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A few weeks ago, aged 43, I received my Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis.


Unfortunately immediately after delivering the diagnosis I was informed there is no help for diagnosed adults in the UK's North West, where I live. So I am almost back to square one. I have been given links and things to read, but I really need to talk to someone. Get an idea of where to go from here. I feel that 43 years of my life have been wasted trying to fix things when I could have been revelling in the talents that I have, but am only just now beginning to understand. Hopefully this forum will be a start.


After years of trying to fix my personality and character traits, I have suddenly discovered I was going about it all wrong all along. As each day goes by and with each new article or post I read, I discover more about myself that links in.


Here's my list - how does it compare with yours?


(apologies for the length, I know long posts are frowned upon on most forums, but hey - skip it if you prefer. Hope it is an enjoyable read.)


Control Freak - an absolute need to control and plan not just my life but everyone else's (and everyone else just loves it when I butt in).


Change Meltdown - my eyes gloss over and my mind hits overdrive whilst I try to come to terms with a change in the plan. I am going shopping with my wife - but now someone else is coming too. That wasn't in the plan! Aaaaaaaaarrggghhhh!!!!


Poor working memory - writing lists seems like a great idea to get past this, but turns out to be a nightmare, as I forget each point just as I start to write it.


Prospective Memory - inability to remember to do anything. I have alarms on my phone to remind me to eat lunch and dinner. Drives my wife crazy. I can easy drive 50 miles past a turning without realising I was supposed to turn. SatNavs have saved me! I am not just late for meetings, I simply don't turn up and realise hours or even days later (or not at all).


Social conversations - do I really need to go into this? I just feel like I am not there. I can be the centre of attention making everyone laugh and be having a great time. Then within minutes find myself lost, with no idea of what to say or to whom. I really hate this.


Social Situations - a completely overriding fear of everything and yet nothing in a potential social situation. This totally controls my life and is the main area I have tried to change, with hypnotherapy, NLP, counselling, drugs. I was a professional club DJ for over ten years, but can I get on a dance floor with my wife? No chance! No no no no no. And I hate myself for it. Its not fare on her. I really despise it.


Loner - I have friends but none I can call "best friend." Over the years I have scared people off or drifted apart without knowing what to say, or even that I should say something. For the most part people must think I am weird, eccentric is the nice term, and those that deal with it do so, but I guess most eventually leave me alone. My closest friends live in other cities - I think distance/lack of daily contact, may be key to me keeping friends.


No Flirt - "my friend isn't interested, will you please stop flirting with her." "Errr, I am not flirting." Retreat into corner.


Lots of Flirt - on a few occasions in my youth I discovered girls had been flirting with me for up to 6 months without me having a clue. One quicker example was in a club when my friends left without me, figuring I was preoccupied with a girl. To this day I have no idea who they were talking about.


Arrogance - I suspect many people think I am arrogant. I think I pass on information in a manner unsuited to the situation and puts me in a bad light. Bit confused on this one.


Me, Myself and I - stunning ability to go on about myself, or things that have happened to me, or will happen to me, or my clothes, or my hair, or my friends, or something I saw etc. See below (and above).


Collecting - seems to be a general ASD trait, but lots of people collect and I am not one of them. Ok, so I have over 50 pairs of shoes, but just 50, not 500. The difference appears to lie in the manner of the collection, or how the collection is treated. I have lots of music (was once a professional club and radio DJ). I do not consider this collecting. However I have designed my own rhythm notation and order my tracks according to their main beats as described by my notation. Apparently this is unusual.


Detail Spotting - if something small is dropped, it will always be me that spots it first. I can pick out tiny details in seconds. This has pros and cons.


Total focus - on one hand I can have phenomenal focus at the cost of everything else. I become totally unaware that anything else is happening except what I am focusing on. I can go for a day without eating, or stopping.


Easily Distracted - on the other hand, if the environment is not perfect (no music, nothing moving like birds flying past the window, no interruptions etc) and I am thus unable to get into The Zone, I am distracted by anything from a cloud to a thought. I will then go off on a mission to follow the cloud or thought and then another tangent and another and, have I told you about my first pet fish?


