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      Welcome to the forum!   09/17/2017

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Willow

Do You Ever Worry You Don't Have Aspergers?

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Willow

I guess this is more aimed at those who don't have a diagnosis. And really, my first question would be, how did you come to the conclusion that you have Aspergers? Then from that, are you getting a formal diagnosis? And if so, what will happen if they say you don't have Aspergers? 

But for those of you with a diagnosis, do you ever worry that it is a mis diagnosis? Either because you just feel it doesn't fit, or because you sometimes look at how other people are and worry that you're coping better so maybe you don't have it?

I sometimes think that I've 'grown out' of Aspergers, until I realise that I've just learnt to cope better as I've gotten older. Though, mostly that's due to isolating myself in my home with Chris, or just on my own when he's at work. And as for going out, I rarely get out of my car unless it's somewhere I know won't be busy, or I'm familiar with it.

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Annaflower
I guess this is more aimed at those who don't have a diagnosis. And really, my first question would be, how did you come to the conclusion that you have Aspergers? Then from that, are you getting a formal diagnosis? And if so, what will happen if they say you don't have Aspergers? 

But for those of you with a diagnosis, do you ever worry that it is a mis diagnosis? Either because you just feel it doesn't fit, or because you sometimes look at how other people are and worry that you're coping better so maybe you don't have it?

I sometimes think that I've 'grown out' of Aspergers, until I realise that I've just learnt to cope better as I've gotten older. Though, mostly that's due to isolating myself in my home with Chris, or just on my own when he's at work. And as for going out, I rarely get out of my car unless it's somewhere I know won't be busy, or I'm familiar with it.

I think you are right that you have learnt to manage your Aspergers and this has lead to your AS traits being less obvious. This does not mean that you no longer have it, just that you avoid the situations where it has been a problem in the past.

As with Autism in general, Aspergers is a sliding scale of intensity. I have a mental image of a grid of 500 squares, each one representing a trait of AS. For each person they will tick a differnet ammount and combination of those traits within their character. For a diagnosis of AS they would need to tick between a third and two thirds of those squares. Below a third would be NT and above two thirds would be classic autism. for every person who is in the AS 'zone' they will have their own combination of traits. Some of them will be outwardly obvious and some may be more hidden. This means that each AS person cannot be the same as another and so comparisons person to person are misleading.

I realise this is a very simplistic and non scientific representation, but it helps me to understand the intricacies of ASD.

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Willow
I think you are right that you have learnt to manage your Aspergers and this has lead to your AS traits being less obvious. This does not mean that you no longer have it, just that you avoid the situations where it has been a problem in the past. As with Autism in general, Aspergers is a sliding scale of intensity. I have a mental image of a grid of 500 squares, each one representing a trait of AS. For each person they will tick a differnet ammount and combination of those traits within their character. For a diagnosis of AS they would need to tick between a third and two thirds of those squares. Below a third would be NT and above two thirds would be classic autism. for every person who is in the AS 'zone' they will have their own combination of traits. Some of them will be outwardly obvious and some may be more hidden. This means that each AS person cannot be the same as another and so comparisons person to person are misleading. I realise this is a very simplistic and non scientific representation, but it helps me to understand the intricacies of ASD.

It's an interesting way of looking at the spectrum. I think in a similar kind of way, in that, everyone is on the spectrum - it's just where humans fall, but that the further up you go, the more symptoms you have etc, the more AS you are. Which is why some NT's will say they feel the same about being socially awkward or whatever, and it's because everyone can experience these traits but to less of a degree and maybe not mixed with all of the others.

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Annaflower
It's an interesting way of looking at the spectrum. I think in a similar kind of way, in that, everyone is on the spectrum - it's just where humans fall, but that the further up you go, the more symptoms you have etc, the more AS you are. Which is why some NT's will say they feel the same about being socially awkward or whatever, and it's because everyone can experience these traits but to less of a degree and maybe not mixed with all of the others.
Absolutely. There are so many variables. Each trait will have a scale of severity, then for each additional trait it will make more impact on how the person can cope with the others. Like spinning plates, the more you have the tougher it will be to keep everything going!
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Sofi

I don't think I ever worry this :( I usually look at other people on the spectrum and think they are much more higher functioning than me and then I feel really autistic. I wish I could be more like them, but it's okay. Everyone is different. 

