I have not really talked a lot about my Asperger Syndrome diagnosis here on the blog. I want to talk a little more about it and also about the journey I am taking – looking back at life happenings through a new filter and seeing how almost everything that has occurred in my life has been tied up with Aspergers – and how things make a lot more sense to me now. I’ve decided to schedule one post a month on this topic for the foreseeable future.
Today I thought I would share a little bit about exactly how my diagnosis came about, before going back in time to explore past events through the glasses of the diagnosis. There are some parts I am a little foggy about, so I ask you in advance to forgive me those.
I was diagnosed in 2009 by a wonderful psychologist that I was seeing for depression and anxiety. I was telling her about a visit by my nephews – one of whom has mild autism – and how that nephew and I had played lego together. I said something like –
So we talked about it and we decided to sort out all the blocks into groups because that would make it easier to build things. We grouped together the blocks with 2 dots, 4 dots, 6 dots, 8 dots, etc. Then I wanted to build a house but my nephew said “Auntie, you always want to build houses. Why don’t we try to build something else?” And we build this enormous lego boat with a tower on top.
My psychologist asked me if I always had sorted the blocks before doing any building. I said yes, because I liked to be able to reach out and grab the right sized block that I needed rather than having to look through a box or pile of lego. That, put together with the fact that we do have more than one family member with autism, plus some other things she had observed in me during our time together, was the thing that made her hand me a brochure about Asperger Syndrome.
It was almost the end of the session, so she handed it to me and asked me to take it home and read through the various “symptoms” and put a tick next to any that I felt applied to me. The next session I handed it back to her and there were quite a few ticks. So she gave me a diagnostic test of some kind – I forget what the name of it was now.
It turned out that I was on the “Autism Spectrum” as they call it. It is really difficult to find a good list of symptoms like she had handed me on the web but here are a couple that are fairly decent – here and here. Here are some online tests that you can do.
In many ways being diagnosed was an enormous relief because it told me that there were good and reasonable reasons for things that had happened to me in the past – times where I had thought I was the problem and times when I had been told my personality was a problem for other people. I’ve been looking back at those times with my present psychologist and making a new sense out of them.
Being an Aspie is not all bad though it does present some serious challenges for me. I have some brilliant things that I like to call my Aspie superpowers. That is what I will talk about in my next post on this subject. :)