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Old 10-06-2012, 07:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post

My entire belief system has been changed. All my goals, dreams and values, have to be reexamined. My religious and philosophical views have change. I'm undergoing a complete identity change.

I'm going through much the same thing but my problem is that I've realized that I don't have ANY goals, dreams, beliefs, or values. At this point I am an empty slate and it's hard to relate to people because basically I don't have an identity. No starting point.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Killeen, Texas
107 posts, read 151,256 times
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My husband has Aspergers, and he focuses his energy in music. He plays, guitar, piano, drums, and bass, he also teaches these instruments to elementary age students through adults. If you're good enough on what ever instrument you can play, or even sing, why don't you try teaching?
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neemy View Post
I know you said you are not stressed about Aspergers, but in the OP, you seemed to be focused on Aspergers - looking for AS-specific support groups.

If you have problems with social skills, we do a lot of training through improv and the applied arts, including music. The students love it, and I've seen some amazing progress with many of these kids and adults. Many are happy to have a place where they "fit in", have a happy social life, while learning how to deal with things that neurotypicals take for granted.
Yeah well I'd say my biggest problem is the fickleness of everyday people. I can fly under the radar at this point quite well. My issue is just the lack of interest in most people's fickle way of living.

If I were less self aware I'd be able to say it's the lack of intelligence of those around me. I just can't find someone that's on my level. But in reality it's more of my expectations to meet people that are obsessive as I am, without any of the crippling baggage that most people suffering from AS have.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:37 PM
 
Location: ATL with a side of Chicago
3,622 posts, read 5,209,370 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
Yeah well I'd say my biggest problem is the fickleness of everyday people. I can fly under the radar at this point quite well. My issue is just the lack of interest in most people's fickle way of living.

If I were less self aware I'd be able to say it's the lack of intelligence of those around me. I just can't find someone that's on my level. But in reality it's more of my expectations to meet people that are obsessive as I am, without any of the crippling baggage that most people suffering from AS have.
There are plenty out there. Most of the AS adults I work with are extremely intelligent, obsessive (part of the nature of AS), and are living happy lives, have careers, homes, families and have found that Asperger's doesn't have to be a "negative". Many even embrace it. It's the kids that seem to have the most trouble because they don't yet understand what is going on, and why they are different. My son is old enough now where he doesn't despair over "why he was born with a brain like this.", anymore. He's learned to use his talents to his advantage.

You've only been trying to come to grips with it for a few days, so give it time. You'll find your way, eventually. I wish you luck.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:06 PM
 
Location: earth?
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This is an unpopular perspective (especially with parents whose children have been diagnosed with "Asperger's." but I believe it is a totally made up malady, as are most non-contagious "diseases" in the DSM. It's just a bunch of random symptoms that now has an "official" label, so drugs can be prescribed and doctors and drug companies can get rich.

I think American people, in general, are just super naive in the respect that they don't seem to question authority.

Since your diagnosis is self-prescribed, I can't even imagine your motive.

Wouldn't it be more fun to think of yourself as something positive, like an artist or something? Why MUST you BE a "disease?"
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:25 PM
 
Location: FL
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How old are you? If you found somebody that was as obsesive as you (your description) wouldnt they drive you nuts?

I think getting back into music is a good place to start.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:35 AM
 
396 posts, read 748,795 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
This is an unpopular perspective (especially with parents whose children have been diagnosed with "Asperger's." but I believe it is a totally made up malady, as are most non-contagious "diseases" in the DSM. It's just a bunch of random symptoms that now has an "official" label, so drugs can be prescribed and doctors and drug companies can get rich.

I think American people, in general, are just super naive in the respect that they don't seem to question authority.

Since your diagnosis is self-prescribed, I can't even imagine your motive.

Wouldn't it be more fun to think of yourself as something positive, like an artist or something? Why MUST you BE a "disease?"
I'd agree that I don't see it as a disease. I'd compare it to being gay. It's not a disorder, it's not a problem, and it's sure as hell not something I want fixed. In fact I'm rather pissed off, that it was even put in mental health, as this is about identity not suffering from something.