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ztnt

I don't really care anymore if a have or not.

Never really felt that a diagnosis would define who I am.

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Annaflower
I don't think I ever worry this :( I usually look at other people on the spectrum and think they are much more higher functioning than me and then I feel really autistic. I wish I could be more like them, but it's okay. Everyone is different. 
For each of us, our 'traits', be they complex enough for a diagnosis or not, make us who we are and that is a good thing! Life would be so boring if we were all the same. I know that sometimes life gets tough and we may wish to change things about ourselves, but the trick is to learn to love and respect each and every thing about ourselves which will ultimately lead to happiness.
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Sofi
I don't really care anymore if a have or not.

Never really felt that a diagnosis would define who I am.

 

Autism does define me but not in a negative way, it is just because it is all that I am. I wouldn't be me if I didn't have autism. It does give me a meaning. I would be feeling awfully confused with myself why I was not like everyone else if I did not have this diagnosis. All I have ever known is having autism from having it known since I was 4.

 

 

 

For each of us, our 'traits', be they complex enough for a diagnosis or not, make us who we are and that is a good thing! Life would be so boring if we were all the same. I know that sometimes life gets tough and we may wish to change things about ourselves, but the trick is to learn to love and respect each and every thing about ourselves which will ultimately lead to happiness.

 

Yes, you are right. I just have to accept myself for who I am and not compare myself to others. Everyone has different struggles. It can only be inspiration to me if someone else copes better with something. Sometimes, I just feel really affected by autism

 

 

Although, do I ever worry that I don't have Aspergers? Yes, because I don't have it (that's a joke, not funny) 

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Toran

Its not something I try to concern myself with because I know I have AS by the symtoms and my lifes history if its not then everything they say about it is wrong because I have those symptoms since my first memorys. What does concern me about the test is the coping mechanisms that I have put in place and how I have come to learn meanings that a young person wouldnt know because they havent had life experiences and made many mistakes to know these things. In the assessment do I not use what I know to be how I am or do I use it then I could get the wrong evaluation because I dont appear as a young autistic person would. I constantly stop swaying when im anxious in public because I was laughed at but at home I do it without thinking because im comfortable there. If I end up doing the two then the assessor may think whatever. Thats my concern not the fact that I have it but how I have adapted to it in life could effect my assesment.

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mary
I guess this is more aimed at those who don't have a diagnosis. And really, my first question would be, how did you come to the conclusion that you have Aspergers? Then from that, are you getting a formal diagnosis? And if so, what will happen if they say you don't have Aspergers? 

But for those of you with a diagnosis, do you ever worry that it is a mis diagnosis? Either because you just feel it doesn't fit, or because you sometimes look at how other people are and worry that you're coping better so maybe you don't have it?

I sometimes think that I've 'grown out' of Aspergers, until I realise that I've just learnt to cope better as I've gotten older. Though, mostly that's due to isolating myself in my home with Chris, or just on my own when he's at work. And as for going out, I rarely get out of my car unless it's somewhere I know won't be busy, or I'm familiar with it.

 

I find this very interesting Willow.  Having only known I have AS since September last year I'm relatively new to the whole idea of it.  I had, however, spoken about AS in relation to others and said that I didn't see it as a disability.

 

I do sometimes look at what traits are meant to be, and I do wonder if I fulfill the full criteria, but then I realise that I must have done to have been given the diagnosis.  When I did the test, I actually looked at the answers properly and esp at the ones my mum answered about me from when I was younger, and I couldn't argue with the results.

 

I don't worry that I have a diagnosis of AS and I certainly didn't think it'd cause me any problems.  Unfortunately someone has made it cause problems for me and that is rather disappointing, however, I'm hoping that this will be resolved imminently.  Once that has been sorted I will go back to being rather ambivilent about it.  I just see it as giving reasons for why I felt I was so strange and different all my life.  I can relate to the things mentioned re traits and it all makes sense now.

