Autism vs Aspergers Syndrome

Leo Kanner was the first person to describe the nature of Autism and its symptoms almost sixty years ago.  Later, Hans Asperger wrote about a condition, which was first termed autistic psychopathology and is now known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Though there were similarities in the two discoveries, Asperger claimed that his disorder was not a variation of the initial Autism discovery.

According to the most widely used diagnostic tool, DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), both disorders are classified as Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Since 1994 Asperger syndrome was added to the fourth edition as a separate disorder.

Today the debate continues among academic researchers that Autism and Aspergers are in fact, two independent conditions, although Asperger’s Syndrome had been incorporated under the umbrella of Autism to overcome clinical confusion between the diagnoses of these syndromes.

These differences are based on the different language and cognitive challenges that those with Autism and AS face.

Communication Differences

Individuals with more severe forms of autism are more likely to show symptoms of limited communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal.

Diagnostic Differences

Autism can be detected early, usually at the age of five, while those with AS often remain undiagnosed until eleven years old. The late onset of complex social-skills explain how and why people with AS are diagnosed later than their counterparts with autism.

Studies conducted at Monash University conclude that children with Autism portray a particular style of walking, this will be fundamental in the diagnosis of Autism as children learn to walk before they develop social skills.

Social, Motor & Cognitive Differences

Children with autism have limited interest in events, items and the people in their environment. They tend to favour repeated actions. Children with AS are less likely to show delays in age appropriate skills, such as self-help, curiosity and the ability to adapt.

Autistic children, in many instances, are characterized by having motor difficulties and tend to be preoccupied with parts of objects such as the wheels of a toy car;  their limited and circumscribed interest consumes a great deal of their time. Individuals with AS are less likely to display these symptoms.

Children with autism usually have cognitive delays from early infancy. Children with AS do not tend to show this kind of delay; they might be quite talented in numeric abilities, learning to read, and being constructive in memory games.

Autism_vs_Aspergers-2Similarities in Social & Behavioural Skills

Autism and high functioning autism (HFA) have several common characteristics with Asperger syndrome (AS). AS and HFA individuals have normal cognitive abilities and do not experience any significant delay in acquiring language skills.

Autism and Asperger syndrome are similar in terms of their inability to create and maintain social relationships. The verbal expression of an individual with autism might be limited or even non-existent although certain characteristics can also be observed by individuals with Asperger syndrome.  Despite their developed vocabulary and normal intelligence they are unable to socialize in an acceptable manner.  Their speech is overly formal and/ or too literal. During interactions with peers their behavior is deemed socially and emotionally inappropriate; this is also true for individuals with autism. They possess similar traits in their inability to understand nonverbal signs and gestures.

Both individuals with autism and Asperger syndrome have a similar behavioral profile; hence the same treatment methods can be effective for both groups. This is why some clinicians and researchers suggest that it is inappropriate to talk about two separate conditions or different disorders. A dimensional rather than a categorical view of autism and Asperger Syndrome seems to be more reasonable.

Differences in Degrees of Sociability

Delays and disturbances of communication are more explicit in autism. Individuals with Asperger syndrome might be able to successfully complete school or find a job, which is unlikely for individuals with autism. People with AS will experience significant impairment in important areas of functioning, for example, social interactions or correct occupational behavior.

 Important factors in their Differences

The main worry in defining Asperger’s as a lesser form of Autism is that it could imply that children with AS do not face as many difficulties as those with Autism, where in fact, they can suffer far more severe anxiety disorders and depression that those with Autism.

Another important factor is that those diagnosed with Asperger’s give parents guidelines to assist their children to developing fulfilling social activities and a chance to lead successful career options.

Further Studies

Due to deeper understanding of these disorders, such as the brain cell suppression in HFA which is not present in those with AS, resulting in variants in diagnostic tests and subsequent treatments, sufferers of both syndromes can be diagnosed and treated with the most appropriate methods. With ongoing studies into the psychological and brain differences between these syndromes, it will aid the future development of diagnostic tools and subsequent treatments for each disorder.


Mark Blakey

Mark Blakey is the founder of the Aspergers Test Site, after a successful career working in IT Mark wanted to share what he learned from his own diagnosis. He is the author of "Emotional Mastery for Adults with Aspergers" and "An Introduction to Aspergers Syndrome". Having received lots of questions from parents with autistic children, Mark went on to found Autism Parenting Magazine. The magazine has become an essential resource aimed at improving the quality of life for families effected by Autism. Its a monthly publication containing lots of helpful articles to help develop social skills, manage challenging behavior and improve communication.

  • Claire says:

    Asperger’s is ok.

  • Claire says:

    There is no stigma in having Asperger’s Syndrome.

    • yarnbomber says:

      I am glad you live in a world that is very different from mine.

      • Leisa says:

        haha, well said. I would like to live in THAT world!

        • Tana says:

          It can be wonderful to be in this world if you know you are in that world instead of just thinking you are different in some “bad” way that makes people draw away from you and you from them. I am beginning to enjoy my perspective.

          • Selavy says:

            It can be wonderful to be in this world……………..Seriously? I hate it. I find it so limiting. I don’t enjoy it at all and find no comfort with having a diagnosis of AS.

    • Libbs says:

      Tell that to my 11 year old. Bullied consistantly from year 2. we are now homeschooling until an appropriste school can found. No dtigma! Pfft! Rose tinted specs me thinks.

      • Mindy says:

        I agree that society, especially that mean beast “children,” create the stigma Aspies feel. Bullying is something my 10 year old experiences frequently and it breaks my heart to see him so lonely… and yet, I have seen other kids step up lately and defend him to their fullest extent. There are some truely good kids out there and it makes a world of difference! All I’m saying is that there is hope and happiness out there for your child, don’t give up the hope.

      • Aspie Girl says:

        Maybe she meant there should be no stigma. Or that there is no objective reason to be ashamed (even if she worded it wrong)

      • Tana says:

        I am sorry you are having difficulties with your AS or a loved one’s. AS qualities are different for each individual. I always thought I was a weirdo before my recent diagnosis (no awareness of AS or help for 59 years) because I didn’t enjoy the company of the majority of people and people tried to force me to be sociable, even though it made me very uncomfortable. AS was not well known back then, especially in our rural area, and I had no one to help me with my abilities and differences. I was small for my age & we had no kindergarden, so I asked to be tested for early enrollment and was put into 1st grade at 5. I already knew how to read. By 2nd grade I was teaching reading to students at the request of my teacher. By 3rd grade I had taught myself to speed read. What an oddball!? I was lucky that I was a very strong tomboy and protected others from the bullies, despite my size. I was lucky to have a woods to disappear into when needed (my parents fought constantly) and animals were my best friends. At times I simply disappeared into books, art or music. I was lonely sometimes and sad to be “cut out of the herd” because of poor social skills. Luckily, I had one AS characteristic – I never cared what most people thought about me and still don’t, although I hate hurting anyone’s feelings. I didn’t find friendships until I became an entertainer and still am (professional vocalist). Many performers are AS. I felt my life was explained and justified when I found out I was AS after 59 years of not truly respecting myself. It freed me from my negative thoughts about myself and the past. I quite literally (no rose tinted glasses here) appreciated myself, my differences and especially my abilities, as never before. Discovering that I am not a weirdo has changed the way I view myself and life. I trust myself now to speak my mind and know I have some great things to say, whether it is excepted or not. All people have differences and I relish being quite different now. I am so much happier after finding out. I hope everyone will learn to appreciate Aspies, especially those who are or have a loved one who is AS, because it is what it is. Build AS up, go with the flow, find personal acceptance & special qualities and celebrate differences. Aspies are not mundane, average people. One might be surprised at the achievements of Aspies, even yourself or your loved ones. There are a lot of AS pioneers who made incredible discoveries. My heart breaks for the struggles of many Aspergers. I wish happiness to all.

