I THINK I am Asperger's

In the thread:
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=233352&perpage=50&pagenumber=2

There are two dopers who have been diagnosed with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism (HFA).

There are 9 dopers who say or “think” that they are Asperger’s or HFA, but haven’t obtained a diagnosis.

You know what we call that in the real world?

Making shit up.

Asperger’s is a real disorder. But saying that you have Asperger’s without a diagnosis is like saying that you “know” you have cancer. Without an external, professional opinion, it’s not certain.

And people who self-diagnose with Asperger’s or HFA lessen the veracity of those who can say,

“I have been professsionally diagnosed with Asperger’s, these are the difficulties I have, and these are the things you can do to help me.”

For Og’s sake, if you think you have Asperger’s, get a diagnosis and assistance. If you are unwilling to get a diagnosis, at least describe yourself as “Asperger’s like”.

But for the sake of people who really do have Aspergers, don’t be saying, “I’m have Asperger’s syndrome” when you might not.

Whistlepig

I think I am an asparagus.

Right on. I thought it would never happen. No way, I thought, would people say they had Asperger’s to get attention. It just sounds too much like ass-burgers. But I admit it, I was wrong. It’s become the next “sometimes I cut myself.”

A lot of people seem to see it in themselves(especially ‘geeks’), because most ‘normal’ people experince some of the signs of Asperger’s/Autism. At least that’s what I’ve gathered, as a lot of people say that they see themselves possibly having it(and I really doubt they all have it), and being told that most people experince those things, but not as severely.

Also, if you suspect you have it, what’s the point of not trying to be diagnosed? Then you can get help that’s effective, as then you’ll know exactly what’s wrong.

If you count me as one of the nine, I’d just like to point out that I merely said that I display some symptoms of Asperger’s. Which I do. Since I manage to get along quite well, I haven’t bothered to get diagnosed. What’s in it for me anyway?

I posted mainly to ask if two other symptoms I display could be signs of Asperger’s, since I’ve never heard of them elsewhere.

To the OP, Thank you! I read that thread, and I said to myself most of the posters didn’t have a clue as to what Aspergers or HFA really means. I have a daughter with HFA and trust me, if the posters actually had it, they would NOT be posting as they did, they would have much more problems expressing themselves.

I have ADHD, and you have no fucking clue how often that happens with that, too.

Yep
There is a HUGE online community of self diagnosed “aspies” (curse Tony Attwood for trivialising the disorder with such a cutsie name). People with all sorts of social anxieties, personality disorders and goodness knows what else are identifying themselves as having AS, usually after reading the brief diagnostic criteria posted on any number of AS/autism websites and having no idea beyond that. I fear for all those who are not seeking help for their REAL problems because they have decided they know what is wrong.

If these people actually had access to the research and the reality of the situation, they may not be so keen to embrace the diagnosis. I have even seen it written on the net that Aspergers/HFA is the next step in evolution
:eek:

It is also well documented that AS type traits are not uncommon in the general population, and at the upper end of the spectrum AS does shade to normal; however the significant thing here is that to qualify for a diagnosis you must be significantly impaired - research has found that the prognosis for people with AS is not good, other than those few who are very high functioning and are fortunate enough to find a niche for themselves where they can pursue their special interest to make a living.

If you think you may have AS - find a psychologist or a psychiatrist who is experienced in dealing with the disorder and find out if you do. Otherwise, do as **Whistlepig ** suggests.

On a similar note, I despise people who claim “phobia” when they really mean they don’t want to do something. I have a co-worker who refuses to clean up the knife displays on the grounds that she’s phobic about knives.

Bullshit.

If she truly had a phobia, she couldn’t work in this department at all. It’s not just that there’d still be the potential of having to ring up the sale of a knife. She would be consumed with the knowledge that there were knives…over there…lurking…on the other side of the floor displays…always there, gleaming…She wouldn’t be able to go anywhere near the display. She would get dizzy, nauseous, perhaps even pass out if she was too “near” them for too long.

I’m not mocking the idea, believe me. That’s just what it’s like (I’ve been told) to have a phobia. It’s not just a matter of “Ooh, I get uncomfortable touching that!” Truth is, the knife display is just a bitch to clean up. They’re almost all in clamshell packages, theoretically on pegs, from which they fall or get tossed to the bottom shelf by customers, and because of the shape and slipperiness (is that a word) of the packaging, they can’t even be stacked neatly. And there are about forty different kinds. It can take as long as half an hour to get them all sorted out.

I don’t mind the task anyway, so I do it, but she does not have a phobia. She wouldn’t even know what the display looks like if she did.

