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Autistic vs. Quirky, Eccentric, Unique, Obsessive

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Old 07-03-2004, 06:34 AM   #1
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el_9_el HB User
Autistic vs. Quirky, Eccentric, Unique, Obsessive

I'm 20 years old and seem to have some symptoms of autism. I've never said so explicitly. My mum has commented on some of my habits and their similarity to those of an autistic child, but I'm positive she doesn't believe I HAVE autism.

It seems to me that everyone has varying degress of autistic behaviours. So what exactly is it that defines the condition?

I've always received good grades in school (being branded as "gifted" when tested in early schooling and receiving a score of 99.85 for my final highschool exam). I can become absorbed by maths and also have a fascination with science. I love words too.
I'm not good with physical contact - I don't like it particularly. It makes me nervous. I don't hug or kiss friends or family. I don't like people getting too close (physically or emotionally).
I like to avoid cracks in the pavement and I have an illogical idea of what is "good luck" to stand on, and what is "bad luck" eg. white line is good luck, but yellow is bad luck.
I prefer different foods not to touch one another on my plate and I like to eat all of one thing, before consuming any of the next. eg. I'll eat all of my peas, followed by all of my carrot, followed by my fillet of steak, followed by my mashed potato (usually working from least preferred, to most liked food).
I have a fascination for collections of things. As a child, I loved having huge bags of colourful marbles that I could order and sort depending on size and colour etc. I loved collections of gemstones, stamps, toys - anything that i could sort.

There are more things...but I definitely do not lack the ability to think from other people's perspectives. I almost do this exessively - ALWAYS considering their outlook and being able to justify the opinion of people who are very rarely understood and with whom I don't agree. Does this mean I don't have autism?

I have quite a circle of friends but haven't had successful relationships(probaby because of my awkwardness and withdrawl from physical conatct). My friends know my nature and habits but seem to view me as quirky rather than autistic it seems.

I guess I'm just curious. I cannot deny that I have some symptoms...but I function well enough. I don't really need to worry whether I have the disorder or not, but I'd be curious to hear what any of you thinks about me or my outlook.

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Old 07-03-2004, 07:02 AM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2004
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emery2 HB User
Re: Autistic vs. Quirky, Eccentric, Unique, Obsessive

I think the only real way to know is to see a psychiatrist. Check with your family doctor to find one with a good reputation. There are certain "trademarks" of autism, but I don't feel like I know enough to rattle them off to you! Have any of your teachers ever questioned your parents about this? How about you doctor? I think it's great that you're trying to find the answer on your own - Good Luck!!

Old 07-03-2004, 11:00 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2004
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vjturn HB User
Re: Autistic vs. Quirky, Eccentric, Unique, Obsessive

You need to be evaluated by a group of trained experts (If you desire) to be diagnosed. Just as many adults are being diagnosed and treated for ADHD, many adults are now asking for assessment and assistance with ASD issues.
Good Luck!

Old 07-15-2004, 07:37 AM   #4
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sody-pop HB User
Re: Autistic vs. Quirky, Eccentric, Unique, Obsessive

I'm 24 years old and feel very similar to the way you do el 9 el. I didn't even consider that I may have a 'disorder' until my nephew was born. He has full autism, he is unable to communicate effectivly and can be quite a handful. He has been in a school for autistic children in Calgary, AB since he was three years old (he's six now) and is adjusting well, but still he is very different.

In reading about autism I discovered aspergers and basically didn't give it a lot of thought. Then one day my sister mentioned that she was talking with another mother from my nephews class and they started discussing aspergers. Later that night my sister called me and during our conversation she mentioned how a lot of aspergers symptoms seemed to fit me. So, I started doing some research on my own and it did seem probable. I met with my doctor who refered me to a psychologist who interviewed me over a few session and he basically concurred with my sis. I probably do have aspergers syndrom, but in reality it affects me very little. I was content as a 'quirky' person, and don't think that having a label for my 'disorder' really changed that very much.

Some of the stuff you mentioned struck me though (ie. the stepping on things, eating foods in order) because I have similar personality characteristics.

If you really think you may fall into the autistic spectrum I would encorage you to look into it further. There are a lot of things that I do that I didn't realize were out of the ordinary until I started to really think about my actions and my thoughts in an analytical manner. Also, like you, I graduated from high school and univerity at the top of my classes and my IQ is in the 160's. The ironic part about that is that all through my elementary school years (before I was even in my teens) my teachers discussed with my parents that I may need 'special education' because I wasn't paying attention/learning in classes. I don't really recall now what I was like then, but basically the school and my family determined that I wasn't being challenged enough at school and they let me skip a grade, and then in junior high I skipped another grade. That was when I really started to perform well as a student, once I was at a level where I started being challenged. My parents knew that I wasn't developmentally challenged because even at that early age I was taking music lessons and excelled at that, as well as my other hobbies at home.

Keep in mind, aspergers wasn't added to the dsm until the late 80's or early 90's, so at that time autism was even less understood and talked about than it is today.

Basically, my advice to you is that even if you find that you are in the autistic spectrum don't let that make you feel like you need to change your behavior. Being who you are is OK, even if you're a bit quirky or different from everyone else. It's nice to know that there is a reason for being the way you are, but just being different isn't a bad thing. If other people have a problem with any of your behaviour, then at least make sure you have the knowledge to be able to explain yourself to them (if you feel like it's necessary).

