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Reasons To Get A Diagnosis: Tips For Adults Who Think They “May” Have Aspergers

Aspergers is a high functioning form of autism that only became an "official" diagnosis in 1994. This means that many grown-ups with Aspergers have never been diagnosed.

Have you ever had the thought, “Hmm, I think I could have Aspergers – I have some of those darn traits”? If so, are you hesitating to find out, for sure, whether or not you have Aspergers?

Here are 15 reasons why you should consider getting out of your “comfort zone” and seek a diagnosis:

1. A diagnosis can provide a framework for labeling, understanding and learning about behavioral and emotional challenges that have been baffling up to this point.

2. A diagnosis helps others in your life to understand you and respond differently to your “odd” behavior.

3. A diagnosis is needed to request reasonable accommodations for employment under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

4. Getting a diagnosis removes the mystery and diminishes the shame associated with “being a bit weird,” which leads to a greater sense of community and begins the process of learning to live more adaptively with an Aspergers brain.

5. If you do have Aspergers, you may have encountered problems throughout your life. You may be isolated, low on funds, or even in need of better housing. A diagnosis of Aspergers can qualify you for a variety of federal services, accommodations and supports.

6. If you have Aspergers, you may be a visual thinker in a verbal world. With an Aspergers diagnosis, you can get the help and accommodations you need to complete courses, tests and interviews to get the work you want.

7. Official diagnosis is necessary if you want to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

8. Parties and social events are a great way to meet people, and they can be essential for business, dating, and even a happy marriage. But if you don't know where to stand, how to break into a conversation, what to wear or whether you're talking too loudly, you may need help and support to take part and have fun.

9. Someone you care about has suggested that you may have Aspergers, and they've pointed to certain behaviors that drive them crazy. They'd like you to get a professional opinion and, ideally, some help. Could they be right? Only an experienced professional can tell you if you have Aspergers.

10. You get easily overwhelmed anytime there's too much sensory input (e.g., at parties, the mall, grocery store, sporting event, etc.). And you'd very much like to be comfortable taking part in those ordinary activities. The problem could be Aspergers, and part of the solution could be getting that diagnosis.

11. You have a tough time making and/or keeping friends, and don't know why – or your friends are only interested in you when you're engaged in an activity you share, but you haven't built a personal relationship with anyone yet. The issue could be Aspergers-related.

12. You met someone special. You're interested in making a move. Now what? Dating is tough for anyone, but if you have Aspergers, it can be downright confusing. Need help? You might need to start with an Aspergers diagnosis.

13. You never seem to get a job that reflects your abilities, even though all your credentials are terrific on paper – or you're passed over for promotions regularly because you just don't get office politics. Could this be Aspergers?

14. You've been called "obsessive," but you feel you're just very interested in one incredibly interesting subject or activity. You'd like to figure out whether you're right or wrong, and make a good decision about whether to try to expand your interests. It would help to know whether or not you have Aspergers.

15. You've been feeling "different" your whole life. Now, you're hoping to find a community of individuals who get who you are, how you think, and even how you feel. A diagnosis of Aspergers may give you the push you need to get in touch with support groups and connect with that community.

It’s never too late to increase self-awareness in order to capitalize on strengths and work around areas of challenge. Knowing about Asperger gives you an explanation, not an excuse, for why your life has taken the twists and turns that it has.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

==> Skype Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's 


 COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said... Autism, as it existed as a diagnosis in the 1950s, more closely resembled Aspergers Syndrome than classical Autism.
•    Anonymous said... I graduated high school in 1995, needless to say no one knew about this. I was diagnosed last year. I've had a few good jobs over the years, but could never stay for any longer than a year. Then I'd have major break downs, not realizing it was the AS that was causing this. Very frustrating. Now I can't find counseling from someone specializing with AS patients. Those resources are almost exclusively for children. Adults are being abandoned. I keep hearing people griping about their tax dollars paying for welfare. Well, some of us are on it because we don't the resources to help us. We don't want to be here. We want to have a job, pay taxes, provide for ourselves, and be productive members of society. However, society has decided it would rather ignore us and then chastise us and threaten to take away our only source of help from us, labeling us as lazy people. Nothing could be further from the truth.
•    Anonymous said... I was diagnosed around 5 years ago at the then age of 47..
•    Anonymous said... I was diagnosticed a couple months ago so is true for me
•    Anonymous said... my hubby and twin only diagnosed age 60,after our children were,
•    Anonymous said... Then they say get over it, we all have troubles. Yeah? Really? You don't tell someone with cancer to just get over it. You don't tell someone in a full body cast after a bad crash to just get over it. Some of us can't JUST get over it,we need the resources of professionals to help us so we can finally reach our goals. We have dreams and we have feelings. Sometimes I get so frustrated and angry I want to tell the world to kiss my ass, but that would not be an appropriate reaction.

