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ASD traits you don't have/aren't so affected by/not feeling "aspie enough"

(12 Posts)
toffee1000 Thu 16-Aug-18 00:49:57

Before my diagnosis last November, I was naturally reading about ASD quite a lot, including reading stories/anecdotes by women with ASD. It struck me that I was not as "severely" (for want of a better word) than them, and so I was doubting whether I'd even get a confirmed diagnosis, "am I aspie enough" type thing.
Examples:
I don't really have sensory issues. There are some sensations I dislike, such as loud music in nightclubs (easily avoided), long sleeves and water rushing over my face (which is why I find washing my hair so hard; daily showering isn't so bad as I don't have to stick my whole head under), but I can cope with going to supermarkets and so on, I don't get overwhelmed in those places like many do.
I definitely do best in a routine and with lots to do, but equally I don't have a meltdown if it's interrupted/has to change.
I don't have a restricted diet, I like quite a lot of stuff. I don't like spicy food, but neither does my NT friend. There are things I don't like, but again that applies to everyone.
I get humour/sarcasm/jokes.

But I do have a diagnosis, so that must mean something, right? My report states that the possibility of Asperger's was first mentioned when I was about six, by my Year 2 teacher, but it wasn't felt to be a major issue then. It then came up again when I was about 16; I was one of those people for whom things didn't truly become apparent till I went to secondary, and then I was good at masking and coping. I just felt more and more different from my peers. I also wasn't bullied at school either, which from reading this board seems to be unusual. I think I was affected more by some things as a child, e.g. I had a more restricted diet then (I didn't like things like chicken or ham for a long time, whereas now I do; I even remember when I first realised that I liked ham!!)

I know everyone on the spectrum is affected differently, of course! I don't really know what I'm hoping to achieve from this thread... reassurance possibly. I still haven't fully come to terms with the diagnosis I suppose.

Ariclock Tue 21-Aug-18 20:32:58

Hi, I don't have a diagnosis as yet (Long nhs waiting list) and I often worry that I'll fail the assessment as I'm not autistic enough. The main thing that I don't have is a particular special interest. I can get absorbed in something but lose interest pretty quickly and once my interest has gone it often doesn't come back. I do think that I possibly have adhd also so that might explain it. I do definitely have sensory issues, I struggle with anxiety and picking up social cues. I struggle with body language, eye contact, facial expressions and getting my tone of voice correct. I also find sarcasm hard to work out and have been bullied as an adult at work and in friendship groups. As a child and teenager though I didn't stand out much and just daydreamed my way through school really.

toffee1000 Tue 21-Aug-18 20:44:54

That can be pretty normal with special interests Ariclock, getting totally involved in something and then ditching it. Some of my special interests (The Sims games and Harry Potter) are quite general, and there are loads of people obsessed with them, many of them more than me!
My issues are primarily social and thinking that I’m different to other people, and that people won’t like me/won’t accept those differences. I worry about saying or doing the wrong thing; I’m not really a perfectionist, but I don’t like getting things wrong.

TravellingFleet Tue 21-Aug-18 20:50:52

I think it’s hard to know what’s ones own personality, and what’s Aspergers shaping the personality. As you say, I have a very successful life and I don’t think people would see me as disabled by autism. I think that I've been able to take a lot of my sensitivities and incorporate them into my work and my life, in a way people don’t necessarily associate with autism. I’m hugely colour sensitive, so I wear beautiful clothes, have a beautifully designed house, and have a job that uses that trait in beautiful surroundings. I’m very noise sensitive, so I manage noise exposure quite carefully. I put a lot of effort into planning quiet time so I can deal with a very demanding job.
OTOH, my brain has a tendency to randomly announce that I can’t do things - and this week it decided that I couldn’t buy any milk which didn’t meet a set of increasingly specific criteria. This was irritating because I wanted milk in my tea, but couldn’t buy any.
I think that I’ve used my brain to analyse social situations and human communication mechanisms with the result I’m now very good at them, but it is hard work, not normal human intuition.
so yes, in many ways I’m absolutely not the ‘typical autistic person’ because I use the traits and impacts in ways which are unusual and broadly positive, but I suspect I am massively impacted all the same.

