Could I possibly have Asperger syndrome?

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I don't really know where to start, but I guess I should start from my childhood. I have always been the elephant in the room who nearly never speaks and avoids other people. I've noticed I feel better and in fact, that's the only time when I talk and it's in very small groups of up to 2 people who I feel are not judgemental but I talk most with just one other person who I feel safer with, but still with restriction and no one really knows my actual self, I would say. Tbh, even I don't. I don't know who I am and if I am just a sh*tty person who pretends in front of that one person to be more easy-going or..I don't know. But yeah, in the kindergarden I was always just staying on my chair, speachless, nearly frozen on my place while everyone would talk to each other and laugh and probably even get scolded from the teachers. And so I was praised, I was Lilly, the best and the most quiet girl from the whole group. I felt kinda different, but not too bad. I mean, I want to make it clear that I didn't not speak because of some severe anxiety, some may suggest that is was selective mutism, but I don't think so...Or is it? I would mainly connect it with the fact that I've no idea what to talk about and say. I've also noticed that since a child I mishear some words, for example, English is not my native language, but I've been studying it for like 9 years now and I constantly mishear the words from the films or songs. I actually relised it might not be normal, when my sister would hear nearly every word. When I was a child (and also now, lol, i'm 16 though it's getting better) never could understand movies (or remember later) and I constantly asked my sister "Why are they doing that?" or "Why is he killing the dog?" and my sister was always getting annoyed, hah. It's kind of sad, I can't also remember books. I think it might be poor working memory plus being uninterested, which I am also sad about.When I hear that someone did something or was curious as a child which really makes me sad for a while and makes me feel so empty and like nothing and then I want to kill myself because it's sometimes like nothing would ever change and it's like my whole past is empty and there's nothing to be done. That's why I tried to be more curious, but I stopped for some reason. I guess I have to start again, it's a habbit worth forming.

  I've noticed other kids seem to adapt more quickly, or it may be just lack of practice for me? Truth be told, since a kid my sister was always with me, helping me. I didn't know what to write for a topic for my homework essay? No problem, Kate would help us. And that is why people thought I was smart, I guess.

 I have no friends currently, I live in Germany with my mom and dad for 8 months now and am currently learning the language, but because I avoid people and don't have topics to talk about I can't practise tha language that much. I know, however, that there are things that can be done, this can somehow change, right? 

 I have problems with saying "Thank you" or "Please" that's another thing, I am almost never sure, and either don't say it which I feel might be rude, or say it kind of quietly. 

 In the classroom, I have problem with figuring out when I have to speak, unless I have a structure.

 I have recently figured out that to-do lists work great for me and help me with my daily tasks, which I usually avoid and then my life sucks. Lol. 

 So that's most of it, I think. I've probably missed some things, of course, I always do. But yeah, it might not be Asperger because I don't have any special interests, which seems to be a main sympthom. I mean, since a kid I haven't been interested in anything much, I would say it might be from the fact that I barely remembered, barely understood. But still. I feel like having no motivation or very little motivation has been a HUUGE problem in my life. I hate the fact that I never really did anything in my life. Some people say I have a talent for art, but I don't enjoy it that much and in fact, if it hadn't been for my mother, I would have never really learned to draw good, she sent me with my sister to art courses. So art is not a thing I enjoy, I don't enjoy sports, I can't recall plots of films or books, I suck at studying or maths...I basically can't do or enjoy anything. So, what is this people? Anytime, anytime I would want to start anything in my chilhood...3 days. 3 days had always been my maximum for anything. I guess that's because I do things on willpower and then just forget the real benefit, but don't care anymore..Recently now, it has become sliightly better. I kind of still hate doing everything, doing the laundry is awful and I avoid my chores like cleaning my room, cooking or doing the dishes. I am not depressed, ok. Some people might suggest it. I don't feel sad most of the time and I still enjoy some mindless things like watching the movies. So yeah, it you had the patience to read ALL that, then you get a "Wow" from me dude. I would like to hear your opinion and if I need to go to a psychologist because since a year or so I have been thinking about it. Thank you in advance!

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  • Posted

    Hello, you sound like you're having a bit of a rough time at the moment. It can't be easy try to learn a new language. I really don't know whether you've got aspergets. I suppose only way to find out is to get tested for it. Being depressed doesn't have to mean being sad, it can also mean having no motivation or interest in anything. Just a thought, if you are low in certain vitamins and minerals you can lack motication and energy. I'm thinking of vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, Ferritin. Also it's a symptom of an underactive (hypothyroidism), so it may be worth looking up the symptoms of these. To summarise, you may have aspergers but you may also have another medical condition. The only way to find out, is to see your doctor.

    In the meantime look up the website for the autism society in the uk. There is a lot of useful stuff on there.

