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AIBU?

Has my DD got Aspergers?

26 replies

Spangles1963 · 24/07/2017 18:07

DD has just turned 34. She told me that last week,one of her work collegues asked if she had Aspergers. My DD was slightly taken aback as it had never even entered her head. Her colleague said that she had a lot of the same traits as her sister,who has it. Can any of you wise MNers in the know about Aspergers enlighten me? I am really curious now.

OP posts:
lougle · 24/07/2017 18:15

It might help if you said what traits it was that her colleague suggested were similar to her sister? Everyone with Aspergers (now often reclassified as High Functioning Autism) is very individual, so whilst they will all meet the diagnostic criteria, each person with HFA will be completely unique in the way that they do Smile

Polter · 24/07/2017 18:25

The NAS website might be a good place to start. Samantha Craft (everyday Aspergers blog) and Tania Marshall have comprehensive lists of how autism in women might present.

Aspergers, which is basically autism (difficulties with social communication and interaction, sensory difficulties etc) without intellectual disability and no significant speech problems by 3yo, hasn't been re-classified as HFA, it still very much exists in the ICD-10. HFA (which is a term strongly resisted by most autistic academics and activists, and has never existed in a diagnostic manual) is autism without intellectual disability. Many clinicians now diagnose to the American diagnostic manual (DSM5) as they expect the ICD to follow the DSM and subsume all autism diagnoses into one as ASD.

Polter · 24/07/2017 18:26

And I know I sound like a pedantic arse, but this stuff is important.

SpartacusSaiman · 24/07/2017 18:27

We are all different. It impossible to list everything

Could be the friend is now seeing everyone has having traits.

Spangles1963 · 24/07/2017 18:38

The traits her colleague mentioned were:-
Having one sided conversations with herself,or a dialogue going on as she does things.
Obsessive attention to detail.
Getting anxious at a change in routine.
Oversensitivety to noises,light and smells.
To be honest,I really don't think these mean she is,anyone could have these traits. And I have heard that one of the symptoms are lack of empathy,and being unable to 'read' situations,which certainly isn't the case.

OP posts:
Polter · 24/07/2017 18:50

The empathy thing is a myth. The best thing if she's pondering is to do some reading. Sarah Hendrickx on YouTube is worth a look.

PearlyPinkNails · 24/07/2017 18:51

No one on here could or should diagnose anyone.

Groupie123 · 24/07/2017 18:53

Unless the friend is a qualified psychiatrist with a million hours working with adults on the austistic spectrum, he or she has no idea what they're talking about. Go to the doctor for medical advice not randoms.

gingergenius · 24/07/2017 18:58

@Polter the lack of empathy thing isn't a myth. It's alive and kicking in my house!Grin

flyingwithwings · 24/07/2017 19:26

I was diagnosed 5 years ago, and it was a case of just getting an official diagnosis !

The truth is everybody that is a HFA autistic knows there are, you don't suddenly think you might be because somebody out of the blue makes a comment !

Your DD must have shown many Asperger traits though out her childhood such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Pathological Demand Avoidance ETC.

It is inconceivable that you can get to 34 without knowing that you have difficulties in life whether in employment education or home life.

blankface · 24/07/2017 19:28

Scratch lack of empathy, it's a myth, so is lack of eye contact for a lot of people.
Do read the things Polter's recommended, also have a look at this
the-art-of-autism.com/understanding-the-spectrum-a-comic-strip-explanation/

Obsessive attention to detail
Getting anxious at a change in routine
Oversensitivety to noises,light and smells
It's only worth pursuing a diagnosis if any of the traits mentioned are causing her difficulty in her daily life. If she's happy, let it be, if she has always felt like a square peg in a round hole, floating on the periphery but never included in the main events and feels as though she's out of step with everyone else, or like everyone else knows instinctively what to do and she's never had any instructions for that situation, get her to do some reading and see if she identifies.

blankface · 24/07/2017 19:31

PearlyPinkNails No one on here could or should diagnose anyone

No-one is even attempting to dx anyone. All anyone's given so far is sound advice.

NC4now · 24/07/2017 19:33

You won'tt get a diagnosis on Mumsnet. The question is whether a diagnosis would be helpful to her at all? She may want to pursue it, in which case she'd need to go through her GP and mental health services, or she may think there is nothing to be gained at her age.

