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Asperger's Syndrome Message Board
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:17 AM   #1
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anonyme221 HB User
Mild AS?

Hey everyone. This is my first time posting, and I'm wondering if I might have AS and debating whether or not to seek a professional diagnosis. For the record, I'm a medical student, so I've learned about AS in school and a couple of my friends and I have noticed that the general traits and symptoms fit me to a tee (or, if not now, certainly did when I was a child).

A bit of history:
I had no issues whatsoever with language development (started speaking in full, grammatically correct sentences at the age of 9 months and currently speak 4 languages). I could read chapter books by the end of kindergarten and had a pretty substantial vocabulary as a kid. I do not, nor have I ever, however, struggled with abstract concepts or taken everything literally. I've always understood things like metaphors, idioms, and figures of speech, and really enjoy them.

As a child I did, however, have a very narrow window of subjects that interested me. My teachers were constantly upset that the only books I cared to read were Calvin and Hobbes comics, biographies of Helen Keller, and the Harry Potter series. As I got into middle school I managed to branch out and now don't mind picking up new titles, but as a kid those were some pretty monumental struggles.

I've struggled somewhat with social interactions--less so as I've gotten older. As a child, I remember my parents working with me for a long time on things like eye contact, shaking hands, not interrupting, what conversation subjects were appropriate for what settings, etc. I'd often go on long-winded soliloquies about my favorite subjects, and to this day I have a hard time "reading" others' body language. When I was in elementary school I purchased a book entitled "A Smart Girl's Guide to Manners" by the American Girl Company, and that was an absolute godsend because it explained what the proper behavior was for a variety of social engagements. This isn't as big of a problem as it used to be, and for the most part I do very well in social settings. I do feel, however, that I learn social graces cognitively while most others pick them up intuitively. I don't care much for small talk and can be, as people describe it, "a little socially awkward," and often seem (and feel!) like I'm on a different wavelength, so to speak.

I've got a small circle of very good, very close friends, and this has always been the case (I'm also an introvert, so that might just be par for the course). Most of my friends, however, are also "different" somehow (gay/lesbian/transgendered, Aspies, synesthetes, or just really goofy, brilliant musicians and scientists), so we all enjoy one another's quirks and just accept each other for who we are, which is awesome.

The kicker here, I think, is that while I often feel like I'm "on the outside looking in" when I interact with NT's (or "the Normals," as I call them ;-) ), I've never experienced the "clinically significant impairments in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning," as described in the DSM-IV. I've got friends, I get on well with my family, I've held down a part-time job for several years and get on well with coworkers and customers, I've had several romantic relationships, and I've done very well academically and am doing well in medical school. Is it possible to have a "mild" case of AS--noticeable, but not necessarily a problem? Should I even bother seeking a formal diagnosis, since I'm doing fine? Any insights or input that y'all could offer will be much appreciated!

 
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