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Females and Aspergers

(31 Posts)

I have seen a few threads recently about adult females wondering if they have aspergers. I recently came across a thread on a different website which pulled together information from different websites about aspergers in females and how it can differ to Aspergers in males. Although very long I have reproduced it below, with links to the original sources, in the hope it can help others as it has helped me.

All I would say is remember Aspergers (and autism) is aspectrum, thus nobody (or very few people) will tick every point made, and some people will tick more than others. Also every NT people could/will tick some.

turbonerd Tue 12-Aug-14 18:44:49

Hello BethlehemSteel, hope it's ok to Write back.
I lost my massive similar post to Yours, and could not build up the courage to Write it again.
I read lots and lots, Rudy Simone and Lianne Holliday Willey and so on, and lots on the internet. Took the tests where I always seem to end up on the highly likely to have asperger, and I feel like I'm failing at even that.
I came out of a rather abusive relationship last year, and it was in the quest to work out my little daughter, with the thought of her autism being somewhat inherited, that I started reading up on it.
I felt so selfish doing it (not sure how I can explain that one. It's a fear of the "oh you think you're so special and precious" and somehow asperger is a bit cool now. Though it is not cool when you sit there wondering how you could miss all those blindingly obvious social Clues. They just flew right over my head) But I feel a lot calmer and happier in my own skin having accepted that it's most likely what explains me. I can then take precautions not to do too much and get the overload, and I can quitely soothe myself when I get a bit sad for being odd by going on the aspiegirl blogs and such.
I will not og to the dr, nor seek an official dx, and I'm very cautious about talking to People about it. because it's not obvious, and I get answers like oh, but you are really social and so on. Which is fine, I've learnt and adapted a lot since I was younger.
I'm just hoping this could be a good Place to talk to People when you suspect you may be, but not entirely sure.
I just had a friend commenting that I'm a lot more eccentric and forgetful than I seemed initially! I decided not to say anything because it seems better to let him Discover the quirks first and then I can try to explain.
I'm trying to remember the name of the blog that was really good. Will look for the link.

BethlehemSteel Tue 12-Aug-14 15:22:06

Hello,

I hope it's ok to join in here, but recently I have been wondering if I have Aspergers.

I'm 39 and have always felt "different" and "weird" and like I didn't fit in to any group. I put this down to being quiet, introverted & shy, lacking in self-confidence etc, but reading the list and some of the links, I'm starting to wonder if I do perhaps have Aspergers?

I did the AQ test and it came out as 31, although some of the questions I really struggled to answer as they were a bit ambiguous!

I've struggled with depression on & off since my late teens. I prefer my own company & really crave peace & quiet & solitude. I hate it when dp or the kids have the TV on too loud. I hate it when all the kids are in the same room making a racket - I get really anxious and crave my own space. That sounds awful now that I've written it down sad I hate to be interuptted and find it difficult to restart whatever I'm doing. I can focus & concentrate for hours & days on one topic though. I hate to jump about between things.

I struggle with friendships, frequently only having one intense friendship at a time. At school I had one "best friend", and could not cope if she went off with other people. At secondary school we fell out, and I was left on my own, unable to form other friendships. I suffered from bullying, which I've always put down as the reason I suffered later with lack of confidence etc. I remember being aged about 14, and going to dance class. I always sat on my own - I didn't realise I could go and sit with the other girls - I was waiting on them to invite me. To them, I must have looked stuck up and they probably thought that I thought I was too good to sit with them!

I've always been a bit of a tomboy - I hate girly stuff & getting dressed up etc. I was also top of the class at school, although I'm now wondering if indeed I am/was intelligent, or if I was just good at memorising stuff. I feel as if I may be "clever", but I'm probably a bit naive, possibly even gullible, and lack common sense!

I went to uni, and again only had 1 or 2 friends. I also had my first boyfriend and had an intense relationship with him. He was the focus of my attention, and of course my work suffered, I had terrible depression and also went on to self-harm. In the end, I failed my final year. I only got an ordinary degree, and it haunts me to this day.

My first job after uni was a clerical admin one. I felt it was beneath a "graduate", but looking back I really enjoyed having a clear goal each day, being left to organise things, basically being left alone to get on with things.

I panic in jobs if my instructions are too vague - I like to know exactly what is expected of me. Like others, I am almost obsessive about writing lists. I over-analyse things, wondering why this is this, or why they said that, and most of all, why am I like this and what is wrong with me?

I am a perfectionist - I feel such a failure if things don't go 100%, or I don't tick off everything on my to do list. I frequently focus on the negative and cannot see the progress I have made. Eg I have a degree, but because I failed my final year and didn't get honours, it doesn't matter to me and so I do not feel like I "have a degree".

