Day 197: Ten Traits

This post has never had the honor of its own day. So for day 197 I am reposting this. This post has brought hundreds of people together, and has been viewed by thousands and thousands of people all over the world. To see hundreds of comments go to this link, where the original post can be found. https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/aspergers-traits-women-females-girls/

Ten Traits

1) We are deep philosophical thinkers and writers; gifted in the sense of our level of thinking. Perhaps poets, professors, authors, or avid readers of nonfictional genre. I don’t believe you can have Aspergers without being highly-intelligent by mainstream standards. Perhaps that is part of the issue at hand, the extreme intelligence leading to an over-active mind and high anxiety. We see things at multiple levels, including our own place in the world and our own thinking processes. We analyze our existence, the meaning of life, the meaning of everything continually. We are serious and matter-of-fact. Nothing is taken for granted, simplified, or easy. Everything is complex.

2) We are innocent, naive, and honest. Do we lie? Yes. Do we like to lie? No. Things that are hard for us to understand: manipulation, disloyalty, vindictive behavior, and retaliation. Are we easily fooled and conned, particularly before we grow wiser to the ways of the world? Absolutely, yes. Confusion, feeling misplaced, isolated, overwhelmed, and simply plopped down on the wrong universe, are all parts of the Aspie experience. Can we learn to adapt? Yes. Is it always hard to fit in at some level? Yes. Can we out grow our character traits? No.

3) We are escape artists. We know how to escape. It’s the way we survive this place. We escape through our fixations, obsessions, over-interest in a subject, our imaginings, and even made up reality. We escape and make sense of our world through mental processing, in spoken or written form. We escape in the rhythm of words. We escape in our philosophizing.  As children, we had pretend friends or animals, maybe witches or spirit friends, even extraterrestrial buddies. We escaped in our play, imitating what we’d seen on television or in walking life, taking on the role of a teacher, actress in a play, movie star. If we had friends, we were either their instructor or boss, telling them what to do, where to stand, and how to talk, or we were the “baby,” blindly following our friends wherever they went. We saw friends as “pawn” like; similar to a chess game, we moved them into the best position for us. We escaped our own identity by taking on one friend’s identity. We dressed like her, spoke like her, adapted our own self to her (or his) likes and dislikes. We became masters at imitation, without recognizing what we were doing. We escaped through music. Through the repeated lyrics or rhythm of a song–through everything that song stirred in us. We escaped into fantasies, what cold be, projections, dreams, and fairy-tale-endings. We obsessed over collecting objects, maybe stickers, mystical unicorns, or books. We may have escaped through a relationship with a lover. We delve into an alternate state of mind, so we could breathe, maybe momentarily taking on another dialect, personality, or view of the world. Numbers brought ease. Counting, categorizing, organizing, rearranging. At parties, if we went, we might have escaped into a closet, the outskirts, outdoors, or at the side of our best friend. We may have escaped through substance abuse, including food, or through hiding in our homes. What did it mean to relax? To rest? To play without structure or goal? Nothing was for fun, everything had to have purpose. When we resurfaced, we became confused. What had we missed? What had we left behind? What would we cling to next?

4) We have comorbid attributes of other syndromes/disorders/conditions. We often have OCD tendencies (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), sensory issues (with sight, sound, texture, smells, taste), generalized anxiety and/or a sense we are always unsafe or in pending danger, particularly in crowded public places. We may have been labeled with seemingly polar extremes: depressed/over-joyed, lazy/over-active, inconsiderate/over-sensitive, lacking awareness/attention to detail, low-focus/high-focus. We may have poor muscle tone, be double-jointed, and lack in our motor-skills. We may hold our pencil “incorrectly.” We may have eating disorders, food obsessions, and struggles with diet. We may have irritable bowel, Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and other immune-challenges. We may have sought out answers to why we seemed to see the world differently than others we knew, only to be told we were attention seekers, paranoid, hypochondriacs, or too focused on diagnoses and labels. Our personhood was challenged on the sole basis that we “knew” we were different but couldn’t prove it to the world and/or our personhood was oppressed as we attempted to be and act like someone we were not. We still question our place in the world, who we are, who we are expected to be, searching for the “rights” and “wrongs;” and then, as we grow and realize there are no true answers, that everything is theory-based and limited, we wonder where to search.

