mild asperger's/ autism or just lack of social skills? (Long)
I am a 29 year old female and am now considering that I might have mild Asperger's or autism or hyperlexia. If someone could give me an honest opinion, I would appreciate it. As a child I was very quiet, and shy, and as I grew older it wasn't considered strange until I entered high school mainly because I did so well in school that I was just thought of as a geek.
Once I entered high school, I quickly realized I had a problem talking to people. It wasn't just social anxiety, but I felt like I had nothing to say, words would just not come to me and I seemed to have very rudimentary social skills compared to everyone my age. I think now I came across as conceited or hostile because I didn't know how to be friendly and say Hello, and I never smiled at people so people sometimes thought I was being haughty or giving them a dirty look. Because I was supposedly so smart (I was told I was an excellent writer and gifted at writing poetry), I couldn't understand why verbally, in real life, I was an idiot. I feel like writing and speaking are very different things for my brain.
As far as eye contact, I had a staring problem. Most of the time I wouldn't even notice most people walking down the hall, but if I liked a guy I would end up looking at them, every time I saw them. One guy I did this to, tried to talk to me and I ended up ignoring him because I froze up due to anxiety, and he thought I was a tease and was playing with him. My senior year I was also referred to as "that girl doesn't talk" and was generally considered a weirdo. People also seemed to think I was cold.
I don't usually have a problem interpreting facial expressions, I do have a problem with my own lack of facial expressions, although I think that may have to do with depression. My face easily conveys when I am anxious or nervous though.
I also have a pacing habit especially when I'm thinking about something, my mother hates it. I don't remember any stimming when I was younger, except stuff like going around in circles to make myself dizzy although I think that's normal. I do have one memory of my 6th grade spelling bee when it down to me and this other girl on the stage for maybe 30 minutes and I started a kind of back and forth motion with my body which must have looked really strange. I don't think I have problems with imagination, or with understanding people's feelings(problem with communication, social cues, what and what not to say), or obsessional interests. I do have an obsessive personality where I can become obsessed with something but not to the degree that I've seen described in Aspergers.
I have had through my life an amazing lack of common sense. I have been easily stepped on and taken advantage of. I don't know, I really could go on for awhile, but basically, I grew up very sheltered and lonely, with immigrant parents who never taught me any social skills. I am trying to figure out if the way I am now is due to a condition in the autism spectrum, or if I just didn't learn the necessary social skills as I was growing up. Or maybe I'm unlucky enough that it is both.
Thank you for any feedback.
Last edited by sonvaz; 04-28-2005 at 10:58 AM.