 

I think you are right that you have learnt to manage your Aspergers and this has lead to your AS traits being less obvious. This does not mean that you no longer have it, just that you avoid the situations where it has been a problem in the past. As with Autism in general, Aspergers is a sliding scale of intensity. I have a mental image of a grid of 500 squares, each one representing a trait of AS. For each person they will tick a differnet ammount and combination of those traits within their character. For a diagnosis of AS they would need to tick between a third and two thirds of those squares. Below a third would be NT and above two thirds would be classic autism. for every person who is in the AS 'zone' they will have their own combination of traits. Some of them will be outwardly obvious and some may be more hidden. This means that each AS person cannot be the same as another and so comparisons person to person are misleading. I realise this is a very simplistic and non scientific representation, but it helps me to understand the intricacies of ASD.

 

That's an interesting way to look at it and it certainly would make it make more sense for people from the outside looking in.  I agree, people learn coping mechanisms of all kinds as they go on in life, some are better than others at doing so, but it's all about learning.  If we continually learn from our experiences we are doing well, no matter how little or how much we learn throughout the process.

 

I don't really care anymore if a have or not.

Never really felt that a diagnosis would define who I am.

 

I just wonder, do you have a diagnosis or did you self diagnose?  Not that it really makes any difference I know, but it'd just be interesting to know.

 

Autism does define me but not in a negative way, it is just because it is all that I am. I wouldn't be me if I didn't have autism. It does give me a meaning. I would be feeling awfully confused with myself why I was not like everyone else if I did not have this diagnosis. All I have ever known is having autism from having it known since I was 4.

 

Yes, you are right. I just have to accept myself for who I am and not compare myself to others. Everyone has different struggles. It can only be inspiration to me if someone else copes better with something. Sometimes, I just feel really affected by autism

 

Although, do I ever worry that I don't have Aspergers? Yes, because I don't have it (that's a joke, not funny) 

 

I think, Sofi, that you're in a different position because you've known of your diagnosis for a long time, ie since you were 4, so you've pretty much grown up with it and known about it in your most formative years.  I agree that you wouldn't be you without your autism and it makes you who you are.  I'd agree that for everyone really... whilst sometimes we'd really prefer not to have a specific trait or whatever, we'd not be who we were without our autism, and I don't know that I'd want to actually be different, for the good points or the bad.

 

I think that self acceptance is the most important part with all of this... if we can be happy within ourselves, things can only begin to get better for us, even if slowly, very slowly, at times.

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Toran
I find this very interesting Willow.  Having only known I have AS since September last year I'm relatively new to the whole idea of it.  I had, however, spoken about AS in relation to others and said that I didn't see it as a disability.

 

I do sometimes look at what traits are meant to be, and I do wonder if I fulfill the full criteria, but then I realise that I must have done to have been given the diagnosis.  When I did the test, I actually looked at the answers properly and esp at the ones my mum answered about me from when I was younger, and I couldn't argue with the results.

 

I don't worry that I have a diagnosis of AS and I certainly didn't think it'd cause me any problems.  Unfortunately someone has made it cause problems for me and that is rather disappointing, however, I'm hoping that this will be resolved imminently.  Once that has been sorted I will go back to being rather ambivilent about it.  I just see it as giving reasons for why I felt I was so strange and different all my life.  I can relate to the things mentioned re traits and it all makes sense now.

 

 

That's an interesting way to look at it and it certainly would make it make more sense for people from the outside looking in.  I agree, people learn coping mechanisms of all kinds as they go on in life, some are better than others at doing so, but it's all about learning.  If we continually learn from our experiences we are doing well, no matter how little or how much we learn throughout the process.

 

 

I just wonder, do you have a diagnosis or did you self diagnose?  Not that it really makes any difference I know, but it'd just be interesting to know.

 

 

I think, Sofi, that you're in a different position because you've known of your diagnosis for a long time, ie since you were 4, so you've pretty much grown up with it and known about it in your most formative years.  I agree that you wouldn't be you without your autism and it makes you who you are.  I'd agree that for everyone really... whilst sometimes we'd really prefer not to have a specific trait or whatever, we'd not be who we were without our autism, and I don't know that I'd want to actually be different, for the good points or the bad.

