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Buried alive
Jun 8, 2009


credburn posted:

... I wouldn't be who I am if it wasn't because of my autism, but I've also lived a life of constant anxiety, fear, confusion, and misery. I am at a point in my life where I have everything I could ever want, so like, things turned out okay, but it's after 35 years of bullshit. Probably a full quarter of my life has been spent in a constant state of considering suicide and assuming that that would be how I would go. Even if things are better now, I would sacrifice everything I have to start over and just be able to experience life like a normal person.

Hi. I'm probably autistic in some ways myself. I say probably because getting a diagnosis as an adult doesn't seem to be A Thing That Happens in my local area of US, so hearing that someone else has gone through similar mental states and experiences is very validating. So, thanks for typing that out. It means a lot.

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credburn
Jun 22, 2016


Though it's mostly filled with "does anyone else do this...," the /r/autism and /r/aspergers subreddits are actually pretty... affirming? I've rarely actually posted there, but I've read a lot of the posts and many, many of them are high-functioning late-diagnosis adults struggling with coming to terms with this kind of identity duality. It's worth checking out.

I want to clarify what I said, actually: what I should have said is, I would not change anything, because I am who I am and this isn't as disabling as say, loss of sight would be. I am living a great life. I guess what I mean is... it was luck that got me to this part in my life, and had nothing to do with autism. If there hadn't been some very fortuitous coincidences in my life, I'd probably just be a homeless autistic drug addict who wouldn't ever know why he's different, and while kind of this subjunctive hypothetical hyperbole, there can be a thread that leads from autism to there.

Anne Whateley
Feb 11, 2007
i like nice words


credburn posted:

However, she recently sent me this emoji: This thing makes absolutely no sense to me. Since I am so bad at broad expression interpretation, I have to break down individual features, but this little guy is all kinds of chaotic.
A lot of emojis aren't intuitive if you haven't encountered them before, often because they're trying to represent more complex concepts. However, emojis have names, and you can literally just google the emoji itself to get its name. The name of the emoji in question is "relieved face."

credburn
Jun 22, 2016


It's meaning is also dependent on who sent it, which makes it doubly hard, I think. Consider: when Ray Liotta laughs he is happy but he looks like he's going to bite someone's throat open. This is kind of an extreme example, but most facial expressions are dubious enough on their own, but then consider that expressions look different on different people. The name of the emoji might be "relieved" but I don't think "relieved" was really the adjective my friend was trying to convey, even if it does share a lot of the same characteristics.

alexandriao
Jul 20, 2019

"What're quantum mechanics?"
"I don't know. People who repair quantums, I suppose."

credburn posted:

I want to share an anecdote. A friend of mine was recently diagnosed, but it took like two months of regular visits to a neuropsychologist in order to get that diagnosis, whereas I was diagnosed after only two three-hour visits. She is -- maybe obviously, given the pronoun -- female, and as I understand it's harder to diagnose women because they tend to present in a much more subtle way. In any case, she finds that emojis (because I'm reluctant to change, I still call them "emoticons" and have to erase it every time) are extremely useful for helping others understand what she is trying to say. However, emojis are almost universally useless for me.

My diagnosis focused a lot on facial expressions. Now, anyone who looks at, say, knows it is an angry little yellow guy. A frown, angry eyebrows, I get it. However, she recently sent me this emoji: This thing makes absolutely no sense to me. Since I am so bad at broad expression interpretation, I have to break down individual features, but this little guy is all kinds of chaotic. First, the mouth. It's a semi-circle, flat on top, arch at the bottom, generally a symbol of happiness. It's a soft smile, though, so not like, ecstatic, but happy. It's kind of lazy, though, really relaxed, so maybe it's a breath, like a sigh. Move up to the eyes, which are closed. They're angled downward, a soft droop, suggesting contentedness, peacefulness, sleeping, relaxing. Combined with the soft mouth, I perceive this as sleeping. The eyebrows, raised up, but not in a furrow, so it's not angry and it's not confused. Those eyebrows appear on a surprised face, but this face is not surprised. It looks relaxed. So given all the evidence and what I know about individual expression, this emoji depicts someone asleep.

No, she says. She just meant she was really happy to hear about something.

I've often heard that one of the biggest tells of an autistic person is that they have trouble understanding and translating body language and facial expressions. This is very true for me, and I hope that maybe my breakdown of the thought process that I have to go through helps convey this seemingly simple (I mean, it seems really really simple to me, even though I can't grasp it) thing that babies don't even have trouble with. Of course, this is my personal experience, and I can't say if it's like that for everyone, but maybe it is for many?

imo that emoji looks contented.

How I organize emojis in my head is that emoji use changes among context. So for example my one friend we use 😍 as a stand-in for ♥️ because of the limitations of messenger. I also see ♥️ use as different between friends who use it to mean different things. So mentally I just box it up with them. This means my emoji use is going to change with different friends as well.

Although I do all my social interaction like that. I get super messed up mentally when I have more than one group of friends with different contexts in one room (not that it's happened much) because my emotional expression depends on the person I'm talking to, so it's difficult to figure out how to react when you have conflicting interaction contexts in the same place. If that makes any sense?