5) We learn that to fit in we have to “fake” it. Through trial and error we lost friends. We over-shared, spilling out intimate details to strangers; we raised our hand too much in class, or didn’t raise our hand at all; we had little impulse control with our speaking, monopolizing conversations and bringing the subject back to ourselves. We aren’t narcissistic and controlling–we know we are not, but we come across that way. We bring the subject back to ourselves because that is how we make sense of our world, that is how we believe we connect. We use our grasp of the world as our foundation, our way of making sense of another. We share our feelings and understandings in order to reach out. We don’t mean to sound ego-centered or over zealous. It’s all we know. We can’t change how we see the world. But we do change what we say. We hold a lot inside. A lot of what we see going on about us, a lot of what our bodies feel, what our minds conjecture. We hold so much inside, as we attempt to communicate correctly. We push back the conversational difficulties we experience, e.g., the concepts of acceptable and accurate eye contact, tone of voice, proximity of body, stance, posture–push it all back, and try to focus on what someone is saying with all the do’s and don’ts hammering in our mind. We come out of a conversation exhausted, questioning if we “acted” the socially acceptable way, wondering if we have offended, contradicted, hurt, or embarrassed others or ourselves. We learn that people aren’t as open or trusting as we are. That others hold back and filter their thoughts. We learn that our brains are different. We learn to survive means we must pretend.

6) We seek refuge at home or at a safe place. The days we know we don’t have to be anywhere, talk to anyone, answer any calls, or leave the house, are the days we take a deep breath and relax. If one person will be visiting, we perceive the visit as a threat; knowing logically the threat isn’t real, doesn’t relieve a drop of the anxiety. We have feelings of dread about even one event on the calendar. Even something as simple as a self-imposed obligation, such as leaving the house to walk the dog, can cause extreme anxiety. It’s more than going out into society; it’s all the steps that are involved in leaving–all the rules, routines, and norms. Choices can be overwhelming: what to wear, to shower or not, what to eat, what time to be back, how to organize time, how to act outside the house….all these thoughts can pop up. Sensory processing can go into overload; the shirt might be scratchy, the bra pokey, the shoes too tight. Even the steps to getting ready can seem boggled with choices–should I brush my teeth or shower first, should I finish that email, should I call her back now or when I return, should I go at all? Maybe staying home feels better, but by adulthood we know it is socially “healthier” to get out of the house, to interact, to take in fresh air, to exercise, to share. But going out doesn’t feel healthy to us, because it doesn’t feel safe. For those of us that have tried CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), we try to tell ourselves all the “right” words, to convince ourselves our thought patterns are simply wired incorrectly, to reassure ourself we are safe…the problem then becomes this other layer of rules we should apply, that of the cognitive-behavior set of rules. So even the supposed therapeutic self-talk becomes yet another set of hoops to jump through before stepping foot out of the house. To curl up on the couch with a clean pet, a cotton blanket, a warm cup of tea, and a movie or good book may become our refuge. At least for the moment, we can stop the thoughts associated with having to make decisions and having to face the world. A simple task has simple rules.

7) We are sensitive. We are sensitive when we sleep, maybe needing a certain mattress, pillow, and earplugs, and particularly comfortable clothing. Some need long-sleaves, some short. Temperature needs to be just so. No air blowing from the heater vent, no traffic noise, no noise period. We are sensitive even in our dream state, perhaps having intense and colorful dreams, anxiety-ridden dreams, or maybe precognitive dreams. Our sensitivity might expand to being highly-intuitive of others’ feelings, which is a paradox, considering the limitations of our social communication skills. We seek out information in written or verbally spoken form, sometimes over-thinking something someone said and reliving the ways we ought to have responded. We take criticism to heart, not necessarily longing for perfection, but for the opportunity to be understood and accepted. It seems we have inferiority complexes, but with careful analysis, we don’t feel inferior, but rather unseen, unheard, and misunderstood. Definitely misunderstood. At one point or another, we question if in fact we are genetic hybrids, mutations, aliens, or  displaced spirits–as we simply feel like we’ve landed on the wrong planet. We are highly susceptible to outsiders’ view points and opinions. If someone tells us this or that, we may adapt our view of life to this or that, continually in search of the “right” and “correct” way. We may jump from one religious realm to another, in search of the “right” path or may run away from aspects of religion because of all the questions that arise in theorizing. As we grow older, we understand more of how our minds work, which makes living sometimes even more difficult; because now we can step outside ourselves and see what we are doing, know how we our feeling, yet still recognize our limitations.  We work hard and produce a lot in a small amount of time. When others question our works, we may become hurt, as our work we perceive as an extension of ourselves. Isn’t everything an extension of ourselves–at least our perception and illusion of reality? Sometimes we stop sharing our work in hopes of avoiding opinions, criticism, and judgment. We dislike words and events that hurt others and hurt animals. We may have collected insects, saved a fallen bird, or rescued pets. We have a huge compassion for suffering, as we have experienced deep levels of suffering. We are very sensitive to substances, such as foods, caffeine, alcohol, medications, environmental toxins, and perfumes; a little amount of one substance can have extreme effects on our emotional and/or physical state.

