Evening all, I've just registered with the community; I was feeling pretty low tonight and from some Google searches ended up reading some other posts from here that really resonated with me.
My eldest son was diagnosed with HFA last year. Although very able and articulate many of the classic social traits exist and he is very lonely and depressed at the moment. His diagnosis is not the sole reason I've registered however. As we've gone through his diagnosis process it's made me question much about myself - I'm sure a lot of parents go through that but as time goes on the more and more convinced I too have aspergers.
Looking back on my life I can see lots of signs but as I look at the evidence in my late 30s it feels conclusive, the high lights:
- I maintain no friendships (beyond my wife)
- Socialising is hard work and unenjoyable
- Anxiety at new situations
- Fixed routines, grumpy when I have to change then
- High intensity special interests
- extremely pedantic about facts and numbers being correct in a statement
- Definite sensory processing issues, hyper sensitivity to smell a clear example
- Proprioceptive issues - I was often referred to as gorky by other children when I was young and was always highly clumsy - even these days I walk into things.
Although my thoughts have existed since my son's diagnosis it's been in the last few weeks that I have become convinced of it. Two weeks ago I started an ASD and ADHD support course put on by a local charity. As we go through the content so much relates to my own personal experiences. Some prime examples;
- this week my wife has hurt her back and I've had to take unplanned time off. i've been so grumpy because my carefully planned week has been thrown off.
- Whilst at my course, when we broke mid session I got my coffee and sat down - I suddenly became aware that all the other 'dads' (it's a dad's only session) were standing and talking, I was the only one who was not participating.
- My companies HR director described me as humble yet can be perceived as being aloof and superior towards others
- unable to sustain small talk conversations when a mum at school tired to be friendly and chat to me outside a classroom at pickup
- I'm finding myself avoiding people so I don't have to engage in conversation; hiding at the back of crowds
- this evening I took the Aspergertest.Net autism test and scored 32, just inside the ASD band.
In life I'm doing ok for myself, good job, family etc but I don't know how to help my son through his experiences because I guess I didn't ever figure it out for myself.
Sorry for the essay, I just needed to actually get a lot of these thoughts out there.
I'm sure you'll find that a lot of what you've written resonates with a lot of people on here.
Almost everything you've written about yourself sounds like me and I thought, off and on, for years that I might possibly have HFA before finally being assessed (and diagnosed with HFA) very recently - in my early 40's. It's a relief to finally know and, looking back, so may things make sense now! It might have been more helpful to have known earlier but, as it wasn't possible back then, better late than never!
You didn't say how old your son was, but perhaps you can help each other through this as you will probably be able to better relate to his experiences than someone without ASD / HFA. Your memories of difficulties you faced in childhood, teenage years, and adulthood combined with the experience you've gained over the years will be invaluable to him, and learning how to help your son at the groups / classes you mention could help you learn more about yourself along the way - which might actually prove to be more valuable than you realise because there aren't actually many services like this available for HFA adults.