My favorite line is, we don't suffer from autism, we suffer from people.

However there is a strong genetic basis for it, someone that has a mild benign form of it as myself, is at a higher risk than the general public for having a kid with full blown low functioning autism. At the same time, the thought of having a kid that is normal isn't to desirable either, as I consider it to be a family legacy at this point.

My issue is things have changed. My plans to relocate, now seem to be highly motivated by that moving will fix me idea. My relationship with my family has to change. Im not sure if my current plans for school still make sense. There are area's of my life where I'm trying to be normal when I'm clearly not(expecting a nuclear family), and others where I'm not trying at all and probably should,(giving into certain superficial facts of life.

In general I've been pretty apathetic over the last year, I've stopped trying to be normal and do what I want. I've learned in doing this I have no role models, no peers, no comparable vision for my future.

Last edited by mikmaq32; 10-07-2012 at 08:09 AM..
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:14 PM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
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Mikmaq32, I have Asperger's (as referenced before by my wife).. got a professional diagnosis six months ago after suspecting it for years. My dad also has Asperger's, although he'll never admit it nor will he ever submit to a test. As such, I believe I can help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
Alright real simple, I've decided in the last few days to come to terms with having aspergers. It's a very mild form of autism(atleast for me). Anyhow I'm just trying to come to terms with it, but having a real hard time seeing where I fit in to in this world. My biggest issue is the fact that many of the support groups are for people suffering from severe forms of it, or atleast are overly fixated on the negative side of things.
Here's the scoop. NOBODY fits into this world. That's practically by design. Even people who do their best to "fit in" find themselves having to change constantly as trends change. For example: When I was 14 years old, the most popular music on the radio bore absolutely zero resemblance to the popular music of today. What was "super cool" in 1994 is now "antiquated and dorky" in 2012. Therefore, to "fit in", one must constantly change oneself... meaning that one loses the true definition of the word "I". Therefore, the phrase "I fit into this world" is a complete contradiction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
For me I just want a new sense of direction in my life. I've felt lost lately with no direction, as the idea of being like everyone else has stopped making sense.

In short I want to be inspired.
I hear you. That notion stopped making sense to me in my mid-teens.

But I can say this much. It's a great, stress-free life once you realize that you CANNOT be the same as everyone else. At that point, you jettison the fear and stress of worrying about being the same. That's a load off, for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
Meh that kind of art don't really interest me. But I maybe should get back into the music scene.

But what I was trying to grasp at is changing my world view, value system, my religion, etc.
The only reason why you'd have to change it is if it isn't "right".

What religion do you follow right now?

I am a Christian and have been for 13 years. But in true "Aspie" fashion, I didn't accept Jesus until I could understand everything. To this day I'm still learning, but it had to make sense first. I was agnostic for years while sorting everything out. I'm a science and math guy. Why would I like the fact that having faith in God requires belief without always having concrete, scientific proof?

The truth is, proof denies faith. That's one of the hardest concepts for me to accept about religion, but it is true. However, I cannot be an atheist. You want to talk about faith... atheism takes faith!! My scientific knowledge (college degree in physics, math, and computer science) makes it impossible for me to accept any explanation other than creation. No other explanation makes scientific or logical sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
I've realized that living in a culture that values social relationships, social standings, and money over everything else, isn't the greatest environment to be in. These kind of values are not healthy for me, as they create unrealistic expectations.
You've got it exactly right, brother. It SUCKS. ROYALLY. But at the same time, you have a certain level of control over other people's expectations of you.

Let's make it simple. If you have a cell phone and you're known to be a prolific text-messager, when someone texts you, what's their expectation of how quickly you will respond? (Immediately? Within 5 minutes? CERTAINLY "very soon"! HEAVEN FORBID you don't respond to that text right away!!!)

But if you have only a landline phone, and you're known to have a job, when someone calls you at 10 AM and leaves a message, their expectation will be that you aren't going to get back with them for several hours because they know you won't get the message until you get home.