8) We are ourselves and we aren’t ourselves. Between imitating others and copying the ways of the world, and trying to be honest, and having no choice but to be “real,” we find ourselves trapped between pretending to be normal and showing all our cards. It’s a difficult state. Sometimes we don’t realize when we are imitating someone else or taking on their interests, or when we are suppressing our true wishes in order to avoid ridicule. We have an odd sense of self. We know we are an individual with unique traits and attributes, with uniques feelings, desires, passions, goals, and interests, but at the same time we recognize we so desperately want to fit in that we might have adapted or conformed many aspects about ourselves. Some of us might reject societal norms and expectations all together, embracing their oddities and individuality, only to find themselves extremely isolated. There is an in between place where an aspie girl can be herself and fit in, but finding that place and staying in that place takes a lot of work and processing. Some of us have a hard time recognizing facial features and memorize people by their clothes, tone of voice and hairstyle. Some of us have a hard time understanding what we physically look like. We might switch our preference in hairstyles, clothes, interests, and hobbies frequently, as we attempt to manage to keep up with our changing sense of self and our place. We can gain the ability to love ourselves, accept ourselves, and be happy with our lives, but this usually takes much inner-work and self-analysis. Part of self-acceptance comes with the recognition that everyone is unique, everyone has challenges, and everyone is struggling to find this invented norm. When we recognize there are no rules, and no guide map to life, we may be able to breathe easier, and finally explore what makes us happy.

9) Feelings and other people’s actions are confusing. Others’ feelings and our own feelings are confusing to the extent there are no set rules to feelings. We think logically, and even though we are (despite what others think) sensitive, compassionate, intuitive, and understanding, many emotions remain illogical and unpredictable. We may expect that by acting a certain way we can achieve a certain result, but in dealing with emotions, we find the intended results don’t manifest. We speak frankly and literally. In our youth, jokes go over our heads; we are the last to laugh, if we laugh at all, and sometimes ourselves the subject of the joke. We are confused when others make fun of us, ostracize us, decide they don’t want to be our friend, shun us, belittle us, trick us, and especially betray us. We may have trouble identifying feelings unless they are extremes. We might have trouble with the emotion of hate and dislike. We may hold grudges and feel pain from a situation years later, but at the same time find it easier to forgive than hold a grudge. We might feel sorry for someone who has persecuted or hurt us. 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. Sometimes situations, conversations, or events are perceived as black or white, one way or another, and the middle spectrum is overlooked or misunderstood. A small fight might signal the end of a relationship and collapse of one’s world, where a small compliment might boost us into a state of bliss.

