Ask The Aspergian

Do you identify with Sheldon Cooper?

As a fellow Asperger sufferer; did you feel any different within yourself once you were diagnosed? I was late in life when diagnosed. Suddenly I could interpret my entire life very differently.

What do you mean by sensory issues? For example, is this primarily an issue of sensory data not reaching the brain (e.g. you literally cannot see, hear, etc. something due to a data transmission glitch), or is it more of a signal/noise issue where you have trouble separating out sensory data and making sense of it? For example, you might literally be able to perceive the light from a red lamp, but you mistakenly interpret the light as coming from the sunset.


What everyday function do you have the most trouble doing because of your condition?

I am debating whether or not it makes sense to pursue a formal diagnosis for me, given that I am well into middle age now.

I suspect I may be on the spectrum somewhere. I did some reading about the condition, and it makes a great deal of sense out of some difficulties I have had all my life. The comments in this thread about the difficulty of looking people in the eye, and dealing with sensory overload particularly ring a bell.

I am also looking at finding a new job soon. Some corporate synergizing may cause my current job to disappear soon, and I am not looking forward to a job search. I have always found that kind of thing very difficult.

In some ways yes, in some ways no. His type of humor is, I think, somewhat more funny to a person with AS who’s learned to blend into the real world like a chameleon like me because I can understand the reason why he said it, but also the reason why neurotypicals (non-autistic people) get so irritated by it.

That’s an interesting question. I did feel a little different but I think I felt that I understood my differences more clearly when I was diagnosed.

It’s more like I react more sensitively to certain stimuli. Stimuli wears me out easily

Understanding social cues and body language.

I thought of a couple of questions pertaining to interpersonal contact.

Do you find it easier to interact with people younger than you rather than your peers?

Have you found yourself taking statements literally and found later that someone was playing pretend?

Have there been situations in which you felt as if your brain’s higher level functions had shut down until that particular situation had been resolved?

How does someone with Asperger’s (or even anyone) improve their ability to understand social cues and body language? It seems like that would be a hard topic to write a textbook on or to define a formal language parsing or semantic analysis process for. “Well, his head is tilted to the left between 5 and 10 degrees, so <flips pages>, that means ‘This matter has Priority Level A-Beta-Semi-Level 2, Urgent Grade’, but he also blinked twice, and, uhh, that means <flips more pages> ‘I need a three to five page report on the budgetary impact of what we are talking about’. Now, does his foot stance matter? Johnson (1997)'s Comprehensive Report on Best Practices in Body Language Analysis does not list foot stance as a recognized grammatical or semantic sign with regards to matters rated above Priority Level B-Gamma, but Smith (2003) contends that having one’s right foot more than four inches forward from their left foot is an invitation to other parties to tell a joke about the subject matter under discussion as long as at least two of the conditions listed in Table F are met or if the subject matter concerns particle physics, general relativity, or stochastic biochemical processes.”

How are your academic skills? The stereotype is that people with Asperger’s have above-average “hard” skills, especially reading or math, but it seems that the formal diagnostic criteria do not require this.

It is quite different, and like ADHD, Asperger’s is one of the milder of the neurodevelopmental disorders. Do you feel disabled? My parents knew I had ADHD since a doctor declared me hyperactive just after I turned five but didn’t admit that they knew I had it too until I was in my early 20s - unlike my little brother, who had massive behavior issues, I got no treatment for it, ever. Most of the time I don’t feel like someone with a disability, though I know that it technically is one, and I wonder how much of that is due to having not realized my problems were biological rather than just not trying hard enough at x,y, and z. How about you? You got services as a kid: did that color how you feel about it?

Thank you for sharing your life with us. You sound a lot like my 11 year old daughter, only older. :slight_smile:

Thanks for starting this thread.
I too have been diagnosed with Aspbergers - when I was 57. :eek:
My doctor made a couple of points:

  • Autism has a spectrum (so symptoms may vary)
  • I was ‘adjusted into society’ (had a job, owned a house etc), so didn’t need to make dramatic changes
  • I could go on courses to learn how to talk to new people and how to look them in the eye

Based purely on my experience, I would. I found the actual diagnosis reassuring and (as mentioned above) was able to go on courses for conversation skills and eye contact.
N.B. I live in the UK with Universal Health Care, so didn’t have to pay anything extra for all that treatment.

Same for me. Now I understood why I relished chess, maths and computers (the logic and the patterns) and why I stood in the kitchen at parties.
I only have a few friends, but get on very well with them. And they are nearly all male games-players.

I still don’t know what exactly to say in general conversation. I’ve learnt to recognise bafflement or surprise, so I know when I’ve said something inappropriate. (Not that I do that much - it’s mainly trying to see things from the other person’s point of view that I find difficult.)