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Ghosthunter
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07 Apr 2005, 10:46 pm

The question is describe your dark journey
that may have brought you awareness
of your AS/HFA and how you experienced
it?

Here is a example: Ghosthunter..>

•Ages 1-5

I know very little about my mom & dad.
they divorced in 1968. I do know my
grandmother(now age 84) took my
sister and I in by the courts. My
mom would eventually have similar
fates for her other kids(my half-sibling)
which proves a point, not everyone is
meant to have kids.

I was told a longtime ago that there
was a van accident, and hearing loss
before age 2?. I will ask her later
about the details. I remember
speech issues by 3 because
glimpses of myself do come when
I read material on autism. The headphones,
the sound enclosed egg-like cartoned room
and tone testings(before or close to 5).

I don't remember med's?

I remember a unique starry eye'd
look in before age 5 photo's that
I once tried to destroy until my
grandmother hide them from me.

I remember a odd named special
school that I seem to recall "Dom...
Dim.... ?" in Marine County. Very
vague, cue-cards, pictures, and other
things that flash before me like short
quicktime movies when I read early
autism testings and educating.

I remember a strange toy, a plastic
cased game with little colored slider
that covered names under pictures.
some were true words about, others
false. This came back reading
how they teach autistic kids to see
deception.

Otherwise I am still fuzzy about this
period except that age 5 haunting look.

•Ages 6-10

I remember going to the field crying.

I remember stuttering

I remember the words of others "retard"

I remember a rock thrown and stiches
to my upper head because of it.

I remember going to a egg-cartoned
like room and talking to someone,
taped and hearing it back for pronounciation?

I remember being alone.

•Ages 10-15

I remember my bicycle being put up a tree
many times

I remember going into the piano locations
for solititude.

I remember getting comics from a speech
therapist for gaining pronounciations?

I remember hating this period.

I remember the AppleII 5.25 Floppied computer
with words.

I hated this time ©81'

"Boy keep playing the piano and there's the
door" said my step grandfather. and from
15-34 I associated homelessness and
creativitity and destructive friends(so-called)
for acceptance was normal.

I would go on but this is just a idea sample.....!

Thanks for posting, if you choose.

Sincerely Ghosthunter



Scoots5012
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07 Apr 2005, 11:26 pm

My parents perspecitve:

The first two months of my life I left my parents baffled. I didn't want to be held, I didn't like getting a bath. Any attempt at contact would leave me screaming. I couldn't even wear clothes at first, it bothered me too much.

Sensory issues dominated my early life. I wouldn't even suck a pacifier.

As I got into the terrible two's, it became apparent to my parents that I was slave to a routine. Daily tantrums would occur if things did not happen at a cetain time or things were out of place. In public places I was even worse. My parents were amazed at how intense a scream I could put out when I was in meltdown.

When I was three, I was at a mall stimming by watching some animitronic x-mas decorations. Another kid my age came up to me to interact with me. I ran away screaming. It was a traumatic experience for me and my parents. My mom was loosing it mentally and I was put into daycare.

My persepctive:

I remember thanksgiving 1981 right after I turned two. One of my uncles picked me up over his head and spun me around. Most kids would enjoy it, but I was left shaken and terrified.

In August 1982, my photographic memory kicked in. Since that time I can remember events in my life as clearly as if they happened yesterday.

June 1983: I first realize I'm different from the other kids. I had something another kid wanted, he asked me for it. Instead of screaming no at him like the other kids would have, I gave a long articulated answer to the kid that essentially said no. A short time I reflect on the moment and realize I'm not the same.

October 1985: I'm in kindergarden and I'm off to see the school counsler on a weekly basis becasue I "had issues" that needed to be solved.

January 1986: I'm in counseling, the principal is talking to me. The first words out of her mouth "So I hear scott has been mis-behaving again..."

1986-87: First grade, after being shown a films in class, I'm the only one who watches as the projecter re-winds the film, even getting yelled at by teacher for not paying attention.

