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LuckyBunny
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24 Feb 2009, 6:19 pm

Well said, pandd. Pretty much the point I was aiming at. To the other poster:

It's not an individual, broad ranging trait like shyness that justifies diagnosis, self or pro.

If you are looking at self diagnosis, you'd realistically fare much better after long research into AS, associated behavior, and the various comorbidities that can manifest, particularly in adulthood.

I have taken this route, and my self diagnosis is very sure, right to the point that I feel I can confidently disagree with a team of 2 psychologists I saw on the 5th Feb. Mind you, on the day, I thought they were idiots for their obvious lack of knowledge, but I was the biggest idiot for just nodding and leaving afterwards. Should've argued.

I am still constantly learning new points about AS, and constantly testing my self diagnosis, over and over. I've picked holes, pulled chunks, hit myself over the head with it, but still I am sure.

But sure is not a statement of fact. I may yet be NT.

Anyways I digressed a little. :)
Shyness *may* be a pointer, but ideally you'd be looking for much more than that.

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pandd
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24 Feb 2009, 6:46 pm

LuckyBunny wrote:
I have taken this route, and my self diagnosis is very sure, right to the point that I feel I can confidently disagree with a team of 2 psychologists I saw on the 5th Feb. Mind you, on the day, I thought they were idiots for their obvious lack of knowledge, but I was the biggest idiot for just nodding and leaving afterwards. Should've argued.

Perhaps, but it's not idiotic to expect psychologists to have a good grounding in knowledge about something they presume to assess you for, and it's not uncommon for people with AS (including non-idiotic ones) to have difficulties processing and generating a response to the unexpected, especially a response that requires communication.

You might just be someone with AS who held reasonable but frustrated expectations and was unable to process and formulate/enact a response under time constraints. No idiocy necessary.



andantespianato
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24 Feb 2009, 6:56 pm

I have been researching AS and comorbidities and anything related since about April 08, but I would still never claim to have it without actually being assessed and diagnosed by an AS specialist. It would definately explain alot if I do have it. Like I said though, my parents pin everything down to shyness. When I say everything I mean lack of social skills, trouble with reading social cues and non verbal communication, the claims from people I once knew that I apparently dont use body language, the fact that I have never had a proper job, the fact that most of my conversations practically finnish with 'hi' unless its either based around a topic im really interested in or just completely dominated and led by the other person, my parents say all that is shyness. They also put the whole 'narrow interests' thing down to creativity, even though I almost failed my final year in school three times because Im just more interested in music and considered it more important because its what I want a career out of. When I say 'almost failed' I mean even though I didnt competely fail it still wasnt enough to matriculate for any uni in my country as far as im aware of. Im under the impression that part of the assessment process for an adult is to interview one of the parents about my early childhood....but when bought it up myself one of them even denied that I ever threw tantrums as a toddler but some of their most frequently brought up baby stories are based around those so I know thats not true... Situations that would affect most people who consider themselves shy dont affect me, but where it subsides for most of those who say theyre shy Id still be just as clueless, but passive.



andantespianato
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25 Feb 2009, 10:54 am

Any more input?



LuckyBunny
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25 Feb 2009, 11:09 am

I had the same situation until I took the aspie quiz with my mum watching and verifying my answers.

The result came through, and now she's a little more convinced I'm right. There's a post on here somewhere with the link. Just search 'aspie quiz' on here.

Mine was 160 AS / 49 NT

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andantespianato
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25 Feb 2009, 11:49 am

Thanks :)



robo37
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25 Feb 2009, 12:03 pm

pandd wrote:
I have blue eyes. As a child people would sometimes tell me I had the bluest eyes they had ever seen. If I employed the reasoning you seem to employ to arrive at your conclusion above, then I would be describing blue eyes as a symptom of AS. They are not and neither is shyness.


But I've seen lots of other aspies say their shy.



MONKEY
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25 Feb 2009, 12:26 pm

robo37 wrote:
pandd wrote:
I have blue eyes. As a child people would sometimes tell me I had the bluest eyes they had ever seen. If I employed the reasoning you seem to employ to arrive at your conclusion above, then I would be describing blue eyes as a symptom of AS. They are not and neither is shyness.


But I've seen lots of other aspies say their shy.


