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I think my DD be an Aspie....


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#1 bluemongoose

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 08:07 PM

My DS 10yo was diagnosed 2(?) years ago with Aspergers (HFA). If you have read my previous posts..this is also one of the 2 DSs that Im getting evaluated for VT as well.

 

Well now I think my DD might also have Aspergers. I don't know that I will seek diagnosis...but I do want to mull this over and read up on Aspergers in girls specifically. Here is what I am seeing..what do you all think?

 

1. As a baby she was very quiet and hardly ever slept. She liked to be on the floor more often than in my arms. She did not like to be passed off to anyone other than my DH and I. The only time she really cried was when hurt, passed off to someone else, or if someone was in her face/space. She learned to sign at a very young age and her favorite sign was "all done" which she used when people got too close to her.

 

2. She started talking at 9mos, walked at a normal 12mos, sounded like an adult by 16 months, and taught herself to read at 2.5

 

3. She was very bothered by sounds when she was younger, she tolerates these more now. She has always had issue with clothing. She wont wear most things people buy for her and complains that she can feel the letters on tagless clothing. She wears her socks inside out to not feel the seam.

 

4. She is pretty much self taught student. She prefers it this way. She is very independent and prefers a lot of time alone in her room. She is easily distracted by her brothers when not in her room for studying, so that is part of it, but she still likes a lot of alone time as well. 

 

5. Even though she likes self study we have problems with her choosing the wrong lessons to complete and never getting around to the "other lessons", usually the ones she doesn't like. She will do her math, science, and history no problem...but fights grammar, logic, spelling, writing etc. She also does not turn things in. I have to ask and ask.

 

6. Recently, within the last year or at most 2 years, (and this is what led me to start questioning), she has basically lost all friendships and ability to connect to other girls. She doesn't "get them" and finds their interests ridiculous. She isn't interested in what other 13 yo girls are interested in. She even goes as far as disdain for the things she cannot understand. Things like boys, twitter, a popular show or movie, or whatever else the girls are discussing. These are girls she has known for years...not new acquaintances. She is interested in horses, chemistry, and math. She is very quiet in public now, looks standoffish and sulky kinda. She will not try and get into a conversation. These girls are very kind and would include her...she is excluding herself. She does play with much younger kids and talks well with adults. Sometimes she says things that are rude or come across snarky though, only she says it kinda deadpan. Not sure if that makes sense. This week she told me she knows she is socially deficient..hurt my heart. To me it seems like when they were little they all just played...I guess she didn't have to try? And now that they are older, she cannot keep up to where they are socially??? 

 

7. Is it normal to have a 13yo girl who wont shower, brush teeth, change clothes, brush hair without nagging them to death??? She just doesn't see it as important. Makes me so frustrated!

 

8. She has always been intense and has meltdowns occasionally. Often after too much social time. She had them more frequently when she was younger.

 

Anyway...am I crazy for thinking she may also be an aspie?

 


Edited by bluemongoose, 17 November 2017 - 08:12 PM.


#2 stephensgirls

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:33 PM

I don't think you are crazy at all. I was on here earlier this year with similar questions about my own dd. :) Have you had her IQ tested? If she is in the gifted range, that alone could help explain some of her social difficulties. I tested out as gifted as a child. I never felt like I was on the same wavelength as other girls my age. I didn't share their interests either. 

 

I think it would be worthwhile to have an evaluation. A diagnosis would open doors to services that would help her with social skills. If she is gifted, that could complicate the social skills thing. My 11 yr old Aspie is in a wonderful social skills class with a group of teenagers  (she is oddly mature for her age). It's interesting to me that most (not all) the teen girls in her class really enjoy socializing. I'm trying to picture someone like your dd in a group like this. She might not get anything out of a social skills class if she's not willing to cooperate--not willing to attempt to connect with some of her peers. What I'm trying to say is-- there may be something else at play here concerning your dd not enjoying social interactions. Giftedness, social anxiety, depression... but I'm just speculating here. Not saying she doesn't have Asperger's. Just that there may other factors to consider.

 

Have you read Aspergirls? or Twirling Naked in the Streets and No One noticed; Growing Up with Undiagosed Autism?  


Edited by stephensgirls, 17 November 2017 - 09:43 PM.


