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IsabellaLinton
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22 Jul 2021, 12:05 am

Thank you again to everyone who has replied. I love this conversation and find all the responses fascinating. I'm sorry if I'm not replying to every individual person but I've read them all, and I appreciate all the details you've been giving. It's good to know I'm not crazy or a defective woman for feeling like gender is overemphasised.

To DR:
Yes it's possible that girls are better at masking. I just wonder why that is? I don't recall much pressure for me to act demure or behave like a proper little girl. It was the 1970s and lots of little girls were boisterous. They played sports and had somewhat hippy parents who believed in equality, for the most part. Sure the TV commercials were pink and sparkly. They showed us playing with dolls, but in real life girls and boys did whatever they wanted and it was generally OK. Or maybe I was oblivious, because I lived in my head and couldn't copy anyone if I tried? I was always pretty spaced out, so it's possible there was more going on around me than what I realised. Maybe I missed the memo about acting like a girl?



HeroOfHyrule
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22 Jul 2021, 12:07 am

I'm FtM trans so this topic doesn't really apply to me (by trans men I'm going to assume you meant trans women, aka MtF trans people?), but I do want to mention that I think that females and males with autism get treated differently, despite the fact I don't think that there's many innate differences (maybe some from socialization). Though, I know when I was assessed both times it was very different than my brother, and the second time I was told it was just my ADHD and that I was probably just copying my brother (at 16? I don't think so lol), despite the fact we have some similar symptoms and I am actually more affected as an adult in some aspects.

I think despite the fact autistic females aren't that different from males they are sometimes dismissed from the start. I don't really get why? I know that research has been more focused on boys, but I don't get how a psychologist can miss all those signs. Other autistic females I've met don't act much different to males and I can see the similarities in them both, and it's not even my job to notice that stuff. lmao


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I use he/him pronouns.

I like playing video games, watching cartoons and anime, reading, and cooking.

I also enjoy learning + cataloguing information about different types of animals and plants.

Empathy Quotient: 34/80
Systemizing Quotient: 104/150
Friendship Quotient: 56/140
Autism Quotient: 36/80

RAADS-R: 169

CAT-Q: 153
Compensation: 57
Masking: 47
Assimilation: 49

Your broader autism cluster (Aspie) score: 144 of 200.
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 63 of 200.
You are very likely on the broader autism cluster (Aspie).


IsabellaLinton
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22 Jul 2021, 12:53 am

Thanks, Hero. I did mean trans men, because I was thinking of people born female who identified as male and observed what it meant to be male / autistic. I should have included all trans people including MTF, so my apologies if I seemed to exclude anyone. Basically I'm interested in all people who were male / identified as male in their formative years.

Your insights are really interesting. I agree that doctors didn't know to look for autism in girls. I think that's a given. I guess my issue has been that in my own generation they weren't really even looking for it in boys, unless they were in wheelchairs or had extremely low IQ. Your experience being tested and compared against your brother / boys is interesting. From what you've told me it seems like you are very much autistic, and I'm surprised / saddened to hear that you were told it's "just" ADHD. I hope you'll get your diagnosis if you still want one. :(



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22 Jul 2021, 2:24 am

CarlM wrote:
Here is the document with the list of masking techniques: Compensation Checklist


I just get a blank white page if I click on that.


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Steve B
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22 Jul 2021, 4:30 am

I think what is called the female autism phenotype is really best understood as not autism in females, but a "high masking/compensating" phenotype. If you look at the research on autism in females the difference is mainly around those kinds of issues.



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22 Jul 2021, 4:55 am

Question. Generally girls tend to be more shy and timid.

I was shy and timid being a boy.

