425: What if I don’t have Aspergers?

What if I DON’T have Aspergers

But what if I don’t have Aspergers? What if this is just me clinging onto a thread in hopes of not being alone in this world?
What if we are just aliens, light-workers, empaths, sensitives or advanced spiritual beings?
What if I am a reincarnated sage?
What if I am a Buddhist paying for previous karmic waves?
What if I am truly crazy, self-inventing my own condition to feel more normal in claiming I am unique?
What if Aspergers doesn’t exist and this is just a human condition?
What if this whole Aspergers is a trend and being over diagnosed?
What if I am making this up in my head to fit in with a collective?
What if I find out from an expert I have something else and not Aspergers?
Am I smart enough to have Aspergers?
Am I odd enough?
Am I enough of anything?
Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee stop!
Who cares?
Really?
Get rid of the name. Call it a chicken-foot fungus dance. Call it the mushroom’s puke master. Call it genius. Call it gifted. Call it looney. I don’t really care!
WE found each other. And WE have more in common than not after years of feeling isolated and alone.

I don’t care what man-invented name, based on a collective documented list of traits based on the observation of some male behavior years ago, was the reason we met. WE met. And that’s what Aspergers means to me: Union.

We are together. We are no longer alone.
Perhaps we ARE from another planet.
Perhaps we are the only humans really here and the rest are reptilians.
Perhaps we are light-workers.
Perhaps we are entirely lost and confused.
Perhaps we are crazy nuts.
Perhaps we are the change the world needs.
Perhaps we are a trend, a wake, or a breaking.
Perhaps we are the new normal.
Perhaps we are just like everyone else.
I don’t care.
Stop trying to analyze what we are and who we are and why we are, and accept WE ARE.
There is no you verses them. There is no us verses them. There is no separation.
It is all just manmade games.
We just managed to survive.
To keep our heads above water.
To see through the madness.
To understand there are things, definite things that need changing in this world.
And if we want to start focusing on self-awareness, self-love, and self-acceptance, then YAY US.
I don’t care how you get there….to that point where life starts to make sense and you start to realize you aren’t alone and aren’t imperfect and have so much to give the world.
I just want you to know YOU matter and YOU make a difference and YOU are never alone.
Stop tromping over our parade, all of you doubters, critics, and people who feel the need to give your two cents about something that isn’t your journey.
I don’t care.
I really don’t.
Beyond the need I feel to tell the rest, who have struggled in pain so very long, that you are right where you need to be. Whatever you need to hold onto to build yourself up after this world has attempted to break you down, is what you need and is YOUR choice.
Shine, shine, shine.
It doesn’t matter if you have Aspergers or don’t, or if this word never exists again.
Let go of the word and reasons.
Just let go.
Breathe.
And be.
I love you.
Whatever you choose to call yourself.

355: To the Professional

Take away the notepad and paper, take away the laptop, or whatever you are about to write on. I am more concerned with what you are writing and thinking than my own self.

I am uncomfortable looking at you. I don’t like your office, for one reason or another. Maybe you are messy or maybe too clean. It might smell in an offensive way or be too dark and cluttered. Then again the sunlight might be seeping through and displaying the dancing dust and pulling me in thought to germs and uncleanliness. If you cleaned, I am hoping you didn’t use toxins, and I am wondering how many people have sat in this chair before, and how they sit, how they position their body, but mostly how they position their mind.

I am wondering with each word I speak what you think and if I have answered to meet your expectations and intentions. I can guess half of what you will say and how you will say it, because I have studied you from the moment we met, and I have studied those like you before. I know more about the human language and the nuances and gestures and games than you can imagine. I can feel your energy, and I can feel how your opinion of me switches. I can feel you weighing in on me and my words balanced against your thoughts.

I am uncomfortable in all ways and trying to present myself as comfortable. And this you probably know, as I already know, and you are watching me closer, as if in watching I will grow in security and trust. But I won’t. I will feel for you what I feel for everyone. I will either like you instantly or you will make me want to run. And with the liking I will analyze why and if this is valid, this feeling of companionship and connection. I will linger here a short time, especially in comparison to if I want to run. If I want to run my thoughts will circle around you for a favorable amount of time, working inside and outside of your being and attempting to decipher the danger. If I distrust you, I will likely always distrust you. This may be nothing you have ever said or done; this is my natural instinct.

I have been preyed upon by predators and sought out by experts. I have been probed and prodded and measured one too many times. I do not like the way you measure me. Not one bit, and I want this time to end.

I want to like you, and if I don’t, I fear my own rejection; I fear the dialogue that will reach into the contours of my mind and debate the whys and hows of my own inclinations.

