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nebucasneezer
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25 Jan 2022, 8:02 am

I am thinking about pursuing diagnosis and I know that part of diagnosis is talking about your childhood symptoms. The problem is, I can't think of any. I was very quiet but I had a few friends that I enjoyed spending time with. I liked physical touch, like being held, hugs, and holding hands (although I do remember asking for people to hold my hands tighter). I engaged in imaginative play and used things the "typical" way. I didn't have a special interest but I loved to draw and drew all the time. I think it also may have been a form of stimming because I could not sit and listen to a conversation or concert or whatever without drawing the whole time. The only real signs I see are a fascination with texture (touching everything, refusing to eat certain textured foods, ect.) and when I was really little (2 or 3) I thought that to smile you had to un-align your jaws, resulting in a "crooked" smile.
Now I have more autistic symptoms (stimming, special interests, difficulty making eye contact, difficulty engaging in conversations and connecting with others). Is it possible to be autistic and not show signs in early childhood?



Double Retired
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25 Jan 2022, 11:01 am

You might find these interesting, if you have not already found them:

-=-- Autism-Spectrum Quotient Test
-=-- Aspie Quiz Registration is optional!

Personally, I would've had difficulty describing any childhood "symptoms" of my own. I was on the inside looking out. I could only see other people, not myself. I knew I was a "people" so I just assumed I was like all the other people I saw. Recognition of there likely being a difference came slowly, for me.


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theprisoner
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25 Jan 2022, 11:23 am

Sounds like my childhood, pretty much.


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Stratarct
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25 Jan 2022, 11:46 am

The clinicians carrying out the diagnosis will look at a range of factors including your early developmental history. They may ask to speak to an informant who may have additional insights into your early life. It is not uncommon for features to not be stable across the life span - for some, early childhood is where they are most pronounced, and for others, they become more pronounced after periods of transition (e.g. primary to secondary school, leaving home etc.). The diagnostic clinicians would take that into account.
Good luck with your assessment.


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starrytigress
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25 Jan 2022, 8:07 pm

Honestly, I wasn't diagnosed until almost 18, and most of the time my 'symptoms' were just considered oddities.
I see in your little profile blurb under your name that you're female, I have a theory, and I know a lot of others agree with me, that autistic girls that are quiet tend to be overlooked, a combination of kids that don't kick up a fuss don't get as much attention, and 'quiet' is considered an attractive feminine quality, so it would be considered a good thing and not cause for concern, being really quiet.
I also had/have friends. I formed a few tight bonds. I can count my friends on my fingers, but I love to spend time with them. They're all 'weird' in their own way, even if they don't have a clinically diagnosable condition.
I also love hugs, but only tight hugs. I hug the people in my immediate family, but I have a really hard time when other people hug me, because they don't give me a tight bear hug, then I kinda freeze up.
Also, think back to your 'imaginative play', because I did that too, in a way, but there was a noticeable difference. I would do what's sometimes called 'scene setting' or 'staging' when I play. Like I would get everything set up for my barbie dolls to have adventures, but then I wouldn't actually act it out using the dolls. I'd move from setting up one scene to another (for me all the action was playing out in my head). Also as for special interests, girls don't tend to have 'unusual' interests but it's rather the intensity that is different. I loved my little pony, still do, which wasn't weird for a girl growing up. But what I found out later was weird was making genealogies for my ponies. They all had family trees with clearly marked kinships. That was not 'normal'.
I also love drawing, and I do believe it is a form of stimming, particularly when I was in school. The backs of all my tests and returned homework assignments had all kinds of doodles on them. I think you might have had more stimming behavior than you realized, but it wasn't considered 'typical'. I realized after my diagnosis that when I play with my hair I'm stimming. I have long straight hair and I like to some of it around my index finger and then just let it go. I also start combing my fingers through my hair when my anxiety increases. But a girl playing with her hair isn't 'odd'. Neither is a girl fiddling with the pendant on her necklace. I wore a necklace everyday in school, and I would fiddle with whatever it was constantly. I actually had to fix a few that were on suede cord, because the cord broke.
Females tend to have an easier time 'masking' or 'camouflaging' their behavior, and because of that the age of diagnosis is a lot later. When people talk about being diagnoses at two or three, they're usually male. The average age for females to be diagnosed is around the onset of puberty, about 11 or so. This is when social interactions begin to become more complicated and it is harder to keep up with all of the unspoken stuff going on.
I also have a thing with food textures. I absolutely hate ground meat, it feels like I'm eating gravel or coarse sand.
I'd suggest looking for the book "Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger's Syndrome" by Rudy Simone. It helped me once I found out I had Aspergers/autism. Check your local library, and if they don't have, you can always ask if they can do a ILL (Inter Library Loan), and borrow it from another library in the country.



