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Aspergers Disordered People I Have A Question. (Previous diagnosed Aspie but I think...)


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I was diagnosed with it when I 14. I was angry about it so I demanded they clear the diagnosis. Any who I am now i starting to think the previous therapist wasn’t wrong. I have all the symptoms. But I have a question before I bring it up with my therapist tomorrow. I usually don't tell her much... okay I go on about something I'm into. But otherwise I usually tell her all is good. Detailed answers please. What’s it like to have this disorder/syndrome? What are your interests? What are you yourself like?

Edited by Bipolar_Flower
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 What’s it like to have this disorder/syndrome? What are your interests? What are you yourself like?

 

Well, everyone that is on the spectrum is different, it would be stereotypical to lump us all together. What's it like? Well for me, I don't think about it that much. I only really think about it when I realise that I'm having a lot of social problems.  I feel like an outsider in just about ever conceivable social group / situation.  I can't really be around people for too long or it gets overwhelming, but it doesn't mean that I don't sometimes want to be around people. On a face value it looks like I don't have a lot of social impairments, I can make good conversation, about certain topics, but small talk, pretty much not happening. I have really bad eye contact, I either don't look in your eyes, or I try and psych myself up and look normal but then it looks like I'm staring at you too intently. I don't really have friends, but I'm not sure it's strictly related.  A lot of people have told me that I'm hard to read, but once they figure it out they like me.

 

I have interests, and then I have obsessions. I can be interested in things and enjoy them, and then I can be obsessed in which it will take up a lot of my waking time. Sometimes there is cross over, I like playing ukulele, listening to music (pretty selective, and I know all the notes to the songs, alternations, brands of instruments used, speakers you name it ha), reading.

 

I think it's important to know that everyone looks different. Some people don't have the stereotypical traits and often get dismissed as not being on the spectrum, for example I have a lot of empathy, but I don't really know how to articulate it to you. I like physical affection (hugs / being touched) but a lot of people often perceive that people with aspergers don't like it. 

 

I don't think I can tell you how I am, I've always found that question overwhelming.

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Everyone's different. But for me, I can't really say what it's "like" compared to anything else because I've always had it. With other psychiatric conditions, the people who have them haven't always been affected with traits, but that's not the case with AS or any other autism spectrum disorder. I was born autistic and (unfortunately) always will be autistic. But I guess I can say that I do think and behave differently from people without it; that's something that was obviously noted by others my whole life and now I have noticed it too, being aware of my diagnosis (it was first thought that I had AS when I was 5 years old, I got officially diagnosed at 10 years old, and now I'm 17.)

 

I'm always lonely and have no friends to do anything with in real life. I love and crave repetition, especially when I have control over it through making sounds or manipulating objects or using my body to engage in it. I don't rely on a strict daily routine, at least not since I've become older, but I still dislike change from what I'm used to or from what I expect. Especially the latter. Or change that can't be controlled, especially changes in season. I also agree with 0ranges on the empathy aspect; I have an excruciatingly high amount of empathy and do show it sometimes or even often according to other people, but I can't seem to always coordinate my body language/tone of voice/word choice, etc. so sometimes I may appear "cold" to someone I don't talk to often. 

My sensory problems are unbearable and can be debilitating, resulting in a very restricted diet and inability to attend regular school (crowds, enraging sounds, etc.) as well as issues whenever  anyone in my house is cooking food, and I can't go to most restaurants without feeling extremely overwhelmed. 

I get overwhelmed by extended or intense social interaction but I've gotten better with it I think over the years.

 

I had a singular intense interest from ages 4-about 12 or 13, which was Presidents of the US with emphasis on JFK. I've had interests that have followed me through my whole life (aspects of language, history, music, philosophy, literature, sciences, etc.) but not really intense and singular as the Presidents one. I find that now I go through short phases where I learn as much about a subject/topic to the point that I'm satisfied (within the past month, British royal family and Rachmaninoff concertos among some other things.) That's how I learn, is through a very brief intense interest from a wide variety of things. 

 

So yeah, I guess I can describe a bit about how it affects me but I don't know any other way.

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Describing Asperger's syndrome can be done in two words, or maybe three.

 

We vary.  Enormously.

I put this together a while ago, while I was fielding question on autism and Asperger's in a different group.

Sometimes it served as it was, or I could tailor it as required.

 

-------------------------------------------------

 

What’s it like having Asperger's?
 
It's difficult to be specific as we vary. Massively.
Pick your Asperger's almost.
Some of us have very marked hypersensitivities: to touch (including clothing), sound, light, movement, taste...
Others have none of these.
Some can speak well and handle non-literal language, others have marked difficulty understanding and producing speech, especially in handling non-literal terms. "It's raining cats and dogs". 
 
Some are quiet and withdrawn, others loud and angry. Perhaps even both, varying with circumstance.
 
We can walk normally or have significant balance and movement issues.
We can show traits of flapping, rocking, spinning ("stims", to meet sensory or emotional needs)
Or we may not.
 