I'm not formally diagnosed as autistic but aspiequiz gives me like upwards of a 70/30 chance of being autistic and pretty much my entire friend group has been diagnosed... I'm hesitant to use the label but I still relate heavily to the experiences listed here so

small ghost
Jan 30, 2013



Emojis and emoticons before them have always been super useful to me but I tend to stick to the simple ones. I get irrationally irritated with the ambiguous ones especially when people use them a lot. 🤗 bugs me. Is it meant to be offering a hug? Is it holding its hands up in humorous supplication? It feels slightly smug. I hate it.


credburn posted:

I want to clarify what I said, actually: what I should have said is, I would not change anything, because I am who I am and this isn't as disabling as say, loss of sight would be. I am living a great life. I guess what I mean is... it was luck that got me to this part in my life, and had nothing to do with autism. If there hadn't been some very fortuitous coincidences in my life, I'd probably just be a homeless autistic drug addict who wouldn't ever know why he's different, and while kind of this subjunctive hypothetical hyperbole, there can be a thread that leads from autism to there.

This is where I am, really. I am who I am, there are things I like about myself that I think are strongly correlated with my autism, but I'm also very aware that the reason I'm doing ok is a bit of luck and a lot of a good safety net, and a lot of people in my life didn't have that and are doing much worse. If I didn't have that, I would definitely have ended up choosing between staying in an abusive relationship or being homeless at a certain point.

I'm extremely ambivalent about the concept of a 'cure' and whether that's even a feasible thing, but I really really wish I'd been diagnosed as a child and had some sort of support and intervention, because trying to figure stuff out on my own was difficult and dangerous. Just feeling able to ask questions about the things I didn't get that everyone else seemed to would have been an enormous help.

turd in my singlet
Jul 5, 2008

DO ALL DA WORK

WIT YA NECK

*heavy metal music playing*

Nap Ghost

Thirding the "if I didn't have a good support system (rich liberal family) I would have died under a bridge years ago" thing. I've been following this thread for a while but haven't posted yet since it's kind of a hard topic for me and one I don't really know how to talk about. I was diagnosed in 2016 after the therapists at an addiction IOP program thought I was on the spectrum, which validated my mom's beliefs so she sought out a specialist psychologist to diagnose me. Took like an afternoon of testing to come up with diagnoses for autism and dyslexia.


Has anyone actually had good experiences with therapy for ASD? The two "specialist" therapists I've tried were garbage. One was convinced that I NEEDED to be on medication, despite me telling her I'd had bad experiences with meds and that I felt my lovely moods were directly attributable to my inability to socialize normally. We literally never addressed anything I felt was important and eventually ended up with me shutting down during our sessions while she doubled down on trying to bully me to see a psychiatrist until one day she unceremoniously "fired" me as a client.

The next guy was a quack who literally had a chiropractor working out of his office. He was ASD (Asperger's) but had overcome his condition well enough to get an MSW, get married, and otherwise get on with his life which was cool, but I never felt like I made any progress with him either. He was insistent that I was supposed to "lead the sessions" but I had no idea what to loving talk about and felt like uh isn't this your job dipshit? That was two years ago and I haven't pursued any therapy since.

small ghost
Jan 30, 2013



I've not had therapy since being diagnosed (waiting lists ) but therapists are a grab bag in general. The best I've had in terms of getting on with their style were for CBT but then it's short course and hahaha I'm not learning executive functioning in seven sessions, I'm literally not capable of that. Psychodynamic psychotherapy lasts longer but that seems to be more of the "you lead the session" type thing and like, I can't match my socks most days, I'm absolutely gonna need some help here.

I'm hoping for better luck with specialist therapy but that's gonna be a while yet before I get a placement. Mental healthcare in general leaves a lot to be desired tbh, it's definitely not a unique experience.

Gantolandon
Aug 19, 2012



I never got any autism-specific therapy, because I was diagnosed two years ago when I was 32. But my autism was never that burdensome and I learned to pretend that I'm normal relatively early. College was the lowest point in my life, but actually getting a job helped a lot. I don't know how would I turn out with actual therapy Ė but the one issue that actually prevents me from having a successful social life is that I find it extremely draining, and I doubt anyone could help me with that.

turd in my singlet
Jul 5, 2008

DO ALL DA WORK

WIT YA NECK

*heavy metal music playing*

Nap Ghost

Yeah I'm reasonably high functioning and have a job but have very few friends and absolutely zero success in dating. It's extremely frustrating.

Honj Steak
May 31, 2013

Hi there.


I'm a musical instrument teacher who just got a new student (5 years old) with autism. He's only been to lessons twice so far, so I didn't really get to know him, yet. I'm definitely going to have to go through a lot of trial and error to find out what approach works for him. Does anybody here have experience with learning instruments and what was important/successful for them? I'm mostly interested in what methods helped you to be able to focus on a particular task.

Ferrosol
Nov 8, 2010

Notorious J.A.M


As someone with autism I can see a lot of myself in these posts. I'm wondering now what my "stimming" response. Maybe I dont have one as such but I find I need to verbalize my thoughts a lot and tend to as a result be constantly muttering when dealing with a difficult task or experience. Could that be it?

