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Could I have Asperger traits?


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I have a friend with many autistic family members. When she told me about her experiences something clicked in my head. I can see myself in lots of the symptoms.

I was first diagnosed with ADHD with Asperger traits, but then the diagnosis was changed to just ADHD. I don't know why.

I really don't think I have Asperger's, but some of the symptoms do fit me. I'm not looking for another diagnosis, I have enough already. ;)

I just want to know if this is something I should even bother bringing up with my pdoc.

Here are some things I've been thinking about:

  • I have lousy coordination, I constantly walk into things and I've never been able to do aerobics or anything similar. I walk into people when I'm walking next to someone.
  • I have extreme problems with focusing, unless its something I'm interested in (psych meds, computers, painting...), then I can sit for hours to try and find out EVERYTHING.
  • I'm a perfectionist, I need extreme order in my room and my computer. I line things up. If someone disturbs the order I can have a nervous breakdown.
  • I started reading early, around the age of four, I think.
  • I used "difficult" words when very young. I talked like a grownup.
  • I never really liked playing with other children, I prefered being alone and doing things my way.
  • I have routines I follow and get upset when something changes.
  • I have obsessive patterns, for example I have to touch things with my left foot all the time.
  • It seems like I always say the wrong things to people, and I often get into fights because of misunderstandings.
  • My parents suspected I had photographic memory when I was a kid. I don't. But I still have a very good memory IF I'm interested in something.
  • I don't like when other people touch me. I want to initiate contact.
  • I don't understand the meaning of "soon". I need to know exactly when and where.
  • Everything I think other peple are feeling is purely based on my own feelings. I have a hard time understanding feelings I've never experienced.

What do you guys think? Right now I'm thinking this isn't worth bringing up with my doctor. But I really don't know.

Oh yeah, things have gotten better since I started Concerta, but some of the stuff still bothers me.

Edited to add some things I didn't think of before.

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I think, no matter what anybody thinks, the import thing is what you think. Now that was clear! Sorry, anyway...nobody can say either "I think you have" nor "you should bring this up". I can say that you do show Asperger traits. But ADHD can mimic traits.

If these things seem to bother you or interfere with your daily functioning, then it is a good idea to talk about options. But considering concerta has helped, not only do I lean towards that ADHD is much of the cause, but going further into the process might not be beneficial to you.

I must ask...

1. Why do you need to know you have "Asperger" traits?

2. Is the mentioned interfering with life?

3. Are you looking to change/do something different if you find out you do shadow or have Aspergers Syndrome?

All in all, it is all up to you. But if you show debilitating Sensory Dysfunctions, severe OCD tendencies, or otherwise, asking may benefit you considering a change in medication and/or therapy. But if you are just looking to look, that extra "Autism Spectrum" mark on your record might not help you.

Twitch

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Yeah I was thinking it could be the ADHD too. Some of the things haven't gotten better with Concerta though, and they do really bother me and interfere with my life.

To answer your questions:

1. Its important to me because I would like to know if my problems have a cause, or if I'm just... socially incompetent?

2. Yup.

3. I guess if I was diagnosed I could get some help with figuring out some strategies for my life.

I'll write more later.

Thanks for the reply.

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No problem. Since what you described is causing problems, then expressing such feelings to your doctor could benefit. There's a lot of different Therapy options for people on the Spectrum to help with the specific symptoms. But remember even if you don't get diagnosed, you can still try those therapies.

Treat the symptoms, thats the important part.

Twitch

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Labeling or categorizing something does not give it a cause. This is such a prevalent misconception people have about diagnoses. Diagnosis X is originated as a simple term to refer to people who have such and such symptoms. As the term is used more and more to identity people who have these symtoms, eventually some people start feeling that their symptoms are "because" of this diagnosis. This is pure circular logic.

My point is, if you figure out (somehow) that you "are" Asperger's (I think I am too), this does not give you a cause to track down and fix. It simply means you've identified yourself as having in common a set of traits that exists in a lot of people. It may very well help you start connecting parts of yourself that you hadn't connected before, and give you a framework to think about how you are different from some other people, and if some of these traits bother you than this is good, it helps clarify for you the ways in which you'd like to change and grow. But you shouldn't look to this diagnosis as telling you whether such traits are good or bad, or why you have them. The jury is out.

