I think I may be autistic

I'm a 25 year old guy and I've always felt different. In primary school, I didn't have many friends and was bullied by my peers. Most of the kids my age were into football, superheroes and similar things. Whereas, I got excited about trains and planes. I always struggled with academic classes such as English and excelled in drama and hospitality. 

I was told you couldn't be autistic without having dyslexia. My reading isn't too bad but I tend to fail at understanding what I'm reading without someone else telling me what it means. As for maths, I feel like I know the basics and have adapted little tricks to help me work quicker. 

When I was 18, I was diagnosed with anxiety, but I have always felt this is only in social situations. In secondary school, I'd feel uncomfortable when people I didn't know would speak to someone in my small friend group and would often walk away and wait a little away and wait. 

I've always found making friends hard and most of the friends I've made have been the ones to initiate conversation and invited me to hang with them. In college, I was pretty much on my own for the first month or two, and felt like an outsider. It slightly upset me because I didn't know how to make friends and be 'one of the cool kids'. Although, it was fine to me to do my own thing. 

When people ask me my opinion on things, I tend to be say exactly what I think and people will say I'm just being nasty or rude, but I think it's an obvious outlook. When meeting new people I'm extremely shy and don't know how to keep the conversation going. 

I had a few teachers in school, a few friends and my sister say they think I'm autistic. I recently read a forum on here and kind of identified with it. In the replies someone told the poster to take an aq test and I decided to do one. I scored 45 and according to the interpretation, it's a strong likelihood of aspergers syndrome or autism. 

I'm not sure what I should do and don't understand it. Simply because I've always been lead to believe that autistics are aggressive and prefer to do things alone. 

Can anyone else relate? 

  • hello and welcome! Definitely not true about needing to be dyslexic to be autistic. I'm shy in social situations and hate small talk.

    Could you perhaps talk to your GP about it? Or do some reading about autism first? I'm 40s and F so can'rt automatically think of any books targeted at young men - there is Luke Jackson's Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome which is a teenagers experience.

  • Hey :) 

    First of all, I should point out that anxiety (and other mental illnesses) and autism have overlapping symptoms, so it is possible that some of the things you mention are other symptoms of mental illness.

    I'd suggest going to the GP and having a chat with them. They can refer you for an assessment, for diagnosis and management (if they think you have clear signs of autism)!x

    Much love <3

  • As someone else said you dont have to have dyslexia to be autistic. In fact alot of people on the spectrum love to read. I could never get my sons head out of a book. They can occur together the same as any other condition. Depending on your area you may get a diagnosis via the GP or (like myself) have to pay privately as its not always funded. All the best

  • Hi,

    Personally, I spent way too long wondering whether I was and with people hinting that I was and all the time trying to fight against it and maintain I wasn't!

    Therefore, I'd recommend you try to get a diagnosis. At least then you'll know, either way. Life with ASD is difficult because NT's never really understand you, but with a diagnosis you can maybe learn why you behave as you do and explain this to others. You can also choose who to reveal it to. You don't have to tell everyone!

    A lot of what you say might suggest that you are, as I was saying similar things and did get a positive diagnosis. They actually told me that autism is not considered to be an intellectual disability, so, just because we struggle with understanding some things, or perhaps we don't understand because of how the information is set out, it doesn't mean we're less intelligent than other people.

    Also, anxiety is something that people with autism struggle with due to information overload usually and the brain not knowing which bit of information to process first!

    Anyway, I hope everything works out well for you, whatever you decide to do.