Do You Have Asperger’s?

Probably, yes. Just asking the question, “do I have Asperger’s?” is a strong indicator you’re on the autistic spectrum in our opinion. You’ve obviously done some reading or been talking to people about it already. You’ve probably identified some typical autistic traits in your own behaviour (or you wouldn’t be asking the question). You might have read blog posts and articles by diagnosed aspies, and found yourself saying, “I do that…” or “that’s exactly how I feel,” or “this explains everything.”

You are no doubt asking the “do I have Asperger’s?” question because you need to convince someone that you’re autistic. In that case, self-diagnosis is not enough “proof” for many people or organsiations: government, health services, schools, and many other (but not all) official organisations are unable (or unwilling) to accept you as “autistic”, without a formal diagnosis. Friends and family might have a hard time (and give you a hard time) accepting your self-diagnosis; They don’t believe you are sufficiently qualified to make the judgement (whereas in my opinion, you are the best person to make that judgement); or, you might not accept your own judgement.

There is nothing wrong with wanting, or needing, a formal diagnosis, even if the only person you need to convince is yourself. There are many more articles on this site to help with understanding the process, and deciding if it’s the choice you want to make. I would also encourage you to join one or more online autism-group, talk to other autistic people, and read some more. You might decide you want a formal diagnosis in the end, or you might decide you’re happy with your own assessment. Both are okay.

Having said all this, some autistic people, or parents/carers of autistic people, will reject you if you’re not as “bad” as them/their child, or don’t have a formal diagnosis. So please know, at Life on the Spectrum, closely identifying with other autistic people is enough to count as autistic. You and your self-diagnosis are welcome here.

©Leigh Forbes

Related Content
» It’s Okay to Want a Diagnosis!”
» Think You Might Have Asperger’s?
» Asperger’s in Women
» Symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome (from an aspie perspective)
» The Triad of Impairments
» Diagnosis Stories
» Information about Online Tests
How do I get a diagnosis? (from the UK’s National Autistic Society)
The NHS Constistution (UK)


13 thoughts on “Do You Have Asperger’s?”

  1. Leigh, I just wanted to thank you for creating this space for those with ASD – diagnosed or otherwise. I have recently come to realize that I am on the spectrum, but finding a place to have an evaluation done is proving difficult (I’m in the US) and will probably be cost-prohibitive. After reading a lot of seemingly angry responses from diagnosed autistics in regards to self-diagnosed individuals, I have been hesitating to reach out and connect with others online. This post has renewed my sense of hope in finding other women I can connect with who won’t belittle me for not having a piece of paper (yet). Can you recommend any specific online communities or forums?

  2. I was bullied mercilessly as a teenager. I never fitted in with the chatter and all through my adult life, I had no time for small talk and preferred to discuss interests or politics. Looking back, in at least one workplace, I wasn’t accepted at all although I had a few close friends. In other places, I managed better, but I was working abroad and speaking a different language and maybe this helped me do the small talk (it wasn’t pointless because I was learning vocabulary). Now I am at a stage where I have had to give up work to support one of my children through a serious illness. I have become almost completely isolated and think no-one will want to talk to me anyway as I am now totally unable to do small talk. When I am stressed and tired because of my child’s illness, I notice that superficial social interactions take too much energy. I’ve also noticed when I’m emotionally very stressed that I am flapping my hand to let out tension. Looking back on conversations I’ve had, I recognise people getting a glazed look when I talk about something I’m interested in. My husband is beginning to say that there is something wrong with socially and that I never learnt things as a teenager which everyone else takes for granted. I’ve been feeling very depressed as I realise that I can’t change something as fundamental as my personality. Although I need to start thinking about returning to work, I have totally lost confidence that I’ll be able to do any job which involves relating to other people, even though I’ve managed in the past. I LOVE being with other people as long as I have a role to play. If I have a role and a reason to be there because I’m doing a job, then I can manage to talk to people. I think I do care about other people and can get very anxious if I have offended someone without meaning to. I don’t know if I have some kind of mild Asperger’s. I certainly have trouble with social interactions although I can’t say that I experience sensory overload (as a Mum I’m used to a noisy environment). I guess I’m just writing this because it helps to write it down and I don’t really know what to do. I can’t change my personality and have to accept that the stress of having a sick child has caused me to shut down any social interactions as they are just too tricky and take too much energy.

