View Full Version : Hrmm...


Pamplemousse
09-23-11, 06:22 PM
Well I've got a lot on my mind so I decided to spill it here on the lovely forums.

Lately I keep on wondering if I'm mildly autistic. I've started to going to counseling at my college and the counselor hasn't said anything, but I've been wondering for a couple weeks now.

Mainly what we are working on right now is my....social problems. We've been discussing how maybe I should say something in conversation rather than just sit and watch conversation like I normally do.

Right now we've come up with the idea of a journal. In this journal I'm going to write down things I could have or should have said in conversations. She said we are going to start working on social interactions and improving my ability at reading social cues, facial expressions, body language, etc.

Also while we were sitting there she was talking and it went a little something like this,

Counselor: "Yep. We'll keep working on the situations and you can bounce your ideas of me. We're using this as a sort of practice area so you can develop these skills more."

Me. "Cool. I like that idea."

Counselor: "Also, do you know you don't make eye contact at all?"

Me: "Yeah, I don't like it."

Counselor: "Why's that?"

Me: "It makes me anxious and If I'm looking at the person in the eye I can't think of anything else except 'I'm looking at this person in the eyes'. I don't know it's just weird to explain"

Basically the rest of that conversation went on about how we need to work on that because eye contact is essential at the professional level, and especially in the major I am pursuing.

So anyways, I've decided to come up with a list on the reasons why I can't help but wonder if I'm mildly autistic or something. Please let me know what you guys think. Yay or nay? I know you're not all doctors but sometimes input from others is nice. (some may be related, others may not. I don't know...I'm not educated in the world of autism that much)


*I didn't start talking until I was 2.5 years old. My grandpa kept wondering if I was ever going to talk.


*In a lot of the home videos I watch of me, I don't really respond to my parents calling my name. I'm looking off elsewhere and it takes a lot to get my attention.


*Apparently if you sat me in front of the TV and played Barney, I would watch it until they turned it off. Just non- stop staring at the screen.


*I refused to sleep in my crib. For some reason I hated it and would only sleep in a cardboard box. Weird...I know. When I got older I only liked waterbeds.


*I've always been terrible at eye contact. Even as a little kid. I remember my parents always saying "look at me when I'm talking to you", I would glance at them but couldn't hold eye contact for long at all. My math tutor from 11th grade brought it up to my parents that I don't make eye contact even when people are talking to me. Now my counselor is saying things to me about it...and I think it's a pretty big problem area for me.


*I'm extremely resistant to structural change. I was so upset about the change to college I was angry for the longest time after being sad for a while. My whole routine was just uprooted and I was forced to adjust. I even complain/gets irritated when we would have to do things outside "My" routine. ie: going to the store with my mom. I don't ever want to change my habits.


*I have social problems/social anxiety. I'm bad at understanding facial expressions, body language and general social cues. I tend to be a mute blob that likes to observe, rather than participate in social activities. Unless I'm at home. I talk a lot at home, but on;y if I'm in the "mood" for talking.


*I'm introverted. I love being alone and just doing whatever. If I have the choice not to interact with people, I choose it. (I don't know if this is related or not)


*I can hyper-focus on things that really interest me (may be an ADHD overlap) but I'll sit in front of my piano/keyboard for hours upon hours trying to teach myself how to play piano.


*I've been told I have a "stone heart" by my friends. I don't find a lot of situations sad or emotional when I should. Anger/irritability and happiness are really the only two emotions I am good with. Yes, I do have all the emotions, but I don't think I experience them as much as a person should. I dunno, maybe that's just me.


*I'm very sensitive to noise and touch (and smell also). I refuse to wear uncomfortable clothing and will often times get angry and throw a mini tantrum over not liking clothes. (I'll throw them on the ground and kick them after taking them off). I hate being touched/hugged. I will snap at someone if they touch me. Sounds irritate me and often times I cover my ears and get angry if I don't like the sound of something.



