I was diagnosed with Executive Dysfunction (clinically significant) in 2004 and am now diagnosed with ASD co-morbid ADHD with Executive Dysfunction, thought more commonly referred to as Asperger's. I have a wider cognitive dysfunction but they weren’t able to give answers to all those problems, which were essentially ring-fenced out with the diagnosis. My consultant and GP (family doctor) have been trying to find a neurologist that specialises in ASD related neurology for adults but they have been unable to find one in the UK. My GP told me there is a huge gulf of knowledge for adult treatment and neurologists for ASD essentially only exists for children and they refuse to see adults. I was wondering if they exist in the US? My upstanding is they do as I heard fellow ASD talk about them. It would be good to know how I can go about finding someone who can help me. I'm not looking for more labels, more somebody who has natural curiosity and is a problem solver. I am at the stage now where Neurophysological study is needed specifically function/activity study. I only had static MRI and CAT before and had a benign cist removed from my skull that was jutting into my cerebellum a little, though I believe this is unrelated. Those neurologists didn't know about PDDs.
If I was a pensioner you might class me as having a mild cognitive dysfunction however I'm 25 so it is not so mild and I’ve had it all my life. I’m underachieving quite badly and verbal skills give a misleading impression of my capability and because of this there is high expectations and I’m ambitious too. It is very frustrating. There is quite lot in it and it would take be around 5 pages to fully describe everything I know so far, and a 3 page doctor’s letter can take me a whole day to write just getting my thoughts in order, but if you have any questions feel free.
Right now I’m taking Strattera in the highest dose for my weight. It is not expected to have great deal of impact on the Executive itself. The effects are quite subtle. I think it has improved my verbal skills slightly but not so much my deficiencies, I’m continuing to use it for the time being to see if there is any more improvement. I didn’t respond to stimulants at all in fact some stimulants like Dexedrine actually made me feel drowsy. Why would something used to treat narcolepsy make me feel drowsy? My consultant said he is thinking of putting me on Aricept to improve my executive. I also noticed that there are some studies with Memantine and ASD, which is in the same class as Aricept. My consultant is unfamiliar with Memantine. How do Aricept and Memantine compare? I’m said to have the ADHD inattentive type however much of my inattentiveness is in fact me getting stuck or blanking out, I think. My executive dysfunction is my main problem there.
My main cognitive problems that have not been identified are to do with visualisation and long term memory. It did not occur to me how other people think, but I think very differently from most people including other ASD that I have talked to. I do not see any images in my head whatsoever except in dreams. If you asked me to ‘imagine’ a tree that would not be possible, if you showed me something momentarily and asked me to visualize it that would not be possible either. I could think of those things but not produce a mental picture. It is quite difficult for me to describe how I think, I don’t see or hear words, the nearest description is thinking in definitions. It is far from ideal and lacking in detail. I do have some trouble recognizing things and getting lost. I can recognise some things while they are in front of me (probably more that a definition could cover) and see them but not recall them sight unseen. It is essentially the opposite of ‘blind sight’ and *literally* ‘mind blindness’. That is why I only know where I’m going while these things are in view at the time. I have little concept of what to expect or what order. However getting lost is not a major problem because I can use maps ok. However I believe images in my head is a major part cognitive function and memory. I have a long term memory problem that is on-going. It is difficult to give an accurate description but roughly for ages: before 7-8 no memory, 8-10 not much, 11-13 very fleeting, 14-16 partial, after 16 it slowly increases to the present but recent event are still quite foggy. I’m not bothered about the past except the last couple of years where I’m made advances and my first true friendships that I have reciprocated properly. I want to remember what I have now and in the future. I also have a problem of constantly having to re-learn things.
Most of all I would like to be able to be myself any use my curiosity, which is not possible at the moment.
Thank you for your help.