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Autism or Aspergers I think might share some of these factors, but maybe people can just write down in easy bulletproof fashion what symptoms they have had if they have been diagnosed with any of these two disorders. Or they can write it down for their children if they are younger.

Here's a handful I know that I think might be shared by some members of this particular board?

1) Repetitive and Rephrasing: "No, I mean, what I meant was" has happened to me almost everyday. Simply just rephrasing exactly what I've said but rewording some of it around because I get really confused looks from my counterpart.

2) Anticipate what others say and finish their thought for them. Can't tell you how embarassing this is!! And I do it and immediately slap myself...I don't mean it, it's just that I usually can think ahead and can't stop myself from saying it faster.

3) Saying very bluntly, very crudely matter-of-fact things about a subject matter that pretty much ends the conversation right there...the only person I've not had this happen to me was with someone who seemed to have the same issue as me, it was like we could banter on and on because we both knew the rules. Unfortunately, most people don't know how to react to me when I do this...they usually get a little shocked at what i've said and then they say "yeah, that's about it" and finished.

4) Interrupting a family member for something as stupid as a phonecall or maybe what I ate for lunch while that person wasn't home...and doing it before even considering the fact that they might not be interested at that exact time...lol

5) NOT INTERRUPTING family members when something really important has happened....then getting strange stares and exaggerated sighing from them because they don't understand WHYYYYYY.

6) Cannot manage to say sentimental hoopla to anyone....unless forced to and it sounds really strange and phony to say it because I imagine they must already know it "that's ok" "don't worry" sometimes I double check to make sure they aren't giving me a strange look because my voice sounded funny when I said it?

7) Pick up everything I do extremely quickly if I am interested in it: horseback riding (immediately had the horse trotting and walking and getting amazed feedback from trainer in just 1 hour of my first lessons; ski blades at high speeds without any sticks or any hand-holding steep slopes on my second day, picking up drawing and painting landscapes and animals at 13, etc....anytime I learn something quickly people around me ask me if I've done it before (cooking, drafting, horseriding, etc...) no, I just learn everything super quick and it scares me.

8) Terrible eye contact....I sometimes don't even notice it but I look like I'm not paying attention but it's just that I don't remember it's IMPORTANT TO HAVE EYE CONTACT with your boss or your mates. Once or twice I've caught myself looking at someone in the eyes way too seriously, total strangers...

9) A victim of teasing and being made the center of attention for the entertainment of others: sing a song, do that dance you do, make that face you make!! And they probably laughed behind my back so much. I thought they were being honestly interested.

10) A victim of harassment by all my classmates who seemed to not understand why I was soooo strange, soooo good at my studies, and just weird. I think back now and I know that I was the victim of their continuous whispers and teasing but I never understood why. I didn't dress strangely or smell bad just that I didn't talk much and I was always drawing things and thinking for myself.

11) Gullible. "Did you know that women have three ovaries? One of them is hidden behind the uterus?" "Oh wow, that's so cool I didn't know that. Where did you read that?" "I'm kidding dummy"

12) Speaking extremely quietly....and not knowing how to help it since my teens. People always lean into me really close or they say "What did you say?"

13) Always have had difficult understanding normal people when they conversate. My conversations have always been highly erratic or "weird" and I realized that I couldn't handle normal people talking. Maybe it was about their favorite boy band or something, I'd listen and listen and wait and wait and wait and think to myself "Okay, here's where I can say somethign bada** and they'll all stand up and applaud for me" and wait and wait and wait until finally the conversation is over and it's too late. Often, if I did butt in with my own little something something I got those really strange looks again...Did I spill ketchup on my shirt?

14) Never learned a thing in college. Most of the lectures were as follows: Ten minutes of listening to the introduction of the topic, writing down vigorous notes, Fifteen minutes of contemplating the seating capacity of the lecture room and the possibility of escape from the position that I was seated in and a disaster, 2 minutes of paying attention to the lecture and 5 minutes of berating myself for not being able to remember what that previous fifteen minutes had been about and then fifteen more minutes of lightspeed warp imagination ascertaining planets and space and alien observation decks where earth was monitored and society a game for them to play with, then the lecture ends and nothing.