        • xixou says:

          Totally agre with you Tana !
          I discovered I’m an AS last week, after 38 years !
          Everything is explained !

          • Michele says:

            My daughter, who is also 38, discovered she has AS in April. She feels the same way: her immediate reaction when she read a list of “symptoms” from was “Wow! I’m normal!” meaning, of course, there are many others like her and she didn’t come from another planet! Unfortunately, she is still bullied at work. She works at an agency that supports people who are intellectually and physically disabled and her supervisor’s initial reaction was “Does this mean you can’t do your job any more?” This supervisor bullies anybody, program participants included, who doesn’t/don’t agree with her or do what she tells them to do. My daughter’s life is much better in many ways, but work is still a problem.

        • Tom says:

          I am 63 years old and just now found out I have AS. Knowing this has put a lot of my past experiences into an understandable context.

          In one regard I do not seem to fit the profile. I am retired from the Air Force where I worked mostly as an Asia Political Military Affairs Analyst, and at least according to my peers I was quite respected for my work.

          I do have a question and would like some advise. I retired 10 years ago and since then I have daily been writing notes for an article but have yet to finish it. I am wondering if others with AS have this same level of procrastination. I think the problem is that I have this impossible to meet level of perfectionism. Is this a characteristic of AS and are there ways to work through this to achieve a finished product.

          Also, I was wondering if anyone know of writers with AS who have succeeded? Perhaps journalists?

          Finally, even though I am late in life, I think I will end up being grateful for having discovered that I have AS.

        • Kathleen Dunn says:

          I can so relate. I was recently diagnosed at age 57. It seemed like my whole life makes sense now. I’m having difficulties navigating relationships right now but am hopeful in discovering answers to help me understand myself and for my family to understand me as well.

  • Steve says:

    I want to thank you for your helpful insight. It helps me better understand why the way I react and behave at times and why I appear quite different to “normal” people.

    • Lee says:

      Im glad others feel the same as I do. But where do I go now about this? My doctors? I’m not to happy about admitting my problem as I am a professional engineer and have worked for top companies in the country. And after if I have got some kind of illness is there help, locally to me?? Thanks for your help.

  • Claire says:

    Glad to know there are other people who understand Asperger’s and social situations.

  • Leslie says:

    Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly frustrated because of my awkwardness in social situations, I’ll start singing that little elf song from Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer.

    “Why am I such a misfit? I am not such a nit wit … Why don’t I fit in?”

    At least all of this helps me to understand myself better. That’s something, right?

    • Sônia says:

      Everybody has a problem to fit in, I believe. My husband is an Aspie and I can see his awkwardness, but he usually, despite the awkwardness, fits in better than I do. We all feel we’re different in certain ways, I guess. But I’m beginning to believe that you guys found out why you can’t fit in because you’re also very smart and did some research on your behaviours. Since I’m not this smart, I’m simply going to remain ignorant about why I can’t fit in and not do any researches to try to find solutions.

    • William Ohaeri says:

      Lol me too sure wish we could meet and compare our worlds E=MC^2

    • Tina says:

      Umm, are you really just giving this info out for notignh?

  • Kirk says:

    I am 67 years old and I retired from a successful career in program management at a major automotive company when I was 55 years old. But I have joked all my adult life about being “The World’s Worst Conversationalist”. I can’t have “normal” conversations with people outside of my work environment, and I would like to fix that.

    • Rob says:

      I’m a 57-year-old financial professional and am pretty certain I’d give you a run for the title of worst conversationalist, particularly via phone. However, truth be told, I’m really not very interested in the banalities of life as seem to make up 99% of “normal” conversations. Give me a serious topic where facts and proof can be brought to bear and I’m in my environment and can talk at length. Sadly, most “normal” people appear content to discuss fluff, so I tune them out and seek solace in my own thoughts.

      • Lynn says:

        I am also a retired professional from a field that required considerable statistical work. It was that part of the job that I enjoyed most, that and writing creatively. I am not a “fluff” conversationalist either, never was, am mystified by it, though at times wish I were better able to engage in it. I too prefer a “meaty” topic and an articulate person to really get into discussion. Now THAT’s fun!

        • Lin says:

          I am 65 and as you, have always felt different, couldn’t have good conversations, hate the fluff talk, luv to use my “big” words and other t gs that were fun for me, but not well accepted. Glad to “meet” all of you!

          • Peter H says:

            I am 65 and just self-diagnosed by symptoms listed in a newspaper column by a father of a daughter with AS. The behaviours he wrote about opened floodgates in me as I started to remember all the traumatic experiences in my life back to my childhood and the rest of my life.

            Although I always thought my managers were angry with me and didn’t like my work, I now recognise my career was successful despite now see I was probably a very difficult person to manage.

            AS gave me the drive to spend hours perfecting something few would see as productive given the time it took. Perhaps having a disorder drove me to do unconventional things.

            The unfortunatel part is that even now, mental disorders are not discussed here in Canada. Many don’t believe they even exist.

            Having others who know, like all of you, what suffering is really like is a relief, even if we are only connected electronically.

            A big thanks to all of you for sharing.

  • Khy says:

    At 48 y.o. I was just diagnosed. Right now I’m undergoing a tremendous upheaval in my mind. I’ve always written off the sometimes brutal consequences of my ‘differentness’ as my penalty for willful disobedience of social norms. Now I know it’s not my fault, it wasn’t willful. Has anyone had this experience and if so what did you do to handle it?

    • sonja says:

      same ,i spent my whole life paying the penalty for my ”differences” and no social sense, i am finding the more i learn about aspergers the better for me, ”knowledge ” definitely is power. just wish i knew this twenty years ago..

    • Artline says:

      I just found out last week I have AS at 49. I have not been officially diagnosed and my curious mind wants to be I guess there is little to be gained. It took an Aspie friend to notice I might be and suggest I research it. I find I have all the symptoms. Suddenly my life made sense!

      I spent the first week just dredging up things in my past. And everything just made sense with AS.

      It’s helped me finding out. I no longer feel like a useless freak. It’s great to know that I’m not alone.

    • Ted says:

      I am nearly 50 and and I took the “test” for the first time last week and confirmed what I have been ignoring for about a year when I first looked into AS after seeing a short segment on a news channel. I am finding out why I have reacted and acted the way the ways I have. Very enlightening and very scary at the same time.

  • Belinda says:

    I have never been “officially” diagnosed with Asperger’s, probably since on tests I test right on the border. Is there a genetic component to Asperger’s? I’m led to think the answer is “Yes.”i’m borderline. My brother is worse. I have a cousin who is severe. While I test as only being borderline, I consider myself to be an Asperger’s person. Making eye contact with people “hurts.” I tend to become so hyperfocused on things that I have difficulty changing that focus to other topics.It has even affected my ability to maintain certain jobs- I had one ex-boss who said she was letting me go because I “couldn’t read the body language of other people.” While I do accept it as a social disorder, I don’t see it as a disorder in itself. I take pride in the fact that I can hyperfocus on certain tasks- tasks that have been relevant to the work I do. Sure, I’m socially awkward, but rather than labeling myself as “flawed,” I try to instead recognize these differences as part of who I am, part of my personality.

    It WAS especially hard growing up, though. I ended up being a loner. I was teased mercilessly for reasons I couldn’t understand. It was very lonely. I do regret that in childhood I wasn’t able to have the normal social relations other kids hid. In fact, I was envious. No matter how hard I tried, though, I couldn’t fit in.

