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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't get what aspergers is...even when I went to the website I didn't really unerstand it. Can anyone else tell me what exactly it is...especially if you have it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks that helped a little...im still not real clear on it...but I dont really think I do have it since I am very able to tell what other peoples feelings are usually
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ps

by the way do you have it? anyone that does..please pm me sometime
 

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Jess,

I just wrote you a very long response on Asperger's and then the power went out and everything was gone. I would like to rewrite everything to you but I have class in a few minutes and I don't know when I will get a chance to do it. I have much to tell you and I hope that we can chat about this some how. Can you look at this website http://www.nichy.org/pubs/factsh4fs20txt.htm ? If you can't find it let me know and maybe I can e-mail you the direct link. I hope it helps for now. You could also go to the book store. There are a lot of books on it...I had to look in the special interest section of the childrens section (parenting). I hope we can chat sometime if you would like. Take care, Kittycat
 

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In short, it is the same thing as Autism without language delays and less severe non-verbal (right brain) impairments, but this isn't to say a person with Asperger's is anywhere near normal. It's a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, which means a person with this disorder has a brain that develops in a way that would look like swiss cheese on IQ scores. With Asperger's verbal areas will usually be low average to high and non-verbal scores can range from borderline mentally retarded to very high, but on this section a diagnosis of Asperger's requires deficiencies.

The day I went back to my Neuropsychologist for my IQ test results I felt nothing but absolute terror about hearing the results, in fact I regretted even bring up the idea of Asperger's to my doctor. I had taken online IQ tests before and they gave me scores in the ranges of verbal: 130s and performance: mid 70s, but going in to hear the professional results scared me to death. Trust me when I say that no matter how well prepared you think you are to hear about the way your brain functions you really aren't. There was a huge IQ point difference between my verbal and performance scores and my performance scores were very spotty. A better way of stating this might be that Asperger's wouldn't fit you unless you agree you might be borderline mentally retarded in the right side of your brain.

To breakdown the DSM criteria of Asperger's as best I can...

A. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:

1. marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
2. failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
3. a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g. by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
4. lack of social or emotional reciprocity
Section 1 means the person pretty much uses no type of the listed body languages because of the various types of brain dysfunctions that are associated with Aspergers. My diagnosis includes the "marked impairments in the use of .... eye-to-eye gaze .... body postures ... and gestures to regulate social interaction."

This doesn't mean I'm shy and scared of making eye contact with people and have poor body language. I'll either stare at the buttons on your shirt when speaking to you, look in the opposite direction, or god forbid there should be a fan in the room, stare at it. The gestures section means I don't use hand gestures at all during interactions. As best I understand, the facial expressions selection is only used for those that use a "poker face" at all times or are almost always stuck with some emotional expression on their face.

The body posture selection has to do with either standing too close for comfort for other people or standing too far away during interactions so as to make other people walk closer and closer to them. My diagnosis includes this section as well and I used to walk backwards when people came close to me to speak, but after reading several books about body language I've mostly stopped myself from doing it. If you want a good book that has a breakdown of the body spacings that western societies use I recommend Body Language by Allan Pease.

Section 2 pretty much means the person meets the criteria for Schizoid personality disorder on the outside view. Part of my diagnosis.

Section 3 you wouldn't meet this criteria since you posted this thread, nor would I for responding to it.

Section 4 are very strange things like a child begins to scream when they see an injured person instead instead of asking the person if they are ok. Another example would be a stranger asking the person a question and the person with AS ignoring them or responding in a completely irrelevant way.

B. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

1. encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
Normal interests and hobbies don't count. If you talk about it at every chance, think about it all day long, and are so engrossed in it that it causes trouble in your day to day life then it might fit this criteria. Looking at my post history you might guess that mental disorders and psychotropic medications are one of my restricted interests. This also extends to my day to day life in a way that I talk to people at work about who might have narcissistic personality disorder, who might have anti-social personality disorder, etc. Reading about psychopathology, psychology, and psychotropic medications is all I do when I'm not working, in class, or seeing my girlfriend on our very specific schedule. It causes problems with my education because I only do what I must to pass class, but beyond that I can't say this causes me any discomfort.

2. apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
These must be very rigid, to the point that that a psychiatrist or psychologist would consider Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder for you. Under the ICD-10 a diagnosis of Autism or Asperger's rules OCPD out, but the DSM makes no mention of this. The core idea of OCPD is a pattern of preoccupation with control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency.

3. stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
If you did this it would have been noticed by now and you would have been diagnosed with Asperger's or PDD-NOS if you are too old to have been diagnosed with Asperger's, as it was only added to the DSM 11 years ago.

4. persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
This is more typical of Autism than it is Asperger's. An example would be a person fascinated with spinning wheels on toy cars and doing it pretty much all day long. From what I've read on Asperger's, it doesn't happen often because the interests associated with Asperger's are more intellectual while in Autism they are more simple like this selection.

C. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
This means it's not a disorder to be tossed around as a temporary state. Asperger's is a developmental disorder, and thus is a lifelong problem that must show signs by age 3-4.

