Introduction

Hi and welcome to Inside Perspectives.

This site is an attempt to analyse and give some inside perspectives on some of the most common differences, difficulties, reactions, talents and idiosyncrasies in “Aspies” (people with Asperger Syndrome), autism spectrum and related Neurodiversity differences and conditions such as ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Scotopic Sensitivity, Synesthesia, OCD, Tourette, SPD, and HSP.

Summary

I consider most Autism Spectrum differences to be natural neurological or personality type variations, explainable by any combination of the following:

Credits

Thanks to all the wonderful people – too many to list – who have contributed with quotes, inspiration and information.

Disclaimer

This is not a blog even though a blog host was used to create it, it’s a website with fixed pages. And I now rarely have time to answer questions or update links, sorry about that.

The information here is based on a combination of personal experience and accounts from hundreds of neurodiversity people whom I’ve gotten to know over the Internet and/or in real life. However, they are still generalisations or unique experiences and may not be applicable to everyone with a similar diagnosis.

Also note that I am not a medical professional and that the views presented here are just my own personal opinions. Always consult your primary health care professional and use your own discrimination before following any suggested advice.

40 Comments »

  1. AntoniusBlock said,

    Hello,
    many thanks for your webpage, it is the best resource i found on the whole web for it. It helped me alot to understand myself.
    Thanks!

  2. Ing said,

    Glad to be of service! :)

  3. Kay said,

    Great webpage. One of the best resources!
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. lin said,

    This is a wonderful website and resource for me. I finally understand myself!! thank you so much for the work involved in this site. it has helped me with so many of my relationships. and i refer other people to it, to learn about Aspies and other neurodiversities!

    • Ing said,

      Thanks for the feedback!

  5. This website is da best !!!! Thanks for so much hard work :)

    • Ing said,

      And thank you for letting me know it’s appreciated.

  6. Sheva said,

    Greetings:
    Thanks for your very informative site.
    I just read your list of traits and other items.
    Gee, isn’t this how everyone is?
    Doesn’t it bother the heck out of everyone if there’s a lot of chaos and people running and pushing and grabbing and making it impossible to have a little secure space?!
    And why don’t they also notice the obvious and incredibly irritating inconsistencies in things? Don’t you just have to write to that author and let them know about spelling or grammar errors in their article?
    And why is it so hard for folks to spend 10 hours straight working on a project, eat, and stay up all night to do more?
    And this is not normal behavior?
    Perhaps I have self diagnosed.
    What do I do with this?
    Sheva

    • Ing said,

      Hi Sheva, sorry for the late reply (been busy hyperfocusing on another special interest).

      I totally agree that this is normal behavior. (For some of us anyway.)

      And yes, of course I am helpful enough to contact sites about their spelling and grammar. ;)

      What to do about it? Just enjoy, I guess. If those traits are not a problem for you, there should be no need to get an official dx.

  7. Sheva said,

    Over-focusing- ADD or ASP?
    Can anyone shed light on making a determination about if over-focusing is ADD or ASP? Thanks

    • Ing said,

      Probably not, they sort of intertwine.

      It can also vary between individuals and situations. For some it may just be natural to hyperfocus, for others it’s a strategy to keep one’s mind from losing attention.

      I find that in myself it comes naturally if I’m working on something that I really want to do, and more of a strategy to not get distracted if it’s something that I’m not interested in doing at that time, or if I’m trying to focus in an overstimulating environment.

      In he latter case it requires a lot more energy to sustain attention.

  8. Henry said,

    Hello,
    I’m wondering if you know of any genetic/hereditary Asperger connection in families. If a parent has Aspergers, is it more common for a child to have Aspergers or Autism as well?
    Thank you,
    Henry

  9. Ing said,

    Yes, autistic traits often seem to run in families. Whether that makes it genetic or not I don’t think anyone knows. To my knowledge, there is no ‘autistic gene’ identified, just a propensity for sociability & empathy or lack thereof which may put one at risk for autism, according to the researchers. But the research is still in its infancy and much is still speculation. It’s probably a lot more complex than that.

    http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-11-kindness-strangers-linked-genetic-variation.html

  10. Hey, thanks very much!

    • Overall, isn’t autism/aspberger’s a gray-scale disorder with many variations possible?

      • Ing said,

        Yes, that is correct.

        (Sorry for this very late reply, I seem to have missed many comments due to losing the mail address connected to this site when I switched broadband company.)

