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Do you diagnose your friends and family?


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#1 Mainer

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 12:18 PM

Now that I've been in the special education world for quite a long time now, I tend to diagnose people around me. The parents of the kids I work with, for example... well, let's just say that often, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. My mom now thinks she's had ADHD since she was a kid, and I'm pretty sure her dad was on the spectrum. 

 

I've posted about my DH on this forum a few times before. He is a college professor, obviously very smart. When we met in our early 20's, I was drawn to him because he seemed so outgoing and social, something I really wasn't. In our early years together, I was always the "wet blanket," not wanting to go to parties and get-togethers. He had a very strong core group of friends that always did everything together. They still do, but we moved far away years ago, and we haven't ever re-created such a group.

 

Now that we're in our mid-30's, things have changed. He is not coping very well with his intense workload. In my opinion, he doesn't prioritize well, and he insists on completing things to perfection. His perfectionism used to be just a nice bonus (organized house and clean car!), but it's mostly directed to work these days. He doesn't know how to set boundaries with his students as far as time - he refuses to tell them that he has to actually stop helping them and get his own work done. He never knows how long anything is going to take, and his estimates are usually off by 2-3 hours.

 

DH was very social in college and in the years after that when we lived in the same city as close friends. Making small talk, on the other hand... it's like pulling teeth to get him to chit-chat, even with people he knows quite well (for example, my mother and even his own family members). He doesn't think it's odd to go read a book in the living room when he's at my mom's house, while we're in the kitchen chatting. Last year we had a huge fight because I told him he HAD TO TALK to my mother when we had dinner together, even if he had nothing important to say. I insisted that he say SOMETHING, anything... ask about her work, her garden, the weather, whatever. He was extremely angry with me, and said something to the effect of, why should I have to act like that, just because society thinks talking all the time is the "right" way to act?

 

I've seen him with coworkers during college events, and while he participates in conversation, most of the time he just stands there looking awkward and nodding his head. He is most uncomfortable when we run into people we know, and have to talk for a minute or two out of politeness. He either doesn't talk at all, or ends a conversation abruptly.

 

He loves to read fiction, has a great sense of humor, and really enjoys certain social activities. I just wonder sometimes. Maybe he has Aspergers. I always thought he was super social, but perhaps it was just because he was with people he knew really well. He told me last night that he only went to parties in college because they were in his own apartment, arranged by his roommates. 

 

Until recently I thought he was just being obstinate about many things, but now I'm wondering if he actually is on the spectrum and I've been unreasonably hard on him.

 

 



#2 Monica_in_Switzerland

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 12:44 PM

Wait, are you married to me???

 

Honestly, I would let him off the hook.  If he is otherwise considerate to your mom, I would not insist he small talk.  Reading a book while she is there is only rude if everyone assumes it's rude.  I assume it's him getting out of the way so the chatters can chat.  How incredibly uncomfortable for him to be forced to sit and smile and nod while two people talk about stuff he's not really interested in, just so he appears polite.  

 

In regards to the question in your title, yes, all the time.  :-)  But usually it's more medical than mental diagnoses, and I have absolutely no foot to stand on, I just like to pin weird diseases on people... 


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#3 marbel

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 01:10 PM

He doesn't sound that unusual to me.   

 

I am a shy introvert but most people that I meet wouldn't know that.  I can be social when I need to be, though small talk is hard.  Though I am introverted I try to have several people around during social events so I don't have to carry the conversation.  I also much prefer social gatherings held in my own home rather than someone else's.  At home I can disappear into the kitchen when I need to.  :-)  And there have been many, many times when visiting my in-laws that I've wished I could go into another room and read while everyone else chats.  I would have had no problem with my husband doing that with my family at times.  

 

I mean, I can't say if your husband is on the spectrum or not.  But what you describe about social stuff seems very... normal?... to me.  

 

As far as work and time management go, that sounds like my husband.  :-)  He also may or may not be on the spectrum.

 

Or maybe these are just variants on normal personalities, and sometimes things change?  

 

 


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#4 kbutton

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 01:11 PM

It certainly sounds possible. I think that EF stuff is often missed. Whether it's ASD or not...a little hard to tell. EF challenges seem to fit what you describe for certain.

