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Hey there, fellow Gaians. RiverSong1984 here, and I have Asperger's Syndrome, a mild form of autism. Or if you want a more clinical definition, I am on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. That said...

What is Autism?

- Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.

- A diagnosis of any autism spectrum disorder needs to be recognized by the time a child turns three.

-It is one of three recognized disorders in the autism spectrum (ASDs), the other two being Asperger syndrome, which lacks delays in cognitive development and language, and pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (commonly abbreviated as PDD-NOS), which is diagnosed when the full set of criteria for autism or Asperger syndrome are not met.

(Big thanks to Wikipedia for the info. smile )

Okay, with that out of the way, I want to hear from you. Are you autistic? Do you know somebody who is? How do you handle changes to routines, interests, life, etc? I can't wait to hear what you all have to say. smile
RiverSong1984's avatar

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Since there are no replies yet, let's start with my life experiences with Asperger's Syndrome. As a little girl, I was physically developing normally, but my speech was delayed. My parents took me to a special-ed center and I was taught sign language to speed up my language skills. My parents knew I was smart because when I was 2, instead of making a peace sign to show how old I was, I would hold up my two pointer fingers instead. By now, my parents had learned it was best to treat their special needs child like you would a normal child. I started talking after my sister was born, around my third birthday.

After this, my langauge skills grew in leaps and bounds, I was also an early reader. According to mom, my preschool teacher called her one day and said, "Julie, I think Lea is reading!" At this time, we have just moved to a new city and I would rattle of street names to remind her of how we got to the grocery store, cleaners, etc. Until then, Mom thought I memorized the street names. Was she surprised! As I got older, I would make up stories and talk to myself. I also began retreating into books because I felt safer. In the fifth grade, I was bullied by the mean girls so much, that my body shut down and my doctor told my folks to sue the school.

I was transferred to a smaller, private school where I blossomed and made real friends. When I was 12, Star Wars was re-released and thus began my lifelong love of Star Wars and Science Fiction. At the time, I had a classmate who was also an Aspie, but she was so much into dinosaurs that it was she would ever talk about, even insisting that the plastic toy she once brought in was a real reptile. My friends and I tried to get her to talk abut the Texas Rangers (I am still a fan to this day), but no luck. For a while, I was embarrassed about even mentioning Star Wars because I did not want to turn into my classmate. My parents and sister understood, and this has become a family joke.

After moving to Northern Virginia, I went back to public school. I made friends, joined some after school clubs and studied Latin because I know everything about Greco-Roman mythology, history and culture... and I still pulled low C's. Now a days, I am working on my associates's to become a teacher.
THeSLuSH's avatar

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Did you know that soon there will no longer be a diagnosis for Aspergers?
You may want to check the proposed revisions to the upcoming DSM-5 (can be found on the APA website).

A small correction to your original post, that a diagnosis does not need to be made by the age of 3, adults can be diagnosed as autistic.

I am not autistic but am currently taking a grad seminar on the neuropsychology of autism so it is of some interest to me. One of the labs in my department focuses on cortical organization in autism spectrum disorders, and I recently started collaborating with a colleague of mine investigating atypical myelination in autistic brains. Mostly as an excuse to get to play with their electron microscope.

I also had the amazing pleasure of meeting and having lunch with Temple Grandin last year ^___^

On a side note, did anyone else hear about the tragic events at the brain bank this last summer? We lost a third of the biggest supply of autistic brains during a freezer malfunction (along with many other samples from various other diseases/disorders). The worse part about the tissue thaw-out is that these brains were the -best- specimens for research (most complete, full case histories, etc), so we expect to see a long-term slow of autism research. Just thought I would bring it up since many of my colleagues have been affected by it.
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THeSLuSH
Did you know that soon there will no longer be a diagnosis for Aspergers?
You may want to check the proposed revisions to the upcoming DSM-5 (can be found on the APA website).
So, I would be considered "normal" if such a revision is made? BS.
i have aspergers... but im honestly to emotionally exhausted right now to say my life story... maybe another day when i have the energy
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THeSLuSH
Did you know that soon there will no longer be a diagnosis for Aspergers?
You may want to check the proposed revisions to the upcoming DSM-5 (can be found on the APA website).
So, I would be considered "normal" if such a revision is made? BS.

I prefer the word neurotypical rather than normal, but yes, that is possible. It will be dependent on what criteria you meet, or rather do not meet. The revisions propose that Aspergers group be subsumed into Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which will be broken into three levels of severity. So you may be considered belonging to ASD at the lowest severity level, but the criteria needed to be met to be diagnosed ASD are becoming more strict, which is why I say that you may no longer 'qualify'.

Personally, I find the subsuming of Aspergers into ASD to be particularly interesting because of the amount of diagnostic pride much of the Aspie community has.
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I used to run animation workshops for kids age 8-18 and I generally found those with aspegers or who were on the autistic spectrum mildly were far better at creating stop motion animation than most of the other children.

They were more focussed, took information in better and were more 'perfectionist' in their work. At first it was worrying that they'd be a handfull but it sooned turned into 'i hope we get asperger kids for this workshop' lol.

I've never been diagnosed myself but quite a few people including some with aspergers, see characteristics of it in me.
I think aspergers gets abused a lot by nerds who want an excuse to be shitty people.

******** sperglords
I was diagnosed with aspergers 2 or 3 years ago.

My parents noticed that i was different when i was little but they just thought i was weird. No one noticed anything big until i got into high school and started having problems with people making noises. I am sensitive to noises plus sensitive to touch.