Could the ones who were more shy and timid and autistic be more likely to learn how to mask regardless of gender, and that those who were not shy and timid were far less likely to mask and just go ahead and be who they are regardless of their unusual traits? And it just so happens that due to the character differences between boys and girls, that boys tend to be naturally more brave and less likely to mask then girls?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I have just picked up on something someone said about mirroring. I do it. I did not really know that I do it until now because a previous poster mentioned what they do. I do it and can get caught out by doing it when a joke has been said and I see others laugh or smile and I copy but my timing would be out as I did not understand the joke, and people get offended that I laughed and I get caught out and told off for laughing.
Yet those that laughed were not told off wich makes it feel unfair.

If I walk into a room and everyones is serious, I have to go serious but I don't know why. It is understood that I need to copy.

When I started school at the age of four, from then to about the age of about five or six I spent most of the time at play times standing in a corner watching all the other kids play. I was trying to learn how to copy them and how they were able to play with each other. I was learning who everyone is. Not easy when one can confuse some kids with others as some look the same. I needed to do this to work out who was who, and who was suitable to play with and who to avoid? I just stood there in the same place every single play time and attempts to get me to play by the "Dinner ladies" who doubled up to look after us, and even through other children I would not like. I wanted to just stand there. I actually did not want to be there at all! There was far too much going on. Too much info. to take in! Too much to learn in the playground about how to play and how to react by watching others. I was shy. But was it just shyness? I do not know! How were the other kids able to just play?



Aspie1
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22 Jul 2021, 9:49 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I believe autism is just as challenging for men as it is for women, especially when compounded by toxic masculinity and societal expectations of how a man should act. When boys aren't diagnosed in childhood, for whatever reason, or even when they are, what is the male experience? Most research talks about little boys, or now girls and women. Men's voices seem to be ignored when it comes to questions about masking and social pressure.

Men / Trans Men - I'd love your feedback on these questions if you're willing.


- Are you diagnosed / self-diagnosed, and at what age?
Self-diagnosed, at age 22, when I discovered this site.

- Did you have difficulty finding a diagnostician as an adult?
Not applicable. I don't want the diagnosis, which will give insurance companies to raise my premiums.

- Were you taken seriously by your GP, your family and friends, etc?
No and no. My pediatricians and therapists treated me as a funny toy of sorts, and my family treated me as a two-legged pet. My friends did take me seriously, but I had to kick some of them out of my life when their treatment of me became unacceptable.

- If you weren't diagnosed in school, what challenges did you face trying to fit in?
Too many to count! Bullying, lack of friends, emotional abuse by my family for bad grades. You name it, I had it.

- If you were diagnosed in school, or you went to special ed., how did that affect your social confidence?
Not applicable. I was mainstreamed.

- How did your autistic traits affect your relationships or your self-concept?
I hated myself until well into my 20's.

- Did you feel pressure to hide your autistic traits? (sensory issues, special interests, etc)?
I've been doing that since I was a little kid. I got punished for showing sensory issues and other autism symptoms, like being afraid of a chandelier in my home.

- Did you feel pressure to hide your emotions or fake them?
I've been doing that since I was a little kid. I memorized, the best I could, which were the right emotions and which were wrong emotions, and "recited" them as needed. This was compounded by my family telling me what I was and wasn't supposed to feel. That became a huge problem for me when I did therapy, and was suddenly expected to share my "real" emotions.

- Did you play sports or get ridiculed if you didn't play sports? (male stereotyes?)
Surprisingly, no. Some kids poked fun at me for not being athletic. But by and large, it was never expected from a "loser" like me. So the teasing did happen, but it wasn't about my bad athletic skills for the most part.

- Do you feel that society judged / will judge you for not conforming with NT boys / men?
Not really. Society judged me for not fitting in overall, or being ugly. A "loser" like me wasn't expected to fully conform with other boys/men in the first place.

- Do you feel like you wore a "mask" socially, or tried to fake it?
Very much so. See other responses. Now, "masking" has become as much second nature to me as jerking my hand away from a hot stove.

