Asperger's Syndrome Community
Do I Have Asperger's Syndrome?
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This forum is an un-mediated, patient-to-patient forum for questions and support regarding Asperger Syndrome issues such as: Balance, Behavioral Issues, Causes, Characteristics, Classification, Clumsiness, Communication, Diagnosis, Gait – Walking, Genetics, Medications. Parenting, Prognosis, Restricted and repetitive interests and behavior, School Issues, Screening Sleep Disorders, Social interaction, Speech and language, Treatment

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Do I Have Asperger's Syndrome?

I know this is kind of a hard question to answer because I understand that the symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome are not clearly defined and difficult to diagnose correctly, but bear with me.

I'm fourteen and I have always been socially awkward - I find it hard to connect with people my own age and I have difficulty empathizing with some of their problems, and they mine, and I have very little in common with my peers. I get bullied constantly and I like my own company a bit too much. I started having obsessions with very narrow and unusual subjects since I was about eight years old and my literary skills are considered advanced for my age - I read Harry Potter when I was four and I could write structured recounts with sophisticated vocabulary at the age of six. When I was little I spoke as though I was permanently stuck in the Elizabethan era and even now I talk in a way that only I seem to understand. I've always had bad handwriting, I could only ride a bicycle confidently without training wheels when I was about nine and I am tragic and doing anything with my hands, and I give up easily trying to use machines. Also, I thought I was obsessive compulsive because when I wash things or brush my teeth, I have to do it a particular way - I even count how many seconds I scrub each tile in the bathroom, which is kind of creepy. I also cannot fall asleep on most nights before ten and if I don't wake up before nine, even if I only went to bed two hours before, I have a terrible headache.

I have considered a variety of conditions I may have including obsessive-compulsive disorder, but I have only just recently put the pieces together and started to wonder whether I have Asperger's. So, could someone please tell me whether there is a chance I have Asperger's, or I'm just weird?
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Bless you for being able to recognize those things in yourself. Asperger's sounds incredibly likely to me. My son who is 7 has decided he must ALWAYS ride a bike with training wheels. It's a balance issue which seems to be concordant with Asperger's and HFA (my son has been receiving Occupational Therapy for sensory and other issues and it has helped immensely). In Kindergarten my brilliant yet antisocial child was being described by his principal this way:  "it's like speaking with a very small professor". He speaks like a short adult. He asked for an accordion for Christmas (I bought it of course... ) not because he's musical but because it's interesting. My son struggles with social issues and not being able to understand or be sympathetic to social cues is a hallmark of Asperger's (and other spectral disorders). He has an unusual amount of anxiety and worries about things most of us don't.

I can sympathize with you greatly because you describe my own childhood. I was lightyears ahead of my peers academically (except Math. Still hate it...) but what was shyness in elementary school became awkwardness later. I FORCED myself to behave like my friends and thankfully since it was internalized, no one knew, and they still don't 25 years later!  Back then, I was just a too-smart know it all quirky geek. I didn't participate in sports until I found horseback riding (try it if you can- great for balance, and many an Aspie can relate to animals better than people, so it's a win-win!) Now I have a son who is a too-smart-for-his-own-good brainchild who is Asperger's with ADHD and Sensory Integration Disorder. My own father would have probably been deemed autistic as he was a math savant. Go figure! Math! Argh! If it's any consolation, my life is very typical now. I've had great jobs even though I'm still not sure what I want to be "when I grow up" (I'm 40 :)), I am married, have a nice home, three children (just one Aspie) and great friends who I adore and who are coincidentally enough very much like me. I encourage you to speak to a parent about this and pursue a qualified diagnosis and therapeutic treatments regardless of that diagnosis (be it Asperger's or HFA or PDD or OCD). If help at home is not available, you can go to a guidance counselor and request an evaluation through school for special ed services. My son receives social help through a speech pathologist who "trains" him to interact more typically with peers through something called "social stories". The caveat is that the faster you receive assistance, the more effective it will be. Also, because you are well-read and savvy you can look up the prerequisites for the autistic diagnoses on the DSM-IV. The likelihood is that I am an Aspie like my son and like my father but I don't see it as a disability. We are all gifted individuals and just because I say what I think all the time doesn't mean I'm retarded. As an adult, it means I'm frank. Some of the most brilliant minds in our time and in history are now being considered as somewhere on the spectrum - Edison, Einstein, Da Vinci and even Bill Gates. Put that terrific mind of yours to good use.  And yes, please keep us posted.
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Hi! From your description, I would say that there is a chance you could have Aspergers or PDD-NOS. You should talk to your parents about your concerns and ask them to call your Dr. They can set up testing for you. Good Luck!
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I would agree with Karen and suggest also you talk with your parents to see if they would get the ball rolling with an evaluation.  Definitely discuss your concerns with your parents.  They are part of this.

Once you have an "official" diagnose, you will be able to focus more on strategies that will help you with areas of strength and weakness in dealing with the autism.  It provides more understanding also enabling you to find "acceptance".  

Thank you for sharing your concerns with us and we encourage you to take it a step further and ask your parents to follow through with asking the Doctor if you have valid reasons to pursue an evaluation.

Please keep us updated :-))
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Bless you for being able to recognize those things in yourself. Asperger's sounds incredibly likely to me. My son who is 7 has decided he must ALWAYS ride a bike with training wheels. It's a balance issue which seems to be concordant with Asperger's and HFA (my son has been receiving Occupational Therapy for sensory and other issues and it has helped immensely). In Kindergarten my brilliant yet antisocial child was being described by his principal this way:  "it's like speaking with a very small professor". He speaks like a short adult. He asked for an accordion for Christmas (I bought it of course... ) not because he's musical but because it's interesting. My son struggles with social issues and not being able to understand or be sympathetic to social cues is a hallmark of Asperger's (and other spectral disorders). He has an unusual amount of anxiety and worries about things most of us don't.