What I did learn I learned on my own time...Studying at midnight and sleeping in the day.

I have more but must go on with life now.

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A whole lot of those have nothing to do with it or are at best tangentially related. That doesn't rule anything out...but it doesn't "rule anything in", either. Have you tried looking at the actual diagnostic criteria (or if you think they're out of date (which they kind of are), some newer proposed ones)? Not that you can diagnose yourself or that we can over the Internet, but then at least you'd be starting on the same page as everyone else.

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Regarding diagnostic criteria... I can tell you how things happened with getting a diagnosis for my daughter.

Before 4, she was more classically autistic, but very high functioning. She was almost entirely non verbal, and had developmental delays across the board. BUT, her IQ tests were in the 150's and have just gone up from there.

As a little person, she didn't play... she lined up collections in rows. She did puzzles, and more puzzles. And then more.

Her behavior was often inappropriate, and still can be... smiling in sad situations, laughing when something is gravely wrong.

She started dexedrine at age 4, and within two weeks was speaking in full adult sentences. Admittedly, she memorized phrases that she heard, but then she applied them in appropriate situations. And really, that's pretty much what language development is anyway, but it was just very clearly delineated in her case during that first year of speech.

In elementary school, she couldn't remember names, and would have to describe people or things by their identifying characteristics. She didn't talk unless it was absolutely necessary. She once hit a child in class, and when asked why, she said that he was annoying her, and it was too much bother to tell him so.

Sensory issues are HUGE. Noise can be annoying, clothes can be annoying, smells can be annoying, a lot can be annoying.

Anyway... her developmental pediatrician had diagnosed her at four as being on the spectrum, but very high functioning. As she's gotten older, she definitely fits the profile of an Aspie moreso than autistic, but the way the criteria sit now, your diagnosis made before four is the way it is, and I can definitely see why they use age 4. It was an age of HUGE change for her.

I picked up my diagnosis as a bonus from all the years of trundling her to doctor's appointments, sort of like the goodie bags you get free with a purchase of makeup in department stores. Her psychiatrists, who got to spend most of their time talking to me, since it annoyed her to talk, said that the tree hadn't grown very far from the apple... or whatever fun analogy you'd like to put with it. And three of my four offspring have mentally interesting flavors, two of the four with developmental delays, three of the four with speech delays... yay, genetics (I had the speech delay, too, and look at me now, can't stop talking, yay, mania!).

Anyway, what nalgas said... your psychiatrist is the one who can tell you for sure, not us. ;) We can just listen and commiserate.

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the tree hadn't grown very far from the apple

I award you a gold star for the day for a rather appropriate backwardsing of that saying. You would've received bonus points for "the tree doesn't fall very far from the apple", though.

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Not trying to threadjack this for my own selfish purposes but just wanted to add that I have suspected Aspergers myself. I fit many of the traits, at least I think so. Some of them I don't but you don't have to fit all of the criteria right?

My pdoc kind of tentatively agreed that maybe something was there.

My tdoc completely dismissed it. Based mainly on the fact that I could converse with and make eye contact with him. Never mind the fact that forcing myself to make eye contact because I know it's what you're supposed to do is very uncomfortable for me most of the time. And never mind also, that by the time Aspies reach adulthood they've learned to compensate for some of the Aspie traits. Like forcing eye contact even though one would rather not make eye contact.

I look back at my childhood and a lot of that kind of fits the criteria as well. But you can't Dx yourself and you especially can't be objective about how your own childhood behavior was and since my mom is a flake, I can't really rely on her for info about my childhood.

I know I didn't have speech delay but that's part of Aspergers....generally speech is not delayed. I totally had the "little professor" thing going on. I would sit with the grown ups and try to include myself in their discussions, even though I sometimes didn't understand what they were talking about, rather than play with other kids.

