Adults On The Autism Spectrum
Maybe you were really shy as a child. Perhaps you took home a huge stack of books from the school library, read them, and returned them the next day. Or did your best friend find you crying in your closet, unable to answer the question “Why?” At any rate, your life could be traced to the Self-Help section of the local bookstore. Unfortunately, most of the books were not much help. ADHD seemed to fit, at times. Your shrink said you might be Bi-Polar, although she wasn’t really certain. All you knew was that you rarely fit in, anywhere. One day at work, it hit you square in the face: I don’t speak these people’s language! Really, it was like you were all playing this game, and everyone knew the rules but you. You couldn’t tell a joke, and you never “got” any joke your co-worker tried to tell you. People started getting annoyed with you, because you had a memory like a steel trap. They didn’t appreciate it when you called them on the carpet. Who knew? This was my life, and worse. I finally aced several tests that pointed me to the answer to my questions. The Autism Spectrum. Guess what? Little kids with Autism grow up to be Adults with Autism. Diagnosed late in life? This is the place for you!
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Autism (ASD) Support Group.
Lots of people think that when we Auties learn about some tragedy that has befallen a co – worker, or friend, we don't show any emotion. That is so contrary to what is happening. My first little best friend was murdered by the stepson who she raised as her very own. I immediately went into "shutdown" mode. I promise you, I felt her death in the deepest way. But how I expressed it was to turn inward and not let my feelings show. To anyone. It placed me into a pattern of not allowing anyone to get close to me. I never wanted to hurt like that again. After much prayer, studying, and counselling. I learned to feel what I feel, and not hide it. As a Pastoral Counselor, I try to just listen and be there, during those difficult times we all have in life.
You are giving us some wonderful information about people on the Spectrum. Having an understanding of others is important. I appreciate your openness in this discussion.
Thanks to everyone for the book suggestions. I just received the "Thinking in Pictures" book and I'm looking forward to reading it.
Denial is not an easy situation to be in. Men, especially, seem to have a more difficult time with labels than women do. After an entire lifetime of thinking that I was just plain defective, it was a blessing to find out there was a reason I learned the way that I did. Why some things were so easy for me, and why some people bragged on me and said how great I was. I kept thinking they would eventually find out I was a fake, and not want me anymore. I have only had to apply for a job one time in my whole life. All the others were offered to me. All my cousins are the same way. Once I took a couple of tests for my husband. He scored pretty high on the Aspie scale. I answered the questions as closely to what I know he would say. To get him to actually take the tests would be an impossibility. It helps me to know that at the very least he must have a bit of social anxiety. He is truly a hermit. He never has been one to want to go to large gatherings of people. He is very kind and loving, but social skills and certain expectations just are not within his grasp. He and I are very similar, but I have learned through the years how to copy the correct behaviors one is supposed to exhibit in life. I love him, so I must not expect him do handle what he simply is clueless about. We do the best we can.
If you cast your bread upon the water, it will return to you…with butter.
I would love to understand the Neurotypical way of thinking. I try hard to understand. I read books about the brain, about how children grow and learn. I read all kinds of books. I am very happy to be here. I will answer questions with as much depth as I possibly can. All my friends growing up were Neurotypical. I have them as friends now, as well.
@mamasitalucita I like what you said about "copying the correct behaviors one is supposed to exhibit in life." I think that applies even to Neurotypicals as well. We often find it helpful to "mirror" some of the good characteristics that we see in others. I'm going to start reading the book, Thinking in Pictures, so I'll probably have lots of questions for you in the next few days.
I grew up watching " I Love Lucy." There's a terrific role model for sure! Seriously! She used humor in a crisis, and she always pulled through, somehow.
@mamasitalucita I grew up with "Lucy" as well. I needed a break from a rather intense, troubled mother and Lucy provided some comic relief! Still enjoy the rerun of her and Ethel working at the chocolate candy factory – just too funny for words.
My Mother had serious issues and was sick a lot. People thought she was a hypochondriac, but as I have gotten older, more and more of the truth of her situation has come out. I may never know the true story, not all of it. But she suffered terribly as a child. I have long since forgiven her for anything and everything. I have learned that most parents really do the best they can. And when that falls apart. you know, there's always Lucy! And the friends God has placed in our lives to help us feel not so alone. Or the Universe, if you prefer. Blessings, MamacitaLucita.