Summer 1987: I'm at YMCA daycare, I get my first taste of bullying. I vent frustration by bashing my head against the wall. It doesn't take long for the department of health and wellfare to start harrasing my parents.

May 1988: School district says I need special education, my parents say no.

August 1990: I'm told I have a severe case of a disorder called "Attention Deficit Disorder"

September 1991: Full time bullying begins when I'm in sixth grade from two transfer students from Green Bay. It carries over to junior high and peaks in 8th grade, but really dosen't end until late 1997.

1997-1998: I form somewhat of a social life, I start hanging out with a kid I knew from junior high school who I now know is a schizophrenic.

October 2002: I'm going through a period of depression. I take a look back at my life and start plotting down where I exactly failed. Of the many things I realize, I realize I have no social skills.

June 1, 2004: I stumble across aspergers by accident and I see the light for the first time in my life.


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Postperson
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08 Apr 2005, 2:16 am

euwww gee...i tend to live in the present which is sort of a blessing in some ways, the past seems like a foreign country and someone else but here's some excerpts...sorry if this is long, but I'm over 45.

childhood: just not having any rapport with my siblings or parents, lots of little incidents at school, being cheated and tricked by my siblings often. Lots of anger from my mother who had her own 'issues' really, being herself an orphan. Having 'friends' visit once but not come again. Read a lot. Had singing lessons as an extrra curricular activity instead of tennis or football (which my siblings did). Liked to sing. Parents told me I was shy when I asked why things didn't seem to go the way they should for me.

high school: really much worse, felt like a stranger a lot, didn't get bullied but came close to a few catfights in the playground, as my gaze/body language was perceived as 'wrong'. Developed really bad posture. Disliked by almost all my teachers and having serious problems with maths. Complaint letter sent home to my parents who, to their credit, were enraged at the school, heh, one of the few times in my life my parents ever took my side or stood up for me. Perhaps they took it as a reflection on their parenting. With an orphan for a mother and an AS dad, our family was not like others, something which was brought home to me every time I met other kids families. Read a lot and developed some ability with art, which, strangely seemed to happen overnight. Went to art classes outside of school too. Got fat and clothes always looked wierd on me. I think I had major depression and spent a lot of time in my room alone, avoiding my family. Considered suicide but decided against it. Fell in with a 'bad' crowd (in hindsight, sociopaths, probably) and learnt to smoke and drink, had some fun there, though.

After high school: was accepted into art school where the teachers didn't like me again. I didn't understand course requirements and failed in several subjects and so was excluded from second year (kicked out basically). felt like a freak and had absolutely no idea what to do, since that was the only thing I'd planned. Clothes still looked really wierd on me, couldn't seem to get the clothes thing together. Kicked out of home.

20 something: lotsa unemployment and part time/casual work, mostly kitchenhand or data entry/filing jobs. Lots of bad experiences with ridicule and bullying in jobs. Casual drug use. Lost some weight. Learnt to type, loved it. 'Friends' disappeared and I think I was very isolated by about 25. Despairing of ever getting full time work, I knew the only way I would get it was to sit for the public service exam, because I knew I could pass exams, but I was aware that the office politics was pretty savage. So I sat the exam and joined the public service (think it's civil service in the UK) when I was about 29. It was a govt tv station, so it was interesting work, but an extremely bitchy/competitive environment.

More bullying and victimisation, but some fun times and a social life too, at work, I think I 'matured' a bit at about 30, and I was not quite so stupid socially. One of my colleagues/friends at work told me she was seeing a psychiatrist, which gave me the confidence to think that maybe I should. Prior to that I kept well away from that profession although I did wonder sometimes if I was not just a 'creative' type, but mad. Enrolled in a part time B.A. while working full time - very gruelling.

age about 33: being told by a univeristy lecturer that she didn't want me in her class because of my 'presence'....being accused by another lecturer of not writing my own essays. Had alrealdy been ridiculed by lecturers in front of other students, so started to feel like they wanted me to drop out, but heh, had no intention of doing so.

age about 38, was 'cracking up' health wise, mentally and physically so had to take a redundancy from work. Finished my degree off, while being a bit 'nuts'. It attracted lots of ridicule (that was nothing new) but it didin't seem to affect my ability to write reasonable essays. Finally graduated and didn't bother attending the ceremony. Finally did something about my posture as I had chronic back pain. Read the bibie a lot, hoping to find recover from my multiform illness, became a christian. Had always had an interest in the other worldly/supernatural but never seriously considered christianity before.