I hate change. I like things to be done a certain way. I remember at work setting up a system for recording data, and it really stressed me out when a team member put a sheet in the wrong way round. Of course, it didn't matter one way or the other, but I knew it was in the wrong way round and I could not relax until I had sorted out the whole folder. Oh, other silly things like when hanging out the washing - I have to do it because the pegs go a certain way and have to be the same colour! If other family members do it, they do it "wrong", and I get stressed about it! The same with loading the dishwasher - there is "a way" to do it, and if it is done "wrong" then it freaks me out!

I hate being observed. I remember as a teenager, my mum coming in to my room to get me up, and she wouldn't leave till I did, and I absolutely hated this. I would not get out of bed till she left! Nowadays, I cannot do eg housework if dp is in the same room. Same at work - I like to be left alone - I hate being observed. Conversely though, I did do dancing as a child and had no problems performing on stage in front of strangers. I also played an instrument, and again enjoyed performing in concerts.

The one thing that really got me thinking about this recently though was that I realised I never make eye contact with people, not even my partner or parents or siblings. I think about the only people I can manage it with are my younger children. I can manage if I take my glasses off, because I can't see a damn thing without them!

I also realised recently when I was (forcing myself to) going to parent & child groups, that I gabble a lot when talking to people, and although I always considered myself a quiet person & a good listener, that actually I was panicking and talking a lot about myself, and frequently giving away far too much info about myself and more that I actually wanted to. And again, I realised I wasn't making eye contact with anyone.

So, that is some of the things that were making me think perhaps I did have Aspergers. However, I do think that I am very empathetic, I can imagine what it is like for other people, I enjoy reading both factual & fiction books. I did play imaginative games as a child, although I feel as if I cannot play like that with my children now.

I do think I "get" jokes etc. I sometimes struggle though with people asking me things - what their motive is? Perhaps this is where I fall into being naive. eg, when I was applying to uni, the course I wanted to do was oversubscribed, and I had to go to an interview. I remember them asking me "if you could not get onto this course, would you enrol in our other (not as exclusive) course instead?" I said "yes, of course!", being the people pleaser that I am, and it was only days later I realised what the actual intention of this question had been.

Also, I am a bit of a hoarder, and get terribly emotionally attached to things. I'm not sure how that fits with possible Aspergers? Dp can't understand how I can function in such chaos, but whenever he tries to "help" by decluttering, I get terribly anxious.

So, I'm not sure whether I do have Aspergers or not. I seem to fit in some ways but not in others. I'm not sure what to do about it. In a way I hope I am because that explains why I am the way I am, and maybe I could get help with coping mechanisms. I don't see my GP being too helpful though - I can imagine her saying what's the point because there is no treatment, or "oh you're just stressed & anxious or tired". Maybe I am?

Sorry this was so long!

turbonerd Fri 06-Jun-14 22:36:15

Oh, just lost big post. Anyway, ticked all boxes here, so that is that. Currently massive crush at work, and wondered why i was so childish again. Now i know.

"Aspie girls typically use their average to above-average intelligence to hide their social difficulties. Typically, they put a permanent smile on their faces and constantly try to please others."

Arranging dolls - used to set up the scene and take photos. Found myself earlier today, building a lego house for my boys and annoyed at them for playing with it

Never had a group of girl friends. One best girl friend, or played with boys. V rarely went out socially. Went to dancing classes until i was 16. Again, a large group of girls, but i only got on with two of them.
Now i have one girl friend, and see her rarely, so can cope with it.

My mum says as a young teenager i had to be forced to shower and wash my hair. Would often go all week without washing it.

Pretty much never did homework, nor practised my flute, yet did well with both. Didnt get to uni. Unfinished business degree. Currently studying biology degree with ou. Depression and anxiety since teenage years, self harm and not eating.

Food issues - two foodstuffs that if i taste them i will be sick (peanuts and butter, if you wondered)

• Stims to soothe when sad or agitated: rocking, face-rubbing, humming, finger flicking, leg bouncing, finger or foot-tapping, etc. - all of these except finger flicking. Also pull my hair out

• Similarly physical when happy: hand flapping, clapping, singing, jumping, running around, dancing, bouncing. - bouncy when happy

• Prone to temper or crying meltdowns, even in public, sometimes over seemingly small things due to sensory or emotional overload. - yes. My mum, dad and dh would agree with this 100%

I do stutter too, but not that much.

Re "can appear cold" dh says I give people dirty looks without realising it.
I interupt when people are talking

When I start watching or reading something, i obsess about it until i reach the end. Often reading all night, or watching a tv series in one go. Even if im not enjoying it.

Re "either hates sex or really enjoys" - i am one of those rare people who canorgasm from nipple stimulation only...

