HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

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Aspergers Self-Test: Do I Have Aspergers?

Question

My wife and I think that I may have Aspergers, but we're not sure. Is there a self-test that I can take to see whether or not I have Aspergers without going to a doctor for a formal diagnosis?

Answer

If you answer “true” to most of the statements below, then you probably have Aspergers. However, this self-test should not be viewed as a ‘diagnostic tool’ per say.

True or False:

1. As a child, I didn’t enjoy playing games involving pretending with other children. T or F
2. Friends don’t talk to me about their problems because they find that I don’t understand them. T or F
3. Friendships and relationships are just too difficult, so I tend not to bother with them. T or F
4. I can’t figure out what another person might want to talk about. T or F
5. I can’t sense if I’m intruding, even if the other person tells me. T or F
6. I can’t tell if someone else is interested or bored with what I am saying. T or F
7. I can’t tell if someone else wants to enter a conversation. T or F
8. I can’t tell if someone is masking their true emotion. T or F
9. I can’t tune into how someone else feels. T or F
10. I can't always see why someone should have felt offended by a remark. T or F
11. I can't relax until I have done everything I had planned to do that day. T or F
12. I consciously work out the rules of social situations. T or F
13. I don’t enjoy being the center of attention at any social gathering. T or F
14. I don’t enjoy caring for other people. T or F
15. I don’t enjoy doing things spontaneously. T or F
16. I don’t enjoy meeting new people. T or F
17. I don’t enjoy social chit-chat. T or F
18. I don’t enjoy social occasions. T or F
19. I don’t know how to tell if someone listening to me is getting bored. T or F
20. I don’t like to do things on the spur of the moment. T or F
21. I don’t try to keep up with the current trends and fashions. T or F
22. I don’t usually get upset if I see people suffering on news programs. T or F
23. I don't like to take risks. T or F
24. I don't particularly enjoy reading fiction. T or F
25. I find it difficult to ‘‘read between the lines'' when someone is talking to me. T or F
26. I find it difficult to do more than one thing at once. T or F
27. I find it difficult to imagine what it would be like to be someone else. T or F
28. I find it difficult to put myself in somebody else's shoes. T or F
29. I find it difficult to work out people's intentions. T or F
30. I find it difficult to work out what someone is thinking or feeling just by looking at their face. T or F
31. I find it hard to know what to do in a social situation. T or F
32. I find it hard to make new friends. T or F
33. I find it very difficult to play games with children that involve pretending. T or F
34. I find making up stories difficult. T or F
35. I find myself drawn more strongly to things than to people. T or F
36. I find social situations difficult. T or F
37. I frequently find that I don't know how to keep a conversation going. T or F
38. I frequently get so strongly absorbed in one thing that I lose sight of other things. T or F
39. I like to be very organized in day to day life and often make lists of the chores I have to do. T or F
40. I like to collect information about categories of things (e.g. types of car, types of bird, types of train, types of plant, etc.). T or F
41. I like to plan any activities I participate in carefully. T or F
42. I notice patterns in things all the time. T or F
43. I often find it difficult to judge if something is rude or polite. T or F
44. I often notice small sounds when others do not. T or F
45. I prefer animals to humans. T or F
46. I prefer practical jokes to verbal humor. T or F
47. I prefer to do things on my own rather than with others. T or F
48. I prefer to do things the same way over and over again. T or F
49. I tend not to get emotionally involved with a friend's problems. T or F
50. I tend to find social situations confusing. T or F
51. I tend to have very strong interests which I get upset about if I can't pursue. T or F
52. I tend to have very strong opinions about morality. T or F
53. I tend to notice details that others do not. T or F
54. I try to solve my own problems rather than discussing them with others. T or F
55. I usually concentrate more on the small details rather than the whole picture. T or F
56. I usually don’t appreciate the other person's viewpoint, even if I agree with it. T or F
57. I usually notice car number plates or similar strings of information. T or F
58. I usually notice small changes in a situation, or a person's appearance. T or F
59. I usually stay emotionally detached when watching a film. T or F
60. I would be too nervous to go on a big rollercoaster. T or F
61. I would never break a law, no matter how minor. T or F
62. I would rather go to a library than a party. T or F
63. I would rather go to the museum than a theater. T or F
64. I’m able to make decisions without being influenced by people's feelings. T or F
65. I’m fascinated by dates. T or F
66. I’m fascinated by numbers. T or F
67. I’m not good at predicting how someone will feel. T or F
68. I’m not good at predicting what someone will do. T or F
69. I’m not good at social chit-chat. T or F
70. I’m not a good diplomat. T or F
71. I’m often the last to understand the point of a joke. T or F
72. I’m very blunt, which some people take to be rudeness, even though this is unintentional. T or F
73. If I say something that someone else is offended by, I think that that's their problem, not mine. T or F
74. If I see a stranger in a group, I think that it is up to them to make an effort to join in. T or F
75. If I try to imagine something, I find it very difficult to create a picture in my mind. T or F
76. If my wife asked me if I liked her dress, I would reply truthfully, even if I didn't like it. T or F
77. If someone says one thing but means another, I don’t get it. T or F
78. If there is an interruption, I can’t switch back to what I was doing very quickly. T or F
79. In a conversation, I tend to focus on my own thoughts rather than on what my listener might be thinking. T or F
80. In a social group, I can’t keep track of several different conversations at once. T or F
81. It doesn’t really upset me too much to see an animal in pain. T or F
82. It doesn't bother me too much if I’m late meeting a friend. T or F
83. It’s hard for me to see why some things upset people so much. T or F
84. It upsets me if my daily routine is disturbed. T or F
85. It’s hard for me to spot when someone in a group is feeling awkward or uncomfortable. T or F
86. New situations make me anxious. T or F
87. Other people frequently tell me that what I've said is impolite, even though I think it is polite. T or F
88. Other people often say that I’m insensitive, though I don't always see why. T or F
89. Other people tell me I’m not very good at understanding how they are feeling and what they are thinking. T or F
90. People often tell me that I’m very predictable. T or F
91. People often tell me that I keep going on and on about the same thing. T or F
92. People often tell me that I went too far in driving my point home in a discussion. T or F
93. People sometimes tell me that I have gone too far with teasing. T or F
94. Seeing people cry doesn't really upset me. T or F
95. When I talk on the phone, I'm not sure when it is my turn to speak. T or F
96. When I talk to people, I tend to talk about my experiences rather than theirs. T or F
97. When I talk, it isn't easy for others to get a word in edgeways. T or F
98. When I was a child, I enjoyed cutting up worms to see what would happen. T or F
99. When I'm reading a story, I find it difficult to work out the characters' intentions. T or F
100. When reading a story, it’s hard for me to imagine what the characters may look like. T or F



