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 Post subject: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:36 am 
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Are there other Aspies on this board? I forgot. (I included Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, and other Autism Spectrum Disorders)

Just curious, since I see in vegan groups often a higher amount of Aspies than in real life.

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:46 am 
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Mr8 has Asperger's and I'm awaiting a referral to the LD clinic to see if I may have it too.


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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:51 am 
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ASDs are diagnosed VERY late in females.. I was so autistic (I know this is not people first, I prefer autistic though) as a child I toe walked, rocked, spun objects, barely spoke, read as much as I could about special interests, ate about 4 kinds of food, hated many noises, hated the outdoor, and had meltdowns daily. Yet it was decided I was ADHD for a while because females are "not" autistic. (I wasn't taken for evaluation until middle school, misdiagnosed) My proper diagnosis was at 14.

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:39 am 
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i suspect i might have asperger's, but i've never been evaluated. (it would explain SO MANY THINGS in my life.)

being unemployed (because my employers usually have personality conflicts with me, and i probably seem shifty in interviews) means i don't really have the cash to go and get diagnosed. (and then what?)

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:04 am 
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I have asperger's (which I refer to interchangeably as being autistic because I am a bad person) diagnosed a bit under 5 years ago. There is some evidence that my teachers knew as early as first grade but didn't say anything because my town was shitty with learning disability.

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:08 pm 
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I was diagnosed at age seventeen.

As a child, I was a toe-walker, had fixations, early speech, obsessive interests, poor motor skills, was socially clueless, had poor eye contact, tics... I can't remember the rest, but even though I'm still skeptical, the evaluation was pretty thorough and took place over several months.

Outgrown some things, for the most part. But my tics are starting to act up again, now that I'm preparing to move out of my own.


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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:23 pm 
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I have been extremely curious about the possibility of my boyfriend having Aspergers.

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:27 pm 
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Autism and asperger's run strongly in my family- nearly every man on my mom's side of the family is in the spectrum. I don't have it- all of my oddness and eccentricities added up to bipolar disorder instead- but I've had the great pleasure of enjoying the company of many autistic family members.

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:34 pm 
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zwingtip wrote:
I have asperger's (which I refer to interchangeably as being autistic because I am a bad person) diagnosed a bit under 5 years ago. There is some evidence that my teachers knew as early as first grade but didn't say anything because my town was shitty with learning disability.


That's not being a bad person. Asperger's is going away in the DSM-V, to be encompassed by the autism spectrum. You'll be classified as high-functioning on the spectrum. Also, can we say differences instead of disability? (Just because I have had the pleasure of working with some really brilliant people on the spectrum and suspect those of you who may not be neurotypical are no different. Unless disability resonates for you.)


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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:01 pm 
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Shanti wrote:
ASDs are diagnosed VERY late in females.. I was so autistic (I know this is not people first, I prefer autistic though) as a child I toe walked, rocked, spun objects, barely spoke, read as much as I could about special interests, ate about 4 kinds of food, hated many noises, hated the outdoor, and had meltdowns daily. Yet it was decided I was ADHD for a while because females are "not" autistic. (I wasn't taken for evaluation until middle school, misdiagnosed) My proper diagnosis was at 14.


When I was in respite last winter, I sat down with a psychiatrist who didn't believe that I had autism, as he had three regular patients with ASD and I was nothing like them. I inquired about their gender, and to no surprise on my part, they were all male.

Also, this same doctor later accused me of lying about a blood-test (when I was telling the truth). This led to me flipping on him, not only out of outrage, but also in fear that I would be thrown out of the facility immediately if I did not submit to his testing.

This turned out to be confusion on my part. Because, you know. I take language literally because I don't have autism.


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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:26 pm 
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celyn wrote:
zwingtip wrote:
I have asperger's (which I refer to interchangeably as being autistic because I am a bad person) diagnosed a bit under 5 years ago. There is some evidence that my teachers knew as early as first grade but didn't say anything because my town was shitty with learning disability.


That's not being a bad person. Asperger's is going away in the DSM-V, to be encompassed by the autism spectrum. You'll be classified as high-functioning on the spectrum. Also, can we say differences instead of disability? (Just because I have had the pleasure of working with some really brilliant people on the spectrum and suspect those of you who may not be neurotypical are no different. Unless disability resonates for you.)


I personally prefer to consider it a disability simply because if everyone in the world were autistic, it would still make my life difficult with regard to interpersonal interactions, processing speed, executive functioning, and auditory processing (to name a few difficulties). I'm not sure disabled and brilliant are mutually exclusive descriptors either. I wouldn't say brilliant, but I know a number of people on the spectrum who definitely are brilliant and still consider themselves disabled.

But I also understand why someone would not want to be described as disabled for being autism spectrum.

