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Asperger's syndrome

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by emm142, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. emm142

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    So, this year I have finally been getting treatment for previously untreated mental health issues. Today I had my final appointment with my university counseller before leaving for summer. She tentatively said that although she is of course not qualified to make any kind of diagnosis, she has several years experience and has counselled people with Asperger's (both those who were already diagnosed, and those who went on to be diagnosed after she spotted that they had the traits), and she told me that most of what I have spoken to her about are symptoms and traits of Asperger's. In particular, I have difficulty in social situations, compulsive and behaviours, narrowly focused and obsessional interests and a strong need for routine and struggle with change. I also have depression, which may have arisen as a result of these things but which is not directly attributable to anything.

    My questions are for those who have Asperger's or who have a child with it. I am of course 19 years old and struggling as a result of the above issues. But I am aware that a diagnosis of Asperger's would not give me any more options to directly 'treat' the associated problems. However, my counsellor has suggested that if I am diagnosed then I will be able to utilise support groups and gain more skills to cope with the traits.

    I am trying to decide whether or not it is worth seeing a specialist, and whether a diagnosis would be useful if I do, in fact, have Asperger's. Any experiences would be great.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  2. Christopher

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    I have no experience with it, but I just wanted to say sorry you are dealing with it and offer my support. If you have the means to see a specialist and/or get a second opinion, I think you should do that.

    Hang in there Emma.
     
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Emma, I'll hazard a guess that if you were experiencing physical symptoms of some uncurable physical condition, but one that through PT or some other learned behaviour could be lessened, you'd probably seek that treatment. :cwds:

    Good luck with this - I'm sorry you have so much on your plate.
     
  4. TheLegoRef

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    I sent you a PM, but I wanted to throw this out in public. The book "Look me in the Eye" by John Elder Robinson is a great read for anyone looking to read about Aspergers. Wonderful book.
     
  5. Lakeman

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  6. Helenmomofsporty13yearold

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    I read once that every person who can handle working on a computer in a cubicle all day probably has a mild form of autism. I think it is much more prevalent than we realize. I would definitely seek a second opinion, just so you know what you are dealing with, what expectations to have of yourself and what steps to take to make your life work best for you. I am sure you will be an inspiration in whatever support group you join, just as you are to us.
     
  7. sooz

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    Emma, I would listen to her and believe her when she said she is not qualified to make a Dx. People who say they are not qualified and then go on to do it anyway are highly questionable in my mind. I am glad you are looking for help and for answers. I don't remember if you said you are on meds for depression, but depression is a chemical imbalance that can be greatly helped by meds. I wonder if the depression were treated, if some of the other symptoms would go away or lessen, like the social difficulty, the need for routine, and the difficulty with change. If you can connect with someone who IS qualified to help you find the answers it would probably be a good thing. My impression of knowing you through this board is one of a highly intelligent young woman who cares about others and tries to help and encourage people. You are generous, kind, and thoughtful with your remarks. Even though you are busy with your schooling, you take the time to want to be helpful. I hope those traits are considered if any kind of diagnosis is to be made.

    Eta I see from your signature you are being treated for depression. I know it takes a while for some of the meds to kick in and sometimes they may need to be adjusted or changed. So, I'm not qualified either, just wanted to try to offer some support.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  8. MamaC

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    Can you link that?
     
  9. purplewowies

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    I know that I will fit the new DSM criteria (as it's currently proposed), and I'm on the "high" side of things (though I kind of reject "functioning" labels).

    New proposed criteria: http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevision/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=94

    What's going to happen to AS in DSM5: http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=97#

    What the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network has to say about it being removed/merged:How Will DSM 5 Impact Services? and What are the Stakes? An Analysis of the Impact of the DSM-5 Draft Autism Criteria on Law, Policy and Service Provision

    That last one is American centered, so I don't know what would happen in other countries.

    Personally, I was able to get testing (reduced distraction because I get REALLY distracted by little noises when I'm testing) and notetaking accomodations at my university. I haven't used it for any sort of therapy or anything.

    You can find a lot of autistic/Aspie people on the internet. (I personally have taken a liking to Tumblr... :p)
     
  10. DsMom

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    I second this wholeheartedly! Only know Asperger's from novels and movies...surely not the best sources of information...so I'm sorry I can't help with any advice. Just wanted to offer my support and hopes that you find the answers you need to get solutions that work for you.
     