 

I think we often do things during our early years because it's what people do, we're trying to figure out life, we're being open-minded, etc., but then when the default changes, we realize that those things are harder and go against our natural grain. 

 

ETA: I don't think the social stuff is necessarily and EF thing. Just to clear. I think the time management and such is EF stuff. The social stuff is probably just that it was built-in before, and now it's not. There are a lot of things I like to do if half the effort is already fulfilled, but I won't do them alone.

 

It's frustrating to realize you've been operating with different assumptions. I think it is likely and EF issue that he didn't realize years ago that you thought he was social because of xyz, and you feel frustrated now because it's "changed." I think it's possible that he knew this in his head and didn't think to share it (which strikes me as not NT). Or, he didn't see your frustration, etc. 

 

Hang in there as you deal with it--it is hard to adjust when you find out that a person is not the way they seemed to be for a long time.


Edited by kbutton, 08 October 2017 - 01:15 PM.


#5 Mainer

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 01:18 PM

Monica, I may be married to you... in which case, I love you a lot!  :hurray:

 

I do let him off the hook now. I still think a person should engage in polite conversation for a few minutes before going off to read (not simply saying hi and then two seconds later leaving the room). But, I just let it go now. If I make a federal case out of it, it just ends in an argument anyway. 

 

 

Wait, are you married to me???

 

Honestly, I would let him off the hook.  If he is otherwise considerate to your mom, I would not insist he small talk.  Reading a book while she is there is only rude if everyone assumes it's rude.  I assume it's him getting out of the way so the chatters can chat.  How incredibly uncomfortable for him to be forced to sit and smile and nod while two people talk about stuff he's not really interested in, just so he appears polite.  

 

In regards to the question in your title, yes, all the time.  :-)  But usually it's more medical than mental diagnoses, and I have absolutely no foot to stand on, I just like to pin weird diseases on people... 

 


Edited by Mainer, 08 October 2017 - 01:20 PM.

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#6 Mainer

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 01:24 PM

ETA: I don't think the social stuff is necessarily and EF thing. Just to clear. I think the time management and such is EF stuff. The social stuff is probably just that it was built-in before, and now it's not. There are a lot of things I like to do if half the effort is already fulfilled, but I won't do them alone.

 

It's frustrating to realize you've been operating with different assumptions. I think it is likely and EF issue that he didn't realize years ago that you thought he was social because of xyz, and you feel frustrated now because it's "changed." I think it's possible that he knew this in his head and didn't think to share it (which strikes me as not NT). Or, he didn't see your frustration, etc. 

 

Hang in there as you deal with it--it is hard to adjust when you find out that a person is not the way they seemed to be for a long time.

 

This makes sense to me. I think his ability to function was really good until the demands became too great, and now he's just exceeded his ability. I always loved the 'absentminded professor' aspect of him, until it became absent-minded + extreme stress. I wish I had known him as a kid... I wonder if his mom just did everything for him so all he had to concentrate on was schoolwork. (His mom is a whole different story... for a different post! But she's a doozy). 

 

Thank you for the encouragement. It's strange to see this person, that I've always seen as calm under pressure - MUCH calmer than me - start to unravel! I guess I haven't seen him under high pressure for an extended period very often.



#7 OhElizabeth

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 04:43 PM

I think it's easy to be accurate with really precise things, like to say you're seeing some EF deficits or some social thinking deficits or whatever. But once you say you want to specify the DSM label underlying those deficits, that's more tricky. Even psychs will disagree and it really takes some time to go through the criteria and be honest and precise. I mean, to say ASD, that's pretty significant.

 

In general, there is the reality that the quirk list for a gifted IQ is going to resemble the "symptom" list for aspergers a lot. That's why you have books like Bright, Not Broken, etc. What's going to discriminate them is going to be repetitive behaviors, sensory, rigidity, literalness, b&w thinking, etc. To *me* you aren't saying things that get to spectrum yet, but I'm not seeing the whole thing and am not an expert. Go through the DSM criteria and just see, kwim? It's not like it's a mystery. If he fits the criteria, there you go. Just google DSM5 ASD criteria and you'll have it, boom.

