How did you find out about having Autism/Asperger's?

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the_enigma
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27 Jul 2004, 9:12 pm

When I was 9 years old I found some reports about me. I kept this to myself until I saw a program about Autism on TV a year later.
When I was 10 I asked my parents if I had autism. My dad lied and said no and then my mom told the truth.
For some reason I didn't think they would've ever tell me about having mild autism. I could've gone my entire life and never know about my disorder. I think that finding out on my own saved me from a lot of confusion and frustrating. You wouldn't want to feel as if you were just a freak you're entire life, right?
Despite being diagnosed at 2, I went nearly 9 years without knowing at all! And could've spent well into my adult life having absolutely no idea 8O I'm glad I know now though.

So how did you find out about your ASD?



TyroneShoelaces
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27 Jul 2004, 9:22 pm

Hi

I had a mental-breakdown late last year; was diagnosed from that point.



maddogtitan
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27 Jul 2004, 11:02 pm

Hi,

My parents had me tested by different psychiatrists when i was in Elementary school (this was right after i moved to a new state). anyways, i was diagnosed with AS when I was in Sixth Grade. I didn't find out about it until I was either in 7th or 8th grade. But the weird thing was that after my parents told me that i had it, it didn't really bother me. I totally forgot that I had it until I was doing something in my freshman year of high school. At first it was Autism but then I found a book that my parents had on AS and then I knew that I had AS and then I decided to start doing research about myself.



gavrod
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28 Jul 2004, 12:59 am

I always knew there was something wrong with me. I eventually saw a psychiatrist when I was 30 and he made the diagnosis. He was amazed that it had taken so long for me to be diagnosed. It was a great relief to find out about the diagnosis, but also quite frustrating that it had taken so long! :?



focused
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28 Jul 2004, 3:15 am

I have yet to get an official diagnosis but I should be getting one here in the next few weeks. As for getting to this website and believing that I have AS without a professional opinion, about two months ago I found a book laying on the kitchen desk called, "Asperger's Syndrome" (the Tony Attwood one). I curiously opened it up and felt very violated. I wondered how this book got into my home (I live with my father only) and why my Dad would be reading such a thing. I knew that it had to do with me because after reading just a bit I could tell that the subject matter described me. I felt betrayed because I had recently phoned my father from work while having a "meltdown" (although I didn't use that term until recently) and while he offered compassion and support I suspected that he went in search of what was wrong with his son.....

Sorry, this got way to long. If you would like to read the rest I have made it the first entry on my blog. click here for My Blog.



Last edited by focused on 28 Jul 2004, 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tetragon
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28 Jul 2004, 4:53 am

Throughout high school, my grades in literature-based courses decreased each year. After taking OAC (grade 13) English a third time, I got the grades needed to get into uni. In my first term, I took classical mythology as an elective and noticed that my not doing well with essays continued, and barely passed. I eventually raised my concerns about writing courses and I was referred to the accessibility office instead of the writing centre because of location. After speaking to a couple of the people there (and the second suspecting AS, but not telling me that), I was referred to a psychologist for the actual diagnosis.



Scoots5012
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28 Jul 2004, 6:17 am

I found out about it by accident when I was reading a newspaper while I waiting to have new tires put on my truck. I turned to the youth section and saw brief write up about an AS confrence that had taken place localy. AS was mentioned, but it didn't say whay it was. Curiosity got the best of me and I hit the internet in search of answers and BAM!! Reality hit me like a ton of bricks.


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magic
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28 Jul 2004, 2:22 pm

How did I learn about Asperger's? I always knew that I was different from other people, but I thought that the only difference was my ability to learn easier and faster. That was hardly anything to complain or feel screwed-up. As strange as it may sound, I was largely unaware of social interactions around me (such as having friends, going to parties, dating, networking etc.), and I did not consider this area to be of any importance to warrant a serious thought. I knew since my teens that I had some traits "like in autism", but I rejected this idea as nonsense. However, since I started a full-time job in my mid twenties, I had so many misunderstandings at the workplace that I started looking for the cause. Approximately a year ago, a failure of one of my "projects" to improve conversational skills has led me to the conclusion that my mind works differently than in most people. I became interested in the subject of unconventional thinking. Two months ago I read a book review in Scientific American - about a book written by an autistic boy. The article mentioned shortly a "theory of mind", and that people are supposed to know it intuitively. Strangely, this "theory of mind" seemed very much like that failed project of mine. I decided to investigate this. The article mentioned one of Temple Grandin's books. I browsed it on the Amazon. The book listed autism spectrum disorders, I googled them. I got to Asperger's and it felt like somebody hit my head with a bat. I expected to find some similarities, maybe, but instead I have found a nearly complete description of myself. Still, I am a little unsure. I do not feel competent in self-diagnosing myself, without opinions of other people. I believe that I will try to get professional diagnosis, just to cut the uncertainty and allow a solid foundation for building my new self-image.

[Hmm... I 've just read my post and it sounds like description of some scientific project. I guess that my way to self-discovery was more a result of a determination than pure chance, although the latter played its role too.]