Therefore, do what you can to alter people's expectations. You'd be surprised how fluid and fickle people's expectations are. Often, we think other people apply expectations to us that they really don't apply. We tend to be our own worst enemies where that's concerned.

What do you think other people's expectations are, for you, RIGHT NOW... especially those you find to be unhealthy and/or unrealistic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
But I guess you got a point that I really should get back to some of the basics in my life, especially when it comes to music.
That point happened to me at age 22... when I realized, a year after graduating college with my fancy degree, that I REALLY wanted to be a musician. So now I have a college degree that I hardly use... but I am constantly performing, and I have a bunch of music students. If you want to do music or something artistic... I have but one simple piece of advice. GO FOR IT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
My own mind, and please spare me I ain't a doctor routine. I know more about this stuff than any doctor is gonna be able to detect in the number of sessions I can afford.
Yeah, I hear you. It's easy enough to self-diagnose this stuff. I knew, for years before getting my official diagnosis, that I had Asperger's. All you have to do is research it enough... if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you don't need a professional biologist to help you conclude that it is, in fact, a duck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
The issue isn't the disorder per se. It's that I've gone through life changing events, or atleast that's how it feels.
Don't we all... How old are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
My entire belief system has been changed. All my goals, dreams and values, have to be reexamined. My religious and philosophical views have change. I'm undergoing a complete identity change.
Perhaps you are discovering the "real you". At age 32, I'm a heck of a lot different than I was in my teenage years... although most people who knew me then would probably experience me now and see a whole bunch of similarities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
Yeah well I'd say my biggest problem is the fickleness of everyday people. I can fly under the radar at this point quite well. My issue is just the lack of interest in most people's fickle way of living.
Oh, I agree with you. It's absolutely pointless. When you live the life everyone else wants you to live, you lose track of who you are.... and what have you got if not yourself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
If I were less self aware I'd be able to say it's the lack of intelligence of those around me. I just can't find someone that's on my level. But in reality it's more of my expectations to meet people that are obsessive as I am, without any of the crippling baggage that most people suffering from AS have.
You may find that having Asperger's makes one's life rather lonely. Heaven knows, I've always been one of the most likable people I've known... but I have never had many real friends. To this day, I can count on one hand the number of actual friends I have... if you go on THEIR standards of friendship. I don't have any truly close friends based upon MY standards of friendship. I've always had hundreds of acquaintances... there are dozens of people within a 10-mile radius of me right now who would drop everything and help me out if I needed it. I may even have people who consider me a "friend" even though I don't consider them friends.

But I've got a great wife... she is my best friend... between her and God, whom else do I need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
This is an unpopular perspective (especially with parents whose children have been diagnosed with "Asperger's." but I believe it is a totally made up malady, as are most non-contagious "diseases" in the DSM. It's just a bunch of random symptoms that now has an "official" label, so drugs can be prescribed and doctors and drug companies can get rich.

I think American people, in general, are just super naive in the respect that they don't seem to question authority.

Since your diagnosis is self-prescribed, I can't even imagine your motive.

Wouldn't it be more fun to think of yourself as something positive, like an artist or something? Why MUST you BE a "disease?"
Strangely enough, despite the fact that I have Asperger's, I agree with you. Most "mental illnesses" are a bunch of crap.

I don't call Asperger's a "disease" nor a "disorder". Perhaps it is a "syndrome"... I call it more a "condition". Hans Asperger didn't categorize people with this condition on the assumption that it was a "disease". In fact, he called children with this condition "little professors" because they were uncommonly intelligent and had unusually large vocabularies.

Asperger's is a thought process condition which has numerous characteristics which combine to define the condition... but it is not a disease nor a disorder. To call it a disease or disorder begs the assumption that there is, and by virtue must be, a cure. Well, even if there were a cure, I wouldn't want it. I enjoy being the way I am. Why would I want to become "normal", giving up everything that makes me who I am just to become like everyone else? At best, that'd be boring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
I'd agree that I don't see it as a disease. I'd compare it to being gay. It's not a disorder, it's not a problem, and it's sure as hell not something I want fixed. In fact I'm rather pissed off, that it was even put in mental health, as this is about identity not suffering from something.
Asperger's is not like being gay. Homosexuality is a choice. Asperger's is a condition people are born with.

