I Score "Very High" on the autism quotient tests

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SomewhereOutThere, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have become pretty certain I have a form of autism and have not been diagnosed with it only because higher functioning autism has only recently been acknowledged in the past thirty years or so, and the vast difference between male and female symptoms have only been realized very recently.

    I have gone to at least four neuropsychs who totally acknowledged I have strange neurological differences but said they did not see it as Aspergers due to good eye contact and language skills

    I taught myself to make eye contact. I used to avoid it. And I have a great vocabulary and am a good writer. But in social situations I am nervous, awkward, overtalk and cant think of things to say. Much more but that is enough!

    For women, anxiety and depression are huge with autism. So are sensory issues and hypersensitivity which can cause crying, even meltdowns.

    I am not going to go to another neuropsychologist at my age. I dont have to. But explains my strange life problems and validates that I really did get misunderstood due to crappy social skills and other corresponding issues. But its just for my info, really.

    Any woman who has had similar problems look female autism up on Youtube and the internet.

    Its interesting! You may find the answer to your life quirks! :)
     
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  2. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    It’s wonderful to be able to understand your quirks and accept yourself for who you are. My Aspie diagnosis helped me come to terms with my childhood and my differences. But I find as I get older I really believe that we are all so much more complicated than any diagnosis. And we are all changing and growing all the time. I don’t know if I would still qualify for a diagnosis based on who I am at this stage of my life and the latest DSM or not. I may be simply quirky now. And that’s ok, too. It’s a helpful lens to look through to understand aspects of myself, but it does not totally define me.
     
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I found an online version and took it. It did not tell me what the average person scored (normal or neurotypical people) or what score suggested some form of autism/Aspergers. I probably scored on the autism scale just knowing what I do about myself and female autism.

    The test did bring a couple of thoughts to me. Some of the things I scored in the more normal side are things I learned. It wasn't easy learning them, but now I have those skills. Things like talking to people or knowing when it is your turn to talk, etc... Or knowing the signs that mean you are starting to bore everyone to tears with your topic. Those are things my mother insisted I learn as I grew up. She saw them more as teaching us manners, but it really helped with what I know now are autism traits/signs. I think Wiz would have scored MUCH higher when he was younger than he does now. Of course he practices social interaction every day in his job as a grocery store manager. That has given him much more confidence in dealing with social things, and in his ability to pick up social cues. He had to work HARD to learn them, but it can be done.

    At one point he got super frustrated with all of the social rules and my mom had a talk with him. She explained his not understanding the social rules was similar to his grandfather's color blindness. Where Gpa has to ask if socks match or if his pants and shirt go together, Wiz needed to ask for help in understanding social rules. Gpa might be embarrassed wearing some clashing color combination and Wiz might be embarrassed at messing up a social situation. If each of them allowed others to help them, this would be easier. I know that for a while, Wiz had a very empathetic friend he would call for help in controlling his temper. This friend put a check on Wiz' tendency to react violently by reminding him that it wasn't really okay and the consequences would be enormous if he did certain things. It truly put a HUGE check on his violence.

    Wiz also allowed my mother to help him practice walking through certain social situations. After the situation was over and Wiz had some time to decompress, they would talk about what he did right and what he needed to work on. This helped him remember the social rules that made no sense. He accepted he was "partly socially blind" and used his memory and other skills to compensate. Now those things aren't a big deal because he learned how to cope with them.

    I think many of us have learned to cope and compensate for aspects of our autism/autistic traits. Some of our expectations for people with autistic traits seem to have an element of fatalism to them. The person is autistic, so he won't be able to learn X, Y or Z. I heard this a TON while raising Wiz. I believe it is nonsense. Just like SWOT's youngest was able to learn to live fairly independently, many autistic people can learn to manage or mitigate their autistic traits. It just takes a lot of effort from the people who care about them.

    I also have a serious problem with the idea that most people with autism or autistic traits don't have imagination. Or are severely limited in their imagination. From a very early age, Wiz showed autistic traits (so says hindsight). He also had a FABULOUS imagination. Getting imagination and reality crossed was one of his biggest challenges in life. He would get so set on whatever he imagined being real that he would completely flip out and rage when it wasn't true. Every psychologist except one, and EVERY autism "expert" told us that it was impossible for him to have an imagination of any kind. If I showed the "expert" Wiz' drawings or writings, they would swear that I did them or his sister did them. It used to drive me bonkers. Especially when one so called expert said that Youngest could NOT NOT NOT be on the spectrum because he had an imaginary friend that he told stories about. ST, his imaginary friend, did all sorts of things that thank you couldn't. He also was the one Youngest blamed for things he would get into trouble for. I used to have a whole bunch of stories about ST that Youngest had told me. I typed them up because they were hysterical and would be awesome to share when Youngest had his own kids. Youngest has a LOT of autistic traits and was diagnosed with a very mild form of autism after we quit seeing the quack autism expert.

