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aistobascistox
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09 Jul 2022, 11:30 pm

I'm trying to figure out if I'm likely to be on the autistic spectrum. I'd love to get some feedback on that.

I'm a 26-year-old woman from Brazil. Both my mother and father's families struggle with mental illness - my grandmother from my mom's side struggles with Bipolar Disorder and my grandmother from my dad's side had one brother and sister with Schizophrenia.

Unfortunately, I haven't gotten to know my grandfathers from both mom and dad's sides to know more about their health and behavioral traits. The first one died before I was born and he was a successful bank director, he came to have important political connections and a big farm. My grandmother described him as very well-spoken, polite, quiet, and systematic.

The second one got my grandmother pregnant and, once he discovered it, he left, refusing to recognize the child. He had a company next to my grandmother's house and used to walk nearby while my dad was a kid. My dad remember that he knew the guy crossing the street was his dad, but that he completely ignored him and didn't show any kind of feelings. This makes me think that he had some mental issues as well… sociopathic? or just an ordinary man without a sense of responsibility or guilty? I dunno. My grandmother told me that once he discovered that my dad had a child, he asked to get to know me. But she refused and he soon passed away.

My family tells that I started to talk sooner than expected, around 2 years old. They decided to put me in school, but they refused the first time because they thought I was too young. On this occasion, my mom and grandmother told me that I said to the teacher "Leave the door open, because I will return, ok?" and that this was a complex phrase for my age.

As far as I know, I started going to school after a few months and I dealt pretty well with it, which could be uncommon for a somehow autistic child. I found some kindergarten evaluation papers and saw that in the first month they evaluated me a little poorly in social interaction, as a "selfish" child regarding sharing objects, as I recall. Although in the consecutive months the evaluation became and remained positive.

I always remember being quite communicative, but internally shy. Others don't seem to picture me as an introvert, because I talk a lot and usually very fast. But I honestly recall myself as a shy, sweet kid, curious about everything and sensitive about art. My dad is a skateboarder who loved art as well, very sensitive with a strong sense of justice… When I was 5 years old, I recall him listening to Radiohead in his bedroom and how beautiful I thought that song was. I kept the song in my head and I could only discover the name of the song once I had around 13 years and started messing around on the internet.

I also remember the first time I watched Intelligence Artificial (A.I) movie by Spielberg, initially designed by Stanley Kubrick, when I was around 6 or 7 years. I became obsessed with it… The scenarios, the music, the last scene. I found it astoundingly beautiful! The movie echoed in my mind for years. When I had around 11 years, I rented it to rewatch a thousand times. People at the video store asked me why I always rented the same DVD.

My second obsession was with Vanilla Sky, another movie. The soundtrack, the references, the desperate need for being loved. That touched me deeply and I couldn't know why. Signs, M. Night Shyamalan's alien movie also became another obsession. I started using the internet to research obsessively about alien races and related stories.

I remember I always wanted to learn to play music and I was always interested in science. I kept asking my dad to buy me a computer, a camera, a keyboard, a videogame, a remote control helicopter, and finally a guitar.

I used to play thinking that I was a detective or a mad scientist. I remember trying to build a signal radio communication using some cables, an umbrella, and painting support. I was never a science prodigy, but I remember I always had an intrinsic curiosity.

Later on, I started getting more and more into music. Nirvana was the first band that caught my attention and Kurt Cobain became my hero. I could relate to the sadness of his lyrics, to feeling strange and depressed. Mostly because I faced so many problems with my family. I always felt ashamed because my related ones struggled with mental issues… It led me to a life without structure, without a home. I remember relating to the concept of feeling like an alien.

My parents never lived together, so I lived with my mom and grandmother. She was undiagnosed bipolar and she did pretty awful things with my mom. Like kicking out of the house and other aggressive and abusive behavior. I honestly wished I was someone else. I wanted to have a nice house, a quiet place where people cared about how I felt, noticed my desires, and stimulated me somehow.