    • Lin says:

      There have been lots of difficulties, misunderstandings, etc., and yes, I am a loner…but in many ways, deeeep down there, I see that I am actually much more happy than the “fluffy” folk. Someone I know calls a lot of so-called normal folks, drones and sheeple. I am definitely not that, although my ways are quiet.

      • Tana says:

        I agree about the lack of interest in banal fluff talk so many people engage in. Why is that considered “normal” socializing? I believe that the opposite is true. It is more normal for intelligent Aspies and others to have articulate, meaty conversations with facts that can be proven. I also love using my extensive vocabulary. Perhaps it was more normal to have conversations with depth long ago – possibly before television and radios? All I know is that I much prefer to talk to anyone about profound issues, not excluding humor, than about someone’s newest pair of fashion shoes.

    • Aspie Girl says:

      It sounds like you have full Aspergers, regardless of what the tests may have said.

    • Sammi1960 says:

      I have always know I was different. I see and think differently than the others. Sometimes I feel like I’m in that joke about How they didnt tell certain things to the “stupid” (the joke’s words-not mine) people so they wouldn’t panic…. ok so its a bad example but you all know exactly what I mean.

      I guess this is why I worked for small mom and pop businesses or for myself most of my life. I just didnt fit into the big corporate mentality so well.

      Nice to know I’m not crazy, or if I am, that I’m not alone in it.

  • Paul says:

    I know I suffer from Aspergers but unfortunately the Primary Care Trust where I live wont ok the funding to get me tested which bothers me. I associate with lots of the symptoms and find the outside world in general to be quite frightening if that makes sense and I absolutely struggle socially.

    • San says:

      I’ve had the exact same problem. A bunch of people in the place I live have had difficulty getting an assessment/diagnosis and it seems that it is not funded.
      My family live under a different PCT an hour away by bus though, and I’ve been recommended trying to see if I could find out if they can do it there and register with the doctors there.

  • Jackie says:

    I am 61 and have been a solo plaintiff’s attorney for the last three decades. I have tested as borderline AS and also have adult ADD. It’s possible to succeed with AS. I have been more ignored and left out than bullied. I have always felt most alone in a crowd. I love listening to others’ witty repartee but have a very hard time not freezing up (literally) in social situations. I put on a “courtroom persona” when I am in that mode, and that allows me to function.

  • Hattie says:

    I am grateful to have found this site and appreciate all the commentary here. I relate to almost all that is shared here. I was in an intensive day tx program a few months ago and the psychologist I was working with suggested I had Aspergers. I was taken back, however when I got brave and found this site and took the test (3 different, timed spaced out) times. I realized, after my score ranked on the high end, every time I took the test and another from another site, I finally pulled my head out of the sand and saw the truth for what it is and what I really knew anyway. It explains a lot. I am 48, married 24 yrs. but have gone through much of what you all have expressed here, growing up. In my adult life, I am working issues probably related to well as a really bad childhood in all aspects.
    No intent to ramble on here, main intent to say thanks for sharing as your sharing is helping me accept and understand myself more as well as my nephew, 6 now, who was diagnosed with Asper. a couple years ago. Now, I have a family member that I can roll down hills with, spin and fall down, and also maybe help through his growing up years as an Aspie! joy in the Journey

  • Eliseo says:

    Hi everyone,

    I was bullied when I was younger, I could never understand why… I also tended to feel out of sync with others, and even had issues with personal volume control and social interaction, etc. I had issues in my first marriage which I could never pinpoint, and I’m working my best on Marriage #2… About a year ago, I started doing a little research as to what may have been wrong with me (or is wrong, present tense).

    I’m now in the process of awaiting my GP appointment to get a referral to see a clinical psychiatrist to hopefully confirm my self-diagnosis of AS. It seems to be the only conclusion I can come up with regarding my behavior…

    A lot of people tell me my mind’s wired differently to everyone else’s… If it’s because of AS, I’ll be happy to be part of an exclusive group of people.

    I’ll let you know when I find out… 🙂

    Thanks for listening… uh, reading…

  • Aria says:

    I sympathize with all the people posting here. I could always tell there was something different with me too since childhood but I could never tell what exactly. I have read more self-help books in my life than I can remember. I just recently read about AS and finally it all makes sense. I don’t care anymore for social interactions. I have tried all through my 47 years of life and I was not very successful. The few friends I had I imagine just tolerated me or possibly had a similar dysfunction themselves. The problem I am facing now is that I have to find a job and I don’t know in which field. I have been fired numerous times in the past for no apparent reason – most recent excuse was that I wasn’t a good fit for the job. I have three masters degrees all in different fields and started a PhD last year but I don’t want to finish it as I think it will be a waste of time and effort. My knowledge and skills range from Design and Art History to Marketing and management. After a series of unsuccessful relationships I don’t know what to do anymore in my life. My father who was the only person I could relate to (probably an Aspie himself but quite smart – at least I thought so!) died last year. If I could at least find a job that I could be good at maybe my life could have a purpose. Please send any suggestions.

  • Nigel says:

    Self diagnosed just recently and a lot of things suddenly fell into place. Bullied at school, always had problems with social interactions, but treated the problem as something to be solved. After many years work I can now make small talk for about 10 minutes and can now break off the conversation gracefully after that, but it’s really hard work and I dread social occasions especially in noisy conditions. Still, I have a good career, a wonderful wife (also, I suspect, borderline AS) and wonderful kids. And I can do anything I set my mind to… it’s just another problem to solve, and AS sufferers are good at problem solving, aren’t we?

    • Lee says:

      I found the same, was thinking that’s me all over! Thinking of things from my childhood and day by day issues. I just thought everyone found life this hard. I have a missus, daughter, houses and a good job too, it almost felt like a relief I have some kind if mental illnesss. It explained so many things into life. Where do I go now for help? Thanks to Susan boyles on radio 4 for making me aware.

    • Osman says:

      >It’s so damn hard. We parents of spicael needs children can’t get excited about our kids going on a residential, something they should find incredible and fulfilling, because we’re worried sick about how they will “fit in” and how they will cope. We do have to step back and give them independence but that’s the hardest thing a parent will ever do. Of any child.Perhaps something happened on that trip that your daughter will one day tell you about. Sometimes it takes them weeks to spill the beans. Amy sometimes takes months before she tells me of something bad that happened “once”. She often tells me stories about things that happened in her last year at school and I get all confused!!When she went on a residential last November, I was worried sick. Her support worker went too, but I was scared something would go wrong and she’d miss me. As it happened, nothing went wrong and she had a great time but it just made me all the more relieved when she came home. CJ xx

  • Billy says:

    Hi all, thanks very much for taking the time to post your expectancies, they have all been very helpfull. I am 52 old and run my own small business, I have never had a problem doing anything practical, but have always struggled with my reading / English from a child and into adaulthood. I have yet to be diagnosed officially but have carried out the AS test twice, once alone and once with my wife. My wife has been a really driving force for me trying to make sense of our lives together, we have four children and been together for over twenty years, but I’m afraid it is my wife who has had to live with my behavior all this time who is now struggling, as our marriage and relationship has short Changed her for many years. I only hope this can now answer any of our question and do hope that i will be able to turn this round for her and the children, Cheers.

  • Jack says:

    Self diagnosed last week. Appointment on the 18th October. Aged 67 and retired. This site and everyone’s comments are wonderful actually.
    I identify with you all. My first response has been to introspectfully relive my entire life through the lens of AS. Not so lightweight a thing to do all at once. Time to ‘lighten’ up later. Then I realize my late Father’s difficulties also. Poor Dad. A true awesome hero. I wish we could have had some input or diagnoses 62 years ago. Best wishes to all

  • Vicki Bamman says:

    I just can’t believe the commonality as I read the comments above. I’ll be 70 this year and just took the self-test last week & scored in the “definite” range. I can identify with almost all of the comments and, while it’s too late for significant change, it’s reassuring to read that I’m not alone.
    One question: I think I’ve had long stretches where I’ve been more debilitated (ex., unable to make eye contact) and other times (years), where I’ve experienced a degree of self-confidence and subsequent successes. Does this sound familiar?

