How Can People Tell (Or Think) I May Be Autistic?

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Mountain Goat
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30 May 2021, 10:42 am

Ok... I have not been assessed.

A friend of my brothers who is about 18 years younger then I am came up here before with his new girlfriend and her son, and today now the lockdown has eased, he came up to visit. While he wanted to visit my brother, he came to say hello to us as we were here and my brother was not back, and then he came back and had to leave again.
As at the moment he does not have a car on the road, he had come up on his motorbike. He loves motorbikes and he had sold his last one and has another. Now his motorbike decided to have an electrical issue so there was no power to start it, so he needed to borrow some tools. It was unexpected which pushed me into a partial shutdown, so I was struggling but I managed to get him the tools.
When I was mostly recovered, but still in a shutdown daze, I was able to go out to try to explain why I could not be there to help. My Mum mentioned I am on a list to be assessed for autism, and he said "Oh. My girlfriend said that you were autistic". Puzzled as to how she would have thought that, he then said "She has worked with people who are autistic".

What puzzles me is how could she tell? What am I doing or saying that makes people think that? I am puzzled a bit because to me I don't seem to be doing anything different apart from being me.

Somehow, something I do or say is different? It is a bit of a puzzle to try and work out! Haha.



HeroOfHyrule
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30 May 2021, 11:25 am

Differences in body language, tone, gait, eye contact, among other things. When someone has specific, noticeable differences in multiple things like that, people who have met quite a few autistic people may be able to tell that person might be autistic. We often convey a lot more about ourselves via those differences than we think we do, even if we mask "well".


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Mountain Goat
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30 May 2021, 1:16 pm

HeroOfHyrule wrote:
Differences in body language, tone, gait, eye contact, among other things. When someone has specific, noticeable differences in multiple things like that, people who have met quite a few autistic people may be able to tell that person might be autistic. We often convey a lot more about ourselves via those differences than we think we do, even if we mask "well".


It is odd isn't it that we don't notice things and yet others do.



King Kat 1
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30 May 2021, 1:58 pm

I don't have a diagnoses myself either. I remember an EX of mine was the first point out that I am VERY likely on the spectrum, this was back when I was 24(now 41). Then a couple years later, when my Mom was still working, a co-worker of hers, son was diagnosed as autistic. As her co-worker talked about her son, a light bulb went off about my behaviors.

The hand flapping(when I was younger), narrow but deep interests, fear of change, no eye contact, not talking enough or too much, hand wringing(which I still do), clumsiness, and always wanting to spend time alone.

Some years ago, a guy who works in another department at my work, was hired into the company through a disability program. He's an aspie and is very out about it. Soon after, a person I worked with in another department, who bullied me when I first started was saying I was like the guy mentioned.

People think I'm a bit quirky and odd but I don't think they think of me as autistic, I can pass for normal in some ways but I get the feeling also that some people are on to me.


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Joe90
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30 May 2021, 3:09 pm

People can't seem to tell that I have an ASD. At my last job I worked with a woman who had a son around my age with diagnosed Asperger's. He had a big meltdown because of working too much, and he had to have a week off to deal with shutdown. So one day I was talking to his mum and I asked how her son was, then I said that I've never had that experience before (she didn't know I had Asperger's). So she said "but he has something called Asperger's syndrome" and started to explain what Asperger's and autism was, like you would to an NT with no experience of autism. Because I'm rather closeted about my diagnosis anyway, I didn't say that I have it, I just said "oh, I see" (in a sympathetic way). So it was obvious that she had no clue that I was actually an Aspie, even though I worked with her a lot.

But it might be because I'm a female, I don't know. Unless you're really obvious, I don't think people suspect Asperger's in females so much, even if they come across as a bit odd or nerdy. I don't know why.


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carlos55
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30 May 2021, 3:32 pm

Autism is very common these days, everyone has heard of it. Unlike the 20 years ago when the word was usually mentioned in the same sentence as vaccines or the rain man movie.

Most NT people know someone who has a family member with autism, or knows a child in their kid`s school with it.

Knowledge of autistic symptoms are becoming common knowledge, so spotting kids or adults with it is easier, though they may keep suspicions to themselves out of fear or social politeness.



Mountain Goat
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30 May 2021, 4:34 pm

Thanky you for the replies.

