Asperger's Syndrome

zoewolfDecember 19, 2007

A 46 yr. old male Bi-Polar II friend of mine, saw a therapist yesterday, who he has only seen one other time, I believe.

After about 45 minutes, she suddenly stated, "I believe that you have Asperger's Syndrome". He didn't even ask why she said that, but did mention it to me last night.

Isn't 46 a little old for a first diagnosis of this condition?

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devorah

No, it isn't unusual for the condition to be diagnosed at that age. It is based on observation and not emperical data. If the couselor is experienced in such matters, I think a single visit would suffice. The real question, I think, is did your friend feel as though it fit him. I have a nephew with this condition. He was always a little off, even as an infant. It was a long, long time before we had a name for what his problem is.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 5:46PM
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catherinet

Hi Devorah,
I've been taking an interest in this condition, as I think I know a couple of people with it. In your experience, what were the symptoms? I know they are socially awkward.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 6:23PM
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devorah

I am certainly no expert. I have done only a little bit of reading about the syndrome and observed my nephew of course. It is more than being socially awkward. My nephew neither sought nor particularly wanted social contact. There is usually an extreme interest in a narrow field. In his case it was video games. There was a wonderful article recently in the New Yorker written by a person with Asperger's. Because he came from a family of well to do intellectuals, he was able to channel his interest in music into a career as a music critic. He married and had children, but couldn't sustain the relationships. He knew from watching TV what he was supposed to do or say in a given situation, but he had no internal prompting.

My nephew married very late to someone who was also very needy and had relationship issues. They seem to be making a go of it, but they haven't anyone in their lives except each other and that's the way they want it. They work sporadically. My nephew has had problems with the law because of stealing from his friends and employers. He just doesn't have the internal message that it isn't the right thing to do. He also has some peculiar language habits. He is strangely formal in his speech and much of what he says is derogatory about people he doesn't think are his intellectual equal. When he was an infant, he liked to be held with his head back so that it was below his body. I don't know if that is related to his condition or not though it seemed very odd at the time. As an adult his movements are stilted.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 9:26PM
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bud_wi

Zoewolf posted: "Isn't 46 a little old for a first diagnosis of this condition?"

That depends on whether he had ever sought out a therapist or doctor before he turned 46.

If he does have AS, he has probably lead a solitary existence keeping to himself and having very little contact with people unless necessary. If he never went to a therapist he would not have been diagnosed until now.

Therapists tend to have their "pet" diagnosis. One therapist "discovers" that almost everyone that comes in is ADD. Another therapist finds that almost everyone that comes in is bipolar.

Have him seek out a second opinion and don't fall under the spell of a charlatan therapist. Therapists are ALWAYS out to make money. They don't work for free and their income depends on making new diagnosis. I hope everyone understands that these people are out to make MÂOÂNÂEÂY MÂOÂNÂEÂY MÂOÂNÂEÂY and they don't give a hoot about your well being. It is very likely that this particular therapist sees your friend as a 'gravy train'.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 8:42PM
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catherinet

bud.........I would be careful about saying that ALL therapists are out to get your money. I think that just isn't true. Sounds like you've had a bad experience with them. Of course, that is their profession and that's how they make money, but I've had some that were really into helping people understand how to have a better life, and money wasn't their one and only motivation.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 4:45PM
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lindac

Well....there are therapists and there are therapists....
Some have an MD degree with a specialty in Psychiatry....some have a masters in psycology, some are clergy and some are "certified (by whom??) Family Therapists".
Don't tar them all with the same brush.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 6:44PM
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mboston_gw

As a teacher, I had a child in my child one year who Aspergers. It is on the spectrumn of Autism, on the mild side. This child was verbal, could learn, actually was very smart but he had limited social skills for his age and some strange phobias. Academically, the only area that he had trouble with were fine motor skills such as writing and cutting.

Today he is in high school and is doing okay from what I hear. Even though Aspergers is a relatively new condition, it has always been around, we just thoguht the people were
a little different. Also families kept these family members sheltered and often out of sight. Today we are more accepting and understanding.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 11:33PM
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catherinet

mboston......may I ask what the phobias were? I wonder if he still has them in high school?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 7:50PM
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mboston_gw

Well, in kindergarten he did not like to have other children lined up in back of him. Of course we always walked in a line so that was difficult. He also would only let one child in the classroom tie his shoes for him, happened to be the girl in line ahead of him (he was 2nd in our line, had to be in ABC, a school rule). He didn't like the overhang of the buildings, thought they would fall on him. Didn't like loud sounds, fire alarms, etc.

He didn't want anything that were round like beads around him. Women's jewerly, bead garland on the Christmas tree, etc I think he thought he would choke on them.

There were other little things that would crop up and then go away. If he was under alot of distress, he "Polar Bear" across the back of the room, pacing back and forth until whatever was bothering him stopped.

I don't know what his fears are now, I know he plays a musical instrument, which i think is wonderful for him. Like I said, he is very intelligent.

A few years later I had another student who also was on the spectrum of Autism. He had OCD as well and did the rocking back and forth that many kids do, and was very tactile. He is still in elementary school and in special class.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 9:09PM
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marys1000

I believe (JMHO) that most of us are "borderline personalities" on some small scale. To a much smaller degree for some, a little bit more others etc. etc.
Is anyone really truly perfectly normal? So the problem becomes, when does a little Asperger's (or narcissim, anxiety, obsession etc.) go from being a small quirk to something "wrong"? I know lots of married with children people with major "personalities" that no one seems to label although I think they are fairly far out there on the scale.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 11:22AM
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catherinet

Thanks mboston,
Sorry I didn't get back for awhile.
Marys......you're right. I guess we're all somewhere on that continuum. And I don't know where the point is at which it is perceived as a problem. I guess its when it starts bothering someone or groups of someones.
Its sort of like the discussion about weeds. What is considered a weed? The answer is usually, its a plant that you don't want somewhere.
I have the feeling that a person becomes a problem when it interferes with the plans of the majority around them.??

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 6:50PM
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