Yeah, that's all I can think of at the moment. If you have any questions or want more detail on something please feel free to ask. I just want to get the opinions of people. And I don't think it's severe or anything. Pretty mild compared to most people I think. I don't know. maybe I'm paranoid. lol.

KronarTheBlack
09-23-11, 11:17 PM
Sounds more like Aspergers

Simenora
09-24-11, 12:15 AM
was thinking the same, but I think I like this counselor. Focuses on improving your quality of life rather than labeling. Way to go Pamplemousse.

Fortune
09-24-11, 12:25 AM
Asperger's is autism. The only distinction is that a diagnosis excludes speech delays. It also notionally excludes delays in adaptive and self-help skills, but as it turns out most who are diagnosed with it actually have delays in these. Also, most fit the criteria for autism anyway.

I don't particularly see the value of avoiding labels, when a label can actually lead to significantly greater understanding. It's not exclusive from improving quality of life.

Pamplemousse: I can't say whether you are autistic or not (although you describe things that seem to fit the spectrum). I just wanted to point out that it's really hard sometimes to judge how one appears to other people, especially if it is difficult to work out what other people are thinking. I don't feel like I have severe problems but I've repeatedly had people tell me that my issues are actually more extreme than I think they are (like my need for routine and no changes, my sensory problems, shutdowns, and so on). It's hard to nail severity down, and you sound almost like you're apologizing for being mild.

Oh, for eye contact: Try focusing on the other person's nose, or forehead, or ear, rather than looking at their eyes. Also, eye contact usually only lasts for about three seconds.

Simenora
09-24-11, 10:47 AM
i think you misunderstood fortune. I agree that a label can be helpful for determining treatment but I like that the therapist is jumping in to helping the issues that are bothering her rather than ruminating over her particular disorder.

Pamplemousse
09-24-11, 03:14 PM
I'm glad to hear other people's input. Thanks. :)

I think I like this counselor. Focuses on improving your quality of life rather than labeling. Way to go Pamplemousse.

Yes, I love that she's helping me with the problems, rather than just telling me what's wrong and doing nothing about it. I know it will take some time to help me understand how to function more normally. I don't know why I never did counseling sooner. Probably would have helped a lot.

Oh, for eye contact: Try focusing on the other person's nose, or forehead, or ear, rather than looking at their eyes. Also, eye contact usually only lasts for about three seconds.

That's a good idea. I'll try to venture a little closer to the face. Usually if I do work up the nerve to get somewhere close I stare past their shoulder. lol. Thankfully I have 6 years to work on this before I graduate. :p

fracturedstory
09-25-11, 07:41 PM
Does sound like you could be autistic. You need to change your lingo though. Instead of saying 'tantrum' say 'meltdown.' A tantrum is what children do to get their own way, not because they are negatively reacting to material feeling too rough.

And Fortune is right, it's hard to judge how your symptoms come off.

I can make eye contact now (once I remember to) but I hate it. I get the same feeling from looking at a bright light and can't focus on what I'm talking about. And I keep thinking the person I'm looking at will turn into a monster and gobble me up.

I've seen three people for ASD related issues and ended up working out my own solutions.

Fortune
09-25-11, 08:13 PM
I can make eye contact now (once I remember to) but I hate it. I get the same feeling from looking at a bright light and can't focus on what I'm talking about. And I keep thinking the person I'm looking at will turn into a monster and gobble me up.

Yeah, for me, eye contact is like looking into the sun (I was so surprised when I first saw you use that description, because I felt like it was weird and melodramatic, but it's true).

Also, hard to think of anything but the eye contact - listening? Talking? Not so much.

And I agree about finding adaptations that work - I get more valuable advice from other autistic people than anywhere else. The advice I see from NTs never seems to make sense (since they seem to think I can turn on NT functioning at will or some such weirdness).

pechemignonne
09-25-11, 08:16 PM
Does anyone find straight eye contact comfortable? For more than a second or two?

I'm not asking that as a "well everyone has that", I'm really just wondering because I find eye contact really uncomfortable but I'm really not autistic at all...

