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Support thread - adults on the Autistic Spectrum :)

(718 Posts)
fuzzpig Fri 16-Mar-12 08:41:41


I've seen a lot of MNers mention being on the Spectrum, whether diagnosed or not. I thought we could use a long-running place to chat, share coping strategies and basically to know there are other people like ourselves, who won't judge us for being different.

I'm new to all this myself - only realised there was a possible name for How I Am a couple of weeks ago (thanks to MN)! Now I have a referral to an adult ASD specialist, to see if I have Aspergers. It's all happened very quickly.

Enough waffle from me (for now anyway...) but I hope other people will come along and find this thread useful. smile

fuzzpig Tue 20-Mar-12 09:00:29

Beyond Sudoku (don't be put off by the fact it's made by Puzzler who normally make crap puzzle mags - this one really is brilliant - it is the only magazine to ever have me stuck on a puzzle!)

I feel I've found some kindred spirits here smile

SystemofaDowny Tue 20-Mar-12 11:25:21

Yes I know the beyond sudoku magazine, but there's not many shops near me that do those kind so I have to just get what they have at the time. Sudoku isn't my favourite either(too easy) but it is the one most people have heard of so is easy to explain that way. I like kakuro or hanjie best. sometimes I create my own maths problems to or if there is no pen and parer to hand I do something in my head like fibonacci sequence.

The fight or flight model for stress response is quite out of date but I think people remember it because it rhymes maybe. This paper explains more about it and suggests that freezing is the first response in a sequence of responses to percieved danger. Freezing is definititly not something that occurs just in animals. Humans get stressed about a lot of things where fighting or running away is not necessary. The sympathetic nervous system still gets stimulated anyway. Part of this is increased blood flow to the muscles, but because the fight or flight never occurs it leads to common stress-related symptoms such as stiff neck or headaches.

LulaPalooza Tue 20-Mar-12 11:55:59


I like questionnaires

Your Aspie score: 168 of 200

No shit, Sherlock

fuzzpig Tue 20-Mar-12 12:38:47

Hello Lula smile

Thank you system! That's really useful info. Don't feel like such a freak now. smile you can get a subscription to B.S., I wonder if it gets posted instead of picking it up! <tempted> I am also addicted to finding puzzle apps on my iPhone, but many of them disappoint. I am really fussy about graphics and user interface so I reject many that aren't perfect in my eyes. If anyone is interested, Marple and Trainyard are two of my favourite geeky iOS games.

Anyway, just had a speech therapy session for DS (2.7). It was mainly catching up, and I mentioned my referral. She took note of that (as well as a few particular behaviours) and has referred him to a paediatrician who will look at his overall development, as well as an audiologist to rule out hearing problems and the family outreach team. Very successful session, she really listened. And I have to admit even though the focus was obviously DS it was nice to be able to bring up the Aspergers thing in person as so far it's mostly been online.

SystemofaDowny Tue 20-Mar-12 13:15:35

Yes they post it to you. I used to have a subscription to a different magazine similar to that one. That was about 10 years ago now and only cost £12 a year.

fuzzpig Tue 20-Mar-12 13:19:04

Awesome grin <takes note> (I actually have a WHS in town where I work but I am lazy)

MarynotBeSarcastic Tue 20-Mar-12 14:55:32

I like Kakuro too smile

fuzzpig Tue 20-Mar-12 16:24:04

AAAAARGH just had a (stupidly easy, but compulsory as I'm an apprentice) maths test and I got annoyed with a couple of ambiguously worded questions. I was sorely tempted to write on the question paper just how poorly worded they were.

Anyway, after working on my OU stuff for a bit I'm going to visit WHSmith and treat meself to a certain publication grin
<ignoring the fact I've got an unfinished issue or 2 already>

I have to say I feel a lot better having told my managers and just generally being more open about things.

SystemofaDowny Tue 20-Mar-12 20:40:27

What are you doing with OU?
I can't imagine feeling better after talking to people because I find it too stressful. I have just had the police here for an hour and I'm exhausted now just from the effort of talking to them.

fuzzpig Wed 21-Mar-12 07:38:36

Oh no, why were the police there? (sorry, am being nosy so ignore me if you don't want to say!) I hope you're feeling better today. I think I feel better because at work I can be myself a bit more. I was talking about how there are two versions of me, and that at work I've felt like I needed to be really cheerful when I'm not. It's exhausting to pretend isn't it. Now that a few people know I can be a bit more honest. I feel safer knowing that if something happens I can tell somebody. I'm also relieved because I've spoken to them and before that I had a massive fear because I didn't know what they thought and how they'd treat me. If I get diagnosed I definitely want my colleagues to know, but I'm not sure if I'll mention it to anyone beforehand. I want to, I think. It's a lovely job and everyone is really nice, it's not a bitchy office type environment that I keep reading about on MN.

