Anyone Deal with Asperger's Syndrome?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by randysmojo, Apr 28, 2012.


  1. randysmojo

    randysmojo

    Jan 14, 2008
    Temple, TX
    Angus, you don't see it as mean spirited or un-motivating, but most of everyone else does including me, so would you just stop already?
     
  2. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya

    Jan 13, 2008
    Possibly, but I doubt it. He's never left the house, even when the economy was good and he had a decent enough job.
     
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Notice that I'm only replying to people quoting me and completely misrepresenting anything I said. He acted like I was commenting on him somehow, which I wasn't, so I made sure that was clear. I haven't posted anything else.

    It's like nobody actually reads anyone elses posts.
     
  4. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    I don't take Angus' posts as mean spirited. He seems to have quite a bit of knowledge on the subject.
     
  5. My qualifications are meagre - studied strategies for managing ASD as part of a high school teaching qualification plus having an ASD student in a class for a month on a prac placement, and my wife is a nurse who regularly assists at a respite camp where some of the kids have severe autism.

    The strategies we were taught all seem to be about understanding the way the autistic student thinks and creating an environment where they can succeed, plus teaching them strategies to manage their behaviour. If this is correct (those with more experience please comment on this!!!) then yes I can see why a diagnosis helps because it gives you certainty as to what you are up against. On the other hand, even if the diagnosis is that you are not ASD, I don't see why you couldn't read up on ASD strategies and try things that you think might help you.

    My wife deals with more severe ASD cases and what she describes sounds like a whole different ball game. Therefore I suspect saying "I have ASD" wouldn't be enough...you would then need to refine the diagnosis.

    Sounds like you are having a hard time personally and I feel for you in that. Don't give up. You are who you are. Bad times make us stronger, and they don't last forever. Good times return.
     
  6. randysmojo

    randysmojo

    Jan 14, 2008
    Temple, TX
    Thank you! You said it so well. That is exactly what I have been thinking.
     
  7. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Oct 20, 2007
    Including " 'weird/defective/broken'", as you put it." in your following post pretty much addresses me, since I wrote that.
     
  8. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I was quoting the language you used. I was saying that knowing a diagnosis wouldn't help him get beyond FEELING "weird/defective/broken", which were words you used. I was just suggesting he focus on something more constructive in the meantime, that's all. It had nothing to do with you or any condition from which you suffer (which I don't doubt and am in no way contesting!).
     
  9. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Oct 20, 2007
    Part of the frustration with being "different" is not knowing why. Once I found out that I was well into the symptoms/characteristics, I said "Well, that explains a lot". Oddly enough, my brother said the same thing. When it came to a lot of people I knew as a kid, my childhood was miserable. I was taunted endlessly by some and it sucked. It did, however, allow me to hone my ability to shut them down through sarcasm. Obviously, that's not appropriate in all situations, though.
     
  10. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    OP- In my opinion, you are going about your search for understanding incorrectly.

    Try to find the antecedents to your "differences" ( I mean no disrespect with this term, I could as easily have used challenges ) instead of a label for them.

    If you are on the spectrum, the single biggest factor to getting results that are meaningful to you will be understanding your environment and how your body is reacting ( communicating, really ) to it. Structure is the pillar to managing anxieties as it is a place that folks on the spectrum will be able to find comfort. Chaos is the bane of folks on the spectrum. Generally speaking, as ASD is so insanely broad in its current, barely understood form, I would expect that a person would exibit physiological and / or mental challenges were they on the spectrum. While these can vary greatly there are some general "traits" which are quite common and pretty easy to lock in on for someone who has worked in the field for any length of time. If you really want to know, it can be determined with a visit to a specialist.

    A parting thought:
    I would caution you to not be so quick to be "diagnosed" with a label. It can have very real consequences which may not be what you desire or expect. Once labled, it is exceedingly difficult to remove. This applies more for the young ( school age ), but it is no less relevent to an older person.

    Good luck in your quest for understanding.
     
  11. MX21

    MX21

    Sep 28, 2007
    Springdale, AR
    +1. I took one of those internet tests which said I tended toward Asperger. Yes, I am more introverted and have the ability to focus and pay attention to details, but I get along with everyone just fine. My wife has latched on to that and now all relational issues are my fault because I'm "Asperger", and I need to fix it. :scowl:
     
  12. randysmojo

    randysmojo

    Jan 14, 2008
    Temple, TX
    There are no "antecedents" to my differences. They have always been there. As for the diagnoses, I am getting the final report results and what ever diagnosis comes with it Wednesday. It's done. I just feel that I would have a better understanding of what to do, or help to seek if I know what I am facing. As for someone saying get Asperger's fixed, there is no fix because there is no real problem, depending on how you look at it of course. Asperger's, especially High Functioning Asperger's which would have to be my case, is more of a difference in the way the mind is wired. Just like most people are used to IBM Clone's commonly referred to as PC's. They would feel like something is off if they tried to use a Mac with no help, but it doesn't mean there is anything wrong or broken with the Mac. It just does things different, and in some ways what might be considered better.

    I really just want to know what is the actual difference with me, so I can learn better how to handle it because you can't learn coping skills if you don't know what you're coping with. My opinion and the way I choose to handle it. Thanks for the words of help.
     
  13. cdef

    cdef

    Jul 18, 2003
    I have a cousin whom I see about once a year. He's been able to make his living as a software engineer, so he's bound to be pretty smart. His behavior, though, is so odd that it turns people off, and so he has no close friends. Never had a girlfriend either, not to speak of a wife.

    His general demeanor is wooden, slow and unemotional. When we shake hands I feel no muscle tone - it's the 'dead fish'. He is very literal-minded and seems to have no functional sense of humor. He never laughs, yet always speaks with a slight leer, as if making a sly joke. He quite obviously lacks any skill at 'reading' social situations and adapting to them, and will blurt out the most incongruous, insensitive observations at random times, to the point of rudeness.

    We in the family always thought he was just "weird", but now figure this is all indicative of Asperger's.
     
  14. randysmojo

    randysmojo

    Jan 14, 2008
    Temple, TX
    cdef, that sounds like a prime example actually. Everything the doctor described to me and some if it using the same wording!
     
  15. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I deal with Aspergers from time to time. I have about three students this year. One is very high functioning, mainstreamed, and quite popular. He's not a guy of exceptional talent, but people admire his focus on things that most would not dare try for fear of not being cool. He wrote a great paper for me about how Jackie Robinson and Fernando Valenzuela helped open doors for racial minorities in major league baseball. It was an excellent paper and I helped him turn it into an article for the school newspaper. I don't even have him for English either. :). I have him for my computer class, but since he was so motivated I worked with him on it, and through this essay, he finally learned how to write a proper essay. He's also the kind of kid that has no real inhibitions and feels no shame in trying to sing (we're creating songs in GarageBand using mikes and interfaces), or asking the hottest girl in school on a date. In many ways I admire him.

    Another student of mine more than likely has Asbergers, or something on the Autism spectrum, but his parents are Jehovahs witnesses and refuse to have him tested (not saying their religion is the problem but the way they like to hide behind it is). Their son is failing all his classes and really struggles putting together simple aspects of assignments because he'll focus on the order of things or a small aspect of the assignment. He really needs help, but we can't initiate it without the parent's cooperation.

    I've also had students that we're autistic. They tended to excel in my class regarding computer skills, but struggled socially and with assignments that required thought other than rote routine and direction.

    My niece has NF-1, and has been diagnosed with a social disorder that just squeaks her onto the autistic spectrum. She's very bright, but is quirky. Sugar, sends her through the roof, and also she suffers from extreme ADHD (another side effect of NF-1). She tends to struggle with reading people and social cues. Like she might not understand the difference between people laughing at a joke or people laughing at her. She might even join in laughing not realizing that they're laughing at her. She's also extremely impulsive. If you tell her not to do something (even if it's for safety reasons) she's extremely inclined to impulsively do it again. Still, she's had some counseling now, and is medicated for her ADHD, so these aspects of NF-1 make her much happier now she's a little more in control of things.

