Anybody here diagnosed in childhood (under 16)?

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Joe90
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01 Aug 2021, 1:26 pm

I was not really obvious, but I did go through a phase of wringing my hands when I was about 12-14. But I have a couple of videos of me as a younger child and you wouldn't think I was on the spectrum at all; I was sociable and didn't stim or display any awkward body language. Plus one of them was filmed at a family barbecue with lots of extra people I didn't know, but I seemed all right (I was about 9 in this video). The only thing I did that might have been autistic was cover my ears if one of my family member's dog came out, as I was scared of dogs and thought they might bark loud. But that was it. I still ran off and played with the other children that were there.


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strokarton
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01 Aug 2021, 2:39 pm

(Posting here so I don't forget. Might come back to it later. Feel free to ask if there's anything specific you might want to know. If I'm afraid it will uniquely identify me, I might respond by PM).

I was. As a 10 year old (don't know exactly when the proces started and when it ended, but somewhere around that age, so say 9, 10, 11 -ish).

Was bullied at school. Parents moved, not because of the bullying but it was a nice chance to go to another school as well. Teacher there (new school) had a son with Aspergers and thought he recognized a thing or two. (I read the same books as his son from the school library, but he probably recognized a few personality traits as well).

At the "old" school they just had me tested for intelligence. (Rant: Because when a kid is bullied, somehow they're the ones that get tested / get 'training' etc. -> IMHO it's the bulies that lack social skills and should go to a social skills training! Anyway, I digress. End rant.) Result was that they did not find anything wrong with that, but they suspected I was playing tricks on them because I excelled at one thing and was really terrible slow on another. I wasn't playing tricks on them. Simply have a "disharmonic inteligence profile". But overal intelligence was OK. (Verbal inteligence above performal inteligence by quite a margin, but performal inteligence nearly 100, so OK. On a sidenote: that was compared to other kids my age ofc, I wonder what it would be now... possibly I was just "older" verbally and "younger" performally)

Diagnosis helped me understand myself and why the other kids thought I was different. Helped me not to get angry at them so much. ("getting me angy" was kind of a game the bullies liked to play so key in not letting them win was keeping my cool. Still a usefull skill. Please don't test it.)

Later, in highschool, diagnosis helped me stay in school / get more understanding from teachers. Got decent grades but wasn't so good on 'attendance'. On that could have been sent of to a 'special' school, but since that was much further away from home probably would not have helped matters of attendance... With a really good mentor made it trough the first 3 years, then with another few good mentors made it trough the other 4. That maybe should have been 3, but the result is what counts. Also, my mother really understood me and helped and supported a lot. And had a bit of luck, I think. (On another tangent: Maybe someday somehow I can help other Aspies get trough highschool...)

So, thats a small bit from the age 9(ish) to 19 part of my life story :) (Mostly the 8-12 bit)

All in all, Aspergers is part of my personality, and I would not want to change it. Though sometimes it bites me. E.g when a day later I understand why I was misunderstood or accidentally mis-socialed something (Not daring to say hello to a group, that sort of thing. Being too shy to help someone. Being overly self aware about things. Completely misunderstanding a point sometimes. Being focused on a detail but missing another important detail. Or missing the big picture). Or that I even think about such things a day later. So I would like to be able to switch if of temporarily for a bit. But I would not want to loose it. (But isn't that just because I dislike change in general? Being an Aspie and all ;). Also a bit of "I should be able to be who I am")

Then there is times when the diagnosis is certainly Unhelpful. But all in all, so far, it has more helped then hindered me, I think. With or without the label, I'm the same person anyway. (And I have the luxury of not always having to tell.)



kraftiekortie
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01 Aug 2021, 11:01 pm

^That’s right.

You are a person more than you are your “disorder.”