#3 stephensgirls

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 10:05 PM

deleted for privacy


Edited by stephensgirls, 18 November 2017 - 12:07 AM.


#4 bluemongoose

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 10:51 PM

Stephens girls-thanks for sharing that. It is definitely food for thought.

I have not had her tested for giftedness...I wouldn't at all be surprised if she was. She has always done everything with little to no teaching and always earlier by years compared to her peers. My DH was tested gifted as a child...and she is very like him. She notices that other kids her age do not understand things she learned years ago...in mathematics especially but also general knowledge.
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#5 PeterPan

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 10:52 PM

Some of the things on your list don't matter, while others are clearly in the criteria. DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria | What is Autism?/Diagnosis | Autism Speaks  There are the criteria. Go through them and decide for yourself. Actually, if you want to get really interesting, start writing down in a text document all your stories about her, all the noteworthy things. Anything perseverative, anything repetitive, anything extreme. Clump them into categories. It might become more apparent to you.

 

#7 is not typical, no, and it's also not explainable by a lesser diagnosis. The other things in your list you could say well SPD, well ADHD with social delay, blah blah. 

 

The fact is, you are seeing significant social skills gaps and social thinking issues, enough that it's affecting her day to day life. Whether it ends up being called ASD (statistically probable) or something else, it needs the right words and it needs attention. 

 

So if you reframe this as WHAT DO I DO, then it gets more interesting. Because obviously you need to do SOMETHING. It's not like you have to sit around and pretend nothing is wrong. 

 

What do you want to do? What help do you want? A label can open doors, but can you get insurance funding or make evals happen? What do you want to happen?

 

Attwood has a book on spectrum girls I think, also there's Aspergirls. I've read neither. Pretending to be Normal was very good. 

 

Socialthinking - Articles  This article will help you immensely.



#6 PeterPan

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 10:53 PM

In your #6, "deadpan" probably is more appropriately called flat affect. So I agree, it would be helpful to you AND her to have the correct words for what's going on. Maybe connect her to an ASD support group and let her go and see if she identifies or what she thinks? 

 

What does *she* want to have happen for the issues she's noticing? 



#7 bluemongoose

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 11:11 PM

Ohelizabeth good questions!

What I want to do is read up (I'll look at your book suggestions!) And see how I can help her at home for now. Eventually, we might get to a place where we can do an eval. Either way...yes I need to DO something. I need to figure out ways to help her socially and probably work on some executive function stuff.

I wrote out what I did here because you all are awesome and helpful and I figured you'd either confirm my gut or point out other ideas/rabbit trails to go down.

#8 bluemongoose

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 11:14 PM

So far she says she wants to stay home. That's her method for dealing with the issues she's noticing. Thanks for the correct term!

#9 PeterPan

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 11:22 PM

I'd put your money into social thinking intervention and not bother with the eval. Like if you have to choose, put your money into intervention. The trick is to find someone worth spending money with. Sometimes you can find a BCBA who specializes in teens. You want somebody or a set-up she clicks with.

 

Obviously getting the eval would be nice, but it's more who is paying for things and what you can make happen. If you could get insurance to pay for evals AND time with a BCBA weekly, well nuts, knock yourself out.

 

That ST site I linked you to has a referral list. You might get lucky and find someone who can do their dynamic assessment within a sane drive of where you live. We had one done, and it was ASTONISHING. You'd learn a TON.

 

I think the challenge with saying you want to handle it at home is that you have to overcome your own learning curve. There are excellent materials out there, so you're either going to invest in training yourself or invest in someone else who is trained. It's actually not so far-fetched to buy the materials, get the training, sure. There's a lot you can do. But I'll tell you that the people who do this a lot tend to have good ways of putting things. They might say the same thing but know *how* to say it to get it to click. Also, working with a BCBA (or a non-certified behaviorist) can be helpful in giving you perspective. It lets you tag team and go we work on this, she works on that. It doubles your efforts.

 

But it's all just $$ and what you can make happen honestly. I'm in the more is more better camp on this stuff. I see no advantage to wishing it would go away or calling it mild, because it doesn't go away and "mild" people have significant effect. That's why they're diagnosable. 

 

Whatever, that's your tangent for the day.

 

Does she have a preferred activity or something she can do outside the home that involves her area of special interest? 