 

How has he been with his kids? Does he seem to miss the clue phone a lot? To me, a lot of what you're describing could also be introvert and workaholic. I have an 82 yo friend, and she's pretty opinionated about men. If you described that list to her, she'd just say that's men. And people change over time. I think the fact that he *had* a circle of friends in college is pretty telling. If he kept up with any of them at all, that's noteworthy. Are any of your kids on the spectrum? If you have bio kids and none are on the spectrum, well that just wouldn't seem genetically probable to say the dad is then on the spectrum. The more common scenario is the reverse, with one or both parents kissing the spectrum and the kids getting diagnosed.

 

Why are you telling him what to do? I don't know, I've gotten kind of stodgy with my 41 years, and I realize more and more I need to stand up for myself. I think that's pretty tacky to be correcting him. You could ask him if he'd like any tips, but then back off and leave him alone. If he's a jerk, it's his problem and not a reflection on you. People know who you are. Just because you're married doesn't mean you're like hyper-joined to the point where you have to constantly approve of each other. 


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#8 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 05:32 PM

No, I don't bc it us a huge pet peeve of mine (so ignore my rant ;) ) when people tell me that they know lots of engineers or CS people who are undiagnosed Aspies and that all my ds needs to do is find a job in his obsession. Since unemployment and underemployment are huge issues amg Aspies, no, it is not that simple to diagnose people. (Yrs of pursuing testing, therapy, etc would be completely unnecessary to pinpoint exactly what is going on.)
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#9 Mainer

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 05:54 PM

 

How has he been with his kids? Does he seem to miss the clue phone a lot? To me, a lot of what you're describing could also be introvert and workaholic. I have an 82 yo friend, and she's pretty opinionated about men. If you described that list to her, she'd just say that's men. And people change over time. I think the fact that he *had* a circle of friends in college is pretty telling. If he kept up with any of them at all, that's noteworthy. Are any of your kids on the spectrum? If you have bio kids and none are on the spectrum, well that just wouldn't seem genetically probable to say the dad is then on the spectrum. The more common scenario is the reverse, with one or both parents kissing the spectrum and the kids getting diagnosed.

 

Why are you telling him what to do? I don't know, I've gotten kind of stodgy with my 41 years, and I realize more and more I need to stand up for myself. I think that's pretty tacky to be correcting him. You could ask him if he'd like any tips, but then back off and leave him alone. If he's a jerk, it's his problem and not a reflection on you. People know who you are. Just because you're married doesn't mean you're like hyper-joined to the point where you have to constantly approve of each other. 

 

We don't have kids. I haven't seen him around young kids too much. I wouldn't describe him as a willing workaholic, more like a reluctant perfectionistic workaholic. Maybe those are the same thing. In fact, he thought college teaching would be ideal because you get the summers off, and you don't have to deal with your students' parents. Lol. 

 

I guess I'm tacky trying to tell him what to do. I just find it rude to go through an entire dinner with my family, or his, or with anyone else, and only say a few words. If he's got social difficulties, fine, I can understand that! - but if you're invited to my colleagues house for dinner and you agree to go, then you gotta put forth at least a little effort. 

 

As far as work goes, the reason I try to get him to chill out about things a little is because he involves me in his problems. He talks to me about how things are going, updates me, "Well, I've got about 4 more hours of grading to do! Grrrrreat!" etc. We live in a small house and it's not easy to get away from extreme gloom and doom. If I were to ignore all of his outbursts and pretend he's not there, it would be pretty hurtful to him. 

 

I looked at the DSM5 descriptions. I could see him fitting in with Level 1. Perhaps his issues are not enough to cause "significant" interference with functioning... but golly, it seems significant to me sometimes! Often, I am his supports when it comes to day-to-day things, planning, etc. I do a lot of the "little stuff" so his brain only has to focus on his own work. Making lunches, for example, and paying the bills. I guess I'm providing accommodations.

 

He has not kept up with his friends from college. I do, because they're my friends as well, but he never initiates contact with any of them. I keep him informed, and every so often we see them in person, but long periods (a year or more, sometimes actual years) go by without seeing them or talking on the phone. 

