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Anyone else on the Autism Spectrum?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Marble Jar, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. Marble Jar

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    Phew! Ok, that's a relief to know you have your family for support.

    I believe that, i can see you have a sense of humour :slight_smile:

    Ok, so you could be sensitive to seasonal changes in light levels then maybe. Might be that it affects your sleep patterns for example.

    That's a very creative brain you have coming up with all those ideas and projects! Just wondering about you saying you worry about leading a disappointing life...would you say you are a perfectionist? Do you set high standards for yourself? Or does it tie in more with the thoughts of death i.e you won't have time to achieve everything you want to because you want to be good at/experience lots of things?

    What are you like with taking risks?
     
  2. Canterpiece

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    I'm a selective perfectionist with a procrastination problem. The type of student whom halfheartedly works on a project until it gets close to the deadline and then suddenly turns it around from a C to an A. I've over-prepared for lessons and presentations before. The standards I set for myself vary along with my confidence levels. I usually assume that I've done worse than I have. One time I was pulling an all-nighter to finish my project. I was tempted to write "I give up, please just fail me", when the sleep-deprivation was starting to grate. A part of me was worried that I'd never get it up to a passing grade. I ended up getting top marks on the assignment.

    Not living up to what I could be yet not fully believing that I can do it has been a consistent concern throughout my life. I think it stems from childhood. Along with calling me stupid and asking why I couldn't be normal; my counsellor told me that I'd never make anything of myself. I realised over time that she had probably just been projecting her own insecurities on me.

    Still, it became a worry at the back of my brain. That she'd end up being right. As I went through school I became worried that I'd never make it in the real world due to my learning issues. That I'd never be good enough. I remember an English assignment where we had to write about our ambitions for the future, and I wrote "I'd like to not be a disappointment". My teacher called me over and we had a chat about my answer. He assured me that I wasn't a disappointment at all.

    I'm currently learning to break out of feeling like an impostor. To be less harsh on myself. I would say that my ambition is both a negative and a positive trait. When I was sixteen and a little more filled with angst; I believe that I wrote something here about the education system being a conveyor belt of mediocrity. I've had a selfish fear of becoming and being mediocre for a while. You could consider it an idealistically naive desire to be noteworthy that I think many of us secretly have. I worry that my ideas will merely stay ideas when they could be more. That all my efforts won't mean anything.

    Well, if you asked me in one of those questionnaires you sometimes have to fill out for job applications, I'd tell you that I'm definitely a risk-taking people person! :laughing: However, if I were to be more truthful then I'm more of a cautious introvert. I'm not completely risk-averse, but I'm not exactly the first person to volunteer to go bungee jumping either. Usually more the type to slightly step out of my comfort zone, go back, and then take a few steps out again every so often with my comfort zone expanding a little gradually.
     
    #82 Canterpiece, May 13, 2020
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  3. Marble Jar

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    Ok, so last minute pressure could be helping you to focus.

    I'm so glad that teacher spoke to you about your assignment!

    Hmm, you've got lots of interesting combinations of traits going on there...

    Are you drawn to objects because of their bright colours and textures, regardless of the item? Does it make you feel better to have things like that around you? For example, do you carry anything in your pocket that you can run your fingers over when you are feeling anxious?

    Do you frequently get mistaken for being younger than you are? I'm not so much meaning how you look with this question. More like when a stranger glances at you and doesn't pay attention and makes a snap judgement on how you come across.
     
  4. Canterpiece

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    Yes, I used to have a purple fabric quilted cloth in the shape of a cat. It was meant to smell of lavender, but it smelled more like baby powder. Still, I would keep it around and press it / sniff it to relax in stressful and overwhelming situations. Unfortunately, it is broken, the beads inside have started spilling out from a tear in the fabric. Another thing I do is carry a piece of string around to twirl through my fingers. It can help clear my thoughts and focus since I dislike having idle hands. Plus, I have a mini basketball that I throw back and forth between my hands when I'm brainstorming in my room sometimes. I'm not great at sitting still, especially during long conversations, I get restless. I need to do something, anything , to stop myself from wanting to lie down in the middle of the room and scream in long conversations. Doodling, fidgeting, taking a break to walk around, just something. Please. I hate sitting still.