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    • Posted

      Thanks you for your reply, Barbara. I was taking a vitamin supplement about two months ago, but I didn't even finish the box, taking pills for me seems to be a difficult task, I even tried to motivate myself by giving some money to mom and telling her that she'll get them if don't drink all of them until the end of the month.She laughed. And well, she got them. :P Maybe I have to try in a different way with that. I should probably focuse on sth else. I'll check what an underactive (hypothyroidism) is, thank you. I have checked information about autism and too, I am not sure, I don't have special interests. As aveline said it might be ADD or something else. And yes, I am thinking about goint to see a doctor, but not really sure when. We also need to find a psychologist here in Germany who speaks good English, so I can explain it all better to them. Well, thank you once more and have a nice day, and also, a nice life. (I like this wish, lol)
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  • Posted

    First of all, Lilly, HUGS to you! You're only 16 and you're more articulate and introspective than many adults I know!

    I do think you have a pragmatic language disorder. Are you ever "chatty" at home, like with your sister? Then it would seem a bit like selective mutism. I call my older son "painfully shy" - others would say Introverted. (I also say he doesn't have a creative bone in his body, and he doesn't have a mean bone in his body!) You may want to look up Keirsey Temperament Sorter and Meyers-Briggs. The world has (and needs!) all types...no need to apologise for who you are! smile  I'm not sure about any part of the autistic spectrum - I think many seem quick to slap that A label on things (Asperger/Autism) but in the next generation of science, we won't lump it all together, we'll have more finer points to distinguish issues that may sometimes resemble autism.

    You don't think you have special talents, but you're trying so don't beat yourself up! You don't want to be un-special (and you're not!)...at age 16 it's so hard to know, even if others seem to have it figured out. Your WHOLE life is ahead of you! 

    You wrote about your inconsistent effort and results, which leads me to believe you may have ADHD (inattentive type, where the H isn't really what you think it means - it's also called ADD). It would explain your social and cognitive struggles, and why you're also bright enough to figure out so much this early. So, right. Something may be "disordered" but to find out if and what, you should see a specialist. Here in the US, it wouldn't really be a therapist, it would either be an educational psychologist (that costs vast sums of money here) or a developmental paediatrician. They take background from you and ask your parents, maybe teachers, plus do their own testing to determine what's going on and if there's a diagnosis to be made. From there, you'll know if you should get treatment of some type and what that would be.

    I'm no expert, but while I read your message, ADHD came to mind most. Also NVLD (non verbal learning disability, although I don't think that's it), and Executive Function impairment. Like I said, seeing the right doctor will help you understand so much more.

    GL and please keep us posted!

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for your post Aveline. To be honest, ADD is something that I also thought I have a lot, because I seem to have most of the sympthoms. Except for creativity and my mind doesn't seem to go too fast from thought to thought, but rather it seems stuck, like not much is happening up there. So I would describe it more as a lack of thought, which is directly the opposite thing of ADD. After I wrote the post I did remember other things I have forgotten to include. I am slightly overreactive to sound, smells and light, but yeah, it doesn't cause too much discomfort, plus I have kind of explanations for all of those. First- light, my eyes are green and as a kid my doctor said I have an allergy from the sun, whatever that means, but it could explain why I usually feel pain from looking even at bright places. Summer can be annoying. ;p Ok, smell- my doctor recently mentioned I might have something like a..like a light asthma, but it's really not a big problem, just I get kinda sick from perfume smells or smoke, I usually have to move when I'm near a smoking person.As a kid I got more problems with coughing during the night,after running,etc. And sound..well, I can't very well explain this one. For about two years I've been having tinitus, a little constant buzzing sound in your head (it's really not loud) which occured after a month or two of listening to headphones which weren't even that loud. So now I can't at all listen to headphones or loud sound, it hurts almost immediately. I don't seem to have problems with touch and actually, some people might say I am underreactive to pain, like, when I was a kid and in hospitals (I used to get sick often) and I got needles the nurses actually thought I was brave. But I don't really know about that. Another important thing I forgot was that I think I have a chronic tic of the face. It doesn't happen often and has not been a problem for me, but recently (because of stress?) it started happening very often. As a kid, maybe around 7 I started to have it, I think, while I was watching tv and was excited I would grimace with my mouth. My mom noticed and started telling me always when I do it, so I stop. I notice when I do it and can stop it with mental effort, though it comes back when I don't pay attention to it. Even now, as I am writing this I seem to have a light forrm of it. I also get it when I am in pain, when cleaning my eyebrows,or somethimes (not very often though) when I exersise for example, I always grimace.I say this because it is a thing I remember was connected to ADD. Also, I am extremely forgetful, since a child. I often forget to do things I normally do, like brushing my teeth. Perhaps I try to hide it and so I don't do much in social situations? Not sure. But let me give an example, as a kid, I remember, I had a birthday and my mom wanted that we go to my kindergarden and that I give them candies. I hated that,probably because I had no really connection with anyone there but well, I had to.I remember we got into the car (we were arguing about sth again, actually since a child we've argued with mom about things, I am trying not to now)and went to the kindergarden. And as we were going out my mom said "Lilly, where are the candies I told you to get." I was clueless. She was angry. We had to go back again. But yeah, before about an hour I went out for a walk, completely forgetting mom had told me, three hours ago to get the rubbish and throw it out (so I'll have to now). I often forget what I am doing or have to do, which is annoying. Without a to do list I feel lost, but even with one I just see the many tasks and feel overwhelmed. I guess I have to practise getting the tasks into smaller chunks and to work with my helplessness I've learned. I am currently trying to read some self- help books and very slowly to progress. But I feel like I need more help, because I feel so clueless about so much. Oh, and about my sister-as a kid she though I was super annoying. I didn't really know how to play with myself and would go with her and with her friends. Now she says I am silly and somethimes funny and she is somethimes happy that we no longer live together. I may have misunderstood, but I think you think I live in the UK, I don't, I live in Germany since about 8 months. I feel very bad when anyone praises me, because I know what he says is not true. If I am writing or talking it's like sometimes it's not really me using my own knowledge, or ah, I don't really know if I can explain it. It's like no one really knows the truth and you feel so lonely and more like running. But yeah, thanks for your post, it's a bit encouraging to know somebody thinks something is not right with you, because sometimes my mother would say the opposite, she would say that this is just the person I am. Yeah, I also thought that my father might have ADD, but there's a big IF there. He seems to do well in his job and has constant hobbies like photography that make him happy. I think, however, that he has problems with when to say the appropriate thing and he also may repeat himself. When we have to go out for a meeting or sth he and I are usually late and mom is getting angry. But he's doing fine, I'd say. But again, usually adults have developed strategies to deal with their problems. But maybe he could also be just a normal person. Yeah, thank you for the attention, Aveline. Take care (aand don't really know what to say here as a good-bye, sorry)
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    • Posted

      I suggest you keep a copy of what you've written as if you do decide to see a doctor it will help enormously.

      Try looking up the medical condition 'disassociation' as that is what I thought of when I read this bit you wrote:

      I feel very bad when anyone praises me, because I know what he says is not true. If I am writing or talking it's like sometimes it's not really me using my own knowledge, or ah, I don't really know if I can explain it. It's like no one really knows the truth and you feel so lonely and more like running.

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    • Posted

      Thanks, Barbara, I have been thinking about it, but when my mom actually decided to call somebody, I freaked out a little..I guess I am very afraid of having to speak to somebody else who can and will probably speak to my school teachers and all, but they thi k just the opposite of me, they think I'm smart and bright and have good self-control and all, but this is not at all the case..Anyway, I hadn't known I am so afraid of actually going to a psychologist, but I can't seem to get around it, I am just kind of running from the thought and trying to convince myself that maybe after all everything is all right and I am just a spoiled brat ()

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    • Posted

      Hi Idont, my experience of my child being diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 21 was very positive. The processing problems a person with Aspergers has, are pretty well understood nowadays and it opened doors to extra support. For example, extra time in exams, a room to herself to do the exam in, an aspergers mentor at university, additional funding, an aspergers transition event (where one can go and visit the university and live in the accommodation for 3 days)...so I really would say it's worth getting diagnosed. Your teachers have already formed a positive view of you and this is unlikely to change with the diagnosis. By the way, what you describe of just quietly working (hiding? not drawng attention to yourself?) is a typical coping mechanism of someone with Aspergers (though also of someone who is shy) - the only way to tell is to go for an Aspergers assessment.

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  • Posted

    Thank you very much for sharing your personal experience.Its an truly inspiration.
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    • Posted

      Hello Satyanand11, I don't quite seem to get why this is inspiring to you, I am not doing anything that great or even trying to do that much, so could you explain what exactly you find inspiring?

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  • Posted

    My son has Aspergers, ADHD, ODD and a whole bunch of other crap. He's 24 now and he had a crappy childhood because of all this. My daughter and I suffer from depression and anxiety, so we're all a mess.

    Except you'd never know it. We all seem normal on the surface but underneath we are fragile.

    It sounds like you have a couple things going on. Aspergers people are very sensitive. Some lights hurt their eyes. Tags on clothes drive them crazy. Sounds are super loud and they can't tune them out. They don't understand the social nuances of behaviour so they either stay quiet or react inappropriately. As my son put it, "I wish there was a book with rules of life." Other people seem to understand things that he couldn't.

    I also believe you are depressed. Being depressed doesn't mean you walk around crying with dirty hair all day. I was always forgetting things. I'd go into another room to get something and would forget what. I had no will to do anything and then get angry because nothing got done and I'd feel guilty. I couldn't cope with crowds or parties - they would leave me drained.

    We must take care of our mental health just as we take care of our bodies. Your making lists is an awesome coping skill. We have to adjust our lives because we don't think the same as others. Stop comparing yourself. Your brain doesn't work the same. Not your fault. Your brain was born with imbalances.

    I would look into depression / anti anxiety meds. There are amazing safe meds out there that can rebalance your brain chemistry and change your life 1000%. I was only diagnosed at age 35 and I cannot tell you how much it changes your life.

    Being unable to speak out is probably anxiety. Afraid of sounding stupid.

    Get help. You are not crazy. Your brain is just wired differently and a good doctor can help. If you don't feel one doctor is helping, find another. They are NOT all the same.

    Good luck chicky!

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