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Females and Aspergers(42 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.
There's a bunch of us over on this thread that are mostly women in our thirties who are in the process of being diagnosed, have been recently, or suspect ASD
I was told I definitely have an ASD earlier this year, but they refused to give me a formal autism/aspie diagnosis as I had friends at primary school, though I was told that if I pushed it I could get a diagnosis. This gives me the impression that the assessor was going by male traits rather than female ones.
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I'm the complete opposite of a compass... I can walk out of a shop & have to just stand there trying to remember which way I was going. It's so frustrating, like my brain just won't retain basic information!
My niece & DS1 also both have Aspergers & are complete compasses. DNiece used to come visit us in a different area than she lived every 6 months or so. This was when she was about 4-5ish. She'd remember from one visit to the next which way we'd gone when we went to various places. At 3 we'd drive round her area & she'd point out where various people lived, even if she'd only been there one time & you had to go down that road, turn left, etc.
DS1 is now 3 & proved his compass abilities today when he suddenly piped up that he could see the tower cranes near his friend's house. I was all set to point out that they must be different tower cranes until I realised we were very close to his friend's house, just coming at it from a different direction. There are quite a few building projects going on near where we live so it's not uncommon to see tower cranes & he's never labelled them as the ones near his friend's house before. He'll also tell me which way we need to go to get to various places & has a very well developed sense of left & right. I was at least twice his age before I learnt my left from my right - I remember having shoes with big L & Rs on!
I do have good motor skills though... That's something! Go me!
I can definitely relate to the inbuilt compass. Reminds me of being in london with dh and his brother and them being utterly flumoxed by the tube map. And i was just like "you clearly do this then this then this, are you two stupid?"
Current support thread, everyone is welcome to join in
I have a good sense of direction too. Motor skills, not so much I am very clumsy. I'm quite good at bass guitar though.
That,s great Beyond! I hope it makes studies and work easier for you!
The OU was great. I had to stop as I moved, and am now "attending" a brick Uni. But I just don't ever go to classes unless they are compulsory. The interenet is a fab thing! My excuses are my children and the travelling
I have a question though, as I was just re-reading my asperger books. A lot makes sense to me, but I wondered about the sense of direction and also motor-skills. My daughter is autistic, but she has excellent sense of direction and good motor skills. And I am very similar. I joke that I have an inbuilt compass, which is not entirely true, but I very rarely get lost, and I also have good motor skills.
Does anyone else have that?
She is also very sociable. She can't talk (4 1/2 yrs) and she does wander about doing her own thing, but she loves when people visit and she will try to play with both adults and children. More success with grown ups who can swing her around and do climbing and tickling games, but still loves running games with other children and so on.
I am also considered fairly sociable, but my new partner (of almost a year) has cottoned on to the fact I spend most of my time alone, or just with the kids. He has also noticed that I'm eccentric, forgetful, messy and has gently told me, my answer was that I did tell him so repeatedly when we first started seeing eachother, it was not an attention seeking stunt but a genuine warning!
He is higly educated with a good job, very well paid. I have a patchy career path behind me, am a single mum on benefits but am currently studying to get a bachelor degree to my name. Yet he says I challenge him intellectually. This is not a stealth boast, I am genuinely puzzled by it all.
There's been a huge stress this term, with my ex and possible court case over his contact With the children. He was abusive and violent and denies it, so I cut contact at one point (he got two sentences against him for sexual and common Assault). The NT older kids have had some troubles, my middle one has had fights and running away from School so I had to attend parenting courses which I happily did. Our Family life is a bit messy and chaotic and it was good to get advice on how to manage that as well as how to meet them emotionally.
Anyway, I thought my studies would suffer. Yet it went very well. I was actually a bit disappointed at the oral exam, because I just felt I did not have time to answer as well as I could, yet I got an A. This was a feeling that followed me during A-Levels too. I always thought it was far harder than it actually was. My A-Levels were ok, I had behavioural issues in that period.
Am i making sense here? Can anyone relate to any of this?
Hey, i already posted upthread
I saw a clinical psych last week who thinks i meet enough criteria for asd to test properly and get an official diagnosis
I'm going to bump this as that list is like the book of me.
There must be others out there?
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.
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 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!
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!
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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
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...
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.
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.
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