I will listen to you as best I can, but don’t count on me hearing all of what you say. One word will set me adrift into another place, one unusual sound or one ordinary sound from you or from the room that is silent. I will hear what you do not hear. I will hear the quietness through the silence. I will hear the pauses in your monologue, and I will question your expertise.

I will wonder if you like me and then wonder why I even care, and why it is important that you do like me, even if I despise you and everything about your space. I will still want to be your friend, and a part of me will still love you, like some pup you picked up from the alley while in a mode of rescue. I will seek harbor and refuge in this space you have provided, knowing I am paying, or someone is paying for this form of companionship that frightens me.

I will question your degrees, your education, your protocols, your knowledge, your booksmarts, and your conclusions without hint of regard. I will dive down corridors of your soul and wander about hunting out the darkness. And all this I will do as you sit there scratching away notes about me.

For I will have compiled a list a volume thick in the time you have taken for me to answer a few questions. And simultaneously, I will have composed my own representation of self to you, pulling out what is expected, and what might make you comfortable, playing the game so you can see me and not be swooped away by the real me that is locked away behind this tattered worn curtain of self.

You can’t reach in, as hard as you try, unless I know you recognize me. I won’t let you past, unless I know you are real, that you have felt the deepest pains and angst, that you, too, have been in the shadowed darkness weeping for reprieve, that you have been abandoned, ostracized, left for nothing, created into something others wanted you to be. I will not let you near, unless I know your heart has grown in the depths of the oceans and shoots out to save those who wither.

Your documented degrees mean nothing to me. Your schooling is lost. What you knew and what you think you know is not this me staring back at you. I am in no textbook and in no past discoveries. My experience is uniquely mine, and unless you have dived into the caverns of my mind, unless you can see the world of illusion, as I can, then I have no purpose or need for you.

Entirely, I sit. Entirely, I am. And I understand beyond measure what grips you and shakes you and what makes you spin. I can tell in your eyes when you are complimented you are lit, and when you are unsure you folly. I see you, like a master watching a child; I see your discomfort, your waverng, your questions. But mostly I see straight to the purity of your soul, straight into the core.

So don’t waste my time with man invented games and manmade questionnaires that nibble away at my character and personhood. I am beyond this, these guesses and marks, this test to prove something that needs no proving.

I am not this Aspergers. I am not this Autism. I am human in need of being seen.

I am not a test subject, nor am I confused. I am not sick. I am not ill in the slightest sense. I am a unique and special individual born out of the ashes into the phoenix. I am both God and Goddess and have so much to teach you.

So do not look past the secrets in my eyes to check off the boxes of your own design. Seek first in me the wisdom I carry, the answers, the knowledge. See what I have to say. Hear what my world is like, for unless you have lived inside of this me, then you are the one that remains alien.

Don’t pretend you understand my condition or my brain or my way of life. Don’t pretend you can help me. I already know your tactics and trickery. As innocent and as kind you be, to me everything you present I shall take apart and examine from source.

Present to me your own self, the deepest part of you, the part the rest of the world hides so readily in a game. Take off your mask and meet me in the playing field I recognize: one of pureness, naiveté, child-like heart and genuineness. Do not strip me of the very armor that sews my seams. Uplift my attributes and charm, the gentle grace that illuminates from the spirit I am.

Do not think that because you have a title or name that you are therefore anymore or any less than the others. You are still garbed in your fashions and mystery. Undress, strip down, bear your nakedness and show me your frailty. That is the only reason I am here. Not to teach you how to help me. Not to teach you how to change me. But to show you what truth and beauty is.

My way is not wrong. Nor is my mind hindered. My way is the one of the child of goodness and authenticity, and until you understand that what I carry is no less damaged than the stars in the sky and no less worthy than your very own heart, than you cannot reach me.

If you want to help me, if you want to truly help me, then become my student, so I can become yours. Meet me as one. And see that I am not your patient, your client, or your case study. I am me.

In all my uniqueness I am me. And in this, in being me, in being all of me, perhaps in your wanting to help me, it is truly I that will set you free.

336: I LOVE this man: Tony Attwood

Okay, this is unbelievable. I have had TWO good hair days in a row. Seriously, something is up with the stars! And just now, after thinking about Tony Attwood, I opened my email to find his message! Good hair and Attwood…. life is so good!

I have attended Mr. Attwood’s conference and met him briefly in person. Also, his books and audios were immensely helpful when my son was first diagnosed. This is his recent response to me. Yay!

Please hold Mr. Tony Attwood in healing light and love.