 

I think that self acceptance is the most important part with all of this... if we can be happy within ourselves, things can only begin to get better for us, even if slowly, very slowly, at times.

I think self exceptance is very important because whatever we have resisting it will only bring further problems into our lives. When you have done this then it really doesnt matter what others say or think because your happy with who you are and why your like it so as we get older from our childhood years its one of the first important lessons to learn.

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mary
I think self exceptance is very important because whatever we have resisting it will only bring further problems into our lives. When you have done this then it really doesnt matter what others say or think because your happy with who you are and why your like it so as we get older from our childhood years its one of the first important lessons to learn.

 

*edited by WillowHope

 

Unfortunately for me self acceptance isn't the only key factor in all this... I divulged information at work and it has not made things easier, in fact, it has caused many, many problems for me.

 

So, you saying that when we've accepted things ourselves it doesn't matter what others say or think, that's not exactly correct.

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Nesf

Yes, i do, because I had a private diagnosis after just over an hour with a Neuropsychiatrist who, although qualified to make a diagnosis, didn't conduct tests on me, but just asked my and my mum questions about my life. I wonder about the accuracy of this method of diagnosis.

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Toran
I don't really care anymore if a have or not.

Never really felt that a diagnosis would define who I am.

Your right it wont define you but will give you peace of mind as to whether you have it or not.

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Toran
Yes, i do, because I had a private diagnosis after just over an hour with a Neuropsychiatrist who, although qualified to make a diagnosis, didn't conduct tests on me, but just asked my and my mum questions about my life. I wonder about the accuracy of this method of diagnosis.

Ive never had the test so I dont know whats involved but it does seem that being autistic is a wide spectrum some tests could have been helpful.

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ztnt
I just wonder, do you have a diagnosis or did you self diagnose?  Not that it really makes any difference I know, but it'd just be interesting to know.

Is it relevant to the topic?

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Megsmum
Yes, i do, because I had a private diagnosis after just over an hour with a Neuropsychiatrist who, although qualified to make a diagnosis, didn't conduct tests on me, but just asked my and my mum questions about my life. I wonder about the accuracy of this method of diagnosis.

 

This is pretty much how Megan was diagnosed too. They didn't make the diagnosis on the first appointment because Megan was quite distressed at having to go for the assessment in the first place. They picked up on her reduced eye contact, how uncomfortable she was with shaking hands, constantly wringing her hands and playing with the cuffs of her jumper whenever they spoke to her etc, but mainly it was them asking questions about her childhood and development. We also had to fill in some questionaire type forms before the assessment and so did her school.

 

I suppose the whole interview process is a kind of test because they can see how you interperate a question, how long it takes you to process it, how you answer it, how well you cope with unfamiliar surroundings, sights, smells etc.....

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Annaflower
This is pretty much how Megan was diagnosed too. They didn't make the diagnosis on the first appointment because Megan was quite distressed at having to go for the assessment in the first place. They picked up on her reduced eye contact, how uncomfortable she was with shaking hands, constantly wringing her hands and playing with the cuffs of her jumper whenever they spoke to her etc, but mainly it was them asking questions about her childhood and development. We also had to fill in some questionaire type forms before the assessment and so did her school.

 

I suppose the whole interview process is a kind of test because they can see how you interperate a question, how long it takes you to process it, how you answer it, how well you cope with unfamiliar surroundings, sights, smells etc.....

Sound exactly like Bella's diagnostic process. I did feel a bit uncertain about it all. I couldn't understand how just an hour long session with Bella was enough. I realise that a lot of it comes from the questions my husband and I answered but I still felt like a more in depth assessment of B would have been useful, to find out what areas she struggles with and which traits are most present. That way we would have more information to work with.
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Nesf
I think you are right that you have learnt to manage your Aspergers and this has lead to your AS traits being less obvious. This does not mean that you no longer have it, just that you avoid the situations where it has been a problem in the past. As with Autism in general, Aspergers is a sliding scale of intensity. I have a mental image of a grid of 500 squares, each one representing a trait of AS. For each person they will tick a differnet ammount and combination of those traits within their character. For a diagnosis of AS they would need to tick between a third and two thirds of those squares. Below a third would be NT and above two thirds would be classic autism. for every person who is in the AS 'zone' they will have their own combination of traits. Some of them will be outwardly obvious and some may be more hidden. This means that each AS person cannot be the same as another and so comparisons person to person are misleading. I realise this is a very simplistic and non scientific representation, but it helps me to understand the intricacies of ASD.