10) We have difficulty with executive functioning. The way we process the world is different. Tasks that others take for granted, can cause us extreme hardship. Learning to drive a car, to tuck in the sheets of a bed, to even round the corner of a hallway, can be troublesome. Our spacial awareness and depth-awareness seems off. Some will never drive on a freeway, never parallel park, and/or never drive. Others will panic following directions while driving. New places offer their own set of challenges. Elevators, turning on and off faucets, unlocking doors, finding our car in a parking lot, (even our keys in our purse), and managing computers, electronic devices, or anything that requires a reasonable amount of steps, dexterity, or know-how can rouse in us a sense of panic. While we might be grand organizers, as organizing brings us a sense of comfort, the thought of repairing, fixing, or locating something causes distress. Doing the bills, cleaning the house, sorting through school papers, scheduling appointments, keeping track of times on the calendar, and preparing for a party can cause anxiety. Tasks may be avoided. Cleaning may seem insurmountable. Where to begin? How long should I do something? Is this the right way? Are all questions that might come to mind. Sometimes we step outside of ourselves and imagine a stranger entering our home, and question what they would do if they were in our shoes. We reach out to others’ rules of what is right, even in isolation, even to do the simplest of things. Sometimes we reorganize in an attempt to make things right or to make things easier. Only life doesn’t seem to get easier. Some of us are affected in the way we calculate numbers or in reading. We may have dyslexia or other learning disabilities. We may solve problems and sort out situations much differently than most others. We like to categorize in our mind and find patterns, and when ideas don’t fit, we don’t know where to put them. Putting on shoes, zipping or buttoning clothes, carrying or packing groceries, all of these actions can pose trouble. We might leave the house with mismatched socks, our shirt buttoned incorrectly, and our sweater inside out. We find the simple act of going grocery shopping hard: getting dressed, making a list, leaving the house, driving to the store, and choosing objects on the shelves is overwhelming.

This list is based on workshops, videos, literature, personal accounts, and my own experience. Females with Asperger’s Syndrome present themselves very differently than males. This is not an all-encompassing list. It’s not a criteria. It’s limiting and bias-based, as it’s only my view. It is my current truth. I don’t claim to be an expert or professional….but I do know an awful lot about the subject. I hold a Masters Degree in Education, have Aspergers, one of my sons has Aspergers, and I have several graduate-level classes in counseling psychology…I guess I am sort of an expert, after all. ~ Sam Craft

© 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.
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Day 75: A Good Day in My Book

Image found at CHAAR - Click for link

Alternate Title: What Accounts for a Good Day in my Book…assuming I had a book, which I don’t. That’s why I blog.

I seem to be big into the alternate titles. It would be fun to make a list of alternative titles for people, places, and things. I bet you can think of a few alternative titles you’d like to call some people! Of course, I mean this in friendly, Buddhist-minded terms—like the enlightened one and the gentle being.

Okay, so I’m a goof. This I know. Nothing wrong with goof, except that goof is closely related to the spelling of goon and goob. Coincidence? I think not.

Backspace, Samantha.

Speaking of the name Samantha, I’ve been using the name Sam so much to answer readers’ comments that I’ve started answering some of my personal emails with the name Sam, instead of my given legal name. I find this quite funny. I imagine getting an email back from a close friend I have known for twenty years, and her signing her name “Rhonda” instead of “Lisa,” and that just cracks me up. I’d be thinking: This chick has surely flipped. Then I’d be thinking what does “flipped out” mean, and what is the origin of this saying. I digress.

If you ever read a post of mine and I come across as level-headed, straight to the point, dry and organized, please assume I have been taking over by a life-sucking pod like in the classic horror flick The Body Snatchers. I am not going to wake up one day, in this same human form anyhow, and be able to stick to one agenda or one point, unless I’m making a list. And even then, the list will likely meander or be super long. I don’t get how someone can just list a few facts and be done. If I tried to do that I would have so much stuff leftover in my brain, I’d need three more blogs to write the rest of the list.

Hmmmm? Have you ever noticed how some bloggers have more than one blog? Maybe it’s so they can appear sane. But I bet if you put a person’s multiple blogs’ blogging-words (posts) together, the combined words would create and entirely different profile. Something to think about if you work for the secret-service, FBI, or stalk people.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Found at All Movies; click for link

Don’t worry. I’m sticking to one blog with posts that could easily over spill into three more days of posts.

Backspace, Samantha.

I want to talk about how people used to say: The field of battle, and how they now say battlefield, and how the field of battle sounds so much cooler. I can picture a bunch of goobs upping their sophistication level ten marks, while munching open-mouthed on chips and dip, by saying, the field of football. But I’m not here to talk about that. But what other ways could we feasibly employ this sentence structure…Beatles song: “Fields of Strawberries forever.”

I wonder why I couldn’t focus in school? I still don’t agree with the one comment on my fifth grade report card: Has trouble occupying self when finishes work early. I’m certain I was occupying myself fully. I just happened to appear comatose and staring off in space. No doubt. Unless I was body-snatched since then.

Do you see how I did a full circle back to the previous prose in the last sentence? That is the sign of a gifted writer—or a rambling circular-state, similar to when a dog chases its tail. Dogs are cute. I’m okay with that. No butt sniffing though. Or licking, or poop eating, or garbage hounding…crap, for being so cute, dogs do a lot of gross-me-out stuff.

Image found at Spiritually Directed

Backspace, Samantha.

I better stop myself. How do I do that? First scroll up to remember what the heck the original title of this post was. Now focus.

Good day? Well so far today sucks rotten eggs. It’s only ten in the morning and I am yawning constantly, dealing with a leg cramp, messed up the time of my massage appointment (= no massage), waited in the waiting room for blood tests, until I found out I was supposed to fast (= no blood test), opened an envelope with unexpected and unwanted bill, and opened a new loaf of bread to discover clouds of green mold.

Here’s what a Good day looks like in my book:

A Good Day in My Book

  1. The internet works efficiently and I can log on and obsess about my social network group page and my blog stats.
  2. When I slept the whole night through without being disturbed by a dog’s bark, my husband’s restless leg, or nightmares where I find myself back at college, only I’ve forgotten how to find the classroom and I’m late to class.
  3. When there is some form of chocolate in the house that I can reach and open with little effort.
  4. When no one rants, raves, whines, or screams at me.
  5. When I can stay in my pajamas all day, not brush my hair, have no appointments, feel no attachment to doing chores, and my husband cleans the dishes and brings home takeout.
  6. When Netflix adds new television series to the menu. Especially intense documentaries, genius comics, and the show Weeds.
  7. When someone calls and says something nice, like I love you, Let’s get together soon, or Can I please, please, come and clean your house and watch your kids? It would mean a lot to me.
  8. When my dog doesn’t eat my underwear.
  9. When I can think of something to write without having to watch two hours of Internet videos first for inspiration and without having to delete the three page post I wrote while tipsy.
  10. When a reader truly gets me and I find a way to make her or him smile.
  11. When I reread Tony Attwood’s (Aspegers guru, author, speaker) email complimenting my blog and specifically the list of female traits for females with Aspergers.

All in all, yesterday was a good day in my book. Everything on the list happened, except no one volunteered to come over to the house and my dog ate my underwear, again. She only eats my underwear. Makes me wonder. But that will have to wait for another post.

Here Comes The Sun. Oh, and here comes Spastic Colon, my dog, with my underwear!

Day 73: When You’re Strange


Got Quirks?

(These are not my quirks. These are quirks I compiled. I have some of these. But not all!)