Joe90
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25 Jan 2022, 8:13 pm

I've just recently been diagnosed with ADHD but I seem to have more ADHD symptoms as an adult than I did as a child. Obviously at home I did have the hyperactivity (physical, social and emotional) and the inattentiveness but the hyperactivity was almost nonexistent in the classroom and I learnt to sit still so it looked like I was listening but really I was daydreaming and paying hardly no attention at all. If I didn't have the classroom helper supporting me with my work I probably would have fell behind and my inattentiveness would have become more noticeable by the teachers. I learnt to mask my hyperactivity behaviours in the classroom because I was painfully shy and suffered stage fright (found it scary just to stand up in front of the class). However if I was in a smaller group I was more louder, being my true self, which I liked.

I didn't show that many obvious Asperger's symptoms as a child but I still got the diagnosis at age 8. I didn't have any special interests or atypical repetitive behaviours, and I reached all my milestones at the normal stages when I was a baby. I was a sociable, cuddly baby, and made eye contact and smiled and laughed a lot. I was socially articulate as a child, could have conversations and craved company of other children. I still somehow got diagnosed, probably because of my apparent fear of loud noises and my social anxiety in the classroom, I don't know.


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nebucasneezer
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26 Jan 2022, 7:25 am

In response to DoubleRetired:
I've taken the Autism-Spectrum Quotient Test three different times and have gotten 30, 30, and 31
I've taken the Aspie Quiz twice: the first time my broader autism cluster (Aspie)score was 135 of 200, my neurotypical (non-autistic) score was 73 of 200, and it said I was "very likely on the broader autism cluster (Aspie)." Then I took it again right now because I couldn't remember if I had taken it and my broader autism cluster (Aspie) score was 127 of 200, my neurotypical (non-autistic) score was 76 of 200, and it said I was "very likely on the broader autism cluster (Aspie)."



kraftiekortie
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26 Jan 2022, 7:35 am

Welcome to WP.

You don’t have to be autistic to be here.

Autism is a developmental disorder. If you’re autistic, you must have had symptoms from childhood. Perhaps your autistic symptoms were so mild that they weren’t noticeable to you. Or to anybody else.

There is the notion of the "female presentation"----wherein certain females are able to "hide" their symptoms because they are not blatant in their symptoms, or that they were "socialized" into "hiding" their autistic symptoms.

Obviously, I can’t determine whether you’re autistic or not.

I bet you like ancient history! Your name is that of a Babylonian king.



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26 Jan 2022, 2:00 pm

nebucasneezer wrote:
In response to DoubleRetired:
Those scores seem to say it is plausible you are on the Autism Spectrum.

Whether you seek an assessment, or not, is of course, up to you. Your personal circumstances have a bearing on how useful a diagnosis might be. I got my assessment and diagnosis when I was 64—I look good on paper and I became happily retired when I was 56—so I got my assessment to satisfy my own curiosity. I did not expect it to have any practical utility. But, the diagnosis explained so much I was very happy to get it!

If you decide to pursue an assessment and are in the U.S. then I encourage you to check your insurance coverage. If it includes an Autism assessment then follow their rules and keep good records because you might save some money that way. But make sure they do not mislead you! I believe Adult Autism assessments might not be too common; I know that my insurance provider's telephone reps were not familiar with what was involved. (My saga is described here: <link>.)

But if you go forward on this, go with an open mind. The diagnosis, if any, might not be what you expect.


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kraftiekortie
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27 Jan 2022, 9:48 am

I see you're into distance running.

i ran 3 marathons back in the 90s.