Introduction

Welcome to Woman With Asperger’s. Who am I? I am a multiracial (African-American, European, and American Indian indigenous/First Peoples) poet diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 2010.  Come walk on my journey with me through this blog, in which I will try was trying to make sense of what this all means.

Because of this, you will see some information-gathering and articles about various aspects of AS. You will also see my personal thoughts, experiences, and feelings here too. You may also see some poetry. In all of this, I will try was trying to not only communicate and understand my reality, but also reach out to others in my shoes, which means that I will be blogging blogged on topics of interest to Aspies autistics in general, other ,women with Asperger’s autistic women and Aspies of autistics of color. This is because I am convinced that in many ways we are underdiagnosed, underserved, and misunderstood. However, I do want to make clear that this blog is open and welcome to everyone insofar as discussions are concerned, since one of my purposes is to include, not exclude.

Why is the subtitle of this blog “Defying Stereotypes Since 1976”? It’s because the typical idea of an Aspie autistic — at least in the United States from which I live and blog — is a socially awkward, overly nerdy white/Caucasian male. So what to make of a multiracial autistic female with the disorder? You’ll have to keep reading to find out.

So now that you’re here, you have a lot of options. You can read my current blog posts, see a little information about this blog, basic description of Asperger Syndrome, find out a little about neurodiversity, check out what I’m reading, or look at the list of resources that I’ve collected along the way. Or you can read some of my Aspie autism poetry.

Saludos,

Nicole Nicholson, Founder
Woman With Asperger’s

UPDATE (6/10/14): The blog is now on semi-permanent hiatus, but you can still read some of my old posts and explore around. Comments are closed on blog posts except those published in the last 30 days. The strikethrough text is included from previous versions of this page to indicate changes both in this blog and in my understanding of neurodiversity.

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91 thoughts on “Introduction

  1. Hello! I was greatly intrigued by your blog, and wanted to leave you a “thumbs up”. I discovered my Aspie nature earlier this year as well. Its great to see more female Aspie bloggers on the web. I look forward to reading your future posts. 🙂 btw. I think you are a wonderful writer, and should definatly keep doing so.

  2. Hello everyone,

    I am a women of color with AS…that never really fit into “the normal world nor the good ole american famaily”….i was diagnosed in january 2010….this is something we are born with…but people like myself who are in their 20s all they up to 50+”coming out of the woodsworth” due to technology….I know i’m not alone….but I feel alone…Thank god for this site…and others like this one

    p.s im 29 yrs old

    • Hi Kamaria:

      Thank you for stopping by! I never fit into the normal world or what you call the good old American family either. In my case, it was exacerbated by growing up in a dysfunctional family. But I digress.

      And you are right: more of us are coming out and becoming vocal. The whole point of this site was to reach other to others like myself: women on the spectrum, and esp. women of color on the autism spectrum — but keeping in mind the desire to include and not exclude. I really think there are more women of color on the spectrum, but what escapes me is finding others…I have been racking my brain to try to figure out why we aren’t more vocal and visible, and I’m still not yet sure of the answers. I wil definitely be exploring this in a future post.

      Thank you for coming by, Kamaria — and please feel free to pass this site on to anybody else you know on the spectrum. We have to find each other. We have to start somewhere.

      -Nicole

      • Hello,
        I have a wonderful daughter who I think might have asperger’s. I am considering getting her tested. My question is whether or not it will make her happier having a label to put with her attributes or will it just make her more depressed.
        Mom

      • Hello Octavia:

        Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Your concern is certainly a valid one — labels can be pretty tricky, and by extension a diagnosis that might lead to a label. I think a few variables should be considered:

        1. How old is your daughter? If she is underaged (which I am inferring based on your comment), I would probably be even more likely to suggest getting her tested. Knowing whether she is on the spectrum would be helpful in terms of her education and any special services she might need. Also, this may make her eligible for an IEP (Individualised Education Program) provided for in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (if you are in the United States) which would provide an ability for her to reach educational goals more easily than she might otherwise. Lastly, knowing if she is on the spectrum may provide information and explanations for particular phenomenon she may experience that are unique to autistic individuals (i.e. struggles socializing, selective mutism) and would enable you to help her better through her school years.

        HOWEVER, if she is an adult, the decision to get tested for an autism spectrum disorder lies solely in her privy. If this is the case, you might want to gently approach the subject with her and be as informed as you can about Asperger’s before you approach her. But ultimately, the decision is up to her.

        2. If you are going to get her tested (again, on the assumption that she is underaged), I would suggest a professional who has a positive attitude and a realistic frame of mind towards autism spectrum conditions. A professional who is experienced in autism spectrum conditions and has a history of working with individuals on the spectrum will better understand your daughter, will be better able to diagnose her, and will offer a professional and balanced opinion on how to best help her. Also, I would strongly recommend finding a professional who has worked with females on the spectrum — there is still the perception that autism is a strictly male phenomenon and a professional with that mindset might likely misdiagnose her.

        I would interview any professionals carefully before taking your daughter to see them. If you are in Central Ohio, I strongly recommend the Nisonger Center at the Ohio State University.

        3. How that “label” is perceived is entirely up to the mind of the individual. That is the tricky thing these days — there are so many opinions about autism ranging from “it’s a tragedy” to that of superiority above those not on the spectrum (check out the neurodiversity page for more about this). I prefer the more balanced view, which is that autism and Asperger’s have both their strengths and challenges — or as self-advocate Sharisha Kochmeister put it, “Autism is a gift, disguised as a dilemma”. Since autism and Asperger’s can be perceived as more problems and flaws without a healthy understanding of their strengths, some self-esteem issues may arise. I would suggest some autism-positive reading, such as Asperger’s and Self-Esteem, which cites examples of famous individuals likely on the spectrum and how their gifts enriched the world (Einstein and Mozart come to mind). Of course, there is the tendency to assume that every autistic child will have some sort of extraordinary or savant skill and that is a dangerous assumption as well — but focusing on strengths and understanding limitations will provide and honest and balanced view.

        If your daughter is on the spectrum, it will certainly not be a cakewalk for her, but there are likely more benefits to a diagnosis than not. I wish you the best of luck.

        -Nicole

    • Kamaria, I love the phrase you use to describe yourself as a woman of color. I’ve always been partial to that descriptor. You are not alone. I have often felt not a part of…anything. I’m greatful for my mother of blessed memory for loving me unconditionally and supporting me for 50 years. Guess we supported each other. I have felt most alone since she left me. Finding this blog and all of the comments is working to alleviate that sense of being out here on my own, especially as a woman of color.

      I was always seen as an outsider in my own community. I was too smart, siddity, and it didn’t help that I had a body that wouldn’t quit! All that unwanted attention from horny males really wasn’t appreciated, nor was the jealousy from the females, which degenerated into bullying and name-calling. I was an only child, not much interested in fighting or acting like a monkey in the streets, so I stayed pretty close to home and my mom, who provided me with a wonderful haven of safety from the outside world.

      Hang in here with the rest of us and know we are with you.

      • The more I read on Aspergers, the more I see me…and I too realized just today, how my mom and I were so close..she knew I was different, so she buffered me from the real world a bit…and ever since she died, I have not been able to be the social butterfly she propped me up to be…growing up many of my relativess made jokes or hurtful comments about me, and now that I am 52, I too have learned to leave out of family events early, go late, and often just skip them, as I don’t want to be the center of gossip and ill-informed comments….I only really deal with a few cousins, and have a few friends..who seem to accept me and love me unconditionally..but it is hard when people tell you you could be more something, if you just tried to..and you know the AS makes some interactions impossible or nearly…and at this age, I just live with my differences…and yes I think it is especially hard for African-American women as we are expected to be ‘strong’ all the time, and since African-Americans don’t trust the medical system, they tend to dismiss any mental health issues, or label those who admit to having issues that need outside support.

        I spent my 52nd birthday at a museum film nite..so Aspie…and ran into the only person I wanted to be with that day, my Aspie guy pal…he was kinda surprised I was there, happlily soo..so I am letting Universe lead me into 2013…cause I know nothing of how to make improvements except acceptance and living life as I want, now as I am expected.

        To all on this post..hang tight..we aren’t the minority…

      • Hello Regina: I fell prey to the lie of “being strong” too. I’m a sensitive type, as I suspect a lot of us are.

        My late father, undiagnosed but with a lot of AS traits, tried to teach me to be a fighter, and mostly in the physical sense. I never felt like I lived up to what he wanted or expected. I have a temper that I try to “reign in” but I prefer to solve problems with peaceful means. It has taken me a long time to try to accept myself as I am in that regard.

        Your comment, as did Pearle’s earlier, suggest to me one of the reasons why more of us AS African-Americans are not diagnosed — a distrust of the medical system and a dismissal of mental health issues. I knew people with that same kind of distrust growing up. I know about the Tuskegee experiments and I suspect this is the kind of thing that causes the distrust we’re talking about. Since I’m 36, I have little to no memory or personal experience of discrimination and prejudice when it comes to the medical profession, but I imagine a lot of the older generations do…but if that distrust is passed down to future generations, that keeps it alive.

        Glad to see you here Regina, and thank you for your words of encouragement.

        -Nicole

      • Hello Nessa: reading your response to Kamaria, I remember now being accused of being siddity too, although not in those exact terms (I must confess, I had to Google that term!). For me, I was seen as stuck up…and it didn’t help that I’m (almost) half white and wouldn’t self-identify *only* as black, as some of the other multiracial folks I knew did when we were growing up. And, of course, the advanced vocabulary didn’t help either.

        Reading experiences like these convinces me even more that we need to find each other and find community.

        -Nicole

      • Yes, siddity is one of those old words favored by another generation of Black folks that means stuck up, and I was accused of being that more times than I can count. I also experienced jealousy from others and I never understood why. Everyone seemed to hate me, find fault with me, despise my very existence, yet they envied me. People are so confusing. I held myself aloof because I didn’t want to experience the pain that inevitably came with peer relationships. I continue to do so in the present as I still evoke these negative emotions in many ignorant people.