Now, that being said, people who call themselves homosexual have high levels of attraction to people of the same gender. To counteract that and be heterosexual might be more difficult than it is for people who don't have those tendencies... but it can be done. If a guy likes a guy, he can pursue "manly women". There are plenty of them.

I'll give you one from my own life. I'm asthmatic. Got my diagnosis at age 6. I was really badly asthmatic as a kid... couldn't even do gym class for a while. Well... I wasn't happy about that. So I worked on it... and worked on it... and worked on it. Feats of cardiovascular & respiratory stamina which would be relatively easy for most people were challenging for me... but I overcame it. To this day, my feats of physical stamina include being able to run a 6:15 mile (and I weigh over 200 pounds at 6'2"), being able to run a 5K in 22 minutes, and biking 25 miles at one time. Not earth-shattering for sure, but not bad for a guy who at one time couldn't keep up even in gym class, eh?

So I had a handicap, and overcame it. Homosexual tendencies are a handicap, despite what anyone else may say.

Note to people reading this: DO NOT RESPOND TO ME AND ATTACK MY VIEWS ON HOMOSEXUALITY. You want to attack something? Read the Bible, read what the Word of God says about homosexuality, and attack God... if you dare. I'm just the messenger. My point in bringing this up was to assert that Asperger's is NOT the same as "being" gay.

However, it is possible to live a relatively normal life even while having Asperger's. Over time, I have become more socially aware, despite the fact that I will forever lag far behind normal people. I've just learned how to operate that way. For example... I don't "get" group social situations. I have never been able to figure out how to operate as part of a group, or team. So, I am self-employed. My "team" is me and my wife. Also, I am a DJ and a musical performer. I don't have to worry about interacting in social group situations because I am the entertainment. I don't have to follow the rules because I MAKE THE RULES!!

Furthermore, I apply my above-average intelligence and knowledge of science & math to be a tutor and teacher. That's easy enough, because it's not a social situation... I am in control of the situation. Play the hand you're dealt.

And HAVE FUN WITH IT. Make fun of yourself before anyone else can. Before you do something that's likely to be awkward, say something like "This will probably be awkward but that's the way I am". Then, if it is awkward... hey, you warned them!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
My favorite line is, we don't suffer from autism, we suffer from people.
I like that. I might use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
However there is a strong genetic basis for it, someone that has a mild benign form of it as myself, is at a higher risk than the general public for having a kid with full blown low functioning autism.
I don't know about that... but I do know that Asperger's is most commonly transferred from males to males. Hence why it's easy enough to figure that my dad has it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
At the same time, the thought of having a kid that is normal isn't to desirable either, as I consider it to be a family legacy at this point.
Tell me about it. I'm glad that I have Asperger's, my wife is 6'3", and we're both overweight to varying degrees. If we have a son, he'll be a 6'8" 350-pound Aspie. They don't get any more "unusual" than that. However, such a person would have a unique opportunity to make a huge impact on the world in a way that no "normal" person ever could. That's the thing that makes me look forward to being a father... I know that my kids will be delightfully different from the norm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
My issue is things have changed. My plans to relocate, now seem to be highly motivated by that moving will fix me idea.
I've moved all over the country, sometimes moving every year... and that was of my own volition, not due to a job or the military or whatever. Moving never fixes you nor changes you. However, if you don't like where you are, because it's not a good fit for you, you can find a place that's a better fit (or at least give it a shot) by moving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
My relationship with my family has to change.
When I was 25, I realized the exact same thing. So, I wrote both of my parents a brutally honest, 11-page letter outlining 20+ years of things they did to anger me, failures they had as parents which they always defended as being "okay", and what had to be the case going forward if they were to have a meaningful relationship with me.