 

Maybe he's gifted with executive functioning deficits. I guess that's more accurate. I never realized how significant executive functioning skills are until recent years.  



#10 Lecka

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 06:06 PM

I have, I don't really anymore.

It is a little different for us, my first cousin is diagnosed with autism and we said "where on earth did that come from"? My son was diagnosed and we had a process of it just being -- okay, lightning didn't strike in the same place here.

If people are in fact living independently as adults and things are going pretty well -- at this point I don't think there is much point.

At the same time -- there are things I've found out wrt my son that have made some things make more sense and made some thing go along more easily with some relatives, so I am not opposed to people looking things up and getting ideas to make things easier for them and their relatives.

I have a very frustrating relative and it helps me in my efforts to extend grace. But this is someone where I have some boundaries, because I don't think it is an excuse for some things.

It does contribute to explaining a lifelong obsession with the stock market and gambling systems with this person in a way that doesn't seem immoral or greedy to me..... and that is honestly good.

Edit: it helps me to tolerate some otherwise incredibly rude and thoughtless monologues about the stock market that make sense if seen as a way it is easier and less stressful to interact.

It also helps me tolerate some extreme patronizing as I can recognize that he doesn't know how to recognize what is common knowledge and what isn't.

If not for my son being diagnosed, I would only be helped in this way by doing straight-up armchair diagnosing.

But with that said -- I doubt this relative would be diagnosed, or maybe he would, I don't know, who knows. It is more like I have a different perspective on some things that are much kinder.

Edited by Lecka, 08 October 2017 - 06:11 PM.


#11 maize

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 06:16 PM

If paying relatively little attention to developing and maintaining social ties is diagnosable I think that a significant percentage of the male population fits the criteria.

In my experience there is an average tendency for women to do more of all the social connecting sorts of things, from small talk to sending Christmas cards and thank you notes to calling Mom on her birthday...
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#12 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 06:21 PM

Perhaps some marriage counseling might be of some help to you? It sounds like there are some significant clashes-not necessarily because he has something diagnosable. (Edited to say that I am not convinced either way that he has something diagnosable. )

Edited by Jean in Newcastle, 08 October 2017 - 06:22 PM.

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#13 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 06:45 PM

We don't have kids. I haven't seen him around young kids too much. I wouldn't describe him as a willing workaholic, more like a reluctant perfectionistic workaholic. Maybe those are the same thing. In fact, he thought college teaching would be ideal because you get the summers off, and you don't have to deal with your students' parents. Lol.

I guess I'm tacky trying to tell him what to do. I just find it rude to go through an entire dinner with my family, or his, or with anyone else, and only say a few words. If he's got social difficulties, fine, I can understand that! - but if you're invited to my colleagues house for dinner and you agree to go, then you gotta put forth at least a little effort.

As far as work goes, the reason I try to get him to chill out about things a little is because he involves me in his problems. He talks to me about how things are going, updates me, "Well, I've got about 4 more hours of grading to do! Grrrrreat!" etc. We live in a small house and it's not easy to get away from extreme gloom and doom. If I were to ignore all of his outbursts and pretend he's not there, it would be pretty hurtful to him.

I looked at the DSM5 descriptions. I could see him fitting in with Level 1. Perhaps his issues are not enough to cause "significant" interference with functioning... but golly, it seems significant to me sometimes! Often, I am his supports when it comes to day-to-day things, planning, etc. I do a lot of the "little stuff" so his brain only has to focus on his own work. Making lunches, for example, and paying the bills. I guess I'm providing accommodations.

He has not kept up with his friends from college. I do, because they're my friends as well, but he never initiates contact with any of them. I keep him informed, and every so often we see them in person, but long periods (a year or more, sometimes actual years) go by without seeing them or talking on the phone.

Maybe he's gifted with executive functioning deficits. I guess that's more accurate. I never realized how significant executive functioning skills are until recent years.

Did someone help him schedule his days and organize his high school, undergraduate, and graduate school work? Did he have accommodations in college? Serious EF deficiancies would probably have arisen prior to now.

A lot of what you are describing seems normal to me. I hate socializing with people from dh's work or in formal situations. I can definitely sit and listen when I am around people that I don't want to exert the energy to interact with. I don't keep up with friends (dh keeps up with my old friends bc he has friended them on FB. I don't do FB.)

I am absolutely not on the spectrum. I am an introvert who finds certain situations exhausting. I hate crowds. (Ironic since having 15 people in our home on a regular basis is very normal. But they are the crowd I love. :) )

My dh is an extrovert who is energized by socializing. He loves concerts. He loves parties. He enjoys doing those things with friends and our adult kids bc I turn down invitations.

Does he feel hampered by what you describe? Fwiw, after 30+ yrs of marriage I have learned to add 2-4 hrs to any time my dh thinks something is going to take. He is horrible at estimating how much time something is going to take him, but he is as far from being on the spectrum as I am.

Fwiw, I would ask your dh if he thinks he could use help with his scheduling or in socializing, etc. His perespective might help you understand why you are observing what you see.

#14 Lecka

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 07:22 PM

I don't understand not being willing to spend a couple of minutes talking to a spouse's mother. I don't understand it.

It seems pretty rude to me.

And you have mentioned it and he won't do it.

I don't think there is an excuse for this kind of thing whether it is something diagnosable or not.

It is rude and inconsiderate of your feelings.

I have family members (mainly the one) who think the rules don't apply to them -- or more charitably don't understand that there even are rules -- and I feel like I don't have a lot of obligation when they make some chooses that are rude to me or rude to my husband.

I feel like some things have been said very plainly and it has not been listened to, and I don't want to put up with things that work out to be so one-sided and with one standard for my behavior and another standard for that person's behavior.

Now i think if you are eager to talk to your mom and he is comfortable with making himself at home -- fine :)

But if you think it is rude of him, he should take your feelings into account.

If it is not really a big deal and you just notice it as something quirky -- I would drop it.

If it DOES bother you then he should take your feelings into account.

I don't choose to give people a free pass to consistently not be willing to take my feelings into account without establishing some personal boundaries.
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#15 Lecka

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 07:50 PM

I think if there are things that are bothering you, or you are concerned about how things are going with him at work, I agree with pp that you could consider marriage counseling.

The thing is -- at this point it is what it is, you are married. It is what both of you do with it that will matter.

This may just be ime but for the two relatives I have who are most likely somewhere in the vicinity; they are the least incurious or the least likely to have the thought "oh hey maybe I have some autism traits." Where other relatives have also been more thoughtful and thought about how it effects us personally and if some family things may fit this.

So I don't think it is so practical to think it would answer anything for you or necessarily (though it could!) lead to some self-reflection for your husband. Though I think self-reflection definitely happens too with a lot of parents! Maybe most parents.... I just don't think it is something to expect I guess.

So to me I would want it to be more practical like -- can he accept that he may need to make some gestures for your sake, that he currently isn't making. Or alternately can you be fine with the gestures he does make and not mind the ones he doesn't make.

And then -- is he going to be okay at work, or is it like he might not be able to handle it. And then that would be pretty serious, too.

It might really be that things are fine, or it could be that things aren't so fine.

I have grappled some with how much to excuse people for some behavior, and right now I think the mentioned person -- well, maybe it's not fair, but I can't excuse some things. I do not share as much and am not as close. He is extremely defensive and used to people tiptoeing around him on certain things where I'm not willing to tiptoe. I do tiptoe; but I don't see him as much and am not as close. And I expect to tiptoe, I don't see it getting better. It is not really fair, though! I think on some level he would like things to be different and I don't know what is "doesn't" and what is "can't" in some ways.... and even if some things are "can't" I don't appreciate me or my husband being the subject of some things.

Edit: it isn't that these 2-3 have the most spectrum traits, but definitely there is a difference in self-reflection, but that is just one thing, it isn't some end-all be-all.

