Comments on
Is She Asperger’s Or On The Spectrum? 15 Clues


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According to the CDC, 1 in 59 children are on the autistic spectrum. Researchers used to think that more males than females had Asperger’s/autism. (Autism level 1 is the official diagnosis for Asperger’s these days.) The estimate from 2013 and before had been that there was a 4:1 ratio in men outnumbering women.

28 thoughts on “Is She Asperger’s Or On The Spectrum? 15 Clues

  • April 8, 2020 at 7:41 am

    Please don’t label people with their diagnosis. I spent years being called ‘bipolar’, or mentally ill and I finally have started to change people’s perspective of me. So let’s work on that.

    Reply
    • April 28, 2020 at 2:35 pm

      I do my best to be respectful of my readers, and I’m sorry if you felt my language offended you. Most adults on the spectrum I know, and it’s quite a few, prefer identity first language “autistic people” or “autistics” to “people with autism” because for them the insight, creativity and overall strengths as well as the challenges of autism are central to their identity and not a “mental illness” that they “have.” Hopefully people will know you for your strengths. If you’d like an interesting book, I suggest Neurotribes.

      Reply
  • April 8, 2020 at 11:04 am

    I am frozen in my seat, stunned. I am 72 and for the first time I have found where I ‘fit.’
    I think I feel elatedly freed but strangely also like I’m being smothered…
    I don’t know where to go from here….but thank you, Dr. Eckerd for opening the door.
    With heart pounding,
    Me

    Reply
    • April 28, 2020 at 2:31 pm

      It’s never too late to stop growing, is it? It’s great! If you haven’t read Neuotribes or Spectrum Women, I recommend them. You might look at NeuroClastic.com for articles by Neurodiverse writers, and AANE.org for interesting webinars and resources.

      Reply
      • April 28, 2020 at 8:46 pm

        Thank you for the recommended reading.
        I was happy to see a reply.

        Reply
  • April 8, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    I identify with every line item in this article and have been trying to find a way to get a diagnosis for months now, but at age 55 it seems impossible in Tucson, AZ. I only find resources for children

    Reply
    • April 28, 2020 at 2:25 pm

      AANE.org has wonderful resources itself as well as a resource list of clinicians. You are correct that there’s much more for children. There might be an Autism Alliance of AZ or some other statewide organization.

      Reply
  • April 8, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you for this information. I have wondered about a niece by marriage for a long time. She’s not diagnosed with anything, but has behaviors that are “different”. She always has an obsession. When I first met her it was “Titanic”. Then the movie “Up”. Now it is musicals in general. She doesn’t understand that not everyone shares the same feelings for what she likes. She was not good at math and science subjects in school and made it known how much she hated them. I am not a musicals fan and I like math and science, so I tried to explain to her that I love that movie “Hidden Figures” and she was horrified by how much math it had. I compared it to me not liking musicals. She heard me, but still tells me I have to go see every musical. She also takes selfies of just herself constantly. She also tells the same stories every time I see her. She knows I do listen and I do love her. I am annoyed though. But I know it’s just her way. She also does not like to be patted or rubbed on the back. What do you think? Thanks for your time in looking at this.

    Reply
    • April 28, 2020 at 2:21 pm

      While obviously you are describing many autistic traits, I would never diagnose someone second hand. You don’t mention if your niece has any interest in thinking about whether she has any issues. The best I can do is recommend an old blog I wrote on relationships between neurodiverse and neurotypical people on PsychCentral, and a more recent one on NeuroClastic.com. Both talk about how to understand each other and how to respect differences. Since you seem to be very observant concerning your niece, you might use that knowledge to relate to her successfully, which means respecting her differences and finding ways to set limits that are respectful if you want her to not go on. Something like, “I’m interested in what you’re saying, but I can only take in so much at once. I’ll let you know when I need to take time to process what you said” is respectful but also sets a limit so that you’re less likely to be annoyed.

      Reply
      • April 28, 2020 at 6:42 pm

        Thank you. Great advice for limitations and I will search out the blog and articles. I hope you are safe and well!

        Reply
  • April 8, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Whereas this article has some valuable information concerning autism, the continued references to people with autism, as “Autistics” goes against all acceptable scholarly journal writing when referring to people with disabilities, or in this case people with autism. People first language has been the criteria for years…. please make sure to reference appropriately in your articles.

    Reply
    • April 28, 2020 at 2:07 pm

      I certainly respect your right to have an opinion that differs from mine, and there are many who would agree with you about people first vs. identity first language. A blog isn’t “scholarly writing,” it’s popular media. I am in touch with many autistic people, and most adult autistics I know prefer identity first language. If you’re interested, you might want toread websites of excellent neurodiverse writers such as NeuroClastic.com. My blog is for neurodivergent as well as neurotypical readers, and I try to respect the wishes of my readers. Most have clearly indicated that identity first language respects their experience that autism isn’t something they “have,” but is core to their identity.

