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Support thread for women who suspect or know they have ASD traits or are on the spectrum

(985 Posts)
OxfordBags Mon 03-Feb-14 20:49:10

Hello, all! As the title says, I hope this can be a support thread for those of us who suspect or know we have some (or many) Aspergic traits; where we can share experiences, stories, problems, worries, knowledge and info, and hopefully benefit and help each other too.

I found a great link a while ago that is very comprehensive in its description of how Asperger's presents in women and how women experience it. Some of it is strikingly different from the male model and how most people perceive Asperger's. Here: ASD in women

I truly believe two things: 1) that ASD in females is woefully misunderstood and under-diagnosed and 2) that our current understanding and the definition of the AS Spectrum is, in itself, rather ASD in its rigidity, and that there is an actual spectrum of traits much broader and more nuanced than the current model, and that there are a hell of a lot of people struggling with some very typical ASD traits, who nevertheless do not have all the traits required to fulfil a formal diagnosis of having Asperger's or High-Functioning Autism.

So, with that rather typically ASD-style long-winded and unnecessarily detailed intro out of the way, let's chat!

ALittleFaith Tue 04-Nov-14 19:25:14

Hi all. <waves> I lost this thread after it moved. Will read back shortly.

Generally I'm ok. Struggling a bit with DH - he's low in mood and I feel frustrated with him a lot - his apathy or misunderstanding what I say. When he's low he can be a bit lazy and I get annoyed cleaning up after him or telling him to clean up after himself. I can't seem to ask calmly!

I heard from my GP practice today regarding my assessment. Apparently they are re-evaluating how they do the assessment process and who they deem appropriate and my case will be considered when they have re-evaluated and they next meet.....God knows when that will be?!

Mollyweasley Sun 02-Nov-14 16:38:04

Thanks mrwallet it's really nice of you to think of me! Yesterday wasn't as bad as last week. The fact that everybody is around means that the noise in the house is very much increased and tv noise really winds me up, so that is a factor. Also I am usually out of the door on the school run and get some fresh air in the week with a plan of what I am going to do that day so I think there is a bit of being out of routine too+ I am not in charge of what is going to happen as it will depend on everybody else and any plans made change slightly all the time. I was wondering last week if how stressed I am on a Saturday, reflects how stressful my week was! I think sleeping or watching tv through it might be the best idea. Luckily dd also need quiet Saturdays so I have the excuse to stay in to watch her!

MrWallet Sat 01-Nov-14 12:08:49

Hey Molly, just wondering if you have the Saturday morning feeling? I am feeling OK, had a bath and relaxing on bed about to watch The Tudors box set.

I wonder if you feel extra pressure at the weekend as spouse and or children are around and there is more to do plus one does not want to be a grump when the weekend is special IYSWIM. When I get it I try to read or watch a film until it passes. Not so easy if you have little ones.

One Saturday recently I spent the entire day dozing on and off. I felt so guilty but the crushing inertia got the better of me!

Mollyweasley Tue 28-Oct-14 15:16:27

maybe I should sleep through it too!

AGnu Mon 27-Oct-14 15:54:16

I hate Saturday mornings too. I think it's the change of having DH around, which seems ridiculous because having him around is a good thing. He really is lovely. So lovely, in fact, that he takes the DC shopping on a Saturday morning & I sleep through it! grin

Molly I'm not very good at drawing either but felt inspired & am rather proud of how it came out. I'd post it on MN but I'm a bit concerned people would misinterpret it & think it was a suicide picture or something! blush I did explain to DH that it definitely wasn't & he just said, "No... yeah... I got that..." in a tone that made me think he'd had to think about it!

Mollyweasley Mon 27-Oct-14 08:35:01

I know me too! I've really been missing it. Have you got any tips to help with Saturday mornings it really annoys me?

MrWallet Sun 26-Oct-14 20:27:35

Molly I get that Saturday feeling! I thought this thread was finished?

Mollyweasley Sat 25-Oct-14 09:29:01

Agnu so sorry you are having a tough time, you seem to have a lovely DH. Love the idea of the drawing, I always love drawing but I am not very good at it.

I hate saturday mornings, anybody else is like that? I always feel so fidgety and irritable and I don't know why and I don't know how to get better.

