Females with Aspergers Syndrome Checklist by Samantha Craft

Disclaimer: This is my opinion and based on my experience after 12 years of researching about autism and being officially diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. It is not meant to replace the DSM-V Autism Spectrum Disorder definition nor is this list meant to serve as an official diagnostic tool. Hundreds of women have used this list in conjunction with the DSM-IV or DSM-V and a professional mental health professional’s guidance. It is also based on 4.5 years of communicating almost daily with those that are diagnosed with autism and some that believe themselves to be on the spectrum. It is not all inclusive. Some will fit into categories and not be autistic/Asperian. This is meant as a springboard for discussion and more awareness into the female experience with autism.

* Highly intelligent does not relate to IQ levels. Often Aspies are dyslexic and have dysgraphia and other learning disabilities but can be highly intelligent about particular subject matters, out-of-the-box thinking, and verbal fluency capacities.

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Females with Asperger’s Syndrome Unofficial Checklist 

Sam’s book Everyday Asperges is now available here and in multiple countries on Amazon. Strong reviews!

This is an unofficial checklist created by an adult female with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) who has a son with Asperger’s Syndrome. Samantha Craft has a Masters Degree in Education. Samantha Craft does not hold a doctorate in Psychiatry or Psychology. She has a life-credential as a result of being a female with Asperger’s Syndrome and being a parent of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome. She has created this list in an effort to assist health professionals in recognizing Asperger’s Syndrome in females—for in-depth information regarding females with AS refer to Craft’s upcoming book Everyday AspergersTen Traits of Aspergers can be found here.

Suggested Use: Check off all areas that strongly apply to the person. If each area has 75%-80% of the statements checked, or more, then you may want to consider that the female may have Asperger’s Syndrome.

When determining an AS diagnosis (or Autism Spectrum diagnosis) reviewing an individual’s childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and present day is advisable. This particularly applies to communication challenges; many  females with AS teach themselves the communication rules to the point of extreme. A primary identifier might be they are still teaching themselves social and communication rules; in other words they are still rehearsing. (Section A consideration/prolific artist in place of writer and/or both.)

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Section A: Deep Thinkers

  1. A deep thinker
  2. A prolific writer drawn to poetry
  3. *Highly intelligent
  4. Sees things at multiple levels, including her own thinking processes
  5. Analyzes existence, the meaning of life, and everything, continually
  6. Serious and matter-of-fact in nature
  7. Doesn’t take things for granted
  8. Doesn’t simplify
  9. Everything is complex
  10. Often gets lost in own thoughts and “checks out” (blank stare)

Section B: Innocent

  1. Naïve
  2. Honest
  3. Experiences trouble with lying
  4. Finds it difficult to understand manipulation and disloyalty
  5. Finds it difficult to understand vindictive behavior and retaliation
  6. Easily fooled and conned
  7. Feelings of confusion and being overwhelmed
  8. Feelings of being misplaced and/or from another planet
  9. Feelings of isolation
  10. Abused or taken advantage of as a child but didn’t think to tell anyone

Section C: Escape and Friendship

  1. Survives overwhelming emotions and senses by escaping in thought or action
  2. Escapes regularly through fixations, obsessions, and over-interest in subjects
  3. Escapes routinely through imagination, fantasy, and daydreaming
  4. Escapes through mental processing
  5. Escapes through the rhythm of words
  6. Philosophizes, continually
  7. Had imaginary friends in youth
  8. Imitates people on television or in movies
  9. Treated friends as “pawns” in youth, e.g., friends were “students” “consumers” “members”
  10. Makes friends with older or younger females more so than friends her age (often in young adulthood)
  11. Imitates friends or peers in style, dress, attitude, interests, and manner (sometimes speech)
  12. Obsessively collects and organizes objects
  13. Mastered imitation
  14. Escapes by playing the same music over and over
  15. Escapes through a relationship (imagined or real)
  16. Numbers bring ease (could be numbers associated with patterns, calculations, lists, time and/or personification)
  17. Escapes through counting, categorizing, organizing, rearranging
  18. Escapes into other rooms at parties
  19. Cannot relax or rest without many thoughts
  20. Everything has a purpose

Section D: Comorbid Attributes

  1. OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  2. Sensory Issues (sight, sound, texture, smells, taste) (might have synesthesia)
  3. Generalized Anxiety
  4. Sense of pending danger or doom
  5. Feelings of polar extremes (depressed/over-joyed; inconsiderate/over-sensitive)
  6. Poor muscle tone, double-jointed, and/or lack in coordination (may have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and/or Hypotonia and/or POTS syndrome)
  7. Eating disorders, food obsessions, and/or worry about what is eaten
  8. Irritable bowel and/or intestinal issues
  9. Chronic fatigue and/or immune challenges
  10. Misdiagnosed or diagnosed with a mental illness
  11. Experiences multiple physical symptoms, perhaps labeled “hypochondriac”
  12. Questions place in the world
  13. Often drops small objects
  14. Wonders who she is and what is expected of her
  15. Searches for right and wrong
  16. Since puberty has had bouts of depression (may have PMDD)
  17. Flicks/rubs fingernails, picks scalp/skin, flaps hands, rubs hands together, tucks hands under or between legs, keeps closed fists, paces in circles, and/or clears throat often