  11. Holin said,

    I have to thank you so much for creating and maintaining this website. I’m a 54-year-old woman in the U.S. who has always felt inexplicably “out of step” with almost everyone around me. After years of confusion, frustration, anxiety, and difficulty with relationships, I now know why. What a relief! I no longer have to feel “bad” or “wrong” for being who I am, and, even better, I can understand why most of the people in my life (who are NTs) don’t understand me and I can give them a break. It doesn’t mean I have to change, but I can be more forgiving of myself and others when things seem to go pear-shaped for no apparent reason. I feel like the door to understanding myself has finally been opened. Thank you again for your work!

    • Ing said,

      Glad to be of help!

      (And sorry for the late reply.)

  12. Kate said,

    Hi,

    As the mom of an Aspergers son (we think) who had a miserable, miserable adolescence, and still in the throes of it,. i was quite taken by the comments about androgyny and Aspergers. My son has always been more boy than girl, but never classically boy, rather the little professor and intellectual sort, gentle and soft. He thinks all of a sudden that he might be trans — and wants to become a girl. I embrace this, if it is true, but I worry that it is more a reaction to hating his male body now, and wishing to stay androgynous. any help, does anyone have experience?

    • Holin said,

      Young people commonly experiment and question their sexuality, and my own experience is that people I know personally who might be Aspie question everything, including this aspect of their lives – a lot. Depending on where you live, your son might feel that the just doesn’t fit into the gender role that is expected of him and can’t see any other examples of how to be a man. I might suggest that you reaffirm that you love your son just as he is and you support his choices but that gender reassignment is a very permanent change which will require him to undergo a long process of psychological testing, living as a woman before surgery for a certain period of time, surgeries, and hormone support therapy for the rest of his life (he probably knows all of this already, but telling him that you know it, too, may be helpful). In addition, the surgery and drug therapy can be extremely expensive, and I’ve been told by a few transgender women that there are still only a few doctors (in the U.S.) who have real expertise in this area – many more are merely quacks who do a botched job – so he’s probably going to pay a lot of money if he decides to go forward with the process if he’s in the U.S. Many young people who do not meet the standard/stereotypical portrayals of their gender think that this means that they must be “other” (the other gender). This is not true – gentle, non-aggressive men should be valued as should strong, independent-minded women, and in many social circles, they are. Gender traits fall on a continuum, and a “soft” man is still as much a man as a “warrior,” though a high school student might not believe that. Thankfully, most of us realize that there is life after high school, and we begin to see that the roles that were defined for us during that time were restrictive and unrealistic, and we move on. I would encourage your son to explore this issue as much as he feels is necessary but to wait to make a final decision for a good while, perhaps several years. He should seek the advice of a therapist who is familiar with transgender issues and who can help him sort through his feelings. Transgender surgery may feel like a quick fix out of his problems, but he will still be the same person post-surgery as he was pre-surgery. I would also encourage him to speak with M to F transgender women and men to find out more about their experiences. He should speak with people who are both happy and unhappy that they went through gender re-assignment (he may have to look a bit to find the latter). Does he understand that women in modern society are still subject to discrimination and violence (mostly at the hands of men, often sexual)? Does he really want to accept this fact as part of his life, because it will be a reality for him if he undergoes the process. Does he understand that he is likely to be paid less just because he is a woman and that he may find himself targeted by religious bigots? This is no established “place” for transgender people in modern society at this point, and people have lost their jobs and their children, among other things, when they have decided to undergo gender reassignment. It’s a hard road. I have met M to F transgender women who probably shouldn’t have undergone surgery and eventually settle in a kind of limbo, but I have also met M to F transgender women who are as feminine as I am (I was born and still am female) and are much more comfortable with themselves and less depressed after reassignment. This is a new area of medicine and law, and it can be confusing for family members as well as for the individual who exploring their sexuality and gender. I commend you for reaching out to get information rather than condemning your son. Aspies tend to jump into things they are interested in with everything they have. It doesn’t mean that this is where they will land. Being a girl is not a bad thing. Being genuinely unhappy, on the other hand, is rotten.

    • one who knows said,

      It’s possible he’s reacting negatively to the gender role stereotype that society is forcing on him as he grows older. I once thought I was trans, as a teen, but grew out of it when I realised that all I wanted was to dress in the clothing traditionally assigned to the other sex, and to be mentally androgynous. Reassure him that he is free to express his gender any way he pleases and society should not be allowed to bully him into permanently changing/damaging his body in order to fit its idea of gender expression. Also reassure him that not being macho is perfectly acceptable and respectable, and guide him towards male role models who are not silly, overtly-masculine caricatures. Many male artists, writers, and scientists are thoughtful, quiet, and gentlemanly, rather than brash, loud, and rude/dominating.

