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I think I have aspergers, now what?
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tttnjfttt
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:27 pm    Post subject: I think I have aspergers, now what? Reply with quote

I've been reading a lot about Aspergers lately, and have been struck by how much this fits me. I've never been a social butterfly. Was teased and tormented through much of grade school. Have never had many friends. Right now, I'd say I have more friends I've met online than I do in real life. And growing up, I can't tell you how many times I was lectured about looking people in the eye.

I have been diagnosed with ADHD, but even that doesn't seem to explain all my social issues. I have no clue when someone is bored with what I am talking about, and small talk is pointless as far as I am concerned.

I also tend to have obsessions, right now it is computer programing. I also have a BA in math.

I did a few of the tests, such as the AQ test. My scores are either in the autistic range, or close to it. I suspect the low ones may be higher, as I am starting to realize how rigid I can be. I've also read females tend to score lower.

My question is now what? I am unemployed, and totally broke, so seeing a psychologist or any other type of doctor is totally out. Heck, I can't even afford my adderall, so my ADD is uncontrolled, which seems to be making my aspergers tendencies even worse. I know I would like to improve my social skills, but have no idea how to go about it. advice?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disability's always a favorite. If you believe that being autistic is preventing you from getting a job, you can go down to a social security office and request to be put on disability. It takes a couple of months, and you'll almost always need to appeal.

The one I'd like to give a try, were I in your position, is to try and find a way to make money online using your computer programming obsession. Is there php or perl in there? Maybe you can design some websites, or build some about computer programming and use ads for a small amount of income. If not, what about making programs and offering them online either with a cost or, once again, free content with ads? You could also write about computer programming.

People make a big deal about degrees, and in a traditional setting, they are important. However, autodidacts working independantly are proving their worth.
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Spargelzeit
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isnīt there an Autism Centre where you live? There you might get a diagnose. In the Netherlands it is included in your health assurance.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now you realize you may have high functioning autism, you can realize why you had/have certain problems.. and often have a hard time "getting it"

You are well educated, so first you need to look for jobs where obsessions are a bonus & have limited contact with people. Computers related jobs are often good for aspies because they follow logical patterns... but there are many other jobs out there.

As for social settings.. besides scripting, there is not much I can suggest. I have read lots of books on how to be social, tried to memorize the formulas, but.. I always seem to come up short on having real friends or social circles.
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Willard
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:48 pm    Post subject: Re: I think I have aspergers, now what? Reply with quote

tttnjfttt wrote:
My question is now what? I am unemployed, and totally broke, so seeing a psychologist or any other type of doctor is totally out.



Absolutely not the case, if you're in the US. Find a local Mental Health (sometimes called 'Counseling and/or Guidance') Center that works with low-or-no-income patients and they'll hook you up for the price of a stack of paperwork. Heck, they'll even help you with the paperwork if you let them know the pressure is causing you an anxiety attack - personally I hate being inundated by a deluge of queries from Big Brother (nooo one expects the Spanish Inquisition!). tongue

You can see a therapist for your ADD and whatever other issues you need help with and get scheduled for assessment by a psychologist from there. Once you have that formal diagnosis in hand, as MrLoony points out, applying for SS Disability is always an option (but you will need the DX first).
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Um you could go for a temp agency?

Idk since you said ur unemployed.
Or you could try stock trading thing, not sure what it's called.

And in this economy, I think you already know......... sooo....
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Um you could go for a temp agency?

Idk since you said ur unemployed.
Or you could try stock trading thing, not sure what it's called.

And in this economy, I think you already know......... sooo....
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

live your life
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tttnjfttt
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input. The classes I'm in right now are a perfect fit for me. Being back at a community college after having been through a Bachelors program puts me at the top. Add to that all my classes are strong focus points to me, I definitely shine. It is sad when I am less social than my computer science class mates, but the fact I am better than them and willing to help has given me some acquaintances, far more than I had before. It is also perfect that my professors will work with me at my own level, and allow me to do independent advanced work, rather than the mundane beginner tasks. I think I can work, much easier as a computer programmer/web developer, than in my former profession (I was a teacher, great at explaining, terrible at class management). I just need to get my skills to a level that I can become employed. And that means somehow placating unemployment long enough to finish the classes I want to do.

