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Old 02-21-2005, 10:24 PM   #1
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Question "Mild" Asperger's or PDDNOS or something else?

Is there such a thing as "mild AS" or is that just another word for PDDNOS? I never heard of Asperger's Syndrome until recently, but looking back over my own life I wonder if I don't have a mild case of AS or something like it that was simply never diagnosed. I'm in my late 30s now and have never had my head shrunk, although there were several occasions in my life when I think it should have been. I know you're not doctors, but many of you have personal experience with someone who has AS and I hope someone can comment.

A quick list of highlights:
* My mother told me that until about age 2 I used to have sessions where I would bang my forehead against the wall or the crib repetetively until she heard the thumping and came to pick me up. I grew out of it.
* When I was 9yo we moved and the new school tested me for grade placement. I had reading comprehension and vocabulary at a 16yo to 18yo level, math slightly elevated. IQ around 140. I did not skip any grades, but was consistently placed in the classes with advanced subjects or where new teaching programs were being evaluated.
* Every report card I got in my life said "talks too much, refuses to do homework or class assignments, daydreams in class, shows potential to do much better". Sometimes when I was daydreaming it seemed more like I just stopped thinking entirely. One of my teachers once complained of the "injustice" that I was able to score 99% on all my tests (and therefore pass the grade) after paying so little attention and doing so little work.
* I don't know if it's OCD or not, but I have had a variety of facial ticks that have come and gone over the years and now I crack my joints constantly.
* I have obsessive computer habits. I'm a total geek, and lose all sense of time when sitting at the keyboard - I routinely stay late at work because I want to "do one more thing before I go home", and at home my family gets angry when they wake up in the morning and find out I've been on the computer all night long.
* I've never had more than one close friend (at a time) in my life. I was victimized by bullies right up until graduation because I was different.
* I have a terrible time with small talk (lots of awkward silences when I don't know what to say, unusual speech pattern when I do as I'm often caught in the middle of a sentence struggling for words) and am very slow to take a hint when someone is beating around the bush or using innuendo. I like having conversations with real information exchange but don't like to chat much because I have a hard time figuring out when or how to end it. On the other hand, I have no problem with colloqualisms like "raining cats and dogs", which as I understand it rules out a diagnosis of Asperger's.
* With very few exceptions I have never been able to bring myself to focus on another person's eyes when when having a conversation. Most of the time I either stare right through them (a coping mechanism?) or involuntarily shift my gaze somewhere else.
* I was suicidal through most of my 20's and made several half-hearted attempts but somehow the preservation instinct always over-ruled the will to die or someone would save me without knowing it was even an attempt. I'm fine now.
* I don't normally like to be touched, although I do grow accustomed to people who are close to me.
* I'm a good driver, which is also contrary to typical AS. I find as I get older I'm having a harder and harder time judging gaps in oncoming traffic, and often have to wait for the yellow light to turn left.

 
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Old 02-22-2005, 02:41 AM   #2
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Re: "Mild" Asperger's or PDDNOS or something else?

"I'm in my late 30s now and have never had my head shrunk"

LOL I loved that

In any case it sounds like you should see someone, nobody here can tell you if you have AS or something else.

By the way OCD does NOT cause Tics. Tourette's is linked with Tics, not OCD.

Also, being a good driver does not have to exclude AS although a range of information processing, motor- and multitasking difficulties are integral to autistic spectrum disorders. But of course not everyone has the same ones - otherwise diagnosis would be a heck of a lot easier
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Last edited by Redhead23; 02-22-2005 at 02:44 AM.

 
Old 02-27-2005, 06:08 AM   #3
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Re: "Mild" Asperger's or PDDNOS or something else?

My partner has AS, which I think is quite mild. Do remember that Autism is a spectrum, so it can be very mild, or very severe or anywhere in between.

My partner can be quite obsessive (but so can I, and I don't have AS). He does not like to make eye contact with people, unless he knows them well. I think his written communication is a lot better than his verbal communication, but I am the one who rambles, gets off the point and loses my place when I am talking. He always knows exactly where I was when I forget what I was saying. He is overly trusting, and although he has friendships with more than one person at a time, he has in the past chosen to be friends with the wrong kind of people - people who have manipulated him and taken advantage of his good nature. I think he found it difficult to say no to them. It was easier just to go along. His co-ordination is not too good (his writing is quite messy), but he has not learnt to drive, so I don't know how good he would be at that. He also has a diagnosis of dyspraxia.

But he's good at typing and he plays lots of video games, and has never had any problems with co-ordination in that sense. He always understands metaphors like "raining cats and dogs". He doesn't often say inappropriate things to people, and he is able to understand hints and subtlety. He does need direct instruction sometimes though. For example, if I said "clean the house" he would have problems where to start. If I said "clean the house by picking things up off the floor, vacuuming, then doing the washing up, drying the dishes and putting them away" he would be okay.

We were taking about his diagnosis last night, and he said that, as he was diagnosed as an adult (he was 18 at the time), that could imply that his AS is quite mild (in that it had not been picked up on before).

