Is there such thing as 'mild' Aspergers?



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Hodor
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27 Apr 2008, 5:02 pm

I'm just wondering out of curiosity. Most people on this forum, as far as I know, have problems with social interaction, reading other people's body language and expressions, figuring out other people's intentions, sensory issues, a literal understanding of language and physical clumsiness/awkwardness - to some extent.

Some symptoms/traits (or whatever) seem to be worse than others, depending on the person. Personally, my sensory issues and problems with eye contact are fairly minimal but I am hopeless at anything practical and find it hard to build up meaningful relationships.

Is it possible to qualify for having Aspergers when all of the traits are minimal? Can you have it mild, or would that just mean that you're neuro-just-about-typical? Do any of you feel that you only have mild Aspergers?


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Silver_Meteor
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27 Apr 2008, 5:04 pm

Yes, there are some people that can have a mixture of NT and Aspie traits.


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2ukenkerl
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27 Apr 2008, 5:11 pm

There IS a "mild aspergers", but that apparently means that you are about the level I am. You SEEM normal, for the most part. Supposedly, Stephen spielberg and Dan akroyd have mild aspergers.

BTW I have problems with social interaction, reading other people's body language and expressions, figuring out other people's intentions, sensory issues, a literal understanding of language and physical clumsiness/awkwardness - to some extent. Of course, from a literal understanding, I can see relationships that some others might see so I may see other meanings. ALSO, I understand a lot of sayings, etc...

I have sensory issues and problems with eye contact and find it hard to build up meaningful relationships.

Still, I seem normal.



Zsazsa
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27 Apr 2008, 5:12 pm

Yes, you can have very mild Asperger's Syndrome. I have had social difficulties since I was a small child and trouble with eye
contact. I also, have developmental delays which makes me appear to be a younger person than my real age. However, I worked hard to keep my difficulties minimal. Besides, don't many people rush off to costly Plastic Surgeons to make themselves look younger with facelifts, etc.?

When I was finally diagnosed with AS as an adult in 2007, after years of misdiagnoses and mistreatment by the mental health care system as a child before Asperger's Syndrome was recognized in 1994, it has brought me tremendous relief. Yet, I was told by my psychiatrist and psychologist that my symptoms are so mild that I could easily be mistaken as a Neurotypical.



Viola
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27 Apr 2008, 5:17 pm

Yes.

When I was diagnosed, I was told that I am "mid-range." If there is a mid-range, there must also be a high range and a low range, right?



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27 Apr 2008, 5:18 pm

I prefer to see it as being at different points along the spectrum rather than terms such as "mild", "moderate", "severe" etc.

While a person who has no verbal communication at all and is self-injuriously rocking, screaming and head-banging 24/7 would almost certainly be labeled as 'severe', those closer to 'normality' are still so ranging in need and ability that it's impossible to state where 'moderate' and 'mild' and 'NT' are universally defined.


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Tim_Tex
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27 Apr 2008, 5:22 pm

Yes, and I have it.


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Sora
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27 Apr 2008, 5:25 pm

Hodor wrote:
Is it possible to qualify for having Aspergers when all of the traits are minimal? Can you have it mild, or would that just mean that you're neuro-just-about-typical? Do any of you feel that you only have mild Aspergers?


Do you mean 'qualify' diagnosis? If the doctor diagnoses strictly by use of the DSM-IV-TR, there must be an impairment in that triad of symptoms of AS.

'Milder' symptoms can be impairment or can add up to an impairment too of course.


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Shelby
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27 Apr 2008, 5:27 pm

I seem to move back and forth between Aspergers and "Just about normal." Sometimes socialising is a major struggle, other times not. Maybe one day instead of defining it by terms like Classic Autism and Aspergers, maybe we'll get a number or something. So like a headbanging handflapping autie would be a 1, while a highfunctioning, well spoken person who just about passes as normal might be 100. So then we could all get on here and compete for who has the best number. I can see it now..."Oh, you're a 89, you're almost NT. I'm 17, I'm more autistic than you...."



jason_b1980
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27 Apr 2008, 5:29 pm

Yeah, I do. When I read the symptoms for Asperger's/HFA, they described me to a tee...when I was younger. Now that I'm older, my eye contact is pretty good, I'm nowhere near as clumsy, a lot of the anxiety's are gone, and I am a lot less backward and more talkative. Nowadays, most people I meet think that I am pretty normal, maybe a little shy.

I still consider myself eccentric (odd), and socially isolated (even though I have a few friends now).



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27 Apr 2008, 5:33 pm

It's a continuum, so definitely yes.



Hodor
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27 Apr 2008, 5:44 pm

Interesting, thanks for the replies.

Sora wrote:
Hodor wrote:
Is it possible to qualify for having Aspergers when all of the traits are minimal? Can you have it mild, or would that just mean that you're neuro-just-about-typical? Do any of you feel that you only have mild Aspergers?


Do you mean 'qualify' diagnosis? If the doctor diagnoses strictly by use of the DSM-IV-TR, there must be an impairment in that triad of symptoms of AS.

'Milder' symptoms can be impairment or can add up to an impairment too of course.


I guess I mean qualify for diagnosis, otherwise people with a few AS-like traits could go around saying they have Aspergers, when they clearly don't.

So it is possible to have the triad of impairments, but only mildly. I knew that there were different degrees of Autism, but I didn't know if this applied to AS too.

Also, what would happen if, being completely theoretical, one of the triad of impairments completely disappeared, or became so mild that it was no longer detectable? Would you 'not have AS anymore?' I mean, our brains are wired differently from most people's, so it's interesting that some symptoms can even disappear at all.


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srriv345
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27 Apr 2008, 5:46 pm

Yes. The psychologist who diagnosed me said I'm "mild" or even "very mild" AS, which she said is the case for many females. Personally, I think "severity" is a variable factor. I may seem normal enough most of the time, but in certain situations I don't look very "high-functioning" at all. For me, certain traits can be more intense in certain situations. On the whole, I am more disabled by AS rigid thinking and related issues than I am by social traits, though I'm not really quite "normal" there, either. I've gone back and forth on the whole issue, because at one point I got it into my head that you had to be a very "textbook" example in order to qualify. There are different ways the traits can manifest, though. I'm okay at understanding most body language, but don't convey "typical" body language very well at all. Someone who had most of the traits "mildly" and wasn't disabled by any of them possibly wouldn't qualify for a diagnosis in the eyes of many professionals. I feel that because "disability" is determined by environment to a significant extent, clinical definitions are sometimes of limited value.

You might want to google "broader autistic phenotype" (BAP). Many people who have a lot of spectrum traits identify as such.



MarieElana
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27 Apr 2008, 5:58 pm

As I matured I was considered to be very mild, and it seems that I have very little difficulty or struggles in life anymore. So yes, there is mild asperger's, though sometimes I am not as well-accepted for siding with NTs x: someone called me a double agent before


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nomadic28
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27 Apr 2008, 6:09 pm

An inexperienced psychologist is going to be looking for someone with AS to be fascinated by ceiling fans or obsessed with vacuum cleaners to the point of not functioning well at all. I think we all know AS comes much "milder" than that.



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