- How does it feel knowing other autistic men are often branded as serial killers or psychos?
I find it indirectly beneficial. Good people know better than to brand me as such, and bad people are more likely to leave me alone if they think I'm one of them.

- Did you ever feel like you'd be called an INCEL if you wanted to date or have sex?
I used to be an incel (lowercase). Then I discovered escorts, and sex became a nonissue. And in the last few years, my sex drive plummeted to nearly zero. On top of that, the Effexor I take wiped out what's left of it.

- Were you ever worried to tell a partner that you were autistic, or thought you were autistic?
I don't plan to tell anybody! I'm taking this self-diagnosis to my grave.

- Do you feel society / women have unfair expectations about your career or your income / skills?
No. I was pleasantly surprised that my job was treated with indifferent nonchalance. Then again, I work in a male-dominated field: IT. And I make enough money not to fall into the "poor" category.

- Is your mental health taken seriously, overall?
Today, it is. But I'm in late 30's, an age when most people are taken seriously. But that wasn't the case until well into my 20's.

- Do you feel like autistic men's voices are heard in the media?
No. Men in general aren't taken seriously in today's society. They're treated as a combination of sperm banks and ATM machines.



naturalplastic
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22 Jul 2021, 3:10 pm

Applying these questions to me is like trying to convert imperial to metric, or vice versa. Doesnt quite fit. But its interesting to try.

One WP person has a great quote in their signature that goes "the first thing to do when youre fighting an invisible monster is to throw paint on it". For most of my life aspergers was the invisible monster, coming at me from every direction, only recently late in life did it become the single thing coming at me from one direction that I could put into my gunsights that had a label. That was when I was diagnosed a few years ago late in life.



Are you diagnosed / self-diagnosed, and at what age?

A few years ago. As a middle aged adult.

- Did you have difficulty finding a diagnostician as an adult?
no
- Were you taken seriously by your GP, your family and friends, etc?

The opposite situation. My parents inflicted therapy on me since I was around 8, didnt even realize that it WAS therapy until around 10 to 12, and then I got angry that they thought I needed special help and rebelled against it. But I also had a personality conflict with the shrink they sent me to. When I saw other shrinks I gradually stopped
rebelling and settled into using it as therapy. But there was a limit to how well even the better shrinks could help because the notion that autism was a spectrum, and that someone like me could be on it at a high functioning end- was unknown - and was decades into the future.
- If you weren't diagnosed in school, what challenges did you face trying to fit in?

Was always ostracized, never fitted in. Late gradeschool and junior high were the worst.

- If you were diagnosed in school, or you went to special ed., how did that affect your social confidence?
N/A. The school didnt diagnos me. Wasnt in any special ed. Though other kids said 'you must be in the retard section".
- How did your autistic traits affect your relationships or your self-concept?
Drove me into myself.
- Did you feel pressure to hide your autistic traits? (sensory issues, special interests, etc)?
Didnt have sensory issues. Did feel that I had to hide traits (and this is long before I knew that they were autistic traits). Pretend I was dumber is some ways than I was, and pretend I was smarter in other ways than I was.
- Did you feel pressure to hide your emotions or fake them?
Not really.
- Did you play sports or get ridiculed if you didn't play sports? (male stereotyes?)
Sucked at phys ed. Never tried to join a team.
- Do you feel that society judged / will judge you for not conforming with NT boys / men?

Yes. In some ways.

- Do you feel like you wore a "mask" socially, or tried to fake it?

Kinda. Even though it was never faking "not being autistic" because I didnt have that label. But it faking seperate things that I now see as being under the one autistic umbrella.

- How does it feel knowing other autistic men are often branded as serial killers or psychos?

They get branded as "mass murderers", or "spree killers", not as serial killers. Not that the dumb public can keep those two very different crimes straight. What bothers me is when my fellow WPers cry out for the legal system to treat us with special leniency. To me - if it became a "thing" that aspies and HFAs escaped the death penalty when NTs get it- it would just add to the stigma against autistics. It would hurt us more than help us. If it were up to me aspie murderers would be publicly crucified worse than NTs (like officers get shot for cowardice, but not enlisted men).

