The Autism and Asperger's Spectrum. 4 replies

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26th August 2007

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#1 4 years ago

I hope this fits within this sub forum; mods, please move it if there is a more appropriate location.

So, I've been thinking a lot about Asperger's syndrome and my own life recently. I have not been officially diagnosed with Asperger's, and I've only started my research into the subject recently. I've been looking back through my life, and a lot of social problems that I've had to deal with are starting to sound a lot like Asperger's. I took the AQ test recently (link: Wired 9.12: Take The AQ Test). According to this website (link: Interpreting AQ Score: Aspergers Test Quiz Results Meaning), most people score an average of 16.4. Scores of 32 and above are strong indicators of being on the autism, and scores of 26-31 are indicators of mild autism or Asperger's. This is a test that's purportedly used during parts of the official diagnosis process, and is considered to be a strong initial indicator.

I scored a 29.

The reason why I'm posting here is because I'm not sure what to do about this. I'm curious if anyone else here happens to have any knowledge or experience about this condition, and I'm interested in starting a dialogue about what common indicators or symptoms might be, and how to go about confirming if it's actually something serious (and how to deal with it or go about treating it if one has it).

I'll start with trying to describe some of my symptoms.

While I'm fairly integrated in society and don't have an extreme amount of trouble socializing, I've always felt a strong sense of being different somehow. I've always felt like there's something wrong that I can't quite identify, something that leaves me feeling marked with an undefinable sense of awkwardness that I can never quite shake off. I feel like as if I've just gone through life memorizing the social rules via study of analytical patterns in people's behaviors; I've been able to grasp the rules, but they have never quite felt intuitive. That's not to say that I'm some kind of narcissist - I feel a tremendous amount of empathy for other's, but I have a really hard time expressing and communicating it. Whenever I'm in a position where I want to comfort someone or give emotional advice, my answer always comes out sounding like a statement of philosophical psychology, rather than a simple heartfelt reply. I have had my moments where I've been able to spontaneously make those simple, but direct kind of responses, but they are rare, and they always surprise me when I say them.

A couple other things I should note here: I was homeschooled my whole life until 7th grade, so this may simply be a matter of missing out on important social learning opportunities in my early age. I skipped 6th grade, and I've excelled in school ever since. Although a problem that I've had with school is that I've always been more interested in learning the material than I have been with doing the work. I've been able to excel in school, but I don't get the best grades that I could. Now I'm 20 and in college, and I'm working in the sciences (specifically in the field of chemistry and nanotechnology). I enjoy the research and the subject tremendously, but the work for my classes is starting to feel like a real burden (even though I absolutely love the subjects).

I don't know, maybe it's weird for me to be posting this, but it's something I haven't really talked about and I'd like to get some advice or ideas. Does this sound like Asperger's to anyone? Or are these fairly typical feelings and behaviors?

Red Menace


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#2 4 years ago

Well, if you are really concerned, I would seek out a professional diagnosis rather than doctoring on WebMD and taking an online quiz.

However, I will say, something I've noticed on this forum, and I mean no disrespect, is that many seem to suffer from normal coming-of-age issues: social anxieties, not quite fitting in, being awkward, trouble expressing yourself, etc. But, seem to lack the socializing, or maybe support at home, to realize it and become convinced something is wrong.

No one is normal. Everyone is fake in public. No one is perfect.



I take what n0e says way too seriously

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#3 4 years ago

Honestly I don't see what good a diagnosis does for you. It just puts a label on you, there's not really a whole not to be done for you even if you are diagnosed. They can't make you less awkward or cynical. I strongly disagree with the need to put labels on everything, especially aspergers, which basically seems like a way to classify people who don't focus much on social interaction as somehow having something wrong with them.

That said, if you really are concerned, the internet is not the place for mental diagnosis (See: Tumblr, #depression). Seek out a real-world professional.

Andron Taps Forum Mod

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#4 4 years ago

Yeah, mental health professional can do some good. I don't really enjoy thinking about where I'd be if I didn't have a counselor and psychiatrist. But...first, schedule an introductory meeting to establish a history/patient history so they have some idea of where to begin. If you think it's working for you, then you can go back as long as you can afford it.

"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.

Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#5 4 years ago

I'm not sure that what you're talking about is Aspergers, there are such things as task focused people. Seriously, it's in management books. In the decent ones you'll almost always find something analogous to this chart:


Of course that's a simplification, and there are greater and lesser degrees of complexity in the ways that people are categorised. But you can do a quick and dirty guess at what people are, based on things like how loudly they raise their voice, how much they gesture with their hands, how often they use 'I' and so on.

If you're in the introverted task-focused section; that you simply have an analytical approach to things; and are judging your behaviour based on a perceived group norm that goes something like 'What I take to be the rest of humanity.' then things might be liable to be misleading.

Now does that mean you don't have Aspergers? Nope.

So, specifically concerning that subject:

Cure: To the best of my knowledge there's no cure for Aspergers, and is unlikely to be one at least in the near term future - it seems to be based on structural differences in the brain. It's not clear that many with AS would accept such a cure, even if it were available. You are, after all, talking about something that can be fairly fundamental to someone's personality.

Diagnosis: Contact your GP in the first instance.

Test you took: If it were sufficient evidence to assign a high degree of confidence based on, then they wouldn't bother with a fuller diagnosis. If one test is a 'strong indicator' then the additional worth of other information would be proportionally less.

Worth of a diagnosis: The worth of a bit of information is defined in terms of what you'd do otherwise. Given there's no cure for Aspergers, what do you hope to get from a diagnosis? You can try to discover and experiment with their coping strategies whether or not you have the condition.