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:02 am 
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My little brother has autism. My parents were told he has more severe autism than appears because he's fairly vocal.

My dad once asked if I should get tested for Asperger's syndrome, but I don't know if it's that or I'm just really introverted.


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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:35 pm 
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I don't meet the criteria for an autism spectrum diagnosis, but many (possibly even most) of my closest friends have Asperger's/ASD diagnoses including two of my former partners, so I'm very familiar with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:46 pm 
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Shanti wrote:
ASDs are diagnosed VERY late in females.. I was so autistic (I know this is not people first, I prefer autistic though) as a child I toe walked, rocked, spun objects, barely spoke, read as much as I could about special interests, ate about 4 kinds of food, hated many noises, hated the outdoor, and had meltdowns daily. Yet it was decided I was ADHD for a while because females are "not" autistic. (I wasn't taken for evaluation until middle school, misdiagnosed) My proper diagnosis was at 14.

It's the food thing that might kill me. My son does not meet the full criteria for a diagnosis of autism but shares some characteristics with people with Asperger's.

Grandparents do not understand that you can't simply force someone to eat and that it's not being stubborn. It is very, very exasperating sometimes.

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:40 am 
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I've been told by a psychologist that he'd bet his house on me having asperger's, but not an official diagnosis.

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:03 pm 
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zwingtip wrote:
celyn wrote:
Also, can we say differences instead of disability? (Just because I have had the pleasure of working with some really brilliant people on the spectrum and suspect those of you who may not be neurotypical are no different. Unless disability resonates for you.)


I personally prefer to consider it a disability simply because if everyone in the world were autistic, it would still make my life difficult with regard to interpersonal interactions, processing speed, executive functioning, and auditory processing (to name a few difficulties). I'm not sure disabled and brilliant are mutually exclusive descriptors either. I wouldn't say brilliant, but I know a number of people on the spectrum who definitely are brilliant and still consider themselves disabled.

But I also understand why someone would not want to be described as disabled for being autism spectrum.


Certainly people should be referred to however they are more comfortable being referred to, but disability is an important word that is promoted by many advocacy groups (for various developmental disabilities, including autism) and it often means access to services. If it is just "differences" there is no need for special services. For the most part, the people I work with that have autism have more severe forms of autism, and referring to their autism as "differences" would not be taken well by their parents or caregivers. If someone with autism or their parent/caregiver/guardian prefers their autism to be referred to as "differences" I will respect that, but in general I think "disability" is much more appropriate.


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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:55 pm 
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I've taken a lot of online and self tests for Asperger's and always score really high on them. I'm not surprised, I do pretty much match the descriptions. I don't know if it is purely neurological with me or a result of my life, though, because I had a weird upbringing. I know I have social anxiety, depression, and have had eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, ednos), so...who knows. I seem to be coping okay at this point.

As for labels, I think different or atypical is a bit more appropriate than disabled, however, if a label of disability helps to obtain services or helps other people understand or treat people on the spectrum or with any mental/neurological issue better than it can work as well. I just rather the idea of treating people with ASD better rather than separating them and trying to "cure" it (turn them typical) if that makes any sense at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:41 pm 
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i would call anything that makes employers hate you a disability.

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:54 pm 
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supercarrot wrote:
i would call anything that makes employers hate you a disability.

Some employers. Aspies can do very well in tech fields. To the point they have started entire companies of Aspies to program. But yea, many field are not good at all for people on the spectrum. I'm terrible at anything that involves customer service beyond fixing something.

I do find the whole theory that Yahoo's CEO has Asperger's a bunch of hooey. You can't diagnose a public figure, only a professional can.

I know GRASP provides support to adults in the USA. They're very good, to the point the founder even talks to local chapters to help out.

I feel awkward around Aspies in real life..they seem to be more "on the spectrum" when I go to local groups and I don't know how to interact. I do better with geeks/nerds...some who are Aspies but they don't talk about it much.

One article I really love recently about AS and grief:
http://www.thinkingautismguide.com/2012 ... pical.html

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:04 am 
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My husband and children have Asperger diagnoses. We definitely have people in our families who are Aspie, although they totally deny it. I consider myself Aspie too although I wouldn't go and get assessed because it would just be a very expensive opinion. A psychologist I know, who specialises in ASD particularly females (and I definitely believe she knows her stuff) told me I can have an Aspie personality without meeting the exact diagnostic criteria. I suspected this anyway as I tick many boxes.

Aspie girls can be diagnosed young however it isn't as common. My daughter wasn't yet three when she was diagnosed, however she had a father and sibling with a diagnosis, we gave the paediatrician detailed info about what my daughter was 'like', and of course there were the observations when we went to see the doc.