- Did you ever feel like you'd be called an INCEL if you wanted to date or have sex?

If they knew my life story most INCELs would disown me, and say that I was "not an incel, but an...imbecil!" :lol: And it would be hard to argue. Will go into that some other time.

- Were you ever worried to tell a partner that you were autistic, or thought you were autistic?

Didnt know I was autistic until a few years ago. So this basically doesnt apply. Am still single so the situation could arise. Dont know. With men, and women I am not romantically involved with it doesnt really come up. If I get to be good friends with someone I might disclose it. And have done so with a couple a guys (and one lady I dated who I lost touch with) who themselves had pyschiatric conditions. It all depends ...on the person... how aware they are...if they are as wierd as me, or like that.

- Do you feel society / women have unfair expectations about your career or your income / skills?
probably.
- Is your mental health taken seriously, overall?
I suppose.
- Do you feel like autistic men's voices are heard in the media?

Society dotes on autistic children. Adults of both genders get ignored. Though that is starting to change. Men autistics get the same short shrift as other adult autistics.



Dear_one
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22 Jul 2021, 3:24 pm

My female counsellor had to admit that the standard advice on how to get help that works for women does not work for men. We are expected to have our emotions under control without sympathy or assistance. When a bird hit a window and died, three women who regularly handle dead chicken parts insisted that vegetarian me should deal with it.



ToughDiamond
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22 Jul 2021, 6:59 pm

There was once a notion that men with ASD had a lot in common with a "typical bloke," e.g. in that book of questionable value "Loving Mr. Spock." So perhaps the thinking was that Aspie men's behaviour, although not exactly approved of, would simply be put down to men being men, while in a woman there was no such "defense." Not that I'm saying there's much truth in such a belief, just that it might have been around.

I remember the late 1960s and 70s as a time when a lot of societal norms were being questioned, and there was more freedom for people to do their own thing than there's ever been before or since. So anybody who had their formative years during that era might well have experienced less of a problem with pressure to conform to stereotypes. The liberal attitudes of the time very likely protected me from internalising and suffering from a lot of the conformism that might have impacted on me if I'd been born at a different time. Certainly the people I've always got on best with have been strongly affiliated to that era, and to this day I still have a strong sense that the ideology of the time was more advanced and progressive in many ways.



The Grand Inquisitor
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23 Jul 2021, 12:01 am

Quote:
- Are you diagnosed / self-diagnosed, and at what age?

My first year of preschool, so about 5.

Quote:
- Were you taken seriously by your GP, your family and friends, etc?

Yes.

Quote:
- If you were diagnosed in school, or you went to special ed., how did that affect your social confidence?

In older primary school and particularly in high school, I was aware that being a special ed student was stigmatised, and lowers one's status when peers find out. As such, it was something I was embarrassed about until around mid high school. I think my social confidence being low had more to do with struggling socially than the label that was placed on me, but the label compounded the struggle a bit.


Quote:
- How did your autistic traits affect your relationships or your self-concept?

Negatively. Not grasping unwritten social rules that come to most people intuitively made it hard to make friends. When I did make a friend in my second year of preschool and year 1, I didn't understand personal space and other such boundaries, which resulted in my friend's mother forcing the school to keep me separated from my only friend.

In later primary school and earlier high school, my autistic traits attracted bullies to me.

My autistic traits are probably a primary factor in my lack of romantic success, which is a major factor within the increasingly severe depression I've endured for several years.

In terms of how I feel about myself as a result, the word 'inadequate' comes to mind.

Quote:
- Did you feel pressure to hide your autistic traits? (sensory issues, special interests, etc)?

In some circumstances, but not a lot.

Quote:
- Did you feel pressure to hide your emotions or fake them?

Not really.

