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#127326 - 04/12/12 06:25 AM Asperger's and/or Gifted Dx after Your Child's Dx?
Mom2MrQ Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 147
Hi,

Before I begin my ramble, let me state my point up front: I want to know if you or your spouse was diagnosed with AS after your child was diagnosed? Did you discover that you or your spouse was highly gifted after your child was tested? Were you fairly clueless about your own issues before they came out in your child; as in, you never saw the issue nor did anyone hint at it, esp. in regard to AS? What are some of the red flags, in an adult, for either/both of these? (I've read the lists... just wondering from your own experience.)

Our son is presently having another evaluation to rule in or out Asperger's. In our initial consult yesterday, he laughed and told the doctor that perhaps I (his mother) should also be tested for AS. I had previously commented on how well I "get" my son and how much we think alike; and this is true, I really do get my child in a way that my dh doesn't; but I only have one child and I don't know if this is the normal type of "getting" that a parent does or if it's something else. (DS 8 is PG, FYI.)

At the end of our visit yesterday, I found myself sitting in a chair in the waiting room, stunned. The receptionist had become quite upset with me and had left the room, closed the door, and had a conference of sorts with the doc and the office manager. I was sitting there in shock because I had little clue as to what I had said or done that was upsetting to her. In my talk with the doc, she had recommended that we cut the three visits down to two visits since we're driving from a couple of hours away for the appt. The receptionist had apparently missed that just minutes before when the doc stood up front and repeated the instructions. When the receptionist tried to schedule us for multiple appointments, I politely asked her to make sure that *I* hadn't misunderstood the doc. I repeated twice that *I* may have misunderstood the doc (and truly, I was wondering if I wasn't confused). That's when she became angry with me, gave a sharp "I will ask her," and marched out of the room. Bad day? I don't know, but I was in shock and wasn't sure what to do. When she came back, the doc and office manager just hung around and observed until I left. I felt a bit humiliated by it all, but I remained pleasant (and in shock).

As I thought about this and looked back over my adult life, I saw that this kind of thing seems to happen to me a lot, and it seems to have intensified in my late 30's. I ask questions that I feel that I need to know --like how many appointments we'll have or how long they'll take --and I get what seems like a "ruffled feathers" reaction. This doesn't happen with doctors; it only seems to happen with the ancillary staff. (It happens in non-medical situations, too.) My best friend suggests that my directness may threaten some people; I'm baffled by that. To me, it seems that if you have a question, you should ask it. If you're not being hateful or mean, where's the threat?

Yesterday's encounter really stuck in my brain, as did my son's comment about me being screened for AS. I have had so many social problems over the past few years. I live in a very rural area and have always attributed my conflicts to it just being a matter of thinking differently, but I'm not so sure now. I recently saw an interview with Temple Grandin and I thought to myself, "Other than the interesting clothing selections, she seems fairly normal to me!" I don't know how she would be in real life, of course, but the way she was laying it all out in this interview seems very much how I perceive my own self to be --very cut and dried or "Just the facts, ma'am." Could someone else give me a perspective on what they see in this video? "Ten Minutes with Temple"

I want to point out, too, that I am indeed an underachiever, by the academic standards of most. I have educated myself in whatever areas have interested me and have always felt that I could learn anything I wanted (except Calculus... not a mathy person at all!). I was the kid who had almost no parental involvement. My mom never had a clue what was going on with me, simply because she didn't ask. My dad was the same way. I did excel in just about everything, but I never learned to study; this was an issue when I went to college. When the college counselor looked at my ACT scores, she insulted me by suggesting that I might have cheated; no one with those ACT scores should be having the difficulties that I was having, she suggested. The problem, I think, was that I simply could no longer sit in class and absorb all of my microbiology, chem, zoology, etc. as I had in high school. I didn't know how to organize myself. I'm the only honors student I know from my high school who didn't graduate college. I am a senior in college, credit-wise, but never finished a degree program. (I did, however, love the variety of classes available to me! So many exciting things to learn about, but so little time, woo-hoo!)