Fortune
09-25-11, 08:22 PM
I think eye contact for longer than a few seconds is unusual and may be perceived as intense or weird.

If you can't hold it for three seconds, that's a bit unusual, but doesn't necessarily mean you're autistic. I think a lot of ADHDers have trouble with eye contact too (although usually not quite the same way as autistic people do).

fracturedstory
09-26-11, 08:09 PM
It can be anxiety related too. I've known NT's who have admitted to not liking eye contact. I wonder if they stumble over their words and can't think properly while forcing eye contact though.

I forget to make eye contact more times then I avoid it. Then when I remember I'll look at someone then turn away because I remembered how much I hate doing it because of that feeling I get from it.
Strange thing is, when I watch an actor I really like (not romantically so) I will find it hard to look at their face on the screen. I wonder if it's related?

Pamplemousse
09-26-11, 11:21 PM
I definitely wouldn't doubt a lot of different people have problems with eye contact. It's just weird it's always been a problem for me even at such a young age and now when it keeps being brought up to me. :p ohhh...when will I ever get the nerve to do it. And even if I do I can't think and look at the same time....my brain decides it wants to die when making eye contact. haha.

Oh, and another thing about the sensory issues I mentioned. Two nights ago I walked out of my dorm room after being stuffed inside it all day....the change is lights, smell and sounds made me feel really weird as soon as I stepped out. For the rest of the night I felt confused and a bit anxious. What's up with that? Sensory overload much? lol

I don't like interaction much anyways. I'd rather come into my room and enter my little 'world'. I can pretty much shut off the outside world and just....well I really don't know where I go. hahaha. I get so wrapped up in my thoughts that everything around me disappears. It's comforting, but I've been doing it more and more lately and I feel as though I'm disconnecting from society more sometimes. Like the outside world sometimes becomes less real than 'my' world. Is that weird?

Fortune
09-26-11, 11:57 PM
It doesn't sound weird to me, but I do that a lot. I think if one's trying to remain engaged and deal with college, etc. that disconnecting needs to be managed so one doesn't end up completely isolated.

I remember when I was a child, one of the phrases that has stuck in my brain for much of my life is "LOOK ME IN THE EYE". My unwillingness to do this was likely one of the reasons I was constantly accused of lying.

sighduck
09-27-11, 12:37 AM
its all quite odd on my part, I now only really dislike wearing synthetics, i can't keep eye contact, I cant stand noisy rooms, and i have never been able to handle an emotional situation with ANYONE, when people share their feelings with me, i just feel awkward.

yet i dont have any of the routine and other traits, i love breaking routine, and i only ever was obsessed over specific things when i was very young(as far as i know, the obsession over specific items is an autistic trait)...

Fortune
09-27-11, 12:41 AM
its all quite odd on my part, I now only really dislike wearing synthetics, i can't keep eye contact, I cant stand noisy rooms, and i have never been able to handle an emotional situation with ANYONE, when people share their feelings with me, i just feel awkward.

yet i dont have any of the routine and other traits, i love breaking routine, and i only ever was obsessed over specific things when i was very young(as far as i know, the obsession over specific items is an autistic trait)...

You don't need all the traits to be on the spectrum, though.

Also, as I pointed out to someone else here, the diagnostic criteria are written for young children.

fracturedstory
09-27-11, 08:10 PM
I think that special interests and need for routines are important for an autistic diagnosis. Then again, I am old school. Just saying, if you've got a dx of ADHD then those symptoms you listed can overlap. Even some people with ADHD have routines, though they're probably got AS co-morbid.

Pamplemousse, it's not weird. I feel like the outside world isn't real. I don't even feel like I'm the same species as those people out there. That applies for any autistic I meet. I just don't connect with anyone, not even my superiorsly awesome best friend.
The sudden change in sensory input could lead to overload. I usually feel something in my stomach, or eyes, or the back of my head.

I can show you weird.

Pamplemousse
09-27-11, 11:22 PM
Pamplemousse, it's not weird. I feel like the outside world isn't real. I don't even feel like I'm the same species as those people out there.

