I thought I'd introduce myself. I live in the Midlands and my son and younger brother both have been diagnosed with Aspergers for several years. My older brother also displays traits but presents differently to the other two and also has epilepsy and learning difficulties. I've been his unofficial carer for nearly 10 years which has put me under a lot of stress and I have also been displaying too many traits to ignore.
I have been researching aspie traits in females and reading one list in particular was like looking in a mirror! Some of the items that applied to me were:
Strong willed/determined yet also introverted, conscientious worker, tries hard to please others, uses a different persona in public to cope with social anxiety, compulsive traits, copies and mimics in order to fit in and many others!
I have already spoken with our GP about the possibility of getting my brother diagnosed but we hit a brick wall when he said it wasn't possible to get an adult diagnosis in our district. I was wondering if anyone had any other suggestions? If there is another route we could take I would be interested in pursuing a diagnosis myself.
If you go onto the main part of the NAS website there's a page listing services available in each local area (sorry, I'm not great at doing links) and lots of information about diagnostic services. I don't think it's at all unusual for people to be referred out of their own area for assessment and I'm pretty sure that your GP (whether he's aware of it or not) has a responsibility to do this! If you edit your thread title to something like 'Midlands Newbie' you might attract better help here than I can give you (I'm in Scotland).
Great, thank you. I'm usually pretty good with IT but I'm just finding my feet on here :) ps what part of Scotland are you from? My grandad was a Glasgow lad
Ah! Glasgow : ) the best part of Scotland, obviously! It's where I'm originally from but I've lived pretty much all over Scotland since then. Did he call you "The wean"?
Yes he did! I was only 4 when he died but I remember visiting him in hospital, he had Parkinsons and I found it difficult to understand him when it affected his voice. My older brother and me went straight for the tv and our little brother hid behind our mum's skirt! He was terrified of all the old people on the ward :)
I'm female, 45, and just had my assessment in January (High-functioning Autism / Asperger's). There are no diagnostic services in my area either but I was referred to / assessed by someone from the Glasgow team (despite the fact that I'm actually closer to Aberdeen than Glasgow). Could you see a different GP? Or contact a team in the Midlands directly, there's bound to be something on the NAS website.
Female autism traits are slowly becoming more recognised and, like you, I can identify with just about all of them! Interestingly, a lot of previously misdiagnosed men identify with the female traits too as they're not sex-specific but more to do with a style of thinking and coping than with actually being male or female biologically.
Hi, i just joined the forum, having been out of touch with the 'world/life' of autism for many years, as my son was diagnosed at 9, after years of struggles, and my daughter , seven years younger, started with her own health problems so i got very busy with her also.
I recently renewed my interest in what support or changes have been introduced, as i am wondering now if my daughter, 26, may have what you have been diagnosed. She is highly intelligent, didnt cope with school, did home study, works as a guide in a national trust house part time voluntary, doesnt like shopping, restaurants, noise. She doesnt cope well with normal fast pace life, gets stressed and tired easily.
I also began to realise, after just reading a few things, and thinking about my daughter, and your post too, that maybe I might be similar. I know how i have coped with life is to be in my bubble and wear my mask, in order to be okay out there, with everybody. I thought it was my way of not have people judge me or more to the point feel sorry for me. As I had to give up my own job years ago as i just couldnt manage the stress of everything, and my health has been compromised also.
I live in Lincolnshire and services are very limited. I am vey interested in the kind of assessment you had and questions asked to determine your diagnosis. Also, now you have a diagnosis has that helped you, and does it mean you now can access help (including some sort of benefit).
Thank you, Jenny
I don't know anything much about benefits other than the little I've picked up from the others on this forum so you'd be best speaking to them about that. I think there's also information available on the main NAS website. Benefits re. autism seem to centre around one called P.I.P.
Services are limited in my area to those supporting children, or adults requiring supported accommodation. There's nothing in my area for adults with Asperger's and where I live makes it very difficult to access services in other areas. Are you able to travel outside your own area to access the services you're interested in? A few others seem to do that if their own local area is under resourced.
The way you describe yourself and your daughter sounds familiar, to myself and from many of the stories from others on this forum. Have you had a look around the various threads? You'll probably find, as I did, that many of them resonate with you too. Look for threads with 'women' in the title, there have been a few in the past month or so but many others are certainly worth looking at too!
For me, getting an official diagnosis was, ultimately, one of the best things I have done for myself. It's been likened to 'finally having the instruction manual' for either life, yourself, or the rest of the world and I can agree with that. It's answered a LOT of questions for me including some I didn't even know to ask! It's helped me to understand myself and my difficulties over the years, it's allowed me to forgive myself for a lot of things I felt guilty for not 'getting' or understanding at the time, it's allowed me to discard previous (mis-) diagnoses of things that never did quite sit well with me and to feel vindicated in that. As for help, having an official diagnosis has meant that I've felt more confident in sourcing autism / Asperger's information and applying it to help myself. Knowledge is power, as they say and I've spent the past few months learning as much about Asperger's as I can.
Others have had very different experiences and you'd really need to ask them about that. A formal diagnosis isn't a positive experience for everyone.
We're similar in other ways too - I'm also 45 and female :) Sorry I didn't reply earlier, I've had quite a stressful week. On Wednesday the DWP sent me on a course to learn about interview techniques and my brother had another epileptic fit last night so I'm a bit frazzled at the moment.
I see what you mean about the so-called female traits applying to males too, I showed the list to my son and he also identifies with a lot of them. I might just rope my brothers in too, purely in the name of research ;)
Hi! Yes I think the so-called 'female' traits are what stopped a lot of adults being diagnosed until later in life and explains why there are so many of us (male and female) now being diagnosed after a lifetime of 'masking'! (AKA - fake it until you make it!)
Unfortunately we all seem to be hitting a wall around our 40's where the sustained effort just causes us to crash and burn around this time, or maybe we just decide enough is enough. Either way, the new diagnostic criteria now used in most (but not all) places realises this and allows for / understands that we've all employed a whole host of coping mechanisms over the years including ways of either faking or making eye-contact.
It would be an idea to ask to see a different doctor, perhaps a younger (and more up to date) one to refer you for assessment.
Hope you have a more relaxing weekend!