Section E: Social Interaction

  1. Friends have ended friendship suddenly (without female with AS understanding why) and/or difficult time making friends
  2. Tendency to overshare
  3. Spills intimate details to strangers
  4. Raised hand too much in class or didn’t participate in class
  5. Little impulse control with speaking when younger
  6. Monopolizes conversation at times
  7. Brings subject back to self
  8. Comes across at times as narcissistic and controlling (is not narcissistic)
  9. Shares in order to reach out
  10. Often sounds eager and over-zealous or apathetic and disinterested
  11. Holds a lot of thoughts, ideas, and feelings inside
  12. Feels as if she is attempting to communicate “correctly”
  13. Obsesses about the potentiality of a relationship with someone, particularly a love interest or feasible new friendship
  14. Confused by the rules of accurate eye contact, tone of voice, proximity of body, body stance, and posture in conversation
  15. Conversation are often exhausting
  16. Questions the actions and behaviors of self and others, continually
  17. Feels as if missing a conversation “gene” or thought-filter
  18. Trained self in social interactions through readings and studying of other people
  19. Visualizes and practices how she will act around others
  20. Practices/rehearses in mind what she will say to another before entering the room
  21. Difficulty filtering out background noise when talking to others
  22. Has a continuous dialogue in mind that tells her what to say and how to act when in a social situation
  23. Sense of humor sometimes seems quirky, odd, inappropriate, or different from others
  24. As a child it was hard to know when it was her turn to talk
  25. Finds norms of conversation confusing
  26. Finds unwritten and unspoken rules difficult to grasp, remember, and apply

Section F: Finds Refuge when Alone

  1. Feels extreme relief when she doesn’t have to go anywhere, talk to anyone, answer calls, or leave the house but at the same time will often harbor guilt for “hibernating” and not doing “what everyone else is doing”
  2. One visitor at the home may be perceived as a threat (this can even be a familiar family member)
  3. Knowing logically a house visitor is not a threat, doesn’t relieve the anxiety
  4. Feelings of dread about upcoming events and appointments on the calendar
  5. Knowing she has to leave the house causes anxiety from the moment she wakes up
  6. All the steps involved in leaving the house are overwhelming and exhausting to think about
  7. She prepares herself mentally for outings, excursions, meetings, and appointments, often days before a scheduled event
  8. OCD tendencies when it comes to concepts of time, being on time, tracking time, recording time, and managing time (could be carried over to money, as well)
  9. Questions next steps and movements, continually
  10. Sometimes feels as if she is on stage being watched and/or a sense of always having to act out the “right” steps, even when she is home alone
  11. Telling self the “right” words and/or positive self-talk (CBT) doesn’t typically alleviate anxiety. CBT may cause increased feelings of inadequacy.
  12. Knowing she is staying home all day brings great peace of mind
  13. Requires a large amount of down time or alone time
  14. Feels guilty after spending a lot of time on a special interest
  15. Uncomfortable in public locker rooms, bathrooms, and/or dressing rooms
  16. Dislikes being in a crowded mall, crowded gym, and/or crowded theater

Section G: Sensitive

  1. Sensitive to sounds, textures, temperature, and/or smells when trying to sleep
  2. Adjusts bedclothes, bedding, and/or environment in an attempt to find comfort
  3. Dreams are anxiety-ridden, vivid, complex, and/or precognitive in nature
  4. Highly intuitive to others’ feelings
  5. Highly empathetic, sometimes to the point of confusion
  6. Takes criticism to heart
  7. Longs to be seen, heard, and understood
  8. Questions if she is a “normal” person
  9. Highly susceptible to outsiders’ viewpoints and opinions
  10. At times adapts her view of life or actions based on others’ opinions or words
  11. Recognizes own limitations in many areas daily, if not hourly
  12. Becomes hurt when others question or doubt her work
  13. Views many things as an extension of self
  14. Fears others opinions, criticism, and judgment
  15. Dislikes words and events that hurt animals and people
  16. Collects or rescues animals (often in childhood)
  17. Huge compassion for suffering (sometimes for inanimate objects/personification)
  18. Sensitive to substances (environmental toxins, foods, alcohol, medication, hormones, etc.)
  19. Tries to help, offers unsolicited advice, or formalizes plans of action
  20. Questions life purpose and how to be a “better” person
  21. Seeks to understand abilities, skills, and/or gifts

