Just diagnosed as Autistic, not sure if I am?

Discuss getting a diagnosis, educational help & electronic devices and apps for autism.

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lizardwizard96
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 9:53 pm

Just diagnosed as Autistic, not sure if I am?

Postby lizardwizard96 » Mon May 15, 2017 12:19 am

There is a 'too long;didn't read' section at the end. :!: :wink:

Hi, I'm 21 years old and was recently diagnosed as having high-functioning autism. I originally went to the psychologist to get tested for ADD since I've always had difficulty learning because I was always day-dreaming, and because I find it difficult to pull out of my own reality in order to learn in college (and this has been a problem my whole life). My twin brother (we're not identical twins; I'm a female, and we're exact opposites in personality- I'm very quiet and hardly talk, and he's a social butterfly and is very impulsive) was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid, and I read that premature babies (which we were) have a higher chance of being ADD/ADHD, so I thought that was the case with me.

I took an audio test for ADD (results showed in the second half that I did have trouble concentrating) and then I took a personality test with 537 questions (test had "Minnesota" in the title, that's all I remember) to test for depression and anxiety (which I have a history of). Surprisingly, when the test results came back it showed that I scored very high in the "schizophrenia" portion, and so my psychologist went about discussing my answers to the questions that gave me my score and helped him lean towards his diagnosis.

As far back as I could remember I've never been like other people, like I don't know how to act like them. I've never made friends easily, and even when I did have a group of friends, I was always the black sheep (most important memory I have is when my friends broke out singing Boulevard of Broken Dreams and then busted out laughing- I couldn't understand why it was funny and that basically sums up most of my relationships with people). I never talked the same way they did (I feel like when I communicate, it's not to make small chit chat, it's to get a point across) and i apparently seem robotic. When I'd make friends, I eventually would start ignoring them because I would rather be at home pursuing my own interests, basically finding fuel for my daydreams and fantasy worlds. Even now, at work, I sometimes feel lonely, but when people start to talk to me I usually pull away so we don't make talking a norm, or I avoid talking completely. I don't know how to respond to people naturally, and it makes me uncomfortable because I don't want them to think me rude. (One time as a kid, my friend was gossiping with me and finally "snapped"- like out of nowhere she just went "you never show emotion when I'm telling you this stuff! You don't ever act surprised! My other friends go 'oooo' 'ohhh' or 'no way!' 'Oh my god!'!" And I thus proceeded to feign surprise at Brandon cheating on Stephanie and so on.. again, just an example).

But I guess aside from my "severe" social introversion, my psychologist thought the other main factor to my autism was how I "live in my mind". I was telling him about how I would warp my environment to find an environment that I liked, or how some of my anxiety attacks would be me taking on scary personas from crime shows (in my mind) and how I would do other weird things in my mind, like change the time of the day, etc. (again, I know this is all my imagination and I do this willfully, so it's not schizophrenia). I've always been detached from the world and lost in my mind. My psychologist finally asked me if I ever felt left out, and if I "lived" in my head, and it was this bizarre moment for me, being understood, and I promptly said "Yes! This is what I've been trying to tell my family and my husband all along! Is that I DON'T connect the same way with people and it's part of my core, I can't change it, and that I'm too "stuck" in my mind to sit and read and learn because I have to come out of my head and I can't think of the things my mind naturally wants to think about. I sat for 4 hours once in my car, waiting for a class meeting, with my textbook in my lap, and for the whole four hours I kept myself entertained with my thoughts and didn't once take a look at the book... Also, I need constant stimulation (always by my thoughts, AT LEAST, and then by like rainforest sounds, burning candles, color-changing lights, or by doodling or listening to music) but I tend to get anxious when I feel "trapped" outside. Like after a long or busy day at work, I get incredibly anxious and feel over-stimulated, so when I get home I curl up in a blanket and want to be in silence, or imagine I'm by myself and somewhere still so I can breathe again. I also can get irrationally.. "irked" in situations where I feel volatile (like in the past, I always get irrationally angry when I'd get a boyfriend- like I would hate them and get so angry when they'd try to talk to me and or be near me, but I've mostly learned to control my anger or irrational feelings).

So I was relieved to have an explanation for my weirdness and perhaps my ADD, but the more research I do on autism the more I wonder if it is me? I don't think I had a lot of developmental delays growing up, except for perhaps shyness. I don't have a problem holding eye-contact with people (in fact, I think I tend to bore into peoples' eyes lol) and I never had difficulty speaking as a child. I DO have difficulties speaking now. My mom had brain surgery when I was 12 and developed a slur when she speaks and like a stuttering, and it seems like I developed my speech problems around 16 or 17 years old? I don't know if it's because I picked it up from my mom. I stutter and slur my words, or the words in my sentence are completely jumbled up. Sometimes I try to use two different words at once. Sometimes the grammar is completely messed up. It may because I've become more anxious and more neurotic? Talking can be embarrassing for myself (I mess up even in small talk with my husband, like starting mid-sentences or speaking in a jumble of words) but sometimes I speak really well, like when I was speaking with psychologist I only messed up a few times. Also, ironically, drinking alcohol makes my speech a lot better, as well. It's like it slows my mind down enough to talk mostly normal. I usually prepare what I'm going to say in my mind over and over again before I say it. The other big thing is that although I have trouble connecting with people, I'm 100% aware of what's going on IN the conversation. When I'm talking to people, I read their facial expressions and listen to tone of voice and intention (I have a BIG problem with just sitting and listening to people because I'm always thinking, so I guess observing has become my way of understanding what's going on). In fact, I think I'm a lot better at reading people than the average person because I dissect the nonverbal communications so much. Everything I read about autism talks about how they don't understand other people's emotions or communication, and I feel like that's the exact opposite of me.

Soooooo

TL;DR :D I've always felt like an alien ("severe" [lol] introvert and always stuck in my mind's world) and was relieved to find an explanation for my strangeness (and also my ADD) but I don't think I have the "classic" symptoms of autism, from what I've read, such as difficulty understanding other people or their emotions, and I didn't have trouble with speech until my late teens (but that might've been because I became very anxious and my mind has been a "talker" since then so it's difficult to focus enough for words, or because my mom had brain surgery and developed a slur and I mimicked it?)

Sorry if some of this seems rude and/or uninformed. I'm still trying to understand what autism is, and the "spectrum of autism". I apologize if there was too much excess information that was irrelevant. :oops: Since I don't think my supposed autism has the classic signs, I wasn't sure how much information I should include about my inner "symptoms". Thank you for your input. :wink:

jaumeb
Posts: 167
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:48 am

Re: Just diagnosed as Autistic, not sure if I am?

Postby jaumeb » Sun May 21, 2017 9:07 am

Very interesting story. I love the fact you shared so many details. We have some things in common but I'd never write that much.

joyce.o
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 21, 2017 2:57 pm

Re: Just diagnosed as Autistic, not sure if I am?

Postby joyce.o » Sun May 21, 2017 3:02 pm

You might find it helpful to look at information from Dr. Tony Attwood. He's got some YouTube videos and a website with information about autism in girls and women. The characteristics are different and are only recently beginning to be studied.

raun cesar
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:17 am

Re: Just diagnosed as Autistic, not sure if I am?

Postby raun cesar » Sat May 27, 2017 8:34 am

Thanks lizardwizard96, informative story and i love the details.


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