AGnu Fri 24-Oct-14 20:28:23

Thanks Iam for reminding me about all the good things! I've been along to an under 8s local group a couple of times but most of them had fairly 'normal' DC & I spent the entire time trying to have a conversation while keeping an eye on DS1 who kept wandering off or actively trying to escape. It was a nightmare! I might take the initiative to get to know some of the mums a bit better & invite everyone for a drink in the pub or something so we can actually chat without chasing children. I'll probably sit there the entire time terrified of saying the wrong thing & so not get to know anyone at all! blush

Yesterday was awful. By the time DH got home at 8.30 I was so stressed that I'd gone completely mute. DH really doesn't understand what to do when I'm like that & just kept whining at me that he needed me to talk to him until I went to bed & cried. I was still bad this morning but he still kept on at me. It was like he was prodding an open wound. Eventually I snapped & shouted at him to leave me alone. DS1 heard & said "Mammy, don't talk to Daddy like that!" I couldn't talk for crying after that! sad
DH took the day off & took the kids out. I spent all morning in bed & then most of the afternoon drawing. I've never drawn anything before but I felt inspired to try & capture what it had felt like to me so I could explain it to DH. Given that I'm not an artist, I'm quite pleased about how it came out. DH has seen it & I think it's helped a bit but I'm still not sure he really gets it. I might keep it to flash at him next time I go mute to remind him to leave me alone! Feeling a lot calmer now but still rather drained & out of sync.

Iamcuriousyellow Fri 24-Oct-14 14:54:09

Hi all
So glad to have found this link, on the thread about ASD on chat. Thanks to the MNer who posted it.
I do the "evening up" thing as well - if my foot feels a join between paving slabs, I'll adjust my pace so that the other foot can cross a join too and then they've both had the same sensation. I can't think about anything else until it's done.
AGnu please don't dread home educating. I've done both, my DS spent year 8 at home with problems (really vile bullying) resulting from undiagnosed AS issues - and I can tell you that HE is heavenly for an autistic mum. Most families who HE are unusual, and usually in the best possible way, and very welcoming - they love new people, and HE children are very different to mainstream educated children. At least that's my view, maybe DS's experiences had made me bitter at the time! Also the structure is so much easier to cope with.. I used to dread the daily playground routine, but group meets and shared activities take place at easier times, in the middle of the day or whatever, by that time I was organised and had my head in the right place to go out and see people without feeling overwhelmed.

Another unlooked for benefit is there's plenty of time to indulge special interests - I adore maps and charts, and we spent entire days sometimes with a big atlas on the kitchen table, we would talk about stuff like early navigators, the slave trade, the Mariana Trench, the geology of Chile, nomadism, oil production, fossil fuels, arctic exploration, American civil war, all sparked off by the time to really look at maps.. oops I'm getting boring..

I didn't mean to write this much, sorry!

To Lushlush

Yes, very annoying. As if ASD is just being weak willed! And as if being more like them is so very desirable anyway. Pah.

Mollyweasley Fri 24-Oct-14 08:49:54

Yeah! I found you, I thought the thread was gone…thanks polter smile

Lushlush Fri 24-Oct-14 06:50:53

I find it a trial when certain people whom I explain traits to simply think I should learn to overcome them and become more like them.

Annoying isn't it.

PolterGhoul Thu 23-Oct-14 21:38:25

AGnu sounds hard going, I don't have any advice, but can send virtual (((hugs))) and wine

Another thought, have you seen the Goose and Carrot threads in SN Chat? It's the SN section 'pub' and it is very good for daily stuff and there's always someone around. It might look cliquey but it really isn't.

AGnu Thu 23-Oct-14 19:31:57

Bertie I do that too... in fact, I had to do it because I read about you doing it & now my eyes feel weird! blush It's not as bad now as it was. It used to be that I'd have to kick the wall with my other foot if I stubbed my toe or scratch both arms because one was itchy. Always had to be even. Now I can mostly bury the feeling but it takes a lot of self control not to act on it when the impulse arises.

I'm not doing very well at the moment. DH's work asked him to go to another office for a day to pick up some work. That developed into an overnight stay & then they said he'd need to go back one day a week for the foreseeable future. Except, when he arrived for his first day last week they told him it had been arranged that he'd stay there 2 days every week. I don't sleep when he's not home. Last night was the second overnight stay & I've just ceased to function. I've got 2 toddlers at home & they've not had any proper play time today. I shoved them in front of the TV this morning so I could doze on the sofa & then they both had sleeps this afternoon - DS1 doesn't normally nap in the afternoons now. They've gone to bed early too.

