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Old 03-23-2015, 02:38 AM
 
13 posts, read 9,722 times
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Wondering if I could get some insight into my sister's behavior. I have wondered if she might be on the autism spectrum but it's really hard for me to tell.

There are certain things she does that she has done for a long time, since I was a kid anyway and she was at least a teenager. I saw it so much I thought it was normal, but as I got older, I realized it's not.
A little about her; she is 39 years old. College educated. She works. Has no kids. Never been married. Had some relationships but none has ever lasted or have been too serious. The ones that were long term ended up with the guy cheating or being unstable emotionally.
Here are some of the physical things she has done. Rubs her hands together, while rubbing her lips together, flaring her nose, looking at other stuff and appearing to be thinking about something else or in another mindset. That has usually been while she was sitting. Sometimes rubbing her feet on the ground if seated in a chair. While walking, she has a similar face thing but will walk somewhere moving her hands around.
She will often do similar behavior while driving. She strongly grips the steering wheel, while doing that face thing and speeds the car up. Luckily she slows down in time but it scares the crap out of me. She will then kind of just stop or come out of it. This is usually not in a public place or in front of people other than family (from what I have witnessed and remember anyway). After these things, she either was not listening to what was being talked about (if anyone was talking) or only half listened to what was being said.

And then there are things with her personality: she gets annoyed by things easily, sees slights where none was intended, lacks common sense sometimes, seems slightly socially awkward, is always late for things, can never admit to being wrong or taking responsibility for own actions (usually turns it on someone else). Usually that's only either her family or people in public that slight her. To everyone else she is very friendly and acts like everyone else. However, sometimes it seems to come off as condescending in a way. But people that don't see any of this stuff about her and would think she is just a "regular" person. She also stutters sometimes, more like stammers actually, but that might have nothing to do with it.

The one thing that has kept me away from a autism "diagnosis" is the fact that she gets jokes, and I read that they often don't pick up on these things. We would always joke about things since we were kids. We still sometimes will, although we are not as close as we were as kids.

Because she is an Aunt to my child and is one of the few family members who live near us, we see her often. But these things cause problems.

For the record, I have never once mentioned about autism to her. I have only kind of brought up some of this behavior, and when I have, she said she didn't know what I was talking about, became very defensive, and it caused fights. My parents are very passive about this. They like to sweep things under the rug about things like this, especially because they have always tried to walk on eggshells with her for fear of her getting mad and causing a fight. They claim they brought her to a doctor one time when she was young for some things they saw and was told she was fine and that was the end of it. They acknowledge they see the behavior, but take a, "what do you want us to do about it" kind of attitude. They are separated anyway so don't really work together on anything. And my sister never in a million years would go to a doctor for anything like this. If she did, it would be on her own and she would never tell us about it. She cannot admit any fails and to her she would see this as a fail. I seriously doubt she ever has gone to doctor about it because she seems to be really oblivious to this behavior and has never really had consistent medical insurance or the extra money to pay for co-pays unless absolutely necessarily

I am just trying to get some insight because I feel I am alone in experiencing the effects of her behavior and the only one who cares. Am I wrong to think something is wrong? Could it describe autism? Something else?
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:42 PM
 
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I had a relative who had similar mannerisms. Still don't know what it was. Will be interesting to see if anyone has any insight about it.
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:30 PM
 
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For the record, this was categorized in Mental Health by CD. I had it in general health and wellness as I wasn't sure where to put it.
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:56 PM
 
Location: USA
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My son has Aspergers and the way you describe your sister, does not describe him. That may not mean anything, but that's my take on it.
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:27 PM
 
Location: So Ca
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Agree w/ Rubi, above. It sounds more like anxiety.
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Old 03-24-2015, 11:37 PM
 
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Having had anxiety (and full blown) panic attacks in my life myself and knowing others who have, I find it hard to believe it's just that. I would think if it was, she would do it in public. She seems to do it more when she's relaxed (being around family) or excited (playing with my son or driving, which she likes to do). There are times when she is playing with my son where she's doing her "fits" as I call them, not paying attention, and I hear him repeating himself to her, trying to get her attention. Then she kind of comes out of it, is happy like, and continues to play, but wasn't really listening to what he was saying.
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Old 03-24-2015, 11:47 PM
 
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I forgot to mention that she kind of says things that aren't really appropriate or are insensitive. For instance, we had to put our dog down last year, which was really hard for us, and she'll occasionally bring him into things in a joking manner. One recent thing was when our young son told her to smell something (as little boys will do) and she said, "Eww it smells like "Rufus" poop!" Like really? Our dog who isn't even around anymore? Which was really hard for my son? Completely inappropriate. Or when I was cleaning my son's toys up and my sister pointed to my rear end while playing with my son and said "Big butt!" Way to teach a young child to make fun of others. The list in that department could go on. Just really inappropriate things for a 39 year old "professional" woman to say. Is this really normal behavior?
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:06 AM
 
Location: interior Alaska
5,085 posts, read 3,752,596 times
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No one on this website can diagnose your sister, let alone diagnose someone based on someone other than the subject's accounts.

If you don't like something she's going (like calling your butt big) tell her you don't appreciate having your butt called big. Strangers on the internet - or a psych diagnosis - aren't going to help with that, communication is. As for her personal quirks, does it matter whether they're autism-related or not? At age 39, none of this is anything new, and she is who she is.
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:54 AM
 
13 posts, read 9,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
No one on this website can diagnose your sister, let alone diagnose someone based on someone other than the subject's accounts.

If you don't like something she's going (like calling your butt big) tell her you don't appreciate having your butt called big. Strangers on the internet - or a psych diagnosis - aren't going to help with that, communication is. As for her personal quirks, does it matter whether they're autism-related or not? At age 39, none of this is anything new, and she is who she is.
I know no one can diagnose anyone on the internet. I am just looking for insight, as I stated. Sometimes one lead can lead to another. Someone for instance may say their relative or friend had similar symptoms as that and it was a specific condition.
Communication with my sister is very hard. If you think I haven't opened my mouth with her about things she does, believe me I do. And I am the only one who really does. What happens is if you call her out on anything she does, she takes it as a personal attack and starts a fight. Remember, as I stated, she takes even things that aren't a slight as a slight. So I try to avoid saying too much, but I do speak up when I've reached my point. And really, do you think someone should have to tell a normal grown adult not to say certain things, especially in front of a child? Knowing what is appropriate to say or not say is what most adults know.
Why it matters is because I am trying to find a cause for her actions. If a relative of yours was acting in peculiar ways, would you not want to know why, to maybe have some kind of answer? Maybe know how to deal with some of it?
There is no doctor that would talk to me about my sister without doing an evaluation on her and that's not going to happen. And if for some miracle it did, the doctor would not talk to me about it, leaving us still in the dark. I am here because I don't know where else to turn and it has caused strains between us. If it wasn't for my son and her being his aunt, I wouldn't do nearly as many things with her because of her behavior publicly and in private. I worry about the how her behavior affects my son but I don't want to cut her out of his life. This goes beyond simple "communication", because we are far beyond that stage.
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