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I struggle with relationship/communication.

I have no social life.

I have physical coordination problems.

I get overwhelmed easily, especially when around lots of people.

I struggle with other's facial expressions and what they mean.

My birth etc puts me at high risk.

When I was 5, a fellow ex preemie ran around the school screaming when a theatre group came. I promptly followed her and screamed alongside - actually behind.

I have a really hard time with any kind of change.

There have been many times when I am locked away in my own world.

I have periodic struggles with feeling empathy.

Loud noises disturb me intensely. Any noise, really. Especially certain pitches/vibration.

Tantrums.

There is definitely something 'wrong' with my emotional development.

An online test, as far as they go, puts me at 29, when Aspergers tendency starts at 32 and above. Which is about right - I'm likely close, but not quite close enough?

This doesn't fall under depression, or even completely a personality disorder. I can sort of relate it to complex trauma. When I make that connection, I go all shivery inside, you know when that happens? I said to my mum recently how trauma can make it difficult to put things into words sometimes.

But if it does point to somewhere on the autistic spectrum, even if marginally so, how come no one has picked up on it? Obviously it's picked up on and worked through gradually in my therapy, in relation to trauma stuff. I'm just trying to make sure I 'package' it appropriately, and as my 'disability' is such hot issue for me with employment right now, and many of my struggles seem outside of the 'keep it simple' depression diagnosis... yeah. Hope that makes sense.

Sensitive perspective welcome. Thanks.

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I... [symptoms and traits]

An online test, as far as they go, puts me at 29, when Aspergers tendency starts at 32 and above. Which is about right - I'm likely close, but not quite close enough?

But if it does point to somewhere on the autistic spectrum, even if marginally so, how come no one has picked up on it?

Sensitive perspective welcome. Thanks.

Just about everything you cite is consistent with ASD, but doesn't amount to proof of it.

The Baron Cohen AQ test is a thing of likelihoods. 80% of those diagnosed with an ASD scored 32 or above, which means 20% scored lower.

(The average score in a control group was 16.4.)

I score 41, and I wasn't picked up, despite considerable contct with mental heath services, until I was 48. No-one put the pieces together, considered the possibility.

And the more intelligent and observant we are the more we tend to have developed "work-arounds" which make us less obvious at first or even second glance. (Even if that's only social withdrawal!)

These learned social skills, processed far more through the forebrain than with instinctively social people, do tend to be very tiring, though. It's a running on "high alert".

So, everything else being equal, it would be very reasonable to have your supicions formally assesed, to clear things up one way or the other.

But things aren't of course. On the plus side a a confirmed diagnosis would set you towards a clearer understanding of yourself, and also point towards the best framework and means of communication by which to tackle any other issues.

( I was spotted by a therapist who first noticed his technique was just bouncing off me without effect, and put some thought into the "why")

And a formal diagnosis might open access to services and support (depending very much on where you are.)

On the other hand it could cost significant money (again, depending where you are) and having a formal "label" can have a down-side, and though that is mainly in terms of the reaction and thinking of the uninformed, including employers, fair numbers of such people exist.

Of course, you don't have to wear a badge or tell everyone.

Just occasionally I've succumbed to opportunities to drop the detail into a situation or conversation like a laser-guided bomb. That can be a wicked pleasure, and really hit home.

Personally I've not at all regretted getting diagnosed, and feel it has "added tools to my tool kit" in terms of understanding myself and managing both my strengths and my blind-spots or weaknesses.

Chris.

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Emmett, I'll respond in more detail to your reply tomorrow.

Dianthus, this didn't come to mind because of anything being 'cool' or whatnot. I had no idea. It has emerged as a genuine worry based on my current struggles with communication and being around people, as well as past stuff.

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The Baron Cohen AQ test is a thing of likelihoods. 80% of those diagnosed with an ASD scored 32 or above, which means 20% scored lower. (The average score in a control group was 16.4.)

