Any Older folk in this community - Asperger's Support

Asperger's Support

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Any Older folk in this community


Hello. I haven't ever been diagnosed with Aspergers, it wasn't recognised when I was young. I have had difficulties all through my life and luckily only resorted to medication for anxiety and depression on 3 occasions. I have had however numerous courses of counselling and even a course of psychotherapy. The counselling helped with current circumstances, but I felt never "got to the bottom" of why I have had the problems. Neither did the psychotherapist, who seemed to give me the impression I was wasting his time.#

I suppose that he wouldn't expect someone 61 years old (at the time) to have Asperger's, I was born before it existed!

However in the last couple of years it slowly dawned on me that this might be an explanation. It was partly due to the difficulties my daughter has, Aspergers only being one of them. I also have another relative Diagnosed with Aspergers. Both i their twenties.

I took the online test and was told my score indicated an 80% chance of being diagnosed. I think if I'd taken the test when I was in my twenties, the score would have been significantly higher.

I'm not going to try to get diagnosed, there really is no point as I can't relive my life knowing it. I don't regret some aspects, I have done quite well in my career, could have maybe achieved more, but fairly satisfied. relationships and marriages have been a disaster and I've spent a lot of years feeling isolated and alienated emotionally.

The good news is, things did get better and I have risen above some of the difficulties I had i.e. being with people on a daily basis. It's been a relief to find out as I can now ignore all those people who tried to pressure me into being something I wasn't.

I am also very intelligent and perhaps because of the Aspergers have some cognitive abilities that I reallse not many "typical" people have.

I'm wondering if there are any other Asperger "oldies" out there?

12 Replies

I don't fit the bill for an older person with Aspergers, or even someone with Aspergers...I'm not sure I 'tick enough boxes', for a diagnosis, but I'm 46 and probably tick a good few. My brother is a 33 year old 'aspie' and my son has Aspergers and is 17. I work in a special school, almost half of the children have autism to some degree or another. I love your post because, even with little help and no diagnosis, you have come to an understanding of where and who you are.

Schools and society squeeze people into 'personality moulds'. We are expected to be 'like this' or 'like that' and we are supposed to like certain things but not others. Society allows for a little variance under the heading of 'individuality' but not a great deal. I have watched my brother and my son suffer because others have tried to mould them into a 'shape' and get them to conform, but they both have their own ways of dealing with situations. My son shuts himself into his room for a few hours after a day at college. He wants time without any people. As his mum I have found this unsettling at times, but I understand and respect his wishes. My brother has always loved transport, so he has always had jobs in the transport industry, and bought an old car so he could learn how to strip and rebuild engines in his spare time. I find I much prefer to deal with people via email or messenger than face to face, but have no issues with crowds as they generally ignore me. Not sure if that's just a London cultural thing though as that's where I come from. Ultimately, from what I've seen, I think much of the avoidable suffering that accompanies Aspergers comes from other people's expectations being imposed. What is right and comfortable for neurotypicals, may not be for others. It's something we all need to work on I guess.

Anyway, I just wanted to say how good it is to hear that you have stood your ground to be who you are. Thank you for your post.

Hidden in reply to Sandyscroll

Thanks Samdyscroll. I guess I have "found myself" as it were, but after many years. I'm sure most people (neurotypical) find themselves much earlier, but then it's easier if you fit in. A lot of people I guess never even look for themselves. I thinks that a shame since they're never truly wake. It as you say, others try to fit you in, in ways they want you to be.

A long story about my daughter. Her mother and I divorced when she was 5. She stayed with her mother. But when she was 20, because she came to university where I live, she came to live "in my house". I never saw her, she . Lived in her bedroom, so I can identify with what you say.

She is like me "on steroids" in bad ways, but in her career is just brilliant. She was recognised as gifted as school, first class degree etc. But is really struggling to find herself. I think, and hope she works it out for herself, I can't help her.

Hidden in reply to Hidden

P.S. as you probably know, your son needs to identify his (special) talents and use them. I guess that's what I did, but t not cosciously

Sandyscroll in reply to Hidden

I think you're right there. He is pretty analytical, of everything and anyone he is interested in. That is a great skill to have. Fortunately, he will analyse himself and what works for him. He lives in a constantly heightened state of awareness and it's obviously incredibly draining. Is that what you mean by 'on steroids'? It causes huge issues with anxieties and he rarely leaves his room or the house unless he has to. He gets by on medication. I can only hope that one day he feels strong enough to live without it.