Anyways my story is pretty similar I was the "weird kid" growing up and had to pick up social cues by trial and error. I wasn't diagnosed till I went to uni at 18. Which later explained a lot about my life. Hell even though I'm relatively high functioning i still consistently misread tones and social situations and find it difficult when doing something new.

As for a cure for autism if such a thing were possible I'd take it in a heartbeat but it wouldn't fix the years of trial and error social experiences.

I don't have any sort of autism related superpowers and find the whole rainmanesque assumptions to be kind of insulting. I'm reasonably smart but can't escape the feeling I'd be a lot smarter without my condition.

AngryRobotsInc
Aug 2, 2011




Ferrosol posted:

As someone with autism I can see a lot of myself in these posts. I'm wondering now what my "stimming" response. Maybe I dont have one as such but I find I need to verbalize my thoughts a lot and tend to as a result be constantly muttering when dealing with a difficult task or experience. Could that be it?

That absolutely can be stimming behavior. Hand flapping, and rocking in place, are commonly known ones, but certainly not the only ones. Repeating words, muttering, making particular noises, all sorts of vocalizations can also be stimming behavior. Once my son's self-harming stims started to die down, he actually replaced them with muttering for the most part.

underage at the vape shop
May 11, 2011

by Cyrano4747


How do you all handle things like sarcasm or irony? Particularly on forums like Something Awful where text obfuscates a lot of context

Dance Officer
May 4, 2017

It would be awesome if we could dance!


alexandriao posted:

imo that emoji looks contented.

How I organize emojis in my head is that emoji use changes among context. So for example my one friend we use 😍 as a stand-in for ♥️ because of the limitations of messenger. I also see ♥️ use as different between friends who use it to mean different things. So mentally I just box it up with them. This means my emoji use is going to change with different friends as well.

Although I do all my social interaction like that. I get super messed up mentally when I have more than one group of friends with different contexts in one room (not that it's happened much) because my emotional expression depends on the person I'm talking to, so it's difficult to figure out how to react when you have conflicting interaction contexts in the same place. If that makes any sense?

I'm not formally diagnosed as autistic but aspiequiz gives me like upwards of a 70/30 chance of being autistic and pretty much my entire friend group has been diagnosed... I'm hesitant to use the label but I still relate heavily to the experiences listed here so

Don't use the label, but do get tested. My experience is that you'll discover things about yourself, and problems you didn't realize you had.

small ghost
Jan 30, 2013



underage at the vape shop posted:

How do you all handle things like sarcasm or irony? Particularly on forums like Something Awful where text obfuscates a lot of context

I have difficulty sometimes with sarcasm in face to face contexts but usually get it over text. Not always, especially if it's aimed at me in an otherwise neutral conversation, because I overcorrect to sincerity if I'm talking sincerely about something myself. Irony is generally much easier. Personally I've got some serious sensory processing issues around speech, but I'm hyperlexic (slow to talk but taught myself to read, which freaked everyone out a bit. had an adult reading age by about 6 or 7, largely because books are so much easier than people. Hyperlexia is more common than you might think with autistic kids.) so I actually find interpreting written language a lot easier than speech anyway.

I'm also prone to being sarcastic myself though, so it's not like, an unfamiliar concept for me. And a lot of getting irony and sarcasm is about knowing enough about the wider context to realise the statement is obviously insincere, if that makes sense? Text gives me more room to process, whereas with face to face interactions I'm working so hard to understand them and work out what they're feeling, plus keeping tabs on if I'm loving up, am I making eye contact enough or too much, am I being too loud or too quiet etc. etc. For me, at least, it's exponentially harder to process communication in person because there's so much other data coming in. The absolute worst is phones - I miss even obvious jokes constantly over the phone, because it's all the problems of linguistic processing and realtime interaction with none of the visual feedback I use to navigate.

I imagine this differs massively person to person, because processing language through reading and through listening are two different functions handled by different areas of the brain, I think?

small ghost fucked around with this message at 19:48 on Nov 19, 2019

Dance Officer
May 4, 2017

It would be awesome if we could dance!


Honj Steak posted:

I'm a musical instrument teacher who just got a new student (5 years old) with autism. He's only been to lessons twice so far, so I didn't really get to know him, yet. I'm definitely going to have to go through a lot of trial and error to find out what approach works for him. Does anybody here have experience with learning instruments and what was important/successful for them? I'm mostly interested in what methods helped you to be able to focus on a particular task.

I suspect the kid will need you to be very clear and precise, and direct. This is more of a general autist thing, though. In my experience it's something Americans have a ton of problems with. If you're not someone who can do that, you're probably not the right teacher for them.

Dance Officer fucked around with this message at 20:31 on Nov 19, 2019

StratGoatCom
Aug 6, 2019



underage at the vape shop posted:

How do you all handle things like sarcasm or irony? Particularly on forums like Something Awful where text obfuscates a lot of context

Autistic person here.

I'm... pretty good at it, I think? I know I can manage one hell of a deadpan delivery, and a lot of folks IRL apparently think I'm funny.

quote:

As for a cure for autism if such a thing were possible I'd take it in a heartbeat but it wouldn't fix the years of trial and error social experiences.