I thank him for the great works he does to bring a voice to Asperger’s Syndrome.

Part of today’s email:

“Your webpage is absolutely fascinating and I certainly enjoyed reading the information that you sent me. In your email you refer to my thoughts on whether you have indeed the characteristics of Asperger’s syndrome. I would say that, from what I have read, that that seems very likely as you have an insight into Asperger’s syndrome but especially the way that Asperger’s syndrome is expressed in girls. You certainly have an ability to communicate your thoughts in such an effective way…..

…you may be interested in the audio recordings of my radio interviews describing the characteristics of Asperger’s syndrome in girls. My own webpage is currently being updated and the links should be back on my webpage in the next week or so. You may be interested in listening to a radio interview I did for Brisbane 612 ABC Radio with Richard Fidler, http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/02/02/3421377.htm?site=brisbane.

Please do continue your work helping those with Asperger’s syndrome and those who love and support them and I look forward to reading more about your very important contribution to the understanding of Asperger’s syndrome in girls and women.”

I know, total coolness. :)))

http://www.tonyattwood.com.au
http://www.amazon.com/Tony-Attwood/e/B000APW3XM

Photo on 3-5-13 at 12.22 PM

333: Long overdue…It’s “Official”

How cool is it that this is number 333 post? I loveeeeee the number three! Always have, always will. He is cute and springy and sweet and funny. Number three rocks. And there are three number threes!

It’s like the threes are celebrating the fact that I received my “official” diagnosis!

Yes, indeed…. Who would have guessed, but a psychologist has concurred (very kind man) that it is true, I am Aspergerian.

So it’s official; whatever that means.

Oddly enough, the whole validation of my “condition” was anti-climatic, as I was in a very serene and calm mood during my last appointment.

I kept waiting for the jolt of “Yeah, Baby” to hit me. But alas it never came.

I analyzed this lack of Wow-Factor for quite sometime, and concluded this balance of emotions was a positive and beneficial thing.

My freedom of self is expressed quite clearly in this recent painting called Surrender.

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More recently, three hours last night, and two hours this morning, I worked on this piece. It is filled with emotion and energy for me. This one is called Home.

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Interestingly, when I paint, I am mostly using a paper-towel as my tool. I start of with drawing free-formed designs with a pencil, letting spirit move me. Then I add some paint in globs. Then I rub off the paint and see what starts to pop out. I follow no rules and use odd techniques.

Mostly, I feel like a genius-sculpture waiting for the canvas to speak to me.

I have a unique perspective on images. I see things in my paintings and strongly, to the point of distraction and physical sensations, feel the energy.

I didn’t like this image in my original painting. The shape seemed dark to me, almost evil. It looks like a dead animal or beast. I had to remove this by erasing with water and adding more paint.

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This image really bothered me, too.

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Often parts of my works feel heavy and unfinished, and I have to erase, reapply, and step back. If I see an image I don’t like in a painting, like this one above, of a succubus hooked on to the teddy bear’s head, I have to restart and free the energy. I have to remove the energy vampire, so to speak.

I feel this energy intensely, and feel it is either attached to me, a loved one, or both. So I rework and rework the piece until the energy is released.

I can recognize so much healing during the process, and I become almost hypnotic and lost in my creation.

The painting experience is similar to writing, wherein I cannot use certain colors, brush strokes, angles, shapes, etc. (with writing it is words, sentence structure, rhythm, etc.) without feeling a blockage that I must remove.

For me, everything in life is alive with energy: words, colors, shapes, feelings.

All in all, the art of painting is becoming a soothing mechanism for me both energetically and emotionally.

I am pleased with this new Painter aspect of me: the breaking through of self and displaying of self on canvas. It is another form in which I feel someone might be able to see me beyond the facade of my human flesh/costume.

I still find the creation of faces doubly-daunting, as I cannot grasp faces, not others’ and not even my own. So I am struggling with the releasing of “face.” A concept I find mimics my own personal trials: That of releasing the image of self.

I have a great sense of peace, as of late; partially because I stopped taking this hormone pill that was making me have complex, rapid thoughts (can you imagine!! as my thoughts are already so complex!)…induced hyper-thyroid. But mostly because I have started to listen to my own self. I have started to believe in the magic of the world again. I have started to see that inside of me is so much beckoning to get out. And I have chosen the magic over the misery. Something that is long overdue.

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Aspergers Letter: Be the Change

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for taking the time to read these words.  Please know you are making a difference. My penname is Samantha Craft. I am an educator (M.Ed.) and a mother, and I have Asperger’s Syndrome. I live in the state of Washington in the United States. I am forty-three years of age. I was first identified with having Aspergers in December of 2011 by a mental health practitioner.