The sudden change in sensory input could lead to overload. I usually feel something in my stomach, or eyes, or the back of my head.

I can show you weird.

Yeah. I feel like....I'm stuck in the background watching life unfold. I don't know how to explain it....I guess the best analogy I have is that I feel like there's a glass wall barrier between me and people. It's thin enough for me to see and hear what's going on, but I can't be actively engaged with all those people on the other side. That glass wall also allows me to retreat into the depths of my thoughts. Kind of just step back from it and I'm removed from everything on the other side.

One of my old friends from high school just asked me not three days ago how I am able to resist emotional attachment to people. *sigh*

If it was sensory overload...I don't like it. I had a bad headache for the rest of the night too.

fracturedstory
09-28-11, 08:12 PM
Mine is a glass wall with drapes. I just pull them back when it all gets too much.

Most days I go out into the town I come back with a killer headache which I eventually realise is more of a migraine.

Pamplemousse
09-28-11, 10:36 PM
Oooh. I should pick up curtains for mine....and invest in headphones. :D

Seclusion? I think yes.

sighduck
09-29-11, 08:32 AM
the only thing about seclusion is that it isnt always possible :(


especially in my career when i have to be in front of a class the whole day, cant just walk off when it gets too much

Lunacie
09-29-11, 08:59 AM
its all quite odd on my part, I now only really dislike wearing synthetics, i can't keep eye contact, I cant stand noisy rooms, and i have never been able to handle an emotional situation with ANYONE, when people share their feelings with me, i just feel awkward.

yet i dont have any of the routine and other traits, i love breaking routine, and i only ever was obsessed over specific things when i was very young(as far as i know, the obsession over specific items is an autistic trait)...

Many people with Autism/Asperger's have Sensory Processing Disorder,
but you can also have Sensory Processing Disorder without being on the
Autism spectrum.

I have to wear comfy clothes - and shoes. Tags are annoying.

Bright light is annoying and actually hurts my eyes - like a stabbing pain.

Noise is annoying, and ratchets up my blood pressure, especially two-
stroke motorcycle engines and tinkly ice cream truck tunes.

Smells make me sick, my hubby's cigarettes made me asthmatic and gave
me pleurisy, some smells give a migraine, some cause anxiety attacks -
an actual physical response.

Some Autists can only stand to eat 2 or 3 foods, my granddaughter is
willing to eat almost anything. Since I started reading about SPD I've
realized that I eat the same foods over and over and rarely try new
things.

I also have problems with depth perception and an awareness of where
I am in relation to my surroundings. And with balance.

Too much of any of these - including crowds and especially noise - and I
also have to retreat to the peace and quiet and dimness of my own room
and regroup.

Fortune
09-29-11, 09:07 AM
Some Autists can only stand to eat 2 or 3 foods, my granddaughter is
willing to eat almost anything. Since I started reading about SPD I've
realized that I eat the same foods over and over and rarely try new
things.

My food texture problems have been starting up again, and some food that I loved only a few months ago is hard to eat because it makes me feel sick. This problem comes and goes, though, and hopefully it'll go again soon.

When I was really young, I had very few foods I would willingly eat. I could never properly explain to people why I could eat pizza but otherwise hated cheese.

I've been through a few periods where I got adventurous and tried a lot of food I hadn't had before, and I am nowhere near as selective as I was as a child.

I also have problems with depth perception and an awareness of where I am in relation to my surroundings. And with balance.

This specific thing makes trips to any store - especially crowded stores - so hellish.

I don't have balance issues, but I do have issues with knowing where I am in relation to my surroundings. I found in Costco that if I lean on my forearms while pushing the cart, the problem partially disappears.