Quote:
- Did you play sports or get ridiculed if you didn't play sports? (male stereotyes?)

No.

Quote:
- Do you feel that society judged / will judge you for not conforming with NT boys / men?

Yes.

Quote:
- Do you feel like you wore a "mask" socially, or tried to fake it?

A bit, but I don't think I was generally very good at faking it, so I'd generally be myself.

Quote:
- How does it feel knowing other autistic men are often branded as serial killers or psychos?

I don't see that happen too often. Honestly, it doesn't surprise me that men dealing with similar social/romantic issues to me would lash out in that way. I think what they do is abhorrent, but I can understand how feeling that way could drive someone to do that.

-
Quote:
Did you ever feel like you'd be called an INCEL if you wanted to date or have sex?

No, but occasionally I have to worry about that label being applied to me as someone who's never had a girlfriend despite wanting to.

Quote:
- Were you ever worried to tell a partner that you were autistic, or thought you were autistic?

Never had a partner obviously, but it's something I've thought about. I'm not overly concerned as I think anyone who likes me will probably like me whether or not they know I'm autistic, but there's always the chance that's the deal-breaker.

Quote:
- Do you feel society / women have unfair expectations about your career or your income / skills?

No, but I think I'm relatively capable, so I might have a bias there. I think that the predominant gender roles of the man being the pursuer and the woman being the pursuee have harmed my ability to find a partner more than unfair career/income expectations.


Quote:
- Is your mental health taken seriously, overall?

I'd say so by individuals. I think some my mental health issues fall on deaf ears in broader society though, or they're not easy to solve and there's not a whole lot of incentive for society to try to help.

Quote:
- Do you feel like autistic men's voices are heard in the media?

Not enough.



RetroGamer87
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23 Jul 2021, 4:07 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Here's my responses, just for the record.
That was most informative. If you don't mind me asking, which country do you live in? I feel like that can make a difference.


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HeroOfHyrule
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23 Jul 2021, 10:37 am

Since I can respond to the questions I'm going to do that (thank you for the clarification, Isa!).

- Are you diagnosed / self-diagnosed, and at what age?
I'm technically self diagnosed, but was told I qualified for a diagnosis at 16. My parents started wondering about me being autistic when I was 4-6, whenever my brother got diagnosed.

- Did you have difficulty finding a diagnostician as an adult?
I got tested at the same children's behavioral center both times. As an adult it's hard to find a reliable diagnostician that takes Medicaid.

- Were you taken seriously by your GP, your family and friends, etc?
My doctor took me seriously and referred me both times. My parents, brother, and sister take me seriously, but my oldest brothers don't. My friends also take me seriously.

- If you weren't diagnosed in school, what challenges did you face trying to fit in?
I was excluded a lot and couldn't get along with either boys or girls, but I got along with boys a bit better because I think my development and activity levels were similar to them. I had 1-2 friends at a time throughout my life, who usually also had social issues.

- If you were diagnosed in school, or you went to special ed., how did that affect your social confidence?
I went to special ed. for a bit "for my ADHD", which probably was more due to undiagnosed ASD. It didn't affect my social confidence at all because I was relatively aloof at that time, and I actually enjoyed it because I was around kids that were like me and I got along with them. It was the best time I've ever had in school socially and academically and I honestly wish I had stayed longer.

- How did your autistic traits affect your relationships or your self-concept?
My traits made it so I had a lot of issues noticing that other kids were bored/annoyed with me, and my interests were so restricted that no one would play with me because I wanted to do the same things over and over. I didn't have many self esteem issues due to being incredibly aloof, until I was in the 5th grade and started developing more self awareness and wanting to properly engage with other kids.

- Did you feel pressure to hide your autistic traits? (sensory issues, special interests, etc)?
When I started gaining more self awareness I started masking a lot. I hid my sensory issues, tried to not talk about my special interests, tried to make myself make eye contact, started observing and imitating other kids and adults more, etc.

