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Any aspie mothers out there?


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I've been researching Aspergers lately and am confidently (mostly) self-diagnosising myself at this point. All the dumb online tests put me far over the threshold. When I delve into it it just makes so much sense and puts my life into context. Until a few days ago I didn't know what executive function disorder was. I was shocked to see myself so much in the description.

 

So, any other aspies out there? How does it affect your ability to parent or homeschool? As for me, I regularly feel utterly burned out by all the noise from my little ones. My ability to keep us on track and in order is also limited. Thankfully my only special needs child is only three and is pretty easy to deal with. I'm also spazzier then I would wish to be. What about you?

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I am not Aspie but my son is and having sensory problems and executive function issues are only a small part of it. Well, the sensory stuff isn't so small but I don't even count his EF problems as ASD. His rigidity of thinking, the inability to see someone else's point of view, his lack of emotional intelligence, his overarching anxiety are all much bigger markers of ASD.

 

 

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I am not Aspie but my son is and having sensory problems and executive function issues are only a small part of it. Well, the sensory stuff isn't so small but I don't even count his EF problems as ASD. His rigidity of thinking, the inability to see someone else's point of view, his lack of emotional intelligence, his overarching anxiety are all much bigger markers of ASD.

 

 

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I definitely have some of those issues as well. Social situations definitely cause me some anxiety although I've learned to cope a little with this. I easily offend people without intending too. I do this so often in fact that I tend to give new friends a disclaimer that sometime I'm oblivious to how my words will affect them. I used to be a very black and white sort of person but this has mellowed with age. I don't think that I probably have a great grasp of how healthy my emotions are because I don't really know how I compare with other people. I just mentioned the other things because of my perceived relationship with mothering.

Edited by Rose M
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I am not Aspie but my son is and having sensory problems and executive function issues are only a small part of it. Well, the sensory stuff isn't so small but I don't even count his EF problems as ASD. His rigidity of thinking, the inability to see someone else's point of view, his lack of emotional intelligence, his overarching anxiety are all much bigger markers of ASD.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Yes, this.

 

I have some sensory issues and definitely some EF (possibly to the point of ADHD, though I've never been diagnosed) but the Theory of Mind stuff is why I know I am not "on the spectrum". I worry about other peoples' reactions in a way that my child who is "on the spectrum" simply cannot understand.

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Yes, this.

 

I have some sensory issues and definitely some EF (possibly to the point of ADHD, though I've never been diagnosed) but the Theory of Mind stuff is why I know I am not "on the spectrum". I worry about other peoples' reactions in a way that my child who is "on the spectrum" simply cannot understand.

 

Hmmm...

 

I guess this depends on how extreme this needs to be. I have a brother that has full blown low functioning autism. I can definitely see how he fits this part of the definition. I think that I'm short sighted in this area. How can any of us really judge how clearly we can understand another person's point of view? Even my brother that will never be independent, doesn't know the difference between the value of a porche compared to a Honda Civic, has a little sense of another's perspective. He can understand that I don't know everything that he knows or visa versa. On the other hand he was shocked to find out recently that the weather was different at my house then his. I have a tendency to think that everyone will be just as fascinated by what fascinates me if I just keep explaining the wonder that I've discovered. On the hand, I've matured to the point of realising that this isn't true so I end up confused in how to proceed with conversations. Are they bored or just not understanding what I'm talking about? Part of my mind tells me to keep talking and the other part says to stop.  Does this count? From what I've been reading female Aspergers looks different then male Aspergers. We have more ability to compensate in this area which leads to a different typical profile.

 

I guess I'm still thinking it all through.

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This idea that all autistics 100% lack theory of mind, and NTs 100% have it is... well, it's an interesting idea, but one that's widely mocked by adult autistics. Among other things, we routinely note that NTs often have trouble grasping that we might have our own thoughts and feelings that have nothing to do with their perceptions or what they imagine they'd be thinking or feeling. (And for that matter, many autistics report finding that they are too sensitive to other people's emotions, though this often results in a sort of shutting-down that isn't very productive.)

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This idea that all autistics 100% lack theory of mind, and NTs 100% have it is... well, it's an interesting idea, but one that's widely mocked by adult autistics. Among other things, we routinely note that NTs often have trouble grasping that we might have our own thoughts and feelings that have nothing to do with their perceptions or what they imagine they'd be thinking or feeling. (And for that matter, many autistics report finding that they are too sensitive to other people's emotions, though this often results in a sort of shutting-down that isn't very productive.)

 

I think that you're right. This is just not a black and white thing. Haha, I'm being contradictory. Aren't the Aspies supposed to be the rigid thinkers?

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Do you have a problem with "going along to get along"? That is, are you willing to be flexible in order to avoid hurting another person's feelings or because you know it will make them happier? Which is more important to you- the other person's feelings or "sticking to your guns" because you're sure you are right? That would be a sign of ASD.