I have to say in regards to the last reply. I did not know what autism was and it is very clear that people I have met just don't have a clue.
One lady happened to call in when I found myself on the list to be assessed and it came up in conversation and she said "No way do you have autism. Autistic people need wheelchairs to get around in".
Now she is a school teacher who is in her late 50's and she works for one of the largest schools in Wales which teaches 11 to 16 year olds. The school is a newish school where five other large secondary schools were closed and all pupils now are bussed to this one. She has been a teacher for years and has about 5 or 7 years before she can retire early. (She wants to retire early as her husband is older than she is (He is retired) and has been struggling with poor health.
Now she must have taught thousands of pupils... The school she teaches in has a few thousand pupils. A conservative estimate is that 1 in 50 is on the spectrum. This means she is teaching many pupils who are autistic (Even if they do not know they are) and she does not know they are autistic, because put it this way. As a percentage. How many autistic people on this site have autism that effects their ability to walk to the extent that they need a wheelchair to get around? Only a few. Now go back and see how ill informed the general population is about autism.
Another example I can use is when I went to on of my doctors to ask if I was on the spectrum. All I had to go by were symptoms of shutdowns but I did not know what they were called, except that I knew they seemed similar to meltdowns but I did not know how. I asked if it could be connected to meltdowns. She said "Definately not". Then I joined this site and asked questions. I realized that the doctor did not seem to know about autistic shutdowns despite shutdowns being just as common as meltdowns.
Now in theory these are two examples of people who should know a bit more about autism and the many issues surrounding it. Most autistic schoolchildren are taught in mainstream schools, and so the school teachers should be taught just a few of the basics about some of the individuals needs.

I would like to go to visit such people and explain things of how it feels like to have traits and what can be done to help those they come across who are autistic. It is one reason why I want to be assessed because strangely, I know I can speak if I need to and I can help stop people like me slipping through the net.
School was an experience I do not want to repeat. The thought that others are going through similar situations scares me and I will speak out on their behalf if I get the opportunity because I have to do something... So I need to be assessed.



naturalplastic
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30 May 2021, 7:10 pm

I could tell that you were aspie just from reading your posts here. :lol:

Like that one thing you wrote about how "since folks talk about the weather I decided to research meteorology" . Not exactly what you said, but that was the gist. Got me laughing because it showed that you had no grasp of the concept of "small talk".

So if someone across the Atlantic can tell that youre aspie just from interacting with you on the internet, then ...I am not surprised that folks who meet you in person can tell it.

Twenty years ago they might have just thought you were "strange". But because now there is more autism awareness folks realize that "this guy is odd in a particular way that suggests that he is on the autism spectrum".



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30 May 2021, 7:15 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
I could tell that you were aspie just from reading your posts here. :lol:

Like that one thing you wrote about how "since folks talk about the weather I decided to research meteorology" . Not exactly what you said, but that was the gist. Got me laughing because it showed that you had no grasp of the concept of "small talk".

So if someone across the Atlantic can tell that youre aspie just from interacting with you on the internet, then ...I am not surprised that folks who meet you in person can tell it.

Twenty years ago they might have just thought you were "strange". But because now there is more autism awareness folks realize that "this guy is odd in a particular way that suggests that he is on the autism spectrum".


Oh. I have done lots of things like that in the past, but if I did something like that I would not be so puzzled...

I do laugh at myself sometimes! Haha!



mohsart
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31 May 2021, 1:58 am

Nobody around me had any idea.
Even my best friend since around 1990, who is a psyiatrist specialiced in autism, never suspected that I was on the spectrum.

/Mats


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Mountain Goat
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31 May 2021, 4:13 am

mohsart wrote:
Nobody around me had any idea.
Even my best friend since around 1990, who is a psyiatrist specialiced in autism, never suspected that I was on the spectrum.

/Mats


It is wierd with me. Most people would not know but just think I am different.