Personally, I'd run far away from a cure, as I simply don't want to be NT. No offense, normal brain people - you can be nice, but sometimes it's like dealing with insane telepaths, and I fail to get the appeal of being normal. I don't really suffer from being autistic, its' folk's reaction to it that I suffer from.

Now, that suspected I-ADHD of mine? That can eat aaallll the poo poo.

Mamkute
Sep 2, 2018


turd in my singlet posted:

Thirding the "if I didn't have a good support system (rich liberal family) I would have died under a bridge years ago" thing. I've been following this thread for a while but haven't posted yet since it's kind of a hard topic for me and one I don't really know how to talk about. I was diagnosed in 2016 after the therapists at an addiction IOP program thought I was on the spectrum, which validated my mom's beliefs so she sought out a specialist psychologist to diagnose me. Took like an afternoon of testing to come up with diagnoses for autism and dyslexia.


Has anyone actually had good experiences with therapy for ASD? The two "specialist" therapists I've tried were garbage. One was convinced that I NEEDED to be on medication, despite me telling her I'd had bad experiences with meds and that I felt my lovely moods were directly attributable to my inability to socialize normally. We literally never addressed anything I felt was important and eventually ended up with me shutting down during our sessions while she doubled down on trying to bully me to see a psychiatrist until one day she unceremoniously "fired" me as a client.

The next guy was a quack who literally had a chiropractor working out of his office. He was ASD (Asperger's) but had overcome his condition well enough to get an MSW, get married, and otherwise get on with his life which was cool, but I never felt like I made any progress with him either. He was insistent that I was supposed to "lead the sessions" but I had no idea what to loving talk about and felt like uh isn't this your job dipshit? That was two years ago and I haven't pursued any therapy since.

I could have died under a bridge years ago. I apparently walked under a bridge across a frozen river, I lived.

alexandriao
Jul 20, 2019

"What're quantum mechanics?"
"I don't know. People who repair quantums, I suppose."

Dance Officer posted:

Don't use the label, but do get tested. My experience is that you'll discover things about yourself, and problems you didn't realize you had.

Unfortunately I have Medical Problems so getting tested means a higher risk of disbelief with said medical problems. I'm also trans so then I get Trans-Broken-Leg Syndrome on top of that, which sounds like a literal nightmare to deal with. It also means that the medical professionals will be more likely to disbelieve the fact that I am trans, which means a longer wait for treatment, so that's another point against getting tested. I don't really see any specific benefit to getting tested (aside from validation and stuff, but I have that already from my friends) that going to a therapist won't deal with anyway.

credburn
Jun 22, 2016


alexandriao posted:

Unfortunately I have Medical Problems so getting tested means a higher risk of disbelief with said medical problems. I'm also trans so then I get Trans-Broken-Leg Syndrome on top of that, which sounds like a literal nightmare to deal with. It also means that the medical professionals will be more likely to disbelieve the fact that I am trans, which means a longer wait for treatment, so that's another point against getting tested. I don't really see any specific benefit to getting tested (aside from validation and stuff, but I have that already from my friends) that going to a therapist won't deal with anyway.

I'm baffled by this post. I was unfamiliar with "Trans-Broken-Leg Syndrome." I thought you were making up a euphemism that just went over my head, but I looked it up. I'm so sorry that this is one of the ridiculous obstacles you have to get through just to approach the equivalent measure of care the rest of us get. Can you elaborate on your concerns with getting tested and "risk of disbelief" with medical problems? Do you mean that if you are diagnosed with ASD, that diagnosis will be used to imply you're just confused about your gender?

I live in liberal Oregon and know a lot of people who are trans, but admittedly I can't think of any that I am close to who have yet undergone any hormonal treatment.

underage at the vape shop posted:

How do you all handle things like sarcasm or irony? Particularly on forums like Something Awful where text obfuscates a lot of context

Actually, Something Awful for a long time was the only place I could comprehend sarcasm and irony. I hope this doesn't turn into a long story:

I joined Something Awful so long ago, it was even before we switched to these forums. By which I mean, it was in... 1999? 2000? We were on a UBB thing and then went to VBB or I don't quite remember. I was fifteen or sixteen, then, doing really bad in school, and in 2001 I just dropped out because the teachers sure didn't know what to do with me and the students just wanted to make me miserable. One day a huge kid beat the hell out of me with a big metal yard stick and the teacher just kind of did nothing, and I realized that, well, this education thing sure isn't going to end in any sort of success, so I dropped out, and then went to stay in my father's basement for years in isolation. During that time, the only connection I had to anybody was the Internet, and so that's where I went, and that led me to Something Awful and its forums.

The thing about sarcasm and irony and such is that it's rather dependent on the person delivering it, right? But anyone can be sarcastic and ironic. Most neuro-typicals can interpret that reasonably well, some better than others, but unless I know the person, I can't. Perhaps in the same way a 70 year-old man's generation and experiences are so far removed from a snarky 20 year-old that he can't translate hyperbole very well -- it's like that, because my experiences, even if superficially are not so different from another's, are like recorded in my brain so differently, that I also can't translate that.