I can sympathize with you greatly because you describe my own childhood. I was lightyears ahead of my peers academically (except Math. Still hate it...) but what was shyness in elementary school became awkwardness later. I FORCED myself to behave like my friends and thankfully since it was internalized, no one knew, and they still don't 25 years later!  Back then, I was just a too-smart know it all quirky geek. I didn't participate in sports until I found horseback riding (try it if you can- great for balance, and many an Aspie can relate to animals better than people, so it's a win-win!) Now I have a son who is a too-smart-for-his-own-good brainchild who is Asperger's with ADHD and Sensory Integration Disorder. My own father would have probably been deemed autistic as he was a math savant. Go figure! Math! Argh! If it's any consolation, my life is very typical now. I've had great jobs even though I'm still not sure what I want to be "when I grow up" (I'm 40 :)), I am married, have a nice home, three children (just one Aspie) and great friends who I adore and who are coincidentally enough very much like me. I encourage you to speak to a parent about this and pursue a qualified diagnosis and therapeutic treatments regardless of that diagnosis (be it Asperger's or HFA or PDD or OCD). If help at home is not available, you can go to a guidance counselor and request an evaluation through school for special ed services. My son receives social help through a speech pathologist who "trains" him to interact more typically with peers through something called "social stories". The caveat is that the faster you receive assistance, the more effective it will be. Also, because you are well-read and savvy you can look up the prerequisites for the autistic diagnoses on the DSM-IV. The likelihood is that I am an Aspie like my son and like my father but I don't see it as a disability. We are all gifted individuals and just because I say what I think all the time doesn't mean I'm retarded. As an adult, it means I'm frank. Some of the most brilliant minds in our time and in history are now being considered as somewhere on the spectrum - Edison, Einstein, Da Vinci and even Bill Gates. Put that terrific mind of yours to good use.  And yes, please keep us posted.
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I agree with everyone else that you are an Aspie. I wasn't actually diagnosed until I was 44. I am considered an Atypical because I am female and have exceptional social skills. When I was a kid they didn't even have an Asperger's diagnosis. You are leaps and bounds ahead of your peers. That is why it seems that you relate so much better to adults, you are one in a kid's body. I was told at the age of 21 that I had the analytical skills of a person 3 times my age. I could have easily been a member of Mensa. I faked being sick for most of third grade because I was so bored that I wanted to go home so I could read something interesting. We as Aspies are the fortunate ones. I agree with BigPaws12. It is a gift to be able to see beyond the confines of the box like everyone else. I have a friend who is my counselor. I began seeing him right after I was diagnosed. I also joined the IAN to help people just like you. My family has all kinds of mental illness in it from bi-polar to paranoid schizophrenia. I was the lucky one though. I also deal with anxiety and depression. The intellectual gifts though are the really wonderful side. The world is your oyster. Read everything you can get your hands on. Consume all of the classics. They are classics for a reason. I lost my Mother two years ago. She had her PhD in English Literature. She was brilliant. She was gifted in so many ways that she helped me deal with my "differences" in such a way that they became strengths. I am who I am today because of her. When I tell people I am an Aspie they are truly surprised. However, looking back at certain childhood behaviors it totally fits. You are well beyond many in the fact that that you can objectively evaluate yourself. And, believe it or not, everyone is "weird" in his or her own way. We are just a little more eccentric than the rest. We are more like diamonds in the midst of a field of quartz. We do tend to think outside the box which makes people nervous. But everyone has beautiful qualities. Some individuals are just harder to see than others. I will be interested to hear about your progress. If you need recommendations as to what to read next, feel free to ask me.
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My son is 14 and was diagnosed with aspergers this year. I agree with everyone else that it does sound like asperger. I am so proud of you for getting on this site and telling us your story. WOW I keep trying to get my son to read some of this and he does not want to. He likes to be alone also, he has one true friend and all the other are just aquitances he meets at school. He loves school work but hate the bullying. He has lots of anxiety at time and loves old thing. He is very interested in WWII and titanic.We got him a candlestick phone for christmas last year off of ebay because of his love for old things. It works and he used it. He is my only child and I love him so much. He brings joy to our lives and I would not trade him for the world. Please talk with your parent and show them this site and have them read up on this as much as they can. Find someone who can help you learn the social skills you need to fit in where you want to fit in. You sound like a great person and I wish you all the luck. I will keep you in my prayer.
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How do I get tested or get help for possibility of having Aspergers Syndrome?
I find difficulty in day to day social interactions with people. I feel left behind and stupid because of this even though I was tested with a high IQ as a teen. I have underacheived and cannot stick with a degree.  I obsessed on taking every electronic device apart as a child, (I am 46 now) but I got hit for this.  My parents just thought I had a "bad temper" when my mom would re-arrainge my room and I would flip out.  I agree with the animal association.  I would much rather spend social time with the horses or goats as I like the way they are textured and dont confuse me like people do.  I can obsese for hours on a particular numeric or spacially related topic but I cannot maintain a conversation with 2 other women about a "gosip" type topic.  I will just drift out or walk away and then feel stupid that I dont even remember what they were talking about. I have a finger/hand tap when I get nervous or confused and I will at times make what I call repetative upset sounds of unintelligable verbage if I am very distressed.  I learned almost every  State Statute because they are organized by numbers and I found them very interesting.  
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