Good post, and good analogy - you explain things perfectly! Also, I think the symptoms vary according to levels of stress, tiredness, etc, so on a good day you may appear more NT, and on other days less so.

 

This is pretty much how Megan was diagnosed too. They didn't make the diagnosis on the first appointment because Megan was quite distressed at having to go for the assessment in the first place. They picked up on her reduced eye contact, how uncomfortable she was with shaking hands, constantly wringing her hands and playing with the cuffs of her jumper whenever they spoke to her etc, but mainly it was them asking questions about her childhood and development. We also had to fill in some questionaire type forms before the assessment and so did her school.

 

I suppose the whole interview process is a kind of test because they can see how you interperate a question, how long it takes you to process it, how you answer it, how well you cope with unfamiliar surroundings, sights, smells etc.....

That's exaclty how I was during the assessment, too... you're right, they are professional people trained in detecting the signs, subtle or otherwise.

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Autistic4EVER

First off, I'd just like to say that this topic took me by surprise because I though that I was the only one who had worried about this. I sometimes fear that I lean more towards having Schizophrenia than Autism because I have found solitude and acceptance with Aspie/Autie communities. 

 

I'm practically the black sheep of the family and with society. So being told that I have had a misdiagnosis scares me because then where would I fit in ? It seems that my Dad is the only person in this world who truly accepts me because he feels that he might be an Aspie as well. I'd love for him to get a diagnoses one day.... 

 

But then there's the possibility that I'm really outgrowing Asperger's without losing all of my bad qualities that comes with it. I think since those few years that my Dad worked with me on out growing all of my negative traits, like using Autism as a crutch has helped me out a lot.  

 

I wouldn't trade my Aspie learning characteristics for anything in this world :D

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InsomniaDreams

Well I know that I've grown out of a diagnosis. If I was tested as a kid or a teen probably then yes. A great deal of psychiatry is pure opinion and its important to remember that. Also diagnostic standards change over time. So the goalposts are moved. I do think that in the age of the Internet it's become easier to self diagnose anything and that can be dangerous. However with AS its kind of something that you just know, it's a bit like sexuality really. No one who meets me thinks that I have it or would know if I didn't tell them. My experiences of telling people are not good tbh. I actually never head of AS until 2 years ago.

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Xmas
I guess this is more aimed at those who don't have a diagnosis. And really, my first question would be, how did you come to the conclusion that you have Aspergers? Then from that, are you getting a formal diagnosis? And if so, what will happen if they say you don't have Aspergers? 

But for those of you with a diagnosis, do you ever worry that it is a mis diagnosis? Either because you just feel it doesn't fit, or because you sometimes look at how other people are and worry that you're coping better so maybe you don't have it?

I sometimes think that I've 'grown out' of Aspergers, until I realise that I've just learnt to cope better as I've gotten older. Though, mostly that's due to isolating myself in my home with Chris, or just on my own when he's at work. And as for going out, I rarely get out of my car unless it's somewhere I know won't be busy, or I'm familiar with it.

I believe I have Asperger's Syndrome but I haven't had a formal diagnosis. How did I come to the conclusion that I have Asperger's? It is only about the last two years that I have even heard of Asperger's, but all my life I was aware that I was different from my peers. In my younger years I thought that maybe I was suffering from some kind of depression but it did not feel right as I can't say I was really unhappy, I was just confused and melancholic and was acutely aware of my difference and tried to fit in.

 

I seem to have many of the traits associated with Asperger's - socially awkward - I hate socialising, I hate being amongst crowds of people, I hate having to make conversation and I hate having to answer people when they talk to me. Sometimes I have that choice taken from me - not sure if it is selective mutism or sensory overload - but all I know is some people talk to me and I am unable to answer them. It is not through choice, it just happens. It is the reason I am off work at the moment, I cannot cope.