    • Isey says:

      Hello Vicky,
      I am a 32 years old female, self-diagnosed a short time ago. As you, and probably all the people here, I fully recognize myself in all the symptoms, and they pretty much explain the difficulties I’ve had all my life.

      When it comes to your experience of “up and downs” in the course of your life, I can totally relate to that, as it happened to me also. A few years ago, I had a period of confidence that made me feel I had finally left all those years of communication struggle behind me; but I’m currently in the throes of a “down” period, where I feel quite miserable and where even simple daily interactions are a struggle. In fact, it was the resurgence of these issues that I had thought long gone that made me question myself and led to this informal diagnosis.

  • Vicki says:

    Oops, i thought i read that posting w/b confidential. I wouldn’t have posted my last name. Please ignore.

  • Terry says:

    Reading the comments here has been truly revelatory. I identify so much with what all of you have written. I too self-diagnosed and after taking the test twice, with two weeks interval, the result in both cases was borderline. This has given me some piece of mind – so many things about my life have fallen into place, but to complete this I still feel I need an “official” diagnosis. But I have a great deal of apprehension and real fear about taking this step.
    Firstly, the idea of walking into my GP’s surgery at the age of 65 and saying, “Oh, by the way I think I have Aspergers,” seems faintly absurd. I have had the same GP for over thirty years.
    But the real fear, paradoxically, is if I have a consultation with a specialist, the result is that I do not have it. It’s not that I am seeking justification for the way I am. I just want to understand and a negative diagnosis would leave me as confused as ever.
    I think one of the worst aspects of this condition is not the feeling of not fitting in, but the anxiety that often accompanies it when interacting with other people. For most of the time I feel at best inept and at worst a bad person. Yet when I am alone, painting in my studio or following my various obsessions – current one: Russian history, I feel like a perfectly normal balanced person.
    I hope this becomes a real forum as there is so much I would like to discuss with all of you.

  • Conrad says:

    It is reassuring to read the experiences of so many people in or around my age bracket I am 74 years old. I have many of the symptoms described above and many related experiences too but also many differences. As I start to realise why I have sometimes struggled in my life I have always known that I am different but different too to many AS above.

    In my mind being different is normal – do you know any two people who are exactly alike in personality? I probably would not fit into a specific DSM-IV category but overlap many.

    This is what makes me an individual. As an eccentric as others may label me I have more choices not less.

    I have picked out positive traits above too and that is refreshing against many sites I have visited.

    OK I may have chosen occupations with less stress in retrospect, but have been able to choose and channel my extreme ability to focus on items in my voluntary work that would not have been acceptable at work. If a job’s worth doing it’s worth doing extremely well! And that is a gift as well as a curse.

  • Bushy says:

    Well said to you all.
    The time has come for people such as yourself to realize that you are all unique, serving a greater purpose towards a greater cause, all for the betterment of humanity.

    As such the question that you should ask yourselves is this!
    Are you really the ones being different from not conforming to the norms of society?
    Can you any longer allow yourself to be thought of as being an inferior and lesser person, but then especially thinking such of yourself?

    I beg to tell you, No! No! No!
    You are all unique; you are the fortunate ones having attained immunity against the similarities of the minds.
    You are the ones critical for the conservation of humanity.
    You are the ones responsible for the creation of new concepts of thought.
    You are the ones responsible for the uniqueness and diversity among our species.
    You are also the unacknowledged ones whose ideas are being bled dry by the parasites of society.

    Raise your heads with pride for whom and what you really are. You are living on the edge of a very narrow dividing line between the so called normal and being trapped on the other side of life.

    Sadly so, these are the individuals on the far extreme of being different. They are the ones paying dearly and for this very reason they are the ones that should be cherished and appreciated for giving true meaning to life itself. They are the ones paying the penalty for keeping us on track, evolving us towards higher levels of consciousness.

    Being different, rendering people such as yourself capable of walking the edge is exactly what prevents this world from stagnating into a meaningless loop of meaningless similarity.

    “Einstein”, as with the likes of many others before himself, have been no different from who you are.
    They are the ones responsible for what society have achieved.
    They are also responsible for the way that society thinks, behaves and responds.
    So can you! It’s up to you to take control of your abilities, let go of being perceived to be inferior when you’re not, but then especially so in guarding against thinking such of yourself.

    In essence being unique you are a superior being capable of achieving what others cannot no matter how hard they try. Without people such as yourself the world would literally stagnate, folding back onto itself becoming meaningless in less than a few generations.

    Being normal can only serve to limit your experience of life itself, living on the safe side of the edge, but then only to be caught up within the constraints of the norms and mindset of society.

    Think of it like this.
    If the mindset of each and every single person on this planet could be transformed into a book, then there would be billions of similar copies becoming meaningless despite being perceived otherwise. As such, you only need to read one to know them all, having similar mindsets, thinking in similar ways, inevitably leading to similar outcomes.

    Think of yourself as an exceptional book embracing the title of “Being Different” which is a far cry from the similarities of books entitled “Normal”.

    Without these critical indifference’s among our mental abilities we would certainly not have been capable of remaining human.

    Being human is that which liberates us from thinking and living like animals.

  • Jennifer says:

    Well, that was disappointing.

    My son was once what you would consider low functioning on the autistic spectrum. I could have believed he would never be a capable higher functioning human being that would actually contribute to society.

    That would have been incredibly easy considering I had in diagnosed Aspergers at that time. But I refused, and so at 15 months old he began to a journey that was imaginable. Every waking moment this little boy worked and everyday he never ceased to amaze me. He never had any free moments or time to play because his development was top priority always. I have not worked and made incredible sacrifices in my life so I could be home for those appointments, 40-25 hours a week aba home based services, and meetings.


    Well, now at 8 he’s verbal and in many ways has those typical aspect in him. I’m not saying he doesn’t still have some “lower functioning” core communications issues still. We still have sensory break downs, extremely rigid, ritualistic and bad days. But he’s considered high functioning ASD. Some of him is still developmentally age 4. While sometimes I’m talking to a 45 year old man or my 17 year old mouthy teenager. He’s incredibly complex and beyond brilliant.

    All this rant is, bottom line, there’s always something amazing in children on the spectrum. Limiting them because of a diagnosis is ignorant to say the least. Why do you think they have behaviors or are violent? Frustration!!! They cannot communicate effectively their wants or needs. They don’t have a say! If you had tape over your mouth for the rest of your life while everyone made decisions for you….I’m pretty sure you’d eventually become violent.

    These children from Aspergers to autism are brilliant minds and just because we haven’t fully decoded their brains doesn’t mean their limited. Maybe it’s the “norm” who is limited…?