Whilst I see what you’re saying (and don’t even know if you were referring to one of my posts since I’ve had a diagnosis and did say so in the other thread), it’s worth remembering that people do grow up, and therapies can help. I can express myself a thousand times better than when I was a child. Also, in written language I have a clarity and depth of expression that is almost totally absent from spoken language and real life interactions. I’m sure if someone had observed me as a child they could also arrive at the conclusion that HFA adults would be like that too. And I’m sure if people compared messages, emails, whatever of mine with the way I was as a child, they may find it hard to believe it’s from the same person. But people do learn, and gain coping skills. Many people are astounded when comparing my written expression to my bumbling real life expression too.

In some ways I don’t mind people self-identifying as on-spectrum as if they have similar issues then some interventions, techniques or coping skills may be relevant to them. And if it helps people to accept themselves (even if it is an inaccurate assessment) it could be could for them. Of course it could be bad if someone accepts a particular behaviour or trait as intractable when in fact it could be treated and worked on in them.

OTOH, it can create an inaccurate public perception of what autism means and what life on-spectrum is like.

I’m not quite sure what I think of this issue, but I’d like to say (to no one in particular, just in general) if the shoe fits, wear it, but don’t try to shoehorn yourself into it.

Preach it Brother whistlepig!

Basically people want to explain ‘medically’ flaws in their personality, it is much more appealing for them to think of themselves as having Asperger’s rather than just being socially inadequate. Add to this the conception that Asperger’s = high intellgence (it doesn’t people with Asperger’s have a normal spread of intelligence).

I only see 2 or 3 folks that even “think” they have AS or HFA without a diagnosis. Would you care to explain how you counted nine?

I count at least 5 undiagnosed people who think they have it, have a “touch” of it, or it “sounds awfully familiar.” I went on that thread asking for advice about a student of mine who has it, and then felt bad that I wasn’t being as sensitive as they told me to be, and wasn’t giving him my notes, etc. Interestingly, their advice ran counter to what the IEP, the special ed teacher, and the kid’s mother all said. Now I realize that they don’t have the knowledge to be giving me advice.

The DSM IV, which I finally consulted so I wouldn’t feel so bad about expecting my student to do his work, says, “No clinically significant general delay in language” (which, among other things, means they CAN and DO talk by age 2) and “No clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, [or] adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction).” So yeah, he can do his work, and I was getting a bum steer on that thread. More fool me for thinking I could get advice about this from a thread like that. Ah well, live and learn.

Ugh. This reminds me of someone I know online who (says he) has Asperger’s and was absofuckinglutely rock-solid certain that Sherlock Holmes would have had Asperger’s too.

10 “Well, he has this and this symptom.”

20 “So what? He doesn’t have the others.”

30 “He’s Sherlock Holmes. He has adapted around those other symptoms.”

40 “How do you know he isn’t just a normal guy who happens to have two symptoms but doesn’t have the syndrome?”

50 “Because he has this and this symptom, like I said. It’s classic.”

60 “But that doesn’t prove anything. You haven’t ruled out the possibility that he doesn’t have it.”

70 “He does have it.”

80 “How do you know?”

90 GOTO10

Arrrrgh. I feel your pain. Truly.

I think I have Tourette’s.

Shut, fuck, piss, cunt, asshole

:wink:

That’s a fucking bullshit interpretation of the DSM. You do not know he can do his work – I’d strongly suggest that you put in place scaffolding so that you actually see if he can or if he cannot. You simply cannot extrapolate from that snippet from the DSM that kids with Aspergers are able to do their work. Co-morbidity is very common with these disorders, executive functioning disorders are standard and organisational issues are standard issue as well.

Nobody was saying he should be expected not to do his work – what I was trying to say is that you need to be sure that he can do his work and some of the supports he may need may involve scaffolding. I didn’t see anyone say you should give him your notes BTW. I did see people suggest assistive technology if he has handwriting issues.

Ah, fuck it. It’s crap like this from teachers who fucking know it all based on scraps of knowledge that led me to homeschool.

Rilchiam, I believe I have a snakephobia-if I see one in REAL life, I run away screaming bloody murder, and often have panic attacks. I can’t watch them on tv, or even look at pictures of them. Hell, even TALKING about snakes makes me freak out and start to squirm.

Cute cartoon ones don’t bother me, but real snakes freak me out, and I remember in grade school choosing to fail a lesson because I refused to look at a magazine we were studying in science class because it had pictures of snakes. I knew I would get a bad grade, and I was upset, but nothing, NOTHING would make me open that magazine.

I THINK I am herpes, the Love Bug.

Well, I am Spartacus.

Well, that’s a phobia then! (Herpephobia?) Which in no way compares to my co-worker’s attitude towards knives.

Did you have any problems typing your post?