    I think that imagination may not be something that people with more intense forms of autism recognize or are able to use. People with high functioning autism/aspergers and who are on the less intense end of the spectrum are probably vastly more imaginative than we realize or accept. Imagination is a skill like any other, and I think it is one that we can practice. I wish more autism experts would work on this as it might make life much easier for some autistic people. Females with autism of any sort are so badly understood that this might be a key for helping them or just identifying them. In my area, if a person has much of an imagination, the doctors will tell you that they CANNOT be on the autism spectrum. I had a neuropsychologist tell me this. I was done with him at that point because that is just ridiculous. I had a child who was very obviously on the spectrum and who had a very rich imagination. Of course Wiz confused the heck out of the neuropsychologist.

    Well, those are my thoughts this morning.
     
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    SWOT, I think your language and eye contact skills are a real achievement! It shows that those of us with a form of autism are not just stuck without the skills we need. You inspire me!
     
  5. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I agree 100%! This is why I say I may no longer qualify for a diagnosis as I am now, though I definitely did when I was younger. Social skills are just that, skills, and like any other skill they can be learned. Some of us just may need to learn in different ways.

    I had a wonderful boss who filled this role for me. He taught me how to manage eye contact, shake hands, do small talk, talk to the big bosses, interact in meetings, handle client interactions, navigate a cocktail party, and even do public speaking. We practiced everything explicitly, even the smallest stuff. He believed in me and refused to accept that I was not promotable due to social skills even though my technical skills were great. He really had a huge role in making me who I am. I have my own business now, and I know I could not do the business development and client interaction part of my job without his lessons. RIP, JM, I love you!

    I also take issue with the ‘no imagination’ thing. I think mine is pretty good! I agree that this may be something that applies more for low-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) than high-functioning/formerly known as Aspergers. Same with empathy. I don’t read facial expressions and body language well, but that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of empathy once you explain to me what you’re feeling! I feel very strongly, and I care very much. I’m not a robot! I just need you to tell me, and not make me guess.

    I have found that studying psychology and reading advice columns has really helped me understand other people better. Empathy (in the sense of recognizing what other people may be feeling and responding in socially appropriate ways) can also be learned. People who lack the capacity for empathy entirely - and who just don’t CARE about other people - are antisocial/psychopathic, not Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)!
     
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have a great imagination so dont fit there.

    I do not have great conversation skills. Never have. And I would rather be anywhere than at a party with strange people ldoing this thing called small talk.

    When I try to explain myself verbally I get tongue tied and can say sruff I shoulddnt say and dont mean. So that never got that much better. I have to thi kcarefully before I talk to strangers. I get nervous. Not nervous with kids or hub bit anyone else. Umtil I know them well and they know I tend to say the wrong words and are okay with that. Which males meeting new people hard work.

    I dont care that much since I prefer not being around lots of people.

    I am good in a one ans one situatuon unless somebody is badgering me. Then I get tongue tied and the wrong words may come out.

    Clumsiness was talked about and yes I am lol.

    I would npt allow myself to be touched as a child but now I am huggy and touchy. Im glad i got over that.

    I get obsessed over things unril I drop it and move on to tje next obsession
    My current obsession is absurdly learning everything on earth about eating disprders although I never had one.

    The test I took was an offocial test.

    I shouldnt be surprisrd. My DNA is awful. It includes, eating and over exercising disorders galore, a hoarder, anxiety, depression, biotchiness lol, learning disabilities and now Aspergers. The only bad thing we dodged is schizophrenia which was also an obsession I once had.

    The test I took needed. 32 to score Autism and I scored 33. But the instructions say that 32 and up means considerable autistic traits so....yeah. No big surprise to me.

    Every test possible is now on the internet. Yes, I checked that out too. Including the MMPI gold standard for all mental illness. I took that twice when I was younger and scored depression/anxiety the first time and once I felt good again it came back normal.

    It has 600 questions including trick questions to see if you are being truthful. I dont think I will take that again, even for a lark! Plus I think you have to pay to take it. Nope!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  7. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Me, too, SWOT! I am ABLE to do many of these things now, but that doesn’t mean I like it!

    I find even larger groups of family and friends I know and love individually are really overwhelming and exhausting. A lot of that is the sensory processing issue, too. Left to my own devices I can easily fall into never leaving the house and going days or weeks at a time only seeing R and the animals. But I know that it’s not healthy for me to be so antisocial, so we’ve joined a church and I’m going to join the choir this year. I need to keep practicing the social skills I’ve learned with such hard work or I start to lose them.
     
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Elsi, I get tired even with family too .I get it. Its hard work to stay focused and ready to respond for hours.

