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u/againey · 15 pointsr/aspergirls

> I don't want a diagnosis via internet forum, but does it make sense to go against my therapist (who won't ever diagnose me with Asperger's because I can communicate OK with him one-on-one) and pursue a diagnosis from a specialist?

Yes, it absolutely makes sense. I've seen so many reports from others who have been in a similar situation, diagnosed multiple times with various conditions, with the possibility of Asperger's/autism repeatedly dismissed on superficial grounds, as if the mind isn't full of layers, many of which are hidden beneath the surface.

> Could it be that I flew under the radar for so long?

Indeed. Especially as a woman, there's a strong bias to attribute your behaviors and qualities to anything other than Asperger's. This bias exists both in general culture (for example, hormones are used to explain away so many female behaviors without any real consideration) and in the culture of the mental health profession (largely due to the original research decades ago focusing on male children, almost completely ignoring both females of any age and adults of any gender).

I'm a male myself, but it wasn't until recently, when the profession started to wake up to the possibility of Asperger's being just as prevalent in women as it is in men, that I started finding resources that I really connected with. Thus, I suspected I had Asperger's when I was 24, but it was only once I was 32 and revisited the subject that I found all the stories by other "under-the-radar" aspies, many of them women, and could truly connect with those experiences, learning from them and learning about myself more deeply. I certainly have some male stereotypes too, but the stereotypes have done a lot of harm, causing many people to go unrecognized for so long.

> And does anyone have tips for pursuing a diagnosis?

I just got done reading the book I Think I Might Be Autistic: A Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis and Self-Discovery for Adults, and I think it could be a useful read for you. Some of the details of the middle chapters are US-specific, so their usefulness will depend upon your location, as the diagnosis process differs quite a bit throughout the world. It's also a quick read. (I should have gotten this book a while ago; I had read the author's second book on the subject, Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate, over a year ago and loved it, as well as many articles on her blog Musings of an Aspie, and her first book indeed had the same quality.)

A somewhat longer book which I'd also recommend, with more of a focus on the reflective and emotional side of the diagnostic process, and less on the concrete details, is Very Late Diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder): How Seeking a Diagnosis in Adulthood Can Change Your Life.

I'd also recommend considering finding a therapist/counselor who specializes in adult Asperger's/ASD, without necessarily focusing on an official diagnosis, at least in the short term. If you can relate to the experiences shared by adult aspies, and you feel like you are obtaining deeper self-understanding and highly applicable advice from books and online, it only stands to reason that you could find similar help from a counselor who is willing to approach your situation from that angle. I found a great counselor by very cautiously reading through the descriptions on the Psychology Today therapist search page. Might've gotten a little lucky that my first pick was a good pick, but it worked for me. Also, insurance might complicate this; I paid out of pocket, so I was free to go wherever for whatever reason.

So yeah, that's the essence of my advice: Self-directed research through books, blogs, and online communities, a sympathetic counselor regardless of current diagnostic status, and plenty of time and space for introspection. Also, be liberal with the self-love; when a person internalizes the perceived expectations of the society around them and feels like they are always failing to satisfy those expectations, it can be brutally debilitating, and can easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Learning how to wisely choose and live by my own expectations was one of the best things I've ever done.

u/needforhealing · 1 pointr/aspergirls

Oh My, I had forgotten this thread. Let me reply anyway!

Improve your Social Skills
This book is written by a man with Aspergers. It has a lot of useful advice. Needless to say, as I'm forgetful and absent minded, I used a highlighter a lot!

What Every Body is Saying
It contains a lot of info on body language, and I have found it helpful. There are some tips to come across more confident. You can also check videos on the web.

How to Talk to Kids So Kids will Listen
Don't misjudge the book! It may seem as not suitable for adults. But it contains a lot of tips that can help improve adult on adult relationships. There are some parts that talk about how we deny people their right to experience a certain feeling. For example :
Person a: My dog died. I'm so sad.
Person b: Oh, but cheer up! you'll have other dogs in the future! don't dwell on it, it's no use! vs.
Person b: I see. It must be tough. You really cared about your dog.

It really makes you ponder.

And of course the most well known books, "how to win friends and influence people", etc. I have been also looking for books on how to hold a conversation, but haven't had much luck yet.

sorry for the late reply

Best of luck!

u/Miroesque23 · 1 pointr/aspergirls

If you were in the UK, I would say pursue a diagnosis but obviously your situation is different. You can apply some self help strategies that other people with an ASD find helpful with or without a diagnosis and see how you get on with them - kind of field-testing the idea - but that won't give you inner certainty.