Before I knew I had Aspergers, I spent decades searching for answers. I searched for logical reasons to explain my extreme sensitivities, empathy, fixations, imaginings and fears.  A keen woman, I sought out answers through 12-Step, medical doctors, therapists, psychologist, psychiatrists, priests, ministers, educators, shamans, and counselors. Not one person whom I sought out for assistance mentioned Aspergers, because not one person knew how a female with Aspergers presented herself. Many professionals didn’t even know this word: Aspergers.  Person after person assigned me an incorrect or incomplete diagnosis and non-beneficial methods of treatment. For years I suffered, knowing something was “wrong,” but not understanding why.

I am not alone. By no means am I alone. Thousands upon thousands of women have Aspergers and have been misdiagnosed, overlooked, and/or misunderstood. Notably, In these days of advanced technology, this lack of awareness regarding Aspergers is shifting. Today, thousands of people a month are learning how Aspergers in females presents itself. However, a large majority of the people searching for answers are the females with Aspergers themselves and their family members. The word about the female experience still needs to reach the people who are equipped to identify and help this subgroup of women. Particularly professors at universities, teachers in elementary and secondary schools, medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and mental health care practitioners.

In hopes of spreading awareness, in February of 2012, I began a blog called Everyday Aspergers. I have since been writing for 95 days straight, and will continue to do so for the stretch of the year. My hope is  to present a cohesive presentation illustrating a female with Aspergers. The pages are not filled with troubles and tears, only some: because I am human and my human experience stretches far beyond the one word Aspergers. The pages depict the inner workings of a female with an Asperger’s mind—her thought processes, her deep philosophical prose, her poetry, her story.

My hope is you will choose to pass this link on to a professional, (e.g., grandson’s teacher, sister’s doctor, colleague, university dean), so the many women still searching for assistance and answers regarding Aspergers will have a tomorrow filled with awareness, understanding, assistance, and acceptance. Assistance cannot exist without knowledge. Acceptance cannot exist without knowledge. In choosing to directly send this link to one professional, you are choosing to spread the knowledge and effectively change the lives of thousands of women.

With the knowledge we will forever change the face of Aspergers, with the knowledge Aspergers will no longer be unknown, misunderstood, and/or perceived as a taboo, and with the knowledge we can begin to provide hope and needed assistance, and begin to celebrate our unique gifts, I sincerely thank you. May your day be filled with peace.

Link to pass on:  https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/aspergers-letter-be-the-change/

Sincerely,

Samantha Craft

Everyday Aspergers

 

You may also print Be the Change letter, if all the information remains on the page. Thank you.

 

Resources on this blog:

10 Traits of Females with Aspergers:

https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/aspergers-traits-women-females-girls/

Unofficial Checklist for Females with Aspergers

https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/day-62-females-with-aspergers-syndrome-nonofficial-checklist/

10 Myths about Females with Aspergers

https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/thirty-seven-10-myths-about-females-with-aspergers-syndrome/

Discrimination regarding Aspergers

https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/day-44-the-abcs-of-discrimination-i-will-not-be-made-to-feel-ashamed-of-aspergers/

20 Things Not to Say to a Person on the Autism Spectrum

Image found at takealeftatthemoon.blogspot.com

 

This is tailored to adults who were diagnosed with Aspergers, but the list can apply to many ages and many conditions other than Aspergers Syndrome.

20 Things Not to Say to a Person on the Autism Spectrum

1. Everyone feels like that sometimes.

2. Everything happens for a reason.

3. You’re fine. They have too many labels nowadays.

4. That reminds me of me. I wonder if I have that too.

5. Things could always be worse.

6. At least you don’t have autism.

7. Don’t worry. Be happy. Think Positive.

8. That’s no big deal.

9. You’re too serious. Get out of your head and help others.

10. Everyone has problems. Stop analyzing yours.

11. I never would have guessed. You seem so normal.

12. Are you sure? Maybe you need a second opinion.

13. Why do you think that?

14. That’s weird. Good luck.

15.  Aren’t you glad you found out?

16. That’s so trendy. Everyone thinks they have that.

17. Did you get an “official” diagnosis?

18. I’m uncomfortable with people classifying themselves by a diagnosis.

19. My cousin’s neighbor has Aspergers.

20. Well, now that you know, stop focusing on it, and get on with your life.

 

 

 