With the OU I'm doing an open degree. I didn't want to go to uni even though I got into good ones. Most of it so far has been in maths but me being me, I got upset about not being able to do other subjects that I missed too, so my current course is Child Development, and next is Children's Literature (great for me as I work in a library!). Not sure about my last course yet. Tempted to do a chartership course after graduating, to become a librarian, but that's a few years off. Incidentally my tutor told me there is a lot of support available so I'm going to phone them. Is that a possibility for your studies too? I'm sure they'll be understanding.

I got the puzzle magazine... There were two different issues on sale so I got both. blush

Tell you something weird though. I've been kinder to myself recently, since I now [probably] know what causes all the behaviours I don't like, all the things I hate about myself. BUT it's affecting all the good stuff too. Being intelligent and good at maths and logic is one of the only things I've ever liked about myself, and now I'm thinking that's not even me, that's the AS too because Aspies are usually good at that. I'm looking at everything differently and sometimes now it's a bad thing. Does that make sense?

MarynotBeSarcastic Wed 21-Mar-12 12:29:45

fuzzpig, you're just learning to get to know yourself again. The Aspergers is part of you, just as so many other things are, you don't have to separate them. Not all Aspies are good at Maths. Someone once said to me that they thought that if I could have my son "cured of Aspergers" that i'd take it. But I wouldn't - he would no longer be my son, I wouldn't recognise him. Neither would I recognise myself. Things like being good at maths can make up for the negatives. Remember at school when you could breeze through a bit of maths while everyone else was struggling (well I do). I even came out of my Maths A level exam and said "I really enjoyed that" blush.

MarynotBeSarcastic Wed 21-Mar-12 12:31:32

Am feeling a bit shaky today. Last night a drunk started swearing at me, and I answered him back (because I didn't agree with him). He called me a f**king wh*re and said he was going to come after me! I got in my car and drove off pretty sharpish. People said I should have called the police but I was so shaky I couldn't. I didn't have a good description of him anyway.

fuzzpig Wed 21-Mar-12 13:24:24

Ugh what a nob. Glad you could drive away!

You're right of course - and I'd never change the fact I'm good at maths. I guess I just don't feel like I 'earned' it anymore, if that makes sense. It doesn't help that my parents pretty much defined me by my intelligence as a child - the early reading, the high scores. They know nothing about the rest of me because it didn't matter. I grew up thinking that's all I was, and I'm a real Approval Junkie, it's embarrassing.

When I told them last week about the referral - this being the first time I'd mentioned AS to them - they had a read about it on decent sites like NAS, and they both independently said that they reckoned Aspergers was just another name for Genius. Way to miss the point, eh? sad

MarynotBeSarcastic Wed 21-Mar-12 15:49:04

You earned it by being able to conquer all your other fears and social problems. If its any comfort, the comment I got from my mum was telling me what her friends had said (not that she believed it, but still), that its a madeup condition and it never used to exist angry. Many people with Aspergers are geniuses, doesn't mean we all are though grin

SystemofaDowny Wed 21-Mar-12 20:29:38

They just cam to take a statement from me. Its about something similar to what happened with Mary last night except I know the persona nd its been going on for a long time.

Its good your tutor is being supportive, I don't think I want to tell mine. I think she might see it as an excuse for why I've done so badly this year. If I eve get to study Biomed at university though I will probably have to say something, but I'm sure you need proof from a doctor first and I'm still not totally sure myself I have it really, without having to convince professionals.

I think I can understand what you mean about your parents, I was always classed as the clever one in my family and anything I had a problem with was ignored or blamed on me. For example both me and my brother were bullied at school. For me it was because i was obsessed with buses (I know this is weird) and my brother because he wasn't good at football. He got sympathy though because it wasn't his fault and football was a normal activity but I just got told I should be doing things that other teenage girls do, and was clever enough to realise that, so it was my fault I was bullied. I got bullied for other stuff anyway, even for being good at maths so I don't think there was anything i could do about it really.

I am really worried about getting my results for this year. I have done really badly and I'm close to failing. My mum is going to be really angry because she wanted me to go to university for years and now I've messed up. All I want to do right now is quit and take a year out, then go back when I've sorted my life out more. I don't think I'm going to get that option unfortunately.

fuzzpig Wed 21-Mar-12 21:10:40

You should go to uni for YOU, not your mum. You're an adult right? (sorry I forgot your age)

I know it's not that simple, of course...