Best comment:

It was recently brought to my attention that I may have Aspergers. It was actually a woman who has it that commented to me. Ive spent my life in and out of counselling, filled a million psych tests out and been labeled with about 8 different mental illnesses, non of which rang fully true. I have struggled to 'thrive' and have a bad social and relationship track record. Im a single mother also. Im not dumb by any means and have always excelled when I want to. I was at a University level of reading and comprehension by the age of 12. I can miss a lot of classes and still pass my exams, the results always had me pegged as cheating. I think you need friends to help you cheat and that I lacked. I also dont think that having a higher IQ should be punished, its not my fault that others cant figure out things and take initive to find the answers. I gave up with second level education and educate myself through books and anything I can. I consistanly get told Im lying or making up stuff. A wonderful counseller I found pointed out it was my lack of eye contact and the lack of emotion used when discussing things. An example she gave was that I had the same voice and facial expression recanting a truly awful experience as I did for recanting a general experience. Needless to say that when this lady Im friends with pointed out Aspergers and I started reading into it I was not only amazed but felt like I finally 'get it' as so many things about it were bang on. 
Now, Ive been paying attention and reading more and more. I have a child. Shes now 18, almost 19. Its safe to say that if I have Aspergers there were certain behaviors in my child I would totally have missed as not normal because for me it would have seemed perfectly normal. Im not sure if shes Aspergers or not but Im betting she is. A few key differences in us are: she would never ever express her needs. She would never say she was hungry, sleepy, hot/cold etc. It would just be a melt down and I was always stuck trying to figure out what she needed. It took her 16yrs to finally be able to say "Im getting hungry and its making me cranky". She only does this about 50% of the time but thats progress. She has a bad habit of filling her clothing drawers with weird stuff. One drawer is ALWAYS full of garbage, papers and crayons..even at 18. She refuses to dress 'normal', and struggles in school. The hardest thing with her is the temper tantrums and violent lashing out. The biggest struggle Ive always faced with her was that temper and refusal to behave or accept consequences. When shes not raging shes a wonderful bubbly creative and sweet girl full of love and caring. Trust me, we've done all the avenues of counselling. It all failed due to lack of intelligence and commitment from professionals, to refusal from my child and my inability to stay consistant. Since my child turned 14 and started smoking pot our head butting has intesified. It has gotten so bad that police have been called, a good portion of my belongings have been destroyed and we've gotten into scraps worthy of bar brawls. Im not the best person for keeping my cool when attacked and when cornered and attacked..I refuse to be taken out. She finally moved out at 17 stating Im a horrible parent who doesnt understand her and I purposly enrage her by making her 'do things'. To her that is everything as shes very defiant about being told to do anything..its her way or nothing, unless of course you are a bad influence, teacher or employer. I let her leave with mixed feelings. I was so utterly thankful for the peace and quiet and yet I mourned losing my only baby to the streets. Now shes living with my mother and treating my mother the same as she treated me the last 4 yrs. My mother is now at wits end dealing with the behavioral issues. 
Ive read your article online about this program you offer for the anger melt downs. My question is...how is one potential Aspergers supposed to correct another? Is this set up so I can actually follow it and manage correcting my child? I learned to control my anger, Im very happy now sitting on the wonderful flat line of emotions. I do not like going up or down. Engaging with my child makes me frustrated and angry pretty quick and all that anger control goes out the window when it comes to her and her anger. I can manage being verbally attacked by all kinds of people and keep it under control but my girl brings it out almost instantly. I really try to avoid her now that Ive relished in the tranquillity of her moving out. I love my child and I desperatly want to see her succeed and over come her anger melt downs as well as regain the loving relationship we used to have before she became a teenager. How can I do this though if I cant handle being the adult and manage my own behaviors? Is your program adaptable? I would bring both of us back into counselling just to get the magic label but thats a dead horse Im afraid. Ive decided to manage this on my own. Part of helping my child is realising where I lack and how I can better present myself to eliminate any miscommunications and potenial melt downs. Do I need to ignore her needs till I master this on my own or is it easy enough and set up accordingly that I can walk both lines...get myself functioning better so Im not alienated as well as help her mellow out and open her ears so she can move forward. I would love any advice and would love to hear your point of vew on this matter. Its been a long long battle for myself as well as for my child. Im really quite tired of being left out in the cold for how I operate and for helping my child. Most of the close family has already turned their backs on us. That alone has defeated my child, and its driven me to more and more hermit type of behaviors. Im tired, it makes my head hurt always trying to manage everyone and their crap. 

No comments:

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