Ugh, this will sound like such a... an overly profound and strange sounding sentence, but: the forums of Something Awful saved my life. I retreated to the Internet because I could not take any more of the people and their indecipherable, cruel attitudes and intentions. I couldn't understand their nuance, phrasing, vocal vacillations, all these things that make up language. But on Something Awful, it was all just text. One may consider that text is even more ambiguous because it lacks body language or tone, but for me it is so much clearer, especially in those days. The people I found here then were mostly made up of what I now think are angry hipsters who must have been insufferable to be around in real life. But so was I, and it was the first time that I connected with a group of people. Also, considering how expensive computers were back then and the newness of consumer Internet, and also these forums' rather harsh vetting of its members, the instituting of a paid membership, and how amusingly fast and easy it is to find oneself banned, it resulted in what I saw as a kind of specialized group of very smart, intellectual, creative nerds. But it also resulted in a very narrow-focused... poo poo, what is the word I'm looking for? We had our own culture, our own language, like we were a small island just off the coast of a nation.

I felt lost in the real world because I didn't speak the language others did. But I got in on the ground floor here, and I was very privileged to be part of this culture as it grew to become what it would later be notorious for. I could understand nuance and sarcasm and irony and all that because we were a small group and the voicing was so similar. In the real world, if I walk a block away and encounter new people, I might as well be in another country, since everyone's voicing is dependent on their past. But Something Awful didn't have a past; we were making it ourselves. And in particular, in the years of, oh, 2003-2006, that voicing was very specific. It was the voice of a lot of young adults who abhorred mainstream culture and wanted to make fun of it, the people who rejected the mainstream because they didn't fit in it, and often were ostracized because of that.

I could understand sarcasm and irony because Something Awful had a unique voicing of it, and I was there to watch that voice evolve. What's most interesting I think about those years is that when I visited these forums, it was the only time I didn't feel autistic. And I can't help but find a great deal of amusement in the irony that a neuro-typical person wandering into these forums must have felt as alien in this world as I did in theirs.

Edit to add: times have changed, of course. The accessibility of the Internet has exploded in the last decade, and everything evolves, and everything is so much broader now. I remember kind of being annoyed when I saw for the first time someone not from these forums make a "Chuck Norris" joke. I remember thinking, ah, better watch it, that joke has run its course and you're going to be put on probation for that. I remember wanting to show an ex-girlfriend this hilarious "Ultimate Battle of Ultimate Destiny" song, only to have her cut me off and say, yeah, everyone has seen that. People post memes and they all look like the old image macros from these forums, but they're not... it's like they've copied the aesthetic but don't understand the joke. I hate to say this, I know this is problematic, and I am sure this is based on ignorance and a narrow view of the entire thing, but... ugh, this feels dirty, but I must say: I feel like the Internet has appropriated my Something Awful culture. And now I am back to not really speaking the same language. It's gotten broader, and that makes it more open to varying interpretations. A neuro-typuical person can usually dynamically adapt and translate it, but I cannot.

credburn fucked around with this message at 22:46 on Dec 5, 2019

Dance Officer
May 4, 2017

It would be awesome if we could dance!


alexandriao posted:

Unfortunately I have Medical Problems so getting tested means a higher risk of disbelief with said medical problems. I'm also trans so then I get Trans-Broken-Leg Syndrome on top of that, which sounds like a literal nightmare to deal with. It also means that the medical professionals will be more likely to disbelieve the fact that I am trans, which means a longer wait for treatment, so that's another point against getting tested. I don't really see any specific benefit to getting tested (aside from validation and stuff, but I have that already from my friends) that going to a therapist won't deal with anyway.

I... Honestly don't know what to say. I guess my advice would be to seek out some trans advocacy groups, maybe they can refer you to doctors who will take you seriously. Otherwise, I've not heard of autism and gender-related problems having any connection, so a doctor who knows a good deal about autism isn't likely to try to shove your other issues onto autism.

dirby
Sep 21, 2004


Fun Shoe

Dance Officer posted:

I've not heard of autism and gender-related [stuff] having any connection
There's a lot of correlation and partial/potential explanations for said correlation. This is discussed/studied a fair amount.

That's not to say that there won't be bad doctors who use their perspective to give worse care, etc.

AngryRobotsInc
Aug 2, 2011




Trans people are seemingly significantly more likely than just a general slice of the population to have an autism spectrum disorder or to display traits associated with ASDs (like me, autistic and trans ). That is not to say one causes the other, or that doctors won't be dicks about it, but there is potentially some currently not understood link between the two.

VictualSquid
Feb 29, 2012

Gently enveloping the target with indiscriminate love.


AngryRobotsInc posted:

Trans people are seemingly significantly more likely than just a general slice of the population to have an autism spectrum disorder or to display traits associated with ASDs (like me, autistic and trans ). That is not to say one causes the other, or that doctors won't be dicks about it, but there is potentially some currently not understood link between the two.
That sounds more like selective reporting. People who are more likely to get diagnosed/out themselves as one instead of suffering silently are more likely to do the same for the other.

credburn
Jun 22, 2016


And to add more chaos into the mix, I understand that men generally "present" autistic traits much more visibly than women? But then I wonder if that has more to do with societal expectations of different genders.