    Hmm. I've been told that the way I speak makes me sound older than I am. That I'm a bit formal. I've almost always been told that I come across as older and maturer. One of the only times I was told otherwise was when I was nineteen, when someone told me that they were exactly like me at my age. Now, as for strangers, I've had mixed responses. Some have guessed as young as fifteen, and I had someone else tell me that they thought I was a baby-faced twenty-nine year old. The tall height combined with the baby face tends to confuse people. Bartenders and bouncers tend to stare at me for a while trying to figure out my age but not always. When combined with my voice, people tend to guess older than they would otherwise. One time someone mistook me for a professor. Apparently, the way I carry myself makes me come across as calm, responsible and perhaps a little reserved or uncomfortable.

    Fun, partially related to this thread, fact: A friend of mine came out to me recently as autistic.
     
    #84 Canterpiece, May 14, 2020
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  5. Marble Jar

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    Haha i have my suspicions about one of my friends to be honest.

    Are you a good sleeper? Seems like you are often online in the early hours. So much of what you are saying is reminding me of my friend and she has ADHD. Have you ever looked into that?
     
  6. Canterpiece

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    I'll add it to the list. :sweat_smile:

    Alright, in all seriousness, I've thought about it before. I know I've related to the character Bart Simpson from The Simpsons at times. He has ADHD, that's canon in the series. I've taken online quizzes on the subject before, not exactly known for their accuracy, but still whenever I've taken them I usually get minor ADHD or not at all. The impulsivity part doesn't really apply. I can think on my feet, in fact I'm part of an improv group, but I'm usually not the impulsive type except for the compulsions.

    Fun fact, my friend that came out as autistic, he also has ADHD. I remember him remarking on how he could never be as prepared as I am because of it. There does seem to be a lot of overlap with certain conditions. Almost cluster types I guess you could say. I don't think that I have ADHD but I do seem to have various traits of different conditions; it wouldn't surprise me if it turned out I was close to the borderline for some of them. Especially since dyslexia runs through my family. I'm not dyslexic, but I do have visual processing issues and problems with numbers. Which is why my family has suspected dyscalculia since I was eight, unfortunately it's rare that I'm believed since I don't have issues with words (except for slow reading out loud and occasionally skipping ahead or going back on a sentence, no problems with spelling though) and there are a significant amount of people out there who don't think that what I describe is possible. I've looked into testing, but it looks next to impossible to get without a dyslexia diagnosis which I wouldn't qualify for. So at this point I've given up. I could look into visual processing disorder, since my old school basically confirmed that I have severe issues with that, but I don't have an official diagnosis for anything. Probably wouldn't be much use to get at this point in my life though.

    Anyway, I know that ADHD has links to dyslexia. So I guess it's not too surprising if I show traits. I also know that anxious neurotic behaviour tends to crop up in my family. Selective mutism isn't unheard of (including me for a short while). I had a relative with an obsessive fixation on a negative thought which ended up taking over their life (we suspect OCD but they went undiagnosed). Another was obsessive, albeit in a healthier way. She just had a special interest in carousels and collected memorabilia on the subject . Wasn't diagnosed with anything, but I have slight suspicions on certain possibilities.

    I've been exposed! :laughing:

    The quarantine has reeked havoc on my sleep schedule. Sometimes I get it back on track, but I do have a habit of getting into a bad routine when it comes to sleep.
     
  7. Marble Jar

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    Haha yeah i can see how you could be borderline in a couple of things. So many of these conditions share elements and everyone has their own ways of doing things. I think i read somewhere that there are some genes that are linked to various different conditions, so if there is someone in your immediate family with say Autism, you are more likely to have that than the general public, but also more likely to have something else like ADHD as it's part of the same family of issues. Not sure where i read that and if it was proper science though.

    That's intriguing...the friend i was talking about also has these difficulties in visual processing. I didn't even know that could be a thing until she explained it to me. She thought she had Dyslexia to begin with as she reads very slowly, because she can't scan her eyes across lines of text properly and keeps losing her place. She had her eyes tested which were fine and then was tested for Dyslexia, but got a 'no'. And then got told it was a visual processing problem.

    How are you at processing verbal information? If someone gave you a list of instructions out loud and you had to follow them, for example in a new job?

    Haha i didn't know if you were just in 'student mode' or whether you struggle with keeping a routine with it generally.
     
  8. Canterpiece

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    I never thought I had dyslexia but I was aware that there was something different about me from a young age. Sometimes when I read numbers or other symbols such as music notes, I read them incorrectly. 24 can appear as 42 for a moment for example. I tried to learn how to play the piano as a kid but I gave up because the music notes kept drifting onto different lines and it became very confusing to make sense of. This is something I became embarrassed about because it had a tendency to make seemingly easy tasks rather difficult.