Section H: Sense of Self

  1. Feels trapped between wanting to be herself and wanting to fit in
  2. Imitates others without realizing it
  3. Suppresses true wishes (often in young adulthood)
  4. Exhibits codependent behaviors (often in young adulthood)
  5. Adapts self in order to avoid ridicule
  6. Rejects social norms and/or questions social norms
  7. Feelings of extreme isolation
  8. Feeling good about self takes a lot of effort and work
  9. Switches preferences based on environment and other people
  10. Switches behavior based on environment and other people
  11. Didn’t care about her hygiene, clothes, and appearance before teenage years and/or before someone else pointed these out to her
  12. “Freaks out” but doesn’t know why until later
  13. Young sounding voice
  14. Trouble recognizing what she looks like and/or has occurrences of slight prosopagnosia (difficulty recognizing or remembering faces)
  15. Feels significantly younger on the inside than on the outside (perpetually twelve)

Section I: Confusion

  1. Had a hard time learning that others are not always honest
  2. Feelings seem confusing, illogical, and unpredictable (self’s and others’)
  3. Confuses appointment times, numbers, and/or dates
  4. Expects that by acting a certain way certain results can be achieved, but realizes in dealing with emotions, those results don’t always manifest
  5. Spoke frankly and literally in youth
  6. Jokes go over the head
  7. Confused when others ostracize, shun, belittle, trick, and betray
  8. Trouble identifying feelings unless they are extreme
  9. Trouble with emotions of hate and dislike
  10. Feels sorry for someone who has persecuted or hurt her
  11. Personal feelings of anger, outrage, deep love, fear, giddiness, and anticipation seem to be easier to identify than emotions of joy, satisfaction, calmness, and serenity
  12. Difficulty recognizing how extreme emotions (outrage, deep love) will affect her and challenges transferring what has been learned about emotions from one situation to the next
  13. Situations and conversations sometimes perceived as black or white
  14. The middle spectrum of outcomes, events, and emotions is sometimes overlooked or misunderstood (all or nothing mentality)
  15. A small fight might signal the end of a relationship or collapse of world
  16. A small compliment might boost her into a state of bliss

Section J: Words, Numbers, and Patterns

  1. Likes to know word origins and/or origin of historical facts/root cause and foundation
  2. Confused when there is more than one meaning (or spelling) to a word
  3. High interest in songs and song lyrics
  4. Notices patterns frequently
  5. Remembers things in visual pictures
  6. Remembers exact details about someone’s life
  7. Has a remarkable memory for certain details
  8. Writes or creates to relieve anxiety
  9. Has certain “feelings” or emotions towards words and/or numbers
  10. Words and/or numbers bring a sense of comfort and peace, akin to a friendship

(Optional) Executive Functioning & Motor Skills  This area isn’t always as evident as other areas

  1. Simple tasks can cause extreme hardship
  2. Learning to drive a car or rounding the corner in a hallway can be troublesome
  3. New places offer their own set of challenges
  4. Anything that requires a reasonable amount of steps, dexterity, or know-how can rouse a sense of panic
  5. The thought of repairing, fixing, or locating something can cause anxiety
  6. Mundane tasks are avoided
  7. Cleaning self and home may seem insurmountable
  8. Many questions come to mind when setting about to do a task
  9. Might leave the house with mismatched socks, shirt buttoned incorrectly, and/or have dyslexia and/or dysgraphia
  10. A trip to the grocery store can be overwhelming
  11. Trouble copying dance steps, aerobic moves, or direction in a sports gym class
  12. Has a hard time finding certain objects in the house but remembers with exact clarity where other objects are; not being able to locate something or thinking about locating something can cause feelings of intense anxiety (object permanence challenges) (even with something as simple as opening an envelope)

This unofficial checklist can be copied for therapists, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, professors, teachers, and relatives, if Samantha Craft’s name and contact information remain on the print out. This list was created in 2012 and updated in May 2016. 

Sam’s best selling book

Author’s Note: This post was originally composed when Asperger’s Syndrome was a stand-alone diagnosis. At that time, not much was written or discussed about females on the autism spectrum, particularly not the rules of semantics to utilize when referring to other autistic women. In the four years since my online writings began, much to do about semantics in relationship to Autism Spectrum Disorders has emerged. Even the word “disorder” is a trigger word for some, myself included. Today, I prefer to write “I am autistic” or “I am Aspie,” when referring to myself, instead of “a person with autism/Aspergers.” (People-first versus condition/diagnosis-first) Primarily, because I don’t have Aspergers—rather I am Aspie. Aspergers is innately who I am as an individual and not some tagline—like a disease.With that said, while I am sensitive to the ongoing terminology debate and the growing trend (and need) to move beyond identifying one’s self with a “disorder,” in order to keep the authenticity and voice of the original works, including accurately reflecting how I experienced life and trends in the societal and psychological fields at the time, I chose to not make any specific broad-based terminology alterations in this post.