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This idea that all autistics 100% lack theory of mind, and NTs 100% have it is... well, it's an interesting idea, but one that's widely mocked by adult autistics. Among other things, we routinely note that NTs often have trouble grasping that we might have our own thoughts and feelings that have nothing to do with their perceptions or what they imagine they'd be thinking or feeling. (And for that matter, many autistics report finding that they are too sensitive to other people's emotions, though this often results in a sort of shutting-down that isn't very productive.)

?? Nobody said anything about 100% anything. That is black or white thinking.

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Really? Because I find it hard to read Crimson Wife's comment and not hear "Because my child doesn't worry about this, and I do, that proves I'm not autistic. Because if I were, I wouldn't understand."

 

I mean, this is the thing she's pegged as the identifier, the demarcation between people on the spectrum and not.

Edited by Tanaqui
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Really? Because I find it hard to read Crimson Wife's comment and not hear "Because my child doesn't worry about this, and I do, that proves I'm not autistic. Because if I were, I wouldn't understand."

 

I mean, this is the thing she's pegged as the identifier, the demarcation between people on the spectrum and not.

I don't think that it's the only identifier. And it's a spectrum so even ASD characteristics are going to be on a spectrum, right? Not just for individuals but in a single individual depending on the circumstances. What I mean is that certain circumstances (stressful times come to mind) might intensify certain Aspie traits.

 

So as the mom of an Aspie but not an Aspie herself, I might suggest to the OP that she try to minimize stress when possible. Beyond that I won't give suggestions though because I am not an Aspie and the OP rightfully wants the perspective of mom's with ASD. And you are correct that I can't give that perspective.

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Do you have a problem with "going along to get along"? That is, are you willing to be flexible in order to avoid hurting another person's feelings or because you know it will make them happier? Which is more important to you- the other person's feelings or "sticking to your guns" because you're sure you are right? That would be a sign of ASD.

 

(Speaking here as the mom of an Aspie, not as one myself).

 

I don't think the above is necessarily true of all adult Aspies, but I'm guessing it depends somewhat on IQ. DS18 is 2e. Although like most Aspies he loves having a routine and has his opinions, on a purely intellectual level he understands that other people have their own wants, desires and opinions and that he has to sometimes make allowances for that. He also despises drama and so is willing to "go along" in order to avoid it. Again, the difference is that he understands these things mostly on an intellectual level rather than an emotional one.

 

It really is a spectrum.

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DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria | What is Autism?/Diagnosis | Autism Speaks

 

Here is a link for the DSM5 criteria. Those online "tests" don't matter. I've done all kinds of forms with my ds (GARS, ADI-R, Vineland, you name it, many multiple times), and I can guarantee you those online tests don't look anything like what they'd use to diagnose a person. For adults, I've been told they'll try to go back to what the person was like as a child, which can, of course, be hard to recapture. In any case, those online tests will flag with bipolar, ADHD, etc., as there's lots of overlap. Go straight to the DSM5 criteria.

 

Notice the idea of persistent difficulties across multiple contexts. Scroll down to the support level table and see if you see yourself in there. Notice the comments about "significant interference with functioning." You can have social thinking deficits and even cognitive rigidity under more labels. You DON'T have to push to ASD to have those. It's the combo of EVERYTHING that pulls it together as an autism label. And, frankly, everything you've said so far is ADHD. I'm not saying what you are (exclusively) a particular label, just saying everything you've said so far is easily explained under an ADHD label.

 

Socialthinking - Articles

 

If you read the Social Thinking article I've linked for Social Communication Profiles, you can try to find yourself in there. There are multiple categories that are *not* autism, because you can have social thinking deficits and not have autism.

 

I note how few autistic mom responses you're getting, in spite of the fact that there are numerous moms here who are open about being on the spectrum. It's probably because they know what happens. They're going to have b&w, really analytical responses and get in trouble. I usually go through this cognitive dissonance reaction when people who never have problems on the board, never get people whomping them for their posts, etc., say they are on the spectrum. Fine, whatever. You didn't ask. You said, and I'm just pointing out that you might want to back up and give it some time to gel, to see where other people view you. I can tell you on the social communication profiles that it's possible for you to view yourself differently from how others view you. In fact, the more likely you are on the spectrum, the *less* likely I think it would be that you would view yourself accurately.

 

I've heard of a family with 7 kids, all on the spectrum. I think they were catholic and maybe were compelled. Just in general, since there is such a strong genetic component, I think it would be unusual, with one or both parents on the spectrum, to have that many kids and have none on the spectrum. Also, your level of frazzle and what you describe would be normal to that situation.

 

I'm not saying you are/are not on the spectrum. You're just starting the journey, and it might take a bit to sort out.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Expanded Edition This book is good.

 

Also, I think it's useful to ask others how they perceive you. For instance, send your dh to that social communication profiles page and ask him to fine you. Send your mother there and your best friend.

 

What things do people most confront you about saying you're having issues with? That should be telling, because that's the significance issue. If people are confronting you, coming to you saying wow you were really b&w there, wow do you realize how that person felt about what you did, wow you just... then that's really helpful data. 