Sounds - I note many Aspies have issues with noises. I do also, but not in a negative way, its in a totally consuming way. Having music on whilst doing something else like writing this is a total no-no. I'll just get lost in the high hats, or the bass line. Making out as a teen with romantic music lead to several misconstrued situations of apparent disinterest.


Photosensitivity - I wear Reactolite glasses and my prescription sunglasses are the darkest available tint, despite the optician trying to persuade me otherwise.


Extremes - I am in or out, very little in between. I failed an exam at uni, told the Professor immediately and he laughed saying all students think that. I got 26%. He took pity and I resat gaining 100% - his first student to ever score so high. He offered me a job.


Dr Spock - my childhood hero. He was the only person in my world that I got. I could relate to everything he said. After reading inside this forum, I suspect a number of Aspies will relate to this. Whilst others were wondering if Jim Morrison was reincarnated into their body, I was considering how Dr Spock could pull it off.


Anger - the frustration of not dealing with situations explodes inside my head. I have two very young kids and this is becoming a serious issue in my own head. I can feel it inside and am so scared one day it will boil over and I'll do something stupid. When looking for help in this area a councillor suggested Asperger's, and so the diagnosis process began.


Incorrect Phrasing - just saying stuff wrong. How many times have people looked at me like I am crazy? I almost got fired after writing an email explaining a situation. Friends read the email and jaws dropped, "you wrote this without getting fired?" I had no idea what was wrong with the email. It was just facts. Simple. A friend wrote a guide on how to write emails in future. Still have my job, so guess it worked.


"Cheer up" - so many people have said to me so many times I look miserable when I am really happy.


Dead Pan - a good friend said to me the other day she has no idea when I am being serious. A quick ask around and apparently everyone thinks this of me. I guess facial expressions are not my forte, yet I think I wear my heart on my sleeve. Confusing.


Repetition/Perfection - any idea how many times I have read this post before actually posting it? 18 at time of posting. I'll re-read it a few times after posting also.


Ecstasy and Empathy - took ecstasy (MDMA) in my twenties. Totally changed my life. I remember very clearly sitting in a club and connecting with the feelings of the person I was talking to. This totally blew my mind. I sat there thinking I was telepathic or something. I told a friend later that night and she explained it was empathy. I am still not very good at it, but at least I know it exists now. Did you know it was two ecstasy researchers that independently invented the world "empathogen" (Ralph Metzner and David E. Nichols)? I note that some autistic researchers are planning the first study using MDMA treatment.


thanks for getting this far :notworthy:

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Whenever I read about an Aspie being married, I wonder "how did they manage that?" I have never been able to read whatever signals people send out to attract the opposite sex, and I assume I haven't sent them either. Despite getting on with women pretty well (I think), and always wanting a partner, it hasn't happened in over 40 years. For most of that time I put it down to bad luck, and just not happening to come across "Miss Right". Pretty much all my relationships of all sorts with people have been pretty superficial, and don't survive changing jobs, moving house or other changes where we lose regular contact. If someone had told me decades ago that something wasn't functioning as it should, maybe I could have done something about it, but apart from some depression I never realised there was anything "wrong". I went through a few years of starting to get closer to a few women, but never got very far. If I'd known what I think I know now, I could at least have said that I don't seem to send or receive signals. That would probably freak out a lot of women, but maybe occasionally one may have said she'd noticed something odd, suggested we work on it, and just maybe something may have happened.


I've also got stuck in a difficult situation, that has had a big impact on my life and my financial security, that I got into because I didn't realise I have a problem communicating/connecting with people, and handling difficult people related situations. I'd just had my mid life crisis, had various counselling etc., and thought I was making good progress in overcoming what had been holding me back for so many years, and that I could handle it. But I was wrong, and nothing in me had changed. It was my life that had changed, and that fooled me into thinking I was different.