      Reply
  • April 8, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    Thank you so much for this. I had doubts about myself before reading this and since my parents are doctors they sometimes overlook their own childrens needs. This is what I need to show them, I have been trying to get them to take me to see a psychiatrist for years but this is real proof thank you.

    Reply
  • April 8, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    I have two grandchildren one is autistic and the other is aspergers. My granddaughter is under investigation for autism too. I had a daughter who had serious mental health issues and a number of times autism was metioned. I have read your excellent article and I have to say that a number of times I have seriously wondered if I am on the autistic spectrum. I did mention it to my doctor who just laughed at me as said what’s it matter at my age, I’m now 64, but I would desperately like to get an assessment for my own peace of mind as it would explain so much of what has happened in my life and for once, I could stop thinking that I am such bad person and that is why I can’t get on with people. Just how would I go on about getting an assessment, it won’t change things but would give me peace of mind once and for all.

    Reply
    • April 28, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      We never stop growing and learning, do we? AANE.org (Asperger and Autism Network) is an excellent resource with webinars, chat groups, online support groups and a resource list of professionals who are much more likely to be knowledgable about women with autism.

      Reply
  • April 9, 2020 at 6:02 am

    Well. Wow. I’ve been finding useful and helpful articles on this site for several years but suddenly, here’s my life story in a single post. Feeling so many things right now. Gratitude to you at the top of the list!

    Reply
  • April 10, 2020 at 5:10 am

    I’m a 45 year old women and i’m closer to years after reading this article.. the foggy chaotic curtain that I love behind shifted for a moment and it felt as if you were calling or to me by name.. the hidden me.. Whomever she is 🤫. The one behind the layers of masks, masks ive worn for so many years I struggle daily to identify my authentic self. I’ve been given so many DSM5 diagnosis that social security denied me because they thought the psychiatrist were being to contradictory! I had this life altering epiphany 2 years ago after reading an article about aspie women.. that’s when I RECOGNIZED MY mother as ASD as swell as my 21 year old daughter.. Oh the sense of really I felt at FINALLY BEING ABLE TO IDENTIFY with a diagnosis.. it was short lived I cannot get another to help me!!! Or anyone to listen, I’ve amen then to test myself and my mother got they look at new and have labeled me as a hypochondriac in my medical records!! If they would ONLY REALIZE THAT THESE ARE ALL MANY OF US out here.. And it’s lonely, and it hurts to be ignored or KNOW HOW TO ALL FOR HELP only to have them not help you BECAUSE YOU KNOW HOW TO ASK FOR HELP!! AGAIN thank you if was so very nice to see this and to think that my daughter WON’T have to go through all these years of hiding and wondering what’s wrong with her..I won’t give up UNTIL we have answers! Thanks
    Heather 🙏💞

    Reply
  • April 12, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    An absolutely articulate and beautifully
    Written piece. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  • April 14, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    This describes me to a “T”. I have not been diagnosed and have had a lot of trouble getting diagnosed and don’t know how to begin.

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  • April 21, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Thank you for this. Now how to go about getting a proper diagnosis from someone that actually knows what to look for in adult women?

    Reply
    • April 28, 2020 at 1:59 pm

      I also wrote an article for mental health professionals in a peer reviewed journal on this subject. When you look for a professional, I would look for someone who seems to have some knowledge of autism, and ask their thoughts about neurodiversity. If they don’t know what that is, it’s not a good sign. AANE.org has a resource list of professionals in most states.

      Reply
    • April 28, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      AANE.org has an excellent list of resources and is an amazing resource itself.

      Reply
  • April 29, 2020 at 7:01 am

    I really enjoyed reading this and wish I had had that list of traits to show my colleagues when I was teaching full time.I always said girls are just undiagnosed. One of the things I found in school is that boys get a diagnosis more quickly as when they are frustrated they often become angry and violent and schools always need to address this quickly whereas girls often [ but not always} tend to cry when they are angry or frustrated and schools either call them over emotional or try to sooth them by kind soft words or conversation and of course this sort of behaviour does not have an immediate effect on the school or other pupils. I still do a little supply so will point people in the direction of your article if I come across the need. Also some boys can also cry rather than get angry and also have the traits/strategies you listed and can be missed too. Excuse my basic explanations I don’t have any psychology background just 23 years of teaching experience. Great article thank you.

    Reply
    • May 19, 2020 at 4:12 pm

      Thank you! My purpose is especially to help school and mental health professionals understand and best help these girls. Not everyone is as insightful as you are.

      Reply
  • July 22, 2020 at 10:23 am

    It rings very true with me. I was diagnosed after issues at work. Autism/Asperger’s fitted behind lots. My blog site discusses autism.

    Reply
  • July 28, 2020 at 4:31 am

    I’m crying. I- This is about me. I never even considered the possibility… All those psych classes in college, all those therapy sessions when my marriage was failing… The best I ever got was that I am probably depressed but since that didn’t explain everything… I always just figured I was different, that’s it. I’m an intelligent, educated, thirty-five year old woman who can’t get or keep a steady job. Until tonight, I just figured I’m a failure.

    But you’re saying there’s a reason. