Hmm. Here's a question.
I've been doing a lot of thinking recently about Aspergers, High Functioning Autism, ASD. Whatever it's called.
Doing my history and trying to work "me" out, I find that there's a few things that don't really seem to make sense.
I don't recall as a kid having meltdowns, or needing routine, or hating change as such, but I also don't recall stimming.
Which brings me on to the questions. They say that there is a number of people on the spectrum who go undiagnosed. If stimming is such an integral part of being on the spectrum, then why is this behaviour not seen in childhood? How can they go through the net without a diagnosis?
Can you be on the spectrum without stimming or is there lots of kinds of stimming that actually, what could well be stimming may just be seen as a relatively normal behaviour for a child?
The move is to call all autistic spectrum conditions, autistic spectrum conditions. It does away with the series of confusing names. There is no such thing as 'high function', although people who use it have yet to respond to my request that they define what they mean by it.
Some call autism a 'disorder' and some call it a 'condition'. My personal preference is for the latter. I call NT a condition too, because I can't help but pity the poor creatures.
It isn't a given that anyone will display or be affected by any perticular trait. Equally, it's possible to have traits without being AS. This is the problem with 'tick' lists - it's a distraction only, not a definitive guide.
Assessment is a 'holistic' process. It's about what DOES affect you, and how it affects your life. There are things that we have in common, but we're not likely to discuss that with you for good reasons. We know what they are, and they're based on our life's experiences and not on a bunch of tests or check lists. Much of our discussion on here centres around those very issues, finding what we have in common, and how we deal with it.
It isn't always possible to see ourselves as others see us. In fact, it is perfectly human to go straight to denial - 'no I don't, that's not me' etc etc, even when other people say 'oh yes you do, oh yes it is'.
You may not have some traits, you may have them and think that everyone does, you may have them and not see them for what they are. This is the purpose of the diagnostic interview, which is a dynamic process and not an exercise in ticking boxes.
Any of us can find, at any time, that suddenly, something trips us, overwhelms us, scares us, gets us into trouble - we can't predict when, where how , what or why, but we know that sooner or later, it will happen. Something that I ignore could be enough to send the AS next to me into total meltdown, that's how our individual sensitivity to sensory overload works. It can be cumulative, it can be instant, it can't be predicted. Or ticked off on a list.
Probably the best answer you'll ever get is 'possibly', because it all depends on the individual and particular circumstances. There are no 'one size fits all' answers, that's why it's called a 'spectrum'.
Could you not have traits and yet still be on the spectrum, if say, you don't have any overt physical symptoms, but psychologically, there are problems?
Yes you can be officially diagnosed with Traits and therefore on the spectrum.
Dont forget with ASD we each have our own experiences
I went undiagnosed until 2 years ago, aged 56. I didn't have many of what I'd call 'public' behavioural traits as a child. But I had private rituals that I had to go through before I could be comfortable with things. Adjustments to my pillow, for instance, so that it was the exact distance from each side of the bed. I also, as mentioned in another thread, tapped and chewed my tongue. So there might not have been any obvious physical signs - but there were plenty of others. I was clearly bright - I learned to read and write early, and was top at my class in primary school with reading and spelling - but I was bottom of the class in every other respect. This continued throughout my school years. I wasn't attentive in class. I used to sit and doodle, or look out of the window. I didn't make friends - and still don't. I was always the one on the edge of the playground - either alone, or hanging with the other 'freaks' as we were called. My school reports were invariably littered with words and phrases like 'quiet', 'easily-led', 'disruptive', 'unsociable', 'never pays attention', etc.
As others have said - it's a spectrum, so behaviours and traits will differ from person to person. We're as different from each other as we are collectively from neurotypicals.
Being relatively new to this forum, I love reading other people's posts where what they write could also have been written by me. Although I don't bite my tongue.At home, sometimes, when we're all relaxed watching TV, I might notice that not only am I wriggling my toes, but my wife and one daughter (strangely, the daughter) are also toe-stimming.