Ironically, a classmate gave me the final push to start considering aspergers. I was studying with a few classmates (or tutoring, take your pick) and sincerely one mentioned how I can go on about topics they have no interest in. I've always known my social skills were poor, but that just pushed me over the edge.

I'll think about seeking a professional diagnosis. Its good to know that low cost options are avaliable. I do feel as if I am becoming depressed again (in college I went through a major depressive episode, it wasn't pretty) and if it persists much longer or becomes worse, I know I will need to seek help for that regardless.

I'm starting to come to the place where I accept this as something that has always been part of me, and now it just has a name. That the signs have always been there, but were not diagnosed, no surprises there, as even my ADD went undiagnosed until my Junior year of college. It seems weird to consider myself part of the autistic spectrum, but it does fit. I remember a student with aspergers I tutored for a few years to help him pass his high school math proficiency. His dad was a doctor, so after the kid passed, they took all his teachers and me out for dinner. I was much more at ease talking with this student than everyone else. It was just more natural.

I think for now I will try to do some of the ideas others provided with freelancing over the internet. I may force myself to switch from Java to PHP as my programing language. Seems more useful than asp, which will be one of the college classes I hope to take this spring.
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Tim_Tex
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to WP!
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Vivienne
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in the same boat.
I discovered my son has AS, and in my research (for of course I immediately went to the library with my charted list of books and associations and checklists to print out and organize during the time I wasn't bookmarking/ surfing/ reading websites on the topic)...I discovered that I probably have it too.

And wow, now a whole lot makes a whole lot of sense.

What to do about it? Well you can pursue a diagnosis if you want to 'use' it for professional or personal reasons, but if not, then just re-evaluate your strengths and weaknesses with this new understanding and adjust your goals and expectations accordingly.

But by all means don't just 'stop' everything, ya gotta keep plugging on. Like someone else here said: live your life.
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tttnjfttt
Blue Jay
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it has been a little over a week since I first considered the possibility that I am on the spectrum. Today was also the first day back at the community college, where every class I am in deals with my obsessions. Its also my first day back in a classroom setting without my adderall (money issues, no free meds program for it).

I consider it further confirmation on how much being in a programing class and working with a new language changed my mood. I completely snapped out of my mini-depression that I was in once I started typing code. I also miss adderall and the ability it gives me to think before I speak. I took over for the teacher a few times. And blurted out obnoxious jokes a few other times. The teacher made a comment about an alert box we programed for making a ding dong sound. Without missing a beat, I blurt out "can we make it moo?". I also noticed my leg was either bouncing, or i was swinging gently side to side in my chair (the swinging side to side is new).

I know thinking of the social issues I made a point to talk more, rather than be a quiet bump on the wall. I also focused on eye contact. Nice thing is in the classes, it is a lot of my classmates from before, so I have a reputation of being the odd computer whiz. They tolerate my oddness because I can help them. I'll take it.

I think I have answered my own question of now what? I live my life as someone said. I know I have trouble in these areas, so I will focus on them. I will practice. I will make a conscious effort to be socially appropriate, something I have never done before. And be thankful that I am able to focus on my interest, an area that accepts oddities for their tallents.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrLoony wrote:
Disability's always a favorite. If you believe that being autistic is preventing you from getting a job, you can go down to a social security office and request to be put on disability. It takes a couple of months, and you'll almost always need to appeal.
You've obviously never done this. The correct statement is, "It can take more than a year, you will be poked and prodded, have your friends interviewed and your bank records scruinized; and while obviously disabling autism doesn't require a lawyer, most other cases do."

I got disability without the help of a lawyer, but apparently my case was obvious thanks to two psychiatric hospitalizations.
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