I am not sure it's really sensory processing disorder with autism. I have to wonder if it is a part of autism (and will be part of the diagnostic criteria in the DSM-V). I know a lot of people who aren't autistic (including a lot of ADHDers) have sensory issues too, but I just wonder.

sighduck
09-29-11, 10:19 AM
I also have problems with depth perception and an awareness of where
I am in relation to my surroundings. And with balance.



ahh yes, that one has also always been a nasty problem for me... even by the age of 19 i still can barely catch a ball :/

Pamplemousse
09-29-11, 11:36 PM
Many people with Autism/Asperger's have Sensory Processing Disorder,
but you can also have Sensory Processing Disorder without being on the
Autism spectrum.

I have to wear comfy clothes - and shoes. Tags are annoying.

I always have to cut tags off. I only wear certain socks because I hate how most kinds feel. I can only stand loose fitting t shirts, basketball shorts or sweatpants...and jeans sometimes.

Basically I only accept to wear sports wear because otherwise I get so irritated I shutdown/ have a meltdown.

sighduck
09-30-11, 12:26 AM
I only had the tags issue as a child, only occasionaly now a shirt has a tag that bothers me.... but when i was younger, i had to have them all cut off

Lunacie
09-30-11, 08:36 AM
My food texture problems have been starting up again, and some food that I loved only a few months ago is hard to eat because it makes me feel sick. This problem comes and goes, though, and hopefully it'll go again soon.

When I was really young, I had very few foods I would willingly eat. I could never properly explain to people why I could eat pizza but otherwise hated cheese.

I've been through a few periods where I got adventurous and tried a lot of food I hadn't had before, and I am nowhere near as selective as I was as a child.



This specific thing makes trips to any store - especially crowded stores - so hellish.

I don't have balance issues, but I do have issues with knowing where I am in relation to my surroundings. I found in Costco that if I lean on my forearms while pushing the cart, the problem partially disappears.

I am not sure it's really sensory processing disorder with autism. I have to wonder if it is a part of autism (and will be part of the diagnostic criteria in the DSM-V). I know a lot of people who aren't autistic (including a lot of ADHDers) have sensory issues too, but I just wonder.

Isn't it strange how these sensitivities seem to come and go? I've been
going through a period, I don't know how long, where everything was
TOO much, but it seems to be abating now. I actually went to the BIG
grocery store yesterday without experiencing sensory overload -
although there was a moment in the checkout with the scanners beeping
so annoyingly - and managed to shop around and wait in the pharmacy
without needing to run for the safety of my car where I could sit and cry
for a few minutes.

Anyway - I wonder about that, why they come and go?

Fortune
09-30-11, 10:01 AM
Yeah, I do kind of wonder. I know that consistent overload and ensuing shutdowns makes sensitivities worse, which means more overload and more shutdowns, which makes sensitivities worse, and that's how I spent last winter.

Some of my issues have been consistent, like my problems in crowded stores have always been difficult at a minimum.

Marspider
09-30-11, 10:33 AM
This is all quite interesting. I don't have such an issue with tags, I always leave them on so I know how to wash the clothing. What my issue is that I hate belts and anything that goes around my waist or is higher than my belly button.
I'm fairly short waisted with long legs , a short crotch with not very wide hips so trousers are always a problem around the waist areas, ie there's always too much material, I get crotch sag so I have to wear a belt with practically every trouser. BUT I HATE THINGS AROUND MY middle. I don't know why. Drives me insane.

I will not wear a belt unless the trousers fall off so my undies are always showing which my family find very amusing. (I get plumber's crack). I know that's not a very sophisticated look:( I have to wear long tops which are getting harder to find as they are cropping tops these days URGH. And they are all billowy and sacklike meaning you have to wear a belt to look right.
The best times were in the days of low cut jeans. Those just came below my belly button. Though I did wish they were higher in the back.
But tags, I'm like meh.
Shiny polyester makes me shudder although I like some designs. One, it will make me sweat and two, I don't know how to describe it, it literally makes me shudder from the feel. I think it's the static. It's slimy, sticky, slippery and alive.



Many people with Autism/Asperger's have Sensory Processing Disorder,
but you can also have Sensory Processing Disorder without being on the
Autism spectrum.

I have to wear comfy clothes - and shoes. Tags are annoying.

