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Willow

Asperger Symptoms in Adult Males

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Ben

I'm a funny one, because certain personality traits of mine are VERY contradictory.

I make friends wherever I go, I'm very well travelled , I'm a deep and thoughtful conversationalist - (particularly with new people funnily enough) and I honestly want to spray the 'routine' concept with an AK-47 until I fire the gun empty. I'm an entertainer, I'm funny, and I thrive on being 'the wise clown'. 

But I'm self-absorbed, and (ironically), I'm quite shy. I meditate rather than 'talk things out' - I draw from internal strength, and avoid calling mum or dad, or any other member of my family. I'd be a nightmare to be in a relationship with, because I think (beyond boredom), I fear sustaining family life, and I LOVE drifting from country to country being 'that guy' people just happen know. (I think this can be traced back to a dysfunctional family life growing up.) 

I can be overly assertive too, particularly with people who I feel are trying to control me. Whether that's AS or just me being a hippy at heart I don't know. But I'm the definition of anti-establishment.  

 

I probably haven't' added anything unique to the thread. I shall have to give it some thought. 

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Willow

@Ben thanks for the reply - I knew you'd be an exception to the rule kind of guy, sort of like I am in a few senses. But your reply is still helpful - it seems common amongst the replies I've had so far on here, on Facebook and via email, that Aspie males tend to avoid looking to other people for help - which may be as a result of the way males are raised to be 'manly' and not ask for help, but I think it's still worth adding. 

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Willow

Added to the list from other sources:

  • Poor short term memory and recall
  • Easily upset and discouraged by rejections from the opposite sex (or the gender of romantic preference)
  • Easily manipulated by the opposite sex (or the gender of romantic preference)
  • Noticeable differences in interests compared to similarly aged same sex counterparts
  • Struggles to accept lack of talent in an area of interest

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RiRi

@Willow Why can't other people such as females who know an autistic male take a part in this thread? After all, sometimes autistic people don't have great self awareness of what they do or don't do. 

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Willow
14 minutes ago, RiRi said:

@Willow Why can't other people such as females who know an autistic male take a part in this thread? After all, sometimes autistic people don't have great self awareness of what they do or don't do. 

Since this is for research purposes, I'd prefer responses to come from males themselves, but I didn't say females absolutely couldn't take part in the thread. But only responses from males will be used - whether they've explained a trait or symptom themselves, or corroborated with something a female commented with.

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RiRi
14 minutes ago, Willow said:

Since this is for research purposes, I'd prefer responses to come from males themselves, but I didn't say females absolutely couldn't take part in the thread. But only responses from males will be used - whether they've explained a trait or symptom themselves, or corroborated with something a female commented with.

Oh, are you writing a paper for one of your classes at uni?

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Alice
22 hours ago, Willow said:
  • trouble having positive feelings about self
  • assumes they aren't good looking so don't care about personal appearance
  • not good at accepting or believing praise or positive comments about self
  • difficulty remembering ever feeling carefree
  • prone to mood swings
  • verbally aggressive at times, if not prompted about mood and tone
  • difficulties with intimacy

 

22 hours ago, Willow said:
  • tend to lead fairly solitary lives
  • reluctant to seek support

I have a lot of these myself as a female on the spectrum. I live a completely solitary life with no social, familial or other kind of support by choice. I have been mocked and bullied about my appearance for most of my life and feeling good about myself even as a mild baseline is difficult for me to achieve. (I wear makeup when I leave the house as false armour against societal rules I dont agree with but it doesnt raise my esteem to be treated better while wearing a mask, it just makes me feel safer when im out).

I like the diagram that portrays autism as a colour wheel rather than a linear spectrum, because we all differ in almost every aspect of our presentation. The saying "if you have met one person on the spectrum.. you have met one person" It doesnt generalise well. Even if aspies as share difficulties in understanding social information, there are big differences in whether people still socialise, are extroverted or introverted,  etc..

