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Asperger's - Faking it.

(3 Posts)
leiela Thu 26-May-11 07:56:59

A question to the Aspie girls out there.

I've been doing alot of reasearch on ASD and Asperger's lately because my son was diagnosed ASD and while it isn't asperger's it's "that end" of the spectrum.

The more i read the more convinced i become that i myself fall into the catagorie of an Aspie Girl. It would certainly explain 99% of my life upto this point.

Now alot of books/net info suggest aspie girls become quite adept at faking it (normality) and when i take some of the online questionaire's while i fall heavily into some of the catagorie's i always score too well on the "social" side of things to come out with the required score for ASD.

On the AQ Test i came out at 28 which is lower than the 32 for suggested ASD, this was because although i scored badly on many parts i'm reasonably good at social communitation (to a point) so did "too well" on that side of the test, but the EQ SQ Tests i came out as Extreme Systemiser ...

Socially i think my main problems are that i talk to much, i tend to overrun people and not realise when my audience is bored. I tend not to be able accept im wrong and i struggle to see other peoples point of view. I am capable of social interaction and portray myself in a confident manner but honestly given the choice i would rather be at home with a book. I don't have many friends (read Any.. little violin's please) as i don't know how to get out there and make them. My husband is constently telling me off because i can't/won't ask for help .. even asking a relative to mind my children stress's me out because i feel guilty and worry about them saying no so would rather not ask and not go out. (there are probabally more but i can't think of them atm)

All this said I have a social job and im required to interact on a socially large scale. Im a consultant so i travel around and work for different company's so i have to be capable and able to walk into a big group of strangers and sell myself and my skill's if i don't i fail to win work and quite litterally i don't get paid.

In one of my first consulting jobs, just as i was leaving to go to a desk job, my old boss told me i'd be wasted behind a desk, "Not everyone could go into business's with the confidence i did apparently, He said clients loved me because i was capable and i sold confidence i make clients feel like thier precious systems are in good hands" Some people are made for consulting, he told me.

Sure enough a couple of years later i've managed to wiggle my way back into consulting with one of the most prestigious firms in the country a company im told is not easy to get into, having had to sit 3 social interviews and a roleplaying excercise.

I always laugh with my husband about it... because i've always said i "fake it" even before i concidered being an aspie.

Before i walk onto client site i often have panic attacks and major meltdown's but the minute i get onto site i'm as cool as a cucumber and able to sell myself as confident and socially skilled. Sometimes i even think the fact that in my head "im never wrong" is a bonus for my job because that confidence in my abilty and idea's comes across and sells to the customer.

So the question is .. is it possible to become so adept at "faking it" that you actually come across as being socially adept? I know im good with clients but im not sure if that means im not aspie or if im just good at faking it?

I scored badly on every other aspect on both tests, i have the compulsions and difficulties in my personal social skills i certainly see huge area's i struggle in my social skill's. However at the same time i seem adept (or at least able to fake it) enough that i don't score too badly overall.

amberlight Sun 29-May-11 17:17:02

Yup, very possible indeed for most of us to 'hide' well enough to miss out on diagnosis/any idea that we're on the spectrum. They've just done a big study of the general population and found that 1 in 100 people is on the autism spectrum and not one single one of those people had realised.

I wouldn't call it faking, though. I'd call it 'having to do things the difficult way and gradually learning those exhausting social skills through painstaking trial and error over many decades, when others know them instinctively and can 'read' people automatically.' It's a bit like saying deaf people are 'faking' hearing by learning to lipread, or blind people are 'faking' sight by learning to use braille etc. We get round the challenges in different ways - but it takes so much out of us, and can lead to some spectacular misunderstandings and conflicts if people don't realise the effort we're putting in or the challenges.

Lambskin Tue 31-May-11 08:02:02

Hello leiela

I'm not dx but like you have come to think that I am more than likely an aspie. I took those tests and scored very highly, but I know what you mean about 'faking it' or as amberlight put it so well 'learning' it.

I taught at FE and was a different person when I was teaching. I would put on my smart clothes and my smiley, smart persona right along with it. I wasn't able to do it immediately though, I remember some truly excruciating moments in the early years and even later when I was in a new situation. It all became a bit much eventually however, all that effort everyday made me exhausted and near breaking point. I wasn't able to be anything as well as I wanted to be; teacher, mother, partner, person and student. I was in tears all the time.

I think it's wonderful that you are so good at your job, I'm full of admiration for you, I'd love to be like that.

As far as socially goes I can, in short bursts, 'pretend' to be very adept and can chat away and listen appropriately. When I was at school I would do either one or the other and so I've gradually learnt how to put them together.

I was talking to my ds2's EP last year and happened to mention my concerns for myself. She immediately dismissed them saying that I couldn't do 'this' if I was aspie.

I think she was wrong, I think you can learn to do anything if you want to badly enough.

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