15 Beneficial Approaches 

1. Offer a warm smile and nod. Listen and comprehend.

2. I’m on your side. I’m here for you. You are not alone. I am here to stay.

3. Where can I find more information?

4. You are a strong person. I love you for being you.

5. Make a friendly call or send a friendly text or email.

6. What can I do? Tell me specifically. I want to help anyway I can.

7. Ask the person on a long walk, a picnic, or other excursion.

8. Hold a space for processing what that means to the person.

9. Do you need my support? How can I support you specifically?

10. Go to a matinee or rent a movie about autism or Aspergers.

11. Sincerely compliment the person.

12. Validate. This is a big deal!

13. Read personal accounts about living on the autism spectrum.

14. Thank you for confiding in me and trusting me. I am honored to know you.

15. If you are comfortable, can you tell me more about your experience?

© Everyday Aspergers, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com Original title was 20 Things Not To Say to A Person with Aspergers.

Sam’s new book can be found at myspectrumsuite.com and on Amazon internationally.

Search for Everyday Aspergers.

 

 

Day 80: Me in Parts

There’s a reason I didn’t go into the medical field besides the fact that I faint if I look at a needle. I don’t do well with illness, disease, or sickness of any sorts, or thoughts of being attacked by a killer species. I do fine with driving my car, walking down dark alleys, crossing bridges, and climbing high places, just can’t deal with physical health conditions—well at least not rationally. The common cold sends me into a tailspin: worse case scenario, worser case scenario, worsest case scenario.

In the course of my four decades plus of living, I was certain of my imminent death at least five times a year. Looming demise total equals 200 times, give or take a death or two. And I’m not talking a passing thought. I’m saying a good two- to three-week sickness-induced death-terror cycle. And with the invention of Google God, the all-knowing search engine, I’ve also had hours of adrenaline-pumped investigative research.

Last year, about this time, I was certain, dead certain, that my heart was going to explode from a genetic disorder. I was so convinced I had the syndrome that I was continually analyzing myself for symptoms, even in my dream state.  In fact, in a comical attempt to self-diagnose, I compared my attached earlobes to others’ attached earlobes and even wondered if my large Italian nose could feasible be considered pinched.

When I was younger, rabies was my big fear. I never ever should have watched the depressing classic Old Yeller in third grade. Why?! Afterwards, my hamster-bit finger led me to check my mouth for foaming saliva hourly, for a month! Watching Hitchcock’s The Birds was another faux pas. Remember the killer bees? Well I do. I believed for years the bees were approaching in swarm.

Bloody noses are notorious fear-buttons, ever since I saw that character on a television show with a bloody nose bleed-out and die.

My fear of the C word started after my kindergarten teacher died; and I still can’t write the word out on paper. Which ironically-sucks because it’s my astrological zodiac sign. Four times during my life, twice as a teenager, and twice as a young mother, doctors suspected I had C or pre-C. No cause for alarm in all four cases, but the panic that ensued during the waiting period was insurmountable.

You know what really bites? Working at a homeless shelter and having a child infected with AIDS bite my leg through my jeans. The doctors assured me my chances of contracting AIDS was almost zero; still they wanted to be certain. I checked my tongue for a white-coat and my skin for sores for a good year.

My most laughable approaching-doom-fear happened when I was nursing my firstborn in the late hours of the night, and I’d stare down at the dirt in the corner of my toenail, and know I was going to die of toe fungus. If you bring in the big guns like MRSA, I so freak out. Any infection is MRSA. Hives? I’m certain I’ll suffocate from severe allergic reaction.  Menstrual cycle off a day—I have growths on my ovaries.

To make matters worse, doctors have wanted to remove my uterus and my gallbladder, and to biopsy my kidney. None of which happened. But the fact of their recommending such procedures makes me think I have bad parts to begin with.

If you’ve got your wits about you, you’ve probably gathered I have a wee bit of a phobia to illness in any form—real, made up, imagined, or non-existent.

What many do not understand about this illness phobia is that no amount of exposure makes a dang difference. With exposure therapy, if someone is afraid of bridges, you can slowly and decisively assist him or her in overcoming the bridge fear. A common therapy strategy might be first showing pictures of bridges, next playing with toy bridges, later taking photos of bridges from afar, and then crossing a small bridge over a creek. If therapy is effective, then the person eventually will cross a bridge as a passenger, then drive assisted, and later cross alone. Sounds logical.

Doesn’t apply to illness: First look at pictures of people who are sick, next play in filthy area, later… not helping! And getting sick and sick over and over again, doesn’t help either. Done that.