  13. Heather said,

    Thank you so much for this site! I was put in therapy in first grade and started treatment for bipolar disorder when I was in 8th grade (I was NOS, it never felt like the right diagnosis and nothing explained the rest of my symptoms.) I am near tears reading the information here. 40 years of struggling and failing to be “normal”. I am not nuts, stupid or intentionally pig headed, and I’m not alone. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Ing said,

      Wonderful! Glad to hear it was helpful!

  14. brian said,

    I just took the aspie test and the result was too many inconsistent control questions answered????????????????

    • Ing said,

      I am not responsible for the aspie quiz so if you have any questions about it, please contact the aspie quiz maker.

      (If it’s that long test you’re referring to, that person is a bit of a nut though, to be frank. I helped design the first version of that quiz but then he took over the whole thing, added some really strange questions, and uses it to try and prove is Hn theory, which I do not believe in.)

      If you want to know if you have AS, you need to do a proper professional evaluation. Online tests can at best only give a general hint, and at worst lead you to believe you have a condition you or personality type that you don’t.

      There is a huge overlap between ASD, ADHD and being a Highly Sensitive Person or having an unusual temperament type, learning style etc.

      If these, often natural, variations require a medical diagnosis depends on whether they are an more of an asset or a handicap in your life. (For some of us, they’re both.)

  15. alanadyson said,

    I just recently found out at age 30, that i’m am aspie. In trying to educate my parents about this, i fell out with my father (with whom I have always been very close). He completely missed the point of all the information i gave him, telling me, finally, to quit inconveniencing everyone around me with my sensitivities, once and for all…I want to ball this blog up in my fist and jam the whole thing right down his ignorant gob. Thank you Ing, and all contributors (especially all the amazing and brave female aspies from Sweden (maybe i should move there)), for putting this invaluable resource together. I wish this was mandatory reading for the entire human race! Thanks for helping me continue to learn about my neurologically unusual self and for giving me a website to send people with questions to. Excellent work!!!!!

    • Holin said,

      Hang in there, Alan. I figured it out just a few months ago at age 54. The initial shock was huge, but I have a very supportive partner who understood immediately. The best thing about finally figuring it out was that I realized that not being like everybody else was ok and that I didn’t have to make excuses or feel bad for my “sensitivities” any more. On the other hand, I’m not going to tell most people about it, either, particularly in light of the two recent shootings in the U.S. (the Batman theater shooting and the school shooting in Connecticut), both of which were committed by people who were presumed to have Asperger’s. If you can, try to be easy with yourself and others, and allow yourself to be “quirky” (as my friends call me) with humour and acceptance for yourself and the rest of the world. We have the advantage of being able to think outside the box all the time, which can be a great thing, even though it is sometimes a burden as well. You’re not alone.

      • alanadyson said,

        thanks for the words of encouragement, i really needed to hear that today.

    • Ing said,

      Thanks Alan! Glad this information was of help! :)

      Good luck in trying to educate those around you. Be prepared that it may take time…

      I found it most important to understand myself first and foremost. My family needed a few years to get their heads around it but now they accept it.

  16. Nice site. I recently at 30 found out I have Aspergers. I just “followed” your site, feel free to check mine out! http://laughatmypain.wordpress.com/

    • Holin said,

      As I said in a previous post, I didn’t find out I was Aspie until I was 54 (last year). I read your blog, and I am sorry that you feel such pain, but in your writing I also see a great deal of self-awareness. Being Aspie is part of who you are, like having brown eyes or being tall or whatever. After the initial shock, I felt so very relieved. I don’t have to wonder why I don’t quite fit in anymore, and I can actually enjoy what my “normal” friends call my “quirkiness.” When I find other people like me – smart but “odd” – I can enjoy their company and relax. Perhaps it might help you to seek out others in your area who are more like you – Mensa, science fiction fans, computer geeks, and like-minded folks seem to have an abundance of Aspie traits, even if they are not Aspie themselves. They seem more willing to embrace divergent thinking and behavior.

      As a Zen master once said, “You are you.” How could you be anything else? There’s no one else to be and nowhere else to go.

      Give yourself time to accept and understand who you are, and then make the most of it. Allow yourself to think outside the box you’ve been trying so hard to fit into – that’s how change happens – and we Aspies seem to think outside the box all the time. (Box? What box? Is there a box somewhere?) Fit in where you can, but don’t feel like you have to be somebody different than who you are – that is where the pain comes in, trying to be like everybody else. I find that the effort is too much for me, so I’m making choices that allow me to be who I am and make a living, too. I believe that it is possible to be yourself and be functional, at least most of the time.

