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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Asperger's and Self-Diagnosis

From the Blog "Asperger's and the Alien"

Prepare to enter the wild and woolly world of an adult with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by intelligence, quirks, social difficulties and downright strange and oddish behaviors. 

People with Asperger's generally are high functioning in everyday life but have great difficulty connecting with others due to the inability to read faces, body language and subtle verbal clues. They also tend to take words literally and have a hard time multitasking. 

Oversensitivity to touch (clothing has to be soft and often the tags removed), light (do not leave home without the sunglasses), sound (loud noises and noisy places are avoided), taste (many Aspies have quite a limited diet and are frequently very picky eaters) and smells makes the everyday existence more of a challenge. 

Fasten your seatbelts and come on in... 

From the Blog "Life On The"

Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome

These are a collection of symptoms from an Aspie’s perspective. For a a list of more medical definitions, see The Triad of Impairments and there’s a page of tips if you Think You Might Have Asperger’s Syndrome.

  • People greet you by saying “here comes trouble” and you don’t know whether or not they’re joking.
  • You scare off new friends by becoming obsessed with them.
  • People call you “sad” for being interested in interesting stuff.
  • You try to help someone, only to find your help wasn't wanted.
  • You hear a lot about how “you’re only making things worse for yourself”.
  • You don’t understand what’s so funny about teasing. You feel you’re being mocked.
  • You are exhausted by always pretending to be normal, but fearful the Real You will be rejected.
  • You hope, with each new group of people you meet, that this time you’ll get it right.
  • You laugh later, and more loudly, than everyone else.
  • People say you speak too quickly, but you know you have to get the words out before you forget them.
  • You notice that after people have known you a while, they stop asking how you are.
  • You’re the only person wanting the music turned down.
  • You forget to eat.
  • Others get annoyed b/c you write down/read back details of appointments to be sure you got it right.
  • You find yourself unable to explain something without giving the whole back story too.
  • You can cope with a party, but have to hide in the loo to recover every now and then.
  • You see other people exchange “a look” but don’t know what it means.
  • You like to hide away on your own, especially after spending time with other people.
  • You find it hard to work out what will happen next, particularly if people are involved.
  • You don’t instinctively know when you’re being teased.
  • You organize things: from smarties to your DVD collection… everything’s in order. Or not!
  • You load the dishwasher the same way every time… and redo it if someone does it differently.
  • People think you have no sense of humor. (They’re wrong, but that’s what they think!)
  • Your senses seem to be more sensitive than other people’s.
  • It’s “always you”.
  • Other people think you’re being intolerant, and you can’t understand how they cope.
  • You feel “different” from most people, and feel that you don’t “fit in”.
  • You are so passionate about your hobby/sport/interest that you lose track of time.
  • You’re always the last to get the joke!
  • You were bullied at school, or college, or work.. and/or are still being bullied.
  • People think you’re being rude and/or critical when you’re not meaning to be.
From the Blog "My Noisy Life"

Oh, this is me.

I know some people think I'm hopping on the bandwagon because my granddaughter was diagnosed last year - this is not the case.  It is because she was diagnosed that I started researching Asperger's in order to be the best grandma I can be.

And then I recognized myself.

I lost my job yesterday.  It was coming - I have been trying to find alternatives to working in a group setting for a long time, but this was rather abrupt and, while not devastating, still somewhat frightening as to my future.

However, I believe in the end I can't use Asperger's as an excuse.  I can only site it as a large part of the reason I'm not good with being in an office full of "normal" people.

I also think my relationship with the Lord has a lot to do with me being as "normal" as I appear to be.  Once you get to know me, you see the real me, but usually I can fake it in front of strangers and people who only know me as The Choir Director or Ainsley's Grandma or sometimes even The Job Interviewee.

I have decided that I will speak with my doctor and therapist about an actual diagnosis - but that doesn't mean my life begins and ends with that.  I have gone 52 years trying to figure out why I'm different, and compensating as much as possible with routines, notebooks, schedules and relying on God, and I will continue to do so.  But because it's been such a long time, an actual diagnosis will go quite a long way with helping me just feel better about myself.

You can agree or disagree - I'm trying hard to just be me.

(the quotes from the above blogs have been edited to correct spelling - because I am rather OCD as well!)