I haven’t been feeling myself, lately. Which is significant. Generally speaking my self, due to a host of syndromes and conditions, is relatively fatigued, a little melancholic, and a bit sore in the muscles. So, I hadn’t taken too much note of my intense fatigue, until I could barely function most of the day. My doctor had in the meanwhile sent me my annual blood test forms in the mail (twice), which I avoided like the plague (or in my case the common cold). I finally dragged myself to the doc when the heart palpitations and shortness of breath kicked in. By the day I got my stubborn self to the doc’s office, my forehead was peeling like a rattlesnake sheds.

The good news is it turns out those eight extra pounds are not my fault! And either is this depressions cloud I blamed on the Washington winter weather. Turns out I have hypothyroid.

Guess what this hypothyroid reckoning does to my mind. Here’s the conversation I had with my doctor. I kid you not.

Me: “Well, now that I know I have hypothyroid, I guess I should mention that I’ve been having trouble swallowing. I read that’s a symptom, too.”

Dr. “Oh.” She pulls out a lab slip. “Well then we better get an ultrasound for nodules.”

Me: “Nodules? Can I die from nodules?”

“No”

“I can’t?”

“No.”

“What is the worse case scenario?”

“If they find nodules, the protocol is to keep a watchful eye on them. If they grow, they’ll likely drain them. But nodules are not deadly.”

“Oh, good, but what about cancer? Could I have cancer? Or did my blood tests rule that out?”

“No. Your blood tests didn’t rule that out. But thyroid cancer is very, very rare.”

My eyes grew super big and I swallowed hard.

Dr. added: “And the cure rate for thyroid cancer is 100%.”

“Oh!” Huge sigh. “Thank you so much for adding that. How long will I have to take the pills?”

“For the rest of your life.”

Long pause.

Me: “But what if the end of the world comes? How will I get my pills?”

 

 

 

 

Side Note: (euphemism for I can’t stop babbling)

Taking into consideration the four types of thyroid cancers, I recently researched, the combined cure rate is only 95%. For better effect, in the writing above, you’ll note, I fearlessly overcame my fear of the word cancer. The title Me in Parts means I feel as if I’ve sorted myself into parts with all my constant sickness analysis. The good news is, I always live like I’m dying.

Day 62: Females with Asperger’s Syndrome (Non-Official) Checklist

I invite you to take a look inside of my book Everyday Aspergers.

Take a look here.

(I just deleted an entire paragraph explaining why I am uncomfortable with self-promotion. I’ll spare you the details!)

Over a year ago, I decided to move my memoir from one agency to another. I made this decision to ensure the paperback was available outside of the USA. Here are ten facts you might not know about E.A. The second edition of Everyday Aspergers : A Journey on the Autism Spectrum can be purchased on Amazon in several countries. It makes a great gift! The new book cover is by a talented autistic author and writer. The pages, of the new edition, have photos and images from my childhood. I added a new end chapter. The layout, pages, and style are different. It’s the same story in an enhanced casing.

https://www.book2look.com/book/KRksrIxTxr

Females with Aspergers Non-Official Checklist

By Samantha Craft of Everyday Asperger’s, March 2012

Everyday Aspergers to be a book in 2016. Join our Facebook Clan. 🙂 

This is a non-official checklist created by an adult female with Asperger’s Syndrome who has a son with Asperger’s Syndrome. Samantha Craft holds a Masters Degree in Education. Samantha Craft does not hold a doctorate in Psychiatry or Psychology. She has a life-credential as a result of being a female with Asperger’s Syndrome and being a parent of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome. She has created this list in an effort to assist mental health professionals in recognizing Asperger’s Syndrome in females.

Suggested Use: Check off all areas that strongly apply to the person. If each area has 75%-80% of the statements checked, or more, then you may want to consider that the female may have Asperger’s Syndrome.