That's only some, aspies can be introverted or extraverted just like everyone else, I am myself the introverted type.
Just because someone has AS doesn't mean they're instantly shy, it depends on the person. Although I do find alot are quite introverted, it isn't always the case.


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marshall
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25 Feb 2009, 1:06 pm

I don't think shyness is a trait of AS/HFA, it's more of a coping mechanism that happens when we become self-conscious. We realize we are different from the norm and that being different isn't accepted in society in general. Staying on the sidelines takes less effort and energy than pretending to be normal – it's the path of least resistance for many on the spectrum. I'm often inhibited around people I don't know well because I'm constantly concerned about how I'm being perceived. Those of us who don't care as much how we're perceived tend to be less inhibited around strangers and acquaintances.

For me there's another issue that is quite separate from shyness but often comes across as such. I'm not sure this is a universal problem for people on the spectrum but I have a lot of trouble being spontaneous.

I have a theory that this is due to the associative nature of my thinking. For example, I'm not good at coming up with conversation starters but I'm fine once I'm able to build off a topic of common interest. Things just don't come out easily if I have to think of something to say before I say it. It's like I have trouble repeating a thought that previously occurred in my head a second time out loud. Once I get more into a topic it feels like I have to think less before I speak and things start to flow easier. I start talking directly from association rather than having to be constantly coming up with things to say from scratch. But then as soon as there's an interruption or a change of topic I'm straight back to my discombobulated mode of not being able to efficiently convert my thoughts into words.



LuckyBunny
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25 Feb 2009, 1:17 pm

marshall wrote:
I don't think shyness is a trait of AS/HFA, it's more of a coping mechanism that happens when we become self-conscious. We realize we are different from the norm and that being different isn't accepted in society in general. Staying on the sidelines takes less effort and energy than pretending to be normal – it's the path of least resistance for many on the spectrum. I'm often inhibited around people I don't know well because I'm constantly concerned about how I'm being perceived. Those of us who don't care as much how we're perceived tend to be less inhibited around strangers and acquaintances.

For me there's another issue that is quite separate from shyness but often comes across as such. I'm not sure this is a universal problem for people on the spectrum but I have a lot of trouble being spontaneous.

I have a theory that this is due to the associative nature of my thinking. For example, I'm not good at coming up with conversation starters but I'm fine once I'm able to build off a topic of common interest. Things just don't come out easily if I have to think of something to say before I say it. It's like I have trouble repeating a thought that previously occurred in my head a second time out loud. Once I get more into a topic it feels like I have to think less before I speak and things start to flow easier. I start talking directly from association rather than having to be constantly coming up with things to say from scratch. But then as soon as there's an interruption or a change of topic I'm straight back to my discombobulated mode of not being able to efficiently convert my thoughts into words.


Me too, in a way. In a group, I find there's a minute or so of me just silently listening to the new topic, before I'm actually ready to take part. Sometimes it's much longer and I'm often tempted to switch back and continue the previous topic.

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robo37
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25 Feb 2009, 1:29 pm

Don’t people with AS have problems speaking to people? Isn’t that the same as shyness?



LuckyBunny
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25 Feb 2009, 1:48 pm

robo37 wrote:
Don’t people with AS have problems speaking to people? Isn’t that the same as shyness?


Put it this way:

AS is different from shyness in a similar way to being from another country. If you went to rural France and could only speak English, you really wouldn't want to socialise much, at least not without picture cards :p

Pretty much the same deal. Trying to talk to others really doesn't work too well, while being alone does. Being shy with it complicates matters.

Shyness is a self-made barrier to communication. It can be overcome. Being foreign is not self-made, but can be overcome. AS is not self-made, and cannot be overcome.

I hope that explanation is good.

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25 Feb 2009, 2:01 pm

marshall wrote:
I don't think shyness is a trait of AS/HFA, it's more of a coping mechanism that happens when we become self-conscious. We realize we are different from the norm and that being different isn't accepted in society in general. Staying on the sidelines takes less effort and energy than pretending to be normal – it's the path of least resistance for many on the spectrum. I'm often inhibited around people I don't know well because I'm constantly concerned about how I'm being perceived. Those of us who don't care as much how we're perceived tend to be less inhibited around strangers and acquaintances.

For me there's another issue that is quite separate from shyness but often comes across as such. I'm not sure this is a universal problem for people on the spectrum but I have a lot of trouble being spontaneous.