Started seriously looking for an explanation for all the problems I'd had. Saw some more shrinks but nothing they said rang true for me. My famility thought I was schizophrenic. Saw a profile piece on a tv show about a woman who had been previously dxed with schizophrenia, but was now dxed as autistic and I could strongly relate to her 'worldview', but I didn't think I could be autistic, that's like uh mutes and people who live in institutions. Rang an disabiltiy advice service and said, look I think I must have a disability - I get treated like a 3rd class citizen everywhere I go, I've experienced a lot of exclusion and ridicule, I'm physically normal, academically maybe above average, yet I've been asked if I was 'simple' and they said 'autism' and gave me the phone number of the local autism ass'n. It still took a while but I think I was about 42 when I finally got dx'ed. Applied for and (after a long and difficult time with the relevent authorities) was granted the disability pension. Got on the net. Here I am.



Ghosthunter
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08 Apr 2005, 6:27 pm

I will apologize for not giving a
response for the last 2 days. I have
been very busy in I-Physical things.

I find it very interesting in both
the posts I have read in the 15-20 age
group on this site, and then compare
it to yours(Scoots) being over 25, and
Postman's being over 40.
I being 39 this year can see the
patterns very similar to my own and
good forsight into how I, without awareness
of my HFA would have fallen by
continuing this dark journey.
I believe I should offer some
insight to the fact that from my fragmented
memories, Scoots, and Postmans that
awareness at any age(younger the better)
is the key to this light.

I may not agree on Med's and still
don't since I think hiding symptoms doesn't
solve anything and creates just another
dependency, this still doesn't negate
young awareness being a power for
a stronger future. I and Postman
have lived similar lives with a few degree
variences. Scoot is in a good position
to walk this light and not see 40 and
losses as severe as one would at 40.

I especially see the kids 15-20
who can possibly see a light and go
with their strengths(though med's are
a extreme).

Thankyou Scoots and Postman for
offering some input to better help
a younger generation. I strive to
see beyond even with my weaknesses.
and they don't have to spend
another 20 years to be there.

Sincerely,
Ghosthunter

P.S.....
Postman how are you faring on Disability?

Scoots hows the weather news, and
RTM classes going. I know you
have had a few negative swings your
direction.



Last edited by Ghosthunter on 08 Apr 2005, 6:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Postperson
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08 Apr 2005, 6:44 pm

I'm actually a woman, ghosthunter, lol.

I'm ok, recovered from the mental illness part a long time ago, and a lot of other parts but i just get exhausted easily, it was like a chronic fatigue thing that I had, so I just have no stamina. Disability is ok, I had to cut my losses and lead a low stress life, it can be a bit boring and of course - I'm not earning money, just getting by, but it's a huge relief to have that rest after what seemed to be a very hard life.



Morlock
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08 Apr 2005, 6:46 pm

In my elementary and middle school years, I had wondered countlessly why I had no close friends (few at all), and some people seemed to hate me right away, though they had never known me. Did I project some kind of bad aura? Was I a despised minority? did I just not know how to relate to them? Thankfully, toward the end of middle school, I was starting to become more popular. And, in freshman year, I was dx'd w/AS. At first I resisted, saying I was NO DIFFERENT from anyone else, I even egged the school's autism expert's house. But now I'm glad of it I've also learned in my soc skills class (and here) that aspies can be very fun people to hang out with



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08 Apr 2005, 7:33 pm

i had just moved to Salt Lake City in 1997. Things were really crappy for me as I had attempted suicide, so my parents were taking me from shrink to shrink because there was something much more then depression such as my social skills. Finally we came to Dr. Awana which seemed to pick this up almost immediately and diagnosed me with AS about a year later. I would not consider going to another psychologist now.


