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Asperger's Syndrome Message Board
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:07 AM   #1
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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.

 
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Old 04-28-2005, 11:19 AM   #2
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Re: mild asperger's/ autism or just lack of social skills?

Hey, you sound just like me for the most part. I don't think it's anything to worry about. I was wondering the same thing for a while, but my psychiatrist said that I'm not autistic at all--if anything, a little OCD. (Trying to overanalyze everything, lol.) He brushed me off to a counselor. So, if it's something that is really affecting your life and functioning, get with a psych and let him evaluate you--but I don't think you have Aspergers, gathering from the info in your post. I'm also an introvert and had a hard time learning to be friendly, growing up, like you mentioned. I'm finding out there's nothing WRONG with that, but it makes things a bit difficult in a world full of extraverts. So, I guess the only options for us are to either learn to deal with them or avoid them. Anyhow, chill, girl!

 
Old 04-29-2005, 09:30 AM   #3
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Re: mild asperger's/ autism or just lack of social skills? (Long)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonvaz
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.
Hi, me again. I just reread your post--this part is so me! I don't understand why I can be such a good writer, artist, poet, but I find SPEAKING so difficult. Aren't both speaking and writing functions of the left brain? It's so weird. Anyway, I think it's just a personality type. Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs? I'm an INFP.

 
Old 04-29-2005, 03:06 PM   #4
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Re: mild asperger's/ autism or just lack of social skills?

I haven't taken that test, but yes, I do think part of my difficulty speaking is due to being an introvert. I read an article once with research that said extroverts rely more on their short-term memory, which is more accessible when they're talking, and introverts use long-term memory, so you end up taking longer to think because you have more to process through, so that might explain why we can't just talk off the top of our heads. Here's an article about it: [url]http://observer.thecentre.centennialcollege.ca/life/introvert102302.htm[/url]

I don't think there's anything "wrong" with me now, I did when I was younger because of the way I was treated. People still seem to judge me for it, most people I run into are extroverts so I have a hard time avoiding them, and if I knew how to deal with them that would be great. It is something that seriously affects my life, I've never had a boyfriend and right now I don't even have friends. I agree I probably don't have what would be diagnosed as Asperger's or autism but for me it goes beyond just my personality. I'm just trying to figure out why certain things are so difficult for me.

 
Old 04-29-2005, 08:02 PM   #5
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Re: mild asperger's/ autism or just lack of social skills?

My daughter is 15 and diagnosed with non-verbal learning disorder and ADHD. She is more verbal that me but her disorder is way more severe than mine in ways. I have both of her disorders. You sound alot like me but mine has been my entire life. For example, today I was on the bus and to younger ladies were talking about child birth and they knew I was older, I'm 45. So I told them my stories of having 4 children which were pretty frightening. Anyways, the one lady basically told me I scared the girl that was pregnant to death. Well, they asked and I told them.
I know I lack common sense, judgement but I don't know what I'm saying wrong so I try not to worry about people getting angry. I'll never fit in their crowd or anyone else's crowd. I have my own beliefs and won't conform to another's just to make them happy. So there you go. I have no friends but I have my children and that's how I make it day to day. I couldn't even have a husband as i picked 3 bad ones and divorced 3 times. Yep, I have been told I am gifted in writting, my other daughter is gifted in music. Another daughter had some of the same characteristics. And don't worry about the OCD characteristics because it is part of the autism spectrum. People hear OCD and they turn away but we don't have full blown OCD. I always played by myself and still do things by myself. I'm talkative at times, and when I am, everyone starts questioning about me. When I was little, it was a horrible lonely world and no one knew I had a problem, but I knew something was wrong.

 
Old 05-10-2005, 02:02 PM   #6
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Re: mild asperger's/ autism or just lack of social skills?

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Last edited by sonvaz; 12-04-2006 at 08:42 PM.

 
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