AlanMooresBeard
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02 Aug 2021, 6:13 am

I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when I was 8 years old. This was around the time that Asperger’s Syndrome began to be acknowledged as a recognised condition in the U.K.. I was told that I had it by my parents and the psychiatrist who diagnosed me shortly afterwards. Prior to my diagnosis, I was in the language unit of my primary school as I did exhibit some difficulties in communication as a young child. Once I had my diagnosis, I then went to a special school several miles from my home where I stayed until I was 16 at which point I moved onto a local sixth form college (basically a high school) and ultimately university.

I feel lucky that I was diagnosed at a young age. I would have hated struggling through life without knowing why I had such difficulty functioning as an adult. Not that I don’t struggle with life nowadays but at least I know what my shortcomings are and the reasons why I have them.



ArtsyFarsty
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09 Aug 2021, 5:32 pm

Joe90 wrote:

Even a lot of people in their 20s here seem to be awaiting a diagnosis. I mean, how did they manage to slip through the cracks growing up with autism in the 1990s-2000s? How come I had to be strictly under family support services from age 7-18 and had no friends as a teenager? I didn't have special interests as a child, I made normal eye contact, I was social, could play imaginary play with other children and had no speech delays.

I just don't get it. I suppose because I was diagnosed so early I find it baffling to imagine how other people on the spectrum got through childhood without anybody batting an eye about their behaviours.

I can absolutely see why children slipped through the cracks for so long: if they’re not in an environment where anyone would even notice developmental delays, there is no one to initiate an assessment. From my own experience and general observation, it’s very common for children in lower socioeconomic households to be diagnosed later, partly due to lack of awareness (“Eh, kids walk/talk/etc when they’re good and ready. Cousin so-and-so didn’t walk until he was 4 years old.”), partly because the adults are already dealing with so many other stressors that children, beyond have their basic needs met, get lost in the shuffle.



Joe90
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09 Aug 2021, 6:02 pm

It wasn't my parents that noticed anything, it was the school for being so forceful. My parents got the impression that if they refused to take me to assessments and things to get me a diagnosis they'd be bad parents or I'd be taken away from them or something. They weren't told that but they got that impression. On the way to these assessments, 7-year-old me screamed and cried because I hated going to these assessments and places, I actually wanted to be at school instead. It made me miserable. I didn't even feel that different from my peers, it was only since having this label that I suddenly felt different, because I had something none of them had.
I think I would have been a happier child if I hadn't had the diagnosis. I would even hide whenever the family social worker came to my house, and I even told her I hated her and to stop trying to fix me.
When I was first told I had Asperger's - at only 8 years of age - I couldn't handle it. I'd even swear about it, and I was never the sort of child to swear. My brother would laugh at me, push me and sing "you have Asperger's! You're not normal!" in a 'nah-nah-nah-nah-nah' voice. Luckily he grew out of that quickly but it still made me mad.

I just know I would have been better off without the diagnosis, or at least not knowing about it until I, and other children around me, were older and more mature enough to understand it.

Do you see now that having a diagnosis so young was such a bad experience for me?


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Edna3362
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09 Aug 2021, 9:33 pm

Strange reversal.

I've always felt different way before diagnosis. Most especially around age 8.
I've already been bullied and bothered by the environments by then.

It just made me more violent and not want to be at school -- anywhere but whatever school I'm at.
Enough to bug my parents to have me transfer... Twice.

Too bad each change of schools, kids didn't changed.
Even diagnosis or not, nothing changed about those kids and those noises.

So when a change happens -- be it leaving classes to go to a sped session or getting dragged by 2 days worth of travel to an assessment... I never protested.

I simply soaked into any involved changes -- maybe this is also why I'm more lenient to changes.
Heck even the idea in jest that someone wants to adopt me felt flattering. It's just that I wanna go somewhere, but I don't know where...

Except at school, definitely.


At the very moment when someone told me I wasn't NT, I suddenly have two conflicting thoughts and feelings:
It meant I'm the wrong one all this time and it shouldn't be true that I have to change for others -- that I'm the weird one the odd out one that I won't be free either ways.
Or that I don't have to be ashamed and just be free either wayd that I standout well or that I'm special.

