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. :)
23 thoughts on “Asperger Syndrome – Being Diagnosed”
Yes, on the Aspie Superpowers! I usually have several kids on the spectrum in my classes and they are often my most creative thinkers. When people see the world through a different lens, it can be challenging for everyone involved. Which ones on the tests did you check?
I deeply wish I had a copy of the brochure she gave me because it was fantastic and I wish I’d kept it with my ticks on it. I think she has that in her file, but she has since retired and I’m not sure how I would go about getting a copy of it. It is difficult to find a good list similar to the one she gave me and I certainly can’t remember what was on it or what I ticked.. :)
I am pleased you are sharing your experience. We all need to know more about how things work in the world, and this is part of it.
Thanks Andrew! I don’t know why I have left writing about it for so long.. it might be because even 6 years later I am still figuring out what it means and how it affects me. :)
I have a few of those symptoms on those lists, but not many and I don’t think I’m on the spectrum at all. Just quiet and a little reclusive, that’s all.
Almost everyone would find they have a few of the symptoms. :) I think quiet and reclusive is great.. :)
It must have been a great relief to find out that ‘you’ weren’t the problem. Can’t wait to hear about your superpowers :-)
It was an enormous relief to me. ;) It was like the puzzle pieces fit into place and finally I could understand what the puzzle was meant to be. :)
Wow, I had no idea! I think this is a great topic, and I’m glad you’ve decided to share your story. Looking forward to the next posts!
I had no idea either – this was quite a surprise to me. But a very useful one. :)
Glad the diagnosis was useful to you – it can be a strange and confusing business trying to work out who we are.
If I had known 20 years ago, my entire life would have changed. I chose a completely wrong job – sales with a lot of people interaction – and then wondered why I couldn’t handle it.. If my parents had known 35 years ago, they would likely have done a lot of things differently. They would have pulled me out of school when I was yanked out of class an hour into grade 5 and thrown into grade 6.. and they would have looked for teachers who would interest me in things like maths and science instead of teachers who made me hate those things.. :)
I really look forward to reading about your Aspie superpowers.
They are incredible! ;) I’m glad I know what they are now.. :)
Aspies can be really interesting people – just like anyone else. People forget that and one thing does not define the whole person. I look forward to reading more about your experience.
*any one thing…*
Everyone has their own quirks, I just have a lot more than most. :)
Glad you got a diagnosis! I’m sure it explained an awful lot that’s happened in the past. I wish,I had a few of those positive traits :)
It surely did explain a lot. :)
Congratulations? I suspected that I was / am on the spectrum when our daughter was referred for evaluation. I participated on the O.A.S.I.S forum for a couple of years, more for my own benefit than my daughter’s. I thought about getting a DX, but then I figured it wasn’t worth the bother. First I’d have to seek out a doctor for it. And afterwards, what then? There’s no treatment that insurance would reimburse for. But I do remember the feeling that it explained a lot.
It is true there is no treatment that insurance would reimburse for. The diagnosis mostly means my psychologist and I can work on all the things surrounding it, and I have a name I can give for why I am not “normal” like everyone else. :) Which is good, I would not want to be normal! ;)
Thanks for sharing this. I sometimes wonder if Mr 21 might fall into this category. I know he suffers from anxiety, and often they occur together. I’m off to check out the links you’ve provided – thanks!
There are so many possible aspects to Aspergers and some people get only a mild touch of the spectrum while others get blessed (or not) with more. :) I hope you discover an answer for your Mr 21!