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HayPeeBee
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29 Nov 2022, 8:10 am

I'm 40M, and never felt like I really understood other people, always disliked change, always been useless at conversation if there wasn't a defined topic at hand. For the last 40 years I've just kind of socially scraped through, used others as a social crutch to hide behind, tried not to stand out too much (even to the point of skipping my own graduation as I just couldn't work up the energy to do it - it was like a mental block stopping me - I just told everyone it was expected of me to graduate so no biggie but it was actually crippling fear of being in the crowd which nobody helped me through).

I've always felt there was a diagnosable condition there somewhere and that maybe someone could help. I've researched loads of conditions over the years like sociopaths thinking that could explain why I don't see other peoples emotions (not getting the wife something on the first mothers day caused a reaction that was a bit of a shock to the system, which I still don't really understand the intensity of), but nothing really hit the mark. Until I started taking an understanding Autism online course course (because I think my 8M has some traits which remind me of my youth, and adding things up autism seems to fit both of us and I want to help him avoid what I've had to survive).

As I've got through module 1 (of 8 ) I've realized that my father is also definitely autistic, and me and my kid are pretty much there as well. We're all on the higher academic achievement end, but we all suffer pretty badly on socializing and 'run out of spoons' on occasion with no way back except a good few hours of solitude (sometimes good few days needed - worst one recently took me 3 weeks avoiding people to properly get over). I think this is probably how we've collectively gone under the radar for so long, we can figure out ways to cope or hide and most people just thinking we're smart but odd and harmless.

I've always been on the fringes, avoided large social gatherings, sports etc where I may be expected to behave in a certain way like cheering goald or chanting with the crowd. But as I've previously had an outlet through extreme sports and academia (small social group, clear topic of discussion, but the activity is reliant solely upon my personal performance) I've generally managed to get through life saying I don't like ballsports and to outside observers look like I have a social group but that's not really the case, I have utterly zero understanding how anyone can be excited about watching another persons achievement let alone jumping up and shouting at a TV - though I can appreciate technical prowess and be happy for the person making the achievement.

Now #bang# post covid lockdowns - I feel utterly isolated besides immediate family because all previously built social groups have moved on - because I was always on the fringe anyway nobody has bothered checking if I'm still here after the world restarted. I've tried a few social groups (like the local rock climbing center) but everyone just wants to socialize and I have nothing to say, I just can't break in.

Has anyone else reached the conclusion later in life that they are on the spectrum and others in the family likely are?
How did you cope?
Are there any strategies you found useful to better understand yourself now that you have a direction to look in?
How have you managed to persuade people that doing tasks for them (like DIY for a neighbor) is your equivalent of saying "I like you friend" and genuinely needs no payment because I enjoy it and it makes me visible?
Did you just give in and retreat to your garage to make stuff because people aren't worth the hassle?

p.s. sorry for the essay, the last few days doing my autism awareness course assignment have opened up a lot of realizations about my life and what it may hold for my kid. it's been pretty tough going to finally understand why you didn't fit in and there doesn't seem to be much that you can change about it.



kraftiekortie
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29 Nov 2022, 8:40 am

Just make sure you're a good dad. That should be the priority.

I've never been a dad. I will never judge anybody's "fitness." Just make a concerted effort is all that I would ask.

Part of being a good dad.....is being "good to yourself" (pardon the cliche).

Your dad might not have been perfect----but he raised you well enough for you to have a kid, too.



ASPartOfMe
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29 Nov 2022, 8:50 am

Welcome to wrong planet.

The place to start is by reading about other peoples issues and asking questions about specific problems you are having.


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kraftiekortie
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29 Nov 2022, 9:12 am

Also: If you observe, you will find there are always some people who aren't hooting and hollering in front of the TV. I believe most people understand that there are some people who don't go wild over sports.

I used to throw tantrums whenever my favorite team lost----I had to learn to tone it down. If you hang out with decent people, they will understand that you're just not the type to go ape over sports.