So yesterday I looked back over my life and realized that while I've always had surface friends, I've generally been a loner. My own family has always said that I'm "different" from them. (I've secretly wondered if I was mixed-up at birth with their bio child! LOL) My mother couldn't tolerate that I was so highly emotional and "feeling," and I do recall a high school AP History teacher (whom I really liked) commenting on how intense and emotional I was. I'm all about justice and truth and doing the right thing and this seems to rub some people the wrong way. I do tend to hyper-focus, if interested in something, often losing a few hours and having no clue where they went. (Though, I rarely get to do this now that I'm a homeschooling mom.) I easily see things that others do not, and I don't mind at all sitting for hours on details that would drive some people crazy.

I don't know that I'm gifted, but my husband swears that I'm the smartest person he's ever met, (*cringe, blush*); I don't feel that way at all, truly. I was in honors and AP classes in high school, and I was identified as gifted in elementary school. My mom didn't sign the papers for me to be in the gifted classes, so that was the end of that. I can add that when I get to talk to my son's doctors, I feel such a sense of relief... like I'm talking with someone who thinks like I do. I know that may sound odd, but I see this same thing in my son; he reacts to intelligent people by perking up and talking "smarter." When he's around most people, whether adults or children, I usually perceive that he's dumbing down. I often feel that same way, but I thought that's how most people operated. Is it not?

As my son matures, and as I see so much of my own self in him, I am beginning to wonder if this is a gifted issue, AS issue, or something else in my own life. Are these the kinds of issues that highly gifted people deal with when engaging with the rest of the world? Does this sound more like Asperger's? Both, perhaps? I'm looking for some personal experiences and perspectives here.

Okay, that's all. I'm SO sorry that this is so long and so scattered. I'm just really in need of some input from others.

Thank you! wink

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#127327 - 04/12/12 06:34 AM Re: Asperger's and/or Gifted Dx after Your Child's Dx? [Re: Mom2MrQ]
DeeDee Offline
Member

Registered: 04/16/10
Posts: 1863
Hi, Mom2,

It happens a lot that when a child is diagnosed on the autism spectrum, the parents figure themselves (or other family members) out. DH and I have looked at our family tree in a new light, and we see an awful lot of traits that do show that DS doesn't come from Mars... he comes from us, for sure.

The good thing we see in it is this: yes, many of us in this family are unusual, but hey, look, we're functioning, even the ones of us who are most AS-like. That gives us great hope that DS will be capable of an independent life in the world, too.

You can see yourself as underachieving if you prefer, but I would rather say, gosh, if you're 2E, you're probably doing really well with what you've got. To me, that's achieving.

DeeDee

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#127333 - 04/12/12 07:26 AM Re: Asperger's and/or Gifted Dx after Your Child's Dx? [Re: Mom2MrQ]
Dbat Offline
Member

Registered: 02/14/12
Posts: 352
Hi, Mom2,
I have sometimes had the same kind of experience (seeming to rub people the wrong way for reasons I don't understand) but since moving to the South it's happened less--after I learned to be much more indirect about things, which is the way people seem to interact down here. I often use the technique you mentioned of saying that maybe *I* am confused (even when I am sure I am not) because it seems much less likely to cause offense. However, I had kind of put this down to a South (indirect) vs. North (more direct) kind of thing. I also make an effort to adjust my vocabulary to the situation and over the years have definitely cut out the 'big words' unless I'm talking to somebody who also uses them because I noticed that people sometimes reacted to them.
What I have had more trouble with over the course of my career is inadvertently getting on the wrong side of some people I work with, particularly other women. Fortunately this has only happened a couple of times, but it has been pretty dramatic. I still haven't figured this out entirely, but will say that although I think I dress 'normally' I do not care much about shoes and other things that women seem to spend a lot of time thinking and talking about. So I guess that puts me on the spectrum somewhere. I don't worry about it too much, though, because I am lucky to have a wonderful DH and a great job with a great boss and have what I consider a pretty nice life.
"This American Life" did a story on something like this (figuring out that you or someone in your life has Aspergers), and had a link to an "Aspie Quiz", here http://rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php
The American Life link is here http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/458/play-the-part
It's great that you 'get' your DS; he's very lucky to have a parent that does.