    But I have learned to just be more myself, which is goofy and silly and kind and sometimes too talky and if people dont like me, then they dont. My family of choice accepts me and thats all that matters Cant please everyone. I am like this with my volunteer friends and I know they like me too. They are also very goofy. I dont like having to put on an act. Its stressful.
     
  9. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    YES!!! When I embraced who I really am, quirks and all, I gained a lot of confidence in my interactions with others. My favorite characters in stories are always the quirky, offbeat ones who don't quite fit in. I'm one of those. And I'm fine with it.
     
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Me too!!! :) And I love TV characters like in The Big Bang Theory! Did you know that many people swear Sheldon has Aspergers? I think he is an extreme but accurate example.

    One of the few shows I love!

    I always found certain off beat people I fit in with. Probably because I am different, your average every day more serious person is kind of boring to me. I am attracted to creative people who walk to the beat of a different drum and are not that addicted to all of society's smaller rules that I feel dont make sense or are silly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  11. ahhjeez

    ahhjeez Member

    I would disagree on the imagination part as well. I know my husband, when he was a kid, used to lay out elaborate battle scenes with his little army guys and enact battles and imagine all different kinds of scenarios. My kiddo didn't seem to have an issue with that either. When ds was little we practiced social stuff extensively. He had such a tough time with sarcasm so I practiced that a lot on him. He has no problems with it now! LOL. We did a lot of work learning the little social rules like when a conversation is over. Trying not to live too much in your head during a convo which just means for ds...try not to worry if you feel like you are looking awkward or saying the wrong thing. My husband and I still work on tone of voice and volume. He is LOUD. I so admire my husbands ability to just speak his mind. If he doesn't like something he'll definitely let you know and not feel bad about it. I could use that more in my life.

    I know I have a lot of shadow traits of autism, particularly as I've gotten older. I find group situations like parties absolutely exhausting and I much prefer being in my own safe space. I have fairly severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that I've gotten a pretty good handle on with medications so I'm not neurotypical. My son is so incredible with me when I have to check the kitchen a million times or ask him if the car is in park several times before I can get out. He just gets it and I love that. I think it's an ongoing process for all of us, myself, ds, husband and my mom (who lives with us) would just as soon stay in the house and never socialize and I don't think that would be healthy for any us.
     
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Boys with autism tend to have it more obviously than girls although in my case I dont think that is true. I think my lack of social skills was and still sometimes is very obvious, which more girl autistics than boys tend to be able to cover up.

    I dont think all the coaching in the world could have made me not care when I was awkward. Especially when I was little, back in the day when autism was almost unheard of, adults, especially my mom and teachers would yell, "Whats WRONG with you????" And I felt like crying because I knew something WAS wrong with me, but I didnt know what. I knew I was not like other kids. And I knew I was not different in a GOOD way.

    One is usually born with autism. More often it gets better as you get older, not worse. You learn somewhat by observation but you can not always do what you see.

    So since you say you got worse older on, maybe you dont have it. I remember my mom telling me I hated to be picked up or touched as an infant and those are huge autism signs. And I had rages, another symptom. Oversensitivity and sensory issues. More red flags. I had all of that plus anxiety and depression which is par for the course in autistic girls.

    I did have a great imagination but many spectrum kids and adults are very unimaginative, like my son.

    Both my son and I have great senses of humor and get sarcasm. Nobody with autism has every symptom but poor social skills that are inhibiting are across the board, and often learning challenges, even if you are smart.

    Face blindness is common. I have this. Nothing like having a coworker come up to you in a mall and not recognizing somebody you sit next to every day lol. Yep. Literally I cant recognize my best friend if she changes her hairstyle. I recognize people by hair color/style and body build, not features. I dont remember features. Makes it hard to watch a movie if two of the main characters have the same hair color and both have short hair. Like two men with short brown hair and lean bodies will confuse me. I dont watch many movies. Too frustrating.

    Google up Propansia :) which means face blindness.

    I have some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) thoughts but not the disorder. Same with my son.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  13. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Same!!! This is so awkward. I have such a hard time seeing people out of their normal context, or if they’re not in their usual clothes of hairstyle. I had a terrible time when the kids were all in activities and I could never recognize the other baseball/ballet/band/gymnastics moms when I would run into them at school events or at the grocery store. I think I had a reputation for being terribly stuck up because of that. But I just didn’t recognize anyone! I’m the same on the movies, too. And when I was little, I remember thinking I had multiple aunt Js because my aunt changed hairstyles several times. I kept wondering when aunt J with the long hair was coming back!

    It’s weird when you gradually start realizing not everyone has this problem. Oh. Oops.

    I think of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as having multiple facets, each with its own spectrum. So some of us may score really high in some aspects but not so much in others. And some things are more changeable with time and effort than others. Social skills I have found to be learnable. Sensory processing issues not so much.