I have a nineteen year old sister who I suspect might have a mild form of Asperger's. The main thing that I always noticed with her was that she has this strange habit of avoiding eye contact with people, even if she is directly speaking with them. She will look pretty much anywhere else-- at her hands or the floor or past their head, but not directly at them. She kind of seems to have to make herself look someone in the eyes.
Also, she seems to be a bit of a recluse and doesn't make friends easily or like being at parties or in big groups. With certain people and in smaller groups she's okay, but small-talk is definitely something that doesn't come easily. When she was a kid she would use really weird vocabulary, stuff that someone her age wouldn't really use. It tapered off a bit as she got older, but she still uses some odd words sometimes. Whenever there's a party at home, too, she would just leave after a while and go back to her room to read. I think having a lot of people around and having to talk with them all is kind of hard for her, unless you got her on something that she really likes. Then she'll keep talking about it whether you want her to or not.
She's really smart, and always did well in school, especially math and science. In college, she's a science major... so I guess that's good for her. But sometimes she says things and doesn't really realize that it wasn't a good thing to say... I don't know if she thought it was funny or if she just didn't know that it was kind of rude.
Anyway, I guess I'm wondering if I should try to get her to go to a doctor or something. Should she get tested for it?
That is always the big debate - to diagnose or not. As she is now an adult she really has to make the decision herself. She has made it through school. How were her school days - does she look back with fondness or were they a nightmare for her?
It all depends on how hard things are for her in general and whether a diagnosis is going to help. Does she have emotional meltdowns/obsessions/sensory issues.
I personally have got a diagnosis for my son. But he is high functioning autistic rather than Aspergers. Even as children, those with Aspergers tend not to get as much help because they are seen to do rather well academically. Personally I think that is totally wrong because they don't get help or support with things like the communication side of speech (how to hold a two way conversation!), or with social communication (how to make friends and keep them). These are very important skills. They aren't taught any life skills at all and they really struggle with these things.
Now she isn't in school - will she be able to live independently and find a job and keep it? If you think she will struggle with these aspects then you need to find out if a diagnosis is going to get her access to these supports either through benefits, social services home help type supports (she may need help with organising herself and cleaning/shopping/cooking), she may get support through the Job Centre and may have someone allocated to help her find work and to support her into work. This may involve something staying with her initially and teaching her the job. There are also adult support groups which she might find a useful way of socialising and meeting other people like her. If she won't get access to anything, then it really is up to her whether she wants the diagnosis. If she doesn't it would still be useful for medical agencies (dentist/doctors etc) to know that she has Aspergers because they will approach treatment differently if they know she has this. And I don't think they need a formal diagnosis, they can just be told that it is suspected she has Aspergers.
I would talk with your sister about it. She can read up about Aspergers herself. It might help her come to terms with things she has always struggled with and thought it was down to her own inability.
You can google DSM IV Aspergers for the diagnostic criteria.
I think Tony Attwood has a website. He is well known for his books about Aspergers.
I have a son aged 48 who I suspect has aspergers, he wont talk to me for months on end and then he wont talk to his father for months on end blaming the other for something or other.
He fits all the diagnosis I have read for a child and adult with aspergers but when he was born no one knew that word he was backward or mildly IHC.
He refuses to be diagnosed, he wont do anything you ask he always goes against something you say, he sees things in black or white and wont change his mind.
The only difference to the normal diagnosis is that he looks a bit like a downs syndrome, but the Dr tested him when he was 16 for the chromosone or missing chromosone or whatever and that is not the problem .His father has a bit of that look
He keeps losing his jobs,he is a truck driver he got all his licenses no trouble , he took the last sacking to court but lostbut wont tell me anything about it.
He doesnt love me at all or love his sister or father, his father and I are divorced.
He does not keep himself clean his hair always looks a mess
He can appear very clever at times her comes out with things I cant believe they are so up to date.
I read where someone says its the scandinavian in them my father was bornofNorwegian parents, but all the same I think it comes through my husbands family who have problems. My husbandcould only concentrate om his job and gave nothing to his family andis now bitter and twisted. His mother never spoke to her mother for 40 years ??
I just found out today, at age 22 that i have aspergers. I didnt realize it was a symptom, but i have to force myself to look people in the eyes too. I had a college reading level in 4th grade but was a terrible student because school was my daily scheduled 6.5 hour anxiety attack. I wouldnt know if get anxiety from parties because i have never been to one. When several people are around, i usually just listen to them talk. I love to talk with people about things that are intriguing, but small talk evades me.
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