The odd thing about it is that all throughout my life I assumed that this was because I grew up in a different enviroment. My parents... Well, my Mum is quite different. She is a very tallented lady in her own special subjects, and yet in one or two areas she has been hillarious.
For example. The twin tub washing machine we used to have years ago sometimes stopped working when a belt came off. Each time she needed to put the belt back on the proceedure was to get a screwdriver and remove the back panel of the machine to gain access to where the belt was... Except each time my Mum would take the electrical plug off the lead. One day my Dad asked why she took the plug off. She showed him instructions on the back cover. It said "Remove plug before opening cover". She took it literally. It meant to remove the plug from the mains supply socket, not take the plug off the lead!
We have had many examples like that from the past with my Mum.... But I have also been caught out by things like this!
My upbringing... I was brought up on a village smallholding. Today such properties are extremely rare as their land has been sold off for housing. Where I used to live has been split like this. We refused to do this as it spoilt the properties usefulness and charm.
We had not intended to keep goats, but one winter someone who had goats could not get to them due to the snow, so he gave them to us because he was concerned. They are not easy to look after because only one breed is hardy enough to be left out in the rain without risking pnemonia. Most people don't know this and it is classed as cruelty to keep them out in all weathers. (It was actually my Mum who had to teach RSPCA officers how to look after goats as they really did not have a clue! The RSPCA used to often call on my Mum whenever they had a goat to deal with). Goats also eat everything and die. Many plants are poisionus for them. One has to know the poisionus plants to keep goats, so one can remove them from the land. One can't use barbed wire unless it is a strand up at a good height, because goats will climb and rip their teats open. Sheeps netting is way too low as a fence. Goats will use each other to climb over fences. They are highly intelligent, and probably more intelligent and crafty then their owners!
But anyway... I was... Actually our whole family was seen as "Odd". We were odd. Hahahaha! Well. We were not what one calls an average family! My Dad had a motorbike licence, so he drove a 3 wheeled car, and his second car was a van which was the exact same colour and make and model as was on a TV series called "Only Fools And Horses". The first car we had was a saloon version of the car. Actually, for what they were, they were a very practical means of transport. My Dad was an expert at handling them as there is a technique. Drive them like a 4 wheeled car and one can get into trouble. Learn the technique, and one can hit corners above 70mph and keep them on the wheels... And yes, they did above 70. The older Reliant Regal vans would top out at 70 as they were geared for carrying heavy loads, but the saloons would touch 80. The Robins that came afterwards... The first year they would do 75 flat out but then they boared out the engines from a 750cc to 850cc and they would touch just under 100mph on a good day.
Incidently, as they were classed as "Tricycles" their main market was people who needed a car but only had a motorcycle licence, as years ago, not many people had car licences, but a lot had motorcycle licences, but to be classed as a tricycle they had to be under a certain weight. It think it was 450kg or 400kg. Any heavier and they would be classed as a car. Quite a few manufacturers took on this challenge, but it was Reliant that cracked it, and their secret was to use lightweight fibreglass bodies on a carefully designed lightweight steel chassis and they came out with the worlds first aluminium engine in regular production. Prior to this there were a few aluminium engines as special one offs, but nothing in production. They were surprizingly tough ardy engines, and over half of the engines Reliant produced were used in the army to run things like pumps ad generators as they were small and light... Ideal for their use (The British Army also used the 3500cc Rover V8 for larger power requirements. The idea being that the Army had to use British made engines so if there was a war, they would not be stuck for spares or replacement engines, and those two engines were the hardiest most suitable engines they could find. The Rover V8 could also double up and be used in their Land Rovers if needed so it made sense. Reliant actually made a lightweight 4 wheeled vehicle with the army in mind, but they chose not to use it. It became known as the Reliant Fox. Not many were sold. They were marketed as farm vehicles which were designed to go over lightweight bridges that Land Rovers were too heavy to be used on, and double up as a vehicle which could be used on the road, but the Honda Trikes and Quad Bikes came onto the markey and took the trade, even though back then they were not allowed on the UK roads as they were deemed unstable. Reliants had to pass vigourus tests weaving in and out traffic cones at speeds up to 70mph and quad bikes failed these tests... (This changed in the mid 1990's when we adopted EU laws)).
Uhmmm. I am going astray. Yes. I was always seen as different and wierd even from the sons of farmers, as we were a bit unique I guess were my family and I.
Hence why I always thought that being different was part of my unusual upbringing! Haha!



mohsart
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31 May 2021, 4:35 am

Do you mean km/h when you say mph?

/Mats


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Mountain Goat
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31 May 2021, 4:36 am

mohsart wrote:
Do you mean km/h when you say mph?

/Mats


No. MPH. We don't use KPH much in the UK. Everything is MPH here.