Samantha Craft (@aspergersgirls) compiled this page. She has corresponded with thousands of individuals touched by autism in their lives. Sam is the author of Everyday Aspergers, a revealing memoir, ten years in the making, about the everyday life of an autistic woman. More information can be found atSpectrum Suite LLC, myspectrumsuite.com

 

 

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354 thoughts on “Females with Aspergers Syndrome Checklist by Samantha Craft

  1. I probably have this, honestly. I don’t feel comfortable going to talk to a stranger with a degree who doesn’t know me at all, especially since I’ve had to work so hard as an individual to find my truth in other arenas, but I do stim-like habits when I feel anxious (hair pulling, scratching, finger tapping, singing the same line of music repeatedly).

    Something I don’t see mentioned here is the marriage of emotions to logic. When I intuitively feel something is wrong, I go looking for inconsistencies in claims or behavior, in an attempt to find out if it’s just me feeling bad for no reason.

    A popular myth is that people can’t be emotional and logical at the same time, but I think what society characterises as autism involves a great deal of logical, and linear thinking that sometimes interferes with social rituals (which are highly irrational). Another example is how annoyed I am when people offer me food, only to assume I am “politely refusing” when I say no. While this is well established as “the polite thing to do”, it is literally calling me a liar, weakening consent in the same way as bullshit “no means maybe” claims, and forcing me to say “no” repeatedly. But few people I explain this to seem to understand why it is a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having to say bless you when someone sneezes many times gives me high anxiety. I hate sneezing and don’t want anyone to say bless you to me. The feeling of judgment when I do that say it gives me anxiety too. My office is an open office and is one of many things that I hate about the area.

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    2. Omg this is all me, I’m female and I ticked off everything on this list. I was always different as a kid and in the 90s we were seen as rebel kids not kids that needed help. I have suspected for some time I might have some type of Aspergers, the list is exactly reading off my own list of everything I have done. Just today I realised that I was used by a person for a purpose and now she doesn’t want to talk to me cause she got what she wanted from me, used me up for her purpose. I’m glad I read this list, cause it’s got my name all over it.

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  2. I identify with almost everything on this list. I’m a 28 year old woman who has been diagnosed as bipolar 2 with ADD. I have never felt it a correct diagnosis. I did a DNA test recently which said something to the effect of being more likely to have autism. Not knowing much about the autism spectrum, I took the test and received a score of 43. That score landed me here, and nearly in tears (I don’t cry often) feeling finally understood. I would like to know which steps to take next. My life is a mess and I feel like I might actually finally have the missing puzzle piece that says “oh, hi there, you aren’t a major screw up or weirdo you just approach things with a different brain!” It’s oddly comforting. Thank you

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    1. Hi Bailey,
      I have been researching Aspergers in women, and am of the opinion it is largely overlooked. It is way more common than statistics show. There is often a misdiagnosis.
      It is very relieving to finely understand where some of the challenges are coming from. I think what is very important is to be compassionate with yourself. I recently went to a conference with some experts in this field. They were mainly talking about children and teenagers with Aspergers, however, their advice carries to all ages. The main point was that people can experience a lot of Anxiety, and that this can be an area of focus to help reduce some of the challenges.
      My studies have also taken me to Buddhism and Mindfulness. I am not advocating you following Buddhism, but you can use some of the practices to help you. These have been found to be useful for those with Aspergers.
      Meditation is useful, even just 15-minutes a day. Loving-kindness Meditation. Compassion meditation. Gratitude. If you google these topics, or key the names into Youtube, you will find plenty of practices there to help you. Learning about compassion and loving-kindness can help you bring these things to yourself, and that helps you to cope better when the world seems confusing and chaotic.
      I wish you all the best on your journey to learning how to find ways to a life that is no longer a mess, but something that brings you great joy. And also towards your journey to find your special talents that you can share with the world.
      Kind regards
      Lisa

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      1. A little more in relation to Anxiety. Try not to focus too much on the Anxiety, but rather when you notice it, take it as a signal to move into a calming practice. So, the focus moves to calm, rather than anxiety. The practices I mentioned above will help you to learn how to purposely generate calming techniques that allow you to emotionally self-regulate. If you think about emotional states as fluctuating from numb to erratic, with the balance in the middle, when we are agitated we are more erratic, when we are flat and despondent we are numb. Calming practice brings us to the middle, where we are energised with life, but not overwhelmed.
        Lisa x

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  3. Wow i have just recently been diagnosed with Asperges and reading all of this was like the lists were written specifically about me! I relate so much.

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  4. My daughter was diagnosed early.

    I never have been but this list is so freaky to me as I analyze everything. And it’s almost exactly my experience.

    I’ve been wondering about myself, analyzing analyzing analyzing.

    Thank you for this!

