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fiddlerpianist
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03 May 2009, 10:35 pm

Hi there,

I thought I would explore the forum a bit to find out a little bit more about AS. After having studied the symptom list, I can certainly relate to many (but not all) of them.

I've always had really good aural skills. I was, as far as I know, born with absolute (also called "perfect") pitch. I picked up piano when I was seven and violin when I was eight. Music is one of the most natural things in my life. I would sit in my room for hours (and hours) in front of a tape recorder and just sing into it.

I was always a "weird kid" growing up. I didn't like to play with others and was really, really different from my older brother who was in to team sports and people. I had very few friends (none for many years). Even my teachers thought I was unusual, though my mom preferred the term "unique." (I would apparently sit in the back of the room and sing to myself in math class!) I didn't like loud, startling noises (like the vacuum cleaner running, the furnace starting up, or the dishwasher kicking on). I also had (and still do) a tougher time with figures of speech than many people, and I have a tendency to take people literally. To this day, I generally don't like small talk, and I still feel very apprehensive about starting up conversations with people I don't know.

I don't know that I've ever truly had sensory overload. Loud noises don't bother me any more, though I can, if I wish to, choose to hear and process absolutely every noise around me. Apparently that's not exactly normal.

Then again, I made friends fairly easily with some of the bookish high schoolers when I was in 11th grade. Perhaps they were simply more patient with me than most of my peers, or perhaps I don't have AS and was simply a "gifted" kid waiting to find people I could immediately associate with. A few days back, I was telling one of those friends that I was wondering if I had AS, and her response was, "Oh, you don't have that. I've had students that have AS, and they have no empathy and aren't able to connect at all with someone. And I never remember you that way. I remember you being completely absorbed in music... but was it more of an escapism, a coping mechanism than not being able to connect." I've had other friends tell me similar things, that "I'm just not like that." So I don't know. I am very, very happily married and have absolutely no trouble connecting with my wife. Maybe that's just an area I was able to adapt on my own with, or I had a really good set of high school friends whose significance I never realized before this week.

I don't think if I were to go seek a professional diagnosis I would be diagnosed with AS because the way I am hasn't adversely affected the quality of my life. Then again, it seems like little is really known about adult aspies. I've heard some of them say that they "appear" to be normal to just about everyone, so I guess that includes being able to relate and empathize with others. I don't think I have trouble empathizing with others, but there have been many moments in my life when I've wondered if I should have felt empathy when I actually didn't.

I don't really think it's important at this stage of my life to know whether or not I would be diagnosed with AS. If I had developmental trouble, I was able to (mostly) overcome it. I am very comfortable being me, I like being me, and I don't ever want to change. Regardless of "what" I am, I know that I process the world differently because of who I am. And I celebrate that.



oblio
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04 May 2009, 2:27 am

my cynically toned sceptical me asks what you are looking for on this forum -
no complaints you say, all is hunky dorey, you even have come up roses!

but you are here & here you are, and any sympathizer is welcome

but the fact alone that you are [this is the creative reader in me] - here, i mean,
and the title of this your thread says so much more indeed...

so tell me: i you ask whether you belong (here) -
does that allow me to conclude there is at least something inside of you
that simply does NOT belong, there, i mean, out there...

so i guess i'll say welcome mate - welcome home



i read somewhere long ago, i believe by the dutch writer Harry Mulisch - and sorry, i cannot check: my books are all in storage, (that it could be said) that

the point of (one's) life is to find out what the point of one's life is
[sic the parentheses & lack thereof!]

if i believed in any way there is a point to life (granted, there may be one to living)
- which i do not - then it must have been to find myself, my self, my lack of... self

to find out about autism as expressed from within and know it applied
to see in ONE, epiphanous, moment - to KNOW

- not by a myriad of unanswered questions not even yet considered;
- not by another myriad of tiny observations and memories... re-membered
but to KNOW all this and more to finally have become answerable

i had but one thing left to do in my life - become
become me, that's all

apart from informing my family, as that is what i felt i morally owed them -
they know there is autism in the family; i am pretty sure any number are 'affected'
but they know, what they do with that... it is totally up to them

in that sense, i also immediately knew i was 'ready' with my life,
i knew where to go, wherever that was, and however to get there
- but the essential, my only, question had been answered

and thanks to the social security system in these my so-called real-life regions
i know i'll survive and have time to do just that - just don't know how yet...

and for the rest: ooh... i am badly, BADLY affected in one are i would guess, but even that would have been intellectually surmountable (as i may in the future be able to show now), and in practical fact have been turned yet another of my blessings in disguise

but HOW ON EARTH, if the traits are not symptoms but talents,
could one possibly meet the diagnostic criteria -
it takes an awful lot of (re-)creative reading and rethinking and REWORDING
to start recognizing what i believe you have unconsciously recognized

welcome home (i guess)

and that precisely is my present puzzle: to make the invisible visible


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WardenWolf
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04 May 2009, 3:12 am

To quote a song by VNV Nation, "I'd only come here. . .seeking peace. I'd only come here. . .seeking me. . ."

What you're seeking are answers, and an identity. There are as many different variations of Aspergers as there are people who have it. No two people are exactly the same. Different people have different strengths and weaknesses. Some problems may be outgrown altogether by some, but persist for others. Some may not show up for some people. Some people with Aspergers do indeed lack empathy for other (or at least normal) people, and don't even see the need for friends. Others need socialization and can form connections with certain types of people on a very deep level despite being stunted with other people. Different people have different problems and strengths, and different levels of functioning.

While I do believe you are probably on the autism spectrum in some form, I am not certain whether you have Aspergers. Although you do have many of the hallmarks, primarily the remaining social limitations and other autistic traits that have faded with time. People with Aspergers tend to outgrow some of their autistic traits as they desensitize, and they tend to disappear more naturally than with full-blown autism which typically requires special training or conditioning to clear up. Each person is different. One person may clear up virtually all the obvious traits, another person may clear up some but be left with a light or sound sensitivity, for example. What invariably persists for people with Aspergers, though, are social limitations. The inability to instinctively understand various social nuances, resulting in a lot of mistakes when socializing with normal people. This also varies in its severity.

The people who accepted you in high school likely saw in you a common element. Just as the "cool" people tend to hang together, the outsiders sometimes watch out for their own. I have the deepest respect for people like this, people who will go out of their way to get to know us.

At any rate, stick around for a while. If you decide you're not one of us, there's no committment. The important thing is that you're happy with yourself, something many people in this world, Aspergers or not, will envy you for.


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JetLag
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04 May 2009, 10:21 am

Welcome, fiddlerpianist, to the Wrong Planet community.


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richie
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04 May 2009, 12:49 pm

Image
To WrongPlanet!! !Image


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fiddlerpianist
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04 May 2009, 2:23 pm

PhoenixWolf wrote:
While I do believe you are probably on the autism spectrum in some form, I am not certain whether you have Aspergers. Although you do have many of the hallmarks, primarily the remaining social limitations and other autistic traits that have faded with time. What invariably persists for people with Aspergers, though, are social limitations. The inability to instinctively understand various social nuances, resulting in a lot of mistakes when socializing with normal people. This also varies in its severity.


I am still socially awkward, but I would say that I am no longer dysfunctionally awkward. Anyone who knows me knows that I can blurt out the occasional inappropriate comment, take someone way too literally, miss the joke entirely, or ramble on for hours about my passions if someone shows even remote interest in my interests. I think I'm viewed more as a quirky eccentric than "unworkably weird" by most people's standards.

I do wonder how I would be different, though, had I been diagnosed with AS as a child. How would that knowledge have shaped my personality? I don't think I can ever know, but I think that, for me and mildness of my Aspie characteristics, I'm grateful I didn't.

I do need to figure out whether I should tell me family, though. I somehow think they wouldn't understand.



Aspiegirl2001
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04 May 2009, 2:27 pm

Welcome To Wp

How Are You ?



WardenWolf
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04 May 2009, 3:21 pm

I think most people just see me as a bit quirky as well. For me, it's not obvious to someone who doesn't know about autism. They mostly see me as a weird guy with a speech problem, who makes bad jokes (mostly horrible puns), and has a few odd tendencies. Very, very few have ever seen me close to meltdown, and only one person has ever pegged me as likely Aspergers. I worked in a school, and had to fix the SPED director's computer several times, and even she didn't say anything.


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Asuigeneris1
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05 May 2009, 5:08 am

I laugh now at the question of empathy with Aspies, but many times in the past I was far from feeling jovial about the subject. My boyfriend tends to laugh when I hurt myself, he feels bad later after I ream him a new one for it...but it seems to be his first gut reaction. LOL : P



xalepax
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05 May 2009, 3:20 pm

Hi Fiddlerpianist, feel yourself Welcomed to the forum!


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ironangel
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06 May 2009, 1:57 am

welcome to WP :D

hope to hear you play soooooon :D



fiddlerpianist
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06 May 2009, 7:33 am

ironangel wrote:
welcome to WP :D

hope to hear you play soooooon :D


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iQk1c9Vqow

I'm the fiddle player.



Tim_Tex
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06 May 2009, 3:03 pm

Welcome to WP!