our lives, every new workplace, every new experience. Often, it’s a whole lot more traumatic for an autistic person than a neurotypical to cope in this world. We’re working twice as hard. Hence, feeling fatigued and requiring more “alone time” to recharge our batteries, in order to cope.

The reason I personally feel it’s best not to disclose to co-workers etc, is that discrimination is a huge barrier to achievement and unfortunately, even if your friends support you and have your back 100%, it’s all too common that people generally will fear what is different. I’ve seen and heard of too many people being harmed both in the workplace and in the school environment, due to well-intentioned people thinking it will help others better understand. 9 times out of 10, this is simply not the case.

Often it’s not autism itself that causes issues, but sensory sensitivities from certain stimuli(hypo or hyper sensitivity). Severe “melt-down” behaviour itself is essentially panic-driven behaviour: fight or flight. Sometimes, you’ll see autistic people freezing family members out of their lives due the demand that they “fit” into their neurotypical social-emotional world. It can cause great distress, even making us physically ill, if we’re forced to “fit” into the everyday world and perform/act as a neurotypical.

All the best in learning more about yourself.



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22 May 2021, 10:58 am

alwaysImproving wrote:
Yikes. Probably worth it as a one-time expense that will benefit me a lot moving forward, but definitely worth fighting the insurance companies pretty hard on.
Insurance reimbursed me for about half the bill, presumably because I had bothered to get a referral. You're experience may differ.

But when I got the referral the folk at the insurance company thought I had to go off their network of providers because they did not have a Psychologist with ABA certification anywhere near me. In fact, the ABA certification was not needed but I learned that late in the search. I don't know if I could've stayed within their network if they'd known at the beginning that ABA was irrelevant. And I suspect if I had stayed within their network the cost to me would've been lower.

Because I thought the diagnosis was champagne-worthy I wasn't too bothered by the price tag. If I had spent $800 bucks to learn nothing...Yikes, in deed!


_________________
When diagnosed I bought champagne!
I finally knew why people were strange.