Quorum
Sep 24, 2014

REMIND ME AGAIN HOW THE LITTLE HORSE-SHAPED ONES MOVE?

credburn posted:

And to add more chaos into the mix, I understand that men generally "present" autistic traits much more visibly than women? But then I wonder if that has more to do with societal expectations of different genders.

I'm a gay dude just coming to the realization that there might be something more to all of that social awkwardness, issues with running the gently caress away from relationships and not understanding why, reading constantly in class while acing the classwork but also never doing any homework, and literally a million other tiny symptoms I had no idea were symptoms... and, anecdotally, I'm inclined to think that yes, it's more to do with the construction of gender roles than anything actually biological. I fall closer to the stereotypical "female" pattern of behaviors than the stereotypical "male" one, which I attribute to the fact that I'm queer and, although I'm definitely a cis man, I never much cared about being "masculine" and got along much better with girls as a kid for the most part.

Dance Officer
May 4, 2017

It would be awesome if we could dance!


Quorum posted:

I'm a gay dude just coming to the realization that there might be something more to all of that social awkwardness, issues with running the gently caress away from relationships and not understanding why, reading constantly in class while acing the classwork but also never doing any homework, and literally a million other tiny symptoms I had no idea were symptoms... and, anecdotally, I'm inclined to think that yes, it's more to do with the construction of gender roles than anything actually biological. I fall closer to the stereotypical "female" pattern of behaviors than the stereotypical "male" one, which I attribute to the fact that I'm queer and, although I'm definitely a cis man, I never much cared about being "masculine" and got along much better with girls as a kid for the most part.

Being good at school does not an autist make.

Quorum
Sep 24, 2014

REMIND ME AGAIN HOW THE LITTLE HORSE-SHAPED ONES MOVE?

e: quote is not edit, my actual post is below

Quorum fucked around with this message at 00:36 on Jan 29, 2020

alexandriao
Jul 20, 2019

"What're quantum mechanics?"
"I don't know. People who repair quantums, I suppose."

credburn posted:

I'm baffled by this post. I was unfamiliar with "Trans-Broken-Leg Syndrome." I thought you were making up a euphemism that just went over my head, but I looked it up. I'm so sorry that this is one of the ridiculous obstacles you have to get through just to approach the equivalent measure of care the rest of us get. Can you elaborate on your concerns with getting tested and "risk of disbelief" with medical problems? Do you mean that if you are diagnosed with ASD, that diagnosis will be used to imply you're just confused about your gender?

Hmm, so I accidentally rolled five different effects into one

Basically the things I've heard of happening are:
  • People with disgnosed autism, OCD, anxiety, etc. stating that they've had a much harder time getting good medical care because the doctors try and pin it on that first for whatever reason
  • People with diagnosed autism or OCD going for trans treatment and that getting prevented because the therapist is trying to say it's just a fixation or obsession rather than them actually being trans
  • Trans people going for treatment for an unrelated and existing medical problem and getting told they should stop HRT because that could be causing it (which... no...)

I've heard of some other things but my brain isn't letting me remember them at the moment! I think eventually after I've moved out and gained a therapist I'll ask them to pursue an autism diagnosis but keep it off the record for the aforementioned reasons, so then I can at least get some kind of treatment for it, I guess.

I only just saw your message, this thread was on the bottom of my bookmark list until now for some reason

Off-topic, but do you mind if I ask what your old username was? c:

Quorum
Sep 24, 2014

REMIND ME AGAIN HOW THE LITTLE HORSE-SHAPED ONES MOVE?

Dance Officer posted:

Being good at school does not an autist make.

I'm really struggling to respond to your post because it feels like you're dismissing my experience out of hand because I said I was good at aspects of schoolwork. If so, a) autistic people can absolutely be good at (parts of) school, b) I was both lucky and privileged in a whole lot of ways, not least involving access to specialized programs and motivated teachers, and c) I absolutely would not describe my school experience as a triumphant success. I made it, despite struggling in ways I couldn't describe or even really conceive, and at a psychological cost I'm still reckoning with.

Dance Officer
May 4, 2017

It would be awesome if we could dance!


Quorum posted:

I'm really struggling to respond to your post because it feels like you're dismissing my experience out of hand because I said I was good at aspects of schoolwork. If so, a) autistic people can absolutely be good at (parts of) school, b) I was both lucky and privileged in a whole lot of ways, not least involving access to specialized programs and motivated teachers, and c) I absolutely would not describe my school experience as a triumphant success. I made it, despite struggling in ways I couldn't describe or even really conceive, and at a psychological cost I'm still reckoning with.

No, it was just weirding me out because how good at school you are has nothing to do with autism, it read like you were bragging.

Klaaz
Sep 23, 2003



I am on the waiting list for an ASD assessment (and related disorders) as a 43 year old adult male. I am not sure if they actually can complete a diagnosis as I don't have much data and witnesses from childhood. My father is dead and I don't trust my mother (she has a whole lot of problems herself to deal with) to be objective enough to describe my childhood behaviours and experiences.

The only things I have is my own experiences, stuff like the lists I made of all the kids in my classes (since i was about 9 years old till puberty) to keep track of their behaviour (rankings/ratings) towards me and how I should aproach them and that I hide into videogames for like every moment possible.

