I didn’t wanna mess up 2018 thread so I starting this here now!
SO! AUTISM! Let’s talk! (Not to be confused with Autism Speaks the organization, which has had contreversies surrounding it? haha)
Aspergers is now generally absorbed under the umbrella term of “autism” these days, but typically, people with aspergers show normal or accelerated language development, while it may be stunted or even muted in kids with more severe causes of autism. For example, I learned to talk at around 9 months! I think that’s pretty early!
On the other hand, people with aspergers show general autistic traits such as inappropriate social behaviors due to poor reading of social cues (in self and others), rigidity in thought or routine, and often some sort of sensory integration issues (over or underreactions to stimuli; can appear as taste, texture, temperature, pressure, sight, hearing sensitivities, and motor coordination problems). My own thoughts are that while most children develop in a more generalized manner, there is probably some opposite direction development and too-early specialization in children with autism, throwing them out of sync with most of their peer group and social world.
Autism is often comorbid with a bunch of other things, such as mood and anxiety disorders due to living a life of chaos and inability to understand why the world is so nonsensical and what its cryptic rules are! :0
Gereally, aspergers is underdiagnosed and tend to remain undiagnosed in adult women because of the way girls are socialized to push them to pay more attention to social cues and etiquette. I think this makes them even out to a more “boyish” kind of personality, which is somewhat acceptable besides being chastized for being so tomboyish. When girls are diagnosed, it’s usually when they are much more affected with serious behavioral issues or cognitive disabilities.
People who remain undiagnosed as adults probably have had to struggle as kids to learn enough coping skills to “pass” for normal. Often this means they had high enough IQ to anticipate this would be a problem in their lives and worked really hard on improving it or they had a lot of guidance and dicipline from others around them. If you manage to score normal on the test but know you are on the spectrum, chances are you had to cultivate those normalized skills. I often think about how I went into psychology (and psych and anthropology and sociology and linguistics!) knowing I was lacking in the “WHY DO HUMANS DO WHAT THEY DO” area to formalize and solve for these mysteries.
I was also lucky I had an ISFJ mom who tried her best to drill in the importance of social decorum to me (sometimes I tell her it gave me my anxiety problems instead lol), and yelled at me all the time for things like banging my head against the wall. I was not self-harming! I thought it “felt cool” and I thought I was being edgy as a 2 year old because “it doesn’t hurt! lol!”? But looking back, yes, perhaps this was but an early sign. Goodbye precious baby braincells. Anyway, besides being kind of a jerk kid who refused to learn from physical discipline, I was also gifted when it came to academics, so that let me bypass a lot of scrutiny!
And you can take the quick quiz here: