Joined: Nov 20, 2006
|Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:22 pm Post subject: Going to See My Doctor Today
|I am a 24 year old human male that has only recently begun to explore the possibility of having autism. The first inspiration to follow this possibility was a score of 41 on the Autism Spectrum Quotient test (for those that haven't seen it yet, it's scored out of 50?). Then, as befits my obsessive need to study anything I take an interest in, I began reading. The more I read, the more it fit and explained every difficulty that I have ever had. So, of course, I made an appointment with my doctor. It's in an hour, but I'm also curious as to what you kids think about it. Figured I might as well get multiple opinions.
So, a few points...I very rarely wear clothing that isn't black. If I DO wear something that isn't black, either my massive collection of black t-shirts is all dirty or I consciously decide to wear something else for some reason. Of course, this has become a social liability. I may not wear something other than black if I don't know that I'm not supposed to. At the same time, if I buy new t-shirts, I buy three packs of Fruit of the Loom shirts if I'm not buying word shirts. My pants are either loose-fit black Levis or black Farah khakis. I wear shorts so rarely that people invariably comment on it. For that matter, seeing me in long sleeves is almost unheard of.
I lose my mind if I can't hear music. Talk radio is the only thing that is a substitute. At home, at work, in my car. I can't stand being without something to listen to.
I don't tune out background noise. Ever. I didn't realize you were supposed to until I read about it last month. This causes me to avoid large, crowded gatherings of people. If I hear too many people talking, I become extremely confused on account that I'll try to pay attention to EVERY ongoing coversation.
I hate bright lights and generally try to only come out at night. The brightest bulb in my apartment is 40 watts, which I use because I can't find 20 these days. I always wear a hat when outdoors to shade my eyes and still constantly squint to keep the light out. I have passed my threshhold for sensory overload a few times on particularly bright days. This, though, I have mostly learned to deal with.
I can't smell or taste much of anything. I don't eat salad dressing because I hate the texture. However, I can smell crab meat so strongly it bothers me. Sometimes, I eat very bizarre things like oatmeal cookies dipped in nacho cheese. If it's made of bread, I'll probably dip it in coffee, even if most other people find it absolutely disgusting. Speaking of coffee, I do NOT eat if I don't have coffee. If I'm hungry, I can eat without it, but I feel very, very wrong.
Multiple people have told me that my emotions are impossible to read, though poeple that have known me for a significant period (years?) can generally pick up on other cues for at least some things. I become completely uncommunicative if I am sufficiently irate or depressed, for example. Also, I do not make eye contact if I can avoid it. If I absolutely NEED to, I pretty much just stare, which a few people have said is very unnerving. Of course, when it becomes unbearable, I look away.
I rub my palms together and crack my knuckles in the same order every time. When I lay in bed, I wave my feet. I tap my right foot in beat with whatever music is playing. At work, I walk in perfect tempo with the music playing.
I was beat up on and had very few friends until middle school. Then, I had no friends until junior high. Then I had one friend. Things were slightly better in high school, but I only had a half dozen friends from there. I spent more of my time afterwards hanging out with gaming buddies, who were in general in their twenties or thirties, a few even older. Given that I was 16 at the time, that's a bit...odd.
I am obsessed with games, in general. I know how the systems worked and, despite my short attention span, can play a game for upwards of 20 hours straight. I have gone without sleep to play games, as well as work on them. I have designed dozens of game systems, only some of which have been functional. I have a very rich and diverse D&D campaign world, an extensive game collection, and become very good at any game I play very quickly. I go so far as memorizing tables full of information. Though I haven't played it in two years, I can still quote most of the weapon stats from Battletech from memory. That is only one example.
However, if playing against another person, I can only react to what they do, as I am completely incapable of predicting their actions.
I do not have a girlfriend. I have had one date in the past year, though I'm not even really sure what other people consider a "date" so do not know if it counts. I only have ever had one girlfriend, which was a rocky relationship, at best. It started after I graduated high school and I only knew that she was interested because she came out and said it very directly. I cannot tell if a girl is interested in me in ANY other way. For that matter, I can't tell if she's NOT interested.
I have so little trust for people I don't know that I border on paranoid. It isn't that I assume everybody is out to get me. Quite the contrary, I mostly notice that I get treated like I'm invisible. Rather, I have so much difficulty detecting lies that I only trust somebody until I am CERTAIN that I can trust whatever they say. At the same time, if somebody lies to me, I am very loathe to trust them ever again.
OK, so what do you think? I'll have to post results when I get back.