    Here's a link to an interesting study connecting autism to high-fructose corn syrup.

    http://grist.org/scary-food/new-study-links-autism-to-high-fructose-corn-syrup/
     
  16. I work in IT. It's often said that ASD is almost a mandatory skill for success here.
     
  17. Jinro

    Jinro

    Oct 9, 2011
    West TN
    I have it. Was diagnosed in middle school as being on the "lower end" of the spectrum. I don't have all of the symptoms, and certain ones I have more difficulty with than others. Every situation is different. Asperger's isn't something with set-in-stone symptoms, it is a spectrum with a wide variety of symptoms that is set on an even larger spectrum of autism.

    My dad also has it (I suspect, judging from certain qualities in his behavior), but he had the advantage of going through the military at 17, which helped him out a lot. I had no such luck there thanks to having Crohn's Disease, which is automatic disqualification from military service. Which sucks big time since my major ASD obsession has always been and still is military aviation.

    I have to agree with line6man though. Diagnoses and "treatment" doesn't do much. An official diagnosis that goes on a record can potentially hurt you for future careers (so I heard). Second, there really aren't any treatments. I was put on SSRIs from age 13 and decided to quit them at 21~22. I used to see a therapist, but whenever I discussed my problems with him and asked for his solutions, he always went back to suggesting medication, so I haven't seen him in a while. I'm not sure the SSRIs even did anything for me.

    The only thing that has really helped is experience. Playing bass has helped me a lot to. I used to be extremely socially awkward, I hated being embarrassed, I hated making mistakes. Playing bass, I became less socially awkward, and I suck so making mistakes just happens so much I've stopped caring. Now when I trip over a curb my face doesn't turn red.

    There are still things I struggle with. Academia pisses me off to no end. I'm too literal and linear-thinking for a lot of these classes (literature, philosophy, crap like that) that I'm forced to take. Body language is something that I don't fully understand. I was completely oblivious to its very existence until 3 years ago, when I read a book about it. As a result, I'm always misreading (or not even seeing) signals that would slap any other person in the face, and at the same time I'm sending the wrong signals out because I'm not aware of my own body language either. I also don't handle stress very well. Conversation is difficult, because I simply don't know what to talk about. 1-on-1 isn't so bad when the other person is actively keeping it alive, but when he/she is not, it quickly dies. Group conversations are impossible for me. When my "turn" to speak comes, my brain doesn't process it fast enough because it's busy formulating what I want to say--then when I try to speak, I'm cut off by the next person. When I get stressed, my compensation methods for my deficiencies are shattered and my AS qualities return, and knowing that I'm "defective", as I've seen it mentioned elsewhere, just compounds my stress into a never ending spiral until my brain shuts down and I find it difficult to focus or even do mundane tasks.

    I'm also extremely unemotional, save for times of extreme happiness, sadness, or anger. Anything between is just a flat line.

    On the upside, I'm a quick learner, especially in things I really take an interest in. Though I always seem to hit a wall where I can never advance beyond being mediocre or proficient. Jack of all trades, master of none.
     

  18. Personally, I am usually completely opposed to the notion of taking any form of medication that is not absolutely required. I won't go into it here, but I take issue to the way so many doctors are all too eager to try to get you prescribed on something or other, and not deal with your problems directly. On that note, the reason why I am siding with some of Angus' comments is that it is clear to me, thus far, that the OP is not going about the proper avenue to deal with his problems. Randysmojo, with all due respect, it appears that you are looking for something to fixate on, as opposed to dealing with your problems directly. It is one thing to be curious about various disorders, and especially if you feel that the knowledge may be of some relevance to your personal problems, however, what you're doing here, in my opinion, is quite another thing. You've picked a disorder that may explain your problems, and are beginning to convince yourself that you have it, but frankly, what does this matter either way? Focus on your problems, and ways to deal with them.

    To stay on topic, however, I suppose I'll share some personal experience.