      • You know what’s funny: it’s often those who accuse someone else of being stuck up and arrogant that are most often suffering from the same affliction. 😉 In other words, a classic case of projection — and I believe fueled by envy as you pointed out.

        I seemed to encounter three kinds of people growing up: those who were hostile to me (and usually were the ones that either bullied me or accused me of a multiplicity of things, including arrogance, being stuck up, weird on purpose, etc.), those who tried to understand and reach out to me, and those who didn’t have an opinion one way or the other. I’ll admit that not much has changed except I find more people in the latter two categories in my life than the first, thank God. I’ve also sometimes found people confusing, especially if they act nice to your face, but as my fiance would put it, dig a pit behind your back. What’s funny is that I would rather these folks be hostile to my face so I can avoid them…but the hostility still distresses me.

      • Yes, Nicole, it is better to have people let you know to your face that they are hostile. Makes it much easier to avoid them. The hostility no longer bothers me as I came to the conclusion that they were the people with issues, not me. I suffered being called weird, selfish, rude, arrogant, blah, blah, blah, for many years of my young adult life. Not any more. I know who I am and I’m very happy to be me! ~vj

  3. Hello,
    My name is Suzanne. My 4 yr old daughter was diagnosed w/ ADHD and depression @ 4.
    In 1978 Aspergers was not on any book. I watched her be bullied and watched her self -esteem plummet for years. I hung out w/ her more than anyone yet I was a widow w/ not much time. I did notice @ 2 she showed exceptional spacial orientation skills. No talking. I gave her puzzle after puzzle. I would not put her on Ritalin. So, we suffered. Then @ 4 I had her in a private kindergarten. That yr the class had grown a mammoth sunflower. The child who came closest to guessing how many seeds it produced won the seeds. The slips of paper were collected. Most had 200, some had 50 written on them . My girls said 5, 114. They counted and she was exactly right. Freaked out everyone to the point the teachers ask me to ask her how she arrived at the exact amount. I found she had done complex geometry in her head. She had figured out the formula for volume on her own.
    To make a long and arduous tale short, I encouraged her intelligence to the point of her being a Junior in High School math when she was only 12. And when I say encouraged-it took very little. She couldn’t get enough problem solving. I knew at some point this girl/w no social skills would either be sleeping at home all her life or have to function within our society. I only suggested she start college at a small community college close by when she was 20. I thought the routine of college might appeal to her sense of need for structure. She became a Mathematics Ph.d and is in such a good routine that she hates to stop work for Holidays. Is now on meds. However, I have not told her that I suspect she has been a victim of Aspergers for her entire life. She is now being diagnosed for all kinds of depression, eating disorders,and she does become suicidal. I have heard many Aspergers children wait forever for a diagnoses.
    She is now 36, in a job she loves, has published 6 times and lectured all over the world at math symposiums ,worked w/ NASA for 2 years. She is improving with age! Her manners are coming back! I feel the last few times we’ve talked she’s been away a long time and is back from a place I could not follow. I cried just talking with her. She seemed so normal. I do, however , know better than to trust this time. I hope for improvment yet she could go backwards again so easily. She IS an exceptional math teacher. She amazes me w/ her condition.
    So, the question? is. Do I tell her there is finally a reason for all of her suffering. She is doing well and you know these kids. Do not rock their world.
    Suzanne Weinstein

    • Hello Suzanne:

      First of all, I have to compliment both you and your daughter — your daughter for her achievements, and you for being there to support here. Back in the day, there wasn’t a label for what I had, as you so well point out — I am 34, close to your daughter’s age, and Asperger’s wasn’t an official diagnosis until I graduated high school in 1994. My mother just assumed that some of my unusual traits — including lack of eye contact — was just par for the course of being a gifted child.

      Also, it is wonderful that your daughter has put these talents and abilities to work. If you’ve ever read any of Dr. Temple Grandin’s books, you might remember two important bits of information that she shares: 1) it is important to encourage an Autistic/Aperger’s special interest or talents, so that it becomes a useful skill and turns into a trade, and 2) people with autistic brains have one of three thinking styles — visual, pattern, or verbal logic. Pattern thinking is also called “math and music” thinking, and a good deal of musicians and mathematicians on the spectrum probably have this thinking style. My observation is that the same is true for your daughter.

      I’ve never had children, but I can understand what it is like to be concerned for a love one, watch them suffer, and watch them struggle through their difficulties without having a clear answer or way to help them. I can appreciate how you must feel — you hope and you pray for her well-being and happiness. So I can understand you struggling with the “do I tell her” question. But before I answer that, I’ll tell you a little bit about my own realisation about Asperger’s.

      I don’t know how much of this blog you’ve read, but to reprise, I suspected about a year ago (last February) that I was on the autism spectrum. This came after a friend of mine began considering that she might have Asperger’s, and when I read the list of autism/Aspie traits that she posted in a note on Facebook, I realised that a good two-thirds of them fit me. At first I dismissed mine as being a result of the physical/emotional/sexual abuse I endured growing up, and the resulting trauma. However, I thought twice and began exploring the possibility that I might have Asperger’s — and I’m glad I did. I looked at some of the traits I had that my mother documents from before the trauma began — early verbal abilities (some on the spectrum begin talking early and those children can be called “little professors” because their speech is unusually fluent and correct for their ages), lack of eye contact, extreme special interests, and so forth. I also remembered how I always felt out of place and different…social interactions were always a script to me, and I just *knew* at any moment that someone would figure out that I was faking it the whole time. I began writing to explore these feelings along with my research on women and Asperger’s syndrome, and along with the support of my fiance and my counselor, obtained an official diagnosis this past October.

      As I was exploring this, I concluded that being autistic or having Asperger’s was just a difference — that I wasn’t “broken” or any more “flawed” that anyone else on the planet is, just different. So this led to the idea of informed self-acceptance — accepting myself as I was, reveling in my strengths, but having my eyes open about the challenges that come with being autistic or having Asperger’s. I think self-acceptance has made my journey a great deal easier. So I don’t really look at myself as a victim of Asperger’s, nor a victim of anything (except perhaps childhood abuse, but I am working through that as well).

      Now, to your question. Your daughter is a very intelligent person, and I do understand your concern about rocking her world. However, I think it would be a good idea to at least share your concern with her, and if so, in person. Of course, you will have to choose your words carefully. If you chose to tell her, she must understand that this is simply a state of being — that this is a difference. The way I see it, the pain and suffering comes from being one way in a world that is another — that happens with *anyone* who is different.

      The tricky part will be the self-esteem issue, of course. As I’m sure you have done already, remind her of the victories and accomplishments she has already acheived. The way I see it, Asperger’s is a reason for her phenomenal gifts and talents.

      And do encourage her to lean on her support system — you, her counselors, and anyone else close to her that she can trust. As she processes this and figures this out, she will need all the support she can get. I know that receiving my diagnosis was a relief and helped me put my life — and myself — into perspective.

      My prayers are with you and your daughter. Please feel free to pass on my blog to her, and/or let me know what develops.

      Saludos,

      Nicole

    • As a woman of 39, I have faced many challenges in life. I had odd behaviors as a girl, such as picking my scalp and pinching & rolling the skin over my knuckles for a pleasurable pain response. I was always uncomfortable with girls in my classes and preferred the company of boys. I learned how to read and write before kindergarten and was accepted to a school for gifted kids at age 6. At 8, I decided to write a play about wizards and unicorns and was a published poet by age 9. I always had one female friend at a time to hang with outside of school but stayed home and read most of the time. I longed to be like the other girls but their social abilities were the only puzzles I could not manage to solve. I am told I look 10 years younger than my age and I have been able to somewhat fit in when I remember my manners and act ladylike. But I have always considered myself a woman with a man’s brain. And even though my quality of work is superior to my professional counterparts, I lag the pack in quantity, thus I am not well-admired by management. My younger brother is a low-functioning, non-verbal autistic. Even with all the autism resources at our disposal, no one in my family ever suspected I had Asperger’s because of the differences in the female manifestation of the “disorder”. It was only when I stumbled upon a website that listed these traits (specific to females w/ AS) two evenings ago that I recognized myself as having AS. I NEVER considered myself as anywhere on the spectrum but have been diagnosed w/ depression, ADD & OCD. These diagnoses never totally fit, and being a seeker of patterns I always suspected that there was an underlying neurotransmitter imbalance that could link it all together and connect the dots. (I am also a recovering opiate addict and suspect this, too, is related.)
      You don’t have to tell her. She is a bright woman. Just show her this list and let her decide for herself if she finds her biography written in these traits. Lead her, then let her take it from there. The sense of relief I feel far outweighs any surprise that I am autistic. My brain is wired uniquely and I think it makes me a very special lady; I no longer feel weird and different. I will be seeking a diagnosis because then I can request the things that can help me excel at work like a quiet work area, which I am not afforded at this time. Here is the link. I think it will do wonders for her to know she is not the only one of her kind; even though we are more precious and rare than diamonds. http://help4aspergers.com/pb/wp_a58d4f6a/wp_a58d4f6a.html

  4. My oldest daughter & I have concluded that as we age, the Asperger’s diminishes. It could be hormones, it could be the experience of living. Not that we are just like everyone else. We do hold ourselves back a bit, a bit reserved, perhaps because of the experience of rejection in our younger years. We are also political liberals. We identify with those who have little or no say in the management of their lives. We also have above average intellegence. We are able to look at the broader picture.

    Does the Asperger’s prevent our maturing at the normal rate? It doesn’t affect the physical maturing of the body, but as children we are too innocent, to ready to believe in anything someone might tell us. In today’s world, an autistic child is easier prey for molesters than “normal” children. So we parents have to be on guard and in cases where security is limited, we need to say no. We need to say no more than our parents and grandparents did. My autistic granddaughter whose daughter also suffers from autism believes that the schoolyard society”is harder on her daughter than it was for her. My great-granddaughter does have one thing going for her, and that is her ability to draw. It does impress the other kids.