I have a theory that this is due to the associative nature of my thinking. For example, I'm not good at coming up with conversation starters but I'm fine once I'm able to build off a topic of common interest. Things just don't come out easily if I have to think of something to say before I say it. It's like I have trouble repeating a thought that previously occurred in my head a second time out loud. Once I get more into a topic it feels like I have to think less before I speak and things start to flow easier. I start talking directly from association rather than having to be constantly coming up with things to say from scratch. But then as soon as there's an interruption or a change of topic I'm straight back to my discombobulated mode of not being able to efficiently convert my thoughts into words.


OMG that's like reading about my own life. I totally get what you mean, it's more like not knowing what to say than being shy


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25 Feb 2009, 4:55 pm

marshall wrote:
I don't think shyness is a trait of AS/HFA, it's more of a coping mechanism that happens when we become self-conscious. We realize we are different from the norm and that being different isn't accepted in society in general. Staying on the sidelines takes less effort and energy than pretending to be normal – it's the path of least resistance for many on the spectrum. I'm often inhibited around people I don't know well because I'm constantly concerned about how I'm being perceived. Those of us who don't care as much how we're perceived tend to be less inhibited around strangers and acquaintances.

For me there's another issue that is quite separate from shyness but often comes across as such. I'm not sure this is a universal problem for people on the spectrum but I have a lot of trouble being spontaneous.

I have a theory that this is due to the associative nature of my thinking. For example, I'm not good at coming up with conversation starters but I'm fine once I'm able to build off a topic of common interest. Things just don't come out easily if I have to think of something to say before I say it. It's like I have trouble repeating a thought that previously occurred in my head a second time out loud. Once I get more into a topic it feels like I have to think less before I speak and things start to flow easier. I start talking directly from association rather than having to be constantly coming up with things to say from scratch. But then as soon as there's an interruption or a change of topic I'm straight back to my discombobulated mode of not being able to efficiently convert my thoughts into words.

Yup, I'm in the same boat. I just can't think of interesting or relevant things to say. I'm even a bit more extreme than some Aspies I've met in that I only want to ask "meaningful" questions. For example, a few years ago I was at a wedding reception (I hate them so much) and a friend of mine was trying to encourage me to talk with this other girl there. This was before I knew about Asperger's BTW. He just thought I was shy and was trying to help me out. He suggested I ask her if she was a friend/relative of the bride or the groom as a conversation starter. What struck me was my intial thought response. Rather than just thinking, "Yeah, that's a good conversation starter.", all I could think of of was how the answer itself would be useless information with no benefit in and of itself and therefore didn't warrant asking the question.



Stew54
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25 Feb 2009, 5:39 pm

This thread has tempted me from weeks of lurking because it struck such a strong chord.

I've had forty-some years of being regarded by everyone, including myself, as simply shy. I knew little about the spectrum and didn't consider any other explanation. I actually began researching this because a child we know is autistic and she has taken a shine to me - I wanted to understand the world she encounters. Took that Baron Cohen test because I followed a link to it, and scored 41. Took it again of course, thinking I must have messed it up somehow the first time, and scored 42.

Finding out what the diagnostic traits are was a revelation. So, being spectacularly clumsy and poorly co-ordinated could be associated with being socially awkward, rather than just another of life's crosses. Who knew? And having important routines too? And being much more interested in a series of obscure subjects than I ever was in the school curriculum or my responsibilities at work? And being exhausted beyond measure after socialising with people?

It was only when I had that context that I was able to analyse it properly. I'm not actually shy (well a bit maybe, but not very). I can and do meet people perfectly comfortably every day (even if I look at their chin rather than their eyes). What I can't handle is meeting them in busy social contexts, crowded or noisy rooms. I don't blame my family and my teachers for deciding that the quiet little boy who would make himself ill sooner than go to anyone's birthday party was shy - that was the most likely explanation for them. I don't blame myself for going along with that either really - that's what I'd been told about myself since before I could remember.

I don't know for sure whether I am on the spectrum, though I've been reading into it every spare moment for months (yes, I know!) and with all that information I feel that it is quite likely. Whether or not I am though, I've already found it helps me to deal with things more comfortably if I act on the basis that I am Aspie, rather than that I am a shy, clumsy geek who can't make eye contact, doesn't "get" small talk etc. For that I'm really grateful to the lady on another board who linked me to that test.