Bright light is annoying and actually hurts my eyes - like a stabbing pain.

Noise is annoying, and ratchets up my blood pressure, especially two-
stroke motorcycle engines and tinkly ice cream truck tunes.

Smells make me sick, my hubby's cigarettes made me asthmatic and gave
me pleurisy, some smells give a migraine, some cause anxiety attacks -
an actual physical response.

Some Autists can only stand to eat 2 or 3 foods, my granddaughter is
willing to eat almost anything. Since I started reading about SPD I've
realized that I eat the same foods over and over and rarely try new
things.

I also have problems with depth perception and an awareness of where
I am in relation to my surroundings. And with balance.

Too much of any of these - including crowds and especially noise - and I
also have to retreat to the peace and quiet and dimness of my own room
and regroup.

Lunacie
09-30-11, 10:44 AM
This is all quite interesting. I don't have such an issue with tags, I always leave them on so I know how to wash the clothing. What my issue is that I hate belts and anything that goes around my waist or is higher than my belly button.
I'm fairly short waisted with long legs , a short crotch with not very wide hips so trousers are always a problem around the waist areas, ie there's always too much material, I get crotch sag so I have to wear a belt with practically every trouser. BUT I HATE THINGS AROUND MY middle. I don't know why. Drives me insane.

I will not wear a belt unless the trousers fall off so my undies are always showing which my family find very amusing. (I get plumber's crack). I know that's not a very sophisticated look:( I have to wear long tops which are getting harder to find as they are cropping tops these days URGH. And they are all billowy and sacklike meaning you have to wear a belt to look right.
The best times were in the days of low cut jeans. Those just came below my belly button. Though I did wish they were higher in the back.
But tags, I'm like meh.
Shiny polyester makes me shudder although I like some designs. One, it will make me sweat and two, I don't know how to describe it, it literally makes me shudder from the feel. I think it's the static. It's slimy, sticky, slippery and alive.

I'm the same way about having a belt or anything tight around my waist,
also around my neck and my wrists. A high neck t-shirt or top, or a too-
short necklace, make me feel like I'm choking. My arms are so short that
I'd end up rolling up or pushing up my sleeves anyway, but ugh I hate
wearing a bracelet or even a wristwatch.

Polyester is horrible the way it feels. So is wool. T-shirts with sequins or
beads sewn on the front - ugh! I hate the feeling of brushing against them.

Some fabrics mixed with synthetic is okay - like stretch denim.

I buy my shirts one or two sizes too big so the sleeves won't bind, I hate
it when that happens, and I sit down at the sewing machine and take in
the body of the shirt or add a pleat in the back so they don't hang too
loose.

fracturedstory
10-01-11, 07:51 PM
The stitching in my shirt actually feels like a spider is biting me over and over again.

I have to iron all my clothes before wearing them. I can't stand wrinkles.

I have both poor balance and depth perception.

I like low jeans too but I proudly wear Bonds underwear with the large print brand elastic sticking out, minimises the plumber's crack. Thought it was worth sharing.

Lunacie
10-01-11, 07:57 PM
The stitching in my shirt actually feels like a spider is biting me over and over again.

I have to iron all my clothes before wearing them. I can't stand wrinkles.

I have both poor balance and depth perception.

I like low jeans too but I proudly wear Bonds underwear with the large print brand elastic sticking out, minimises the plumber's crack. Thought it was worth sharing.

I've had clothes where the stitching felt like that and ended up donating it to the thrift shop because I can't stand that feeling.

sighduck
10-02-11, 06:21 AM
I cant stand the texture of silk... its smotheness bothers me

Pamplemousse
10-02-11, 01:27 PM
The stitching in my shirt actually feels like a spider is biting me over and over again.

That's what some of my clothes feel like! I literally flinch away from it sometimes. Sometimes I am so weirded out how it feels like I'm getting bit by bugs, I go into the bathroom and trey to see if there is something biting me....there never is.

I never put two and two together until I just read that. lol