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Do I have Aspergers?

Do you find yourself confused in social situations? Are you passionately interested in a single topic? Is it tough for you to make and maintain eye contact? Then you, like many talented and intelligent adults, may be diagnosable with Aspergers.

Aspergers is different from other disorders on the autism spectrum, in part, because it is often diagnosed in older kids and adults as opposed to very young kids. That's because Aspergers is a relatively mild form of ASD which does not include problems with basic language skills. Many individuals with Aspergers are very bright and capable. The issues that emerge for individuals diagnosed with Aspergers are related specifically to social and communication skills -- skills that only become significant as individuals get older and need to negotiate complex social situations.

What Does It Mean to Have Aspergers?

What does it mean to have Aspergers? Clearly, since so many successful individuals seem to have the diagnosis (Dan Ackroyd, for one, announced his diagnosis on the air -- and rumor has it that Bill Gates may also have Aspergers) it is not a disability in the classic sense. In fact, some historians suggest that Einstein, Mozart, and Alan Turing (the inventor of the first electronic computer) may all have been diagnosable with Aspergers.

What individuals with Aspergers do have in common is a set of characteristics that may make social interaction particularly difficult. Many individuals with Aspergers have been bullied or teased as kids. They may be awkward with the opposite sex. And they may have a tough time maneuvering through complex social cues at school, at work, or elsewhere.

The Cambridge Lifespan Aspergers Service (CLASS), an organization in the United Kingdom that works with adults with Aspergers has developed a simple ten question checklist to help with a preliminary self-diagnosis. If you answered “yes” to some or most of these questions, you may decide to find out more.

• I am good at picking up details and facts.
• I can focus on certain things for very long periods.
• I did not enjoy imaginative story-writing at school.
• I do certain things in an inflexible, repetitive way.
• I find it hard to make small talk.
• I find it hard to work out what other individuals are thinking and feeling.
• I find social situations confusing.
• I have always had difficulty making friends.
• I have unusually strong, narrow interests.
• Individuals often say I was rude even when this was not intended.

If you do answer “yes” to many of these questions relative to yourself or a loved one, you may have uncovered an undiagnosed case of Aspergers. For some teenagers and adults, this is a tremendous relief: it puts a name on a set of issues that has troubled them throughout their lives. And it also opens the door to support, treatment, and community.

But there is no obligation to do anything at all about Aspergers. In fact, many adults feel that being having Aspergers is a point of pride. They are unique, often successful individuals who are simply … themselves!


Anonymous said...

Marlene Biggy the more I research and learn about AS for my daughter, the more I suspect I too am an aspie. For now it will stay a self-diagnosis, since her expenses are MORE than enough !!!! LOL
16 minutes ago · Like

Anonymous said...

Karen Gomez Vega i taught my sons to look me in the eye. it took yrs but they are doing so much better so hopefully they will do better as adults in this area at least.

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Children on the Spectrum

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Teens on the Spectrum

Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children with ASD Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with ASD face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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to read the full article...

Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

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