D. There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years)
This rules out Autism as a diagnosis.

E. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood
Rules out Autism again.

F. Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia
Just to make sure that nothing else fits better since Schizophrenia and various Autistic Spectrum Disorders overlap by a large amount, but the core difference is a Schizophrenic will not have the issues from age 3-4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
still unsure

I have become pretty much a hypocondriac about trying to figure out things that are wrong with me and whenever I am not in class, sleeping or with my (ex) bf I am researching disorders online. I would say that would make me engrossed in this certain thing. It leaves no time for paying attention to what is going on in other peoples lives, like my roommates, and what is going on in the world.

I am still quite confused with this whole thing, but I do appreciate your description. From what I have learned, most of it seems like me, but some of it doesn't apply to me as much. Do I need to have all of the symptoms?

The website "oops wrong planet" seemed pretty accurate for my condition.
 

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Re: still unsure

Jess said:
I am still quite confused with this whole thing, but I do appreciate your description. From what I have learned, most of it seems like me, but some of it doesn't apply to me as much. Do I need to have all of the symptoms?
Having all of the symptoms would be very, very, very rare and in fact the very basis of the DSM having criteria that requires 5 of 9 (or what ever, you get the point) is that not all symptoms are present in every disorder. Each symptom is linked to specific types of brain dysfunction so it would look very suspicious indeed if you went to your doctor claiming to meet all the criteria for Asperger's syndrome because a person with such dysfunction wouldn't be capable of researching such a topic, coming into the office alone, and most importantly they would not have the neurological capability to bring it to him (social interaction, selection 3).

The A section requires 2 fulfilments and the B section requires 1 fulfilment for Asperger's, but again unless something else better explains the obsessions (specific interests or rigid routines) and social dysfunctions a diagnosis of Asperger's is unlikely. It is meant to be a severe diagnosis and it isn't a substitute for things like SA, AvPD, OCD, and OCPD.

My question to you would be did your parents notice an early social problem in you sometime before you started school? The social impairment in Asperger's is severe and lifelong. It's not so much problems dating or what have you with Social Anxiety (and I don't mean to make SA seem as if it isn't a very difficult issue to deal with) as it is a lifelong pattern of having few, if no, friends. It doesn't popup sometime between the teenage through later life years as can be seen with other social disorders because the diagnostic requirements state that it must be clear by ages 3-4.

If you're still not quite sure about Asperger's fitting you because of the heavy right brain dysfunction associated take some time to read about Non-verbal Learning Disability. It has a similiar social impairment to Asperger's, but doesn't have the same borderline mentally retarded right brain profile associated with it. IQ testing that shows verbal skills more than 10 points higher than performance skills can sometimes indicate NVLD.
 

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In general, be skeptical about diagnosing yourself with an autism spectrum disorder. It's inherently all but impossible to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
very confused

Ok at this point I am thouroughly confused...so are you saying that is I have aspergers then my right brain is essentially mentally retarded? As in my verbal skills, creative, writing etc??? Because if anything it is that side that is working very well and the other (logical, numbers) side that is retarded haha...i am confused!
 

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Posting again to add that the DSM wasn't meant for learning about disorders, instead it was created to standardized symptoms so health care professionals knew what one and other meant by another person's diagnosis. When a GP, psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist, etc diagnosis you with something they don't use the rigid rules from a book to do it. There is a lot more to disorders than the DSM lists because it was writen for mental health professionals.
 

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Re: very confused

Jess said:
Ok at this point I am thouroughly confused...so are you saying that is I have aspergers then my right brain is essentially mentally retarded? As in my verbal skills, creative, writing etc??? Because if anything it is that side that is working very well and the other (logical, numbers) side that is retarded haha...i am confused!
Most verbal skills are processed in the left side of your brain.

Essentially mentally retarded is doubtful, but were you to take the WAIS-III (the only professionally given adult IQ test that I know of) and you didn't have some non-verbal scores in the impaired range it would be impossible for you to have Asperger's.

I don't know what you mean by creative, but if by writing you mean hand-eye coordination issues and poor fine motor control then, yes this is included with Asperger's because of the impaired right brain functioning.

I don't know what you mean by logical. If by numbers you mean you have poor math abilities but good language skills then Non-verbal Learning Disability might be worth reading about. It has a similar social impairment, but much less severe right brain dysfunction is associated with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
yes

Yes my parents did take note of my extremely shy nature but they never really noticed how bad it was for me because I hid it from them, or did not talk about it as I got older. I talk more about this in the other post called "parents"
 

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Jess,
I worked with a little boy that had Aspergers for awhile. I'd say it's almost impossible to self diagnose yourself with a disorder such as this one. There are some symptoms that seem to be very prominent and (usually) common to many people with Aspergers (inability to use facial expressions appropriately) and others that differ extremely from one case to the next.

If you are really concerned you could talk with a professional about it. But, don't be like me (a self proclaimed hypochondriac) and think that you have the disorder just because some of the symptoms are similar to yours. Most people with SA will have socializing problems like that of Aspergers, but the root of the problem is anxiety. Though, that of course isn't to say you couldn't potentially have the disorder.
 
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