It both pleased and harmed my ego.

Guess what my pubescent self chose first?? :lol: It seem extreme and very contradictory.

But the outcome was just as weird.
Or maybe this is why I'm inconsistent.

And I don't know about my parents.
Except they're already quarrelling over the phone long before any of this happened.

My dad, who's been at abroad since after I turned 6, is somewhat against the idea of me getting assessed. I don't know why other than more arguments about money.


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Tim_Tex
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09 Aug 2021, 9:39 pm

I was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at 9, and diagnosed with AS at 16.


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League_Girl
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10 Aug 2021, 5:25 pm

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
Generally speaking, if you were born from 1990 onwards, you're chance of getting diagnosed in childhood was much greater.

If you were born before the 1980s, the opportunity was non-existent.

Born in the 1980s, there is a so-so chance you may have been an early childhood diagnosee. But it took time for shrinks to catch on to diagnosing children, so even then the chances were slim. Also, I think the proliferation of the Internet ~2000 helped spread the idea of Apserger's among mental health practitioners.

If a user is in his 60s, rest assured he wasn't diagnosed in childhood.



I guess I got lucky then in 1997 and happened to see the right psychiatrist and be in the right situation. I blame my school for it. If they had followed my IEP and listened to my parents and to me, I wouldn't have gotten diagnosed.


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Sarahsarah24
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12 Aug 2021, 8:07 pm

I was informally diagnosed by my mother when I was seven but it was said so matter-of-fact that I unconsciously treasured it. Nothing was ever so clear as my mother saying "you have autism!" And me saying, "no I don't."
Anyways, I'm 20 now and got a diagnosis of autism from a behavioral health crisis facility but it was removed in my updated records when I was moved to the normal behavioral health facility.
I don't know if I actually have autism or if I just liked being given something by my mom but I've been having an identity crisis since my teens.



Joe90
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13 Aug 2021, 12:01 pm

I think another reason why I wish I hadn't been diagnosed so early in life is because I spent most of my childhood believing I was singled out because I had Asperger's. For example, one time when I was 10 the teacher put a piece of candy on everybody's desk in the class. Not everyone had the same candy, and mine was a blueberry lollypop (I don't know the American equivalent for that). I looked around to see if anyone else had a blue lollypop but nobody did, so I thought I was just given a blue lollypop because I had Asperger's.

Another example is when I was 15 after my parents split up, my mum kept demanding my dad for the child money he had to pay for me (my brother was 18 by then so he didn't have to pay child support for him). But at the time I thought child support meant something a parent pays for a kid with special needs.

Also when I was about 8-9 I felt like I was being watched. As part of the process of getting the sh***y diagnosis, an observer had to sit in the classroom to observe everything I did closely (because, you know, like the world was going to end if I didn't get this diagnosis :roll: ), and after that I thought these people had a special telescope thing that could watch me everywhere, even when I was going to the bathroom. It stressed me out a great deal and I sometimes used to yell "stop watching me!" when I was on the toilet.

It's more stressful than you think for a young child to go through. I could have done without it all and just lived a diagnosis-free childhood like every other child I knew.


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TenMinutes
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13 Aug 2021, 6:56 pm

age 3

My mom thought I mostly got over it, and didn't even tell me about it until I was 35. Curiously, she did tell my siblings in their teens or twenties, and continued to use autism as an explanation for how I was, despite not thinking it worth mentioning to ME.



firemonkey
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14 Aug 2021, 2:30 am

This 'dxed as a child' thing should be seen in the context of when you were born and when the dx was broadened. The earliest I could have got my Asperger's dx was at 35 years old,if I'd been under a competent mental health team.

Does that mean I'm less severely autistic than someone born in 1987 who was dxed in 1992? Not necessarily.Your age when you were dxed is a very bad means of deciding that.


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