I admit I opened this thread with a sense of anxiety/dread. Topics like this always end up pissing me off because someone brings up "lack of empathy". I've been in IT for twenty years, have been surrounded by people on the spectrum in that time, been in relationships with them and I am yet to meet a person with Aspergers who 'lacks empathy'. In my experience they were the ones who were more in to social justice and actually doing something about a cause they were passionate about. Lots of vegans and vegetarians too. The empathy is ALWAYS there, others just need to recognise it.

BTW I know some people don't like the word 'Aspie' although in my time discussing this and referring to myself as Aspie I've never encountered someone directly who objects-- nearly everyone I've had discussions with call themselves Aspies. Please message me if you are not comfortable with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:47 am 
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My partner has never had a formal diagnosis, but we're both pretty sure he's on the spectrum. So much of what I read/hear about AS completely jibes with what I see in him (and he sees in himself). There was a Dutch documentary recently about a man with AS and we both watched it (separately) and both saw a lot of parallels, which scared me because the man the docu was about ended up killing himself. :( I take a certain amount of hope in the fact that my partner seems to have found ways to cope with his situation that the subject of the docu didn't, but I also know he regularly struggles with depression.

He says he sees certain aspie characteristics in me, but I think I have a lot of characteristics that would negate that. (I've always been able to read people almost instintively, for example, or walk into a room and sense the mood before anyone spoke.) I think what he's seeing is extreme introversion, which produces characteristics that overlap with AS. And I can be somewhat analytical.

TurningVioletViolet, I know what you mean about the "lack of empathy" thing. I think people misinterperet what that's supposed to mean. As I understand it, in the context of autistic spectrum disorders, it just means folks lack the neurological wiring that allows them to "read" other people as easily as neurotypicals do. What it doesn't mean is that they are unable to understand/identify with others' feelings. In fact, I think the opposite is the case. I know my partner keenly feels pain when others are hurting. He's just not good at reading those subtle expressions on people's faces that can color social interactions.

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:38 am 
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yep, and the Aspie kids I know (and there are many as I travel in ASD circles) are all *extremely* sensitive to the emotions of others.

lepelaar I'm like you in that I can also instinctively read people, sense moods etc... however I consider this one of my Aspie traits :) I know lots of kids like this, my own included, however the emotional response triggered may not be pleasant for them so it seems they can switch off. I disagree with experts/therapists/etc who say Aspies do *not* experience this. Some do, some don't but unfortunately we're often lumped in to the one category as if we're not actually individuals with personalities too.

My son is highly sensitive and very compassionate, however he has difficulty with the feelings things like injustice/poverty/children dying from contaminated water trigger/etc in him. I understand this as I'm the same, even when I look at some animal suffering for instance and I feel compassion, the compassion is mixed in with sadness. I know how to handle it but with extremely sensitive children, it can be difficult and we are working on this with my children. Especially if alexithymia is involved, which my husband believes he himself has. However my husband is still a very kind, caring person who has done good samaritan things for strangers in trouble at the risk of his own safety.

I used to live in Amsterdam :)


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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:02 am 
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I have empathy..kind of. If somebody is a jerk (and my definition is pretty extreme: racist, homophobic, bigoted, pushing something down my throat..you have to be a VERY big jerk) I don't try very hard to be empathic anymore. Kind of snapped a little lately on that, decided I no longer wanted to put up with bad people, just deal with the good ones.

But if a complete stranger or generally decent person is in obvious pain or discomfort I will try to help. I often have troubles understanding what is wrong and what to do so I often have to ask. I will go to extremes that sometimes can result in danger because I incorrectly judged the person as being good when they are bad and they use my empathy for their own negative purposes.

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:12 am 
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Oof, that sounds like my partner, Shanti. He always expects people to be good and have the same honest intentions as he does, and then he's disappointed and blames himself when someone screws him over. Now he's not very trusting of people's intentions because it's happened too many times.

Another thing that seems to happen is that he doesn't make a broad range of facial expressions himself so people get angry at him because they think he's smirking or hostile when he's not.

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 Post subject: Re: Asperger's/NVLD/ASDs
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:59 am 
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lepelaar wrote:
Oof, that sounds like my partner, Shanti. He always expects people to be good and have the same honest intentions as he does, and then he's disappointed and blames himself when someone screws him over. Now he's not very trusting of people's intentions because it's happened too many times.

Another thing that seems to happen is that he doesn't make a broad range of facial expressions himself so people get angry at him because they think he's smirking or hostile when he's not.

Yes. My face often fails at the correct expressions, I literally had to be trained to make appropriate ones. It's exhausting to make the appropriate ones though. I still giggle when not sure of things, which can be quite bad. ("My cat died after being sick"=I don't know what to say, so giggle=person thinks I'm a jerk)

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