    When I failed it was usually put down to laziness or stupidity. I knew it was something else but I was at a loss as to what exactly it was. My dad has dyslexia. I don't struggle with many of the issues he does. So I was aware that I didn't seem to quite fit the profile.

    It was something of a metaphorical slap in the face when I got back my visual processing results. Although I was aware that my processing was askew, I didn't expect the score to be quite that low. To score in the first percentile of the sample group. Meaning that 1% scored equal or lower than my score. The first test had me read a sequence of numbers and then a sequence of letters out loud. Second test required drawing X's in the middle of a bunch of circles in quick succession. I can relate to your friend, especially when I'm reading out loud I have a tendency to lose my place. Particularly if I have to pause and look over somewhere else / get up to do something else and then have to come back to reading. I find reading in my head a lot quicker and easier. At least I don't have to deal with stuttering in my head. Words with a lot of m's and n's especially tend to trip me up. If you ever spoke with me, you might notice me slowing my speaking speed down a little when it comes to certain words. Mnemonic is the word of nightmares if you ask me, mannequin can leave also (you would not believe how often I've gotten stuck in a word-loop because of mannequin, which is when I go back to the start of the word and keep repeating the starting sound usually three or four times because I get stuck on the sound which is a form of stuttering).

    Verbal information varies. I would say that I'm rather visual minded. To the point where I have hyperphantasia. If I can't see all the stages of a plan in my head, I haven't got my head around it enough yet. Repeating information I heard over the phone about a subject I don't care about tends to go wrong. If the verbal instructions involve numbers you can bet I've written that down somewhere. Probably in words since I don't wanna look at it and potentially read it in the wrong order.

    As long as I can visualise what I'm being told, I can follow it easily enough. When people are telling me a sequence of commands I usually visualise myself completing these tasks as a walk-through preparation. If I can't, I ask for more clarification on certain aspects.
     
  9. just jane

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    I am on the Autism Spectrum, I got told when I was 29 years old.
     
  10. Marble Jar

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    Anyone would find playing music impossible if the notes were dancing around like that. It seems weird to me that people would think you were lazy or stupid, when you don't come across that way.

    Wow, that is low. But then, you could take that as a confidence boost because it shows how much you've managed to achieve despite those difficulties. That's a good tip (writing down numbers in words).

    Haha well, mnemonic looks a bit like demonic, so it probably is evil. And i certainly wouldn't trust a mannequin. When you get stuck in a word-loop, what would you like other people to do? Is it rude or helpful if they try to guess what you're about to say? I never know whether to just wait or if that makes people self-conscious.
     
  11. Marble Jar

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    Hello Wonder Woman :slight_smile: It does seem like females often get diagnosed a bit later than the boys.
     
  12. gravechild

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    Speaking of which, it does seem like more lesbians and trans men seem to get diagnosed, at least compared with gay men and trans women (or maybe more open to sharing?)
     
  13. Canterpiece

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    Some people are just oblivious to such issues. I remember getting into trouble once because a maths teacher thought that I was being lazy. She looked at my paper and saw that I'd written the questions wrong (and as a result had given the wrong answers). When she saw this she made an example of me in front of everyone. Her reasoning being that I must be so lazy that I must have not even looked at the board and decided to make up my own questions instead. I tried explaining to her that I'd read it wrong, but she told me that she didn't want to hear any excuses.

    There are people out there with a rather linear view of intelligence. Assuming that if you show capability in a significant amount of subjects, that you must be good at what are deemed the basics, otherwise you're either faking for attention or are just too lazy to put the effort in. I've quite literally been driven to tears because of being frustrated with not making enough progress.

    You learn ways to work around it. At least I've made it this far. Call it naive, but I want to be the person that would've given younger me hope. That's what I aspire to.

    Personally, if someone guessed the word, I'd probably assume that the person thought I didn't know the word or was getting annoyed at me for taking too long.
     
  14. Marble Jar

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    Yes, i think you may be right. Or some might be less able to hide it?
     
  15. Marble Jar

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    Haha why would a kid do that? I hope that teachers are given more information when they are training these days about different disabilities because it could make such a difference to their methods.

    That makes me think of this quote: "If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." One person's basics are another person's rocket science.

    That's a great aspiration! Stick with that!

    Ok, i'll continue just waiting then the next time i'm in that situation.

    How do you feel about labels? If you were to be given a diagnosis of something like Autism, would that be a relief?
     
  16. Canterpiece

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    Hmm. Well, there are positives and negatives. I think it would depend on what the diagnosis turned out to be. However, I would be concerned on how it might affect my job prospects since I already have a disadvantage in that area and it probably wouldn't help. I would also be worried that people might start pitying me and treating me differently which I wouldn't want.