- Did you feel pressure to hide your emotions or fake them?
I wasn't good at expressing my emotions in the first place, but I got better at not having meltdowns when I got older. I ended up just having shutdowns instead, until I got home and didn't have to mask as much.

- Did you play sports or get ridiculed if you didn't play sports? (male stereotyes?)
I couldn't play sports because of my motor skill issues and kids used to ridicule me for it. I didn't like playing them in P.E. because I'd get yelled at the entire time by teachers and students.

- Do you feel that society judged / will judge you for not conforming with NT boys / men?
Yes. I don't care about that anymore, though I have already been judged for not conforming to NT men and I was judged heavily for not conforming to NT girls and boys as a kid.

- Do you feel like you wore a "mask" socially, or tried to fake it?
I felt like that until I was 19 and came onto here, and learned that I don't need to mask and suppress myself as much.

- How does it feel knowing other autistic men are often branded as serial killers or psychos?
I was actually compared to school shooters and told I'd be one while in school, and it's frustrating. It makes you very angry to be compared to that. I've had people my age online say that, too.

- Did you ever feel like you'd be called an INCEL if you wanted to date or have sex?
No, not really. I don't think I have the issues with romantic relationships/self esteem that incels have, though. I struggle, of course, but I don't show bitterness or anything about it.

- Were you ever worried to tell a partner that you were autistic, or thought you were autistic?
I was worried to tell my last partner because he was dismissive about it and not accepting of my traits. I wouldn't be worried to tell a potential partner now, because I'd tell them before we even got to the point of considering dating, as all my friends know.

- Do you feel society / women have unfair expectations about your career or your income / skills?
I think they do. I try to live up to those expectations as much as I can, but it's hard since I don't have a lot of the skills I should. People younger than me are a lot more equipped for life than I am.

- Is your mental health taken seriously, overall?
Not really, no. I think being female and trans actually compounds that more though.

- Do you feel like autistic men's voices are heard in the media?
I think they are. I think it mainly focuses on very "high functioning" or very "low functioning" men/boys, though. I think most people are sort of in between what's shown in the media.


_________________
I use he/him pronouns.

I like playing video games, watching cartoons and anime, reading, and cooking.

I also enjoy learning + cataloguing information about different types of animals and plants.

Empathy Quotient: 34/80
Systemizing Quotient: 104/150
Friendship Quotient: 56/140
Autism Quotient: 36/80

RAADS-R: 169

CAT-Q: 153
Compensation: 57
Masking: 47
Assimilation: 49

Your broader autism cluster (Aspie) score: 144 of 200.
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 63 of 200.
You are very likely on the broader autism cluster (Aspie).


Something Profound
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23 Jul 2021, 10:59 am

A little late (I meant to reply a few days ago), but here are my takes. I am removing the ones that do not apply to me or that I can not answer.

- Are you diagnosed / self-diagnosed, and at what age?
I am Self Diagnosing for the time being, until I receive an official Diagnosis. That is roughly 1-2 years out. I am 38 now.

- Did you have difficulty finding a diagnostician as an adult?
Yes. Near impossible to find people who do it in my area in the U.S., or do it affordably at least.

- Were you taken seriously by your GP, your family and friends, etc?
I do not think my general practitioner takes me seriously. I think at least 2 of my friends think it is a BS assessment I am making about myself. My mother is supportive, my sister has her own issues, I refuse to tell either of my brothers (for different reasons), my kid is indifferent but likely supportive to the best of her capabilities, and I have only told two coworkers on the condition they do not tell the rest of the company (And since I work for a therapuetic organization they understand that my request is a big deal). I told said coworkers because I feel they are the only ones I can trust at the moment. I feel that I will be judged rather harshly by everyone else if word got out, which is a bit interesting in a troubling sort of way (Again, therapuetic organization).