    • HI Marian:

      Sorry I have been out of the discussion — real life issues have impacted my ability to respond to comments properly.

      I will say that as I got older, certain Aspergian tendencies decreased or were mitigated somehow. If you had seen me 20 years ago, you would have been probably able to better pick out that I was on the spectrum. I was 14 then, and would frequently “geek out” by talking extensively about my special interests (always outside the house and to those who were willing to listen — I *never* did this at home due to disapproval from my aunt); I was also less adept at reading facial expressions, tone of voice, and would tend to take people literally much more often.

      Also, I had a gait that was stiffer than usual. Part of that may have been due to the fact that I had Lyme disease at age ten, and I literally had to relearn how to walk. Some of that was due to Asperger’s, however. I had problems with coordination when I was younger and my mother has mentioned that I would run with one arm extended, hand in a fist, up until about age three or four. I suspect I did this to keep my balance, although my memory on that is a bit fuzzy.

      My brain works both like a camera and a databank. I have had to learn a lot about reading people throughout my lifetime, and all that information is stored in my “databank”. I have to literally remember the signs of how to tell is someone is lying, for example. Only recently has this turned into any sort of intuition, and sometimes I still get it wrong.

      -Nicole

  5. Namaste. After much research I have realized that all along I likely am undiagnosed Asperger’s. I am 44. I am blessed with twins who are a bit over three years old who both are clearly ASD and undergoing formal evals for DX. I very much would like to find a good support system online for adults with Asperger’s .. especially those with children within the ASD Spectrum.

    • Hi Elizabeth:

      Thank you for stopping by.

      I know that the focus of this blog was geared mostly for Aspergian adults, and not too much attention being paid to children on the spectrum. My rationale for this was that as I write, I am dealing with issues that affect me as an adult Aspergian woman right now. I’m childfree by choice, so I can’t really speak to any good support systems I’ve encountered for Aspie parents with ASD children. I will suggest that you give Autism Women’s Network a try (http://www.autismwomensnetwork.org/). I am a member myself and I do know that some of the membership are ASD adults with ASD children, so you might want to start there.

      Thank you again, and I wish you the best on your journey.

      -Nicole

  6. I stumbled upon this blog randomly, looking for anything to help bolster me in the effort to be a self-employed artist/entrepreneur. I was diagnosed with high functioning Autism at 32, last year, and it has been such a relief. I have struggled with trying to “fake” a “normal” career, trying to do things I was expected to do, and now as a mother things I need to do. Understanding Asperger’s and Autism and realizing how broad an impact it has had upon my family (I strongly suspect my mother, uncle and grandfather at the very least are/were undiagnosed aspies/auties) has helped me to embrace my “quirks”, try and find ways to anticipate and move away from my weaknesses and push my strengths as far as I can – and while it’s not easy I’ve never felt more alive.

    I can’t wait to read more of your blog.. and maybe get up the nerve to start my own! Thanks…

    • Hi Lisa:

      Thanks for stopping by. I am sorry it’s taken so long to respond to your comments, but I am snatching up some free time right now to do so. I’m a writer and poet myself, and also have the same desire to be a self-employed artist. I really do feel it is possible, but I think success partially depends on the mechanics of planning, finding your audience, and then selling your work to them. Right now, I do work a day job, but I eventually plan to go on my own as a freelance writer, some way, some how.

      I’ve also gone through processing my experience, understanding my quirks, and accepting myself in light of other family members on the spectrum. My late father showed strong Aspergian traits as well as one of my aunts and two of my half-sisters. I don’t have much connection with my father’s family, and even if I did, I am not sure I would feel comfortable with broaching the subject with them — not because I am ashamed of Asperger’s (I’m not), but due to concerns about the misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding autism itself. I don’t even know if anyone else in my family was ever diagnosed, so that adds a layer of complication.

      I’m glad that you are having success on your own journey of self-awareness and understanding. Please stop by anytime. Though the blog is officially on hiatus until September, I will be monitoring comments and maintaining the blog in general. Thank you again for stopping by WWA.

      Saludos,

      Nicole

    • HI Tess:

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you liked what you’ve seen so far and encourage you to stop by again to read more. Although WWA is officially on hiatus until September, I’ll be monitoring comments and perhaps posting now and again, so feel free to drop by.

      -Nicole

  7. I thought I had written that and no one responded.LOL-I checked today on an off chance and I am so happy to find you all did respond. Thank you so much.
    I too have noticed that at 36 she seems to be growing out of it. Her ability to feel gratitude is there finally! It’s like watching a 40 year old suddenly grow up? So, it is useful to know that others experience a lessening of symptoms as they grow older also. Thank you for telling me. What a relief for you two, also.
    As the child left alone on the playground you are right. These children are more easily fooled, and victimized by others. I was a hyper-vigilant mother. She came home for lunch everyday in Elementary school. I moved my business home when she was 12 and no longer young enough to leave in after school programs.
    I made plenty of mistakes out of misunderstanding what she had-I knew she had something going on- in those years they blamed the mother for everything! I was afraid to talk about it but always sent her to therapy from a child into adulthood. She goes now because she has told me she likes it so much. Self-reflection is such a good part of her life and it does help her cope. I will not tell her until we see each other this summer. Can anyone suggest any books that may help me broach this topic w/ her. A few years ago I wouldn’t have contemplated trying to inform her.Her last 2 years of stability have heartened me. She IS very bright. She has been published 6 times and worked w/ NASA. She would possiblably
    be more open to a book. It is best if the information does not come from me. If your a parent and have been and had the patience of a saint your easily invalidated with this girl.
    My intention was to raise an adult who could cope with this world-Being Sane in an Insane Society is No indication of Mental Health-Daniel Eggers. I lived by that and taught her to also I hope. I will check in more often. We all need a place to share and this world is NOT the most compassionate place right now. Once again, I thank you all for your input and would love to hear your experiences as parents and as children growing up with this condition.also. A good dialogue is important for this I believe. Suzanne Weinstein

    • Hi Suzanne:

      Thanks for stopping by again. I’d probably suggest either “Pretending to Be Normal” by Liane Holliday Willey (that’s the book I first read in my search to determine whether I had Asperger’s) or “Aspergirls” by Rudy Simone. The first book I can personally vouch for — one of its major strengths is that it’s an autobiography in which Holliday Willey talks about her life, how her Aspergian traits were present throughout her childhood, teen years, and young adulthood, and some of the difficulties she has encountered. She is now a parent of two daughters, one of which I believe also has Asperger’s, and she includes this experience in the book. The second — Aspergirls — I have not actually read but others I’ve encountered in the Aspie community recommend it highly for girls and young women who might be or are on the spectrum. Best wishes to you, and I hope everything works out.

      -Nicole

  8. Hi,
    Elizabeth, What does ASD stand for? Is it an dissociative disorder. I am not familiar with all the abbreviations yet. After years of reading I could be. New ones keep popping up & my research on this end ended about 11 years ago.
    I hear so much pain and still much joy and perseverance from you all. I viewed this condition as I would a bed wetters. Would I get angry at a child who wet her bed. Of course not. It would be cruel. I too think I cried as much as she did or more about her ” little friends” at elementary school. Kids are cruel…..We did meet a kind one however. Later-another day.
    Suzanne

  9. Hello anyone W/ ASD or researching it,
    The past few months have weighed on my Asp. daughter. She moved in w/ her BF. Then realized how much he drank. Unfortunately too much for her to be around. He had her served w/ eviction papers 2 weeks ago . It is the end of the college semester and she is struggling to grade all her papers. If she does not take her Aderol(sp?) it can take her all week to do this. If she takes it she will be done this week-end. Big difference. It took years to get her on the corrcet med’s..
    Then she has to hurry up and move. She is extremely stressed and I am fearful of how she will be able to handle all this. She does not confide in me. Well, yes, she did call about her BF’s alcoholism. That is improvement. 3 years ago she would not have told me she had made a mistake. She is a bit of a perfectionist. Her father was a musician. I am an artist. Oh my I’m thinking-she had no chance with us as parents. I need to stop feeling responsible for her ASD. I have suffered the guilt of her ” Being so different” for too long. She has made a good life for herself. I pray she can handle the nxt few weeks without a meltdown. Academia is no cake walk either. If she can handle sitting on 5 different college boards-My suggestion was to sit in on as many as she could handle for social skills w/ her peers in the present. My fingers are crossed for her.
    This is a heartbreaking dysfunction to watch for a parent. Although, she did not have drawing skills to impress the other kids she was smarter than the rest and used that for acceptance. She got none. One of her grade school “friends” got in touch with her a month ago. It was to ask her to write a recommendation for a job application. Her Ph.d looks impressive as a reference on any job application. This girl was one of the worst and most uncompassionate kids we dealt with. Refused to even let T. come to Birthday parties of classmates. Siting that she would not come if T. was even invited. She was a malicious kid, now asking for favor’s? Do those kid’s think she has forgotten. She has a memory like an elephant. I asked her if she was going to do it. Write the referral. When younger she tried so hard to please these nasty little beggars that she would do anything for them to be accepted. She told me ” No, let her go get her own degree. She was horrid to me.” I was so happy to hear her say that. No longer willing to waste her time trying to gain acceptance from the kids that she once took so much grief from. It sounds mean I know. If you knew what that particular child put her through when young you’d feel good about it too.
    I told her when she was a little girl-someday you will inherit the status and the geeks will rule. It seems to have happened! Suzanne/mother of an ASD adult.

    • Hi Suzanne:

      It sounds to me that your daughter had a similar experience that I did growing up. People would use me, and I’d have no clue that they were even doing it. Other schoolmates would make fun of me, and I’d have no clue as to what the meaning of what they said was until hours or even days later — and then I would feel stupid for not figuring it out sooner. I once had a cousin who informed me that people were making fun of me behind my back. On the one hand, I didn’t actually perceive that these individuals were doing this; but on the other, as I reflect I realize that part of the reason he said this was to add to my family’s pressure for me to “act normal” and so I have not only mixed feelings towards the information but I am also angry at him as well. And it’s been nearly twenty years.