    At this point in my life, I don't think it would actually help me. I'd just be learning what I basically already know about myself. Especially since I'm fairly independent and I've mainly learnt how to cope and save face. Besides, I would be a bit surprised if it turned out that I was on the spectrum. Personally I think that BAP would be more likely. I know that I have traits, but they don't tend to impair me most of the time. Apparently I can come across as strange, but someone once told me that it was in a refreshing way.

    There are moments where it's awkward to explain my behaviour to others. Such as when I went to that event mentioned in the student kitchen example. I went on a trip earlier on that day where a tutor found me crying in the public toilets (it was out of exhaustion from the sensory overload). When people started to get worried, I went along with an excuse about being a sore loser since I'd lost at a game during the trip. Admittedly I tend to find myself in these weird lies sometimes because they're easier to explain than the truth. Don't think they bought it fully but they didn't question any further. It becomes more difficult when you've known someone for a while though, but I try my best to explain things to such people.

    Bonus: https://www.thesprucepets.com/some-fish-can-climb-trees-3969450 :wink: Maybe there's hope for me yet.
     
    #96 Canterpiece, May 18, 2020
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  17. Marble Jar

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    Fair enough. Yeah there's no point in getting something like that if it would then hold you back.

    I agree, from what you've said, i don't think that you are Autistic. Yeah, strange doesn't need to be a negative thing.

    It is very difficult to get people to understand what exactly you mean by sensory overload. I know some people who carry a little flashcard to explain it, that they can show to someone if they are upset like that.

    I would say you shouldn't lie out of embarrassment about it. But that could be because i can't lie to save my life.

    Haha climbing fish!! Well there you go. I guess some of them fly, so why not!
     
  18. Mk Smith

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    I was diagnosed with mild aspergers when I was little. I’m not sure exactly when because my mom only told me when I was in eighth grade. I remember being mad at her because everyone else in my family knew about it before me. She always says it’s nothing to be embarrassed about but the fact that she never likes to bring it up kinda says other wise. It took me a long time to accept this about myself and people really wouldn’t know unless I told them. I’ve gotten so good at masking to the point where I think my family forgets sometimes that I’m on the spectrum. For instance when I’m in the car I always like to listen to my own music with headphones. Even if the radio is playing I need to have the headphones in. I don’t know how to explain it but I like having the music block out everything. My family always thinks I’m being so rude and they talk about how weird it is when they think I can’t hear them. I also don’t like having certain types of textures for clothes and am really sensitive about the textures of food. It’s also hard for me to understand certain social situations and people’s motivations on social media and stuff like that. It feels like I’m on the outside looking in or I’m left out of a joke. I have this hyperfocus where my mind will stay on a single topic for days Thinking out every angle. I remember one time when I was little I wanted a boat for some reason. I was obsessed with getting a small dingy for a week and couldn’t focus on anything else but that boat. Yet then my mind moved on to something else and I totally forgot about the boat. School is really easy for me and I get all As without even trying. I’m really good at taking tests and will get good marks even though I don’t study. I’ve gotten very good at hiding how much I struggle from my family to the point where I don’t think they even realize that social situations are hard for me. I have a delayed reaction and it will take me a while to realize that the other person doesn’t care about what I’m saying or are disinterested. I don’t have much of a filter and sometimes that comes off as rude when I don’t mean it to be. Anyways sorry for the ranting but i thought this thread was super interesting and wanted to share my experience.
     
  19. Marble Jar

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    Hi MK! Thanks for your sharing your insights.

    I would have been frustrated if my family knew before me too. I agree they must sometimes forget otherwise they wouldn't think you're being rude wearing headphones.

    Clothes that are too tight drive me crazy. I can't bear feeling restricted by the material. And i hate food that has a slippery texture. Stuff like jelly or eggs.

    I deleted my social media once i wasn't a student anymore as i just couldn't understand half of what was going on. I know i miss whole chunks out of what people mean.

    Yeah, i have to process a topic in so much detail to be able to move on from it. As you say, thinking out every angle. It's very hard to think about anything else when my mind is full of something that has caught my attention.

    Wow, that's cool about your grades. I didn't have that superpower unfortunately. Do you know what career path you would like to choose?

    Haha i'm the same with not noticing boredom for a while. And even when i do, i have to try to curb the urge to carry on with the topic, because i can't get it out of my head. I know people find me rude sometimes, but it's never my intention. I'm always trying my best to be socially acceptable, despite how it might appear.

    Don't worry, it didn't sound like a rant to me.