Quorum
Sep 24, 2014

REMIND ME AGAIN HOW THE LITTLE HORSE-SHAPED ONES MOVE?

Dance Officer posted:

No, it was just weirding me out because how good at school you are has nothing to do with autism, it read like you were bragging.

No, sorry-- that definitely wasn't my intention. I'm still coming to terms with the whole thing and getting all my thoughts in one place is hard, so I apologise for coming off that way. In my case, I think doing well in school early on is why my symptoms were missed, or dismissed as just being an awkward loner. You know, all those normal awkward loners who never look anyone in the eyes or who explain to their teachers in fourth grade that they don't understand the point of making friends.

Quorum fucked around with this message at 11:32 on Jan 29, 2020

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



codswallop posted:


E: I realised I didn't even ask you a question! How difficult do you find it making eye contact with other people when talking? Now Gary's been diagnosed he's relaxed about trying to cover up his autistic traits, so he doesn't bother making eye contact with family other than this kids any more.

I figured I'll give my take on the eye contact question as well.

Maintaining eye contact feels a lot like trying to balance on a smooth slippery stone or trying to hold two magnets together the wrong way.
I can do it if I really focus but then my gaze just veers off on its own.

The compromise that I was taught is to either look between their eyes, or at their forehead or something.

Powered Descent
Jul 13, 2008

We haven't had that spirit here since 1969.


Yam Slacker

Jack Trades posted:

I figured I'll give my take on the eye contact question as well.

Maintaining eye contact feels a lot like trying to balance on a smooth slippery stone or trying to hold two magnets together the wrong way.
I can do it if I really focus but then my gaze just veers off on its own.

The compromise that I was taught is to either look between their eyes, or at their forehead or something.

For many years I've suspected that I might be borderline autistic. (My girlfriend thinks there's no "might" or "borderline" about it, but I've never gotten any kind of professional diagnosis so I stick to the "suspected" terminology.)

For me, eye contact just feels like a foreign social convention that doesn't come naturally. Body language varies by country and culture. Imagine visiting a country where the ordinary conversational body language means putting your shoulders back, your arms out, your head forward, and getting RIGHT up into the other person's face: classic aggressive "you wanna FIGHT about it?" body language. And in this country, if you DON'T do that, then it's seen as off-putting, or even a little creepy. If you were to visit this country, then sure, you could follow the custom... if you consciously reminded yourself to. But you'd probably slip sometimes.

That's my best explanation for how ordinary conversational eye contact feels to me. It's not a problem to do it, but I have to remind myself that no, I'm not actually picking a fight. I've been living for decades in this land with (what seems to me to be) the weirdly-aggressive body language, and so I've gotten in the habit of following the custom and looking people in the eye. But it's never felt natural, and if I'm not paying attention, I do slip up sometimes.

Luneshot
Mar 10, 2014



Thanks for this thread- I guess I should type out the thoughts that have been in my head for a while.

I was diagnosed with severe ADHD at about 8 years old; over the past few years Iíve concluded that I have mild autism too, although I never got an official diagnosis on that. Iíve heard secondhand that ADHD and autism are closely related, and some researchers think they might be the same thing; if anyone knows more about this and can link me to studies, Iíd love to read them.

As far as ADD/ADHD, things that donít interest me are almost impossible to hold my attention on- unfortunately, the things that my brain decides arenít worth my attention are usually important things, tasks that need to be done, or things that I *want* to be interested in, but my brain wonít let me.
I recently came across this article and it is about 95% accurate to my experiences with ADHD. Itís a loving wonder that Iím capable of living alone, given my level of executive dysfunction- without medication, Iím effectively useless.

Anyway - I feel like I exhibit most of the classic symptoms of Aspergers/mild autism. I have ~*Special Interests*~ that I can hyperfocus on; thereís a few that have persisted basically my entire life, while others come and go. I have an incredible appetite for knowledge and learning about these specific topics and hobbies. I find lots of other things interesting, but not in the same hyperfocus-spend-hours-reading-wikipedia way.

I can hold a conversation, but I am utterly useless at small talk. My usual tack in conversations is ďget in, discuss what needs to be discussed, get outĒ. I tend to be pretty blunt and terse in conversation, and I repeat myself a lot if Iím trying to get a point across. But if you get me talking about something Iím interested or invested in, I wonít shut up for hours. I spend most of my time alone- which is by choice- and most of my social energy is spent with online friends, as I find them easier to relate to.

Iíve completely given up on eye contact- the ďslippery stoneĒ is a good analogy. Iíll look literally anywhere else in the room except at your face, but usually down at the ground.

With the above, itís no surprise that Iím totally oblivious to most social cues. When I tried to interact with others as a kid/adolescent, I was ďannoyingĒ or ďweirdĒ. Iíve lost count of the amount of times my earnest attempts at socializing resulted in failure, mockery, or bullying. As time went on, I just withdrew more and more to avoid getting hurt again, even though I didnít understand what I did wrong to make people dislike me- I had no inkling that I was acting differently than other people, but it seemed clear to me that trying to make friends wasnít worth the trouble. I spent most of high school in the library reading two books a day, and through four years of college I never made a friend that I actually hung out with- every day I just went back to my dorm room and sat on my computer, and barely acknowledged my roommate. I didnít have any problem with them, I just never felt the need to chat with someone that I shared nothing in common with.