      I’ve learned over the years, partially by trial and error and partially due to help from my fiance, how to understand when someone has impure intentions towards me: i.e. if they are seeking to use me, etc. I said earlier that partially, what I have learned goes into the “databank” in my brain and I pull up this information to help size up what’s going on, so maybe some of it is becoming intuitive — but sometimes I still get it wrong. And I will tell you also that I had a natural inclination to please, which I’ve been struggling to dispense with for the last several years and which has led to me repeatedly trying to help people who have hurt me, even to the point of my own detriment.

      I had a strong need for acceptance, and I am trying my best to GET RID of it. It sounds like your daughter is the same way. Kudos to her for resisting the predatory “friend”. Best wishes on hers and your Journey.

      -Nicole

  10. It never ends, does it! Problems are a part of today’s world and we try to help our kids deal with them as much as we can. Sometimes they ask for our help, sometimes they don’t. If they tell us what is going on with their lives, we can offer support and advice. But it is up to them if they take our advice. Also sometimes they don’t tell us the whole story. We are left to guess and it is easy to jump to the wrong conclusions. Yet to remain silent can give the impression that we can’t be bothered. If the kid comes to us in tears, we can offer comfort and consolation. But sometimes we need to let them know when we, too, are not sure of what to do. We can also let them know (even if not in the exact words) that whatever they do, we are there for them. That as long as we are around they can “Go home again.”

    • HI Marian:

      Thank you for stopping by. I am totally in agreement with your assessment. Each ASD adult must handle life and his/her struggles in his/her own way. I have never been a parent, and never will be, and I admit that I don’t have the benefit of that perspective — but I can understand how difficult it is to watch a loved one struggle. Your voice is always welcome here — the wisdom of an ASD parent is beneficial, I think.

      -Nicole

  11. Hi ,

    Thank you Marian for your in-put. As I feared w/ all the pressure my Asp. daughter is back to her old self. Not so great. I am so disappointed since the last couple of years she was seemingly much better. Mothers Day was the most painful day for me this year. No card. No phone call. Then a phone call on Monday. The morning after Mothers Day. She called to tell me she had flown in her GF from Seattle to party with in Charleston for the week-end. I was silent. Hurt. disillusioned and my heart felt like breaking in my chest. Informed me about what a wonderful time she had. We have not seen each other in 4 years now. I did not mention MD and either did she. She had read on FB that my older Chihuahua had had a heart attack. The vet asked me to put him on some meds and IF he pulled through he had a chance of living another 2 years, but the drugs would take 10 days to work. I was on the 5th day of nursing him back. When I told her she quickly said ” put him to sleep as fast as possible.” I was horrified at her lack of compassion. Why/ I don’t know-she is not a compassionate person . Not cruel either. Just doesn’t think like everyone else. Did not know that one never dictates a solution to a situation you have no knowledge about. Yet, there it was. She did not say a word about Mothers Day. I simply stated that it was probably not a good time for us to be talking and hung up.
    I suppose this does not end. She is now an adult who is still trying to ‘fake’ normality. She is a good actress most of the time. My friends dislike her . They hate to watch her treat me like a used tissue and she does at times. How much can I continue to forgive and be understanding about. I have to pull away
    for my own sanity and to heal my own wounds at times. We have not spoken since that week end in May.
    I am once again at a loss. Some of her hurtful behavior is directed right at me. We have had long periods of no communication in the past.. Two full years I could not even take a phone call from her. She will hurt me that badly. This is where I become confused. I feel I put 26 years of patience and love into this child and now that she is an adult we have very little to say when she is like this. I keep my mouth shut and just let her go. We are drifting apart from lack of communication and I cannot stop it. I do not know her anymore. She is my only child so I am left feeling so alone when this happens-it has happened quite a bit over the years since she left home. I keep telling myself it is her way to be like this. She does not understand the consequences of this behavior. I will leave her life to avoid any more pain. After 36 years I am tired. Tired and confused by her lack of interest in anything except herself.
    I wish I could be as patient and loving as I was when she was a child yet it has gone on too long for me to stick around and be wounded by the very person I have worked so hard for. Am I angry, Yes I am. I am more heartbroken than anything else however. As the years pass without her around I am pulling away also.
    Has anyone else gone through this with an Aspergers adult child. Everyone keeps telling me to forgive and remember her condition yet the pain she inflicts can make that so difficult for me. It is horrid having a daughter I do not like. I love her and will always be here for her. From a distance for now. This is a see-saw of emotion I cannot take as I age. I am disabled from Scleroderma myself. This makes me physically ill. Her behavior is too much at times for a disabled mother to take. I will get sick from this kind of interaction with her so I just go away. Leave her alone until I get an hysterical phone call about something, and yes, there will be one. It could be a few months or a few years. She cannot apologize. Never has and I do not expect her to this time either. Once again I am at a lost as to what to even begin to say. So, I say nothing and it is getting old. Most people do leave her after a while. I have fought so hard not to abandon this girl-and now I must. When will this end. Most likely after I am gone.
    Another heartbroken parent,
    Suzanne

    • Hi Suzanne:

      I must admit that your last comment presents some difficulty for me. Since this blog is primarily geared towards Aspergian adults — Aspergian females primarily — as its audience, I really do not know what to say in response that would be appropriate. Without knowing your daughter and the situation better, I am in no position to comment much about what you’ve said, and I do have my concerns about where this discussion thread could lead.

      There’s a saying in the autistic community: “if you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person.” Thus, I can only tell you about myself and my own life experiences, and the same is true for other Aspies who comment here. I know that I went through an extended period of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse as a teenager. Also, I experience alienation resulting from my father’s refusal to allow me to socialize with other children as well as the fact that we moved about six or seven times before I was twelve years old (we were only in each place for maybe a year or two — not enough time to really put down roots or make proper friendships). So, my experience as an Aspergian child, teenager, and then young woman will be quite markedly different from either your daughter’s or anyone else’s who visits this blog. Nevertheless, I blog to try to reach out and find these threads of commonality in the Aspergian universe that I firmly know and believe exist. And yet because of my past pain, I cannot be objective when it comes to your daughter and your experiences…especially because I have exhibited the same behavior. Additionally, any other relationship complexities between you two may add to the situation — she may have her reasons for communicating with you or nor communicating with you, as you do with hers.

      Also, you have to ask yourself about outside influence. How much have your friends influenced you about how you see your daughter? I feel this is a valid question because I pull from my own experience growing up — my aunt attempted to poison my mother’s view of me and then at the same time poison my viewpoint of her. This was the same aunt who physically, mentally, and emotionally abused me and who had her own jealousy issues because she really wanted a daughter and she ended up with two sons instead (i.e. she basically “took over” and tried to raise me herself). I don’t know much about your friends, but they could have their own viewpoints and prejudices. It’s just a thought.

      You are right that your daughter’s stress may have caused her recent behavior, but beyond that I’m not sure what else to say. I know stress has affected my ability to relate, interact socially according to the current paradigm, and others. Also, I know stress affects my ability to show empathy — when I am overwhelmed unfortunately I tend to cut off both emotional external stimuli as well as my own feelings. I know this presents difficulty for those around me that love me, but at the same time I understand that it’s probably a maladaptive mechanism and that I could cope with things better. At the same time, I am also trying not to allow myself to feel guilt or to judge myself too harshly — that would only complicate matters and undo all the work I’ve done for myself already. In other words, guilt gets in the way of learning. But that has been my experience. She needs to decide what her goals and priorities are, and ultimately, these decisions are her own.

      In closing, the best things I can recommend for you at this point are a) you need to make a decision about your involvement with your daughter’s life, b) if you do not already see a counselor, I’d strongly recommend finding one (this person should serve as an impartial third party and may help you put your daughter’s behavior into perspective — I’d recommend someone who has some experience with autism and autistic adults), and c) I would strongly suggest finding a support group/online community/etc. for parents of ASD children. Unfortunately, this blog is mostly targeted to ASD adults and so I really feel that you would be better served by a different venue or forum. However, you are still free to come back and comment any time as long as you are cognizant of this blog’s audience.

      I can only wish the best for you and your daughter and hope that it all works out, whatever that may mean for each of you.

      -Nicole

    • Suzanne …. your daughter needs your empathy, understanding, acceptance and unconditional love, period! As you rightly pointed out, your ASD daughter has been abandoned, over and over again …. and now you want to join that club? Many (most) ASD people feel unloved and unwanted, even by their own kin. Maybe what they feel is correct. Maybe a child is better off without a mother who cannot (or will not) accept them. A mother, on the other hand, can never be better off without her children, no matter what their condition.

      • Hello Linda:

        I think you vocalized well what I and probably a lot of others who visited this page and read Suzanne’s last comment must be thinking. I must admit, I attempted to respond more diplomatically at the time. I will say, though, that you are correct…many of us in that position do need empathy, understanding, love, and acceptance. I can certainly relate to the abandonment, as I’ve experienced that in my own life. That is why I had trouble responding.

        I also had trouble responding because in the end, WWA is a place for and is geared towards adults, especially adult women, on the spectrum. While I have not up until this point excluded NT’s and NT parents, what I do basically ask for is mutual respect of viewpoints along with an understanding of who this blog and space is for. We have difficulty trying to understand ourselves and figure out our places in this world (to quote Michael W. Smith), and what that post reminded me of is the expectations that NT parents and relatives sometimes place on us…which was very troubling. In the end, we have to blaze our own paths but I would encourage any NT parent to, as Marian put it, be there to help and support when needed to asked for.

        I recognise that NT parents of ASD offspring may have their own issues and difficulties, but truthfully, WWA is not the place to discuss these issues. This blog, again, is geared towards individuals on the spectrum, especially adults and most especially adult women. I would encourage any NT parents of ASD offspring with such issues to seek out other areas of support. Coming here and airing these issues will only make it seem to some, if not many of the readers, that we are being asked to feel guilty for being what we are….and that would certainly be contrary to one of the whole purposes of WWA and spaces like it, which is to support neurodiversity and self-acceptance by autistic individuals.

        Linda, thank you again for adding to the discussion.

        Cheers,

        Nicole

  12. Hi. I picked up an aspie book at Borders a few days ago. I fit so many of the physical description and the extra description for women is right on. I’m 35not and was diagnosed with ADD at age 7. Prescribed Ritalin. Along with a few other things till I was 9. I was in and out of counselors offices and had a brain scan done. Above average intelligence and normal physical. They didn’t know why I did so bad in school. Or had soo many habits. Pacing and swaying I still have. I mimic all the time. I’m not even aware of it most of the time
    I used to say there is something wrong with me. When I’m confident nothing is too big. But one hurtful word can cause me to hide. Then I second guess all the time. I will have multiple scenarios of how a conversation can go. I have great instincts but when i get criticism on them I argue then I get told I’m wrong for defending myself. That leads to another conversation to add. So I allways thought I was just nuts. But just knowing there are others that think and feel the same is wonderful. As to why more women are still not vocal about it I I have a great theory. We are placed in boxes and lables. When we don’t fit the description the labelers get pissed and hurtful. I tried to share some of what I learned about myself and that was the reaction. I forgot to mention I’m in the Navy with mostly male coworkers. I have survived for 13the years. I have never fit in. But I craved structure. Boy did I pick the wrong job. Lol. But I never look at myself as a victim. I am my own savior. As I believe we all are. Anyway thanks for listening. Apologies for any repeats.
    Michelle

    • Hello Michelle:

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I’m sorry I didn’t respond sooner — RL has kept me very busy for the last couple of months.

      Anyhow, thank you also for sharing your story. I’m not surprised that you were misdiagnosed with ADD. I’m also 35 and I know that 1) Asperger’s was not an official diagnosis until 1994, the year I graduated high school, and 2) even back then, the public perception was that autism spectrum disorders were conditions that mostly affected males. This perception is slowly changing, but we have a long way to go. As for me, I did pretty well in school insofar as academics are concerned. As for my strange behavior, until I was 12 my mother simply just thought it was par for the course of having a gifted child. I didn’t stim much, but I had trouble understanding and relating to other children — I was always either the weird loner or the nerd that everyone picked on. Believe me, I saw my share of school counselors, psychiatrists, etc.

      I can also relate to what you say about being hurt easily, second guessing, trying to psych things out, and so forth. I know it is a great thing to find out that one is not alone in what one feels and experiences. I think the Internet has provided a great opportunity for more of us to find each other and understand who and what we are.

      You have an interesting point of view as to why many of us don’t speak more about it. Unfortunately, it is within human nature to try to label people, and I think also to fear what is different…so that fear/paranoia/etc. by others causes them to target whoever is different…so the perceived idea is to “fit in” for group acceptance…safety in number and all that stuff. Problem is, there is a tension between our true selves and what the larger group would like or expect us to be, and in hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution since we were created and became sentient beings nothing much has changed. I do consider myself fortunate that I’ve mostly had a positive reaction to “coming out Aspie” — either that or I find myself explaining what it is. But it is my sincere hope that things do change and that there will be greater understanding and acceptance.

      You also raise an interesting point of not looking at yourself as a victim. I fight that mentality a great deal within myself. Yes, there were times in my life I was victimised….but that was then, and this is now. Yes, maybe we are a bit more vulnerable and yes, more likely to be targets of bullying/etc. I have found in my life that with a good support system and a willingness to learn and use one’s free will to determine what one will stand and not stand for, the battle is a little less difficulty.

      Best wishes to you, Michelle.

      -Nicole

  13. Suzanne,
    If u read this I can tell u the best advice ever. Sinceto I have been in similar situations. All you need or can be expected to do for your daughter is accept her, love her and be truthful. She has her own path to experiance.
    Michelle

  14. Hi.
    Thank you for replying. Since I wrote that I have seen and read more positive and negative opinions on Aspie’s. What concerns me most is the relentless need for control by others to have over others. And “normal” people wanting to take this way of thinking and assume it is only negative. To make “war” on it. Saying it is a disease or something to be “cured/fixed/eradicated” Making that an excuse to DNA profile children with the intent to find the genetic code and remove it. Will only lead to taking away more constitutional rights and liberties. The result we will get separated and victimized the government will say the age old “what if”, no fact, and allow it. I know I’m being powerfully passionate about this but Germany and other non democracy countries have done this before. Always with disastrous results. So my goal is to become a psychologist specializing child development. And AS/Autism. For the positive more parents are looking to a more loving and less polluted life style. As more Aspie’s are being born the socializing is getting easier for them. Which will help them to not go through as much as we went through. This is great. Also there is less autistic ways to display. So they are still different and free thinking but more tell tale characteristics are phasing out more. Anyway this is a great blog and hope to continue trading stories.

    • Hi Michelle:

      Thank you again for stopping by, and your compliment. 🙂

      Your mention of the idea of “curing” or “eradicating” brings to mind something that another Aspie shared with me about a month ago. In a presentation he made at his church, he pointed out that Dr. Hans Asperger had begun doing his research due to the threat that the Nazi regime posed to people like the boys he studied with their eugenics ideas and practices. He thought that he saw some valuable strengths in these young boys and did not want them — or people like them — to be sterilized and killed in the Nazi’s quest to purge supposed genetic imperfects and to produce a “pure Arayan race”. And as you point out, this kind of thinking is neither new nor confined to Germany — some careful research will reveal the existence of eugenics programs in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And you are correct — the results are always disastrous.

      I keep making parallels between the Aspie/Autie community and the mutants of the X-Men universe for several reasons: a) the fear of what is “difference”, b) the threat of curtailing or removing civil liberties, and c) the calls for a “cure”. Also, in both cases, the supposed “flaw” reveals unique strengths and gifts which are beneficial to mankind.

      I pray that you realise your goal. We need more people who are willing to help…whether we can only blog about experiences, or whether they choose to pursue a career in relevant fields as you are doing, whether they chose to be “out” and communicate the positive side of Asperger’s and autism, or promote tolerance, or fight to end bullying…you get the picture. I certainly look forward to seeing you here again.

      -Nicole

  15. Hi! Thanks so much for updating my blogroll link to your new site, I appreciate it! AND, You made me realize that maybe people really do come across my blog sometimes. I should probably start writing on it again. Thanks so much for writing, please keep it up. I enjoy it, appreciate it, and look for hope in every corner. 🙂

    • Hello Daleth:

      You’re welcome. I had actually seen your site come up as a referrer in my stats and I’m trying to play catch up to let everyone know who linked to me about this. That’s the wonderful thing about the Interwebs — the interconnection.

      See you soon,

      Nicole

  16. Hello,
    I think what you are doing is amazing!!!
    I’m glad that you are helping people!!!

    Is it common with AS to not be able to talk with the opposite sex (sorry I’m female)? I can’t even talk to my lecturers properly – its really annoying!! I can’t look at boys either. Girls – I have no problem with – older men in their 50s – no problem!! Or little boys under the age of 15 anything I between just unnerves me!!!

    Good luck with everything!!!

  17. Dear Nicole,

    I have been reading your website blog often and also often look at your facebook site. It is such amazing work you do. I agree to little is known about women with the syndrome and that more can be done to help these women know that they are not alone.

    I am a student, and for my doctoral research I look at women with AS who received the diagnosis in adulthood. Specifically what impact it has had on their romantic relationships. Do you perhaps have any ideas or thoughts on the matter?

    Hope to hear from you.

    Lizzie

    • Lizzie, i can tell you this- aspies are best suited to other aspies. From my personal; experiences I can tell you that typical guys usually lose interest before long. They know something’s wrong but they dont know what. I’ve been asked if I’m half-retarded, and told that I’m child-like. One guy told me I’m not enough for him and yet another told me I’ll never be able to please any man. “Boyfriends” I’ve had tend to come over for sex without actually spending any quality time with me. It’s not pretty, but you asked!

  18. Hi Nicole

    I have been searching for you – I visit your poetry site, hoping to get some directions. Then today, I found it. Hooray!! (As you know, I am a disaster at finding things on the computer-)I missed the personal touch that you include in your informative postings. It is so nice to know that you are here & I can find you again.

    The problems I have now, the hesitation, the uncertainty, are probably due more to old age and illness than to the Asperbergers. I also prefer not to be around people except those I am already close to , like my children & grandchildren. That could be a remnant of Asperegers. But it is not important. I am constantly shocked at the mess our country & the worlds have sunk into. But hard times in the past have been overcome. I feel sorry for the young people trying to establish themselves. I try to help my grand kids whenever I can.

  19. I recently at age 63 understood I am Asperger’s. I live in a foreign country for the moment and have no access to any kind of professional diagnosis. However, I have a long history behind me of working with psychologists and even once a psychiatrist to try to discover cause and deal with my challenges, particularly the anxiety. Not one ever hinted or even thought to look into this. I met an Aspie who was quite open and as I explored this, all the chaotic puzzle pieces clicked into place. I have no doubts, and I am relieved, comforted and empowered by this understanding. In my generation there was no understanding of Asperger’s. My 10 year old grandson we have now, through my own discovery, understood is an Aspie, and now we can really help him. As his Aspie Grammy, I will be able to save him from so much suffering. Glad to find your site.

    About me, I have 2 degrees, am a typical loner nerd, though I love people..they are just too hard and confusing for me. I am happy with my laptop, the latest science discoveried to ponder, some math to play with, and my spiritual pursuits.

    I am curious…I have a physical syndrome that has been impossible to diagnose. I wonder if other Asperger’s have physical problems too. I have hidden spinal formation anomalies, a faulty heart chamber, a malformed liver and problems with muscle weakness.

  20. Wow! Was researching Asperger’s sites and ran into this site. My Daughter has struggled for years and we had no clue what to do Doctors came up with nothing. Recently someone at church and my neighbor mentioned Aspergers and I started researching and it sounded so much like her so on May 4th. and 16th. she is heading to Cincinnati to a Dr. Sullivan in hopes of a diagnoses. She’s 33 years old if she is diagnosed I will refer her to your site. Thanks such an enlighting site. Denise

    • Hello Denise:

      Thank you for stopping by. Please forgive my lateness in responding to your comment — we’ve had a recent death in the family and life has been sort of crazy.

      I noticed that your daughter would have been to said specialist in Cincinnati earlier this month. I hope those visits worked out well for her. I’m only a couple of years older than her, so I’m not surprised to see someone of that age being diagnosed a little later in life. Asperger’s didn’t become an official diagnosis until 1994, which is the year I graduated high school, so I had no clue about it except through limited blurbs here and there in the media…which primarily focused on boys and men. So, I’m glad that you found someone that works with adults, especially adult women, on the spectrum. I’m also curious to know if you have any more information or would be willing to share more info about Dr. Sullivan, as at some point I would like to compile a list of specialists who diagnose adults on the spectrum (especially adult women), beginning with Ohio.

      I’m glad that you found the blog enlightening. I hope your daughter found the answers she needed, and best wishes to her, you, and your family.

      -Nicole

  21. Thank you for this post! In trying to relate better to a man I’m interested in I read a lot about Aspergers- see my dad probably had it…now think I do too. Did a very extensive online quiz just for the hell of it- OMG- scored 173/200 leaning toward Aspie. Gonna go for formal diagnosis -I should’ve realized it- I always felt like from another planet- who knew one could discover themselves thru someone else?

  22. Hi, I am glad I found this blog. I am 52 years old with aspergers and have struggled with employment and self employment in the accounting field for years.

  23. Hi Nicole,
    I have a son who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s as an adult. It is now becoming apparent that another female member of my family may have it as well. She is having difficulty with the social aspects of her job. She is very good at producing her work, but is gravely lacking in “getting” the social nuances. Unfortunately, the family business she works for has been bought by a larger corporation and she has been perceived as an obstacle and not a team player. The comments that corporate management is making leads me to think she may lose her job soon. She doesn’t see that the talks they are having with her are giving her are not good. She doesn’t get it. Is there anything I could say to help or do I just be there for her when it all falls apart? Her husband has tried to talk to her about it, but she thinks everyone is wrong. She has really isolated herself. I would appreciate any insights from you.
    Thanks,
    Cathy M

  24. My wife is a (very) high functioning Asperger’s. Three degrees, MAs, couple of PhDs. Courses that should take two years done in a matter of months, but all properly done. No corners cut. Sometimes she is a genius (MENSA member) other times it is like dealing with a naughty little girl. Sometimes I am her lover, other times, her parent. I love her very much, been together since 1989, but it can be a bit of a strain on me, sometimes.

  25. Hi Matt, your wife is blessed. I would recognize her I think. I too am high functioning, have 2 degrees, Magna Cum Laude, and I belong to Mensa with an IQ in the 99th percentile. My husband and 3 of my children gave up on me and walked away, because I am “too emotional.” I tried so very very hard to lay low and keep it in, but it never works in the close quarters of family. I live with relentless high levels of anxiety and hypersensitivity. Small things hurt so badly I can get physically sick from a slight or an argument, and no matter how hard I try to mask it, I am experienced as a melancholy person. Actually I have great bursts of joy and creativity, but they are fragile.

    The loss of the love of my family was and is devastating,nearly impossible to live with. I am mostly a loner, and rarely find anyone who can be around my intensity for very long. So I hermit a lot, and try very hard not to talk, out of self protection, and to avoid the recurring pain of rejection. Life is exhausting for me as an Aspie. I think your wife is very blessed to have been able to inspire and retain your love. Most of us I think, experience not being liked. Neither my mother nor my father liked me, and made no attempt to hide it. So having someone’s ongoing love would be heaven! I just live alone. It’s very hard.

    • Carolynblake,
      I find your words so saddening, so reflective of our defects as supposedly compassionate beings. I try to be understanding to those that upset me, or act in ways I find ‘inappropriate’… I fail sometimes. When I read your story, it reminds me of how incredibly important it is to remain open and loving to others, and for me to give selflessly to those around me what I would want for society to give my daughter (HF Autism). Thank you for sharing, I hope that you stumble upon a group of people that can accept you and love you for the person you are. Many hugs, Daleth.

      • Hi Daleth, I had lost the link to this site until now, so that is why it has been nearly a year since I posted. Thank you for your kind reply. Since then I took on the huge task of getting into teaching conversational English here in my home away from the US, a small town in eastern Romania. Romanians are very different from Americans and I find having the status of a foreigner who is naturally expected to be mysterious and strange, plus the buffer of coping with language challenges, has put an airlock between me and them that is proving to be very comfortable and workable. I don’t feel so alone now, but I stay away from Americans here because the association is naturally too close for comfort for me. The Romanian social dynamics are much more driven by politeness and rituals of respect, plus the children I teach automatically look up to me and respect me because I am teacher and the “doamna,” or the elder woman, so I have found a niche that is not so scary. Thank you for making the choice to be a loving and patient person., Many hugs back,
        Carolyn

  26. Read all through your blog history and it’s helped me so much, for all my life (I am 53) I’ve felt that I am odd and outside society. Reading all your posts makes me think that I too am a woman with Asberger’s.It explains so much of my obsessions, behaviour, depressions and more.

  27. Hello!

    I’m a female Aspie myself, I’ve been diagnosed and treated since the age of 30 months. Initially, I was mute. The doctors were fully convinced that I’d be nonverbal for the rest of my life.

    They wanted me on medication, but my mother refused.

    I started talking at 5, and everything seemed to fall into place from there. Even though childhood was lonely and middle school was hell on earth, I’m glad I wasn’t put on medication.

    High school got me in gear, and I wound up 66th in my class with a 4.06 GPA and an 1840 SAT score to get me to my next destination.

    Now, I’m 18, entering a private college with most of it paid off and I may be able to get my BS in Biochemistry in three years!

    Remember- early detection is key! Once you know what you’re working with, then use some elbow grease to fix it.

    Social cues are still abstract concepts to me, but you live and you learn, I suppose.

    Best of luck to you all in your ventures!

  28. Hello Nicole,

    A few weeks ago I met a girl on the bus. I’d seen her quite a few times on the bus, but had never talked to her. To be honest I thought she seemed very strange, due to her sense of fashion(she wears a grey golf cap, and a greyish coat).

    But I ended up talking to her and I became very fascinated with her. She is a researcher in mechatronics, speaks 3 languages, is a talented piano player, and is writing/illustrating comics. She goes on very long rants mainly about the different topics she’s interested in which I really enjoy because I like a lot of the same things she does, and am a better listener then talker.

    She seemed really happy to talk with me and very excited on a few different occasions after our initial conversation. I left on a trip and found myself really looking forward to seeing her again. So when I got back I text messaged her asking her if she wanted to get something to eat after work. She said that would be great.

    She ended up having to do extra work later that night so we just went for coffee, which went well. Though I did find her to be extremely socially awkward.

    I didn’t see her on the bus for 2 days after that so I text her and jokingly asking if I had scared her out of taking the 8:15 bus. She said it wasn’t that but that she needed more sleep so she took a bus that was faster but required her to walk 10-15 minutes, to get more sleep. She then said if I wanted to talk to her we could go out to dinner.

    Anyways that was today and we went out for Thai food and saw a movie. When we were eating she told me she had Aspergers and ADHD. Which she then tried to explain to me as I had no idea what Aspergers was.

    I felt like from her excitement in talking to me, her being the one to ask me out that night, and just her general body language that she really liked me. So I put my arm around her during the movie… she said it made her feel uncomfortable so I removed my arm. But I felt a bit confused as I really thought she was attracted to me in that way. Also during the movie there were 2 ‘partial’ sex scenes. During both she made strange grunting noises. I wasn’t sure if she was aroused or disgusted. At the end of the night I really would have liked to kiss her but I felt it wasn’t the right time. So we hugged which she said she likes hugs and said she wanted to hang out again.

    I’m left feeling confused and have a few questions.

    Does she realize I’m interested in her? Does she like me… as more then a friend?

    If she does like me does her feeling uncomfortable with my arm around her and grunting during the sex scenes indicate that she has a problem with the idea of intimacy(not necessarily just sex but touching in general)?

    I guess in the end it doesn’t matter as I enjoyed hanging out with her and think she’s an awesome person. I’m just really falling for her but I’m unsure if she even considered us going out a date…

    • Hello Philip:

      I am terribly sorry I have taken so long to reply to you. I have been going back through my comments over the last couple of weeks and had time to reread yours, and I have a couple of thoughts.

      My first thought is that she may not yet be comfortable with romantic gestures as a whole, such as the arm around her at the theater. As I’m sure you’re already aware (being a gentleman as you sound from your comment), she will need to move at her own pace in terms of the interpersonal between you. She may not have an issue with intimacy but she may need to move at a slower pace which may be more comfortable for her. I can’t speak for her, but I do think she may possibly be looking for more depth first, as a friend, before she feels comfortable pursuing anything else.

      I’m sure you’ve already been talking to her more in the time between your post and this comment. My suggestion is to continue talking to her, continue getting to know her. After a while, I think it would be appropriate to ask her what her feelings about you are. And in terms of your feelings about her — just be honest and be direct — if she is as how you describe, she will likely want you to be honest and tell you rather than her trying to guess herself, since reading other people socially will probably not be one of her strengths.

      -Nicole

  29. I love your banner. Is it possible to have a larger copy of the photos if you have them available so I can re-post them please? Anne

  30. I think i am an aspie. Not sure yet. Without insurance it is hard to find out. Also my age is against me. 54 is a bit late to be diagnosed? Been diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar….and not until my 40’s. Females “present” differently also, so i read that and found more simularities once i did. It explains so so much in my life….like it was the missing piece. Still stunned tho abt it all.