 

There's kind of a thought process that to a degree autistic behaviors ARE human behaviors. It's not like there's some discrepancy of autistic people doing things NOBODY else does. If you read Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism you can explore this idea. So it's not that oh I missed things, I must have autism, or on I hyperfocus, maybe I have autism. These are HUMAN BEHAVIORS. Lots of people stim, but they don't do it to the degree, and they don't do it along with everything else. But lots of the specific things other people will do.

 

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Do you have a problem with "going along to get along"? That is, are you willing to be flexible in order to avoid hurting another person's feelings or because you know it will make them happier? Which is more important to you- the other person's feelings or "sticking to your guns" because you're sure you are right? That would be a sign of ASD.

 

 

That is the ONE thing I would change most about my child if I could wave a magic wand. The language delay, the stimming, etc. doesn't pose remotely the same kind of social interaction difficulties as the rigidity in thinking.

 

Psychs will diagnose cognitive rigidity due to anxiety. I agree with the extremeness and where you're going with it (that it manifests and is shocking). It's just not possible to say there's rigidity so it's definitely autism. A psych won't do that. It's still the total picture, all the criteria coming together.

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It's very possible to have a lot of ASD traits but not severely enough to qualify for an official diagnosis. The current diagnostic criteria requires that the traits be severe enough to impair functioning to a significant extent.

 

Research shows that family members often have ASD traits, but not all will have them severe enough for an ASD label. It's tricky to know when we cross the line.

 

In part because it's a spectrum, there can be some subjectivity in diagnosing.

 

Regardless of the lack of a clear diagnosis, I think it can be helpful to understand ourselves with ASD or Aspergers in mind.

 

*****

 

Jean made a great point upthread about stressful situations intensifying Aspie traits. This is soooo true. I see it in myself (no diagnosis and would probably not qualify for one at my worst times) and my D.

 

My D got a dx at a time that she was recovering from a depression. Her traits were mild enough at their worst that a highly recommended specialist recommended us seeing someone else because she didn't see it but couldn't be sure. Now that D is in a much better emotional state I don't believe she'd get the same dx.

 

She's always been a tough kid with attention and EF problems. She has a history of mild perseveration and (atypical) repetitive behaviors. So the traits have always been there but the depression amplified them. Now they fall into the benign category and I doubt they are severe enough to warrant a diagnosis in the eyes of most professionals.

 

Some things really helped her functioning:

 

An SSRI and therapy for the depression.

 

Interactive metronome made a huge difference with perseveration.

 

ADHD medication helped with impulsivity.

 

She had a chance to start over at a new school last year.

 

She has good, caring, reliable friends now.

 

Her academic success has boosted her self-esteem. (Her EF is horrible but she studied for days for her finals without me in her back.)

 

These things will not take away ASD, but they might help with the intensity of specific issues.

Edited by Tiramisu
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Misu, have you ever looked at the social communication profiles? The thinking there is that the profile stays the same, even as the person improves relative to themselves. So it's an interesting way to address that issue that they seem to be doing better, is it really autism...

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I am likely an aspie (though I've been able to overcome a lot of the behaviors, sensory stuff will always be there.  but they can vary in intensity too.)

and dudeling is formally diagnosed aspie.

 

it creates it's challenges.

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My daughter is definitely an Aspie. I discovered this when she was about 10 because I really needed to figure out "what was up"

with her! While doing that research I discovered I have a lot of the same traits! Like you said about yourself, I used to have a very 

black and white perspective about the world but have mellowed a bit over the years. I don't know, yet, whether or not I fit on the spectrum

somewhere but I just wanted to let you know it's okay to be YOU. And the Hive (the WTM board) is a great place for insight and support!

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This idea that all autistics 100% lack theory of mind, and NTs 100% have it is... well, it's an interesting idea, but one that's widely mocked by adult autistics. Among other things, we routinely note that NTs often have trouble grasping that we might have our own thoughts and feelings that have nothing to do with their perceptions or what they imagine they'd be thinking or feeling. (And for that matter, many autistics report finding that they are too sensitive to other people's emotions, though this often results in a sort of shutting-down that isn't very productive.)

 

yeah- I saw that.  big, huge, eye roll.

I've gone over the actual  tests pyschs use so darn many times. . . . . I've had to fill them out for dudeling, so many times (and just had to again for another iep eval, and I will again with a new ped neuro)  . . .  and each time  . . . that's me.  I also see how far I've come.

I remember being aware I was being rigid - but physically unable to bend. it was like, the more I tried to bend, the more rigid I became.   and I worked on it.   as I've learned more about asd - It was actually relieving to understand it was the asd, and not caused by something else.

 

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Misu, have you ever looked at the social communication profiles? The thinking there is that the profile stays the same, even as the person improves relative to themselves. So it's an interesting way to address that issue that they seem to be doing better, is it really autism...

Thanks. I'm curious to look into that.

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