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#127335 - 04/12/12 07:39 AM Re: Asperger's and/or Gifted Dx after Your Child's Dx? [Re: Mom2MrQ]
Cricket2 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/09
Posts: 2172
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Mom2MrQ
Before I begin my ramble, let me state my point up front: I want to know if you or your spouse was diagnosed with AS after your child was diagnosed? Did you discover that you or your spouse was highly gifted after your child was tested?

When we/I realized that our dd13 was gifted when she was 6-7, it was an aha moment for me in terms of giftedness. That was what had been wrong with me my entire life as well.

Dh was dx with ADHD, inattentive before dd11 but as an adult and there are definitely a lot of similarities btwn the two of them. She is HG and he is probably a lot more intelligent than he and others give him credit for. I wonder about significant 2e issues for him (maybe a bit lower on IQ than dd or maybe just as high with more significant disabilities or just a poor upbringing/schooling for his needs).

Understanding what it going on with our kids has been great for introspection and, b/c they are both HG and possibly more than bare level HG (some of both of their scores are at, above, or very close to DYS level), I do wonder if one or both of us is more than the MG I've assumed of myself and the slow that dh has assumed of himself.

No one in our family is on the autism spectrum, though. I am answering this b/c some of what you say about yourself is true of me and I am as confident as I can be that I do not have an ASD.

Quote:
...I really do get my child in a way that my dh doesn't; but I only have one child and I don't know if this is the normal type of "getting" that a parent does or if it's something else. (DS 8 is PG, FYI.)

As the parent of two kids, I can say that I don't "get" both of my kids equally. Dd13 is a lot more like me than is dd11. I don't get dd11 very well at all but I try really hard b/c I love her tremendously. Loving and understanding are not the same, though. I don't want her to feel like the odd duck out as I did growing up.

Quote:
...In my talk with the doc, she had recommended that we cut the three visits down to two visits since we're driving from a couple of hours away for the appt. The receptionist had apparently missed that just minutes before when the doc stood up front and repeated the instructions. When the receptionist tried to schedule us for multiple appointments, I politely asked her to make sure that *I* hadn't misunderstood the doc. I repeated twice that *I* may have misunderstood the doc (and truly, I was wondering if I wasn't confused). That's when she became angry with me, gave a sharp "I will ask her," and marched out of the room.

I don't know, unless there was something to your tone that isn't being conveyed in words, I'd say that the problem in this instance is with the receptionist, not you. Especially b/c:

Quote:
...This doesn't happen with doctors; it only seems to happen with the ancillary staff. (It happens in non-medical situations, too.) My best friend suggests that my directness may threaten some people; I'm baffled by that. To me, it seems that if you have a question, you should ask it. If you're not being hateful or mean, where's the threat?

To me this may be a disconnect btwn a HG+ adult and adults who are of average intelligence or maybe even less. It doesn't have to be that you are on the AS, but maybe that you are a threat to them, like your friend suggests, b/c you are different due to your intelligence being drastically different than theirs.

Quote:
I recently saw an interview with Temple Grandin and I thought to myself, "Other than the interesting clothing selections, she seems fairly normal to me!" I don't know how she would be in real life, of course, but the way she was laying it all out in this interview seems very much how I perceive my own self to be --very cut and dried or "Just the facts, ma'am." Could someone else give me a perspective on what they see in this video? "Ten Minutes with Temple"

I haven't watched it yet, but I will. I will tell you, though, that I live in the community where Dr. Grandin works and I have both spoken to her and seen her speak at a community event. You are right, she doesn't come across as majorly odd other than her dress and hairstyle aren't very feminine or typical. However, she's the first to acknowledge that she has learned over the years how to interact and act in a way that makes her fit into society. How she comes across now is a result of a lot of work.

For instance, when I saw her speak at a fundraiser, she was on stage and there was some feedback from the AV equipment/microphone. She was able to stay calm about it on the outside, but flat out stated that that type of noise was horrible for people with ASD. OTOH, my dd13 has some sensory issues as do I and I found it irritating as well.