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  5. I have a 4-year-old that was recently diagnosed with high functioning autism. Since his diagnoses, I have read so much about autism and have come to realize that I and my 2 daughters (ages 11 and 18) most likely also have it. I’m just really unsure what to do next, mostly for myself and my 18-year-old. Where do adults start at getting a diagnosis, should I even worry about it, and is there help or therapies for adults?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have started reading comments on this site about 1 year ago when I discovered to be an Asperger … with great disappointment I see the ‘Aspergers Girls’ responses becoming more and more distant and vague … why is that?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m 59 year old man and STRONGLY suspect I’m on the spectrum. My clinical evaluation is this month. I think you would all be surprised how many of these traits are also experienced by men too. This revelation has been the most profound experience of my life. For 59 years, I have searched for answers to a question I could not even clearly understand myself. January 2nd of this year I first looked into Asperger Syndrome. My life changed in less than 24 hours and continues as I uncover more and more about who I truly am. To those with children who are or have been diagnosed. This is a blessing.. It is hard to even imagine what it is like to live in such self doubt.. feeling so alienated for everyone. I felt my life was a mistake.. always searching for meaning.. for why I felt so incomplete.. Many of those who have been undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, can never know ourselves because we’re constantly trying to be what we are not. KNOWING we are “wired differently” lets us be our true selves, accept who we are and better understand our unique perspective of the world. With that knowledge, we can be our best and give our best to society.

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  7. This list is way too relatable! I’m always nervous about getting diagnosed, because as a child they somewhat tested me but it was inconclusive. Later in college, I was told I “seemed fine” but I feel like an actor. My true self seems to come out when my brain seems flooded- whether because of an overly stimulating environment or the piled up stimulation over the course of a day/week. I finally learned I need to have more alone time to process, or I tend to spiral. When I get nervous, I find it actually hard to extricate myself and force myself to shut up. My outspoken nature (I used to be very shy, but I came out of my shell a few years back because I wanted to be able to learn from and connect with more people/ideas) makes people not realize how I’m often confused and out of my depth.

    I’ve learned how to imitate and understand social/nonverbals as one would learn a foreign language. I’ve assimilated just well enough to be assumed neurotypical by most, and yet it is still ultimately an act. It’s like how you can be able to watch and understand a sport, but be unable to play it- gI truly can’t keep up with a high stimulus environment for very long. I wish that my social life had a big pause button so I could catch up.

    If I’m talking to someone whom I can tell uses a lot of nonverbal communication, I tend to withdraw because I just know I won’t be able to keep up with them and give them the correct nonverbals back at them. Later I figure out what was (possibly?) going on, or I just continue on cluelessly not knowing I offended them.

    My struggle with understanding nonvervbals has likely stunted my love life. It’s unfortunate, but nowadays it seems the most direct guys tend to be creeps and/or desperate. The signals that I get loud and clear… are usually from the guys I’m not interested in! There are tons of “nice guys” that I have wanted to date, but I think they test the waters with nonverbal stuff and “vibes” which go over my head.

    When I’m in a conversation with someone who is using a lot of nonverbals and I can’t keep up, my tendency is to either find an escape or to seize control of the situation (by taking over the airspace). I think it’s because of my anxiety of offended them. Neither of those coping mechanisms are good, of course….

    ANYWAYS, this was a long comment lol. but if anybody relates, would be happy to hear from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think you’re missing any vibes. Guys these days don’t know what they’re doing. Lol
      Our society is increasingly digital. Which is great for asperger or even shy people, but it doesn’t teach social cues.
      Of course, helpful people may not understand your true anxiety. I wonder if ocd meds might be offered off label to some aspergers in order to help with repetitive thoughts and being overwhelmed with housework or repairs. Cipralex may be good.

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  8. Thank you so much. This link turned up on my Facebook feed a couple of weeks ago. I agreed with 90% of it, and once I thought about it I realized the other 10% were true in my youth. This checklist has completely changed my perspective. I have been re-thinking my entire life. Remember that scene in Star Wars “You want to go home and rethink your life”.? Well I have been!!! Holey Moley! Who knew? Okay, when I saw The Accountant I figured out that my father, brother, & son were/are all Asperger’s. I figured out my Ex boyfriend when I watched The Soloist. But some link online told me that that gene skipped the female. However, apparently not. This explains so much. Well, back to The Great American Novel now. It’s been real.

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  9. This is a good list.
    I recognise myself in about 70% of what is mentioned, but throughout my life.
    Some points were stronger in childhood, others in teenage years but not many of them apply anymore (I’m in my early 30s). I have looked into Personality types and how some of them (INTx) correlate strongly with certain ASD traits, but I just can’t be bothered to get tested.

    I supposed there is a rationale in getting an assessment when young (i.e getting the relevant support and guidance to transition easily into adulthood without too many crises), but as an adult, what would be the point?
    Personally, my way to deal with this, which has a lot to do with the way I was raised in a 3rd world country (i.e ”strive to survive” or “survival of the fittest” sort of doctrines), is to accept that life throws challenges at everyone in different ways, and that I have to find the resources by my own means if I want to grow and shine as a person.

