View Full Version : Is there a "borderline" version of Aspergers?


Bouncingoffwall
12-03-11, 07:48 PM
Funny, for fun I took the AQ and scored 39.

But then, I looked at the DSM-IV TR criteria for Asperger's and only really identified with one in category one and somewhat identified with two in category two.

Do a lot of ADHD symptoms and Asperger's symptoms overlap?

Based on another thread I've posted, I do get weird preoccupations with things, learning every little detail I can about them.

Growing up, I had a difficult time socially - I was introverted definitely. It takes me a long time to warm up to people. Once I get talking about a subject I love, I can go on and on.

Socially, I've improved, but it's taking years of practice and some counseling.

Weird, random occurrences can trigger rage in me too. I also like rules and can get locked into one way of doing things.

I don't consider myself to have a lack of empathy though. I'm pretty good at perceiving others' emotions.

Jason954
12-04-11, 10:00 PM
Don't get too hung up on the DSM. By now, most professionals have come to the conclusion that DSM-IV's definition of Asperger Syndrome is way too rigid, and the changes in DSM-V are probably the most controversial and have the least professional consensus of any section in the book.

Anecdotally, it seems like at least half of adults who specifically have ADD-PI also have AS. Possibly, quite a few more if you were to really go over the symptoms of individuals officially diagnosed with ADD-PI who DON'T display Aspie traits, and consider whether they might be more appropriately classified as ADHD instead.

Part of the AS-ADD dilemma comes from the definitions used to define AS. For example, "love of rules and routine". It suggests that we'd be happy in authoritarian settings where somebody micromanages us and dictates our minute-to-minute activities. Personally, I'd define that as "the seventh level of Hell". I think it's more accurate to say that we hate being held to ambiguous requirements ("rules" clarify those requirements), and tend to fall into routines for things we either don't care about & do on "auto pilot", OR have to do consistently and would otherwise forget to do.

Preoccupations? Yep. Classic symptom. IMHO, the line between Aspie special interests, ADHD hyperfocus, and OCD rituals is kind of like this:

* OCD rituals represent consistent daily actions that have to be performed in response to events to avoid stress. Things like hand-washing, touching things in a certain order, etc. AFAK, these aren't part of AS's definition, and I'm just including them to clarify the distinction.

* ADD hyperfocus is when you become absorbed in something and lose track of time.

* Aspie obsessions are like ADD hyperfocus on crack -- you're totally into something, you KNOW you have to be doing something else, you're fully aware of what time it is and how badly the obsession is eating into your day, and still... you can't pull away from it. You don't even want to go to the bathroom or eat. You're totally fascinated by __topic__ and dying to learn more about it, and nothing is going to voluntarily pull you away from it.

Complicating the problem, we have kind of a no-win situation with regard to stimulant meds. Without them, we couldn't have two coherent thoughts in a row or get anything productive done. But when we get latched on to something, the meds amplify it, and leave us completely (if temporarily) enslaved by those interests/obsessions.

The only real coping strategy I've come up with is to try really hard to start the day with whatever project you most urgently need to work on in the hope that you'll get locked on to it, and try to defer putting out small fires and administrative housekeeping tasks until later in the day so they can't turn into nightmares that obsessively consume and destroy the entire morning.

Crazygirl79
12-05-11, 03:55 AM
Mild PDD-NOS could be considered....that's what the docs originally dxd me with along with the ADHD/LD.

Basically that means that a person has "autistic/aspie tendencies" without actually fitting right into the criteria for a particular autism spectrum disorder.

Selena

Fortune
12-05-11, 04:36 AM
Funny, for fun I took the AQ and scored 39.

But then, I looked at the DSM-IV TR criteria for Asperger's and only really identified with one in category one and somewhat identified with two in category two.

Do a lot of ADHD symptoms and Asperger's symptoms overlap?

Based on another thread I've posted, I do get weird preoccupations with things, learning every little detail I can about them.

Growing up, I had a difficult time socially - I was introverted definitely. It takes me a long time to warm up to people. Once I get talking about a subject I love, I can go on and on.

Socially, I've improved, but it's taking years of practice and some counseling.

Weird, random occurrences can trigger rage in me too. I also like rules and can get locked into one way of doing things.

I don't consider myself to have a lack of empathy though. I'm pretty good at perceiving others' emotions.

Some information that may or may not help:



A lot of people who score above 32 aren't autistic
Based on what I've seen on this forum, AQ scores don't correlate to ADHD diagnoses at all. Some score very high, some score very low. Some score somewhere in the middle. Not all of those who score high are autistic.
I found it nearly impossible to relate any symptoms from the PDD diagnoses to myself without seeing them described by other autistic people - at which point things connected fairly rapidly.
Autistic people tend to have normal affective empathy (the part related to emotions) or hypersensitive affective empathy. It's cognitive empathy (the ability to determine what other people might be thinking) that is impaired.
You're only one criteria in A away from being diagnosable with Asperger's, which means you could be diagnosed with PDD-NOS if you do fit the criteria you say.

I hope this helps.

fracturedstory
12-05-11, 07:16 PM
People with autism to not go into rages from random things. There is always a reason. A build up of stress overtime and a trigger that just sets it all off, or it could be one thing, depending on how well you can cope with stress.

For example when I was younger I would have a meltdown over any change, some things looked like selfish behaviour but had more to do with my routine. These days it takes many individual stressful situations to set me off or it might take a stressful environment.

I suppose you meant random occurances can trigger rage which means you might not like change as well.

Asperger and ADHD symptoms do overlap but I would say PDD as well.

Bouncingoffwall
12-08-11, 09:08 PM
Interesting posts by all. Thank you for the clarification.

@Jason - I know what you mean about the stimulant-produced hyperfocusing. That is a useful - choosing the most important project I have to do first...

I was at work on day, on an important project - and I worked 8 hours straight on that thing, only stopping for lunch with no breaks. This was not a project I found particularly interesting or fascinating. I was obsessed with finishing the project. That seems way more than what "normal" human beings could accomplish. Without Adderall, I might have not even got half of it done...

Ameliese
12-16-11, 02:48 AM
I have already been Dx'ed with Asperger Syndrome and plan to get assessed for comorbid ADHD.

I can recall my AS symptoms were much more severe as a child, and strictly speaking I should be Dx'ed with Autistic Disorder given I had a mild speech delay. The social skills I learnt were done so at an intellectual level as if it was another school subject, and socializing for me has NEVER felt natural except for when I talk in a blunt manner with other Aspies, non-Neurotypical individuals, and NTs who are tolerant of my traits.

As an adult, my traits are now milder than most of the kids who get diagnosed with AS these days but this was due to several years of compensatory mechanisms and huge stress. I have heard comments from some classmates saying that my Asperger Syndrome must be "very mild" but they didn't realize how much crap I had to manually go through to reach that level of social awareness. My way of processing information is still the same although I now intellectually understand some other people's ways of thinking.

And even then, when I try to talk in a polite and respectful manner as deemed by NTs, I still get caught out to be Aspie-like by patients who have had adult children with HFA/AS.

known_guy
12-27-11, 03:21 AM
Aside from the severity description of "mild" for Asperger's, previous posts are correct. I would agree that [mild] PPD-NOS could be thought of as "borderline" Asperger's.

I have ADHD, and mild AS definitely came into the picture when it came to my wonderful supply of potential/differential diagnoses. I am not good at judging feelings of others.