It was like a ten-ton bomb at the time. My mom didn't talk with me for over two months. For my dad, it was almost a year. They started out by insisting that I apologize for what I wrote... I always refused. Before I gave them that letter, I accepted the fact that in so doing, I might potentially wreck my relationship with them forever and never hear from them again. I was okay with that, as I already knew our relationship was a farce and in bad condition anyway. To me, there was very little that was worth keeping from the way things were at that time.

My mom "came around" first. Finally, for the first time in decades, she admitted that she'd screwed up with several things in the past and recognized that, now that I was in my mid-twenties and a full-fledged adult, things had to be different. My dad... I'm not sure what happened... he called me and we started talking.

I can tell you that, right now, my relationship with my parents is better than it ever was. Sometimes, you just have to mess things up in order to reset them the way they ought to be. It's sort of like when you clean the house. For a while, it looks like a nuclear test zone. Then it comes together to look better than it did before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
Im not sure if my current plans for school still make sense.
Depends upon what they are. I can tell you that, if you intend to go to a 4-year college, you'd better figure on working in your field of study, full time, for 10 entire years after you graduate. If you aren't ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that that's what you want, don't go to college. Mathematically, that's the "break even" point. If you went to 4 years of college and only worked for 5 years afterward, in that field, you're financially worse off than you would've been had you gotten a job out of high school and worked for 9 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
There are area's of my life where I'm trying to be normal when I'm clearly not(expecting a nuclear family), and others where I'm not trying at all and probably should,(giving into certain superficial facts of life.
Your nuclear family is what you make of it. If you can't do anything with your parents, work on yourself... get married... and even if (like me) you can't do anything with your in-laws, you and your spouse are the nuclear family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
In general I've been pretty apathetic over the last year, I've stopped trying to be normal and do what I want. I've learned in doing this I have no role models, no peers, no comparable vision for my future.
Being normal is highly overrated. I'd say it's not worth striving for. I should know. Almost 33 years of not being normal, and I'm in better shape than most other people my age... mentally, physically, and financially. I have my stresses as we all do... but when looking at everything objectively, I've done quite well despite living in a world which increasingly values conformity to an ever-degrading and perpetually nebulous set of standards.

Honestly, it sounds like you need God... but since I don't know what your relationship with God is, right now, I can't say for sure. I can tell you that a lot of stuff didn't make sense to me until I looked at it in the light of God's Truth. There are certain things that WILL NEVER make sense to ANYONE if they're not viewed in the light of God's Truth.

For example: Think of a food you really hate. (Come on. We all have at least one food we think is disgusting.)

Now, I'm positive that there is at least one person in this world who LOVES that food. (For example: I hate broccoli. My wife loves it.)

Which person has the correct opinion?

Answer: They both do... because it's just a matter of taste.

So what explains taste? Why do you not like [whatever that "disgusting" food is]?

You don't know, do you?

Nobody really does. There is NO explaining taste...... UNLESS they recognize that tastes come from God.

Now, why would God care so much about what foods you like / don't like? I have no idea. But I can give you an even better example, from my own life.

For as long as I can remember, I have been most attracted to tall, fat women. Back as far as age 2, that's been what I've been attracted to. I never understood it. For a while, I tried to deny it... I even dated some skinny girls. (If I dated fat girls, I'd have been picked on, right? And after being tormented by my peers for many years in early adolescence, I wasn't interested in doing anything to raise the risk of that recurring in my life. Yes, at one point, I was young, weak, and stupid.)

But there was no denying it. I liked tall fat women. And there's nothing wrong with liking tall fat women either. They're women, they're human... the Bible never says anything about what is, and is not, beautiful. (However, it does have some interesting stuff to say about applying "the world's standards" to physical beauty.) I could never explain my tastes... my friends sometimes ribbed me for it, but hey... if they didn't like tall fat women, it's less competition for me, right? Back in the day, some of my friends asked me why I liked tall fat women... I couldn't explain it.

Then, I met the woman I eventually married. She's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen... and she is almost 400 pounds at 6'3".