And it was, thank you so much! smile

Am currently a little curious about ds2s behaviour. Which then led me to dh's quirks, spotted a few in ds1, and now reading that, it is me.
What are the chances that i was aspie, empathised with aspie dh when we met, and now both children are? Am i just being a hypochondriac?

Will go through and mark off my quirks now...

Know it is a zombie thread, but am bumping it up in case information is helpful to others out there.

Joanna112 Sun 27-Oct-13 12:42:23

Hi .. I'm late coming to this thread. I have been married for 9 years to a man who was diagnosed with AS early this year.

Because, over the previous five years, I'd suffered from depression and hadn't realised what the problem was, I tried hard to find advice, resources and support. Over those years it became apparent that there is quite a lot of support etc for children/parents who have AS but little to nothing available for the adult partners of those with AS.

I successfully applied for a grant to set up a website that will be address this and am in the process of designing the site.

I would be so grateful to hear from anyone who is in the position of being in a relationship with an Aspie and could tell me what they think is needed from the website.

My own experience is that the diagnosis was hugely helpful. But it would have been so great to have been able to talk to others in the same position. I needed access to what the indicators are of AS, recommended resources, the names of counsellors, local support groups, the route to diagnosis, the difference between being just 'male' and AS! Etc, etc smile

I have already talked to the lady who diagnosed my husband. She is a published author and also holds workshops for professionals specialising in AS. She is happy to be associated with the site once it is up and running.

If you have any ideas, I would love to hear from you.

Best wishes, Joanna112 smile

CurrerBell Tue 16-Apr-13 10:40:28

Thanks thewhistler. I mentioned it to my GP last year but she was dismissive and said there is no point seeking a diagnosis as there is no support available... However my DS's support worker yesterday said that was rubbish! She mentioned about finding a counsellor who understands AS, as well. I had CBT last year but it was hard work and not terribly helpful.

I have been a SAHM for the past six years so work isn't an issue right now... I kind of feel like this is my personality, and I'm not sure I need a 'diagnosis' for that, but would like to understand my strengths and weaknesses better to avoid getting so stressed.

thewhistler Mon 15-Apr-13 23:59:53

A dx might help you at work, because they will need to make reasonable adjustments.

Not sure whether it would help otherwise, Although if you ever.go for counselling, it is sort finding a counsellor who knows about AS as otherwise it can be counterproductive.

CurrerBell Mon 15-Apr-13 20:34:51

Hi all, I posted on this thread last year - since then my DS has had a diagnosis of Aspergers with PDA.

I am still recognising more and more traits in myself... I feel like I've always pushed myself to do things that are outside my comfort zone, trying to fit in and appear 'normal' - but I get very anxious as a result. I don't know how much is due to upbringing - all of my close family have these traits too....

I was wondering - is it worth seeking a diagnosis? I'm not sure if I'd get one, or what difference it might make? I'd like to achieve a level of self-understanding and acceptance (with or without a diagnosis)... hopefully this is possible at the age of 36?!

I've already made the decision today to stop helping out at PTA social events (as I find it SO stressful, but feel guilt-tripped into helping out!). I can help the PTA in other ways, like doing the paperwork. I've been agonising over this for months, so it feels like a big step forward!

honey86 Sun 31-Mar-13 19:32:23

i tell you what it really causes problems for me sometimes... ive been a single mum for 4 years til i met my oh... now i cant let him in..., im not coping with the change at all and weve been rowing big time..

i just dont want to let anyone else in my little bubble. its destroyed nearly every relationship ive had and itll prob destroy this one too x

grapelovingweirdo Tue 19-Mar-13 23:50:35

I was diagnosed with autism when I was three, I scored 41 on the AQ test...love the op, you could have been describing me! I'm constantly feeling like I am juggling many balls in the air in a social situation and it exhausts me trying to remember what certain cues are and when to talk etc. it's been a problem my whole life. I didn't tell work for over three years. I then decided to tell them and was informed they had already guessed when I started. Go figure. All that effort and they had guessed and discussed it between them. Nope, not angry me...

KhloeRye Sun 17-Mar-13 23:59:21

i am 16 diagnosed when i was 11 or 12, and have grown up "faking it" and now come out as 16 on the AQ test but my Asperges is worse than it ever has been. I personally do not think the AQ test is a very good measure.

TalkieToaster Sat 16-Feb-13 00:37:17

My DS is going through assessment at the moment, which (yep, you guessed it) led me to research autism and aspergers and reading the descriptions of how females with aspergers are... Well. It was the first time in my life I've ever experienced that 'lightbulb' moment. It just explains my LIFE.