Ariclock Tue 21-Aug-18 21:36:16

I was diagnosed with social anxiety years ago and share your fear of making mistakes when around people so I completely get where you're coming from with that. Do you ever tell people that you're autistic? That might help people to be more forgiving of social bloopers if you do make any.

AspieHere Tue 11-Sep-18 22:09:25

I don't really have meltdowns. I've probably had the odd few when I was younger. I get very very angry and frustrated but I'll take myself away somehow.

I can cope with many things, like supermarkets etc. I don't like it when they are really busy and can feel it bubbling away inside. There is always relief when I'm out of that situation.

But I have been diagnosed. So I must have issues enough. I can spot more what they are since reading up more.

toffee1000 Thu 13-Sep-18 19:31:48

I’ve read the Tania Ann Marshall list that’s been recommended on here and I do mentally go “yep” to most of them. So that’s something.
I very, very rarely go out, and don’t socialise much so I’ve never really “had the need” as it were to tell people I have ASD.

PlantsArePeopleToo Sun 16-Sep-18 00:29:58

I have sensory issues but only really when it comes to sound and touch. I've never had any issues when it comes to smell or taste so I've never had a restricted diet either. Pretty much the opposite in fact and I'll eat anything blush

NameChangeAspie Tue 02-Oct-18 15:08:41

I sometimes wonder too, though I've been diagnosed for years. I don't have any outward signs of executive function problems. I have most other ASD traits but I can mask well, and do hide them most of the time.

I also wonder if I really do have problems with executive funciton, but just have really good coping strategies. I think it might explain why I am hyper organised and controlling, hate last minute change etc.

I often wonder if I'm really autistic, but my son was recently diagnosed and is also borderline for some traits. I guess we are just all different.

MissKittyBeaudelais Sun 10-Mar-19 21:30:14

I was very late diagnosed. My son (18) has asd and it was his diagnosis and his “habits” that made me realise he got it, from me. When I looked at DS, I was essentially looking at myself. The main difference between DS and I, is that I am an excellent masker. It allowed me to have a long career in the nhs and a happy marriage despite my “foibles”.

However.... I know very little about myself (if that makes sense) and I’m unsure of the reason for this. I think I present a “self” as a reflection of what I see in others. And so me, as a person, doesn’t really exist.

When I went to a school reunion some years ago, I was fascinated to hear about “what I was like”. I had no clue. And I think because of this, my memory can be sketchy because I’m (me) often “absent” in an anxiety provoking social situation and I’m essentially “acting” myself. The oh-so-accommodating chameleon.

Does any of this make sense? Or am I the only one?

Aspieteach Sat 30-Mar-19 08:30:27

Hi,

I know exactly what you mean about not feeling "aspie enough". I got my diagnosis last week and one of my biggest anxieties was that I'd be told that I'd was a kind of neurological hypochondriac who'd been reading too much on the internet and had convinced myself that I had something which wasn't there.

I have sensory issues, but thought they were too mild to count: my view of sensory issues had been shaped by reading/hearing about people with severe sensory issues eg having to wear headphones because noise is too distressing.

I've often felt tense and stressed without realizing why, but have only ever had one real meltdown.

Apart from family, I've only told one person in RL - a friend who happens to be quite an expert in autism. We were walking at the time and she literally stopped in her tracks so I guess I'm pretty good at mimicking and masking.

Seniorschoolmum Sun 14-Apr-19 03:15:55

I’ve only recently considered asking for a diagnosis because I’m in my 50s and, since I’ve survived this far, I’m not sure there’s much point.
But I keep realising things that I thought I didn’t have but I do. Like sensory issues. I had to shop in an unfamiliar town this week and caught myself reversing out of an indoor shopping centre after three steps - awful booming noise, overheated, claustrophobic and crowded.

So thinking you don’t have traits may just mean you haven’t realised they are there yet.

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