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Afraid I Might Have Non-Verbal Learning Disability or High Functioning Asperger’s

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I never developed social skills growing up. I cannot and have never been able to maintain eye contact. I’ve never been able to understand the unwritten ‘social rules’ that other people just seem to know. I had never once that about body language or how to tell if someone liked me or didn’t like me at all and was just being nice. I’m always unsure how to behave in different social situations, and worry about getting things wrong.

The thing of it is I’ve read hundreds, and when I say hundreds I mean hundreds, of articles about how to behave in social situations and advice and what to do and what not to do but then when I start talking to someone I just seem to lose most of it. I feel like it’s like that part of my brain just doesn’t work like a normal person’s. It wasn’t until college that I even became of aware of other people’s posture or walking style, or thought about how to read others and interpret myself. I had just never thought of it.

I find it hard to understand or interpret other people’s thoughts, feelings or actions – and therefore to understand their intentions or to predict what they’re going to do next.

One hard thing for me is verbal self-expression. It’s always been very difficult — and almost physically painful — for me to talk about my feelings. I just can’t ever find the right words and communicate it clearly.

Some of my doctors have also said it’s possible that I have high functioning Asperger’s. I spent a lot of time when I was young alone playing by myself and in high school I would spend a most of free time playing video games and watching movies in my room alone in my own little world. Relationships and friendships were very hard for me.

Another thing, I really like learning about certain topics and become really interested in them and could tell you every detail about certain things.

I am over-sensitive to different stimuli, to bright lights, loud noises, some smells, particular food textures or the feeling of certain materials. Cotton balls make me feel funny and having dry hands drives me nuts and certain food textures. I just can’t stand like soggy foods I just can’t eat. The sound of a fork scratching on a plate hurts my teeth.

Afraid I Might Have Non-Verbal Learning Disability or High Functioning Asperger’s

Answered by on -

A.

Thank you for taking the time to identify your situation. I think the next right thing would be to move from opinions to testing. For this you need a trained psychologist who can give you a battery of tests to help determine exactly what is going on. A very thorough evaluation can help pinpoint relative strengths and weaknesses — and can often take the guesswork out of the process. This can be helpful in determining what the next steps will be.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Afraid I Might Have Non-Verbal Learning Disability or High Functioning Asperger’s

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Afraid I Might Have Non-Verbal Learning Disability or High Functioning Asperger’s. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/02/11/afraid-i-might-have-non-verbal-learning-disability-or-high-functioning-aspergers/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.