I was diagnosed with autism by a psychologist after a day of testing, but my current therapist keeps saying she doesn't think I have it (or I'm a "little bit" autistic). Whatever, she says she doesn't know much about autism and is concentrating on learning more about breathing therapy right now so I can't expect her to research the subject. And I'm not going to switch because she's the first decent therapist I've ever had and it took years of searching to find her. But being "on the spectrum" (or being a little bit autistic) doesn't quite mean what many NTs seem to think it means. (FTR she does think I have ADHD, going off of what Dr. Daniel Amen says.)
In 2013, I briefly dated a man with Asperger's syndrome. A computer system analyst, Michael always made us late with his checking-and-sorting obsession. It was infuriating. He couldn't stop.
I broke up with Michael after he ruined my 60th birthday backpacking trip to beautiful Necklace Valley. To mark and celebrate 40 years of passionate hiking.
I wanted four things for my birthday. Modest wishes:
Hike out early.
Dinner out at a nice restaurant.
I got one: a shower.
I want a do-over.
I work with a new member of staff who is definitely a 'wee bit' autistic. Useful as we work in adult autism and he is really well educated. Psychology student like myself, so it's nice that we can talk the same technical language.
And now for a useful quote for you. Take it on board and proudly live by it.
'When you have met someone with autism, you have met someone with autism'.
Although there are similarities between the observable behaviours and physical attributes, everyone on the spectrum is an individual with their very own autism.
“Every individual with autism is unique, and symptoms can range from mild to severe,” said Christa Martin, PhD, director of Geisinger’s Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute (ADMI). “This is what we mean when we refer to the ‘autism spectrum.’ Because of this, it’s important that everyone with autism receives individualized treatment and attention.”
Getting to know the autism spectrum
Autism is a type of neurological disorder that affects the ability to communicate and socialize. It is associated with repetitive behaviors and highly focused interests. In severe instances, autism can prevent people from learning to speak at all.
“People with autism share certain traits, but at different degrees,” said Dr. Martin. “We diagnose individuals with autism spectrum disorder so that we can offer the best treatment. Those who are ‘high-functioning,’ with milder symptoms, can often maintain a greater degree of independence. Some individuals with autism have more severe symptoms and need more help with daily tasks.”
Higher-functioning individuals with autism may develop certain areas of intense interest, and become quite knowledgeable about these topics. These areas of interest can sometimes be built upon to create vocational opportunities in adulthood.
Symptoms of Autism
Making little to no eye contact.
Delays in or lack of spoken language.
Repetitive use of language, unusual movements or repetitive behavior with objects (lining, sorting, etc.)
Lack of interest in making friends or in interacting socially with family.
Unusual fixation on specific objects or topics.