SystemofaDowny Wed 21-Mar-12 21:53:47

Yes I'm an adult and I know I should be able to do all the things other adults do but I can't. I doesn't matter how hard I try and pretend to be normal, I am not.

I chose to go to university for myself. I want to learn new things, the qualifications are secondary to me. I have a lot of difficulty with it though, not understanding anything but with expressing my knowledge in writing coherently and with organisation and motivation issues. Its been hard work for me to carry on for the last 3 years with the course due to these problems. I feel like I need to have a break from it now to rest, but nobody can see why I have these problems, they think I am intelligent and this should all be easy, when it just isn't.

fuzzpig Wed 21-Mar-12 23:12:00

I think that shows you should tell them. It doesn't matter that you're not diagnosed yet. You're struggling anyway and they will have seen it before. I really really don't think they will think you're making excuses.

It is hard because people like us have learned to hide everything, the idea of making it visible again is scary. And when you are clever and doing well in school nobody thinks to worry about you, because good grades mean you must be ok. It takes a lot to stick your hand up and say "hey, I need help" when you're used to getting by on your own.

devilinside Thu 22-Mar-12 10:04:23

Hi All, Mary hope you're feeling OK now, and have managed to forget about that drunk (when something horrible happens to me, I obsess about it for days and don't get much sleep)

Do any of you like fiction? I know that, technically we're not supposed to, but it has always been one of my 'escape' mechanisms.

Of course, it has to be clearly and logically written - funnily enough I find some crime and horror authors write in that way. Abstract stuff leaves me cold (can't even get past the first page)

I'm not much good at maths (although, I did get an 'A' when I did my degree foundation, so I guess I can't be that bad) Music is more my thing, I can usually play (piano) and sing things by ear. I'm in a choir and a vocal harmony group, plus I study classical piano.

LulaPalooza Thu 22-Mar-12 11:27:46

I like crime fiction - in particular Michael Connelly.

fuzzpig Thu 22-Mar-12 11:41:53

I really like fiction, mostly modern as I find classics too hard to follow. That always stung as a kid - ridiculously high reading age so encouraged to read more high brow stuff, and I often tried probably to please my parents but failed, so I stuck to too-easy stuff like Famous Five, which became an obsession and an escape.

I don't really 'let' myself read enough - I'm a very all-or-nothing person so if there's other stuff I should be doing, which there usually is, I feel too guilty. It's daft because working in a library I am surrounded by books all day!

devilinside Thu 22-Mar-12 11:50:36

oh, I never read high brow stuff - reading to impress others is a particular hate of mine, fair enough if you genuinely like the book, but I do question NT's people's motives.

Famous Five was my favourite too, as well as 'pony' stores. I love libraries too - one of my favorite places to hang out (that makes me sound really pathetic)

MarynotBeSarcastic Thu 22-Mar-12 16:10:00

Thanks, feeling better now!

I think when you are undiagnosed, you need more support because its so stressful working out whether you want to go for diagnosis and what will happen - fear of the unknown!

I love reading, I used it as escapism when I was in my teens. I am currently re-reading the Hitchhikers Guide books for the umpteenth time. I also like Clive Cussler, Dan Brown, Tom Clancy, John Grisham, the early Patricia Cornwell, to name but a few! When I was younger I liked Ann Rice and Anne McCaffrey.

I like singing too, but I am not in any choir (long story!). My daughter is in the church choir and the cathedral children's choir.

SystemofaDowny Thu 22-Mar-12 19:15:44

I like reading factual books mainly. I am currently reading The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. If I do read fiction it is usually science fiction or fantasy type books. My favourites are Douglas Adams, Philip Pullman and of course Tolkien. I got really obsessed with Lord of the Rings a few years ago and read everything I could by Tolkien and his son or about Middle Earth and learnt how to speak lots of Sindarin. I even got a tattoo written in Tengwar, which is the writing that is written inside the One Ring.

I went to see the counsellor today. I managed to tell her about the problems I have with my academic work. She is sending me for a Dyslexia screening. I have to take an A4 page handwritten about why I think I have Dysylexia. I do not have Dyslexia!

fuzzpig Thu 22-Mar-12 19:19:56

I loved singing as a teen but got out of the habit. I'd like to join a choir one day (too much else to do ATM!)

Today was weird, I feel really spaced out and achy because I'm not sleeping so well. I know the other deputy manager was told what's going on (we decided it was necessary because she is in charge on some of my shifts) so I'm a bit sad that she didn't ask how I was. I know that sounds really needy and pathetic.

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