    • I found out at age 63. It was one of the most helpful things that ever happened to me. All of the puzzle pieces of my life came together for me. It has made everything doable It’s never too late to benefit from it. You can read enough to make the deterimination yourself. You know yourself better than anyone can by seeing you for a few hours.

    • Hello Jeri: I’m sorry for the delay in my response. I would say 54 is definitely not too late to be diagnosed, but it is key to find a professional in your area that works with autistic adults, and especially females. This may be easier said that done — I am in central Ohio and was fortunate to find a practitioner who has worked with both autistic adults and autistic females.

      Even when I self-dx’d, it was revelation to me, and a helpful one. When my college friend posted the list of Asperger traits, at first I dismissed some of the similarities to my own behavior, but it was that mental “second glance” that made me consider the possibility I was an Aspie. I’m glad I gave it the mental “second glance”, as once I accepted even the possibility I was an Aspie I began to understand a good deal more about my life, my childhood, and my behaviors in the present. I would say that until you are able to pursue an official dx, keep reading about Asperger’s, keep researching, and keep pursuing your answers. I wish you the best in your journey of self-discovery.

      -Nicole

    • Jeri, I’m 57 and working hard to find someone competent enough to diagnose me. I was told, by a psychologist who wasn’t listening to me, that I’m schizoid and have PTSD. I stopped going to this quack when he told me to go on a date. This, after I told him that I think I have Asperger’s. Obviously, he knew nothing about the social communication problems people with AS have. I’ve never been able to read men, and I certainly wasn’t going on a date with anyone I don’t know.

      It is difficult to find assistance without insurance, but keep trying. Contact your state’s mental health agency to ask for referrals. There may also be help available from universities in the area that train psychologists, or medical schools. Many of them focus on children, but sometimes they can refer you to practitioners who work with adults.

      ~vj

  31. I am SPEECHLESS!!!! I “happened onto this site 3days ago & have only slept around8 hours since then!! I am STILL in shock…MY ENTIRE LIFE is unfolding 24/7 I just “sit” & think & everything, I DO mean EVERYTHING …the last 43 years is like a puzzle piecing together, piece by piece, I could NOT cope/deal with ALL of this at once, for there are some disturbing issues, just as most everyone has, some “realizations” I always knew there were skeletons as such, not a big deal…its actually OTHER things I’m having diffulty with, not blatant abuse sexually, u would think that would just be horrifying for most humans, but, WE ARE ASPIES, I AM anyway, It’s the “other” stuff that is blowing me out of the water! “They ” say WE have a lack of empathy?!?! WHO? BUT WHO LISTENED TO US?!!!!!When we tried to tell someone….ANYONE !! hey, there is somthing “just not right about me” “I”m “different” than EVERYONE”, from the age of THREE YEARS OLD!!!!They laughed at us!!! THey said we were just trying to get attention!!! we talk too much! “we are not “suppose to say things like that” “it’s not “proper” we would embarrass the family, PLEASE cant you be QUIET?!!!!!! I AM BUSY!!!!! Go PLAY OUTSIDE!!! I DONT HAVE TIME CANT YOU SEE IM BUSY?!!!!WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!!!OH JUST STOOOOPIT!!!!!! GO ON!!!!
    Yes, I am SOOOO happy to have found ALL of you;)

    • Carey: I am so sorry I haven’t responded sooner. I’m sitting here and reading your post and remember that some of the same stuff was said to me, especially the part about embarrassing the family, trying to get attention, etc. I was about six when I started to figure out that I was different, because that is when I started interacting with other children. I didn’t encounter the dysfunction, the nasty remarks, the abuse and the pain until I was in my teens, but it was still just as damaging. And indeed it is a sad irony that we’re accused of not having empathy and yet we find a lack of empathy insofar as others towards us, and it’s even sadder when it’s your own family.

      Bravo to you for having survived thus far. Sometimes when the answers and realizations of the truth come into our minds, whilst everything seems to click into place along with them comes the pain. I’m still dealing with some myself. Thankfully, nothing lasts forever, and I’m convinced neither will this pain.

      I’m sure a lot of us who read WWA and blogs like it have similar stories. I’m glad that you found the blog and hope to see you here again.

      -Nicole

  32. Hi Phillip
    I wish one of my grand-daughters rode that bus with you! You sound like a real gentleman. The girl is probably wondering about you. Prob ably she is wondering “Does he like me?” If you do, then try to do stuff together. Let her know she can trust you. She might have been taken advantage of before & so is guarded. Follow her action, her facial expressions – you know what to do! Good luck

    !!

  33. Like many others here, I was pretty shocked to stumble upon this site and find others whose experiences mirror my own, since I have never met any such person to my knowledge.

    As far as my diagnosis: my experience may differ a tiny bit from most—I am a first generation American woman of color, and from a cultural background that regards psychiatry/mental illness with contempt, to put it lightly. I did not have access to mental health professionals until graduate school when I was officially diagnosed. This was the case even though many teachers and school counselors along the way strongly urged my parents to have me tested for things ranging from ADHD to Bipolar disorder. One guidance counselor told my parents “we have classes for intellectually gifted children and classes for emotionally disturbed children, but we don’t have classes for students with both– so I am not sure how we can best accomodate her.”

    My entire life I had been labeled by family and educators (there were no friends to speak of, other than my German Shepherd, who seemed to understand me a hell of a lot more than any human being) as “strange”, “rude”, “selfish”, “cold”, and “detached”, among other things. Unfortunately, the combination of internalizing negative messages from others, the inability to properly read body language/tone of voice, a slew of negative social experiences and growing up in a dysfunctional family culminated into one hell of an anxiety disorder and eventually a suicide attempt. It’s been about four years since that incredibly dark time.

    It has only been in the last two years, through my first foray into therapy, that I have begun to realize I am not a selfish, evil person with no real personality (as my family still loves to assert). I have even begun a romantic relationship, though I find it incredibly difficult sometimes.

    I will quit blathering on and explore this site some more. I just wanted to introduce myself and say I am so glad to have found this blog.

    • Hello Pearle: I am so sorry I have not responded sooner — I am behind in replying to comments. Thank you for stopping by and introducing yourself.

      Pearle, I hear you about the issue with contempt of mental health/psychiatric issues within one’s cultural background. I have encountered this kind of belief before — let’s just say that in my family of origin, if you spent anytime in a facility or seeing a mental health counseling, it was looked upon as a sign that you were “crazy” and “untrustworthy”. I have had my own experiences with being considered both gifted and disturbed: as a teenager I was labelled as “backwards” and “weird” and was accused of acting out or acting abnormal on purpose to get attention. I, too, internalised those messages — mostly that I was a “weirdo” and a “misfit” and it has taken me a long time to stop believing that nonsense about myself and help from my counselor and my fiance. Believe me, I know how tough it can be.

      I don’t have contact with that part of my family anymore — some of them are dead and I don’t speak to the rest — so thankfully, I have been able to get away from their attitudes. But, it is difficult when their negative language still repeats in your head. Slowly, I find that the chatter and rhetoric are going away. Remembering how it was and is for me, I am glad that you have been able to find therapy in order to heal. Bravo to you for surviving, and best of wishes for your healing.

      I hope to see you stop by again. Welcome. 🙂

  34. Your blog, and the comments, come as a great support for me. I’m nearing 60, have an adult son with AS, and believe I, too, am neurodifferent. I’ve always thought of myself as eccentric and was supported in that notion by my equally eccentric mom! After struggling with my son, watching his father struggle and flounder for 26 years, and doing copious reading on the subject, I am now seeking a diagnosis for myself because if it is true that AS is who I am, it would explain a lot about how I’ve lived my life all these years. Thank you, and thanks to those who have commented here. You’re my inspiration today!

    • Hello Nessa:

      Thank you for stopping by, and I’m glad that I could provide some inspiration. I’m finding that many of us over 35 are either not yet diagnosed or at all. I was 34 when I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. The upside was finally knowing why I was different, and I could look back on my life and understand why I did certain things and why certain events happened in my life. It is a journey of both discovery and adjustment.

      I was fortunate enough to find a professional who works with autistic adults in my area after a few phones calls. Central Ohio is home to the OSU Nisonger Center which specializing in studying autism spectrum conditions as well as working with ASD people, although these days their clinic treats children. The professional who diagnosed me was trained at the Nisonger Center.

      Good luck with obtaining your own answers. Hopefully I’ll see you here again.

      -Nicole

  35. HELP! I have a 32 year old female fried just diagnosed at OSU. Looking for a group to meet with in Ohio. Can you assist in finding? She has been struggling. Many thanks. Rogers

    • Hello Rogers:

      First of all, best wishes to your friend on her journey of discovery. She has a world of both challenges and learning ahead of her.

      I am not sure of what groups are available in Central Ohio but I can make some recommendations as to who she might call to find out. A quick Google search found one group, an Asperger’s support group that meets at Summit Academy. Their address is 1855 E. Dublin-Granville Rd, Columbus, OH 43229. For more information, contact Lara Brancato at lbrancato@wideopenwest.com. (This information was from http://www.wcmhblogs.com/autism/community_support)

      If that doesn’t work out for her, she may want to try calling OCALI (Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence) or the Nisonger Center oat OSU. OCALI has an autism center (http://www.ocali.org/center/autism) and may be able to point her to resources and groups for adults. The Nisonger Center has an autism clinic (http://nisonger.osu.edu/) and while they mostly focus on children, they may have information and resources for adults as well. Alternately, the Autism Society of Central Ohio (http://www.autismcentralohio.org/about) may have some information about groups in Columbus.

      I hope this information helps. Please let me know if she was able to find what she needs.

      -Nicole

  36. HI!
    I’m Suma
    I Just Turned 35 And I Found The Aricle About Aspbeger’s Since 2010
    I Wasn’t Born With The Problem But, When I was less than 3 i was aphaseck and that was something that my mother wasn’t aware of but, they told her i couldn’t do anything like tying my shoes, writing my name or let alone graduate high school.

