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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

Last night, as I was fixing cups of herbal tea after dinner (and trying to find a box of "real" tea for my stepfather), I mentioned to my mother that I trying to arrange to be evaluated for Asperger's.

And she said that my younger brother had mentioned his belief that he was concerned about that for himself, too.

Note: my oldest brother is severely autistic. Note, too, that my next oldest brother is also socially awkward and admits to difficulty reading people.

Yeah. All four of us showing various signs or even self-diagnosing (always risky, which is why I'm looking for a professional evaluation) as being on the spectrum. My mother was wondering if we got it from *her*, but Mom is good with people. Dad, on the other hand...

jonbaker also shows some traits. If there is a genetic component (I repeat. All four widely spaced children of one family all possibly somewhere on the spectrum), that would have made childrearing interesting.


i would say definitely Jon shows some traits..
its hard for me to tell with you, but i could say "maybe". i don't know how well you cope with distraction, or read subtle expression, but i have no trouble reading you most times, and most of the aspies i know i have trouble reading because their facial expressions are too subtle....

there seems to be both a genetic and environmental component with many aspies, same as with nuerotypicals.

It's not so much distraction with me, although the shiny will get me. And I know I'm expressive, but I do have problems reading other people. And I managed to teach myself how to behave in public, once I realize I wasn't doing it right. I'm still not good on the eye contact. I'm not sure I ever will be - I just don't think about it.

And please do not disturb any routine I have established. Or, if you do, give me time to adjust to it. It doesn't take long, but I need the time.

And, of course, there's patterns to figure out. I think it's a reason I love knitting so much - it appeals to the math brain *and* the creative brain, and the need to fidget.

And please do not disturb any routine I have established. Or, if you do, give me time to adjust to it. It doesn't take long, but I need the time.

Contrast with us ADD folks. Routine? What's that? You mean doing the same thing the same way all the time? How on Earth do you remember to do it the same way every time?

By having a set routine to repetitive work, I can actually get it done. But then it has to be done *that* way all the time.

Doesn't mean I don't get distracted, you understand.

Well, with an autistic nephew and a brother with Aspergers (Bill), I've done some reading on the subject.

My personal feeling is that Jon is much more likely to fall on the Aspergers scale than you, but that's what testing is for. Yes, it certainly clusters, and is associated with high overall intelligence. Personally, I am convinced that the traits that we define as "genius" are closely related to autism on that they are about taking inputs from the real world and analyzing them differently to return a very different output. The dividing line between genous and autism is whether you can communicate effectively with everyone else.

I can say, without bragging, that we're a bright bunch. This probably includes my oldest brother, but he's low-functioning enough that it's hard to evaluate.

But I do think I look at the world differently than [other] humans.

What is this, both Harold & Kirsten think I'm screwed up? (what, I sound paranoid?) It shows that badly? Well, it's true, but I didn't think so much on the aspergers/ autism spectrum as the depression/ anxiety/ paranoia spectrum. That, I know, runs in the family.

Debbie is a wonderful person NO MATTER WHAT. As for being around Kirsten, well, what is there for me in a spinning/ knitting/ sewing/ amber-jewelry shop? I just go to be with Debbie, and feel uncomfortable because my feet hurt, I'm bored and want to sit down, but every square inch of bed is covered with merchandise.

You want weird/unsocialized? In nursery school, as each day the class did some activity, like making play-doh, or whatever, I'd sit back and watch. Then I'd go home and insist on doing it with Mom, showing her how to do it.

Mom blames it on the ophthalmologist, who put me in eyeglass frames with an eyepatch when I was about 3-4, as a means of encouraging my eyes to work properly, move properly. That made me weird for nursery school, repulsive to the other kids or something.


If you don't mind my asking, what's the point of getting evaluated? If you've got it, you've developed coping mechanisms. Do you really think some specialist can teach you something you don't know?

It's a good question and one I've wrestled with, but it comes down to the fact that I simply want to know one way or the other.

And, yes, I have good coping mechanisms, but maybe there are better ones.


I think you're plenty sociable and have nothing to fear. I am less sociable, but I definitely don't want to find out where I am on the spectrum. I don't think I'll like the news.

I'm fine one on one, and okay in small groups, but put me in a large gathering (say, around the kiddush table in our shul), and suddenly I can't think. The only exceptions are fannish gatherings, where I know I can talk to anyone, and that no one will care if I pull out a book or my knitting. j

The worst that can happen is that I'd be told I was on the spectrum, and I suspect that already. Or that I'm just poorly socialized, and okay, fine.