You can be, without knowing it, a great role model for your daughter. But I've found the best way to help is to talk openly about it rather than try to go it alone. I know my brother agrees with this as he says my house is one of the few places he can just be who he is. It's taken lots of soul searching on his part to get there, and he often finds it helps to chat about how differently he views things to work them through. My brother and my son have a great relationship as a result and a shared understanding. I think they are also part of a Facebook chat group for 'aspies' which they both find beneficial. 🙂

Hidden in reply to Sandyscroll

That sounds great. Unfortunately my daughter hasn't had that opportunity. Her relationship with me was poor. I believe her mother poisoned her against me. She felt most affinity with others who shared her anorexia affliction. They all met in a special psychiatric unit. I don't know if she keeps in touch with them. She has told me 2 of them have died.. Anorexia is her main problem.

My story shows that a lack of understanding and respect for Asperger behaviour can be disastrous. My daughters mother, I have 3 daughters, poisoned them them all against me. She convinced them I didn't care. I have had no contact with two of them for years.

Sandyscroll in reply to Hidden

What an awful situation. Sadly it's not the first time I've heard a story such as yours. I totally agree about the effects a lack of understanding and respect have. I have fought an unbelievable amount of battles with others in that score. I really do hope you have a breakthrough with your daughter at some point.

Hidden in reply to Sandyscroll

Thanks again. I'm not expecting a breakthrough, because it has been very painful for me over the years and under counselling, I thought it best to give up on them. I know you're supposed to stick with your "family" through thick and thin, but possibly that's a neurotypical thing. I am very very very loyal to the people that are immediately in front of me. I know I was sort of estranged from my parents, dad especially for a few years. He was a very moral and good person, but he had some fixed ideas about how I should dress, do, what sort of music I should listen to, how long my hair was etc. (1960s!) We became closer again when I was in my early thirties, but they lived a long way away and I didn't get to see them more than once a year. When I was 34 he apologised to me, but he died 5 days before my 35th Birthday. I am happy to know that at lkeast two of my daughters are doing really well.

Incidentally by "on steroids" I meant that both her assets and her problems are more than mine. Her anxiety levels are much higher and she takes anti-psychotic medication to control it.

It just further reinforces what the impact of Aspergers can be. My girl's mother convinced them I "didn't care" about them. This wasn't actually true at all, but you can see that perhaps I didn't find it easy to show I cared. My mum was a poor role model, I think she had Aspergers too.

Does 54 count as old? (53 when diagnosed).

Father was probably Asperger but didn't suspect that until years after he was dead. Grandfather could have been, but too little information to say.

I think it's fair enough if you know what you have and there's no particular reason to get a diagnosis not to ask for one. There could be a reason, especially for example if you are seen at work as having an attitude problem. There's much more reason for a diagnosis of a child as it impacts on education.

I can tell you wearily that if you do get a diagnosis as an adult, no hit squad of specialists with white coats and clipboards descends to sort out your problems. You can ask social services to do an assessment but unless you have very tangible problems with everyday life (inability to use public transport say), it's unlikely much will come of that. The most obvious benefit you would get would be to stop choruses of 'Oh you just need to join in a bit more' or 'Try a bit harder to get on with people' as they frantically try to bang a square peg into a round hole. It's a bit hard to argue with 'I've been diagnosed Asperger's'.

Hi Timzz, I only found out about my Aspergers after an operation on a brain tumour at age 59 would you believe it! this put my whole life in perspective, suffering anxiety of the scale at the mo'. I have a post on here somewhere perhaps you have seen it, also my profile on Headway gives some idea of my experience, most days lately I neither want to see or hear anybody or thing, nature sounds are healing though. In hind sight my dad had Aspergers as well.

Hidden in reply to fredikins

Hi Fredikins, yes I guess 59 is (nearly) older. I see 65 as being "older", but NOT old. Yes it does put a perspective on thing doesn't it. Explains all those things that make you feel different. I don't actively avoid others, I don't actively seek others company either. I managed to work with people, patients, then students. I had a role to play with them. Staff was another matter. I more or less always wanted to get away from them.

I've get hypersensitive traits. I react to being touched unexpectedly, by people or objects

My immediate response is to feel If I'm being attacked. I have a BIG sense of personal space and get anxious when people get too close. Supermarket shopping can be a nightmare.

Noise is another one.

I'll look for your post I'd like to hear your story. I'll do tee it. I don't know what Headway is.

fredikins in reply to Hidden

Hi Timzz, Headway is on healthUnlocked specifically for those with brain injury. So much of your post resonated, I cant stand the feel of water on my skin, not the thing to admit but I have showered once in almost three years, I do keep clean and odour free by using baby wipes though, noise is my worst problem, I have earplugs in almost all day. Super markets are a nightmare as you say, i often just put the shopping down and walk out.

diagnosed at 58 10yrs ago for the 2nd time. It is just used by hospitals as an excuse to ignore me now when left in pain after surgery and to be treated like a child with learning disabilities.