You could get hold of the books by Cynthia Kim, she was diagnosed at 42 and has written about the diagnostic process: She is very good at demystifying the diagnostic criteria and showing how they apply to real life.

A lot of what's in the book also appears on her blog Musings of an Aspie, which I think is one of the best ones out there. Hopefully, that might give you a better idea of whether or not you relate to ASD.

u/[deleted] · 4 pointsr/aspergirls

Congratulations on your self-discovery! It is a wonderful feeling :)

I process feelings and decisions through research too :D It's a great satisfaction to be able to name, describe, and understand how something works (including myself).

I especially enjoyed Women From Another Planet and wish there were more like it.

u/TranquilTrill · 2 pointsr/aspergirls

If you want to get a diagnosis, for whatever reason, you should. I got my diagnosis last year at the age of 42, and it was life-changing for me. I am now finally able to not only accept myself and my differences, but take care of myself better now that I fully understand what my challenges are. Good luck!

Some resources that might help you in the meantime:

u/nyxmori · 1 pointr/aspergirls

I'm so very sorry that she's going through such a difficult time :( I can't imagine the pain you must feel as a mother seeing this happen, wanting to help but not knowing how.

Does she have any interest in art or writing? A lot of people who have trouble expressing themselves or dealing with pain can find an outlet in an art form. Art therapy is a specific option, but just regular art expression is very therapeutic and helped me cope with my own pain.

Art activity can also lead to finding an art community, and really, a connection to people who share a passion is the most important thing for her to find, whatever that passion is.

Anxiety medication did wonders for me, as did running regularly (despite being the opposite of athletic). I also find a lot of comfort in reading about other's experiences, because it helps the lingering loneliness of being misunderstood. Women From Another Planet was especially good, and there's many similar books on Amazon too.

One thing I wish I could have done at that age was start taking adult level classes in my areas of passion, like at a community college.

u/considerthepineapple · 2 pointsr/aspergirls

The two I found the most useful are This one which is the first one I started with. Once I went through that book I then got This one along with the manual. I then got myself this diary to keep track of using the skills.

I didn't find all the activities helpful, I think it's about picking and choosing what feels good/works best for you.

u/Skyblacker · -2 pointsr/aspergirls

> I have spent over a decade trying to describe these feelings and I still haven't got there. They feel very intense for a brief moment, like a second or two or sometimes less, and then they fleet away and I can't catch them in time to describe them.

Sounds like a job for Focusing! ( website, self-help book. ) The whole point is to get a handle on nebulous, negative emotions. Read the book, put a good faith effort into its methods, and you might gain the agency you need in your life.

u/xixux · 1 pointr/aspergirls

I really liked this book: It's written by a woman on the spectrum and has some great tips and insights into your strengths as an autistic woman (and ways to compensate for your weaknesses).

If you want to pursue psychiatry, graduate school programs usually have pay-by-income programs.

u/ADVentive · 2 pointsr/aspergirls

No. The place I went kinda sucked actually. They seemed totally unprepared. The first appointment I showed up and the provider I was supposed to see wasn't even there and they ended up doing my intake with some other provider who happened to be free but didn't know anything about it. They weren't very prepared themselves, so they sure didn't prepare me.

I prepared myself by reading a book that I thought was pretty helpful. The book has a checklist of possible symptoms, and I had gone through and marked which ones I felt like applied to me and put some notes about how. I ended up reading off this list for the provider.

u/TweaktheReaper · 3 pointsr/aspergirls

Oh man, good on you for giving that kitten an escape. There's a book on my Amazon wishlist, All cats have Asperger's Syndrome that I want to read because I've always had animals growing up and I absolutely believe that's true. Even the most social cats and kittens need some time away from people, and being tugged at and in a loud environment (screaming) would have probably scared the poor thing to death...

Good job!

u/lia043 · 2 pointsr/aspergirls

John Elder Robison is the brother of Augusten Burroughs (who you might know as the author of “Running with Scissors”) and is on the spectrum.

John has this book called “Look me in the eye,” which got good reviews and is about his experience living with ASD. I read a snippet of it and keep meaning to go back to read more (because his writing style is witty/funny, like his brother’s, and what he writes about is also very relatable).