Iím 25. I feel like I was somehow totally oblivious to my own shortcomings for the first two decades of my life, and only now am I starting to understand who I am, all the social skills I never developed, and why I have such trouble making and keeping friends.

P.S. anybody else gotta bounce their leg? I donít understand why but I just. I have to. I canít sit perfectly still, I have to be bouncing my leg or picking at my skin or fiddling with something. Itís a very nonspecific, hard to describe, but extremely strong urge to keep at least some part of my body moving or occupied. Iím curious if others have this.

edit: less E/N

Luneshot fucked around with this message at 22:58 on Feb 15, 2020

Buried alive
Jun 8, 2009


Luneshot posted:

...

P.S. anybody else gotta bounce their leg? I donít understand why but I just. I have to. I canít sit perfectly still, I have to be bouncing my leg or picking at my skin or fiddling with something. Itís a very nonspecific, hard to describe, but extremely strong urge to keep at least some part of my body moving or occupied. Iím curious if others have this.

edit: less E/N

That sounds like it could be a form of stimming or a touch of obsessive-compulsive .. something. Not disorder, as that sounds more like a quirk than something that makes it difficult to live your life. As it's described here, at least. Anyway, short answer is yes. It's a known thing that presents itself in different ways. Hell, there's a whole industry of fidget toys to satisfy that urge.

Dance Officer
May 4, 2017

It would be awesome if we could dance!


Luneshot posted:

Thanks for this thread- I guess I should type out the thoughts that have been in my head for a while.

I was diagnosed with severe ADHD at about 8 years old; over the past few years Iíve concluded that I have mild autism too, although I never got an official diagnosis on that. Iíve heard secondhand that ADHD and autism are closely related, and some researchers think they might be the same thing; if anyone knows more about this and can link me to studies, Iíd love to read them.

As far as ADD/ADHD, things that donít interest me are almost impossible to hold my attention on- unfortunately, the things that my brain decides arenít worth my attention are usually important things, tasks that need to be done, or things that I *want* to be interested in, but my brain wonít let me.
I recently came across this article and it is about 95% accurate to my experiences with ADHD. Itís a loving wonder that Iím capable of living alone, given my level of executive dysfunction- without medication, Iím effectively useless.

Anyway - I feel like I exhibit most of the classic symptoms of Aspergers/mild autism. I have ~*Special Interests*~ that I can hyperfocus on; thereís a few that have persisted basically my entire life, while others come and go. I have an incredible appetite for knowledge and learning about these specific topics and hobbies. I find lots of other things interesting, but not in the same hyperfocus-spend-hours-reading-wikipedia way.

I can hold a conversation, but I am utterly useless at small talk. My usual tack in conversations is ďget in, discuss what needs to be discussed, get outĒ. I tend to be pretty blunt and terse in conversation, and I repeat myself a lot if Iím trying to get a point across. But if you get me talking about something Iím interested or invested in, I wonít shut up for hours. I spend most of my time alone- which is by choice- and most of my social energy is spent with online friends, as I find them easier to relate to.

Iíve completely given up on eye contact- the ďslippery stoneĒ is a good analogy. Iíll look literally anywhere else in the room except at your face, but usually down at the ground.

With the above, itís no surprise that Iím totally oblivious to most social cues. When I tried to interact with others as a kid/adolescent, I was ďannoyingĒ or ďweirdĒ. Iíve lost count of the amount of times my earnest attempts at socializing resulted in failure, mockery, or bullying. As time went on, I just withdrew more and more to avoid getting hurt again, even though I didnít understand what I did wrong to make people dislike me- I had no inkling that I was acting differently than other people, but it seemed clear to me that trying to make friends wasnít worth the trouble. I spent most of high school in the library reading two books a day, and through four years of college I never made a friend that I actually hung out with- every day I just went back to my dorm room and sat on my computer, and barely acknowledged my roommate. I didnít have any problem with them, I just never felt the need to chat with someone that I shared nothing in common with.

Iím 25. I feel like I was somehow totally oblivious to my own shortcomings for the first two decades of my life, and only now am I starting to understand who I am, all the social skills I never developed, and why I have such trouble making and keeping friends.

P.S. anybody else gotta bounce their leg? I donít understand why but I just. I have to. I canít sit perfectly still, I have to be bouncing my leg or picking at my skin or fiddling with something. Itís a very nonspecific, hard to describe, but extremely strong urge to keep at least some part of my body moving or occupied. Iím curious if others have this.

edit: less E/N

I recognize a lot of myself in this. I think it's a good idea to get diagnosed, if you can.

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Gantolandon
Aug 19, 2012



Luneshot posted:

P.S. anybody else gotta bounce their leg? I donít understand why but I just. I have to. I canít sit perfectly still, I have to be bouncing my leg or picking at my skin or fiddling with something. Itís a very nonspecific, hard to describe, but extremely strong urge to keep at least some part of my body moving or occupied. Iím curious if others have this.

Sometimes I do, but usually it's eyes (intense blinking), or moving my head. In my case, yeah, it's stimming.

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