I used advanced language for my age. My reading skills were way beyond those of the other kids in first grade. And I think they gave us IQ tests back then and I think I remember them telling my parents that I scored very well. I have since gotten dumber but that's another story.

So I don't know. I think sometimes making an Asperger's DX in adulthood can be tricky because by now we've learned to adapt and work around our little quirks.

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Everyone on the internet has Asperger's per themsleves.

But let's be realistic about it.

Psychiatrists and therapists are not qualified to diagnose ASDs, especially in adults who have had a lifetime to learn coping mechanisms. ASDs are not a psychiatric diagnosis-- they are neurological. There are some psychiatrists who specialize in treating people with ASDs, and they may be able to accurately diagnose adults on the spectrum if they are experienced with. Most are not.

Most people who didn't show significant delays/issues in early childhood enough to require intervention of some kind (or at least get a lot of attention) are most likely not on the spectrum. Yes, I'm mostly pulling this out of my ass, but I've spent enough time with children with ASDs that my perspective has changed a lot. Remember, ASD traits have to be present but also have to impair the person to a significant degree to get a diagnosis.

My son is autistic, and I could make a case for me being AS based on the very facile internet criteria. Beetle, everything you've listed could describe me as a child. It also describes most children who are very precocious beyond almost all of their peers. But having undergone all the testing and hours upon hours about learning how ASDs are diagnosed and what they look like, I don't have it. My husband may, or he may be on the part of the spectrum that's in the normal range. He and I both have a lot of ASD traits. But almost everyone has a few ASD traits, even among the most conventional people in the world.

In an adult, things like lack of eye contact and difficulty interacting socially are more likely some form of social anxiety.

High intelligence isn't correlated with autism. In fact, it's the opposite. Sure we hear a lot about stereotypical supergeniuses, but the fact is that 70% or more of people on the spectrum have cognitive delays and IQs below what is considered normal.

I'm sorry if this is ranty, but the internet has only facilitated this idea that autism is something cool that makes you smart, and it's not. Not so much CB anymore, but sometimes. It's become some sort of internet elite club. People with ASDs have a lot of difficulty with day-to-day functioning for the entire lifespan. I'm not sure why anyone would want that anymore than they would want to have, say, bipolar disorder or major depression.

I thought that's part of what sets AS apart from other ASDs is that there are no developmental delays, save for social, and that IQ is hardly ever effected.

And I'm not trying to be "cool". It's something I've suspected for a long time. Even before I started posting on internet message boards. Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. Like you said, I haven't seen an expert who is qualified to diagnose me.

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I am joining the hijack but - Dianthus, you touched on a big concern of mine - the diagnosing of weird little kids

I was a weird little kid. I had bad social skills, no friends, trouble making eye contact, and an obsession with lists and rules. I had trouble with fine motor skills, but a high IQ and advanced reading skills. If AS had been the "trendy" diagnosis at the time, I might have been diagnosed with it. (I do not mean AS is trendy - but some diagnoses seem to just be in favor and every kid seems to have it. Sort of like pediatric bipolar today - which I could have also been diagnosed with. I threw a lot of temper tantrums.)

I highly doubt I have AS. But I still have trouble in social situations, have to consciously maintain eye contact, and like lists.

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First of all, AS is being thrown out of the DSM anyway, thank God, because it almost no clinical usefulness. Actually I don't know 100% why it's being thrown out, but I personally am very happy that it is because I feel that it really doesn't change the clinical picture especially for children on the higher functioning end of the spectrum whose skills tend to be all over the place.

The strict DSM criteria for Asperger's Syndrome specifies that there is no significant delay in cognitive development, which, after going through the testing, includes IQ scores that are below average. Same with the language delay-- kids with AS generally don't have a language delay per se, but their use of language can be very different than that of NT children and that difference is used in diagnosis of ASDs.

Many or most children with AS show delays in occupational, fine motor, gross motor and other developmental delays.