  3. I feel this too. I am diagnosed, as I am so sick of dealing with doctors and psychologists that have very little training in this area. I don’t consider myself to be that bright, I have an average IQ, however it does amaze me how many stupid people there are and how people with many years of tertiary level education can be so ignorant. I wish I could just move overseas to a small island, all I need is access to the internet so that I can read and research and that’s it. I am so tired of people’s judgements and their ignorance.

  4. Just this morning I was lamenting about how although I am in my early 50’s, I just cannot seem to make relationships, friendships, and office relationships work. I have a long list of people who “used to be my friend.” That alone tells me that something is wrong with me. My daughter told me recently that she thinks it is that I don’t connect with other people. I also prefer to spend most of my time alone. It is very common for people at work to talk about an upcoming social gathering right in front of me–without inviting me. I often ask myself, “Why do they think that I don’t have feelings?” I have always known that something was wrong with me. I thought perhaps it was social anxiety, but when I bring that up to therapists, they waved their hands and laughed–it’s like I’ve been trying to convince them that something is wrong with me. For awhile I explored the personality disorders…desperate for some explanation for my woes…but no, that was not to be. Sounds like I was disappointed, eh? I was! For some reason tonight I googled Asberger’s…and although I don’t know if I officially “have it” I read so many testimonials from other people who are experiencing those same feelings of never being quite right, never quite fitting in, being a tad clueless about some social signals, saying the wrong thing but not knowing that you said the wrong thing…it’s very lonely in here. Although sometimes I think that if I worked alone in a lighthouse and no one saw my struggles to “fit in” that it wouldn’t be so bad. Kind of like, no witness! No crime! I took the free ASQ test…and scored a 23…which indicates that I have tendencies…but isn’t ringing any bells. I don’t know what to do now. I’m afraid a therapist will laugh at me. I function really well, but no one knows how awful it is to me in any situation that involves another human being.