    I think one of the reasons many autistic women are not diagnosed is that, somehow, they understand the necessity to carve their own ways and become resilient, regardless of their physical/cognitive/emotional shortcomings. This is particularly true in Western Societies, more than anywhere else, because women are simultaneously restricted by traditional gender expectations (= the nurturing future mother), but also groomed for emancipation (= the sexually liberated girlfriend).

    All in all, the EDUCATIONAL, CULTURAL and FAMILIAL environment surrounding an autistic person will highly influence how they go on about their lives in general, as an individual in particular.

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  10. I resonate with almost entirety of the checklist. But I do so also with HSP (Highly sensitive person) characteristics. Does anyone know how much asperger vs. hsp female persons intersect? Or does anyone know how those two differ?

    I appreciate any answer, as it would increase my understanding greatly. The list here above is so very helpful already. My heartfelt thanks.

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      1. Thank you for this. How about: what would make a highly sensitive female not to be on the spectrum? I.e. how to distinguish whether one (read: me) is hsp or hsp with asperger qualities? Is there something that could tell them apart?

        Any comments and insights most appreciated (due to a heartfelt with to understand my own characteristics).

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      2. I would suggest asking in support groups online found under resources at myspectrumsuite.com Coexisting conditions to start: generalized anxiety, possible others such as OCD, mood disorder, social anxiety, sensory overload, and much more. Best wishes

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      3. I have asked this same question in another group and am wondering if part of the answer lies in the phenomenon of sensory overload, which is worse in Aspergers People. I am also asking about clinical research on this question and would appreciate any leads. Also, FYI, I have seen the opinion expressed that HSP is just an undiagnosed form of Aspergers. Not saying I am taking a position yet. Still researching. Also speculating that HSP might not have the social problems that Aspies do.

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      4. Aspergers and autism have many coexisting conditions that HSP typically wouldn’t. I would suggest looking into online Facebook groups and asking people who are autistic. I tend to think they are two separate things. One is neurologically based. One could be based on a variety of other factors. But I have not researched the topic. Most autistics by nature are HSP. But I don’t know if the reverse can be said. Thinking style and how they speak, process, express… are very obvious with Aspies, etc.

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      5. Thank you for these comments. I’ve joined the online support groups for both HSP and aspergers some months ago, with sincere intent to see how I resonate with each and so far finding that I do resonate a lot, with both groups’ characteristics and also very much with the topics that are brought up with the group discussion (yet with an inability to yet tell them apart). But it indeed is a good way to still go deeper, to see even the potential subtle differences. Maybe as the research side progresses (globally), we will see it more clearly. Likewise annajz, I would not be able to take any position on this either way, just yet.

        Nevertheless, it is so important that both sides (aspergers as well as hsp) are recognized and understood.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Very helpful indeed. thank you. I am now 3 years into a relationship with my female partner (I am male and non-Asperger) and to say it is challenging is an understatement! It took some time to work out what was different about her as I have never experienced knowing an ‘aspie’ before and she admits tries so hard to act ‘normal’ and not ‘let on’ but little things slip out such as admitting OCD, obsessions etc. It is maddening and frustrating but I think the world of her and in her own way I believe she feels for me too…. albeit on the face of it in a detached way.

    She is worth the all the difficulty and I will always be there for her in whatever way she views me. I think the answer is to expect very little in return for what I give and hope it makes her happy. I truly believe that for once in her life she has a friend she can genuinely trust and who has her best interests at heart because life hasn’t always been easy for her.

    This article was great to read and I hope it helps others understand an Aspie’s thoughts and actions and helps them realise that they aren’t deliberately cold and distant…. it’s just how things are for them.

    My logic is that it is better to have a small amount of something that is good in life than a whole lot of something that isn’t.

    Regards.

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    1. Is there any treatment for such kind of personality ? I think my partner has same issue,am not sure if she is BPD, cognitive personality or some kind of other issue. But many symptoms mentioned in this article is true to my partner. I am in a state what to do its so hard, can someone help to me how to diagnose the problem ? what type of physiologist is should consult , is it family counseling or any other type.

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      1. there is no treatment for Aspergers, but there is for conditions that might coexist with
        Aspergers, such as bipolar, OCD, depression, anxiety. Each person on the autism spectrum is different. Best wishes.

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  12. I am diagnosed with Asperger’s and I took the test, in every area I got over 75%, 2 of the sores were 90% and over and 2 were 100%. However, one (confusion) was 68% if i didn’t count the two I wasn’t sure over (I cannot remember what I was like as a child on those two, I know there have been problems in both those areas but there is complications as to why I am not sure). I’m now worried that the diagnosis is wrong and obsessing. Does it have to be over 75% in every area. If you got high answers in most of the other areas would that still be ok? I am so sorry for this message, I’m just going into full blown obsession mode.