Also, my older son officially -- but not officially as it isn't written anywhere on his eval; this is officially from conversation with the evaluator -- has some spectrum traits consistent with what she would expect (not like -- expect "looking for it" but expect "not surprised to see it") with a sibling of a child diagnosed with autism. So that is something, and I can tend to think in terms like "spectrum traits" because she used that wording, without mentally getting into what is diagnosable or not..... diagnosable will be a certain level and a certain variety of things, but for traits it can just be some little things here and there, that are still something but are just not reaching a diagnosis of autism (and yes there are kids where it is close -- my older son *isn't* close, but he does have some traits).

Edited by Lecka, 08 October 2017 - 07:59 PM.


#16 Lecka

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 08:08 PM

This is a separate thing -- but his job now may have *particularly high* requirements for how organized he needs to be. He could have a hard time with it!

But it could be a hard part of his job, but he can still manage.

My husband's job probably doesn't require as much organization, and it has been an adjustment for him every time he has gotten promoted and needed to be even more organized than he did before.

I think there is one side where there is some absolute level and below that level it is diagnosable.

But then there are situations that require a lot of organization, and even someone who has enough for that absolute level, could still have a hard time.

So there's a big range where there can still be a need for some help, more/new strategies, etc, but that still wouldn't be diagnosable. That is okay!

And at jobs some people struggle with organization and it is still in the "okay" range as far as overall the job is going well. And then it can be in a "just not okay" range.

If your husband is heading into a "not okay" range as demands have increased ---- that is a problem.

If he is in the "okay" range then it is manageable.

Edit: also frankly it is just much less acceptable when this is boy-on-girl. It just is not. It makes a difference I think.

Edited by Lecka, 08 October 2017 - 08:29 PM.


#17 Mainer

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 08:44 PM

Thank you all for your thoughts. I apologize that this has turned into a bit of a self-help thread. 

 

Most of the time he is great around my mom. Rather quiet, but perfectly polite and friendly.  He definitely makes himself at home at her house. He's known her for over 10 years. In fact, because his own mom is such a challenge, he finds my family relaxing. I'm not sure why sometimes he is extremely reserved in conversation with her, and with others (not everyone though). A year or so ago I asked him why he was not acting as outgoing as before, and he said that he was never super outgoing, but that people talked to HIM so he talked back. I started watching, and sure enough, he didn't begin any social interactions, but carried on a conversation once someone started one with him. 

 

Is this really all a guy thing? And I'm blowing everything out of proportion? Arg!

 

I work with a lot of kids with autism as a special ed teacher. Many of them I would not know had autism unless I read their files. After I know, I can start to see slight differences in the way they converse, or act around peers, but many times the autism is not noticeable at all. It's certainly not something I notice right away. 



#18 Lecka

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 08:56 PM

As a parent -- something I have noticed with special ed teachers and therapists, especially if they don't have kids, a lot of times they don't know what is age-appropriate for kids, or what the range of behavior of kids is. They don't have any idea.

Sometimes they might wonder about something and it is something where I can say "I know from my other kids, it's fine." And other things they aren't concerned, but I can say "I know from my other kids, it is a concern at this age."

This is a big reason why a classroom teacher comes to IEP meetings to tell about what he/she is looking for.

With your last post it sounds like he has this personality and this is how he acts when he is comfortable. Or sometimes he is tired or distracted, and doesn't talk as much -- that could be his personality, too.

I do think though -- when your job is kids with special needs, you may not see the range of kids as much.

I was shocked when I volunteered in my older son's class one time, how many of the kids were picking at their clothes or their skin at some point. I would have thought it was really unusual if I hadn't seen how most of the kids were doing it! I think things like that just come up.

It is hard to say, though.

Edited by Lecka, 08 October 2017 - 08:57 PM.


#19 OhElizabeth

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 10:35 PM

Mainer, I thought you were only talking family dinners. Yeah, don't take him to social situations he's not going to do well in. If he is on the spectrum, he probably doesn't realize how he's perceived. 

 

Your simplest path at this point would be to get him some books on social thinking and let him sort it out for himself. The Social Thinking people have a fair number of suggested books for adults. There are also books like Pretending to be Normal that he could read and just see if he identifies with.