The differences in female and male autistics maybe has less to do with autism and more to do with social conditioning of an aspie child.
Males are generally more logically-centered, and action-centered (not necessarily to the mathematics end, but gravitate towards computer-programming and the like) as they are generally encouraged to do what THEY want to do, tantrums/outbursts are treated more permissively ("boys just being boys"), allowed to get their own way more, are allowed to play alone (without the teacher/parent thinking something is wrong), encouraged to choose logical and physical games (like lego, connex, science toys, , bike riding, anything imitating construction or physical activity etc..though children are born equally capable in terms of spacial understanding and maths, and are equally strong). This would show up in Aspies too as having more outward expressions during a meltdown. As males are conditioned to follow themselves, their wants, and put those into action, Aspies maybe pursued their special interests more intensely, spoke only about what they wanted to without reprimand which is a noticeable trait, and were allowed to not engage socially when they didnt want to, so they continue to not do so (if a more introverted aspie).

Females are generally more emotionally-centred. More silenced when rowdy, asked to join into groups, play nice, given dolls, given things to comfort and care for - toy animals, toys that imitate the kitchen or parenting, nursing/caretaking or creative things like paint and drawing sets, and given domestic chores, told to "imagine how that person feels" etc.
Even if not social/extroverted, in Aspies this might show up as preferring reading, movies, character-centred things (games like sims or more character-centered games), and more easily able to imitate socially expected masks and roles with effort, and more emotionally empathetic/aware/sensitive even if still not cognitively-empathetic (theory of mind/guessing what someone is thinking).

Every parent is different in how much they care about norms, also whether they match the general personality of their own child ("called goodness of fit" in psychology) which determines how much they will try to change their child's behaviour and nature.

Just my thoughts. Very interesting discussion

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Max000
On 2/4/2019 at 2:59 PM, Willow said:

I'm looking for a list of symptoms/traits that are more or less exclusive to adult males with an ASD, separate from the general list of symptoms for anyone with an ASD. If possible, can only the male members reply with symptoms to add to the list please, as I would prefer first hand accounts, and not observations. These can possibly be true for some females on the spectrum but I'm more looking for things that would differ from an NT male, where an NT female may reasonably experience these. This list is symptoms my brother has that I don't, that I cross referenced online and found other males to list as symptoms also.

  • trouble having positive feelings about self
  • assumes they aren't good looking so don't care about personal appearance
  • not good at accepting or believing praise or positive comments about self
  • difficulty remembering ever feeling carefree
  • prone to mood swings
  • verbally aggressive at times, if not prompted about mood and tone
  • difficulties with intimacy

@Ben @Asgardian @StarlessEclipse @StormCrow @Max000 @Peridot @Harrow - if any of you would be willing to help?

Additional list from research so far:

  • tend to lead fairly solitary lives
  • reluctant to seek support
  • Poor short term memory and recall
  • Easily upset and discouraged by rejections from the opposite sex (or the gender of romantic preference)
  • Easily manipulated by the opposite sex (or the gender of romantic preference)
  • Noticeable differences in interests compared to similarly aged same sex counterparts
  • Struggles to accept lack of talent in an area of interest

I can't think of much of anything to add to that list, but I would say most of those are a big yes, for me, with several exceptions. The second one is only 50% true. I definitely don't consider myself good looking, but I still take care of my appearance. I especially cared about appearance when I was younger and trying to impress girls. Also I don't think I'm easily manipulated by the opposite sex. I'm actually pretty dominant in relationships. If I have been manipulated, I wasn't even aware of it.

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Alice
2 hours ago, Willow said:

Easily manipulated by the opposite sex (or the gender of romantic preference)

This is very common in female Aspies too though - I think its also a general Aspie thing. Ive seen it in several Aspie books about setting boundaries to prevent manipulation for toxic people or being taken advantage of due to inherent naivety and social naivety, learning to stand ground and be assertive. Ive also experience this a lot personally. Common Aspie thing, though may not apply to everyone

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Alice

I also dont think the masking/social imitation thing is exclusive to female aspies - Some male aspies can too. Some male aspie do fairly alright socially. I just recently watched a documentary about a guy local in NZ who runs dungens and dragons meetups and stuff for aspies and presents himself very well socially - you would not guess he is an aspie from how he interacts.

This is the wheel I mentioned which should also have other things on it like masking, extroversion/introversion, naivety/child-like trust - for any aspie regardless of gender. I still think its totally valid, and Im not trying to hijack a discussion for male Aspies - I just think some/most of these really are general Aspie things which may appear more in certain genders, and may not apply to at all to some aspies, but its still all individual.

understanding-the-spectrum6-724x1024.jpg

Edited by Alice

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