In my *opinion* (trying to avoid major backlash, not entering into any debate), many "autistic spectrum" traits are primarily developmental in the sense that they are not set in stone but coincide with the types of learning that occurs in one's experience, and these traits do not represent some permanent incapacity to learn different ways of experiencing and existing. The more "inward" styles of experiencing and thinking that are characteristic of the autistic spectrum may originate in different physiology (i.e. different genes) or may originate in some subtle or unsubtle aspects of very early development, but I believe they are learned ways of thinking and modeling the world. If there is something you have come to see about yourself that you don't like, you can learn different ways.

Ack. No matter how I say this I fear a potential backlash from people with different beliefs about this stuff. All I'm saying is, don't fall into the trap of thinking there are negative aspects of your mind that you are just stuck with because you "have" some disorder or syndrome. If you can be aware enough of them to be bothered by them, you can work on changing them.

Oh and it's worth adding, the word "syndrome" is bullshit. There is nothing inherently wrong with many Asperger's traits unless they cause real problems for the individual (in which case the individual can focus on adapting and changing). I think of Asperger's as more of a type of personality than a negative classification. But that's just me.

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my doctor responded to reflections on AS i wanted to share, with this: 'you just want a reason to not have to change.'

does anyone really think this is anything but stupid close-minded clinicianspeak?

i don't know.

there are many people with asperger traits who don't have a diagnosis. but i wonder, perhaps it might help to experiment with various autistic-like coping mechanisms, like stimming (remember, even NTs stim sometimes) and see if they help. I can just see a movement of people going around stimming, normalizing stimming and then it becomes ok for anyone and

yeah. i got a bit carried away with that one.. but wouldn't it be great..?

;)

pj

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Heya,

I dunno.

My psychiatrist keeps asking questions looking for schizoid vs. Asperger's.

I mean I'm not stupid.  I know my DSM questions.

After going to presentations on both at a primary care conference, I'm even more confused.

But I'm pretty sure I just have to come to know myself and figure out what I want to keep, and what I want to change, to be okay.

So, I'm not worrying too much about labels/boxes.

It's just my (not in the DSM ... yet) IPD (Intellectual Personality Disorder) that makes me like to play with the DSM.

I like that aspect of myself, and I'll keep it I think.

I *would* like to figure out how *not* to lecture everyone all the time, though.

Well, except on CB, whre people are free to ignore me!  :)

;)

--ncc--

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fwiw, i have a lot Asperger 'traits' yet i really don't fit the DSM.  put another way, i really don't believe i'm autistic, but i know i'm not 'normal'.

until i joined this site i had no clue that there were other people who were 'not normal' in the same way i was 'not normal'...i don't think that there is a lot of us out there, but we are there.

i think of it as, i'm not on the autistic spectrum, but if you visualize all NTs on a bell curve...i'm an outlier.  i'm on the outlying end, moving toward autistic.

so i know where you are coming from & how it feels....i was VERY socially incompetent when i was younger, but as i got older and practiced social interactions and analyzed what people did in certain interactions and acted on my observations, i got better at it.  i became a hell of a lot more competent.

so to answer the unasked question, no you won't remain a social dork for the rest of your life.  just gaining life experience helped me alot.

but i still am not 'normal'....what i am exactly, i don't know, but not quite like everyone else.

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I agree with what everyone said pretty much. I really try not to get too hung up on a diagnosis, but sometimes it can be a relief to get a diagnosis cause you can pin down what you're problems are and work towards changing them. I also believe in life experience. When I was a kid I was constantly considered to be "rude" and "out of it" but now I'm considered somewhat "normal". (Except when I REALLY go crazy, but that's another story.)

Treating the symptoms and not the disorder is something my pdoc strongly believes in, and I'm grateful for that.

Well, anyways, thanks for the replies (finally ;) ).

Maybe I'll write more later.

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