I've discovered I was on the autism spectrum late in my life (i.e., mild Asperger's Syndrome). My adult daughter is the one who discovered it, and the story of how she did is quite interesting.
She was listening to a podcast where the guest, David Finch, author of "Journal of Best Practices," had similar tendencies and behaviours as me. It was like a lightbulb went off in her head. "Wow, that's just like Dad," she said to herself.
She was very weary of telling me about it because she didn't know how I would react. But when she got the courage to finally tell me (whilst shedding a few tears), I was so surprised. I realised that she was onto something.
So I bought the book. Little did I know that this book would start me on a journey of self-discovery. It was at that moment that I realised why I act the way I do, why everyone thinks I'm weird (and why I think everyone else is weird, too).
It was like a huge weight has finally been lifted off my shoulders. After 45 years (I'm 50 now), I decided to get tested, which proved my daughter's hunch. I then went on a quest to dive deeper into the subject, buying books from Dr. Temple Grandin, Steve Silberman, etc.
Was there a book that changed your life? Or one that helped you define yourself or a part of your life? What made you buy the book in the first place and how did it change you?
Thanks for listening.
Something that I have always had trouble with was remembering the words to songs, especially verses. It was earlier this year that I googled it and found out that I was not the only one and could be one of the indicators of Asperger's. I didn't think much it of it then until a few weeks later when I was flicking through the channels and I came across a program called Are you Autistic? (Channel 4, UK). There was a lady who was describing herself and some of the problems she faces with. It hit me to how similar she is to myself. She had a few tests done and by the end of the episode she was diagnosed with Asperger's.
Although I have not had any tests done yet, I do think that I do have Asperger's as the 'symptoms' seem to fit. I know that self diagnosis is not a good way so I might have to go see the relevant people just to make sure.
There are times that I can be socially awkward and anxious as well and I have wondered why this was the case with me.
I do feel a bit of relief as I now can manage and identify the situations that I have got into past and present.
We were having a lot of trouble with one of our sons and Asperger's came up in the conversation with counselors. I got a book, can't remember the name, and saw myself in the pages. I never knew anything before except Rainman. I would like to get an official test but nobody does it for adults in Ireland. I have to say being conscious that I might have it hasn't made one whit better at fitting in. It just means that perhaps I am not so much at fault as I thought. So I'm a bit easier on myself. I probably should count myself lucky even I lost my wife and children over my oddness. There are so many worse places on the spectrum.
I'm in the process of doing some research to try and determine if I might be on the spectrum or if I'm misinterpreting symptoms of things like ADHD. Adult spectrum research is, as far as I can tell, not as fully explored as it is in children and toddlers, and as a relatively recently acknowledged family of disorders there's a long way to go all the way around. But every adult that pushes for and manages to get accurate diagnoses on the spectrum (and sometimes it takes years and multiple doctors) is helping to create awareness and general understanding of the disorder spectrum. Thank you for sharing your experiences.