I feel like such a rubbish mum. The kitchen's in a complete state & I just feel like I can't do anything about it! To make things worse, we recently decided that we're not going to send DS1 to pre-school in Jan because we're planning on home-ed. I'm really doubting if I'm capable of HEing now. Not from an academic POV or even social - there's lots of other HE families round here, it's purely the fact that I can't function like normal people. Urgh. I hate it when my depression flares up suddenly like this. I nearly bought a lottery ticket earlier in the hope that I could win, buy a cottage in a woodland & live out the rest of my life in solitary confinement while paying for a nanny to look after my DC. hmm <Sigh>

DH has point blank refused to go for 2 consecutive days next week. Hopefully he'll be able to prove he can get the work done from his normal office & won't need to go there so often. It's at least a 5 hour round trip in one day & he's so stressed at work at the moment anyway that I feel awful that I can't cope. sad

PolterGoose Wed 08-Oct-14 07:04:55

That sounds like an OCD thing, it's very common to have 'bits' of other conditions alongside ASD.

I don't know if there's an adult equivalent but the book 'Kids in the Syndrome Mix' is a really good intro to a whole range of neuro/developmental conditions.

BertieBotts Tue 07-Oct-14 23:14:03

OK I'm only up because I suddenly remembered a letter in DS' bag about a trip he has tomorrow, oops but just a quick thing.

I have this weird thing where sometimes I blink and notice that when I blinked, one eyelid touched a split second before the other one so it feels like that eye got blinked "more heavily". Then they feel uneven and I have to blink again to even it out. Usually I overdo it, so I have to do it again the other way until it feels even. It's like my eyelid that didn't get blinked fast enough feels left out. I can't leave it. So obviously people notice this sometimes, and at school people asked me "Why do you have a twitch?" I couldn't say "Because I blinked one eye harder than the other and now I have to even it out", because they'd have thought I was crazy. So I just said "I don't know, I just do." and they probably still thought I was weird. But all along it has never been a twitch, it's something I'm consciously doing but can't not do, if that makes any sense at all.

I've never told anybody about that because I never really thought anything of it, but I've just realised that probably nobody else notices how heavily their individual eyes blink or whether they are even or not.

Also, this thread is about to run out.

PolterGoose Tue 07-Oct-14 22:32:49

I have scars all up my arms from burns from misjudging in the oven, walk into things all the time, trip over myself regularly, random bruises, drop things...

ALittleFaith Tue 07-Oct-14 22:31:03

I found an omega-3 supplement helps the short-term memory loss. Yes a memory for bizarre details yet the basic practicalities are often missed!

BertieBotts Tue 07-Oct-14 22:28:31

Haha, I have loads of bruises too, I have no idea where they come from. And I have a terrible short term memory too. Excellent memory for details but I think I take too much in to be able to be aware of it all so I remember totally random stuff. I suppose that's a sensory thing too?

ALittleFaith Tue 07-Oct-14 22:23:47

A combination of clumsiness and short-term memory loss mean I'm always covered in bruises with no idea how I got them! It's nice to know I'm not alone!

BertieBotts Tue 07-Oct-14 22:18:43

Oh god totally! I burned myself taking milk out of the microwave the other day and I'm always dropping things inexplicably, or starting to do something and then realising that I've somehow managed to use the entirely wrong hand and I didn't realise. DH looks at me like this confused

I have an astigmatism so I've always put my un-co-ordination down to that as it means I can't judge distances properly, because I literally don't see them accurately.

ALittleFaith Tue 07-Oct-14 22:07:11

Yup yup yup me too. If someone touches me unexpectedly I feel like their hand mark is imprinted on my skin for hours afterwards.

PolterGoose Tue 07-Oct-14 21:58:43


Yay! Another sensory defensive wink

Are you also clumsy and uncoordinated?

BertieBotts Tue 07-Oct-14 21:46:33

I've just read the description of that book - nowhere near as strong as that but definitely identifying with a lot of it. DH loves to have his back stroked etc but I can't stand it when he does it to me, he sometimes does it absent mindedly in bed and I don't always mind, but I have to ask him to stop so I can fall asleep because I can't fall asleep when he's doing it, it's like I'm constantly aware of the movement. My mum used to say it was disappointing that I don't like people playing with my hair either. But seriously who would like that?! Is it not the most rage inducingly annoying sensation to everyone else? blush

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