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Hello,

I am new to the Forum.  I joined because I think I probably have Asperger's.  I'm in my 60s,  and I wonder if there are any advantages in seeking a diagnosis so late in life?  Or could there be disadvantages?

My "symptoms"/characteristics are as follows:

  • I find it very difficult and uncomfortable to make eye contact.
  • I scored 32 on an online Asperger's test - I think 28-30 was an indicator of Asperger's.
  • I was a very shy, sensitive child. Fortunately, perhaps because of this, my parents sent me to a very small private school, where I was always top of the class.  At grammar school I hardly spoke until I reached the Sixth Form.  I did reasonably well academically and went to university, but I think I under achieved.  I never felt part of it.
  • I have always felt different, but have never known why. I never feel part of groups - it's not really shyness - I just feel different.  I would quite like to feel part of a group.
  • I have quite a few acquaintances, but few real friends.  I seem to be attracted to more unusual people.  I don't feel many people share my interests (which include Baroque music, history of architecture, the Georgian Period, homoeopathy, etc.).  
  • I have always had "special interests," which change over the years.  As a child I was obsessed with horses and ponies and reading. I now have various interests, which I like to research in depth - for example I won't just knit a jumper, but will research the history of knitting in the British Isles, etc!  I accumulate interior design magazines and find it hard to part with them.  I like the information in books and magazines.
  • I can't cope with office politics and I can't stand injustice - I get very upset by it.  At present I work from home on a freelance basis.  I only really have e-mail contact for my work and am much happier with that.
  • I am an anxious person, but have learned to deal with it to a certain extent.  As a child, I was terrified of going to the dentist and hairdresser.  
  • I am no good at small talk - I don't know what to say.  Over the years I have learned what to say to a certain extent, but am not comfortable with it.
  • I have very little spatial awareness.  It took me ages to learn to drive.
  • I only like comfortable clothes;   however, they can be stylish and comfortable.  When they wear out, I like to buy something similar if possible.
  • I am happily married to an equally shy person!
  • I would like to be tidy, with everything in order,  but in fact I'm quite untidy.  
  • I enjoyed the "hippy" era, because I could identify with it and feel part of something.  I still like "alternative" ideas.
  • I am a serious person, but I have a sense of humour ...

On the other hand, I am not good at maths (I think I have dyscalculia - I can't seem to read numbers) and I am not interested in technology, although I enjoy connecting with people via Instagram etc.  I don't think I am particularly over sensitive to noise, although I can't stand the noise of electric hand dryers in public loos.  As a child I was terrified of the Hoover and the noise of steam trains (that shows my age!).  

My father was a scientist, my son is a scientist and my granddaughter is going to study physics.  I think I was put off science and maths at school because I disliked the teacher, who was very boring.

Does any of that sound familiar to anyone?  Is there any help for people with undiagnosed Asperger's?  I would be interested to hear your views.

 

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" … I wonder if there are any advantages in seeking a diagnosis so late in life? … " - I was in my fifties when I got my diagnosis, I have found it useful to get help at work through the "Access to Work" scheme.  It made my working life a lot better, it may even have helped me keep my job.   I share a lot of the symptoms which you mentioned. 

I believe that a tendency towards Asperger's syndrome is hereditary, so it might be useful to know if you had it in order to look out for it in your descendants, so that they can get help.

 

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