      Be kind to yourself. Take small steps. Walk a different road.

      Holin

  17. Claudia said,

    Well, I confirmed once again that I’m an Aspie. I’m the kind who read encyclopedias as a kid for fun, found it difficult socializing with the other kids and teachers were surprised that I used such complex vocabulary at my age. I also hated physical/visual contact (even with my family), and became really upset when my routine was disturbed. About odd interests, my mother said that when I was a baby I had an obsession with wheels. I could spend hours staring at them and when I grew up I was obsessed with science (biology, astronomy). Also, I have a really odd sense of humor, and people always remind me to speak more softly or slowly. Finally, I’m really clumsy. To make things worse, I’m a former lefty so I’m the kind who trips on her own feet or drops things

    A few years ago, I got into a big depression. No matter what I did, I kept failing on my thesis. I was about to get expelled from university. To make things worse, I had a bad fight with a close friend (well, ex-friend) because he told me he was tired of dealing with me and my mood swings (he’s was a douche!). I got into Cognitive behavioral therapy and I took Fluoxetine and Sertraline for at least a year.

    Today, things are better. I managed to have my little group of friends from the university and now I’ve even socialized with people who share my same hobbies (figure collecting, and a band that is not well known here). At work, I can act almost normally, meaning I can follow a conversation at lunch and participate on it (something that was pretty hard a few years ago). Still, my visual contact is poor, but at least, I can look in the eye at people for a bit longer. I’m known as being a bit eccentric and to be awfully clumsy but I don’t give it much though. Therapy has helped me a lot, so if somebody is reading this, I advice to go to the psychologist, doctors can help you a lot.

  18. Rick Nickles said,

    What good does it do to come up with another label to label someone with? Once they attach a label to you then they use that label to reject you or abuse you – I know someone who has an autistic daughter – I asked her when her daughter was going to quit being her autistic daughter and just be her daughter. Why give people more tabels to abuse people with? most of the people who have all these labels are the way they are because of all the abuse they’ve suffered – why abuse them more? Why give people another piece of ammunition to abuse them with? How many labels do you need to describe a person?

  19. Craig said,

    Interesting. My calculated score was “You have answered inconsistently on too many control-questions”. I was trying to answer as best as I could as often my answer didn’t quite fit one of the selections. I tended to think more about my answer in the first part of the test and went more on first impression towards the latter. Now I’m wondering if I can take it again without trying to second guess the question or myself.

    • Craig said,

      I just read an earlier comment where the person received the same “score” as me. I’ll assume my replys will be the same as his. Thanks

  20. What Should I Do said,

    Thanks for the info!
    But now I’m sitting here self-diagnosing myself… Thinking im positively an aspie… I do wish there was a surefire way for me to know. It would explain SO much.

  21. Joseph said,

    I was born with ACC (without my Corpus Callosum,) have ASD, ADHD, ACC is so rare that we haven’t yet gotten the attention that ASD has gotten, that is changing. I have some rather interesting ideas about neurodiversity myself.

  22. Gaz said,

    I spent three obsessive days online, searching for this resource (I reset my device and lost the link). So glad to have found it again, one of the most comprehensive guides to ASDs online. Great work!!

  23. Johne236 said,

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  24. Autism is said to have increased dramatically in recent years. Some people speculate that autism is an aspect of evolution, a response to our change in lifestyle. We used to call inheritance of acquired characteristics Lamarckism. We now call it epigenetics and acknowledge that lifestyle can influence biology over multiple generations. Some species may have achieved stasis and stopped evolving, but humans appear to be in the process of dynamic change. The way children spend their childhoods has changed profoundly. What could be a more dramatic change than children spending hours a day looking at symbols on paper and transcribing them into abstract thoughts? Maybe our persistent emphasis upon reading and learning is eroding some of our intuitive abilities, and we are all becoming less conforming. Some autistic children have savant abilities, and appear overwhelmed by super-sensitivities, such as sight or hearing. Like all creative processes, Nature’s ability to devise adaptive change is tentative and imperfect – sometimes producing partial results. Not all of Nature’s innovations are successful; just some of them. Are we labeling Natures incomplete adaptations mental illness?
    Berthajane Vandegrift
    A few autistic questions about Freud Marx an Darwin

    http://30145.myauthorsite.com/


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