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Autism? - February 21st 2012, 03:59 PM

I was just recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and I was wondering if there are any other members here who are on the Autism Spectrum or who know anyone with autism.

Thanks, guys! Just looking to get to know others with perhaps some similar experiences to mine!
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Re: Autism? - February 21st 2012, 06:39 PM

My cousins child was born with autism and also had a wide range of other issues which caused her to be in a hospital for close to 5 months after she was born. Her case is quite severe, so she is a year or two behind her age group in school, needs to have a good routine every week and when they know they're going to change it by going out somewhere, they have to prepare her for that days in advance. The doctors have said that she will probably never be able to be completely independent. But she's 11 years old, has had open heart surgery, was fed through a tube for a good 2 years of her life, and in my eyes she's pretty amazing

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Re: Autism? - February 21st 2012, 06:46 PM

My sister has Autism. She finds it hard to express her emotions and can't develop full thoughts. Meaning when she has something to say she stutters and gives up because she can't put what she wants to say into words. I'm the same way and I'm looking into getting tested or whatever the process is. Anyways, my sister is a freshman in high school now but she still does work that's equivalent to a first graders. And it's really hard for her to understand. Even though she's struggled her whole like socially and academically, she's an amazing individual. And I love her to death.

It's scary to be diagnosed with anything. I hope you're doing well.
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Post Re: Autism? - February 21st 2012, 10:21 PM

My brother has Autism as well. He's in a different program at my school that is designed for people with similar disabilities. However, most people don't know about his disability, as it's not very noticeable. He gets distracted easily and sometimes has trouble focusing on and remembering things. Although he also struggles socially and academically, he's also a creative and unique individual. He's very kind and hardworking, and his efforts are inspiring. And I love him to death.

And...I hope you're doing well, too.

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Re: Autism? - February 24th 2012, 03:28 AM

Yup. I'm all too familiar with autism.
My older brother is autistic, but very severe. He's 19 but the doctors say developmentally he'll always be around 5 years old. He really can't do much of anything for himself. He can't even talk. We mostly communicate in sign language. So even though I'm the younger sibling, I take care of him. Ironic isn't it?
My mom also appears to have some sort of high functioning autism, and I really show signs of it as well, but my parents don't really focus on me. That's just the way it is, and rightfully so, I guess. I mean, he has way more problems than I do. But I just feel like over the years, I've just always been ignored. Even in support sessions. Where I live they don't have any real support for the siblings of autistic children and really they are the ones who are the most neglected. No one ever focuses on how it affects the siblings too, that they need a break as well. But again, that's the way it is.
I've kind of become aloof because of the whole situation. I never see my friends outside of school. I withdraw. I don't invite my friends over to my house. Ever. I don't want them to see how I really live my life. . .
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Re: Autism? - February 25th 2012, 04:11 AM

Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences with autism with me!

Megan -- Your cousin sounds like such a trooper! It's amazing that she's been able to overcome so much in her short life. The resilience of some people is truly inspiring.

Brittany -- It's great that you're looking into the testing needed for any kind of diagnosis. I know that those kinds of things can be scary, but I think they can also teach you a lot about yourself. The relationship you have with your sister sounds so beautiful and inspiring. My sister and I are really close, so I know how meaningful sibling bonds can be. Although your sister and I may be at different levels of functioning, I can relate to the bit about stuttering. That's quite a problem for me too, so I usually prefer to express myself through writing. It's very frustrating!

Amy -- Again, love hearing about the sibling bonds!! Your brother sounds like a remarkable individual. I can relate to having trouble focusing and remembering things at times. My long-term memory is much better than my short-term memory, and I often forget about tasks I need to do unless I write them down.

Flyersgrl -- That must be so difficult for you! I'm sorry to hear that you, your brother, and your family have had to struggle so much with this. I agree with you: I think that people do tend to overlook how the disorder is affecting the person's family and friends. Their concerns are just as important. You shouldn't ever have to feel like your problems are being ignored. I'm so sorry you've been feeling this way. I think you should continue to reach out for help -- maybe to someone who isn't as involved with your brother, such as a guidance counselor? That way they can tailor their advice more to your needs.

Thank you all again for sharing your experiences! It's really helpful to know that there are other people out there who are familiar with ASDs.
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Re: Autism? - March 4th 2012, 12:52 PM

I also have it, and I struggle so much to understand my emotions, get them across and explain them properly. It usually comes across wrong and I get more upset with myself. It's been hard having it and I've been diganosed with it for 6ish years now. Life is always a rollercoaster but many of my friends have also complimented me on how much they have learnt about me and how others think! - So its not all bad!

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Re: Autism? - March 6th 2012, 04:38 PM

I have as perges aswell, I find social situations really hard and if someone is crying but they're not sad I can't understand why, and I can't understand facial expressions or body language.