  5. I never cried when I was a baby. Unless I severely hurt myself.
    I wouldn’t talk very much even though I knew how and I wanted to.
    I watched…and watched…and watched. I watched and collected so much information that I could do everything my older brother could do on the first try. My mom said she would just stand there with her mouth open and think “how did she do that?”
    I loathed the dirt and getting “dirty”
    I would ONLY wear dresses and I’d throw a tantrum otherwise
    I was a very selective “plain” eater.
    I had severe food allergies diagnosed at age 5
    My cat died at age 6. I didn’t cry. But I knew I should because I watched people do it on TV. So I taught myself how to cry on command.
    I cried every morning my mom took me to pre-school and kindergarten. I hid behind the teacher for at least an hour after she left….every day.
    I tripped and fell, scraped my knees and had all sorts of bruises on my arms and legs all the time. My mom once told me “People are going to think I abuse you.”
    I stared off in class.
    I didn’t learn one piece of information in school.
    I never did my homework. But I passed all of my tests and I excelled in spelling and pronouncing words at college level that I had never seen or heard before (when I was in first grade)
    I couldn’t do simple arithmetic and I would cry in frustration. The teacher thought I was a pretty sensitive little girl.
    I would play barbies for HOURS everyday all alone
    I had one friend, her name was Jackie (thinking on it I think she was on the spectrum as well)
    I would memorize lines from movies and recite them. I memorized the entire movie of Dumb and Dumber when I was a teenager. I could recite and act it out…the whole thing. I probably still can..ha
    I have an exceptionally gifted IQ, but I couldn’t ride a bike without training wheels until I was 8.
    I had to stand in front of a mirror and teach myself how to smile. Then when to apply it to social situations. Sometimes it didn’t work out so well.
    I had a cabbage patch doll (female named Jason…who knows!) I would not let out of my sight until I was almost 10. I put her in a cherish box when I was 12. Then I completely forgot about her.
    Couldn’t time manage or sequence anything. Or stay focused all the time throughout the day. Who would? School is BORING!
    Soooo, my parents put me in gymnastics….and I was really really good at it. It taught me body awareness and coordination. Along with hyper focus on what I was doing. Plus I was already inhumanly flexible. I made it all the way to level 8. I was a good in competitions because I didn’t know the social difference of winners and losers. I just did gymnastics. And I won championships on the uneven bars a few times and came close in second on floor and vault. Even though I was on a “team” I never did well in team competitions. I would get really nervous and trip or wobble during my routines. I always excelled during individual competitions.
    Had to quit gymnastics due to fainting and seizure like activity they think due to anxiety from the lack of coordination doing backwards flying moves on the balance beam.
    After years of gymnastics I was a “natural” at balancing activities. But give me a ball and a bat and I would freeze in fear knowing I would never be able to get them to connect to the hear the “crack”. Or my foot make contact with a soccer ball.
    Hand eye coordination….I didn’t stand a chacne. And I still don’t.
    Now I run, paddleboard, swim, cycle. All the individual athletic activities.
    And don’t ask me left from right. You will not get a fast answer.
    I was invited to a party in high school…a cool kids party. I was very pretty and very in shape…so I was normal they thought, right?. I was so uncomfortable I spent 2 hours sitting in the dog house with their out door dog. His name was Rusty. They all thought I had left.
    Sometimes when my mom would drop me off at friends house I would spend my time walking around the neighborhood. Lots of times my friends never knew I was supposed to be over there. My mom would pick me up outside their house. Never knowing I never saw them.
    My eyes always hurt in the sunlight. I squinted all the time.
    Presently if I am late for work and I leave without sunglasses, hands down I will go get my sunglasses.
    I have a constant quiet high pitched ringing (tinnitus) in my ears all the time. It gets unusually loud in my parents basement.
    Usually its not that noticeable because there are other horrible audible sounds I am fighting to ignore.
    I love loud music – if I make it loud.
    I literally cannot put wool on. It freaks me out. I cannot deal with “scratchy clothes”.
    I hate the tags on shirts, but I never cut them out. I don’t want to lose the information. So I put a large band-aid under my shirt.
    It’s funny. Before I knew I was an Aspie I thought all of this was normal.
    I have been fired from two jobs which I was very successful at…I still haven’t figured those out. Probably lack of team work.
    I have intense specific interests for about 7-10 days, then I’m on to something else. I learned all of classical physics in 2 days. That was last month. Now I’m doing computer science and astronomy. I have also learned meteorology with specific interest in the brine river in the south ocean, cosmology, astrophysics, and fractal geometry since October.
    I used to be meticulous about my diet and knowledge about food and how it processes in the body.
    I love traveling. Backpacking, camping, or sleeping in a shitty shack – just perfect.
    I have to plan traveling in advance or it makes me anxious. And I have to plan it or I get anxious (especially a group trip), even though I actually hate booking trips.
    I can research and know the history of an entire country, where to stay, what is the cheapest, what roads to take in less than a day. And then I forget we are going anywhere until a few days before we leave. So weird!
    I traveled for a few months after being left in a state I had never been to by who I thought at the time was my “soulmate”. I never even cried. I had the best time of my life traveling alone. And I think I thought of him twice…maybe. I never missed him. Tell me that’s normal! HAHAHAHA!!
    I have had many boy friends. Attractive women are supposed to have men right? I don’t think I have actually liked any of them. But they were always in the background. I even married one. Then divorced him after that whole situation just didn’t make any sense…except it was what any “normal” person would have done.
    I went to church for YEARS! My mom has a very strong belief in god. So I went, 3-4 times a week. Never understood or “got” it. I just copied my friends and what they did. I apparently fooled my mom until recently. She took that kinda hard.
    God, organized religion, faith, believing – “does not compute” but I can make it appear that it does.
    I pretty much faked my entire life (yes I was a pathological liar – I didn’t understand any other way than to copycat everyone) – 28 years – up until 2 years ago when I got tired of being so “misunderstood” WHEN I WAS TRYING TO DO NORMAL!! exhausting. So then whats the point? I found out there really wasn’t a point. And being just old Aspergers me is much simpler. I actually really LOVE my life. My life has smoothed out so much since I stopped pretending its quite astonishing. I even married a man I actually LIKE! And he gets me and finds my quirkiness “very different but in a good way”.
    Although, I figured out I had Aspergers through him. I was hurting his feelings during our discussions and I had no idea. Then when he told me I had no idea why that would hurt him.