I think that the differentiation btwn Asperger's sensory issues and just HG+ sensory issues might have something to do with how hard the person on the AS has to work not to melt down over them and how aware the person is of how odd s/he appears when melting down. HG+ people with sensory issues know (at least dd and I do) how they come across socially and if they are looking like oddballs for crying or blowing up over noise or frustration. They can read other people.

People with ASD, from what I understand, have to be explicitly taught to understand how they come across and cannot easily read social cues, tone such as sarcasm, and facial expressions.

Quote:
So yesterday I looked back over my life and realized that while I've always had surface friends, I've generally been a loner. My own family has always said that I'm "different" from them. (I've secretly wondered if I was mixed-up at birth with their bio child! LOL) My mother couldn't tolerate that I was so highly emotional and "feeling," and I do recall a high school AP History teacher (whom I really liked) commenting on how intense and emotional I was. I'm all about justice and truth and doing the right thing and this seems to rub some people the wrong way...

I don't know that I'm gifted, but my husband swears that I'm the smartest person he's ever met, (*cringe, blush*); I don't feel that way at all, truly. I was in honors and AP classes in high school, and I was identified as gifted in elementary school... I can add that when I get to talk to my son's doctors, I feel such a sense of relief... like I'm talking with someone who thinks like I do. I know that may sound odd, but I see this same thing in my son; he reacts to intelligent people by perking up and talking "smarter." When he's around most people, whether adults or children, I usually perceive that he's dumbing down. I often feel that same way, but I thought that's how most people operated. Is it not?

As my son matures, and as I see so much of my own self in him, I am beginning to wonder if this is a gifted issue, AS issue, or something else in my own life. Are these the kinds of issues that highly gifted people deal with when engaging with the rest of the world? Does this sound more like Asperger's? Both, perhaps? I'm looking for some personal experiences and perspectives here.

I pulled out just a couple things you wrote that didn't apply to me. Everything I left here sounds like me as well. I've grown tired as I've gotten older of hiding. I know who I am and I'm more comfortable in my own skin. Dh has suggested that I leave my Master's degree off my resume, use lesser vocabulary in interviews, etc. b/c I've had a hard time finding satisfying work. I've also had a few people tell me in job interviews that they felt the work would be too boring for me or I was too intelligent. I've come to the spot where I realize that I may be shooting myself in the foot by being myself, but I don't want to spend my life being someone I'm not so I'm going to keep presenting my true self and hope that it is the right fit somewhere.

I'd say that most of the issues you present seem to be pretty on par for the norm for HG people. I can't comment, like I said earlier on ASD b/c I don't have experience with that beyond knowing a few people through the years who are on the AS. They do look different, though, than typical HG. I don't know from the inside how that experience differs from straight HG difficulties, though.


Edited by Cricket2 (04/12/12 07:42 AM)
Edit Reason: messed up quote
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#127402 - 04/13/12 07:37 AM Re: Asperger's and/or Gifted Dx after Your Child's Dx? [Re: Mom2MrQ]
ultramarina Offline
Member

Registered: 08/24/10
Posts: 2512
I definitely don't think I have Asperger's--I have always had a lot of friends and been socially and romantically successful. However, I do think I have SPD (it was more obvious when I was a child) and I also have face blindness and severe direction-finding issues. So I have some ASD-ish traits.

I just took that quiz; my results were "most likely neurotypical." However, I have some spikes into the Aspie side on my profile. My family has a long history of Aspie-like individuals but no one has ever been diagnosed. That was quite an interesting quiz--I saw some questions that were very relevant to my DD, who currently has no dx but seems to be in the gray area for ASD.

All this is to say that I have indeed become more aware of my own ASD-ish traists since having my DD and reading more about ASD.