    But, when i was 17 i did in fact succeed in graduating with a diploma in 1995.

    At 20 i experenced my relationship for the first time while gaining independence Skills At The Same time.

    i have a talent with computers since i was 6 or 7 years old and i had it ever since.

    Well, at 32 i wanted to adopt children in the future which i felt was a good idea at the time so, three years ago i had my surgery.

    so, before i turn 34 i was baptized by the lds church since my attendance in 2011.

    now, almost a year later i since have new friends and i have no problem fitting in
    i’m now a “ReNowned Christan” A Mormon In Other words.

    now what i want to know is a few things:

    Why did it take me so long to figure out what’s wrong?

    and what i want to know is if and when the time comes to find love again for the 3rd time
    but even if i don’t will i still have hope for the future?

    • Hello Suma:

      First of all, thank you for stopping by.

      To answer your first question: I’m finding that a lot of autistic women in our generation were either diagnosed or came to understand that they were autistic late in life. I myself was diagnosed at age 34 with Asperger Syndrome and I’d spent a lot of my years knowing that I was different, but not knowing why. I was considered a “gifted” child but I lacked social skills and was judged to be lacking in common sense (but if common sense were so common, everyone would have it). And so is the story with many of us autistic women, especially those with Asperger Syndrome, between ages 35 and 45…the “Generation X” women, if you will.

      I know when I was growing up, autism was considered a thing that happened to boys. In fact, Asperger Syndrome was not an official diagnosis until 1994. I think many of us missed detection because they were looking at the boys and men who displayed more obvious signs. I’ve noticed females growing up in my era who have Aspergers tended to either try to blend in, were dismissed as simply gifted and imaginative, were labeled as daydreamers, or were seen as having another kind of problem. So I chalk it up to ignorance, a lack of understanding, and stereotypical thinking of the medical profession at that times as well as our own families not understanding what was happening.

      As to what to do when love comes again…I can’t tell you much that is specific because we must experience these things for ourselves. I know I have been with a very wonderful man for twelve years, my fiance, and when we found each other, we had each given up looking for a mate. I’d been married once before and had been taken advantage of. I have to admit, I am still working through some of that pain and it’s taken me a long time to try to trust again. I think the thing to keep in mind is to focus on your own happiness before you find the person you are look for and to keep developing yourself as a person. As for hope for the future, well — that is entirely up to you. Your life and your future will be what you make of it.

      I hope I have been helpful. Please feel free to come back and visit again. Best wishes to you in your journey.

      -Nicole

  37. Hello,

    I stumbled to this site while searching for some thing – anything – to make me feel better about the way I think and how I interact. I am a 25 year old female, black/white (so there’s a recognized identity crisis on race beyond just having aspergers) and I’m already in a niche in the business world with solid professional skills and a promising career.

    I am married with two young children, and I’m generally happy, except that I seem to make my NT husband miserable. He is openly frustrated and even saddened by my natural tendencies, although I’ve always worked to meet his needs and curb my “absentminded” ways, the way I communicate and listen, and they ways I can make him feel more satisfied.

    I read that aspies see marraige as more functionally logical, and not so much emotion-driven. I hate that it’s true of my situation, but I believe that my husband does more for me functionally than emotionally. We don’t satisfy eachother on a personal level, and we are both trying and have young kids, one with special needs. I don’t know what the right thing to do is; would emotional neutrality be reason enough to end a marraige, or are we better off trying to stay together even if we only achieve mediocre satisfaction?

    I could be alone forever. I’d be lonely, but not miserable. I feel that my kids deserve a 2 parent house, but I also feel that my husband deserves to be in a normal, healthy relationship that isn’t such a constant struggle.

    Thanks for having a place for me to vent, Nicole.

    • Ashley,

      I think as a possible Aspie that maybe over time, your relationship will mellow to what works for you BOTH…I love an Aspie man, and he is terrified to get involved with me as he has lost some relationships due to his ‘particular ways,’ which I find sad, as he is an amazing man. I suspect he is also VERY lonely, but perhaps finds it bearable – if not routine..but when we interact…he is very happy and connected and makes me quite happy….If you love your husband as much as I must assume..you all need to work out YOUR best relationship, NOT the ones we see on TV or read in novels..or SEE others having….AS does not give us all the tools to make those fantasies happen..but when we are happy with someone in our own ways….it does work…My Aspie man gets closer at different intervals, and I suspect one day when he realizes I am NOT looking for a movie romance, but real love, respect and companionship – it will work out..
      I suspect the same will work for you as well..

      Good luck to US both!!

      Gina

    • Ashley, I have to agree 100% with Gina’s response. (BTW, please accept my apologies for the late response — I am WAY behind on responding to comments) You have to make this relationship something that works the best for the two of you, and you both must get something positive and meaningful out of it. The best thing I can recommend is communication. Talk to your man (if you already haven’t). Tell him what you think and how you feel. At the very least, it may open the door to further understanding.

      And I can relate to the identity crisis on race — I’m also multiracial and I grew up sometimes feeling as if I did not fit into either world. Not knowing that this was exacerbated by undiagnosed Asperger’s I felt alone and isolated. Sometimes popular Black culture (truthfully, in a lot of way I identify it as “ghetto” culture, but that’s a whole ‘nother post) mystified me and I felt like I did not fit in because I didn’t adopt most of the vernacular and ways.

      Best wishes to you, Ashley. I hope things work out well for you.

      -Nicole

  38. I am the mother of a 7-year-old girl who is in the process of being evaluated for Asperger’s. My daughter started expressing a sensory processing disorder (tactile, olfactory, and aural) and throwing outrageous temper tantrums when she was 2. I have two younger children, but spend the vast majority of my time managing my oldest. I read The Difficult Child, The Strong-willed Child, The Bipolar Child, and The Explosive Child before finally taking her to a child psychologist.

    As someone who is NT, her behavior baffles me. I am now reading every book I can find about girls with Asperger’s. Unfortunately, none are written by women with Asperger’s about their experiences in childhood. As a woman with Asperger’s, would you blog about your childhood experiences and how your parents helped/hindered your development and what you would suggest parents do for their ASD kids?

    (Right now, I feel that all I am able to do is manage my daughter, not help her learn to self-regulate and cope. And I feel like all my energy is invested in — and our entire family life is dictated by — her emotional outbursts, which is not fair to my other kids.) Please help!

    • Hello akmccabe: I have very much behind in responding to comments, so please accept my apologies for replying so late. I have been thinking about blogging about my experiences as a child and teenager anyway, but thank you for the suggesting.

      What’s so interesting about ASD is that there are some definite similarities and commonalities between autistic individuals, but yet the axiom remains true: “if you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person”. I can speak a little bit about my own experiences right now in this reply, with an eye to expanding this later in my posts.

      I didn’t have many problems with sensory issues (except for loud noises) and I usually would not have a meltdown unless absolutely pushed. (Keep in mind, I grew up in a rather dysfunctional family, so I had the dysfunction around me — and bullying by family members — to contend with as well.) From what I remember of my meltdowns, they tended to happen when things just became “too much”. It wasn’t just the sensory stuff for me — there was always overwhelming anxiety present and it felt as if my emotions would swallow me up, which frightened me even more. I don’t know if this is happening with your daughter, but I can at least conjecture that she is feeling overwhelmed or over stimulated in some way.

      In the meantime, I do know a couple of books that might help. Have you found either “Aspergirls” by Rudy Simone or “Pretending to Be Normal” by Liane Holliday Willey? I have read some of “Aspergirls” — Simone not only talks about her own experiences but she has interviewed other autistic women for the book who share their own experiences. Also, Holliday Willey speaks a bit about her own childhood in “Pretending to Be Normal”. I would start with those two books, and most good booksellers should be able to order them for you (and most libraries can obtain them through interlibrary loan as well).

      I realise this isn’t much of a response, but I hope it helps you find what you need. Thank you for the suggestion. Please let me know if I can suggest anything else that will help you. Best wishes to you, your daughter, and your family.

      -Nicole

    • Hi laughatmypain: I’m sorry I didn’t respond to you sooner. i went and read some of the posts on your blog. You have a very honest and revelatory way of writing which I admire. Thanks for the visit: I’m sure I’ll be back.

      -Nicole

  39. Hi Nicole
    I have been reading but not posting as everything said here is what I would say, also. But something new came up, which I have not seen before. It was in the local paper. I almost skipped over it, but the word “Autistic Children” caught my eye. There have been several local drownings of young 3, 4 & 6 year old girls, all who had been diagnosed with autism, & all in either backward garden ponds, or otherwise shallow water (beach of a small lake.)
    What this article said (and I had never heard of this before), is that many autistic children are attracted to water, and will try wading and splashing & in the process will slip and drown. I started to think back & remembered my own childhood & yes, I was nuts! about water – small ponds & lily ponds & a swamp near our house where there was water in the spring & fall that dried up in the summer & I was always teasing to go to the lake ( we lived in Cleveland, off St. Clair Ave. walking distance of Lake Erie, but no close beaches.) My own oldest daughter loved the big quarry pond behind our house & my husband had taught all our kids how to swim as soon as they could walk which was a good thing because they were always back there.

    Have you heard of this attraction of Asperger, or Autism with love (or fatal attraction to water?) I do believe if this is the case, & the examples made sense that some kind of word should be passed to who-ever is working with or at least diagnosing the child. I have not had much luck finding further info about this – namely, why it should be so & why it seems to affect girls more than boys.

    I still read your poetry. I belong to the Ohio Poetry society & read their stuff. I wish I could get out & see you read, we have a group here “The Firelands Poetry group.” but I can’t get out to any of their meetings or readings. I just read about them or hear about them afterward.
    Love,
    Marian V.

  40. Great, informative blog. I have recently self-identified as having Asperger’s, as it is the only way to contextualize my past after years of diagnoses that didn’t quite fit. This discovery led to blogging. I would be honored if you would stop by and check it out. It’s really just documentation of reframing my life in this new context, past & future, and trying to make sense of it all.

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