Don't be fooled by the whole lacking empathy myth though. My DS has aspergers. He is the kindest, most sincere kid you will ever meet. He gets things in a really sharp, astute way because he sees straight through all the fluff that surrounds things and hones in on the real issue. We've always said 'he's been here before'.

Polter · 24/07/2017 20:11

flying I have a lot of contact with late diagnosed autistic women and most have no idea they might be autistic until their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. I didn't even start to suspect for me until I was in my late 30s and wasn't convinced enough fro pursue diagnosis until my mid-40s.

Spangles1963 · 24/07/2017 20:18

flyingwithwings DD is dyslexic,it wasn't diagnosed until she was 18 and at university,and one of her tutors picked up on it. She was excessively clumsy as a child,but seemed to grow out of it. Back in those days,I'd never heard of dyspraxia! She isn't worried about it at all,she just thought it might explain why her DH has said that she can seem 'cold' emotionally sometimes. She doesn't seem to get worked up about emotional issues at all,never has done,she is what I what called 'detached' from them. It doesn't bother me in the slightest,it's all I've ever known.

OP posts:
Spangles1963 · 24/07/2017 20:20

Thank youblankface for the link. Will read it as soon as I've recharged my phone battery!

OP posts:
DeadDoorpost · 24/07/2017 20:50

Tbf my nan is 76 and has only just found out she's Aspergers. And she's got 8 aspie/autistic grandchildren and has training to work with them etc. It's not unlikely that your DD hasn't picked up on it. Not everyone does. But she sounds similar to my brother in regards to sensitivity to light etc and attention to detail.

Girls/women tend to find coping mechanisms as they grow up so don't get diagnosed as often or as early as boys. I'd definitely say to get a testing done, just to get an answer either way. It's what I'd do.

CloudPerson · 24/07/2017 21:18

"It is inconceivable that you can get to 34 without knowing that you have difficulties in life whether in employment education or home life."

I most certainly had difficulties throughout, but didn't realise, because I was constantly assured that I was the same as everyone else, and just thought those difficulties were proof of me not trying hard enough, or that others were able to overcome their difficulties better than I could.

I had no idea at all until I learnt more about autism as we went through the assessment process with ds2. As Polter says, it's very common to not realise.

gingergenius · 24/07/2017 21:21

Got to counter the 'lack of empathy is a myth' comments. It's not a myth. It exists. It just may not manifest with YOUR DC. it is absolutely a thing for my son. It is NOT a myth.

CheshireChat · 24/07/2017 21:35

I do wonder if it's helpful the fact the term autism is defined by such a broad range of symptoms.

Does it make it more inclusive, less of a label? Or are there medical reasons for this?

flyingwithwings · 24/07/2017 21:44

I have always felt socially awkward since starting primary school and have always been aware of being different ! Spangles you are correct Dyspraxia did not really exist within the professionals circles when i was a child (44). My writing is/ was illegible. going back 30 years or so nobody looked in to Dyslexia/Dyspraxia they just presumed children whose writing was illegible were just 'lazy' and thick.

The reason i decided to get diagnosed five years ago was two fold, at the time i was very depressed and just completed level 1 OU studies. I realized if i was going to get anywhere with the Open University i was going to need some support via Disabled Students Allowance !

flyingwithwings · 24/07/2017 21:45

I am 44 now , not born in 1944......

Polter · 24/07/2017 22:00

ginger latest evidence is that it is a myth, some research suggests that autistic people can experience way more empathy resulting in shutdown, and there's also research showing how autistic people are very good at empathising with other autistic people, just not so good at empathising with allistic people, and vice versa, i.e. allistic people not very good at empathising with autistic people.

Corcory · 24/07/2017 22:00

Susan Boyle was diagnosed in her 50s. She is at a more extreme end of the spectrum, our DD has very similar traits to that described by the op. She was diagnosed at 9.

YouTheCat · 24/07/2017 22:12

What Polter said.

My dd has Aspergers and has too much bloody empathy and gets herself worked up over many things because of this.

She also has no trouble 'reading people' either but this can be too much information which can result in shutting down.

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