Monday, November 12, 2007

A Little Bit About Asperger's Syndrome

Bobbie posted this very interesting comment the other day. My answer's gonna be long, so I'm posting it here rather than in the comments:

help! i scored 117 and i have NO idea what that means.

i have read your old blog for a bit and heard you being an aspie before - but don't know how that manifests itself.

i've been watching my 11 year old daughter in social situations and have begun to wonder about her (and myself as i had similar difficulties).

do you have any good info sites??? any help you could give would be so appreciated!

Bobbie, I apologize for taking such a long time to reply to your comment. It's been a hectic few days without much computer time for me.

First of all, scoring 117 on this quiz means nothing of itself. This quiz is fun, and helpful for the researcher who set it up, but it's not really a diagnostic tool. I do these quizzes because I just love taking good quizzes, not for any real insight into my condition.

If you can afford it, get an evaluation by a clinician who knows her stuff. Here is a list supplied by one such doctor.
Because it might be helpful to you and others, I'm planning to blog in detail about my condition and how it affects me, as soon as I can. Keep in mind, however, that I've never been professionally diagnosed with Asperger's. Although with so many of the symptoms, I think I must have it or something related to it.

Also, the autism spectrum is very broad, and manifestations of Asperger's vary greatly. (In other words, one aspie may be quite different from another.) Being socially awkward, in itself, may or may not be a symptom. In Asperger's Syndrome social awkwardness is part of a much larger pattern. In very broad strokes, the aspie lives mostly in his/her own world, and doesn't comprehend the outside world the same way as a "normal" person does.

In any case, there is no reason to fear for your daughter's future. Part of my difficulty is due to the fact that when I was a child, very few health professionals had even heard of Asperger's Syndrome. Fewer still believe it was possible for girls to have this condition. The few professionals who examined me thought I was nervous, depressed or stubborn. We still have a long way to go, but it's a lot better than it used to be.

Also, aspies often have very successful lives, both financially and personally. Many of the people who design computers, (like the one I'm using) write programs for them and draw those lovely six-figure salaries have Asperger's Syndrome. There are also many clubs and organizations for aspies.

Here are some web sites I've found interesting or helpful:

Asperger's Disorder Homepage
Wikipedia article
Online Asperger's Syndrome Information and Support
NINDS Asperger Syndrome Information Page
Asperger's Syndrome - Symptoms

There are many, many others. Just google "asperger's syndrome" or "asperger syndrome" (without the quotes) and you'll find plenty of information. Good luck and blessings with your journey.

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