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  13. Got quite emotional when I read this. Always felt like an alien and this checklist describes me almost 100%. Just thought they were my quirks. Continuously tried to learn “the rules” on how to interact with others but failed miserably growing up. Meditation helped me tremendously though – I no longer try to be how people expect me to be, I’m just me: Kooky Lindsay! I love who I am now. 😄

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  14. I have nearly ALL of these attributes. Since childhood I knew I was different from everybody else, I didn’t understand when people weren’t as interested or excited about certain things I was. I was continuously pegged by friends and family, as weird and different from anyone else. I was always an artist, a writer, a creator of all kinds. Animals mean more to me than people do. I had no clue that hygiene was so important till I grew up and was told by others, and still now, as an adult, I sometimes forget. I have always associated words, numbers, and colors as friends, extensions of my self. I contemplate life and death every single day and when I’m done I feel so enlightened, then forget. I become overly obsessed and devoted to things and it lasts a long time. I’m prone to depression and anxiety. If I don’t have Asperger’s, I’d be very surprised.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Am 52 with an 8 year old son who is Autistic. I identified with him so much that I have been on the waiting list for over a year. Having a diagnosis for me would fit the piece in my life long puzzle/struggle. Your list is me, past and present. Previously diagnosed with BPD, PMDD, Eating disorder and self harm. Being perpetually 12 and never understanding my place in the world of human interaction. I cannot stand to be touched and have drifted through my life trying to avoid people and responsibility. I rock, hum and twitch my toes for comfort, have endless conversations in my head with myself and can go from zero to catastrophe in 2 seconds. Friends have stopped speaking to me without reason and I can never understand if I am talking too much or too little. I have spent my life trying to be like everyone else, striving to fit in and be normal, which I have always found to be completely overwhelming. I love to be by myself and absorb myself in my art. I hope I can get to see someone but apparently up north the waiting list is over 2 years so I live in hope for my assessment.

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    1. I hope your assessment comes sooner than later. Thank you for sharing. zero to catastrophe! So true. Consider checking out Facebook support groups listed at myspectrumsuite.com under resources. All the best to you.

      Like

  16. I’m going to be 37. I have read several checklist for girls/women. It’s like reading my life story, it’s almost scary! However, my career choice doesn’t fit the profile at all. I hold a Class A Commercial Driver’s License. I had a difficult time holding down a job before obtaining my CDL. Learning how to drive a truck was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I do love my job! Countless hours of solitude, peace, and quiet. I don’t even have to feel guilty for spending so much time alone because I’m at work getting paid.

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  17. Hello. Awesome post and really glad for websites like this. I need to make a lil note. I work in the field of speech therapy and practise on learning difficulties. People must be aware of something. During the past few decades, there’s been a ‘storm’ of newly found difficulties, including dysgraphia, dysorthographia,etc.. However after very careful research and observation, it has been concluded by many experts of the fields, that in most cases (not all), these so called ‘learning disabilities’, is no more than the result of the new teaching system that has been applied all over the world since the last decades and it is the actual root of the problem for the majority of newly developed learning difficulties. We’re talking about developing difficulties due to an inconsistent, robotic, one dimensional and inexcusably fast pacing teaching system that causes the majority of kids, including those that have no syndromes or specific disabilities, to develop at least one type of learning difficulty. So I believe that in many cases where aspie kids have learning difficulties, it might also be caused due to the teaching methods instead of them always being due to their syndrome. Just an opinion here, we can never possibly know the cause of each case.

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  18. Thank you very much. I am seventy-two and realized that I am an Aspie about five years ago. I wish I had had something like this sixty years ago. Life would have made much more sense.

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  19. One thing I read recently was huge for me, little girls with ASD don’t really play with dolls the same way that other girls do. Instead of talking in different voices and creating social scenarios a girl with ASD is more likely to set up scenes… I did this and then I’d sit and stare at it imagining all the different things that could happen instead of playing it out, I would only play out scenarios if I was playing with other girls and I never realized this was abnormal/ASD behavior before I read that. Maybe you should add that to your list for others to relate to.

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  20. I am 64 years old. I was diagnosed in my early 50’s. I also have Tourette’s, adhd, ocd, sensory processing disorder, PTSD. And I also have heart disease, had a stroke, am in a wheelchair. I went through this list and am in tears. Almost every single thing. Almost every single thing. But there are so few my age and I am in such a mess. I am completely alone. No friends, and just a sister who is not there at all, ever, and can be quite hurtful. No other family. I am being very badly treated by the help I am supposed to get. It amazes me how cruel people are and what they do to others. I have not even been able to get to see doctors because the agencies will not help me get there. I am being left in isolation. I was left in a situation where I literally could not go outside at all for over a year because I could not manage the outside steps. Even now, my access is limited. If I get out once or twice a month it is a lot. And if I reach out, or try to complain, people are told I am a monster and to stay away from me. I swear, I am not. I really am not. I am the first to help others. I foster orphaned kittens. I don’t understand it and I don’t know where to get help. Or how. I can’t get those who could have helped to even call me, but they have called those I called about and listened to them without even talking to me. Can anyone suggest anything I can do? I to feel human. I really feel like the Elephant Man sometimes, it’s just that the disfigurement is inside. I live all those lists up there every single day. And I get treated like I am this horrid person. I am not an animal. I really am not. I just don’t know how to not get treated like one.