My point in writing this is that I don't think it's professional/health care type of support I actually need, so if none is forthcoming if/when I'm finally diagnosed (I'm about 7 months into a supposedly 10 month wait) I don't think it would be a big problem for me. Although it would be useful. I need an answer to what's wrong/different about me, and getting a diagnosis would finally be an answer 10 years after my mid life crisis started things off (and a 60th birthday present from the NHS!). I can stop looking for the answer, accept that things have happened in my past because I was unaware of it, and maybe make some big decisions that I currently can't make with incomplete information. Then I need some practical help with stuff like sorting out paperwork and finances, deciding how to make a living, and matters revolving around planning permission, building and architecture, that I don't see spending an hour a week with a counsellor, or having a care worker, would be any use with. This would take so much pressure off me, and simplify my life so much, that maybe I could handle the people/relationship stuff much better. The time when I started to make a little progress with relationships was when I went travelling and life was simple, but I was missing the vital bit of information about me that a diagnosis will hopefully give me, so with maybe a bit of support in this area I might finally get somewhere.


I'm not suggesting this will solve your problems, but maybe your solutions don't depend on support, or lack of it, from the health care system, but now that you know you have Aspergers, and how that makes you think and act differently to most people, you can look at situations and understand how you see/do things differently to other people, and try to act accordingly. You said you've been going about it the wrong way up to now, so maybe now you've got this new and very big bit of information about yourself, you can work out how to go about things the right way.


I don't know if that helps, or if anyone has thought the same way but found that it doesn't work, as that's something I'd like to know too.

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Depends what area of the north west you live in regarding services the nas.org.UK would have a list of services avaliable in your area.


Liverpool has some services as does Manchester but I'm unsure about other areas. Also try googling "your county + autism" to see what's avaliable in your area. The diagnostians could be telling you there's no services because there's a long waiting g list or they aren't aware of what's avaliable.

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Thanks for the reply Confused Traveller. You are not alone in your thoughts. My GP initially refused to refer me for diagnosis as he believed it was not possible to have ASD and be married.

Its not been an easy ride. Married at 38. I can now see many relationships broke down because of my ASD traits. The biggest help for me is what you alluded to in travelling. I was self aware enough to know something was amiss, seeing how others conversed with ease, whilst I was the easiest person to bully as I had no idea how to deal with it. I went to university, which meant starting life again with no baggage. This allowed me to reconstruct myself. It was a help but only slightly. I then had the fortune to go on a student exchange for a year to America. This enabled me to do it again - with much greater success. Additionally the English accent has a natural attraction for American women, and Americans are much less reserved than the British so I learnt a lot about communicating there. Which meant when I returned to the UK to start again, I was really ready for it.

Being a professional DJ also helped - people appear to be drawn to perceived success, an entertainment focal point such as a pop star or actor are prime examples.

The ultimate key was that I met my wife online. We chatted for years before meeting and only then did romance occur. In the first few years of being together, when we struggled talking going back online helped. Even if we were in the same room. I guess this is a useful route for Aspies - and one I would recommend to try. Using emoticons are great - you can look them up online, something that's hard to do with real facial expressions.

However, relationships are hard work. My wife simply doesn't understand and tells me to pull myself together, get over it, etc. Naturally she wants a strong man to support her, which I try hard to be, but in certain situations I totally crumble such as noted above - someone else joining us on a shopping trip. Non-aspies look at such a meltdown as totally weird and can't get there head around it. My ability to explain is not very good, and also is appears naturally biased toward me as a victim. For example she noted I have become more angry since the possibility of diagnosis first arose, believing I was using Aspergers as an excuse for being angry. Actually it was the increasing anger that lead me to that point. The help I search for is not just for me but for my family as a whole. To help them understand me, so we can function more harmoniously together..

A second level of help is at work. As noted above, I almost got fired by heavily offending a colleague due to something I said. I was worried it was about to happen again a few months ago but fortunately has been brushed aside. However, having a diagnosis and having the correct tools to explain it to my work place, I am hoping will help avoid such situations in the future.

A third is probably in the form of conversation, a back and forth communication helping me understand myself better, kind of like a brainstorming session. I hope this forum will be a big help in that department.

Edited by reppac

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try googling "your county + autism"

Trekstery: thank you! The nas site I have already struggled to find something suitable in the area and wrote to them for advice a couple of weeks ago - no reply as yet. Using google as you recommend has been fruitful so thank you. When I was told there was nothing suitable for me, and NAS agreed with it, I gave up. So thank you for pushing me on.

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