Section A: Deep Thinkers

1. A deep thinker

2. A prolific writer drawn to poetry

3. Highly intelligent

4. Sees things at multiple levels including thinking processes.

5. Analyzes existence, the meaning of life, and everything continually.

6. Serious and matter-of-fact in nature.

7. Doesn’t take things for granted.

8. Doesn’t simplify.

9. Everything is complex.

10. Often gets lost in own thoughts and “checks out.” (blank stare)

Section B: Innocent

1. Naïve

2. Honest

3. Experiences trouble with lying.

4. Finds it difficult to understand manipulation and disloyalty.

5. Finds it difficult to understand vindictive behavior and retaliation.

6. Easily fooled and conned.

7. Feelings of confusion and being overwhelmed

8. Feelings of being misplaced and/or from another planet

9. Feelings of isolation

10. Abused or taken advantage of as a child but didn’t think to tell anyone.

Section C: Escape and Friendship

1. Survives overwhelming emotions and senses by escaping in thought or action.

2. Escapes regularly through fixations, obsessions, and over-interest in subjects.

3. Escapes routinely through imagination, fantasy, and daydreaming.

4. Escapes through mental processing.

5. Escapes through the rhythm of words.

6. Philosophizes continually.

7. Had imaginary friends in youth.

8. Imitates people on television or in movies.

9. Treated friends as “pawns” in youth, e.g., friends were “students,” “consumers,” “soldiers.”

10. Makes friends with older or younger females.

11. Imitates friends or peers in style, dress, and manner.

12. Obsessively collects and organizes objects.

13. Mastered imitation.

14. Escapes by playing the same music over and over.

15. Escapes through a relationship (imagined or real).

16. Numbers bring ease.

17. Escapes through counting, categorizing, organizing, rearranging.

18. Escapes into other rooms at parties.

19. Cannot relax or rest without many thoughts.

20. Everything has a purpose.

Section D: Comorbid Attributes

1. OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

2. Sensory Issues (sight, sound, texture, smells, taste)

3. Generalized Anxiety

4. Sense of pending danger or doom

5. Feelings of polar extremes (depressed/over-joyed; inconsiderate/over-sensitive)

6. Poor muscle tone, double-jointed, and/or lack in coordination

7. Eating disorders, food obsessions, and/or worry about what is eaten.

8. Irritable bowel and/or intestinal issues

9. Chronic fatigue and/or immune challenges

10. Misdiagnosed or diagnosed with other mental illness and/or labeled hypochondriac.

11. Questions place in the world.

12. Often drops small objects

13. Wonders who she is and what is expected of her.

14. Searches for right and wrong.

15. Since puberty, has had bouts of depression.

16. Flicks/rubs fingernails, flaps hands, rubs hands together, tucks hands under or between legs, keeps closed fists, and/or clears throat often.

Section E: Social Interaction

1. Friends have ended friendship suddenly and without person understanding why.

2. Tendency to over-share.

3. Spills intimate details to strangers.

4. Raised hand too much in class or didn’t participate in class.

5. Little impulse control with speaking when younger.

6. Monopolizes conversation at times.

7. Bring subject back to self.

8. Comes across at times as narcissistic and controlling. (Is not narcissistic.)

9. Shares in order to reach out.

10. Sounds eager and over-zealous at times.

11. Holds a lot of thoughts, ideas, and feelings inside.

12. Feels as if she is attempting to communicate “correctly.”

13. Obsesses about the potentiality of a relationship with someone, particularly a love interest.

14. Confused by the rules of accurate eye contact, tone of voice, proximity of body, stance, and posture in conversation.