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    1. My heart goes out to you dear one. Would it help to call a church near you, asking the pastor to come visit you? Maybe, during the visit you could talk about being so isolated and ask for someone to pick you up to attend services and other gatherings. Even if you’re not religious, being with other people can be comforting. You deserve to be happy and I believe you can be.

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  21. Well, I did the checklist here (I was diagnosed officially with Aspergers when I was 12, now I’m 21) and my result was 104/173, not the biggest scores here but it’s a quite significant number… Even when I was younger my doctor told my parents that I wasn’t much of a “strong” case, but of course I was still autistic anyways
    So far the sections I scored the most was section A (9/10) and section D (14/17), when I was younger I didn’t had too much comorbities but now it’s getting out of control, beyond the comorbities of the list I also have chronic dermatitis which I struggle with since I was 13 with the same crisis and probably this will never get better, only get controlled
    I’m considering getting an genetic mapping since I’m showing too much comorbities (especially physical) and I discovered that I was conceived when my dad was getting cancer treatment which can worse the genetic quality of the spermatozoa, and I think it was my case bc I have A LOT health issues (including chronic issues) and both my siblings are totally healthy, also my dad’s family medical history is VERY scary, with lots of cancer (he thankfully survived but a lot ppl have died bc of cancer, including my grandpa), neurodegenerative diseases (more than one) and diabetes (my grandpa almost got blind bc of diabetes type 2 and my dad is pre-diabetic)… It’s quite expensive but I think it’s worth to know what I’m going to have or not I guess?

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  22. Hi Samantha. Firstly thank you for your blog. One section I’m 100% others less others not so sure*. There are two things that are very different for me # 1. organic not structure or order is what fascinates me – that is I do collect things and place things but they are set into naturalistic collections and arrangements (as if they were not arranged by a human at all) not rows or colour groupings (with the exception of my colour pencils as a child which i loved to order). I’m afraid to go to see anyone about this (relationship problems, problems making friends, social isolation – i love being alone but i’m stuck) because i don’t want to be told i have bipolar or BPD etc. All the ASD descriptions are suggestive of only a certain way of gaining comfort through patterns and that is inorganic patterns, maths etc but those are not the ones that absorb me. it’s shadow patterns and abstract rock patterns and formations that make me feel calm and hold constant fascination. 2. my primary obsession being that kind of meditation in nature is not something i talk to people about normally because the whole point of it is it happens in silence. but i do go on and on and on about my secondary interests. they are intense but can shift from one thing to another and eventually i will drop something if i let go of my intense need to tell everyone the truth. this is worse when I’m stressed. if i can find that calm place then i will completely empty my mind of everything else (that’s another contradiction with your list – the only way i can be okay is if i don’t have to think all the time) #2. from early age I noticed people didn’t really like me even when they pretended to, so I have resisted groups and kept to the periphery always. I always have had the feeling i’m the odd one. Always found social things especially discomforting (to the point of getting sick when a friend was coming to stay over or when I went to sleep over at someone’s house. i never liked going out with other families. can i say it here. it literally made me throw up. even though i disliked my Mum interfering and trying to match me up with other girls (daughters of family friends) i made the mistake of trying to get my son to be more social by holding a birthday party for him or getting a play date with another boy at school. he hated it too. so i gave it away. he rather talk to adults.

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    1. oh i forgot to mention the other thing re being easily led or deceived, i have reacted in opposition to that and have a problem with resistance. i have been called a “resister” in my art class and later art school… i think this over zealous guardedness is from my mid 20s when i left a fundamentalist cult and was shunned by a whole community and by family members. i left because they weren’t telling the truth or being honest. i read a book called dangerous persuaders which taught me how to notice when people are trying to indoctrinate you. it’s very strange that the education system does not always encourage critical thinking or independent thought. they often tell students what to think and are not willing to expose themselves to counter arguments or alternative narratives. this is something i observe with great unease. it distresses me when people are just accepting what they are being taught when it is unbalanced or even down right wrong! Anyways. don’t get me started 😀 heh

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    2. thank you for sharing. There are certainly ways in which individuals will vary from the list. It’s hard to say, as I’m not a professional mental health therapist, and texting words is limiting. I wish you the best. you might start by checking out some support groups listed at myspectrumsuite.com under autism 🙂

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  23. Such a relief reading Samantha crafts list as I have all the traits to get it in perspective I like who I am but the psychological abuse from people over 40 yrs really took its toll last year leading to near suicide when I lost my comforter (husband) dad friends, terminal sister etc it’s exhausting being a aspie but forever grateful that at last I know I’m not alone thank you.nicola

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