In high school, I became kind of a rebel. I didn't like do exercises at home, preferring to stay at the computer researching topics of my interest, which related to music, philosophy, movies, and nature.
I did very well in humanities and, although I didn't excel in sciences, I wanted to learn more about it. I did well in biology and chemistry, but I remember I struggled a bit with math and physics. I loved to use Quora to make questions about relativity theory when I was around 15 years, I remember enjoying studying electricity, but never took super high grades on such subjects.

I always thought a little bit abstract and non-linear. I can say that I've also always been kind of a perfectionist, the kind of person who tries to get into a subject by skipping steps and ends up getting a little frustrated.
My lack of self-esteem made me obsessive to understand the nature of the mental illness. I got obsessed with reading papers and articles about Schizophrenia. I once even sent an email to a group of scientists in England to ask I they would like to study me, because I had so many parents with it that I could be a useful outlier.

At the university, I got accepted to study Psychology and Law, but I opted to study Philosophy. I pictured myself having to work with bureaucratic institutions and I couldn't relate to it… so the academic field seemed more interesting. After I year of studying it, I got frustrated because the course was focused on memorizing stuff, not creating and evolving theories. I brought the subject of AI to an ethics class around 2014, complaining that we should be discussing it instead of reflecting on what philosophers said centuries ago. I also wanted to earn money and it would be impossible to do so by being a teacher in Brazil.

Therefore, I decided to go to software engineering or design school. I applied to both as had achieved a grade good enough to be accepted in federal universities. However, I applied to software engineering in another state and I didn't have the money to go, so I removed my application. I also thought I was too dumb and, although I was interested in it, I didn't excel at math. So design would be a wiser decision.

During the university, I got to know my best friends, with whom I had a band and learned to record music at home. I've always made many friends on the internet, always very specific people that enjoy music, tech, and science. The kind of people that have a great time reading scientific papers, talking about creativity, the universe, and subjects they find exciting.

I now realize that many of them are likely to be autistic and a few ones are diagnosed. And I can relate so much to many aspects, but I honestly can't figure out if I'm projecting or wishful thinking… I'm not smart as many of them, I don't face issues talking, but I share a few traits that appear to be related:

I often avoid meetings at work, preferring to work alone. I'm the kind of person that talks a lot, so if the topic of the conversation is interesting to me, I usually give my perceptions about it. Although I could always communicate well, I used to be less confident to speak in public. I remember many occasions where others pictured myself as a very confident person, but internally I had even stomach pain and heart palpitation.

- I worked with Russian colleagues and loved how they communicate async and were super-objective. When I returned to work in a Brazilian company, I was described as 'anti-social', because I complained a lot about how many unproductive meetings they had.
- Even though I had a band, I always struggled to do things in front of other people. I get really anxious about people watching me, so I prefer to do things alone.

I eat pretty well, except that I have a few restrictions:
- I don't eat fat meat since I was a kid, because I don't like the texture. I don't eat pork because I find the smell and taste disgusting. I just eat cow meat and chicken breast. Only the breast. If it has skin or bones I won't eat it.
- I don't eat fish either. I mean, I recently learned to eat salmon and tuna. But all the other form of seafood is completely disgusting to me.
- When my girlfriend eats fish close to me, I say to her that it smells horrible and she tells me that this is unpolished. Although, I don't think so.
- I can repeat the same food for days. When in high school, I used to eat bread with cheese everyday, in lunch, in breakfast. I'm super lazy to cook so I would eat it to avoid having to do something else. Also, I'd love to eat pasta with a lot of cheese. Currently, I have enough money to order food everyday and vary it more. I prefer carbohydrates and grains, in general, but also love sushi and poke.
- I tend to always ask for chocolate ice cream. Or chocolate with pistachio. Or chocolate with cafe. When I was a kid, I loved lemon ice cream. But I changed and now I always ask for chocolate.
- I never drank milk without chocolate. I find it disgusting. Taste bad, smells bad. A friend of mine got chocked about how much chocolate I would put into my milk to avoid tasting its natural flavor.
- I can tolerate extreme strong flavors. For example, I love ginger and lemon tea… I make it so strong and acid that my friends cannot tolerate it.
- I don't think I have a childish taste, but sometimes my girlfriend says I do. I eat a lot of vegetables, but I don't really like leaves.