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#10 stephensgirls

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 11:44 PM

 

 

#7 is not typical, no, and it's also not explainable by a lesser diagnosis. The other things in your list you could say well SPD, well ADHD with social delay, blah blah. 

 

 

 

Depression can also cause this. And that's not necessarily a lesser diagnosis. If it's been a pattern for her whole life, then yes, looks more like autism. My dd is the same way. I have to force her to shower twice a week. But if it's a more recent onset..say if it's only been since she's hit adolescence--one might want to look at depression as a possible cause...again, I definitely see signs of Asperger's, but just consider comorbid issues. There can be more than one thing going on.

 

ETA: it's also interesting that her social isolation has had a relatively recent onset--within the past couple of years.  That might also point to depression. Again, not saying she doesn't have autism. But many autistic teenagers need to be treated for comorbid depression and anxiety. 


Edited by stephensgirls, 17 November 2017 - 11:54 PM.

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#11 bluemongoose

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 11:49 PM

She has always been like this. I've always had to manage her hygiene. Ironically she is a little extreme with hand washing...her knuckles often crack and bleed from washing her hands so much. She washes her hands for every little thing. But doesn't care if her hair is a mess!
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#12 bluemongoose

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 11:54 PM

Ohelizabeth...I hear ya. Will be back to respond more tomorrow. I need to go focus on your article ☺️

#13 stephensgirls

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 11:57 PM

She has always been like this. I've always had to manage her hygiene. Ironically she is a little extreme with hand washing...her knuckles often crack and bleed from washing her hands so much. She washes her hands for every little thing. But doesn't care if her hair is a mess!

 

Got it. Asperger's does better explain it then. 



#14 stephensgirls

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 12:00 AM

I'd put your money into social thinking intervention and not bother with the eval. Like if you have to choose, put your money into intervention. The trick is to find someone worth spending money with. Sometimes you can find a BCBA who specializes in teens. You want somebody or a set-up she clicks with.

 

Obviously getting the eval would be nice, but it's more who is paying for things and what you can make happen. If you could get insurance to pay for evals AND time with a BCBA weekly, well nuts, knock yourself out.

 

That ST site I linked you to has a referral list. You might get lucky and find someone who can do their dynamic assessment within a sane drive of where you live. We had one done, and it was ASTONISHING. You'd learn a TON.

 

I think the challenge with saying you want to handle it at home is that you have to overcome your own learning curve. There are excellent materials out there, so you're either going to invest in training yourself or invest in someone else who is trained. It's actually not so far-fetched to buy the materials, get the training, sure. There's a lot you can do. But I'll tell you that the people who do this a lot tend to have good ways of putting things. They might say the same thing but know *how* to say it to get it to click. Also, working with a BCBA (or a non-certified behaviorist) can be helpful in giving you perspective. It lets you tag team and go we work on this, she works on that. It doubles your efforts.

 

But it's all just $$ and what you can make happen honestly. I'm in the more is more better camp on this stuff. I see no advantage to wishing it would go away or calling it mild, because it doesn't go away and "mild" people have significant effect. That's why they're diagnosable. 

 

Whatever, that's your tangent for the day.

 

Does she have a preferred activity or something she can do outside the home that involves her area of special interest? 

 

I didn't know ST had a referral list! Thanks. I'll revisit their website. 

 

Also, when I say "mild" autism, it's because that was the official diagnosis. It's not Asperger's anymore. It's officially "autism, mild, requiring support". At least that is what dd's report states. I totally agree that the effects are significant. They don't experience it mildly at all.


Edited by stephensgirls, 18 November 2017 - 12:15 AM.

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#15 PeterPan

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 12:16 AM

Or OCD with the handwashing. 

 

And really, depression and withdrawal would be a logical response to realizing your social efforts aren't working.

 

Yes, the list there is not to psychs but to SLPs and other providers who've made the effort to GO to the clinics of the ST people and get training in how to do a dynamic social communication profile assessment. It's a really big deal, because people apply, wait, travel, blah blah. To get chosen and trained is a big deal. It means if you happen to find someone who has the training, they're likely to be VERY informative for you.

 

People are like how did you piece all this together, this weird stuff about so many things with ds. Well it was that eval. She spent hours upon hours with him and ran testing. And I was there WHILE she ran the testing, so I could see (and hear) how he was responding. It made so much click. 