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Re: Autism? - March 13th 2012, 08:21 PM

Late reponse here. I don't officially have Asperger's but I diagnosed with PDD-NOS about 3 years ago. So we both fall on the spectrum.

Yeah...the social stuff doesn't come easy. I have always felt like I was behind in this area. I finished college recently and I'm DREADING getting a job and doing interviews (I can't even look people in the eye without putting forth all my effort into it). College was quite tough for me too.

Overall I've managed to adapt fairly well and get by just fine academically, which is why it was never noticed. The problems surfaced in college for me. But I have good support with family, so I'm grateful for that.

um...yeah, not much else to say.
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Re: Autism? - March 14th 2012, 08:56 PM

My younger brother has Autism as well as moderate learning disability, Epilepsy and Kleefstra's Syndrome. He is at the acedemic level of a 3-year old and is unlikely to ever change. He was only diagnosed with Autism a few years back, and since then it's been slightly easier to understand some of his anxieties and Autistic tendancies. He went to a special needs school and is now living in supported living in a shared house that is specifically for young adults with Autism and he is doing fantastic!

I also work with adults who have learning disabilities and 3 of them also have Autism in varying degrees. Due to their learning disabilities, they are likely to need high levels of care for the rest of their lives. Part of my job is to help them to integrate into the community (which is very difficult for all the people I work with), and to lead happy, exciting, fulfilling lives.

A very ignorant person once told me that people with Autism cannot feel love, everyone who I have met so far that is on the Autism Spectrum has disproved that. I think society still has a long way to go in terms of accepting those with LD's/mental illnessess etc and I plan on one fo the people to make that happen.
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Re: Autism? - March 16th 2012, 01:18 AM

Gemma - Thanks so much for sharing your experience! I love the positive spin on it! I definitely agree that people can learn so much from people with Asperger's. I think our fresh perspective on life keeps things interesting!

Banshee-Screamer - That sounds really tough!! Social situations are definitely hard for me, too. I've noticed that I have a lot of trouble telling when someone is joking or not, which usually ends with me going, "Really?" and the other person laughing at me and saying, "Of course not!" It's incredibly frustrating and just makes me feel really socially awkward! I also have trouble understanding body language. I have no idea what it means when someone is gesturing to me across the room at, say, school, and usually they have to explain what they wanted from me later.

Lugez - Thank you for sharing your experience as well!! Congratulations on finishing college! I can totally relate to dreading getting a job. Usually, interviews aren't too bad for me, but sometimes carrying out the actual job itself is tough, depending on how much I'm interacting with people. I also have trouble processing instructions sometimes. Eye contact is really tough and 'painful,' although I do it naturally now. (My mom had to teach me when I was little.)

Part of why I went undiagnosed for so long was because I adapted very well, much like yourself. I always performed well in school, but I struggled with peer relationships. I still do today, and it's really, really tough!

Ella - Thank you so much for your post! I'm so glad to hear that your brother is doing well!! Sometimes it's just a matter of figuring out what works for you! Your job sounds fascinating! Your employers are very lucky to have someone who is so motivated to help integrate these people into society. I bet you're especially good at connecting with them because of your experience with your brother. I bet you have a different level of insight into these kinds of troubles than someone who hasn't had such personal experience with them.

I also have an LD called dyscalculia. It makes anything math-related very difficult for me sometimes! But I find that I perform very well in math classes if I'm provided with adequate accommodations.

I COMPLETELY agree with you! I often hear things like that -- that people on the Autism Spectrum can't love. I know that for Asperger's itself, the criteria includes "lacking empathy." I definitely think I'm able to empathize with people! Otherwise I wouldn't be a volunteer on a site such as TH! It certainly is an ignorant view, and I hope that society will be able to educate itself further on LDs and autism spectrum disorders.

It's been so wonderful hearing all of these stories!! I didn't realize we had so many users who had been impacted by autism in some way! Thank you all so much! This has really, really helped me.
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Re: Autism? - March 25th 2012, 12:24 AM

Yes! I have aspergers syndrome.
Some aspects of it I hate, some I love.
Depression seems to have been the main focus in my life since the start of the year (as a result of being autistic), especially because I am quickly realizing my differences are pegging me back as much as ever. Having virtually no friends was livable a few years ago but since I turned 14/15 in 2009/10 social problems have just become too much of a problem and this has lead to depression and self harm.
My school teachers aren't so advanced and seem to be severely poorly taught on what aspergers syndrome is and how it affects people which isn't very good.
I can't talk to people my age face to face but I can just about talk to adults with no real problems.
Autism is life changing and turns the world upside down, but I'm sure all who are affected sometimes stop and think just how lucky you are to have it.
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