Please post your comment below…

Living Alone: Tips for Adults with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

“Living alone” is coming out of the closet as more and more Aspergers adults find themselves alone. It can be tough to adjust to going solo. If you're an adult Aspie living alone - or are about to move out on your own - there are a few things to keep in mind to ease the transition and remain connected to the world around you.

To live alone doesn't automatically mean you're lonely. In fact, you can learn to enjoy solitude just as much as spending time with other people. Here are some tips:

1. Avoid convenience food. Even though it sucks to cook for yourself, convenience foods are expensive and rarely good for you. Plus cooking can be an expressive art form in itself, not to mention a rewarding skill to cultivate, as well as a pleasant way to fill up what might otherwise be an empty evening.

2. Avoid television (a time-eating, life-sucking device in the wrong hands). Unless you can dole out to yourself only shows you mindfully enjoy, cancel your cable. Don’t waste your life.

3. Avoid tobacco and alcohol. Tobacco and alcohol are ready substitutes for everything missing in your life. Beware replacing missing chunks of life with addiction.

4. Be safe. Living in a safe area and feeling secure in your new place will grant you peace of mind. A good security system doesn't hurt, either.

5. Call friends and family back home when you feel down. Sometimes all you need is a pep talk from your friends or just to hear a family member's voice to remind you that you're not alone.

6. Connect to the people around you. Sometimes you just have to get yourself out there and say "hi." If you live alone in an apartment complex or condo, go to the sponsored events and talk to at least three new people before you go home.

7. Consider church. One of the biggest benefits of church is having yet another avenue of community (e.g., friendly faces to see, groups to join, etc.). Church will also remind you (in a message worthwhile no matter your beliefs) to forgive others, forgive yourself, be kind, tell the truth, be in the present moment, enjoy life, help people who need help, and share – all good stuff. Anything that maintains mental health is good for singles (who tend as a group to neglect themselves).

8. Don't forget healthy living. It is necessary to take proper care of your health when you are living alone. Try to keep your living place neat and clean.

9. Enjoy the perks of living alone. Decorate however you want to, leave dirty dishes in the sink, walk around in your underwear, make rude noises, or have a solo jam fest to your favorite music. You'll never have to share the remote or the bathroom, and you're free to do what you like.

10. Enjoy your entertainment. Listen to your music and read books of your choice. In the afternoon you can take a cup of tea or coffee staying in the balcony. Watch TV or movie and be relaxed. Extend the breadth of your world.

11. Exercise. The benefits (e.g., socialization, better sleep, better able to handle stress, etc.) make it even more valuable for people who have to deal with the stress of handling most every crisis alone. Regular exercise gives you a place to spend time being social and staying healthy, and having a workout friend (or just people who know you at the gym or on your running route) is yet another avenue of healthy, nourishing interaction.

12. Get a pet. Rescue a cat or dog from a shelter. Having a furry friend to take care of will keep you on track. You will be surprised at the love you will feel for the animal you bring into your home, and the companionship and love it will provide. You can also meet new people walking your dog or taking your ferret to the pet store.

13. Have a form of creative expression that is meaningful and fun to do. Whether you design homes, sew, build birdhouses, dance, sing or flip around on a pommel horse, try to find something yours to do, and explore it deeply and visit it often. Call what you do “art” and take it seriously.

14. Join a local group or organization in your area. Volunteer at a local shelter, nursing home, or other charitable organization. You can connect to your community and make new friends.

15. Keep in Touch with friends and family. You're not an island. Go to the movies, out to dinner, out with friends, or invite friends in. Don't forget to have fun.

16. Stick to a schedule. With no one else in the house, you’ll feel like you have greater freedom to sleep in, lie around, and do nothing. While this is hard to combat, keep your mind aware of it and try not to waste life in being slow and dull. Having a regular schedule of a time to wake, work out, eat, etc. helps keep time from getting away from you.

17. Keep your home environment pleasant and clean. You’re going to be spending a lot of time there. Make it a place you like being in.

18. Learn to shop for one. You're making meals for one person. And you only need kitchen service for a minimal number.

19. Look out for the “me disease.” This happens when you reach a place of stress and isolation so awful that it shifts your perceptions so that it becomes difficult to see other people’s lives through their experiences. You can only see things through the lens of your own suffering. You’ll know you have this self-centered disease when you stop thinking about the people you love and what is going on in their lives. Look out for it, and fight it by asking people how they are, and listening to what they say.

20. Surf the web for connections with others. The computer is a great means to chase the blues away and reach out to people you'll never even meet. Join newsgroups, chat rooms, and web forums to stay connected.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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