Makes perfect sense NOW, doesn't it? If I was to be with a woman who looks like my wife looks, I'd BETTER like tall fat women!!

See, God knew this. I never did. But I do now. This is a taste I have, which was obviously put there by God, because God knew what was going to happen in my life later on down the line. He knew that I was going to marry someone tall and fat... so he gave me the desire to be with someone tall and fat.

That's just one example. I could cite plenty of others.

Perhaps it's best if we continue this conversation over direct message. Feel free to send me one if you want to talk further. I just figured that, as a person with Asperger's who has been through exactly what you're going through, I could give you some advice from a point of view that someone without Asperger's is highly unlikely to have.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:03 PM
 
Location: ATL with a side of Chicago
3,622 posts, read 5,209,370 times
Reputation: 3925
Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
This is an unpopular perspective (especially with parents whose children have been diagnosed with "Asperger's." but I believe it is a totally made up malady, as are most non-contagious "diseases" in the DSM. It's just a bunch of random symptoms that now has an "official" label, so drugs can be prescribed and doctors and drug companies can get rich.

I think American people, in general, are just super naive in the respect that they don't seem to question authority.

Since your diagnosis is self-prescribed, I can't even imagine your motive.

Wouldn't it be more fun to think of yourself as something positive, like an artist or something? Why MUST you BE a "disease?"
Here we go, again... Big Pharm conspiracy theory in another thread.

There are no drugs to "cure" Asperger's or any spectrum disorders. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

As of the DSM V, "Aspergers Syndrome" will no longer be a disorder in and of itself, and will instead fall under the umbrella of "autism spectrum disorders". I'm very interested to see how many people will self-diagnose themselves "(High Functioning) Autistic", because the name "Autism" is unfortunately still very much stigmatized, while "Aspergers" is glorified. Ignorance abounds. Aspergers IS Autism, and, personally, I'm glad to see the change in the DSM. Right now, everybody and his brother claims to have Aspergers, and it's getting ridiculous. Almost anyone can identify with at least a few of the defining traits of Aspergers. I know I can. I hold no claim to having Aspergers, because I can also relate to any other "disorder" in the DSM. Just open the book to any page, and *boom* there you go. I'll fit the some of the criteria of "x" disorder, whatever page is open. We all will.

My son has Aspergers, but that's just one form of the Spectrum. He is AUTISTIC.

Last edited by Neemy; 10-07-2012 at 09:26 PM..
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:32 AM
 
Location: Windham County, VT
10,704 posts, read 5,186,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
Anyhow I'm just trying to come to terms with it, but having a real hard time seeing where I fit in to in this world. My biggest issue is the fact that many of the support groups are for people suffering from severe forms of it, or at least are overly fixated on the negative side of things.
Please don't take offense that the link/quote below refers to youngsters, I'd consider the description of reaction to the Asperger diagnosis equally applicable to adults (who only realize they have an ASD in adulthood) as well.
I Don't Have Asperger's!
Excerpt: "Anosognosia is an "aggressive" reaction to diagnosis, but children and teenagers can have other kinds of reactions classified as passive, negative, positive, internal, external or assertive."

Link below ("ten terrific traits of...") has nice list that I consult every so often. It can be frustrating how so much of the literature seems to be focused only on kids with Asperger's, when oneself is already in adulthood, w/ASD dx (this list isn't child-centric).
Traits of Autistic People - What are Traits of Autistic People

There are also online forums/sites for people with Asperger's (incl. people with whom you might relate, share demographic commonalities/overlap, similarities in how your AS manifests/expresses). Though you probably know this. AANE (Asp. Assoc. of New England) has a lot of good articles on their site, too-but I don't want to overwhelm with too many links.

It can be tough for anybody (regardless of neurology) to meet compatible (platonic or romantic) folks offline. Our society broadly contributes to feeling sense of anomie, disconnection at deep meaningful levels-yet at the same time, we're excessively connected about superficial non-events. Many people feel increasingly alienated from "mainstream" culture or what it seems that "everybody else" is doing/values...but I digress (into subjects that belong in another thread/sub-forum).
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