Food Quirks

Certain foods broken or separated, like broccoli spears

Picking out food, like onions out of burritos

Pull strings or pieces off of food

Must have certain ounces of water everyday

Certain foods can’t touch

Food eaten in specific order, such as colors, favorites, food type

Use certain utensils all the time

Must have a beverage to eat

Eat crust first

Cut off crust

Eat colored candy by color group

Save the best on plate for last

Food aversions, like running away from bananas

Exact amount of cream in coffee

Not eating the last bite

Specific way to eat a cream-filled cookie or shelled candy

Sit in same spot for meals

Hand Quirks

Wash hands often

Nails neat and clean

Nail polish never chipped

Clip nails often

Sanitizer or alcohol wipes used often

Handshakes avoided

Use certain pen that feels right to write lists and notes

Organizational Quirks

Frames on wall at straight angle

Clothes color coordinated in closet or drawer

Cds and books organized by genre, alphabet, release date

Dishes go in dishwasher or drying rack the exact same way

Clothes face the same direction in closet

Labels always face the front in cupboard

Toothpaste squeezed a certain way

Bedtime Quirks

Television on

White noise

Number of pillows

Hug or bundle blankets/pillow

Sleep on certain side or in certain direction

Bedroom door opened a certain distance or closed

Arms and legs under the covers

Lip balm applied before bed

Pillow flipper

Socks worn to bed

Lighting exact

No body part hanging over the bed

Face down, on side, or face up

Pee right before going to bed

Certain number of hours of sleep mandatory

Go to bed at exact time each night

Certain blankie

Number Quirks

Add numbers on license plates, of addresses, or dates

Doing things on purpose an even or odd number of times

Alarm clock set to an odd number

Alarm clock a few minutes fast always

Hit snooze certain number of times every morning

Vehicle Quirks

Favorite seat when passenger in a car

Favorite place in plane

Complain aloud about other drivers

Talk to your car

Talk to self

Bargain with the gods about traffic

Talk to the traffic lights

Hang a lucky charm

Change music or turn music up louder, depending on who is nearby

Bathroom Quirks

Have to pee when entering a new place

Can’t go until in privacy of home

Outhouse aversions

Public bathroom has to be empty before you can go

Toilet roll inward or outward

Toilet seat up or down

Body Parts and Bodily Function Quirks (Aversions)

Touching feet

Naked belly flesh

Flossing teeth

Ear picking

Head picking

Belches

Hair on counter or surface

Plumber’s butt

Wart hair

Eyebrows overgrown

Think of some? Feel free to comment.

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

THIS BLOG EVERYDAY ASPERGER’S BY SAMANTHA CRAFT IS RETIRED. HER NEW BLOG CAN BE FOUND AT EVERYDAY ASPIE AND HER COMPANY WEBSITE AT MYSPECTRUMSUITE.COM  THANK YOU FOR THE COMMUNITY AND SUPPORT YOU HAVE OFFERED THROUGH THE YEARS.

Sam’s new book is here!

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

 

116 Reasons I Know I Have Aspergers

116 Reasons I Know I have Asperger’s Syndrome

1.  Writing this list.

2.  Enjoying writing this list.

3.  Love, love, love animals and bugs.

4.  Do I have to leave the house?

5.  Nature is heavenly as long as I can stay clean.

6. Collector

7. Toys are objects to be organized, stacked, categorized, or cleaned.

8. Friday the 13th in 3-D three times because I think the number 3 is awesome!

9. Red fluffy socks with high-heels

10. Sweater on inside out, again.

11. Memorized how to spell and sing supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in an attempt to qualify for speech class.

12. I was Jacqueline Smith; never Farah.

13. Every stuffed animal named, categorized by birth, and kept until after college.

14. Snoopy in a chair looking out the back of the window of my first car.

15.  Seven days straight perfecting my penmanship before I began teaching.

16. Clever Clyde was a famous humanistic caterpillar in the stories I wrote.

17. Buddy One was my imaginary ghost friend.

18. Entering poetry (scam) contests.

19. Hamsters aren’t stuffed animals.

20.  Goldfish do die when left under the hot sun in a small bowl of water.

21. Childhood friends were students, the members of my club, customers, or placed in another subordinate position.

22. Backgammon pro by age nine. Cribbage pro by age fifteen.

23. Perfected Pac Man and Space Invaders while watching every episode of Three’s Company.

24. Called dumb blonde, in regards to getting jokes; I’m a brunette.

25. You do not sit with your legs spread while wearing a cheerleading skirt.

26. If I’m her best friend, why does she need more friends than me?

27. I have a confession to make, I was thinking about lying, but I didn’t.

28. Naïve, sweet, gullible, unique, hyper, interesting, odd…

29. I have 120 flaws; should I list them?

30. Don’t answer the phone!!!

31. Note to self: Read the birthday card before grabbing the money and jumping up and down.

32. Hello? Your toenails do need to be cleaned occasionally.

33. “Snob! You always look away.”