 

If somebody just tells you yeah, it's spectrum, you don't know what to do. Technically an SLP *can* diagnose, and they're a lower pricepoint per hour than a psych, and they're going to be pointing you to what you can DO, how to make a game plan. It can be a really functional way to go about getting answers and advice for about the same $$ as a clinical psych eval. Now a good psych eval has its place, sure! But I'm just saying depends on what dollars you have floating around and what you can make happen and what you need to have happen.


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#16 loesje22000

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 03:07 AM

Dd likes the Aspergirl books by Rudy Simone
It helped to communicate how and what she experiences and what not.
Things are better now then at 13.

About changing clothes: the only way that worked for dd is to pick change her clothes every single day, every thing.
That fits into her logic.

Dd has also almost no friends.
I did not know she has a fantasy world that is almost real to her, so her need for IRL friends is lower then mine.
I had to learn to accept that.
She realised - thankfully - I can be her bridge, her interpretor for ‘the outside world’ so she accept more guidance now.

Clothing and hair are going better and better
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#17 loesje22000

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 06:08 AM

Adding

After reading aspergirls we reorganized dd’s clothes.
One can have comfortable clothes and still looking nice.
Her clothes are that way now she can’t mismatch any longer, she just ‘grab’ something ;)
We buy online behind the computer, and send back what doesn’t fit.
She loves it this way.

We also learned that dd had troubles with deodorant (irritating, wrong or too strong smell) so we decided to make her own deodorant.
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#18 Crimson Wife

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 10:46 AM

SPD + introversion could explain many of those symptoms.

 

13 is a really hard age as puberty hormones can really do a number on a girl's body. My now 15 y.o. developed social phobia right around the time she started her cycles to the point where she wouldn't even give her orders to waiters/food service cashiers. Kaiser HMO assigned her to an INTERN for therapy because they didn't have any fully licensed psychologists available :cursing: and the lady was useless. Fortunately my DD grew out of the phobia as her hormones settled down.


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#19 PeterPan

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 11:01 AM

Adding

After reading aspergirls we reorganized dd’s clothes.
One can have comfortable clothes and still looking nice.
Her clothes are that way now she can’t mismatch any longer, she just ‘grab’ something ;)
We buy online behind the computer, and send back what doesn’t fit.
She loves it this way.

We also learned that dd had troubles with deodorant (irritating, wrong or too strong smell) so we decided to make her own deodorant.

 

Kbutton gave me a really good tip too. She said just put things in a row in the closet and wear them in the row, whatever comes next. 


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#20 loesje22000

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 11:34 AM

Kbutton gave me a really good tip too. She said just put things in a row in the closet and wear them in the row, whatever comes next.


I am afraid I am not that organized :)
I can handle not buying certain colours, I can definetly not handle putting clothes in order...
I just wash, (iron) and fold the clothes, she has to to put the clothes in and organize her closet her self...

#21 stephensgirls

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 02:06 PM

I just wash, (iron) and fold the clothes....

 

You iron. I need a "bowing down" emoji for this.  ;)  :D


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#22 loesje22000

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 02:32 PM

You iron. I need a "bowing down" emoji for this. ;) :D


Not everything!!!
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#23 kbutton

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 04:10 PM

SPD + introversion could explain many of those symptoms.

 

13 is a really hard age as puberty hormones can really do a number on a girl's body. My now 15 y.o. developed social phobia right around the time she started her cycles to the point where she wouldn't even give her orders to waiters/food service cashiers. Kaiser HMO assigned her to an INTERN for therapy because they didn't have any fully licensed psychologists available :cursing: and the lady was useless. Fortunately my DD grew out of the phobia as her hormones settled down.

 

:iagree:  

 

I am on the investigate carefully side of things. I have a profoundly gifted son with ASD that is a young teen. He is far more socially aware than a lot of people with ASD, and his symptoms cannot be explained by other things, including personality traits or giftedness. What you say with your daughter I can see going either way. I don't want you to dismiss your concerns because I have been there with the borderline smart kid who is self-aware and has a lot of skills with the deficits.

