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Autism

Might I Be on the Autistic Spectrum?

10/15/2008

Question:

I would be very grateful if you would very kindly let me know if you think I may be on the spectrum. My son has PDD-NOS and ADHD. He is 17 and has only just been diagnosed. I am 46 and have always had significant developmental and coping difficulties. My mother has only just told me that she was always very concerned about my development, but all the professionals said she was worrying for no reason. I was not speaking until I was past 3 yrs and my mother had to teach me. I found it very hard to be with others and still do to this day. I prefer to be alone. I have a lot of sensory difficulties. Sound, touch and light cause a lot of problems. When I was little, the hoover made me feel very very anxious. I hated the sound and found it hard to cope with. I find it very hard to follow conversation with 2 or more people. I get lost. I take things very literally. I do not understand humour or jokes. I was bullied at school for seeming different - this started at boarding school when I was 13. I have been spat at in the street, my clothes were laughed at when I was younger. I find it very hard to go to parties or places with a lot of people. I have been to just 2 parties in my life. I am a creative person. I trained in Fine Art and have a degree, but I find it very hard to read books. I find it extremely hard to understand what is going on. It seems like an enormous puzzle. My concentration is poor. I have been told I am too serious and that I`m a cold person, but I don`t feel I`m cold. I have feelings - they are either very strong and I can be over empathetic at times, then on other occasions, I may have no empathy at all. Please can you help. I think I should be assessed because if I seek work now, my employers should know my difficulties. I also find it hard to use the telephone. When I worked in an office I got everything wrong - I find remembering instructions very difficult and have to write lots of things down so I don`t forget. It would be so helpful if I may please have your comments. Thank you.

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. On this site, we try to answer general questions about autism but cannot diagnose or recommend treatment. You appear to have some very, very specific questions about your past and present history related to behavior and the way that it has affected almost your entire life. It sounds as though you need to have a thorough evaluation. 

Would it be possible to check with the professional who diagnosed your son for a referral to an adult practitioner who might be able to help you sort through your past history? Also, if you live near a city or university setting (within an hour's drive) oftentimes there are options offered for people in your situation who are looking for answers if you go to the medical center's web site.

Best of luck to you and hopefully you will find some answers and help that can enable you to live a life that you will have more control over.

For more information:

Go to the Autism health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Susan Thompson, MSN, CPNP
Research Nurse Practitioner
OSU Nisonger Center
The Ohio State University