Also, as for the apathy thing, I too almost over-relate to other people. I can really get inside of a person's head and see their perpective. That ability alone does not rule out autism/aspergers. There is this great Adlai Stevenson quote that goes like this: "A free society is a place where it's safe to be unpopular." and living in the free world I think that sums up my position pretty well...

Good luck, best wishes.


Last edited by sody-pop; 07-15-2004 at 07:44 AM. Reason: spilling mistakes :P

Old 09-17-2004, 09:40 AM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2004
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fallen_2000 HB User
Re: Autistic vs. Quirky, Eccentric, Unique, Obsessive

well I just poped in to let you know you are not alone. I am very much like you in being difrent... From eating only one thing at a time to collections of stuff most people would just throw out. but as for not letting anyone close well I know that feeling very well I have a social anxiaty problem. I had seen many theripists and such to over come it.. Got married had a son... Normal life, But the marige feel and i decided to get a divorce...and now all those feelings and such i over came once are back 3 fold..... so rember if you do find the answers they may only be temporary nothing in this world is difenate... But if you can find happness in who you are who cares what anyone else thinks.....
(You all laugh because I'm difrent, I laugh because you're all the same)

Old 09-17-2004, 10:33 AM   #6
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SheRa HB User
Exclamation Re: Autistic vs. Quirky, Eccentric, Unique, Obsessive

Do you flip lights on or lock doors a number of times or anything like that? Some of the things you mentioned sound more like OCD than autism. Like the step on the crack break your mothers back thing.

Old 09-19-2004, 09:49 PM   #7
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tricksaturnsc2 HB User
Re: What it sounds like

To me it sounds sort of like asperger's which i have, i don't know why schizoid features seem to come to mind, but "gifted, eccentric, keeps to self mostly" is what asperger's is.

It is a high functioning form of autism (rainman was not really high functioning, he was extremely low functioning yet he was gifted like w/ AS), & people are usually above average intelligence.

Old 08-13-2006, 08:58 AM   #8
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9CatMom HB User
Re: Autistic vs. Quirky, Eccentric, Unique, Obsessive

El 9 El,

You share quite a bit in common with me. I have a lot of characteristics of Asperger's, but there are some I don't.

AS characteristics I possess include:

A good vocabulary (I too, always scored high on vocabulary tests).
Unusual interests, both in kind and intensity. (Currently, I am fascinated with Roger Bannister, who I suspect was also a high-functioning person with Asperger's, and a man who overcame substantial obstacles to succeed. I identify strongly with people like him, not because I'm remotely athletic, but because he used his intelligence to overcome difficulties in his life.)
Social difficulties and shyness, although these are improving.

However, I don't think literally and can understand figures of speech. In fact, I know the history behind common figures of speech. I really don't consider literal interpretation of figures of speech a serious defect, because all of them had a literal, historical basis and, in fact, people with AS come very close to the historical interpretation of the said figure of speech, such as "let the cat out of the bag."

There were no significant speech delays and, in fact, speech, reading, writing, etc. were always the strongest areas of my development. My symptoms are a bit more subtle, usually manifesting themselves in moments of preoccupation, absentmindedness, and "dumb" moments, in which I can't perform perfectly ordinary activities. Still, I would like to overcome these and become the best person I can be.

Old 08-15-2006, 04:29 PM   #9
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nance484 HB User
Re: Autistic vs. Quirky, Eccentric, Unique, Obsessive 18 and am currently looking into aspergers. ive always wondered tho. and ur post sounded a bit like my personility. strange habits of having to have things just rite, fixing things,certain arrangments or ways of doing things, i will hug my family constantly alot-only cos i feel like a disappointment and dont want them to go off me or sumthing, but other people im extremely funny about. i can almost feel the awkwardness radiating off pple who even stand too close-it infuriates me and makes me want to run and hide, im jumpy if sum1 touches me, very shy and timid and quiet, i live in another little world of my strange obbsessions which have no logical basis-i obbsess over people, situations, places and other strange things. i get obbsessions with tv shows or artists and i will research them for hours, talk constantly, daydream bout it all the time.

soically im rubbish. i have a small group of freinds that im happy enuff with but cudnt tell them everything or all my feelings to-im bad at expressing my feelings unless its anger. with strangers i freeze up and become incapable of stringing sentences togther, sumtimes i loose understanding, i cant interperet what theyre saying and i take them totally wrong-like i dnt account of the persons tone so i get the wrong impression.i have a bad time with things like teachers and getting jobs-im afraid to even ask for vaccancies cos i think they can c how inept i am.

im quiet slow, easily distracted, not naturally smart i struggle with maths and understanding of logic with it, in primary skool i was in extra learning classes for everything, i was behind and slow, parents wer always in, but gradully i struggle with it just-now im a high acheiver cos ive had to work my *** off and am going to UNI hopefully.

now i still feel weird and different and it is noticable. im not good socially, i keep to myself alot(have hid depression etc), but i think an awful lot, very deep, and what may seem completly unfounded ideas, i get angry over stupid things and go hysterivcal as i did wen i was little(throwing, hitting,kicking,screaming). im a bit strange i suppose. i was thinking of going to the docs about depression but poss looking into the likes of aspergers or add. what u think. and good luck i think u shud def try and c about urself-r u any more similar to me? xox

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