Many or most AS people stim, show pronounced echolalia, have sensory processing issues, and much more that goes far beyond the social problems.

Many or most people with AS have issues with abstract thinking, which in children shows up in imaginitve and social play. Hence the much cited example of ASD kids lining up their toys-- but normal kids do that too. It's the intensity of it and the lack of other sorts of play. Oddly enough, my son doesn't do this at all, and shows a very advanced ability to pretend and play imaginatively.

Fixed interests and rigid routine are a huge part of AS. I have a train kid.

AS isn't just a social diagnosis. It's not just a smart kid who only gets along with adults and doesn't socialize with children well. There are so many factors that go into a diagnosis that it's truly staggering. When we got my son diagnosed, he did a 1-hour test and I did a 2-3 hour caregiver questionnaire. That was before we even got to the neurologist who did his own testing.

Beetle, I didn't mean you at all with the autism being cool. That's just a general internet thing that really bugs me.

I understand and realize all of the things you have posted about AS. And I guess I need to apologize, though I'm not sure exactly why, my thinking I could possibly have it seems to offend you.

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Psychiatrists and therapists are not qualified to diagnose ASDs, especially in adults who have had a lifetime to learn coping mechanisms. ASDs are not a psychiatric diagnosis-- they are neurological. There are some psychiatrists who specialize in treating people with ASDs, and they may be able to accurately diagnose adults on the spectrum if they are experienced with. Most are not.

I'm sorry but this is truly absurd. I think ASDs are a lot like ADD. Once upon a time you had to go to a specialist to get a dx, particularly as an adult, but now common therapists and pdocs are being trained to spot it better because there is more knowledge about what it is and how to spot it.

Most people who didn't show significant delays/issues in early childhood enough to require intervention of some kind (or at least get a lot of attention) are most likely not on the spectrum. Yes, I'm mostly pulling this out of my ass, but I've spent enough time with people of all ages with ASDs that my perspective has changed a lot. Remember, ASD traits have to be present but also have to impair the person to a significant degree to get a diagnosis.

You're forgetting that physicians were less skilled at making HFA and asperger's diagnoseses when a lot of us were kids so we're more likely to get diagnosed now, as adults, than we were as kids. The majority of the CB admins have some kind of ASD and none of us were diagnosed as kids.

My son is autistic, and I could make a case for me being AS based on the very facile internet criteria. Beetle, everything you've listed could describe me as a child. It also describes most children who are very precocious beyond almost all of their peers. But having undergone all the testing and hours upon hours about learning how ASDs are diagnosed and what they look like, I don't have it. My husband may, or he may be on the part of the spectrum that's in the normal range. He and I both have a lot of ASD traits, my husband much more that I do. But almost everyone has a few ASD traits, even among the most conventional people in the world.

I don't think any of us here are qualified to make any distinctions about who does and does not have an ASD, particularly when it's contrary to the opinion of a MHP.

In an adult, things like lack of eye contact and difficulty interacting socially are more likely some form of social anxiety.

Those are both places where I still have trouble.

I'm sorry if this is ranty, but the internet has only facilitated this idea that autism is something cool that makes you smart, and it's not. Not so much CB anymore, but sometimes. It's become some sort of internet elite club. People with ASDs have a lot of difficulty with day-to-day functioning for the entire lifespan. I'm not sure why anyone would want that anymore than they would want to have, say, bipolar disorder or major depression.

None of which makes it our place to decide who does and does not have an ASD.

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I'm not saying people can't be diagnosed as adults, I'm just saying that it should be done by someone with expertise in treating and diagnosing ASDs. Psychiatrists and therapists don't have that training, not yet.

I'll go with that. My GP (UK) was convinced I couldn't possible have AS because I was "too functional", so I had to pay for a private assessment.

It was by a member of Simon Baron Cohen's team at Cambridge, and her unofficial summary to me of her official diagnosis was "solidly AS."

I'd seen a number of psychologists, therapists and psychitrists in the preceding years, with my depressive problems, and not one had considered AS as a possble factor.

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