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Ghosthunter
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08 Apr 2005, 7:33 pm

Morlock,

What are the strong points
you find communicating with
fellow AS/HFA'rs and some of
the weak points?

If you don't mind me asking,
do you take med's, and if so
what happens when you get
off them? Was this a long
term off them? Was this a short
term off them?

This is new topic for me....
"soc skills class (and here) that aspies
can be very fun people to hang out with"

Can you describe it?



Ghosthunter
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08 Apr 2005, 7:44 pm

[axelkat
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unfortunately]

I will assume your under 20?

How and what did Dr. Awana say
and do to help you?

What kind of supports systems
do you have there?

There seems to be no support
systems for HFA/AS in San Francisco.
I tried online, the Autism societies,
ect.... This being S.F you would
think that they would have support
groups? This is why I am glad
I found WrongPlanet. It has
helped me say things and decode
my deeper self once buried deep
and fragmented in short images,
Because of this, I hope they
have some support system there.



Morlock
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08 Apr 2005, 7:51 pm

Ghosthunter wrote:
Morlock,

What are the strong points
you find communicating with
fellow AS/HFA'rs and some of
the weak points?

If you don't mind me asking,
do you take med's, and if so
what happens when you get
off them? Was this a long
term off them? Was this a short
term off them?

This is new topic for me....
"soc skills class (and here) that aspies
can be very fun people to hang out with"

Can you describe it?

A few of the aspies I met in my soc skills class share my strange, random sense of humor. John, (a rombo-ish looking guy, a punk-rocker and artiste), and Alex (large, slavic, into computar networking and robotics, has to shave twice a day). Them, I and some odd NTs hang out, and are known for being the strangest, most mischevious and conspicious group in the school.
As for meds, never been on them, never even been considered. I do have trouble with concentrating, and occaisional bursts of rage, but its still well within the "variant noramal" range.



axelkat
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08 Apr 2005, 7:55 pm

iam actually 21. Me and Dr. Awana have always connected somehow. She was the first shrink to actually be able to point out all the symptoms that i was experiencing. All the others were clueless. Actually, we do not really have any support systems either. I go to a group up at the UofU which is just supposed to teach us social skills which i mostly know. The only problem is they dont give us much time to talk to each other. I really wanna start a group of aspies that hang out together but the problem is finding the aspies.
A


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09 Apr 2005, 1:39 am

It's a very interesting topic, Ghosthunter. Here is my contribution [sorry, it got quite long].

Age 0-6

Unfortunately I don't have much information about this period, and the one that I have is somewhat incoherent. My parents died some time ago, and I have to base my knowledge on their letters and notes.
I started speaking at about 2 (but I used a few words before that). I have taught myself to read and write at 4 1/2. Preschool/kindergarten teachers complained about my behavior, had trouble communicating with me, and considered me retarded and unlikely to manage in school. At age 5 I was evaluated by a psychologist who found me gifted. Curiously, this is the only time I remember visiting a psychologist, although according to my mother's notes I saw many of them.
I remember having some friends and playing with them 1-on-1, but I also remember difficulty participating in peer groups. My parents were worried about the quality of my play (I have no more details). Apparently a doctor recommended that I needed to have more contact with other children. At age 6 I was described as having "behavioral disturbances detrimental to functioning in a peer group".
My mother had a small notepad where she recorded my "behavioral problems". I hated changes, and was often angry over small issues, or seemingly without reason. I was doing "unnecessary movements" (most likely my mother referred to jumping and flapping hands). On the other hand, I had big imagination, and divided my play time between spinning various things and pretend play.

Age 7-12

At school I excelled academically and sank socially. I was bullied constantly (teased and beaten up). I felt awkward among my peers and tried to get out of their way in order not to provoke them. At school I was spending recesses learning or pacing. I wasn't depressed over that situation, because I thought that it was normal. I was happy with my maps and did not see a reason to socialize. I had 3 acquaintances (one at a time), but I hadn't understood the concept of friendship yet. Because of that these acquaintances were utilitarian in nature and not very close (I didn't hang out with anyone if there wasn't a concrete reason to meet). I got a lot of ridicule because of my stimming (hand flapping being the worst), so I tried to block that behavior in public, believing it was embarrassing.

Age 13-15

I was bullied a lot by almost all kids in my class, and often came home bruised. At one point when I was 14 I missed a week of school, because my classmates became so aggressive that my mother was afraid of my life. I was quite depressed at that time, but I forgot that completely after a couple of months (I have relearned from my mother's letters). Quite fortunately my father got a job in another country, and as a result I was homeschooled for most of that period.

Age 16-19

I was bullied much less in high school (no more than twice a week on average), and this was a welcome break. I was very withdrawn, and did not go to any camps or parties with my classmates. My mother discussed my behavior with psychologists and concluded that I was mentally ill (of which I was completely unaware). After 1 year of high school I managed to find one buddy. Map obsession was replaced with the computer obsession. I was relatively happy, and still lacked a knowledge of concepts of friendship or social hierarchy. I managed to curb hand flapping so that I did it only when I was alone. Around age 19-20 I watched a movie about an autistic kid, who so cutely flapped his hands, departed into his own world, and run away when his mother wanted to hug him. Seeing that, my mother joked that she also had an autistic son. After thinking about it a lot, I rejected the idea, because the kid was clearly affected in ways that I was not.

Age 20-24

I have read somewhere that college is as much for learning, as it is for socializing. Well, for me the university was definitely for studying only. It was happy time, because the bullying stopped. Please note that I was studying at the department of mathematics and computer science, which was full of geeks. Again, I had one buddy, and did not even notice that others were socializing and pairing up. I got my first part-time employment (programming) and got fired after 2 months. I realized that I needed to work on myself in order to function in the society. I learned to smile, talk to strangers and on the phone. I concluded that I would fare much better in conversations if I could somehow analyze in real-time what the other person was thinking, and decided to gain this "superior consciousness". Graduated with honors from university at 25. At that age I still lived with my parents.

Age 25-29

Shortly after graduating, I have got an offer of a job in the US. After half a year of fighting with immigration bureaucracy, I waved my parents good-bye and hopped on a plane. That was the day when I became independent and did many things for the first time. My mother thought I would not manage, but I did (she told me that later).
I thought that I was doing great at my job, but after 6 months I was nearly fired, as no one wanted to work with me. There was at least 2 attempts to fire me, but I stayed at that job for 6.5 years. Programmers' jobs are usually quite stable. I had one buddy (surprise!), and started to make attempts to befriend some of my coworkers, but these attempts failed. The concept of friendship was still elusive to me. I had no girlfriends.

Age 30-33

My parents died tragically just days before my 30th birthday, and 2 years that followed were quite difficult. After several years I did not make any noticeable progress with my "superior consciousness" project, and I had to declare a failure. This made me realize for the first time that I was somehow different from other people. Most of my cousins and colleagues got married, and I started wondering if there was something wrong with me. I quit my job and decided to give myself some time to think what to do with the rest of my life (and learn physics in the meantime). By chance I stumbled on the article in Scientific American mentioning autism and the "theory of mind", which quite resembled my "superior consciousness". I recalled the old movie and got intrigued enough to investigate the subject. This way I have learned about the Asperger's Syndrome. I nearly fell of my chair when I read that hand flapping is one of diagnostic symptoms.
Months that followed were difficult and I wished many times that I did not read that American Scientific article. I realized how wrong I was about many things, and how shallow my interaction with others was. I lost whatever little social confidence I had, and decided to withdraw completely (not a big change). Just when I resigned to a solitary life, I have found WrongPlanet, friends and a girlfriend. I have also started a new job (a very geeky place), and so far it's going OK. Now I'm very glad that I have read that fateful article.