 

I have a rare personality type, and at that age, I had a lot of anxiety, I was not so great at hygiene (but it wasn't clueless in the don't care way--one big hurdle is that my hair is terribly difficult, and I have a ton of it). I didn't fit in, and I took a "If you can't beat 'em, shun them" sort of stance. I had previously been berated (by every adult in the universe) because I wouldn't be immature to fit in. I acquiesced, then felt stupid. Then I changed schools at a horrid time...really, I was a ball of insecurity, and I had to try on ways to be me since being me didn't automatically take off and reward me, KWIM? I also don't like to go to a lot of fuss and bother about my appearance, but I want to look nice. Mostly, I want to just blend in. 

 

Really, I think there are a lot of things that say to me your daughter is very independent, and that her not doing certain things automatically is that she could be prioritizing other things that are more important or make more sense to her. I think my parents expected I would mirror peers and then ask for this or that. Well, I didn't want to mirror peers (I had such different tastes, interests, etc.), and I truly thought that if I needed this or that, my parents would tell me. They had always told me how often I should shower, what time I should get up, etc. I was fine with that arrangement--more brain cells for me to use on something interesting to me. I really did get a lot of mixed signals from adults--"be immature! Be mature! Be...well, just fit in so we don't see you moping around and have to feel bad." Seriously. I really tied myself up in knots, and then decided to not care.

 

I have a friend whose daughter would fit your description to a T except for hygiene, and she is just a rare personality. Zero chance of being on the spectrum. The mom is a nurturing but intuitive type (the daughter's rare personality functions primarily with intuition at the helm), and the dad has the same personality as the daughter. All the pieces are there for her to be herself and not get mixed signals. I want to have been her at the same age, lol! She's awesome!

 

Kbutton gave me a really good tip too. She said just put things in a row in the closet and wear them in the row, whatever comes next. 

 

To flesh this out (especially since I don't do this--a friend with an efficient brain did), everything has to match the pants or skirts--a whole mix and match wardrobe. Clothes were worn, washed and rehung on just one side of the closet. Next shirt in line always matched next pants in line. The wardrobe was based on khaki/denim bottoms, and a few outfits of dresses/skirts. She always looked nice. 

OhElizabeth, I am glad this was a good tip for you!


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#24 City Mouse

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 04:35 PM

She does sound as lot like my DD who was officiall diagnosed as AU at 21 yrs old.

#25 PeterPan

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 06:08 PM

Kbutton, you could contrast socially aware and *self* aware. He might be more aware of others than you'd expect, but he might still have significant deficits in *self* awareness.



#26 Lawyer&Mom

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 06:29 PM

How I deal with clothes: 7 identical shirts in different colors (of blue/grey/black). 7 pairs of dark jeans. 7 identical pairs of black socks. I can get dressed in the dark, and know that I'll be comfortable and reasonably fashionable.

Hygiene was better when I showered and washed my hair everyday. Now it's every couple of days which is better for my hair, but sometimes I just forget. I'm not against being clean, it's just low on the triage list.

I would definitely try to figure out your daughter's situation now, because college can be a train wreck without proper supports, even for Apsie kids who were doing reasonably well in high school.
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#27 kbutton

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 11:01 PM

Kbutton, you could contrast socially aware and *self* aware. He might be more aware of others than you'd expect, but he might still have significant deficits in *self* awareness.

 

To be clear vs. split hairs...he is aware that there are social niceties, and he wants to blend in. He is motivated to enjoy peers and be enjoyed vs. annoying people or being passed over. He doesn't want to draw the wrong kind of attention. He is genuinely helpful. He does well in structured activities and with friends that are accepting. He is an interesting person, and that helps. I know some kids on the spectrum would prefer to be left alone or don't think that there is a point to social niceties. That's not my son.

 

He is self-aware in a sense, but he doesn't always express himself well. However, he is aware, to some extent, what his barriers are vs. not realizing he isn't typical. He might not always know why or how things are more difficult for him, but he knows they are and knows some categorical stuff about himself. But he's always looking to make it better, smoother, etc. or find other things that he can be good at or have in common with others. 

 

If you combine social awareness and self-awareness, he can pass pretty darn well in a lot of situations. Passing for typical and being typical are not the same though, and it's work for him. It's extra steps and planning ahead, being drained, needing more downtime, needing to talk through things that seem obvious, etc. 


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