  11. TheFormerLantusFiend

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    I have a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome. It can be helpful if you want to request accommodations.
    As far as support groups go, most of them accept people who are self-diagnosed. I was a member of GRASP for a number of years, and our groups include many self-diagnosed members. In order to facilitate a group though, you have to have an official diagnosis.
    It can be useful to go to support groups or talk to other people for at least four reasons. One is just to find out what other people do in order to deal with situations you are dealing with. Two is to be less alone (some people even describe going to autistic spaces as coming home). Three is to be in a place where you can act the way you want to act, and/or try out autistic behaviors, where people will accept that you don't want to talk at all/ want to rock/ tap your eyes, etc. Four is to be in autistic space and/or to design autistic space, literally- to figure out what light bulbs don't bother you and to be in a place where wearing perfume is forbidden.
    I have heard good things about autscape: http://www.autscape.org/
     
  12. emm142

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    Thanks for the PM - definitely food for thought! I will be getting my hands on that book ASAP, I have enjoyed reading other things by people with AS and I'm sure this one won't be any different.

    Thanks to the four of you. Lakeman, I had no idea about that so thanks for letting me know. Helen, I think because it's a spectrum there are people who live life with AS very well without a diagnosis, and it is true that the only reason my counsellor has recommended an evaluation is because something is interfering with my enjoyment of life and if it is this then there might be ways that I can deal with it.

    Christopher and Sarah, I'm beginning to agree with you. I think that the ability to go to support groups with other people like me and to receive guidance about ways to cope would probably be helpful, and I think I will ask my GP to refer me for an evaluation. It can't really hurt.
     
  13. emm142

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    Thanks Sooz. She definitely wasn't attempting to diagnose, I hope I didn't misrepresent that in the OP. She spoke factually when she said that I had mentioned having many traits which are associated with AS (when she listed them, it was true that I had) and also when she said that in her many years of experience as a counsellor she has been correct when she suggested that people have an Asperger's evaluation. She was not diagnosing me, just recommending that I might like to have an evaluation to see if I could benefit from any of the support available.

    I have been treated for depression with medication for over 6 months now, and although it has kicked in and made me more functional, it is not perfect, so I am looking into other options for that as well. However, in my case it does not seem to be the depression which has caused my social problems and other AS traits, as those have been present for all of my life and I did not have my first episode of depression until late childhood.

    Thanks, that's really helpful. I'll check Tumblr out. I don't think I will need any exam accomodations (I actually tend to hyper-focus, and miss just about everything that's happening around me when I'm really "in the zone" with something) but the support groups available at my university would be helpful, I think, if I do get diagnosed.

    Thanks!

    Thanks Jonah! I think a diagnosis is required to be part of the support group at my university, but there may be others around here for which it is not. I'm definitely going to look into it further.

    Thanks for the support everyone. I really appreciate it, and I'll let you know the outcome when/if I get an evaluation done. I'm coming round to the idea that it could be helpful to me in both understanding my own traits and not feeling so separate from other people.
     
  14. denise3099

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    Oh sweetheart, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. :( In researching my son's situation, my dh realized that the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

    AS is more a description of a bunch of behaviors than anything else. social, ot, pt, a little ocd, a little adhd, normal to high speach and intelligence. You treat any bothersome symptoms, not AS itself. So whether you are dx or not is up to you. You know what symptons you can deal with and those you need help with. Good luck.

    I have to say, from what I know about you, I'd be really really pleased if my AS son, or my D daughter, turned out as well as you. :)
     
  15. Jacob'sDad

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    Emma, I just think it's commendable that you are trying to work on this at such a young age. Look at me, I'm 48. I know I don't fit the normal mold and never have. I wouldn't know a social cue if it jumped up and bit me. I don't know if I've got anything that would be diagnosed or not. I doubt if I'm going to see a psychologist about it now. I am who I am and I just make an effort to deal with my issues by using past life experience.

    If I could do it all over again...boy it would have been nice to not have felt like a misfit all the time. Again, I think you are very smart to seek out support :)
     
  16. Ali

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    FWIW
    Depression is very hard to treat. It may take a long time to find the right medications. If you are not seeing a psychiatrist that is where I would start. Find a really good Psychiatrist to work with you and then be patient. Ask your school counselor for a recommendation, ask your general Doc for one, ask a friend or look at one of those top Doc sites and call the top Doc Psychiatrist. When you go for your first visit trust your instincts, if you click great if you have an odd reaction then try another. Even after you start working with someone, if within the first three visits it just does not feel right then go to the next person on your list. Do not stay with anyone who you have any hesitation about. I also second to be wary of thrown out diagnosis, it may be right on or way, way off target. You are doing so great and so ready to work on stuff that you are more than half way towards feeling better.:cwds::cwds:ali
     
  17. sisterbeth43

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    I think I would go ahead and see a specialist,--at least if it is AS, they can treat the symptoms. I wish my grandson with AS was more like you.
     
  18. Heather(CA)

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  19. emm142

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    Thanks!

    I'm seeing my GP this week about getting a referral to a specialist. Thanks everyone.
     

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