My doctor brought it up and after learning more about it we found out that i fit it really well. All of my weird little things matched up with it.

It didn't really change my life any but it made my mom more accepting of the different things i do and the way i think. It also helped me get the help i needed in school.

My dad shows the same signs as i do but he is worse than me and has never been diagnosed. Plus my cousin has Autism. I those are the only other people in my family with anything like this though.
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I got diagnosed with AS around 12/13 years ago. My parents knew that there was something odd about me, I had a huge obsession with dinosaurs and I didn't interact much with the other kids at school. My principal actually called my mum up saying that I wasn't doing to well with the other kids at school or something like that. Mum didn't quite understand, so apparently the principal told my mum to come up to school one day and just observe how I was in the playground. The day mum came up, I was just wandering around the school perimeter, one on the fence, the other in the air and just me with my eyes closed, just off in my own little world.

Anyway, after that my principal showed my mum stuff about the ASD and said that I might be on it and recommended that I get tested. My older sister was also doing her own research on the topic online and found that quite a lot of what was being said matched her. Well there was something about her that was not quite like her peers anyways. So we both got tested and were found to be on the Asperger's. Although I suspect that my dad is Asperger's as well, but is undiagnosed.

I've dealt with it pretty well, I mean there are some times when I do or say something, (like when I was to turn on the lamp because it was getting dark, so I turned on every lamp in the house) and I guess it just re-reminds people that I'm Aspie? idk

I don't see myself as being special or lesser because of it. It's a part of me, and it always will be.

But I do hate the douchebags online who act like dicks, then try to say that they have Asperger's. AS or not, they're still acting like dicks and they shouldn't blame it for their dickish behaviour. If I'm acting like a d**k, it's because I'm acting like a d**k, not because I have AS.
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Trick or...

I was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at the age of 13 which was 18 years ago. I can't remember much of my early life aside from falling from the stairs as a baby and I never asked my mother how I was as a baby/infant/toddler except I know that I was late with walking and talking. At the age of 7 I was placed on a special school for children with learning and developmental disorders. My grades were the worst in the beginning but as I got older I got better at most subjects, save for P.E. I got a few friends at elementantary school but I was often a target of bullying. My high school time was better and I didn't get picked on as much as during my time at elementary school. I was pretty good at foreign languages and some exact sciences (chemistry and biology) but I failed at physics, algebra/math and P.E. After I finished high school I sort of dropped out on further education becasue I didn't know what I wanted which is a bit of a waste. I have a job now which consists of wrapping food items and I am pretty satisfied with it.

TREAT!
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Serverus Snope
THeSLuSH
Did you know that soon there will no longer be a diagnosis for Aspergers?
You may want to check the proposed revisions to the upcoming DSM-5 (can be found on the APA website).
So, I would be considered "normal" if such a revision is made? BS.
This.
I got diagnosed with Aspergers a few years ago. I am very sensitive to touch, like if someone touches my hair lightly or arm or whatever. I also hate when the laundry room door is open when the dryer is on. I also love to study world religions and cultures. biggrin I love books, especially historical fiction. Mom said that a lot of Aspies don't read a lot but I always have. biggrin
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My boyfriend has Ausburger's Syndrome and used to be really bad. They diagnosed him at 8 years old which doesn't help either because he was already a troubled kid. He was put on ridilen, and it was believed he was ADHD at first. His mother helped him out and got him to good public schools, but he was in special education until he was out of high school. He never got out of that program and he really hated the world because of it. He now is a mild case with slight issues, but he's better now from most depression since he dated me in 2010. he doesn't whine as much either heehee.

He loves geeky things, video games, and is more like a normal guy. He gets easily embarrassed and the best Star Wars and Star Trek nerd around for me.

Me: I might have Ausburger's because I was very mentally abused by my first month of school. I was alway a different kid. I used ASL easy as a baby, and loved to read after I was 3 (when parents were not giving kids iPads to read and being lazy not TEACHING them.) Anyway... I learned fast for my age but was clumsy and fell constantly. I was teased cause I didnt act like a girl and hated working with the others. The eeriest day though was when I was 6. A child fell down the toy we had in our school grounds and bled every where. Blood was on my shoe. All I remember was smiling at the blood.

Soon after I was teased worse. I got school therapists the years there and even through high school. I needed speech therapy at 6 and 7 years old. I was learning mad libs, what the teachers liked, and by I was 9... I was betting on the winner of the first season of Survivor with the faculty. It didn't help I was losing my baby teeth those years in elementary school, so I was bleeding after every loss of tooth. The kids said I was gross, pushed me, teased worse as I got older.

I am now 21. I'm still learning how to be decent but I'm doing well. I live in a new place and the teasing after I turned 15 has ended. (I had to leave my old schools where I was constantly teased... And moved in with my mom and dad to Puyallup, WA. I wasn't teased at the new school and it was fun!)

I now babysit an 11 year old boy with ausbugers. His 9 year old sister might have it as well. A 10 year old I know also has it, and she's been learning how to be nice due to me working for her mom.
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Citrine_Dreams
I got diagnosed with Aspergers a few years ago. I am very sensitive to touch, like if someone touches my hair lightly or arm or whatever. I also hate when the laundry room door is open when the dryer is on. I also love to study world religions and cultures. biggrin I love books, especially historical fiction. Mom said that a lot of Aspies don't read a lot but I always have. biggrin
My boyfriend reads a ton of star wars novels and I read Greek and Egyptian mythology. As for the touching thing; my boyfriend hates his head touched by most. I am the exception to this rule however, but he holds back annoyances otherwise.

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