By the way, what does PDDNOS stand for? I am British, so we sometimes use different words. (e.g. we use GP instead of PCP - that one had me really confused!)

 
Old 02-27-2005, 08:12 AM   #4
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Re: "Mild" Asperger's or PDDNOS or something else?

I've had many of the same symptoms throughout my life.
Thomas Edison had many Autistic-like qualities.

If you're in your late thirties, you've got a family, a job, and you seem to be doing just fine, what would a person do with a diagnosis of 'mild AS'?
If you're conscious of all your quirks, do you take some sort of drug to change them, or do you just accept them and live your life?
Could a diagnosis of 'mild AS' make a person eligible for sort of benefits, or could it be a liability?
At this point in your life, what is the point?

 
Old 02-28-2005, 03:52 PM   #5
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Re: "Mild" Asperger's or PDDNOS or something else?

"PDD-NOS" is Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified. That's the medical diagnosis for someone with PDD that doesn't conform to the clinical diagnostic criteria for either the classic autism or AS sub-types.

The reason I would still consider an official diagnosis at my age is so that I can rule out other possible causes for my problems, explain my childhood, and alert my family. My brother had many of the same problems growing up, and his daughter is about to enter school. If AS is at all tied to genetics then she could be at risk. If my brother and I were to be diagnosed then she would get more attention.

 
Old 02-28-2005, 10:23 PM   #6
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Re: "Mild" Asperger's or PDDNOS or something else?

That's pretty lame.

Advocate for your niece but don't be a victim.

 
Old 02-28-2005, 10:30 PM   #7
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Re: "Mild" Asperger's or PDDNOS or something else?

I disagree with Mango. I think a diagnosis (whether it is AS or something else) can be benificial. I think it may help explain some things that you have gone through. It may help you become more accepting of yourself and others. It may help you in making future decisions. And it just might get your family (if this applies to you) off your back about little things that don't really matter and you can't help anyway.

 
Old 03-02-2005, 12:10 AM   #8
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Re: "Mild" Asperger's or PDDNOS or something else?

I'm not being a victim for my niece. If she benefits then it's just a fringe benefit.

The real issue is that I've been suffering in silence for going on 40 years and I'm no longer happy trying to live up to other people's idealistic expectations. My initial problems in the education system were relatively mild compared to many people with AS, and as a result I worked hard at hiding them or denying them even as my grades spiralled. The next thing you know I'm hiding/denying my stress, alcohol and drug problems, sexual deviance and suicide attempts. For all they know, I *liked* not having friends for most of my life, etc. From my parents' perspective, my stim activities are just "bad habits" or "nervous activity" that I should have out-grown long ago. I'm tired of hearing "you really should learn to" about my speech and eye-contact problems. The list goes on. For me, having an official diagnosis would mean I could finally break down the wall of deception and let them know my life hasn't been just a series of highlights. I could tell them what's wrong and why, not to mention how unhelpful the nagging has been. My mother would never accept a self-diagnosis anyway -- she'd either deny everything or else insist I go to a doctor.

 
Old 03-02-2005, 07:55 AM   #9
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Blue102 HB User
Re: "Mild" Asperger's or PDDNOS or something else?

Trying to understand yourself is never lame.

 
Old 03-02-2005, 09:17 AM   #10
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Re: "Mild" Asperger's or PDDNOS or something else?

No, it's fine to try and understand yourself. Life is weird. Many of us have problems that may have caused us to make bad decisions or behave in a self-destructive manner. I guess it would be nice to pinpoint an affliction to blame rather than yourself, and it can't hurt to see a professional about getting help if that's what you need. It sounds like you're not very happy.
I just worry sometimes that drug and chemical companies get more ammunition for their argument that there is no empidemic of Autism, just more people getting that diagnosis.
Ask God for help too.

 
Old 03-13-2005, 05:25 PM   #11
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Re: "Mild" Asperger's or PDDNOS or something else?

I too had a lot of those same things in my life, however many people have certain traits and social problems without being in the asd category.
Without being able to see you as a child, a doctor would probably tell you that you just have a problem with anxiety, especially in social situations.
That being an explanation why you seek activities that are not social.

 
Old 03-14-2005, 04:10 AM   #12
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Re: "Mild" Asperger's or PDDNOS or something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte63
Without being able to see you as a child, a doctor would probably tell you that you just have a problem with anxiety, especially in social situations.
If that was the case then there would be no such thing as an adult Aspie as at some point everyone would be rediagnosed - "I know another doctor told you that you had Asperger's when you were a child, but it turns out you really just have social phobia. Please pay the front desk on the way out. Thanks."

 
Old 04-20-2005, 11:18 AM   #13
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Re: "Mild" Asperger's or PDDNOS or something else?

WOW you sound a lot like me, I always thought it was OCD, even had people make jokes saying you have OCD, or anxiety. But a lot of the things you do sound like me how can I find out more info on Mild Asperger's or PDDNOS to rule out these problems. I've been suffering from something my whole life and cannot figure out what it is, my husband and family even notice and call me weird or joke and say it's her OCD again. Maybe If I can get help I can lead a normal life.

 
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