    So I started researching. I’m really good at that.
    And reading my old journals. My whole life is a simple chaotic pattern. And now I understand why.

    I took the Aspie Quiz and scored neurodiverse 153 of 200.

    I went to a neuropsychologist because I wanted to make better decisions for myself so I know I am giving myself the best chance at success.

    I am in the process of deciding what career I am going to choose now. My current one is mentally exhausting. I have to be around people allllll day in a bustling over stimulating environment. And I’m just tired. So I am going to choose something quiet, with low or minimal external stimulus, independent, normal routine hours, and cerebrally stimulating. Probably research related. Maybe with dead people…muah ah ah. They never talk back.

    My hope of writing all of this is so people can connect to it if they are unsure if they have ASD.

    It was kinda fun!

    • Thank you so much for sharing this, I felt like I was reading my own life and couldnt stop my mirror practiced smile from poping up. Your words made me feel connected to the world for a bit.

  6. I am adult today with two kids I have not seen for four years. All my mum has told me since I was a baby is that I was stupid so I needed to work double hard to succeed. I worked very hard at school, getting many good marks and awards, I worked very hard at Uni and get many awards but never did she expressed love to me. She treated me like my father. Many thought he was autistic. She used to tell him off like a baby. I had few friends but they never looked at me like a ‘normal’ person. They were nice to me because I used everything possible to make myself loved. I used to do everything for my wife to be kind, I tried everything to buy her love but I know I annoyed her with my obsessional behaviour. I loved doing what she did not wanted me to do, so she would get angry. I just can’t help it. When I have an idea in mind, I can’t stop. I did help at home, but it was never what she expected me to do. I tried my best to make people live me at work, bring my head down, played low profile, smiled to everyone, wrote beautiful reports, they were kind to me although I know they laughed at me. I was never ‘efficient’ I worked late because I was distracted by my obsessional desire to collect. I am an old paper collector. Everything old connected to my own life, places I have lived or worked at. I get extremely obsessional with buying, preserving and writing about my collection. My wife and close friends laugh at me. I went to purchase a huge safe to keep my collection. I keep everything in special albums, I made boxes to keep them in and then the safe to protect them. I am narcissi and I want to preserve everything around my life. My wife could not understand my pulsations and wanted to divorce. I could not see her leaving me, I can’t fail, so I divorced her.
    My life is not bad, I have many dreams in my head, I am happy with working hard. I love my albums.
    My wife think I am sick.
    I think my mum think I am an idiot.
    I think the future will tell how great I was.

  7. I like this the best “You must have at least one friend. No, cats don’t count.” I didn’t have a single friend as a child/teen/adult, never wanted one. And yes, cats do count. Who needs human friends with cats and dogs running around?

    I don’t have a diagnosis yet, due to financial problems. But have you ever seen a neurotypical child pacing and flapping her fingers at the speed of lightening? Have you ever seen a grownup afraid to go into Mcdonald and order a hamburger because of social phobia? Did you ever see a neurotypical who simply can’t understand what people are saying to her and have no idea how to respond, how to read facial expressions, and how to communicate? Ever seen someone who lives in her own head, in her own world, who can hardly feel when a shelf falls on her head but wince with agony during a blood test?

    And a million other things. List too long to write here. Sometimes, you are your own best psychiatrist.