Edited by ultramarina (04/13/12 07:37 AM)

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#127418 - 04/13/12 11:26 AM Re: Asperger's and/or Gifted Dx after Your Child's Dx? [Re: Mom2MrQ]
kathleen'smum Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/10
Posts: 374
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
I want to ditto most of what Cricket2 said. Right down to the comment about her DH, who sounds identical to mine. He has been 'pursuing' an ADHD-inattentive diagnosis, since DD was identified, for the past two years.... in the procrastinating, inattentive way he approaches most things, in that he talks a lot about it but doesn't ever get around to it. He is DD9 in grown up form. I, too, think that he is an unidentified 2e. In my own case, I had never even heard of the term 'gifted' before DD was identified. I had to look it up. There were no gifted classes or programs in our area. It was an AHA! moment for me because a lot of my childhood made sense looking back and thinking I may have been gifted. I have no idea where I lie on the gifted spectrum... maybe MG? I work damn hard to achieve what I have and I have a very rewarding career that I love. I can meet any goal I set for myself, but I see this as reward for my hard work and not from any innate cognitive abilities.

I can't comment on any ASD traits, as none of us display them. For us, it has been the ADD and the giftedness. I can identify with the excitement of meeting another person that you can converse with. I recently became friendly with a mom who lives across the street. Her little boy is the same age as DS3.5 and after our first meeting it was very apparent that her DS is gifted and likely ASD. She had been identified as gifted as a child, too. I enjoy our conversations so very much. I don't have to watch what I say or which words I use. She gets me and it is an incredible relief to have a friend who finally does!!
_________________________
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#127419 - 04/13/12 11:31 AM Re: Asperger's and/or Gifted Dx after Your Child's Dx? [Re: Mom2MrQ]
hinotes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/09/12
Posts: 45
This is so timely. Thanks for the post. You are not alone.
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Homeschooling DD in PA

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#127427 - 04/13/12 12:39 PM Re: Asperger's and/or Gifted Dx after Your Child's Dx? [Re: Mom2MrQ]
deacongirl Offline
Member

Registered: 07/03/10
Posts: 787
A lot of what you say about yourself is true of me and I am 100% positive that I don't have an ASD and there is no family history, so while that may be an issue in your family, it seems to me a lot could also be attributed to giftedness. I also really get my oldest dd11 (PG), and for whatever it is worth, I also seem to get those kids who are 2e with an ASD. (For sure not as much as a 2e adult who actually has Asperger's, but better than most it seems) I do *not* get my youngest dd, who I suspect is at least HG, but her issues don't seem to be related to autism. Or, I should say my issues with understanding what is going on in her sweet and complicated little head, haha! So, probably not much help...

So, for whatever it is worth, and I just skimmed so maybe you have read it, but I would get the dual diagnosis and misdiagnosis book and make sure the person diagnosing your kid really has experience with gifted kids. And what an NT gifted kid looks like as well as a gifted kid with Asperger's. Good luck.

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#127430 - 04/13/12 01:32 PM Re: Asperger's and/or Gifted Dx after Your Child's Dx? [Re: DeeDee]
Grinity Offline
Member

Registered: 12/13/05
Posts: 7201
Loc: Connecticut
Originally Posted By: DeeDee

DH and I have looked at our family tree in a new light... The good thing we see in it is this: yes, many of us in this family are unusual, but hey, look, we're functioning, even the ones of us who are most AS-like. That gives us great hope that DS will be capable of an independent life in the world, too.
DeeDee

DeeDee, I love what you wrote here. I think it's always important to realize that AS without HG or PG is quite different from regular AS or MG plus AS, in some ways, even though the similarities are real.

So much depends on strengths and motivations in particular areas.

I didnt' realize that I was gifted until my son was identified. I didn't realize that my OEs weren't just 'me being weird.' My son also got OT for sensory integration disorder and poor motor planning - it was great to see him get help with things that I struggled with alone and unidentified. I especially liked learning the phrase 'Gravitational insecurity.'

Best Wishes,
Grinity
_________________________
Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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#127433 - 04/13/12 01:54 PM Re: Asperger's and/or Gifted Dx after Your Child's Dx? [Re: Grinity]
DeeDee Offline
Member

Registered: 04/16/10
Posts: 1863
Originally Posted By: Grinity
I especially liked learning the phrase 'Gravitational insecurity.'


Me too. Although most people look at you funny if you use it; it's a phrase for select company. And IEP meetings.

DeeDee

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