I enjoy having routine and I often get anxious if something requires me to change it.

I never been a party person. Like, I used to think that would like to and tried to go out to a few parties. But I'm always the kind of person who gets quickly tired and go home soon. I get anxious until I'm back home… feeling some weird anxiety.
- I've always preferred to go to some friend house to stay talking about special interests for hours, listening to good ambient music and having a deep connection, usually through ideas and shared topics.

I remember thinking, even before I knew what autism was, that I didn't like to look strange people in the eye. Especially when I was in social situations where people is not interesting to me, like in the gym, buying bread, in the bank… ordinary day-to-day situations. I often look to my feet or any other corner instead. I don't face issues looking at friends eyes, however.
- Nobody ever told me anything about this or seemed to have noticed it.

I like to collect information about my special interests, obsessively sometimes. I'm always reading and looking for new topics to learn. I can spend hours reading scientific papers, theories, forum discussions… Sometimes, I feel I get in a loop to see the same thing repeatedly.
- I never enjoyed reading fiction very much. I love sci-fi movies, especially related to A.I, technology and aliens (I don't believe in aliens, but I like it as entertainment). I've always preferred to read historic information, journalistic articles, biographies, scientific papers instead.
- Although, I have some issues memorizing stuff. For example, I don't do very well in reading music spreadsheets or memorizing music theory. To overcome that, I started creating music of my own, learning by doing… feeling the inner voice inside my head. I always felt that I was intuitive.

I never was intimidated by authority. I always questioned people, even my parents, if I didn't respected their point of view. I was labeled insubordinate because of that.
- My mom was always very a lying person. She lied about her age, she did small talk and she told stories to make a certain impression on people. As a child, I often denied and told the truth because I rejected her behavior. She used to pinch me and scowl at me for it.
- I was always a 'person without a filter', I need to really be careful to don't say things other may consider inappropriate, because I tend to get super honest. This causes people to think that I am arrogant.
- My family believes in spiritualism, so a great aunt used to tell me that I was an indigo child, probably because of my questioning posture.

I become an atheist around 12 years. I honestly never believe in god, I hated when my family took me to the church.

I was a kind kid, but I became angry as a teenager. I could easily offend people with heavy insults about they being dumb, but I always felt a lot of remorse inside and I always tried to express affection when I realized I had gone too far. In my mother's family, people never said they loved each other. I always made a point of saying.
- This makes me believe that I have a hard time with empathy sometimes. I can hurt people very bad and hate this.
- I read Steve Jobs biography and I could completely relate to his behavior sometimes… I don't think this is nice and I don't want to be like it. I've improved a lot as a mature independent adult.


I'm unsure if this classifies me as someone in the spectrum. I don't trust most psychologists because it can't relate to most of them. So, I thought to share my experience on blogs and forums and see what other people have to say about my story... Can anyone relate to my experience?



funeralxempire
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09 Jul 2022, 11:41 pm

We're not able to diagnose you but welcome aboard anyways.

Some of my family history is similar.


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Pteranomom
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10 Jul 2022, 2:23 am

According to the ICD-11:

"Autism spectrum disorder is characterised by persistent deficits in the ability to initiate and to sustain reciprocal social interaction and social communication, and by a range of restricted, repetitive, and inflexible patterns of behaviour, interests or activities that are clearly atypical or excessive for the individual's age and sociocultural context. ...

"Deficits are sufficiently severe to cause impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and are usually a pervasive feature of the individual's functioning observable in all settings..."

Do you feel like you have persistent problems in almost all areas of life?



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10 Jul 2022, 4:29 am

Welcome. Best to do some research and compare and also ask individual questions whwn you find out about things. Is difficult to tell and none of us can assess. There is a very basic online test which is designed to give indicators that point towards if you would need to be assessed or not. (As in if you are likely to be on the spectrum or not).
I do not know if I am on the spectrum as I am on a waiting list to be assessed.



kraftiekortie
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10 Jul 2022, 6:34 am

You didn’t seem autistic when you were very young. This is important in a diagnosis of classic autism. People are born with autism, and usually manifest symptoms starting in toddlerhood at the latest.