  • Summer says:

    Hi! I’m Summer, and I am 17 years old. I started researching Aspergers Syndrome on the suspicion that my current boyfriend might have it. However, I have found that many of the symptoms apply to me and not him.
    From elementary school, I have had a huge facination with math and science, especially meteorology. Although my minor, short-term interests change rather easily, my love of studying the weather just overshadowed most of my life. Honestly, I would watch the weather reports on TV all the time with the same amount of enjoyment that I would imagine an “average” kid would get from watching cartoons. This facination has actually led me to persue a career as a meteorologist.
    I am a very bright kid with a higher than average IQ, but I have always had face emotional issues and social awkwardness. At times I get upset or frustrated in trivial situations in ways that many of my classmates think something is wrong with me and avoid me. I used to be teased for my emotional hypersensitivity, the point where no one would be my friend even in the few times that I tried to make them, and those who were my friends at first just went away.
    When it comes to social interaction, it’s not that I hate it, but I feel as if I can easily go without it, sometimes going a whole day only saying a few words. I don’t like the drone of many conversations happening at once; it makes it hard for me to focus. I do have a few friends, and a boyfriend that I mentioned earlier, but I find that I usually can’t associate with what they talk about, unless it has something to do with current events or science. Often when they joke around, I take them literally. Or, it may take me a moment or two longer to understand it.
    My philosophy on people is this: there is no set “normal.” Whatever mold you try to make a person fit into, they will never perfectly conform. Therefore, we shouldn’t judge anyone, because we don’t have the means to make a proper judgment.
    Recently, I took tests on behalf of my boyfriend, and they say he most likely doesn’t have Aspergers. Out of curiosity, I took the same tests, and they say I might. I think I may have Aspergers, but I will get a professional opinion before I finally say I do or don’t.

  • Mary says:

    Hi I am 53 and just self diagnosed as PDD NOS. I have a history of LD and anxiety and depression and have been misdiagnose more time then not. Everything I have studied on Autism makes so much since to me. I am on disability and starting my own internet business.

  • Sue says:

    Hi Everyone, Like many people here, I’m an adult [65], who always had a difficult time of it socially [couldn’t understand or work out how and why others formed friendships and friendship groups which lasted, etc.], was diagnosed with bi-polar 9 years ago and only this week took the Asperger Test and found I was borderline. Also took the Baron-Cohen Emotional Quotient and Systemizer Quotient and found I had .. for the EQ ‘lower than average ability understanding how other people feel and respond appropriately.’ …

    All this is very well, but what to do about it?

    We can share our difficulties on forums like this, but surely the aims [for me at least] might be to change. …. How can I change from focussing on or noticing some small detail of a person’s appearance to branching out to become aware of how they are actually feeling and take this into my field of awareness?

    Any ideas/approaches/literature would be welcome,

  • H. Lee says:

    I am 54 years old and have known that something was wrong/different all my life. I heard the word “Aspergers” and without even knowing what it was, I felt it had something to do with me. I searched the Internet and found a couple of tests. One showed my score at 37, when 32 and above were supposed to be absolutely Aspergers; the other test showed my score at 130 of 200 (neurodiverse) and 74 of 200 (neurotypical).I am just trying to wrap my head around all this . looking back, everything now makes sense. My question is:in the early 60’s, was any of this information known to doctors? I recall being yelled at (a lot) and being told that their was something wrong with me. Is this something my parents would have known about and not said anything (or been told to not say anything?

    • Libby says:

      Asperger’s 1944 work wasn’t translated from German (he was Austrian) into English and made widely available until the early 1980s. So yeah, we kids in elementary school even in the Sixties and Seventies who weren’t obviously intellectually impaired/disabled were simply not noticed as anything but odd or were bullied relentlessly because autism was conflated with what used to be termed mental retardation. My now-dead favorite aunt was an elementary special education teacher and specialized further in autism, yet I was never formally diagnosed until last fall.

      I had to pay nearly $500 cash to even get evaluated for Asperger’s and that was with good health insurance. It took a lot of effort to even find a psychologist who would even do adult autism evaluations. I was 51 years old at the time and had been misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder for twenty years of my adult life.

      The psych drugs caused me to gain nearly sixty pounds and not even daily hard cardio (not walking) and truly heavy weight training for long periods of time made that bloat come off. In fact, those prescription drugs like Abilify, Seroquel, and Zyprexa were causing my hands to tremble so badly I couldn’t write legibly or even apply nail polish. And I was never a big eater and no one could understand why I gained all that weight.

      I’ve been off all that for over a year. Lost my last living parent last year to cancer, husband walked out three weeks before after nearly fourteen years, then I got through a major surgery and the holidays without any psych drugs and not a single true breakdown, nor did I have any help from friends I don’t have.

      Got through all that and and am very thankful indeed that I found out I never was mentally ill, just autistic. What a relief.

      • Libby says:

        Lost that excess sixty pounds over about eight months with no dieting or special exercise. The prescription drugs in my case were causing that and in fact I and other professionals who saw it say those drugs actually seemed to be aggravating or even causing my emotions to get out of control.

    • Jim says:

      I’m coming to grips with late life discovery, too. I’ve been told the worst thing to do is wonder what could have been or about the past. For us were too far beyond the curve to wonder about our training or whether we have enough in the tank to finish. It’s the homestretch for us. Whatever’s left in the tank, whether it was filled at the start or it the pit crew did its job we just got to deal, and make sure we leave it all on the track. Don’t be the guy who looks back and coulda, woulda, shoulds’s. Bust ass and let the chips fall from here on out.

    • Denise Edwards says:

      I doubt it. It was so different back then. I am 57 years old. My mothers was very quiet even possibly had some communication problems herself. Her father was in WW11. They waited in bread lines for ever. They grew up in some very difficult times and that is all she knew. She left school at 15 years old and worked for 10 years as a secretary. She met my father and gave birth to me at age 25 yrs. She really didn’t experience much. No TV. Remember no computer, no phone for some. I was raised without a TV or a phone. No fax, no communication really just face to face. It was a different era so how could they possibly know much about an unknown condition. I was raised in England, by the way, which was behind in those days. Whether I have AS or not I don’t know. May be what I am is normal for me. We are all different. Some are more social than others. I didn’t grow up in a highly social atmosphere although I did have friends.

    • Fads says:

      I feel you.
      I believe my husband is same as yours.
      I also have suffered severe depression.
      I only recently came across AS and read about it I immediately was able to put my husband in the spectrum .
      I m afraid to face him. How do I do it? It’s hard? I have gone through everything you have gone through. It’s very hard to live with someone like that . But I’m still here.

  • M says:

    Disappointed in so many of these comments.

    1. Autistic people (and people with Asperger’s) function all the time. It might be a different way of functioning, but it’s ALL functioning. There is no “low functioning” or “high functioning”–it’s “high spectrum” and “low spectrum.” Please be respectful of that.
    2. The DSM-V (which is a newer edition than the DSM-IV-TR quoted) has eliminated Asperger’s as a diagnosis–it’s all considered Autism Spectrum Disorder now. And the stigma that comes with a diagnosis of Autistic might upset some with Asperger’s, but the prejudice against autistic individuals is disgusting and I hope this helps eliminate that, because we are all the same, just at different points on the spectrum–Asperger’s is just “low spectrum” but it’s all the same.
    3. Having Autism or Asperger’s or whatever is PERFECTLY OKAY. It is nothing wrong with you–you are simply wired differently and have a different way of functioning. That’s okay. Different is okay. It’s not wrong, it doesn’t need to be “cured.” There are resources available to help you adapt your way of functioning to society, because society doesn’t want to adapt to you, but either way you should know that no matter your diagnosis, you’re on the Spectrum, and you are okay.

  • MrsEn says:

    Thankyou for ALL of the above comments. My husband of 37 years displays many Aspie traits. When I first mentioned AS to him he flatly refused to listen. Seven years later, I am seeing professionals and taking medication for help with my major depression. We love each other and it pains him to think he could be the cause of my depression. I have tried to explain it by saying my depression is caused by MY inability to cope. I wonder if I am sugar coating it, but I have contemplated leaving him and I have contemplated suicide and I have told him so. I am still here. He is often disappointed that I don’t achieve all he expects of me. We are self-employed, running our own, small, home-based service business for the past 25 years. We bought the business because he wanted to NOT be accountable to a boss. He was so often frustrated by not being given enough time to complete work PROPERLY. He was slower than his co-workers but always did a good job. I thought being self-employed would be good for his self-confidence. Now, he is really good at what he does. His confidence has grown. Clients don’t mind at all that he is so interested in his work! It’s a real bonus for them. The business has grown. We don’t employ anyone else. I am the admin. He is the worker in the field. I have told him we could never employ anyone else because no-one else would suffer working for him but I do get someone in sometimes to help me with the accounts. My life is continually not meeting his expectations. I keep hoping he will consider that he might be an Aspie, and/or seek a diagnosis and then learn about AS and be able to understand why we think differently … why we ARE different. I am 60. He is 65. I’m still here but my depression is now a big part of my life. Thank you for this page. It is good to be able to tell someone about my situation. Thanks you.