 

I have many, many more traits of Asperger's, too many for me to list here but I sometimes wonder if it is possible to have these traits and yet not have ASD? My GP has referred me to see a consultant psychiatrist for possible Asperger's and I am waiting for a date.

 

What will happen if they say I haven't got Asperger's? I don't really know. I will still be the same person who is totally unlike any NT person and I will still be working in my job. I just have to wait and see.

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Bruce

Best wishes with that, Xmas! You'll probably get diagnosed as you expect to be, too.  :P

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Nesf
I believe I have Asperger's Syndrome but I haven't had a formal diagnosis. How did I come to the conclusion that I have Asperger's? It is only about the last two years that I have even heard of Asperger's, but all my life I was aware that I was different from my peers. In my younger years I thought that maybe I was suffering from some kind of depression but it did not feel right as I can't say I was really unhappy, I was just confused and melancholic and was acutely aware of my difference and tried to fit in.

 

I seem to have many of the traits associated with Asperger's - socially awkward - I hate socialising, I hate being amongst crowds of people, I hate having to make conversation and I hate having to answer people when they talk to me. Sometimes I have that choice taken from me - not sure if it is selective mutism or sensory overload - but all I know is some people talk to me and I am unable to answer them. It is not through choice, it just happens. It is the reason I am off work at the moment, I cannot cope.

 

I have many, many more traits of Asperger's, too many for me to list here but I sometimes wonder if it is possible to have these traits and yet not have ASD? My GP has referred me to see a consultant psychiatrist for possible Asperger's and I am waiting for a date.

 

What will happen if they say I haven't got Asperger's? I don't really know. I will still be the same person who is totally unlike any NT person and I will still be working in my job. I just have to wait and see.

From your description it does sound like you have AS, but as there are other disorders with similar symptoms it's a good idea to get a professional opinion or diagnosis. If I were you I wouldn't tell too many people about it and be careful who you tell as it can cause misunderstandings and problems, as Oakers can testify.

 

On some days I really feel I have it, and on other days I feel I'm "normal" and wonder if it's all in my imagination. In 1991 I was diagnosed with "Social Phobia" and I sometimes wonder if that's what I have and not ASD, as AS wasn't mentioned to me at the time, perhaps I managed to mask my AS traits a bit better - but there again I have other symptoms of ASD like special interests and sensory problems... I think that in the end one has to have faith in the opinion of the professionals who diagnose you, if you don't there will always be that element of doubt.

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Xmas
From your description it does sound like you have AS, but as there are other disorders with similar symptoms it's a good idea to get a professional opinion or diagnosis. If I were you I wouldn't tell too many people about it and be careful who you tell as it can cause misunderstandings and problems, as Oakers can testify.

 

On some days I really feel I have it, and on other days I feel I'm "normal" and wonder if it's all in my imagination. In 1991 I was diagnosed with "Social Phobia" and I sometimes wonder if that's what I have and not ASD, as AS wasn't mentioned to me at the time, perhaps I managed to mask my AS traits a bit better - but there again I have other symptoms of ASD like special interests and sensory problems... I think that in the end one has to have faith in the opinion of the professionals who diagnose you, if you don't there will always be that element of doubt.

Thank-you for the advice I will keep what you said in mind. Like you I also have other ASD traits such as special interests and sensory problems. I hate noise in particular, but also I am sensitive to light and certain smells. Although I do travel in buses and sit in waiting rooms, I hate both not just for social reasons but also because of the various smells that come from people. I am also a bit apprehensive when eating out because again not only the social issue but also noise, smells and I can't stand the texture of certain foods depending on how they are cooked. Many a time I have stood in the door of a restaurant and turned around and walked straight back out. I don't like being touched either.

 

It will be difficult going back to work because I do have to decide how much I can say. If I say nothing, my colleagues will be wondering why I took so much time off for stress. And of course I can't tell my employer that my stress/anxiety is a result of ASD until I get a diagnosis. 

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