I mentioned it to my GP who was very dismissive and then went on to talk about other health issues I have. I raised it again at the end of the appointment and he said he'd refer me and that was it - I don't know anything about timescales or who I'm being referred to. He asked me why I thought I had Aspergers and I garbled off a few reasons because I was nervous, then he said there wasn't much point being diagnosed as an adult because there isn't any treatment for it. Nice. I like who I am, thank you very much, I just want to know if I have aspergers simply because it would explain so much about me and what I struggle with. I come out as 33 on the AQ test.

honey86 Fri 08-Feb-13 10:31:02

i scored 44 on the aq test... ask ur gp to refer you to urmental health team, a psychologist can do diagnostics. i was diagnosed by a psychologist psychoanalyst with a phD. he was the nuts x

honey86 Thu 07-Feb-13 22:03:40

i have aspergers, diagnosed early 2012 x

ProudAS Tue 29-Jan-13 13:40:26

I'm a 37 year old female diagnosed with Aspergers 7 years ago. We do exist but may be more likely than males to go undetected.

bee169 Sun 20-Jan-13 16:51:50

Since my son's diagnosis of ASD I have wondered about why I have struggled over the years, Reading this list makes this it so clear. I am an Aspie. So it would seem that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I don't see the point of getting a diagnosis at 34! What would that do for me??

VikingLady Wed 17-Oct-12 19:00:28

I have a gp appointment tomorrow morning to see how I go about being diagnosed. It is all so "me"!

Loving the idea of a meet up in the pub. It would look more like I have a normal social life. But AGlass No-one believes me either. I appear to be too good at faking it. If gp is useful I'll post again so other people know how to get a diagnosis!

lj73unique Fri 05-Oct-12 00:04:26

please help me??????wont pretend i read through all of that above...most of the initial post and quoty bits below it-to the point of tears...how do i get a investigation?assessment?diagnosis?
im forty(aaaaaaaaaaargh)run-n-hide in January-i have struggled with "me"-failing that other peoples attitudes\reactions to me all my life.i fall into so much of the asp thing its...well...its doing my head in-i bin depressed(despite my fight to the death bout it stance that id av a bloody cheek)i am anxiety disorder-the excessive jumpin,panic attacks and constant tremble sorta indicate no denial-even tho most of it happens without an actual "thought"..oh i dunno---advise?point me in right route?perleeeeeeeeeeeze?

TroublesomeEx Mon 13-Aug-12 17:52:09

God reading those bullet points is like reading a pen portrait of myself!!!

No diagnosis, but have begun to wonder recently...

• Often musical, artistic. *play several instruments and only ever feel truly 'me' when playing.

• May have a savant skill or strong talent. Well musical but in no way a savant

• May have a strong interest in computers, games, science, graphic design, inventing, things of a technological and visual nature. More verbal thinkers may gravitate to writing, languages, cultural studies, psychology. First class psychology degree

• May be a self-taught reader, been hyperlexic as a child, and will possess a wide variety of other self-taught skills as well. Yes, have always taught myself. Constantly learning. Need to be learning all the time.

• May be highly educated but will have had to struggle with social aspects of college. May have one or many partial degrees. Yes on all counts

• Can be very passionate about a course of study or job, and then change direction or go completely cold on it very quickly. YES!!! and then equally passionate about the next thing

• Will often have trouble holding onto a job and may find employment daunting. Yes, absolutely.

• Highly intelligent, yet sometimes can be slow to comprehend due to sensory and cognitive processing issues. Had IQ tested through MENSA. It's 161 - top 1%. DH describes me as the stupidest intelligent person he's ever met because I never get anything! grin

• Will not do well with verbal instruction -- needs to write down or draw diagram. Write everything down - cannot give or follow instructions verbally. Lists are my friend, if it's not on a list it's not real

• Will have obsessions but they are not as unusual as her male counterpart's (less likely to be a 'train-spotter'). Yes, although too embarrassed to divulge - but along the lines that I collect information on people I get fixated on. Always RL people, never celebs.

Have similar levels of "Yes!" to many of the other points too.
E.g. have all of the physical/emotional traits except for the gastro-intestinal stuff.

Yep to social/relationships stuff.

Berris Sun 15-Jul-12 15:39:56

I have a number of the traits listed above. Not diagnosed, wouldn't consider myself to be "full" Aspie, just have distinct traits. I also don't really think I would seek diagnosis, because I kind of feel I have found my niche I life, and understand myself fairly well (now). Have an Aspie partner too, so maybe that's what helps me!

Somebloke Sat 14-Jul-12 23:14:44

@devilinside

Speaking personally I found my GP to be a useless patronising cow, and went through half my local practice's doctors before I got a someone prepared to give me a referral. Keep pushing.

Somebloke Sat 14-Jul-12 23:11:48

Some of those traits... sound like my exDP.

Which is kind of ironic given I got my diagnosis of Asperger's last year.

PoppyWearer Thu 12-Jul-12 22:50:22

Thank you OP.

I think, at 37 years old, I am tonight beginning to make sense of myself. Wow.

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