  • wen says:

    My 11 year old has pdd nose and the Dr wants her to be rediagnosed to be aspergers. I been told that it would be worthless to get her redieanosed. That it’s the same how can I get her rediagnosed.Her pediatric Dr says that she’s is aspergers.

  • Libby says:

    So sorry to hear anyone expressing disappointment that some of us have been ostracized, marginalized, unnecessarily medicated for decades, bullied by others in school, at work, and by total strangers, and so forth long before autism became a fairly well known phrase in America.

    And the World Health Organization still classifies Asperger’s as a separate diagnosis. The DSM is widely used here in America and its main use is to furnish standardized diagnosis criteria, however provisional or generic, which correspond to number codes for use in making medical insurance claims. DSM existed long before our current president was ever seen so forget about blaming him for that.

    Yes, autism/Asperger’s is a difference. But not everyone with autism benefited from special education accommodations or the benefits taken pretty much for granted by those in school today. Lots of kids and their families suffered a lot by going it alone back then, undiagnosed and under the radar.

    I for one say better late than never and am very relieved to know the truth at long last.

  • Libby says:

    I think we grown adults who were undiagnosed until late in life have a duty to ourselves and society at large to make our stories heard beyond these specialized forums and advocate for better understanding of autism. Sometimes it seems that the general public thinks that autism is a fairly new condition restricted to children whose own parents weren’t even born when we were struggling mightily, with little to no understanding by even the medical community as to what was really going on.

    • Jim says:

      I have become aware far later in life. I still feel somewhat in my youth though. I wonder if I can overcome things I weren’t aware we’re problems. It’s a two edged sword knowing now. Whether to try to know as much as possible or just decide to get occupational therapy and try to muddle through as best I can. I don’t think I have time or focus enough to to both at once.

  • Asperger 19 says:

    Was diagnosed with Dyslexia when I was 4 years old; but have struggled with some other things besides that… I just was diagnosed with a low form of Asperger’s Syndrome a couple days ago! (AS) has answered my secret, “What is wrong with me?”, question I’ve kept to myself since I was a young child.

  • Corwin says:

    What does the article mean by “brain cell suppression in HFA”? Thank you.

  • Scarlet says:

    Unsurprisingly, have mixed feelings about my very recent discovery. Hubby has always known I was “on the spectrum” but having done the tests online it’s been quite a shock to realise how far up the spectrum I am (around 40). As others have said it’s a rather heartbreaking experience to look back on your early years through this new lens. I can’t help but feel awful for the little me who nearly failed year 9 maths (despite testing top of the class) just because she was terrified to stand up and go to the front of the class for each assignment. I feel like giving a hug to the 13 year old me whose eating disorder started at an orchestra residential, where she didn’t eat for 5 days because she’d have to go into a canteen crowded with strangers and find someone to sit with. A girl so horrified by socialising that it was a relief when all the popular kids left for better dorms, till there was only her and one other ‘weirdo’ left. She’d probably hate the hug… but I’d love to at least give her a sandwhich.

    The positive, however, is at 33, I can now feel incredibly proud of how far I’ve come. The way my mother could smile, chat and connect with strangers on command used to look like witchcraft to me but through hard graft and fear I’ve learnt to do/fake the same. It’s still incredibly draining but I’ve managed to make a stable profession out of it with a group of co workers who like me. My partner of 10 years loves me because of who I am, not in spite of it and I’m alright with being me too. After the test I scrolled through an umpteen page list of FTAS characteristics ticking 98% of them off and just felt such a sense of relief. I’m not a failure, just one of many interesting aliens.

    The hilarious thing is I could probably go to 99/100 GP’s for a diagnosis and they’d say nope, you’re a woman and you’re making eye contact… here, have some anti depressants 😀

    • Jessica Cutter says:

      I feel like you just told my story. It’s such a relief to know I’m not “alone”…

      • Jody says:

        I literally just cried for my child self 3 minutes before reading this. so much of what you wrote is 100% relatable. Thank you for sharing.

    • Bill says:

      Eye contact is fake for me, most socializing is an act to avoid showing the real me. The real me could care less what they are talking about unless they are talking about something technical or theoretical. I find the topic of most conversations to be pointless, such as gossip or excessive worry over something. To Add while i am at it, I am annoyed by the idea that a person can be bullied online. Its just words, close facebook and the bullying is gone.

  • Mac says:

    I am 52 and have a child of 12 whose teacher indicated that he may be on the ASD spectrum. I have often wondered if I am on the spectrum. As a psychologist myself I am concerned that even the suggestion of a label to identify a cluster of attributes could narrow my child’s perception of their self. I never had labels myself as a child other than people regularly commenting that I was ‘odd’. I took it as a badge of honour. I have not taken the test but I do know I have experienced a lot of social anxiety and have a degree of ADD, conditions that would make me a bit ‘odd’. I understand social situations well, but I react negatively in institution or hierarchy situations, basically stubbornly digging my heels in or becoming resistant when supposedly ‘normal’ social structure appears anything but normal and mature. Normal social behaviour to me just seems pathological much of the time, I understand why but I just wont play ball. My child is the same, makes many of the same comments about his school experiences as I have made about my own schooling and work life. I have been self employed most of my life because I can develop relationships with people on a one-to-one basis and where money is directly involved people just seem to behave a lot more mature (myself included). I never much cared for working my way up tribal hierarchies. When I served as a soldier I preferred doing the job (and being part of a small closely knit team) as far as becoming a sergeant but beyond that I never had career aspirations, it seemed a sick world controlling others. Am I on the ASD spectrum? I slightly doubt it, my child I keep an open mind about in case specific assistance is required. But I certainly share some of the pain of being an outsider, social anxiety and being considered odd and hard to read. Only at my current age have I given in to emotional intelligence and begun to interact with my wife at a more strategic emotional level rather than doing what I considered the Christian honest thing and taking what she said at face value. It is easier to manipulate the social world than to try to be logical and ‘straight’ about everything. That caused too much hard work and pain. I am teaching my 12 years old this lesson, if the lesson does not get through then I may consider ASD testing.

    • Melissa says:

      Thank you for your post. I relate. I was always called odd. I too wore it as a badge of honor. Working and social hierarchy is hard for me and I think your post has confirmed to me that maybe I should try self employment. I also do well one on one. I see some of my same characteristics in my son and though I like him just fine I fear him facing same challenges. I have to overcome them ao I can help him. In many ways I have overcome, or havent had to but in the end he will have to make money.

    • Bill says:

      You said a couple things that sound like me, ” It is easier to manipulate the social world than to try to be logical and ‘straight’ about everything”. I sort of agree, but I do not like the idea of doing anything logically false, rather I end up leading people as if I were leading a child. No one is aware I am doing this. When I explain things to employers or managers, I try to do it very logically so my point is very clear so that agreement would have to follow. Instead, people agree with me and say I am “spot on” but they do not take action and just continue on their bewildering path. Thus, I had to start my own business so I had no one over me telling me to do incomprehensible things. So far, I am doing fantastic and I am able to flex my creativity in seeing and solving problems.