  8. I have been formally diagnosed with autism/Asperger’s three times, yet I still get doubts and lack of acceptance from many people, including professionals and family. It’s hard. I wish that getting a formal diagnosis would magically get people to accept I’m autistic, but it won’t. Worse yet, I still doubt my autism because so many people do.

    • I’m too scared to find out or to tell anyone. They’ll think I’m attention seeking.

  9. So much talk talk talk… WHY WON’T THEY JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!
    “Would it kill you to run a brush through your hair?” “Do you really have to wear such baggy clothes? You’ve got such a nice figure.” “Didn’t you wear that yesterday and the day before?” “Why can’t you just relax and enjoy shopping like other girls?” “Why do you hate being a girl so much?” “You must have at least one friend. No, cats don’t count.” “You can’t hide in your room ALL day.” “Stop tapping your pencil.” Stop clicking your pen.” “Nice move, grace.” “Just get those feet today?” “Cat got your tongue?” “You can’t eat the same thing for breakfast every single day.” “Why do you eat all of each thing on your plate before moving on to the next?” “You’re not going to die if your peas touch your potatoes.” “Why do you hate family outings so much?” “Do you have to be such an oddball all the time?” “Why can’t you play nice?” “What is it about you that pisses people off?” “Can you just try a little tact?” “Why can’t you just be normal and mingle with the others?” “Why do you have to be so radical, so justice focused?” “You know, you’re not right ALL the time.” “Yeah, I know. Practically perfect in every way.” “I hate it when you’re right.” “What’s wrong with you? Normal people don’t act that way.” “You’re really socially inept.” “Normal people don’t think that way.” “Sorry honey, but you intimidate people. They just don’t ‘get’ you.” “Your talent and intelligence scares people.” “I wish I could take your pain away.” “It’s funny. Laugh.” “It’s a joke. Laugh.” “How is it that someone can be so brilliant and so ignorant at the same time?” “Your world is an odd, but oddly interesting, place.” “Why don’t you wear girl clothes, Mom?” “Why do I always have to drive?” “How is it that you can remember the names of over 2000 people and phone numbers from twenty years ago, but can’t remember the words to a single song?” “I think you’re manic-depressive.” “You’re OCD, aren’t you?” “You’re really depressed. You need to see a doctor and get some meds.” “Why don’t you like to be touched?” “I’m just licking the envelope. Why does that bother you so much?” “You broke your hand, and it didn’t hurt?” “Do not walk away from the kitchen when you’re cooking. You’re going to burn the house down yet.” “You’re crazy.” “You need to stop letting people walk all over you.” “What? No filters?” “Think before you open your mouth.” “You’ve got to stop being so trusting.” “Stop pacing. You make me nervous.” “Stop rocking.” “Why do your hands shake so much? Are you anxious about something?” “It’s cool how you can connect with animals.” “You’re amazingly talented.” “It really, really scares me when you have that thing you call a meltdown.” “Hello, can you hear me?” “You’re not autistic. That would mean you’re like a genius or something.” “You’re not autistic. You’re just looking for an excuse for being weird.” “You couldn’t possibly be autistic. You seem perfectly normal.”

    Of course I am normal, but then again, what is normal? We all pretend, right? But I wonder sometimes, how many people ‘have to’ in order to function day to day, moment to moment. I do. and I’m incredibly good at creating this imaginary person everyone sees. Sometimes, when i don’t get my ‘down time,’ I forget who I am… which usually ends horribly… curled up in a ball in the back of my closet. Wearing the mask. Not wearing the mask, either way it’s extremely exhausting. The Aspie tests? Failed them miserably. Not sure if that’s good or bad. Don’t care. I just want people to leave me alone. Stop judging what they don’t understand. Stop asking me questions. Stop telling me what I should do or how I should be. Stop expecting me to be a round peg or stay inside the box. I don’t. I’m from the island of misfit toys, and I’m okay with that. But mostly, I’m tired of all the talk, talk, talk. Please, no more talk.

    • holy cow did this resonate with me. It IS entirely too much noise and too much judgment yet ppl wonder why I prefer to live like a hermit -it’s to shut all that noise out.

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