Do you think I have autism?

Hello, I am Jess and I think I may have autism, because sometimes I run around the local supermarket flapping my hands about and to be honest it doesn't seem natural, thing is though most of the time I'm fine, but occasionally I'll accidentally hurt someone and instead of appolojising I decided to smile and I didn't quite understand why that person was so angry about it. Other times I've been just not with it and I've gone of on a random subject, or im talking so much another person can't get a word in. Or other times when I've been thinking about something and gone if I'm on right tangent. Sorry about the lack of full stops by the way! I'm not very good at punctuating things, I never have. Back to subject, before what I've done is I've said something, thought it was polite and been told I'm rude. I really don't get what's going on! Please help!

Jess x

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  • Hello Jess,

    It certainly sounds like you may be on the spectrum but obviously you would need to see some health professionals to get a definitive answer. My son has a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism and he behaves in similar ways to those that you have described about yourself.

    There is a quick test you can take which may give you an indication of whether you are on the spectrum or not.

    psychology-tools.com/autism...

    Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge's Autism Research Centre created this Autism-Spectrum Quotient, (AQ), as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults. In the first major trial using this test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. PLEASE NOTE This is NOT a diagnosis, just an indicator. A diagnosis can only be carried out by qualified professionals

    I would also advise talking to somebody at the National Autistic Society about your situation. They have a helpline that you can ring and discuss this in complete confidence.

    autism.org.uk/services/help...

    If you do feel like you would like to take this further (and have a diagnosis carried out) you will first need to book an appointment with your GP. This is where it all starts off but the process can take a long time so don’t expect anything to happen within two or three weeks.

    I hope this helps, don’t hesitate to ask any further questions if you have any.

  • Thank you for your help. On the test on got 37. What does that mean

  • No problem, here's the scoring system and what it might indicate:

    0-11 low result – indicating no tendency at all towards autistic traits.

    11-21 is the average result that people get (many women average around 15 and men around 17)

    22-25 shows autistic tendencies slightly above the population average

    26-31 gives a borderline indication of an autism spectrum disorder. It is also possible to have Aspergers or mild autism within this range.

    32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism.

    But of course, as I said earlier, it isn't a diagnosis. Further tests and observations are needed for a diagnosis to take place.

    I get a score of 28 by the way, so I'm borderline on the test. Autism has a genetic link so I'm pretty sure my son gets his autism from me....in part anyway.

  • How would I be able to get a diagnosis? My mum doesn't believe I have anything wrong...

  • Then it's going to be tricky as you will have to make an appointment with your GP to get a referral. Have you discussed it with your mum before?

    Do you think a diagnosis would help you with your life? If you're still in education it can make a big difference. My son has a statement of special educational needs which will follow him all the way to university. It alters the way that he is taught and takes his autistic traits into account. He's in a mainstream school but because of his diagnosis he receives more one to one support and the need to get away from things and recharge his batteries is taken into account. It also helps him be more at ease with himself and know that there's a reason he does what he does and he's not "just a weirdo" (his words, not mine).

    Maybe use this as a way to try to get your mum to look into it further? Also, show her the results of the AQ test and explain what the high score could mean.

    I really would talk to the National Autistic Society to get some advice from them. They will have encountered situations like this before. You don't need to ring them, an email can be sent if you would prefer that?

  • Just thought of something else...

    If you are still at school or college there should be a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) that you could talk to. He or she might be able to give you some good advice.

  • The thing is, I am in a grammar school and that's why my mum thinks nothing is wrong, before I posted this I talked to her about it and she said that what I was describing was a strange behavior, but she said nothing else. Also, I have tried talking to the SENCo person about something else, but she is always in a meeting of some sort or I'm just too afraid too because she comes across as shouty and frightening to me.

  • Not very good behaviour for a SENCo!!

    I can see your mum's point but it's maybe just because she doesn't understand autism too well. It's a spectrum so there are people with autism who appear to be quite severely disabled and there are also people (at the other end of the spectrum) who are only affected in that they struggle with social situations/flexibility of thought/ communicating their point.

    I know several parents with kids who have ASD/Aspergers and a few of those kids are at mainstream schools where they're either getting by, or excelling (academically). Autism isn't always obvious. ASD diagnosis is also notoriously difficult for girls because they can hide it better than boys. Girls are often undiagnosed until later in life.

    If you really think that pursuing the diagnosis is going to help you with some aspects of your life then you have to try to get your mum on your side and explain to her what it means to you. It would be a lot easier if you had a professional person on your side too so it's a pity about your SENCo.

    Are there any teachers or other staff who you have a good relationship with, and who you find approachable? Could you talk to them about it?

    Can you make an appointment with your GP on your own?

  • I don't know if you read this post Jess, but it sounds like a similar situation.

    healthunlocked.com/autismce...

    Maybe your mum can identify some of the signs from when you were growing up?

  • You know you were saying about the SENCo person well at my school, I found this out today, there is a whole SEN office and I know/ probably talk to them. But I don't know because I'm a very anxious person!! 😫

  • Yeah, I understand what you mean. My son is very anxious when it comes to talking to people and struggles to get his point across. I was the same when I was at school.

    Why not put down what you want to say in writing? You can take your time and type out everything that you want to get across, print it off and hand it in to somebody you trust at the SEN office.

    You will obviously need to talk to somebody at some stage but at least this way you can say what you want to say initially, without letting shyness and anxiety spoil everything.

  • It sounds like a good idea and all but I don't know what I'd write or how to start

  • What about starting with what you have written at the top of this post? It could almost be cut and pasted as an opening paragraph. It gets the point across that you think you may have autism. I understood it perfectly when I read it so anybody with experience of SEN should too.

    You could also include any concerns you have about how any aspects of school life are affected? Finally say you would like some help but don't know who to talk to? Just suggestions, sorry if they're not much good.

    It doesn't have to be a long, brilliant piece of writing; just a few sentences.

  • I know I probably should have done this by now, but I don't want to seem rude with what I'm writing and i can never find the right time to do it or who to give/send it to. I'm a really anxious person, I get anxious when I have been asked a question by the teacher. I don't like having to speak to people that I don't personally know. I don't have any confidence at the moment please help!!!!

  • That's ok, you need to get it right, but don't labour on it too much. If you're anything like my son (and me if I don't stop myself from doing it) you will be reading and re-reading what you have written until it doesn't make sense any more and you can't tell if you're getting your point across, or being offensive...or anything!

    Why not post what you have written on here and I'll let you know if it sounds OK? If the first draft is no good it doesn't matter, it can be changed.

    Once you're satisfied with the letter you don't even have to give it to anybody if you're anxious about that. You can email it to the school marked for the attention of the SEN department or you could print it out and post it to the school.

    Don't worry about feeling anxious in social situations. I was a wreck at school, couldn't speak in class or in large groups without turning bright red and talking absolute rubbish. It does get easier as you grow up. I'm married with two kids now and I couldn't care less about talking to people and approaching them. It just comes with time.

    You need to speak to somebody about this at some stage and I think you will be surprised at how easy it may be. It's a lot easier to have a conversation with another person about a specific subject than it is just having random conversation with anybody.

    I hope this helps. If not I'm sorry, but I'm trying!

  • You may, the only way you're ever going to find out is being seeking professional help. The diasgonsis for autism is a long run but it'd be worth it in the end so be patient. I've waited years to get a diagnosis