  • Tony G says:

    When you say “…deeper understanding of these disorders, such as the brain cell suppression in HFA which is not present in those with AS…”, all you are saying is that ‘High-Functioning Autism’ and ‘Asperger’s’ are distinctive conditions, whilst implying that there is also a ‘Lower-Functioning’ form of Autism. Why can’t we consider these three conditions as being subtypes of Autism? Isn’t it wrong to use the term ‘on the Spectrum’ (like a colour in a rainbow), because Autism is a complex condition with more than one dimension?

    • Bill says:

      I believe the combining of AS and Autism is because doctors are not aware of AS – so in order for AS people to get help they dump them into the Autism category for “awareness”. Its ignorant, and AS and Autism are different.

  • Terry Plage says:

    I am a fifty four year old white male. I am a university graduate and have my own buisness, and many would say I am succssful in my field. I recently realised that I may have AS, after reading one of your articles, and took the 50 question test. The test indicated a 28 “borderline” for AS, but have not yet been diagnosed by a professional. I have been searching for a good number of years, as I always felt that I was “different”. The confusion came in as AS has only been a fairly recent diagnosis, so was never aware of this possible condition. Never mind the ignorance growing up in my time. I am also hard of hearing (80% loss in right ear and about 40% loss in left ear), this was as a result of an accident I had when I was about three or four years of age. I always assumed that it was because of my hearing loss, but recently realised that there was more to it then at first thought. I want to know what the chances are that someone who is hard of hearing can develop AS, or are there similarities but distinct differences between “hearing loss trauma” and AS?

    • Denise Edwards says:

      I would say there is not a link between hearing and Asperger’s Syndrome. The brain is wired a certain way in Asperger’s Syndrome and suffering a hearing loss at a young age would not change the wiring of the brain. If you are neurotypical with the hearing loss it would be a barrier and it may result in a higher score but you are not off the charts. I score 45 in the tests which is extremely high. I suffer from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and have recently developed some undisclosed neuro symptoms for which I am waiting to see a neurologist. I am introverted but have difficulty getting out due to the pain/fatigue. I also have problems with driving. I am okay in the metro area and routes I know but would never have the confidence to drive out of the city limits much less out of state. So I am quite confined. I have a hard time working. I always run into very bossy women who order me around because I am quite easy going in nature but if I am falsely accused or they have misunderstood something and blamed me then I become very frustrated because I do not seem to have the communication skills to stand up for myself and when I do it seems to backfire and I get blamed by upper management in the end for something that isn’t my fault. I am nearly 58 years old. There was no concern when I was a child even though I had severe learning disabilities that were never addressed. I have worked at some many different places never lasting more than 3 years at a particular job. I have been in 3 different industries. I want to be self-employed to get away from these troublemakers but I don’t think I can do it. I may have to file for disability.

    • Peter Bexon says:

      I too have gone through life with severe difficulties in social situations and I have always felt ‘different’, as though I was on the wrong planet! I am now 70 years old, and live alone with no friends (thank goodness) apart from my two bantam hens who I love more than anything (or anyone) in the world. I have been trying to find out how can get a diagnosis, but cannot find that information – My score on the test was 31. I am certain now that I have some very clear AS traits. Can anyone advise me on how to get a proper assessment/diagnosis in the UK? ( I also have had ME for 8 years and am virtually housebound, can no longer drive or travel easily)>

  • Don says:

    LCSW whom I was dating at the time was the first to suggest I had Aspergers. And my ex-spouse always said there was something wrong with me. Childhood was normal. But then at about puberty everything changed, physically, emotionally, and socially. Online Aspergers test scored me at 37. Not much doubt about it. Life as been a struggle at times. I always felt left on my own to figure everything out. That sometimes triggered frustration and anger. Several years ago I was prescribed anti-depressants, which are life changing, at least from my perspective. AS is still there, but muted.

    So to all of you — I hear you and I’m with you. It’s good to know we’re not alone.

  • Jen says:

    I am a 60 years old woman. I watched Chris Packam – Aspergers and Me on the BBC a few weeks ago and thought Oh. My. Word. The whole way through tbe programme. Subsequently I happened to see a friend who has known me 25 years but we hadnt seen each other for a year or so. Turns out she is now working with people with Aspergers and said the more she learned the first person she thought of was me. I did the online test. Score 49. Did it again to be sure and still scored 49. These were true honest answers. Ive now read a bit online and sent for some books. And Ive made a doctors appointment to talk about it in the new year. Ive talked to one or two friends as well as to my partner. One dear friend said it sounds like a nightmare Jen. But no it isnt, its the key to the end of the long nightmare because it gives me words to explain myself – that Im not being difficult, I have these difficulties and have had all my life. Oh and like others (Ive not read all the posts yet but I probably will when Ive got time) I really struggled a lot in heirarchical employment and finally found ‘peace’ and fulfilment (and a sort of a living albeit I”ll never be well off but some things are worth more) in being self emoyed working one to one with people at something I can be good at. All for now. Best wishes to all.

    • Helen Allison says:

      Hi Jen,

      I too watched Chris Packham and had the same reaction ‘oh’. I went to my GP and he was totally astonished when I told him ‘I think I have Aspergers Syndrome’. However, he couldn’t refer me for a formal diagnosis because there is only funding for a diagnosis for children in my area. Like you, I have struggled with work, relationships etc for many years (I am 63 yrs old). I felt I had failed but now I understand why. Many Thanks to Chris Packham for his documentary and its a revelation to read your post and realise that there are others out there like me.

      • Lynda says:

        Hi, I’m 62 and luckily just being referred by my doctor. I’m going to find the Chris packam programme hopefully and see if it helps me identify me

    • Lynda says:

      Great to read your comments, I am a 62 year old female and just been to the doctor who is referring me for diagnosis, I’m so happy about it

  • MelC says:

    Just wondering what people know about the effects of social and generalised anxiety on the Baron-Cohen questionnaire. My teenage daughter has just completed, as part of her ongoing Autism assessment, after years of problems and us trying to help her get some answers. After scoring it online she got 48. My concern and hers is that her score is so high that the professionals involved may feel she is exaggerating to get the diagnosis, when in reality I think it a combination of her AS symptoms and her anxiety. They are aware she was having CBT with Mind until recently.

    Also I scored 28. There is a strong family history and I do have problems with social side but never really been concerned with routines. I do tend to have obsessive phases and go overboard on these things. It is such a minefield and I work with people with LD and Autism. I get on okay, whether I happen to be an Aspie or not, but my daughter wants and needs an answer. We are 99.5% convinced she has it but worried they will say no as her problems have always been blamed on her having an older sibling with Autism, even though they are not alike at all.

  • Damon says:

    I went through & read all the comments. I found this site from another website discussing Asperger s & took the test. I got a 37, which puts me at the mild end, but definitely on the spectrum. Like a lot of other people I’ve always felt socially awkward, suffered from a lot of social isolation & bullying growing up, which absolutely impacted my ability to meet people, such as new friends or even dating (I did not start dating till my late 20s, when on-line dating started becoming a thing…this was a godsend for someone like me!). There have been many times when I become frustrated that I throw up my hands & just wish I was “normal.”

    • Lynda says:

      You are normal just with extras, in a good way.