Last edited by magic on 28 Jul 2004, 9:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Tom_FL_MA
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28 Jul 2004, 8:06 pm

As I mentioned in another thread, my parents read an article about AS in NewsWeek in 1997, while they were waiting in a doctor's office waiting room. They thought it describe me very well. Several months later, they took me to a psychologists who referred me {us} to a vocational rehabilitation center in southeastern Massachusetts. The following year, (in September 1998), after an evaluation and meeting with the psychologist, who I only saw once, read the report the tester administrated... I was diagnosed.

Like most, I wasn't too keen with the diagnosis at first, but after some time I was glad that something I lived with for 21 years, 2 months had a name.

Growing up (through the 1980's), I saw specialists/psychologists who couldn't figure out why I was so quiet in social situations, but so talkative among my immediate family. I did talk more through junior high and even more so in high school, but still remained reserved some days more than others. I did a lot of "yes and no headshaking."



Last edited by Tom_FL_MA on 29 Jul 2004, 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ramoth
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28 Jul 2004, 11:04 pm

In my sister's words, "Debbie, you were always different." Another thing my sister said, "kids could see that you were different, and kids can be cruel." I have vivid memories going back to before I was three years old. I agree with my sister that other kids could tell. I don't know that they meant to be cruel, all I know is that my life was hell. I was miserable. Other kids shunned me, and I was so afraid that there was something terrible wrong with me that I was afraid to talk to anyone about it. I think that I attempted to bring it up just once in my childhood. Just before I went into seventh grade I asked my Mom to let me change schools. I told her that the other kids didn't like me and I had no friends. That's about as far as the discussion went. She just said, "Oh no that isn't true!" Then she told me how of all of us kids (I have four brothers and two sisters) my Father hoped that I would never change. Anyway my parents thought a lot of me as a person, I think that they still do. What they couldn't see was how much I was actually suffering, because I was so expert at covering up. Anyway present day. I'm fifty-one years old, and diagnosed with bipolar disorder and personality disorder NOS. (Aspergers is often misdiagnosed as personality disorder.) My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS when he was four. My eight-year-old nephew is diagnosed with Asperger's, and I believe that my cousin has PDD-NOS. My son is now 24, but the aspergers characteristics are very strong, so we have requested that he be reevaluated. The asperger's diagnosis was uncommon back when he was four, and we think that it is more accurate. During this process, I have done a great deal of research and realize that I also fit the criteria very strongly. I don't think that my husband has asperger's, but he certainly has more of the traits than the general population. I think that some of these traits are what made us such a good match. We've been married 27 years, and I see no reason that we would not continue. (I'm very luck.) Anyway I feel that asperger's fits better than personality disorder NOS. I don't dispute the bipolar diagnosis. Since I was 2 years old I've tried so hard to understand, to figure out what was wrong. After all of these years, and all the pain it has caused, I want to know. I can't just stop and accept a diagnosis that they're throwing on me because I have all of these things that don't seem to fit under anything else. I've been told that it won't make any difference as far as my treatment is concerned. Still I want to know. I want a name for this thing. It will help me to understand why it has always been so hard.



Unico
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28 Jul 2004, 11:28 pm

TyroneShoelaces wrote:
Hi

I had a mental-breakdown late last year; was diagnosed from that point.


That's interesting. When I had my first breakdown (high school) my father was still alive so I didn't see any psychiatrists/psychologists or anyone like that, I just started being homeschooled (which helped). But when I had my second (much worse) breakdown in college, my mother was desperate enough to take me to a psychologist and I went through several psychologists/psychiatrists who all thought I was psychotic (my communication skills were severely impaired and I was having meltdowns constantly). I was given psychological tests, but not specifically for Asperger's and my psychologist didn't really know what to diagnose me with (other than PTSD) until I brought up Asperger's. She's only worked with males diagnosed with Asperger's, I believe, and I probably did come across as psychotic. She now says she really messed up my case and is sure that I have AS. I had problems throughout school and everything, but, as I said before, my father was against psychiatrists/psychologists.



KtMcS
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29 Jul 2004, 8:30 am

after around 10 months of counselling for my 'other' problems I asked my counsellor/psychologist if I could get a diagnosis (I thought it would be an anxiety disorder) and after loooong discussions with her and my mum (dad wasnt bothered) I was referred to the nearest consultant. When we spoke to her as a 'family' first I was surprised to hear that my counsellor had mentioned Asperger's as a possibility before- I didnt even have a clue what Aspergers was. But then after an hour I was told I had mild-moderate Asperger's.

My first thoughts being 'Great! Now what the hell does that mean?'


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01 Aug 2004, 6:46 pm

when i worked in a care-home 10 years ago we had an excellent psycology library and knowing all was not quite right ie not the norm . AS definately struck a chord and i read just about everything i could get my hands on. coincidentally, later one of my colleagues (same job - he must have read the same stuff) brough the subject up and we discussed it in more detail, but i was very defensive and didn't start reading about it again in earnest again until recently.



animallover
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01 Aug 2004, 9:57 pm

I've spent the last 15 years trying to figure out what was wrong with me - I have 3 degrees in psychology and a person I like to be around read one of Donna Williams's books and said 'This sounds a lot like you . . .' and it did - so I went to go get diagnosed and that is what it was . . . go figure! :D



neutron189
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06 Aug 2004, 12:18 pm

Look at my Essay at writeing and Poetry to see how i found out