34. Victim, with her head down.

35. Statistically speaking your chances of dying from that are slim; I researched it for five days.

36. Website built, 100 pages total, in 5 weeks. Go baby.

37. Months and months on freebie websites equals toothbrushes, baskets, lotions, and much more.

38. I had the coolest property on Farmville.

39. Why do fantastic ideas the night before, not seem so fantastic in the morning?

40. Don’t answer the door!

41. I don’t want to go…It’s too much work for me to put on a bra.

42. Monopolize a conversation? Who me?

43. Depression, Anxiety, blah…blah….blah

44. Verbal processing

45. Can you say manuscript?

46. What exactly is a guilty pleasure? And why would people do something that makes them feel guilty?

47. I don’t understand, it’s old wives’ tales? Not old wise tale?

48.  Just Relax. Not comprehending. What does it feel like to relax?

49. Non-fiction galore.

50. Twitching and jumping because it’s museum time!

51. Oh no! You did not just change the plan.

52. Carpet, dirt, germs, clutter, blemishes, lips, breath….Yuck!

53. Don’t hug me right now.

54. Okay, you can hug me, but not too tight, that hurts.

55. Are my shoes on the right feet?

56. I wish I hadn’t sent them that garage sale crystal for their wedding present; what was I thinking?

57. Do you think she’ll like these earrings I never wore or a gift certificate?

58. What do you mean this letter might offend my professor?

59. Here’s a bruise, and another one. Look at this one.

60. Let’s drive around the block again and look for a spot. I can’t parallel park.

61. Group sports? Swinging a bat? Dressing for PE? Run in fear!

62. All the fun is in the planning. The party itself is terrifying.

63. Why do people bully and tease?

64. Give me a role or a part, and I’ll perfect it.

65. Should I dress like my best friend, my spiritual counselor, or the lady on my favorite soap opera?

66. I love having friends my mom’s age.

67. Monthly Bunco with the Episcopalian Retirement Group? Why not?

68. After-social-event debrief time: When I said this, do you think it was offensive? Why did she look at me that way? Should I have kept my mouth closed? Was that appropriate. I’m quitting Bunco; it’s too stressful.

69. My only friends in second grade, two twin boys, Chris and Jimmy.

70. My only friend in kindergarten, Keith. He moved to Hawaii.

71. Sure, I can write for ten hours straight. Can’t you?

72. Doesn’t everyone have a voice reminding them what to do during a conversation: make more eye contact, step closer, nod your head, smile, but not too big, insert giggle, let them talk more.

73.  Give me a passion and give me a week to learn everything there is to know about it.

74. Hypochondriac

75. Stop talking; you’re hurting my ears.

76. You smell funny.

77. Is that your natural hair color and how old are you?

78. Camping sucks.

79. Criteria for boyfriends? Criteria for friends? What?

80. Name an object. I can tell you 100 uses for it.

81. Let me fix the situation.

82. Just because the thought is in my head doesn’t mean it needs to get out. Or does it?

83. Crossing the street, so I don’t have to pass the stranger on the sidewalk.

84. How do you turn around at the halfway point of a walk without looking silly?

85. No events in college. One friend in college – before she stopped answering my calls.

86. ADHD, PTSD….blah, blah, blah

87. Therapists, psychologists, priests, reverends, psychiatrists, hypnotists, and the like are kind of clueless about recognizing Asperger’s in females.

88. I’ll just hang out in this closet until the party is over.

89. I’ll be in the backroom writing until the party is over.

90. I’ll be reading in the bathroom until the party is over.

91. Why do you ask me how I am when you don’t want to hear the answer?

92. IBS

93. Funerals are confusing.

94. Let’s practice small talk; the ritual is intriguing.

95. Queen of evaluation

96. Stopped eating lamb at age four, pork at age eleven.

97. Words are beautiful or painful.

98. Fixations, obsessions…blah, blah, blah

99. Let me organize your pantry.

100. I should have asked before buying a puppy?

101. What can I eat that doesn’t have pesticides, hormones, mutations, cancer-

causing ingredients, sugar, sugar-substitutes, dairy, preservatives, chemicals,

bleach…..I’m watching too many documentaries

102. Time for another organic juice fast. Time for more organic chocolate.

103. Either no one has ever flirted with me in my entire life or I don’t recognize

flirting.

104. Give me a visual, a guideline, a rule, and stop all the jabber.

105. I can tell you exactly where anything is on my kitchen shelves; but don’t ask me where my keys are.

106. Imaginary play is confusing unless there is a script.

107. I like to analyze the sentence structure and grammar in fictional books.

108. It’s hard to recognize faces.

109. Do you want to hear this record for the fiftieth time?

110. I’m the one reading the Buddhist book at my son’s baseball game.

111. Listen to what I wrote. I edited it.

112. Grownups shouldn’t lie about Santa or that the government is looking out for our best interest.

113. I trust you.

114. I over-share.

115. I would be happy to eat the same meal everyday.

116.That fixation to write this list is gone. I don’t know why, it just is. (It really bugs me this isn’t number 113.)

Sam’s book, Everyday Day Aspergers, has received great reviews and is on Amazon! Link

 

(I know. This is only MY story. Not yours.)

© 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