    • Steven Coppard says:

      I was border line in the test but I also have felt socially awkward, suffered from a lot of social isolation & bullying and lack the ability to meet people make and keep friends I’ve not had a diagnosis but considering trying to get one

  • L says:

    Growing up I was part of a large crowd but they were my childhood best friends, mate’s, not mine. By 11 I’d long since been taking my nanans Catherine Cooksons because I’d devoured all the books. I devoured them. I don’t have the “math” genius but I play genius spot the difference, I often see it in the same second. Within 3. It’s almost in BOLD. I could never do crowds or parties. At school teachers put incredible pressure on me & I hated it all so much in the end I found the terrible power of no. I was …. 14, if I didn’t do my homework what could anyone do, better I could just not go. My boyfriend at the time have me some tablets “they’ll make you feel better” they did. They were also very addictive. There’s no doubt my father is on the spectrum & a more classic case. I CAN communicate with others, with strangers. He can’t. I’m terrible for saying I love you. I tell my daughter & she has hugs on tap but she….. Well I suppose she initiates often, not always. I feel there’s invisible walls with people. Well …. There are social walls. I ended up taking vallium & worse for years. It does help but if I can only feel ok talking to people if I’ve had “help” isn’t normal. I ended up leaving school at 14. I was smart enough to know they were powerless. Take me I’d walk out between class. Only the boys wanted to sit next to me & I know that’s because I was pretty. I left & went with the boyfriend. He was the first to “help”, at the time the vallium was magical. Soon it was a horror story. Once addicted… I’d have done really well in an academic environment. My friend has a PhD & he says on facts I’m much better. I know something about everything. My point is, I know I’m as intelligent as my doctorate friend. I was poorly handled as a child. Look at your children. I think clever kids are the ones who often kick out. I remember my mother saying I was grounded, FOREVER & my t.v. & stereo were gone. I considered for a second. “Ok mum, I’ll read.” As a teacher herself how could she take books?! She couldn’t. Check Mate. What could teachers do but shout IF I came (I just switched off) & the more shouting. The less school. They couldn’t beat me could they? I was bright enough to see short term. I didn’t see that I was hurting nobody but myself. It’s just a tale of caution. My PhD friend has AS. He first suggested it. I’d always known dad probably had AS. It was on the spectrum & my dad…. Well they say no man is an island. Meet my dad. He’d never waste time writing this. He is… isolated. Doesn’t talk, he replies to questions. He’s never hugged me. I thought everyone with AS was like that. I’m also female &…. you probably know about that. Now I’ve read more. My score was 44. If I’m honest it’d probably be higher because I would have liked some clarification on a couple of questions. I also now understand that the inability to give an unconsidered yes or no answer to a simple question us probably the biggest flag. I’ve sent for the stuff. I don’t know if a diagnosis will help. It’d have helped at school. It’s my feeling it can be inherited. If you have AS watch your children (I’m sure you will) when your child lashes out don’t try to beat fire with fire. It won’t work. Take a breath, walk away. Form a considered argument & use logic. If someone had have clearly pointed out exams buy porches….. I may have ‘re considered. If they hadn’t tried to punish but help, TRY to understand. Plans we’re made FOR me, about me….not with me. Treat your child like an adult, they may well be more intelligent, have more knowledge. What makes you right? Perhaps your not, perhaps you can’t see there point of view. Perhaps you never will. I think if I’d have been allowed to home school 90% I would have. True my parents would have had to check I was doing something but I probably would have.

  • Andrea Hodson says:

    I am a 48 yr old female. I scored 42 on the test and may have been higher as I was unsure about a couple of questions. I clearly remember starting high school and feeling as though I’d been dropped down into chaos. I loved learning but I struggled to maintain friendships and was being bullied by my second year. I was bullied from the age of 7 outside of school.
    I escaped into books and still have a tendency to do this. Most of my life I have asked ‘what is wrong with me ‘
    I dream of having people over, a good gathering, but in reality this has happened only twice. I have a few close friends who accept me as I am and I am grateful for this.
    I suspect my youngest son has it also and his 2 yrs old daughter possibly.
    For me a formal diagnosis would help to clarify my position.

  • Julie says:

    I have come around this website an find it hard to concentrate…all my life I’ve been a loner….but I feel so depressed when I’m on my own….from being a child.
    I don’t know if I have this but I took the test and it came up with 38 and reading the conculusions it says I have Asperger where do I go from here?

  • steve lunt says:

    I have experienced a lot I could not explain until I reached the age of 50. My daughter was studying for her Phycology Degree at Portsmouth University and she was carrying out an assignment on Asperger’s Syndrome. She looked up from her book and said Dad this is what you have. and from that day it was like someone had switched a light on. I was in the Royal Navy for 24 years of my life so I was in a controlled environment it was only when I left the forces that everything hit me all at once emotions, anxieties. My daughter and I took the online test the other day and we both scored 32 and now she has started reading up on it. My dad had it my elder brother has it, my younger brother has it, his younger son has it and I have it. I have lived with not knowing all my life so a lot of mine has been self managed. Where do I go from here.
    Thank you for Listening

  • John says:

    Hello I am 37 years old and did the test for Asergers and got a score of 37. I am really struggling with anxiety and depression. I think I might have this condition. Is it possible to be helped at my age or will I always feel this way? Thank you

  • Goldie says:

    I only scored 27. As with others, I felt some of the questions needed further defining. I also have PTSD and wonder if that has affected me more deeply. So I don’t know if the anxiety is from PTSD or Asp. I like being alone. When ever people are around I am hyper aware of them. People cause me anxiety. Sometimes their voices cause me discomfort and I just want to say, please stop talking. When driving down the road, the flashing of light from the shadows of the trees feels over whelming. I love staring out into the horizon without a thought in my head. Feels like being one with everything. I have a terrible time remembering names. I see the big picture of things not the details so much. I’ve also been told I am HSP Highly Sensitive Person. I smell and hear things others don’t. Like a big truck going down the road and I say, I smell hot brakes. No one else in the car does. I noitice details about people and situations others don’t. I don’t like large groups unless it is a concert and I am not really interacting. I am terrible at small talk and probably the most boring person at a party. Yet I am learning to ride motorcycles at 60. I tend to be very cautious. It never occured to me that I might be borderline ASP or autistic until my son asked about his childhood as he felt he was borderline. He is a marine and was very successful in the military but once he entered the civilian world he began to wonder. He had a non combat position so PTSD doesn’t play a role. It is all very fascinating and really helps me understand myself. I also can have emotional meltdowns. I was recently dating some one and basically living together for a year. He would go on rants some times for hours. I would ask, beg him to stop and eventually I would just start crying and screaming at him. It was just overwhelming. Not a normal response. I suspect he would score in the 40s. I think his rants are the result of his own stress and an inability to express it in healthy ways. He is fixated on details and likes routines and familiar places where I like new experiences and change. Repetition drives me crazy. I one worked at a Bose speaker factory on an assembly line in the 70s. I lasted 1 month and thought I would loose my mind if I stayed. Looking forward to your blogs. Love reading about the AHA moment of others. Happy to have some explanation. Thank you to any one reading this whole thing. 🙂

  • Amanda says:

    Hi, I did the test at the weekend and scored 40. I am 50 and always wondered WHY! why was I so different. I loved school hated lunchtime. Love learning. Find it difficult to maintain friendships. But I have many books and topics to keep me company
    So now I know I have a superpower – I shall use it for good.

  • Curious says:

    Hi.. how “scientific” is this test? I got a 34 on it. I have been diagnosed other things, but nowadays, I ignore all that. I don’t take the entire psych system seriously, anymore. When one is everything, then one is nothing– or something else? I am too old and poor now for more neuro- psych testing. I KNOW I have some “learning disabilities”, however; could they be the cause of a higher score on this test? Also, is there a more complete or up to date version of it for (older) females? Thanks.

  • John says:

    I’m 67 & deeply suspicious of my recent online test results (36, 37 & 39) but my wife of 38 years says “Yeah!”. Our private joke is now just to say “36 !”.
    I used to teach maths and I knew I was unusual but AS did not enter my head. I was a chill teacher: A student once said to my boss that she could ‘relax’ in my class.
    I look at myself in the mirror and wonder “What next?”
    Sharing I guess.

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