15. Conversation can be exhausting.

16. Questions the actions and behaviors of self and others, continually.

17. Feels as if missing a conversation “gene” or thought-“filter”

18. Trained self in social interactions through readings and studying of other people.

19. Visualizes and practices how she will act around others.

20. Practices in mind what she will say to another before entering the room.

21. Difficulty filtering out background noise when talking to others.

22. Has a continuous dialogue in mind that tells her what to say and how to act when in a social situations.

23. Sense of humor sometimes seems quirky, odd, or different from others.

24. As a child, it was hard to know when it was her turn to talk.

25. She finds norms of conversation confusing.

Section F: Finds Refuge when Alone

1. Feels extreme relief when she doesn’t have to go anywhere, talk to anyone, answer calls, or leave the house.

2. One visitor at the home may be perceived as a threat.

3. Knowing logically a house visitor is not a threat, doesn’t relieve the anxiety.

4. Feelings of dread about upcoming events and appointments on the calendar.

5. Knowing she has to leave the house causes anxiety from the moment she wakes up.

6. All the steps involved in leaving the house are overwhelming and exhausting to think about.

7. She prepares herself mentally for outings, excursions, meetings, and appointments.

8. Question next steps and movements continually.

9. Telling self the “right” words and/or positive self-talk doesn’t often alleviate anxiety.

10. Knowing she is staying home all day brings great peace of mind.

11. Requires a large amount of down time or alone time.

12. Feels guilty after spending a lot of time on a special interest.

13. Uncomfortable in public locker rooms, bathrooms, and/or dressing rooms.

14. Dislikes being in a crowded mall, crowded gym, or crowded theater.

Section G: Sensitive

1. Sensitive to sounds, textures, temperature, and/or smells when trying to sleep.

2. Adjusts bedclothes, bedding, and/or environment in an attempt to find comfort.

3. Dreams are anxiety-ridden, vivid, complex, and/or precognitive in nature.

4. Highly intuitive to others’ feelings.

5. Takes criticism to heart.

6. Longs to be seen, heard, and understood.

7. Questions if she is a “normal” person.

8. Highly susceptible to outsiders’ viewpoints and opinions.

9. At times adapts her view of life or actions based on others’ opinions or words.

10. Recognizes own limitations in many areas daily.

11. Becomes hurt when others question or doubt her work.

12. Views many things as an extension of self.

13. Fears others opinions, criticism, and judgment.

14. Dislikes words and events that hurt animals and people.

15. Collects or rescues animals. (often in childhood)

16. Huge compassion for suffering.

17. Sensitive to substances. (environmental toxins, foods, alcohol, etc.)

18. Tries to help, offers unsolicited advice, or formalizes plans of action.

19. Questions life purpose and how to be a “better” person.

20. Seeks to understand abilities, skills, and/or gifts.

Section H: Sense of Self

1. Feels trapped between wanting to be herself and wanting to fit in.

2. Imitates others without realizing.

3. Suppresses true wishes.

4. Exhibits codependent behaviors.

5. Adapts self in order to avoid ridicule.

6.  Rejects social norms and/or questions social norms.

7. Feelings of extreme isolation.

8. Feeling good about self takes a lot of effort and work.

9. Switches preferences based on environment and other people.

10. Switches behavior based on environment and other people.

11. Didn’t care about her hygiene, clothes, and appearance before teenage years and/or before someone else pointed these out to her.

12. “Freaks out” but doesn’t know why until later.

13. Young sounding voice

14. Trouble recognizing what she looks like and/or has occurrences of slight prosopagnosia (difficulty recognizing or remembering faces).

Section I: Confusion

1. Had a hard time learning others are not always honest.

2. Feelings seem confusing, illogical, and unpredictable. (self’s and others’)

3.  Confuses appointment times, numbers, or dates.

4. Expects that by acting a certain way certain results can be achieved, but realizes in dealing with emotions, those results don’t always manifest.

5. Spoke frankly and literally in youth.

6. Jokes go over the head.

7. Confused when others ostracize, shun, belittle, trick, and betray.

8. Trouble identifying feelings unless they are extreme.

9. Trouble with emotions of hate and dislike.

10. Feels sorry for someone who has persecuted or hurt her.

11. Personal feelings of anger, outrage, deep love, fear, giddiness, and anticipation seem to be easier to identify than emotions of joy, satisfaction, calmness, and serenity.

12. Situations and conversations sometimes perceived as black or white.

13. The middle spectrum of outcomes, events, and emotions is sometimes overlooked or misunderstood. (All or nothing mentality)

14. A small fight might signal the end of a relationship or collapse of world.

15. A small compliment might boost her into a state of bliss.

Section J: Words and Patterns

1. Likes to know word origins.

2. Confused when there is more than one meaning to a word.

3. High interest in songs and song lyrics.

4. Notices patterns frequently.

5. Remembers things in visual pictures.

6. Remembers exact details about someone’s life.

7. Has a remarkable memory for certain details.

8. Writes or creates to relieve anxiety.

9. Has certain “feelings” or emotions towards words.

10. Words bring a sense of comfort and peace, akin to a friendship.

(Optional) Executive Functioning   This area isn’t always as evident as other areas

1. Simple tasks can cause extreme hardship.

2. Learning to drive a car or rounding the corner in a hallway can be troublesome.

3. New places offer their own set of challenges.

4. Anything that requires a reasonable amount of steps, dexterity, or know-how can rouse a sense of panic.

5. The thought of repairing, fixing, or locating something can cause anxiety.

6. Mundane tasks are avoided.

7. Cleaning may seem insurmountable at times.

8. Many questions come to mind when setting about to do a task.

9. Might leave the house with mismatched socks, shirt buttoned incorrectly, and/or have dyslexia.

10. A trip to the grocery store can be overwhelming.

11. Trouble copying dance steps, aerobic moves, or direction in a sports gym class.

12. Has a hard time finding certain objects in the house, but remembers with exact clarity where other objects are.

This list was compiled after nine years of readings, research, and experience associated with Asperger’s Syndrome. More information can be found at https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com © Everyday Aspergers, 2012 This non-official checklist can be printed for therapists, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, professors, teachers, and relatives, if Samantha Craft’s name and contact information remain on the print out.

Other Useful Links by Sam Craft:

116 Reasons I Know I have Aspergers

Another Important List of Traits 

1o Myths About Females With Aspergers