Here’s a link to the book if you’re interested:

u/AdditionalHat · 3 pointsr/aspergirls

Well said, I just had a similar thought upon reading a long reply on my cat question ('why are we obsessed with cats') that I just posted on this sub inspired by this post and comment. It made me think of exactly this - NTs are like dogs and we are like cats - and then I saw your comment!

The book is in many places, for example here But yeah, I need to order it too when I get £££, and I can't believe I first heard about it a few years back and still haven't actually ordered it.

u/whileyousleep2 · 7 pointsr/aspergirls

I just really like reading or listening to other people's problems.

edit: if you like reading other people's problems i recommend Tiny beautiful things it's a compilation of letters to an advice collumnist

u/TantraGirl · 3 pointsr/aspergirls

Cynthia Kim's blog and book have been our best guides as a couple:

Musings of an Aspie, especially LESSONS FROM AN ASPERGERS-NT MARRIAGE . I know you guys aren't married, but lots of the tips still apply.

Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate

Making an NT-Aspie relationship work is a two-way street. Kim is good on stuff that you BOTH need to learn. For example:

> Apologize when you do something that your partner finds hurtful.

> This is true for both partners, but especially for the aspie partner. There are times when it’s hard for aspies to see why something is hurtful. Get over it. It doesn’t matter if what you said or did was unintentional. It doesn’t matter if you meant well. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s silly or meaningless. Just apologize.

> I know this can be difficult. My first instinct is often to say, “but that’s not what I meant” or “what’s the big deal?” This is a bad idea. If your partner is hurt by your words or actions, then it is a big deal. Ideally, your NT partner will be able to calmly identify what you did and how that made him feel: “I feel hurt when you point out in front of other people that I wasn’t paying attention to the conversation.” And then you can just as calmly consider his point of view and apologize: “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that would bother you. I’ll try not to do it in the future.”

> Obviously, having this conversation calmly and lovingly can be a hard place to get to. For a long time, my husband thought I had a mean streak. After learning more about Asperger’s, he began to understand that my AS wiring is responsible for a lot of the dumb stuff that comes out of my mouth. Now he tries to calmly point out when I’m being insensitive.

We had to learn this one the hard way. The fact is that Aspie-NT couples often hurt each other's feelings unintentionally because we're not wired up to perceive the same things in the same way emotionally. It's really like a cross-cultural marriage. You can't win an argument about which culture is "better." You just have to learn what the other person's taboos are.

And, most of all, you each have to have bedrock faith in your partner's good intentions, and truly believe that the other person did not intend harm, no matter how obvious it seems to you that what they did was "wrong."

u/970souk · 2 pointsr/aspergirls

I like Cynthia Kim's blog, Musing of an Aspie. I haven't read her first book - I Think I might be Austistic - but most materials were taken from her blog, I like her casual narrating style. She has a second book out soon so I will be watching out for that.

u/makinggrace · 8 pointsr/aspergirls

Diagnosed 40+ and still getting the hang of it. It gets better. This book is extremely helpful: Improve Your Social Skills.

u/universeinmypockets · 5 pointsr/aspergirls

It might seem like an odd suggestion, but check out the book PCS to Corporate America. It is written for people getting out of the military, but as a result it has a lot of information about what recruiters are looking for and how to answer common interview questions. I found that having a framework to understand why I was being asked a question helped me develop and practice answers. It made me more confident when I couldn’t read someone’s response.

u/UnknownTrash · 2 pointsr/aspergirls

link for the curious.
I was gifted this book and it's really cute and wholesome.

u/Tine_AS · 2 pointsr/aspergirls

You can volunteer to meet new people and practise social skills. There's a huge range of volunteer jobs you can do. It is also great to put on your resume and to refine other skills you can use in the work place.

Another book you can read is Superhuman Social Skills, which I am reading atm. It's written by a man who used to be very introvert so I hope he will address the insecurities of not being interesting enough or not knowing what to say.

u/EisenRhinoHorn · 1 pointr/aspergirls

Here are the guided meditations that have helped me most:

And this is a book that, while not explicitly about meditation, is very much about changing your mindset in the same way that meditation does and has been very helpful in day to day life for me:

u/JiffyFrose · 4 pointsr/aspergirls

I feel for your daughter. I struggled so much growing up because of this exact reason. I would recommend the WetBrush brand. A few months ago, WetBrush released a Limited Edition with Disney Princesses! It's still available on Amazon. I hope this helps.

u/CritFailingLife · 3 pointsr/aspergirls

More likely it's after the book of the same name.

u/hipstrix · 1 pointr/aspergirls

Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate: A User Guide to an Asperger Life