    I've always been socially awkward. Being around people is an experience that is always highly unnatural to me, despite the general social-nature of humans. Being amongst groups of people is always stressful, and especially if there is a lot of noise. Restaurants, for example, put me on edge almost instantly. If I can't get out of having to go eat somewhere with a group of people, I will focus intently on reading a book or emails on my phone, while everyone else talks. I've never been to a party or a dance or any sort of social event voluntarily. I only do things like that when I have no choice. Concerning conversation, I've become quite social in indirect ways (For example, I have IM conversations going on with various people all day, and I love discussion forums.), but otherwise, I can't stand it, and I'll do anything to avoid small talk with people.:help:

    I can't stand very subjective academic topics like philosophy, but I did take a number of literature classes that I rather enjoyed. (I'll note, however, that my main objection to these sort of topics is that they cannot be approached scientifically, and really should not be emphasized from such an academic perspective. Not necessarily that I was too logical for them, though that can be an issue.) I was able to do well in many classes because my analyses of various things are quite detailed, and the assignments I was given usually boiled down to being able to say whatever you wanted, so long as you were developing good arguments, citing relevant examples, using the right vocabulary to demonstrate your understanding of the material, etc. I did very well in most subjects at school, and often maintained a 4.0GPA, but any time there was a lot of social involvement required, such as group collaboration, I did poorly. I cannot do any sort of creative writing to save my life, either. Math was an interesting subject for me, from elementary school to high school, because depending on what was being taught, I was either one of the best students in my grade, or struggling to pass. Algebra, for example, was always my favorite subject. Geometry, however, is difficult, due to the dimension of spatial thinking necessary to understand and apply many concepts. I was never any good at history, despite the very detail-oriented nature of it, most likely because it was too "social" of a topic most of the time. I suppose you can say that in academic regards, I favor the sciences and not the arts.:hyper:

    Most body language means nothing to me. I've developed a greater understanding of it over the years, but half the time, if someone gestures at me from across the room, I end up having to go ask what they are trying to communicate. The odd thing that I have never figured out, however, is that my understanding of body language, use of eye contact, tolerance of large groups, etc. is excellent in dreams. It makes me wonder how much I truly understand of social situations on an unconscious level.:meh:

    I'm also quite emotionless in many regards. Oddly, I was a hyperactive child, but now I'm very mellow and rarely show any emotion, unless I'm very angry or excited.
     
  19. randysmojo

    randysmojo

    Jan 14, 2008
    Temple, TX
    I still say how can I deal with my problems directly if I don't know where they stem from? Formulating a way to handle it by knowing more about what is actually causing it is how my mind works better, and I never did ask for anyone to tell me if I need to get diagnosed or not. That was never the point of this thread which at this point I am no longer going to post on since all I am getting is criticism for how I am trying to handle my personal struggles. The particular psychologist I am going to with the diagnoses part is someone that can diagnose properly, and someone who spends there life working with people with high functioning Asperger's and Autosm to help them learn how to use their strengths to better their lives. He does not condone medication to try to make you act different. A person with that kind of experience and that helps the way he does could be a major help in finding what my issues might be even if not in the Autosm Spectrum, but at this point I need help so I can start going a more positive directing. Whatever my "condition" may be, it has lead me to a very negative and dark place and I know I don't have the tools to handle it on my own, and when I have talked to regular therapist, psychologists with no specialization, etc, I have not gotten anywhere. They start throwing out ADHD, OCD, depression, and lumping a bunch of different things together, then throw meds at it. See, I have tried to find help for what is going on in the past, and if you don't really know what it is you can't find the right help. Thanks for those who can understand this, sorry for those who don't. This thread is becoming too negative for me to be part of anymore. It's not helping me at this point but being another cause of stress. Too bad I never even asked anyone if I should get diagnosed and how to deal with it. If people would learn to stick with the actual thread topic and meaning, I wouldn't feel like this. My issues have put me in a place I must get out of and I guess I should not have tried to ahead light on what people experiences have been with something that is hitting me in the way it is. Maybe a little to big for a public format like this.
     
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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