Obviously, I can’t give a definite diagnosis; but I’d be disinclined to think you’re classically autistic, based on how you seemed as a young child. You manifested few of the “classic” symptoms.

You seem, possibly, to be more like someone with what used to be called Asperger’s Syndrome.

My inclination, though, is to think that you’re just a sort of “odd, eccentric” person, well within the variations of “normal” humans.

If you feel like you would want an assessment, it wouldn’t hurt, especially if it doesn’t cost much. It could be that I am incorrect in my impression.

Welcome to WrongPlanet. It’s not just for folks with autism.



cyberdad
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10 Jul 2022, 6:40 am

Welcome to WP

I'm not female or autistic

I did suspect I had autistic traits but otherwise I am fairly neurotypical

Good luck with your journey, I recommend getting a professional diagnosis if you want to put this conundrum to rest.



klanka
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10 Jul 2022, 6:40 am

It seems like it in my opinion, (awaits the barrage of complaints about diagnosing someone without medical professionals....)

Quote:
In high school, I became kind of a rebel. I didn't like do exercises at home, preferring to stay at the computer researching topics of my interest, which related to music, philosophy, movies, and nature.


That's like special interests.

You have a few obsessive rituals and

Quote:
I never been a party person. Like, I used to think that would like to and tried to go out to a few parties. But I'm always the kind of person who gets quickly tired and go home soon. I get anxious until I'm back home… feeling some weird anxiety.
- I've always preferred to go to some friend house to stay talking about special interests for hours, listening to good ambient music and having a deep connection, usually through ideas and shared topics.

I remember thinking, even before I knew what autism was, that I didn't like to look strange people in the eye. Especially when I was in social situations where people is not interesting to me, like in the gym, buying bread, in the bank… ordinary day-to-day situations. I often look to my feet or any other corner instead. I don't face issues looking at friends eyes, however.
- Nobody ever told me anything about this or seemed to have noticed it.


There's the social impairment.



kraftiekortie
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10 Jul 2022, 8:08 am

The “problem,” really, is onset.

All is based on what the Original Poster wrote.

She didn’t exhibit autistic symptoms as a young child. You really HAVE to exhibit symptoms as a young child.

Maybe Aspergers. Certainly not “classic” autism.

I’m autistic because I exhibited the “classic” symptoms of autism during toddlerhood, perhaps even in babyhood. I didn’t talk till age 5. I was diagnosed with “classic” autism at age 3. I’m lucky my mother didn’t take the advice of a psychologist who recommended I be put in an institution.

Even if you’re not autistic, I wouldn’t like you any less. :)



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10 Jul 2022, 10:09 am

OMG you're my younger doppelganger. :lol:

As many people have said, this isn't the place for a diagnosis. Do you need one for any reason? Or are you just trying to sort out your life and behaviors, and find a place where you fit in?
You can PM me if you'd like.




aistobascistox wrote:
I'm unsure if this classifies me as someone in the spectrum. I don't trust most psychologists because it can't relate to most of them. So, I thought to share my experience on blogs and forums and see what other people have to say about my story... Can anyone relate to my experience?



Double Retired
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10 Jul 2022, 11:21 am

Welcome to WP! I hope you like it here.

I agree that we cannot diagnose you. But with or without a diagnosis, or even if you end up being diagnosed as NOT Autistic, you are welcome here. An interest in Autism would seem appropriate, though...I'm unclear why else someone would hang out here.

I agree with leaning towards the Asperger's Syndrome camp. It is no longer listed separately in the DSM, though. In 2013 the DSM combined it, "classic" Autism, and a few other things under one listing: Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Some other online resources that can't diagnose you but might interest you are:
<=>- Autism-Spectrum Quotient Test
<=>- Aspie Quiz Registering is optional!
The first one is apparently only available in English, but it is short and your English seems quite good.

Off Topic
I was diagnosed as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1 (Mild)—with a notation that I also satisfied the criteria previously associated with Asperger's Syndrome—when I was 64 and had already retired from two careers in computers. So I am partial to good movies about computers, robots, and AI. I agree that A.I. Artificial Intelligence [2001] is one of the good ones.


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