In other words, the AQ test is completely meaningless, and shouldn't be used for anything. None of the questions are specific enough to be valid for any diagnosis, and several of them pretty much call normal human behavior disordered. There's no wonder it carries no statistical validity.

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Right, if you want to get tested formally based on suggestive results, you should probably do so. It will ease your worries one way or the other.

But don't take it as pointing you one way or the other right now. I'd say.

Anna

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In other words, the AQ test is completely meaningless, and shouldn't be used for anything. None of the questions are specific enough to be valid for any diagnosis, and several of them pretty much call normal human behavior disordered. There's no wonder it carries no statistical validity.

I certainly, and Simon Baron Cohen most certainly, wouldn't take it at all as diagnostic, but it does show up a significant differences, statistically, between AS and NT scores. And between male and females.

Ths is an ancient and simple on-line quiz version, now largely for curiosity, but I'd defend it as being more than nul.

(I think it originally went on-line principally to generate a large sample size to see what it did generate as a population spread, and to check the male-femael difference hypothesis)

The version I had at my diagnosis was longer and more wide-ranging and subtle.

And of course was accompanied by other questionaires, tests, conversation, observation, and an interview with a parent.

Noting traits and doing on-line tests is not a substitute for formal diagnosis.

And, as I agree with others on this point, I should probably have added an extra line on my original post:

"Just about everything you cite is consistent with ASD, but doesn't amount to proof of it."

*But a good number of these traits can appear in a range of other conditions*

That's actually an extra reason for going for diagnosis as long as the practitioner isn't autism-fixated, as the alternate possibilities wil be considered too.

(That was a clear section in my diagnostic report: other possibilities being discussed and, in my case, being rejected.)

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I certainly, and Simon Baron Cohen most certainly, wouldn't take it at all as diagnostic, but it does show up a significant differences, statistically, between AS and NT scores. And between male and females.

I'm sorry, but when a full 20% of diagnosed ASD patients who take the test fall below the threshold, and an unquantified but large number of people without the diagnosis score above the threshold, I cannot consider the test to be valid, statistically or diagnostically. Especially not if there's a gender difference. Yes, a very disproportionate number of ASD diagnoses go to males, but within the population of diagnosed ASD patients there shouldn't be any gender variability.

(I think it originally went on-line principally to generate a large sample size to see what it did generate as a population spread, and to check the male-femael difference hypothesis)

In other words, to collect data in a completely uncontrolled manner.

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Guest Vapourware

I have to agree that the Baron Cohen test is not the best barometer out there if you are wondering if you have an ASD. Some of the questions are just too broad and vague and would apply for several disorders. If you do suspect that you have it, you're best to do a formal assessment. I remember doing my assessment and they asked about my history and gave me a much more comprehensive test.

However, with your other dxs, it's going to be hard to work out what interactions they are having on your life, and whether it's the borderline and trauma that are causing the issues. You'll have to filter out those dxs or at least work on stabilising them before you can get an accurate gauge of whether anything spectrum-like is happening for you.

You also have to consider what difference it would make to your treatment if you found out that you were on the spectrum. Would it actually benefit you?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I guess I'm another cluster-screw in this autistic fest... "only" got a 25 on the scale.

Unlike most autistics, I'm extroverted, talkative, and empathic.

Like most autistics, I talk in the wrong tone of voice (too loud/too soft/too mad/too cold/etc.), make social faux pas like nobody's business, and even though I enjoy being with others, I don't mind being alone.

I, too, have a lot of the trauma issues that you discussed. I'm from an immigrant family (which means I've got two "cultural scripts" to read from lest I make a fool out of myself in front of the wrong crowd!), and my physical coordination issues are part of what put me out of work, to say nothing about playing dodgeball in high school!

So don't take that test as any sort of clinical advice, since issues on the autism spectrum are also attributable to other mental issues (in my case, AD/HD, social anxiety, adjustment disorder, MDD, etc. etc.). Really, the best thing to do is to work with a psychotherapist on improving your social skills and (if you can afford it) an occupational/physical therapist to work on your coordination. I wish you the best of luck!

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