Many of us have trouble doing eye contact the way most other people do.
But some of us don't
 
Very few of us actually have outstanding savant talents. 
(about 1:400, but you wouldn't get that from Hollywood or magazine articles.)
We can have any IQ from average on up.  (It's part of the of the definition of Asperger's.)
 
We can have special interests and obsessions that eat up our time and stop us doing anything productive.
Or the same focus and dedication can take us to the top of our chosen specialist career.
(Others don't have the trait so markedly.)
From the above we might be obsessed by fashion and clothes, or utterly disinterested in such if it wasn't in our particular world-view of "interesting."
 
Mostly we prefer our own familiar worlds to the bigger, strange, confusing one called "society"
But that's a mostly, not an always.
 
We can seem distracted or unobservant to others due to us noticing both too much and too little. 
(Missing social cues, seeing floods of details)
And be held to have inappropriate emotions because compared to an average we tend to feel both too much and too little.
 
We can show very spiky ability profiles, with strengths and weaknesses surprisingly adjacent, quite often
(Someone with difficulty speaking "live" might be incredibly fluent and communicative via e-mail or message-board: whichever one was met first, most people would not be expecting the other.)
 
You won't get us to fit in one tidy box or pigeon hole.
Except by forcing.
 
Me, I have a good solid case of Asperger's syndrome."
 
----------------------
 
Personally, I come with very good speech and language skills, in part because interest in communicating well has led to lots of study.
I can do "normal" eye contact without real stress, though I prefer to shut my eyes if I am listening hard to someone. 
 
Logic yes, my major tool for handling life.
Emotions, I've struggled to see the point of, so I tend to I keep them away from taking control while acknowledging rather than  denying or repressing.
 
Relationships: to a first approximation, none.
It wasn't until I was formally diagnosed at the age of 48 that I started to pick up the information and insight that gave me the clues here.
Big blindspots in social cues, in interest in standard social activities and how most people thought, felt, acted.
And no real idea what "love" is.   I'm still stuck on that one.
 
I've had a successful professional career in a niche that suited me.
I live alone, as I have almost always done (other times of house-shares were not great successes) 
 
Oh, and as a cliché for a male with Asperger's I am into model trains.
But not your average ones.
 
Chris
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> What’s it like to have this disorder/syndrome?

 

It's not a disorder. It's a neurological difference. To say it is a "disorder" is to imply autistic people need fixing. We don't need fixing. 

 

I don't know how to answer this, anyway. I've always been autistic. I don't know anything different. I don't have anything in my life as a comparison point.

 

> What are you yourself like?

 

I'm a person, just like you are.

 

Actually, I lie. I'm a very spiky geometric shape.

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> What’s it like to have this disorder/syndrome?

 

It's not a disorder. It's a neurological difference. To say it is a "disorder" is to imply autistic people need fixing. We don't need fixing. 

 

 

 

Gently, I'm going to have to disagree a bit here.

While *many* of the things that make life more complicated, hard work and even unpleasant are down to a social world that is poor on understanding and handling difference, even if the world out there was decently educated and understanding (Not for the next century or so, so that remains to be negotiated, more in the navigation sense of the word.) there remain  some things about my being on the autistic spectrum that I would most appreciate having fixed, if it didn't cost  me the other traits that I actually enjoy and value.  

Which, neurologically, it is quite likely it would, leaving me on the whole to prefer to stay as I am.

 

But homo superior I am not.  I come with some very distinct blind-spots and weaknesses, and that is by *my* reckoning, not from buying into any idea that "normal is good", which shouldn't survive more than a moment in any brain employing decent thought.

 

Chris.

Edited by Emettman
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I think I agree with Chris. Long before I was ever diagnosed, I noted that there were some parts of my brain that just seemed "not to have been installed at the factory"- that was what I used to say. As it turns out, I was almost literally correct. I don't see how you can reasonably call some of the obvious deficits in my faculties and perceptions anything other than "disordered." I mean, some parts of my brain clearly work much better than your average citizen's do. But other parts work much worse. No, not just differently. Worse. I wouldn't attach a judgmental word like "worse" if it wasn't detrimental to me, to my functioning. Even if everybody was well-educated about ASD's, we'd still be the minority, and minorities always have to work hard to operate successfully in the dominant society.

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  • 1 year later...

I don't really know much different because I've always been Autistic, but I'm very interested in numbers and maths - I love music too. In crowded places I can literally hear everything that's going on all at the same time and it honestly makes me feel homocidal. I can't stand making eye contact. When I talk to someone I try to make eye contact but then feel incredibly awkward and look down. When I read a book I literally feel no emotion towards the characters as I cannot imagine what they look like, act like, feel like.. whereas the film will give me some sort of creepy emotional attachment to the characters. I like to do things on my own, I don't really know how to act around people I'm not incredibly close to. Even if we are close I find it awkward because I just don't know what to say or do.

 

I can't think of anything else right now, but I hope this helps :)

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