Could I have Asperger’s syndrome

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From Scotland: Could I have Asperger’s syndrome?
Here’s a list of my issues:
Limited eye contact especially with new people
Very little social interaction with people
Sensitivity to loud noise, bright lights and tags on my clothing
Bad short term memory but great long term memory
Inability to understand sarcasm
Not great at telling how people are feeling
Emotionally detached
Inability to express myself unless someone gives me a pen and paper
I have obsessions which I love and I can tell you a bunch of seemingly useless facts about a lot of things
I do movements that calm me down such as tapping fingers together, doing something with my hands which I can’t really explain and rocking ( I only do the last alone).
I get overwhelmed realy easily over silly things
Inability to follow indirect instructions
Finding it hard to be in crowds
I don’t repeat what people say but I do trace it and it is compulsive
I’m often told I’m in my own world
I am very honest and can be hurtful when I don’t mean it.
I refuse to say certain words because they feel awful
I find hard work easier than easy work
I don’t care about fashion
I do not have a timed schedule but I do have a pattern of how I do things

A: I can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of only a letter, of course. But many of the behaviors on your list are consistent with what people with high functioning Austism or Asperger’s report. You do need to see a mental health professional to get a more certain answer.

If you were seeing me, I’d want to know what it means to you if you do have such a diagnosis. For some people, it is an enormous relief to understand that there is a reason for what they do and feel. Other people find it very difficult to accept their difference. And, of course, there’s everything in-between.

What I most want you to know is that we all are given strengths and challenges. It’s not what we’re given that matters so much as what we decide to do with it. Many people with Aspergers will tell you that there are talents and strengths that come with the condition that they wouldn’t trade in for more normalcy. They’ve found ways to make it work for them. Einstein, Mozart and Tessler are said to have been on the autism spectrum, for example.

You might be interested in books by Temple Grandin, a very gifted woman who is on the autism spectrum and who has been explaining it to the rest of us for many years now. In 2010, there was even a TV movie made about her life.

I hope you will seek out an evaluation to get the answer to your question if it will give you peace of mind. But more important, I hope you will love yourself as you are.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Aug 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). Could I have Asperger’s syndrome. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/08/10/could-i-have-aspergers-syndrome/