 

Did you go through the DSM criteria?  DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria | What is Autism?/Diagnosis | Autism Speaks  Here's a link. The ASD levels are support. They sort of reflct severity, but not really. It's support level. So like even at ASD1, you're going to have significant issues with reciprocity in conversation, restricted interests, perseveration, etc. Just work through the criteria at that link and see. 

 

And yes, being a professor would be a really typical outcome. 

 

It sounds like he's been challenging to live with and you'd like some options. Socialthinking - Articles  Here's an article that would also help you. The two of you could go through it together. It explores profiles and would give you a lot to talk about. He might perceive himself differently from the way you do, which would lead to good discussions. Then, if he seems to fit a profile, it would give you some direction on things to pursue. 

 

There are also some adult spectrum online surveys people will use. I'm not sure they're considered particularly accurate, but they're still something people will do (and discussion on ASD forums) as part of their self-understanding journey. If he happened to be interested in doing that, it would cost nothing.



#20 Serenade

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 09:08 AM

No, I don't bc it us a huge pet peeve of mine (so ignore my rant ;) ) when people tell me that they know lots of engineers or CS people who are undiagnosed Aspies


Bugs me, too.

When my older son was little, a doctor who had very little experience with him, other than when he had a raging ear infection, suggested that maybe he had Aspergers. Then she asked me what my husband did, and when I said he was an engineer, she suggested he might have Aspergers, too. Unfortunately, I was so turned off by that conversation, out of the blue, that I avoided further discussion on the topic, maybe discussion that would have been beneficial to my son.

#21 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 09:49 AM

Bugs me, too.

When my older son was little, a doctor who had very little experience with him, other than when he had a raging ear infection, suggested that maybe he had Aspergers. Then she asked me what my husband did, and when I said he was an engineer, she suggested he might have Aspergers, too. Unfortunately, I was so turned off by that conversation, out of the blue, that I avoided further discussion on the topic, maybe discussion that would have been beneficial to my son.


That is outrageous. He sounds like an arm-chair psychiatrist.

Fwiw, not a single one of our other 7 kids is on the spectrum. A couple suffer from some mild anxiety (anxiety is our ds's biggest hurdle as an adult), but none are on the spectrum. Dh and I are not, either. Dh and our oldest ds (a different son) are both engineers. They are both as far from possessing spectrum traits as a person can get!

#22 Mrs. Tharp

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 03:33 PM

It is certainly possible. People with social and EF deficits can often thrive for a long time if they receive the structure and support they need. In these cases, they will only start to flounder at a point when their life becomes more complex/stressful than they can manage, often for a prolonged period. (For example, high achieving women with ADHD can experience this when they become mothers.) It sounds like he was very lucky in his college roommates--which made up for the social struggles he might have had in a less supportive situation. His teaching position also provides him with structure, set expectations and a way to socialize with others that does not depend on the ability to make small talk. 

 

All this does not necessarily mean he has issues to the degree where he could be diagnosed with Asperger's, but it could be a jumping-off point for discussion with him, especially if he is starting to have problems with work.

 

ETA: Yes, I do occasionally diagnose people, but with extreme caution. I'm positive my mother has Asperger's. My dh does well, but as a child he would have been diagnosed with ADHD. (IMO, were it not for the fact that he self-medicates with coffee, he would still be diagnosable.)  It took me a few years of thinking about it before I diagnosed and these are people I've known, obviously, for a long time. 

 

ETA again: People who assume that all engineer/scientists/computer geeks must all have Asperger's irritate me no end. 


Edited by Mrs. Tharp, 09 October 2017 - 03:59 PM.


#23 summerreading

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 07:36 PM

nm


Edited by summerreading, 09 October 2017 - 07:43 PM.


#24 Mainer

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 07:38 PM

 

All this does not necessarily mean he has issues to the degree where he could be diagnosed with Asperger's, but it could be a jumping-off point for discussion with him, especially if he is starting to have problems with work.

 

 

We've been able to have a few heart-to-hearts, and a bunch of lighter discussions about this lately. We're investigating ways he can use his academic credentials to do less stressful work, but work that's still satisfying. I know there are a lot of options out there; we just need to seek them out.

 

Thanks, I feel better after discussing with you all!


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