- If you weren't diagnosed in school, what challenges did you face trying to fit in?
Bullying, being ostracized for being weird and different. being known as a Know-it-all. Struggling to understand certain concepts unless they were explained to me in a very specific way (I understood English and language skills because of etymology...which I discovered waaaay earlier than most people do, since most people do not even know what etymology is. I struggled with division because no one explained it correctly to me).

- How did your autistic traits affect your relationships or your self-concept?
I struggle making and having friends even today. I have a handful, and even then I am pretty distant to most of them. Relationships? I have had a few. None of them worked out. I accepted my weirdness a long time ago, so my self concept is ok I think...mostly. I do have issues with confidence from time to time.

- Did you feel pressure to hide your autistic traits? (sensory issues, special interests, etc)?
I never had to before. Now I am kinda self conscious of things I never knew I had to worry about. Kinda irritating.

- Did you feel pressure to hide your emotions or fake them?
Yes. All the time.

- Did you play sports or get ridiculed if you didn't play sports? (male stereotyes?)
Nope. Don't do sports. I let everyone now I disdain them. It doesn't cause an issue that much.

- Do you feel that society judged / will judge you for not conforming with NT boys / men?
Yes, but I don't really care.

- Do you feel like you wore a "mask" socially, or tried to fake it?
I look back now and realize I have been doing this a lot in my life. Even if I am not determined to be on the spectrum, I recognize that I am masking a lot of the time.

- How does it feel knowing other autistic men are often branded as serial killers or psychos?
I think the sterotype is stupid. I haven't run into the issue myself...lucky me I guess. But it is a horrible stereotype.

- Did you ever feel like you'd be called an INCEL if you wanted to date or have sex?
When I was younger, yes. I have long since made efforts to not hold any semblance of values that could cause such a mistake.

- Were you ever worried to tell a partner that you were autistic, or thought you were autistic?
Hasn't been an issue until very recently, and I am not dating nor married.

- Do you feel society / women have unfair expectations about your career or your income / skills?
Yes.

- Is your mental health taken seriously, overall?
Not sure...hasn't come up until more recently, and I am still navigating and considering the matter.

- Do you feel like autistic men's voices are heard in the media?
No, not really. Everyone expects people with ASD to be either one or the other type of trope: nonfunctioning or Savant. Or both. And it isn't really a good image.



Joe90
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Location: UK

23 Jul 2021, 11:23 am

I'm a woman but I thought I'd take this quiz thing as I love taking these.

- Are you diagnosed / self-diagnosed, and at what age?
Officially diagnosed with Asperger's when I was 8.

- Were you taken seriously by your GP, your family and friends, etc?
As a teenager I wasn't ''allowed'' to have Asperger's, even though I was diagnosed. I think my mum felt hurt for me for all the struggles I faced, but she expressed it like it was my fault.

What challenges did you face trying to fit in?
In primary (elementary) school it was easy to fit in but I think I just wasn't on the others' wavelength at high school.

- If you were diagnosed in school, or you went to special ed., how did that affect your social confidence?
I think my diagnosis ruined my social approval, as everyone knew I had a diagnosis but they used it against me, not as a tool to help understand me as I was.

- How did your autistic traits affect your relationships or your self-concept?
I seem better at having stable romantic relationships than making friends.

- Did you feel pressure to hide your autistic traits? (sensory issues, special interests, etc)?
I did learn the hard way to hide my sensory issues and talk about my obsessions less.

- Did you feel pressure to hide your emotions or fake them?
Yes, I feel that if I do express too many negative emotions verbally people say ''stop moaning'', but it is hard not to express myself positively when I have depression and anxiety going on.

- Did you play sports or get ridiculed if you didn't play sports? (male stereotypes?)
I'm female so I didn't get pressured into playing sports, but I did get ridiculed because of not following female gender expectations (like not shaving my legs in high school).

- Do you feel like you wore a "mask" socially, or tried to fake it?
I don't think I masked that much in high school, I just wasn't a stereotypical sort of Aspie. But I hid my ADHD because I was scared of getting into trouble.

- How does it feel knowing other autistic men are often branded as serial killers or psychos?
I hate it and wish I could voice the truth about this to the whole worod (that autistics are not more likely to be serial killers).

- Did you ever feel like you'd be called an INCEL if you wanted to date or have sex?
No.

- Were you ever worried to tell a partner that you were autistic, or thought you were autistic?
I don't tell anyone about my diagnosis, as I feel too ashamed about it.

- Is your mental health taken seriously, overall?
Not really.

- Do you feel like autistic men's voices are heard in the media?
Not really. I think women are heard more and not stereotyped so much as men.


_________________
Female
Aged 31
On antidepressants
Have ASD, ADHD and anxiety disorder
Empathy score: 61 out of a possible 80. (High)


Udinaas
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23 Jul 2021, 8:56 pm

- Are you diagnosed / self-diagnosed, and at what age?
Diagnosed at 5.
- Were you taken seriously by your GP, your family and friends, etc?
I was taken seriously by my family and therapists. Most friends haven't known and I don't bring it up if its not mentioned. The only people I told in college were my best friend and an acquaintance who mentioned being autistic himself.
- If you were diagnosed in school, or you went to special ed., how did that affect your social confidence?
I was in normal classes but sometimes taken out of class to see a therapist at school. It was a good arrangement because it gave me help without othering me too much. I wasn't self-aware enough for it to harm my confidence at first and as I became more aware it was good to have some explanation. In high school I did well enough that I rarely saw anyone from special ed.
- How did your autistic traits affect your relationships or your self-concept?
Forming and keeping relationships is hard. My self-concept is based more on my beliefs and interests than on my relationships.
- Did you feel pressure to hide your autistic traits? (sensory issues, special interests, etc)?
I was bullied in elementary school for flapping my hands and I've become careful about my mannerisms. My sensory issues are mild. I share different interests with different people.
- Did you feel pressure to hide your emotions or fake them?
I do, more now than when I was younger after I realized how awkward I was.
- Did you play sports or get ridiculed if you didn't play sports? (male stereotyes?)
No to both and since I was a teen I've fit well enough into the nerdy version of masculinity. I was sometimes considered unmasculine in elementary school for other reasons and if I were from an earlier generation with a narrower view of masculinity it might not have improved as I got older.
- Do you feel that society judged / will judge you for not conforming with NT boys / men?
See above. There's a kind of ultraconservative man that would judge me but I don't care what they think.
- Do you feel like you wore a "mask" socially, or tried to fake it?
Yes. I didn't have the self-awareness to mask very much as a kid beyond acting more interested in some things than I really was. Since high school I've done the opposite, hiding a lot but faking little outside of basic politeness.
- How does it feel knowing other autistic men are often branded as serial killers or psychos?
It's worrying and makes me more uncomfortable about coming out.
- Did you ever feel like you'd be called an INCEL if you wanted to date or have sex?
Not merely for wanting to but I'm getting to the age where I can't say that I haven't without looking like an incel. But I'm not looking because I'm not in the right situation or state of mind to handle a relationship.
- Were you ever worried to tell a partner that you were autistic, or thought you were autistic?
I would be if I had one.
- Do you feel society / women have unfair expectations about your career or your income / skills?
American culture, especially business culture, wants everyone to be super conscientious and extroverted. I'm less suited for it than most because of my difficulties with networking and concentration and its disproportionately bad for autistic people overall but the obsession with productivity is bad for almost everyone.
- Is your mental health taken seriously, overall?
For reasons related to the answer above the mental health of adults in general isn't taken seriously by American society and institutions as a whole, not even for NTs. It's taken seriously enough by the people who care about me.
- Do you feel like autistic men's voices are heard in the media?
Autistic voices in general are not heard in the media.