Methinks, also, that you should find more suitable venues to hang out in. Like maybe going to lectures at a university or something like that. Not everybody likes to go to pubs and drink Guinness all day.



jimmy m
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06 Dec 2022, 9:30 am

Well you toughed upon a lot of subjects. So let me provide some answers (maybe).

Let's start by talking a little bit about ME. I am 74 years old. I suffered a major stroke about a year and a half ago. This was the type of stroke that is normally a life ender experience. But I survived and am doing my best to repair the damage. But my story really began around 71 years ago, when I DIED. I was a small child at the time and I was attacked by a large bull. It was almost like being attacked by a dinosaur. And I died. My parents took my body and placed me in my bed and stood there in fear of losing their first born son. I stood next to my body and saw the fear in the hearts of my parents. I heard a voice. It said "Live or die, your choice". I saw the fear in my parents eyes and I said LIVE. I experienced what is commonly referred to as a near death experience. I came back but I came back as a totally different person. I was fearless.

So at the age of around three, I died. The left half of my brain died. The left half of the brain is the dominant half. It has a few extra cells that make it our primary daytime brain. The right side of our brain is a supporting side. It normally exist during our dreams in REM and NREM sleep. Humans are much more complex then anyone actually realizes. The reason is that both sides exist and if one side is damaged, the other half of our brain can step in and carry on. Eventually my left side did return to life and it became my sleep brain. It was a brain flip.

Now life was fine after the accident until I reached the age where children transform into adults around age 11-13. At that time I was subjected to great physical and mental attacks from my peers. But I survived those 3 years and became stronger, braver, more intelligent as a result.

Now let me move on. First of all, I am a child. I am 74 years old and still a child. I grew a mustache when I was around 20 and everyone just assumed I was an adult. BUT THEY WERE WRONG. In a sense the story of PETER PAN is closer to real than many people know. Also unlike most people, I never stop learning. Most people focus within a very small world. But my mind looks from the beginning of time to the end of our known universe and what comes next and next and next. Our world is so huge. When young I became a subject matter expert. Then something else caught my attention and I delved into that and then something else.

O.K. Back to basics. About half the people in the world are introverts and the other half extrovert. I am an introvert. I gain my energy when I close myself in a room and recharge my batteries. Extroverts recharge their bodies by joining into groups and talking, talking, talking. I have Asperger's Syndrome also called Aspie for short, which I will describe as a person with above average intelligence. About 1 percent of the human population falls into this category.

One of the things you discussed was sports. I was never really that good in sports. I think most Aspies share this trait. But Neurotypicals (normal people) generally excel in sports. It turns out that being in a certain type of sports is very beneficial for many Aspies. A highly intense sport will refresh your brain and remove stress. This type of sports is like running the 50 yard dash at high speed. It only takes a few seconds to do but do it around 10 times in a row and it removes stress from your body and prevents A MELT DOWN.

You mentioned your son (I think 8M is 8 year old male. But I could be wrong.) The best advice I can give you is to home school him for around 3 years when he begins to transform from a child to an adult around age 12. These can be rough years for him.

COVID had been rough on a lot of people. In part, the experts got it all wrong. Their advice was garbage. It needed a physics/engineering/construction solution rather than a medical doctor solution. It was easy to overcome. But NTs tend to operate using herd instinct. So after COVID, you find it difficult to get back into the grove. Most people are trying to forget. The best advice I can give you is find what you enjoy doing and get back into the grove. Or find new interest.

You said Has anyone else reached the conclusion later in life that they are on the spectrum? I came to that conclusion about 4 years ago just before I turned 70.

How did you cope? I just stayed the way I am. I saw no reason to change. But it did explain the rest of the world to me.

Did you just give in and retreat to your garage to make stuff because people aren't worth the hassle?
Strange question. I never even realized I had Asperger's Syndrome until a few years ago. I figured it around a decade after I retired. I worked as a physicist and engineer for forty years and retired. I am an introvert. I recharge my batteries by being alone. I enjoy playing very complex video games. A year after my very severe stroke, I went back to playing these games. If you feel stress, participate in a sports activity that puts you to the limit. Doesn't take long to vent stress.


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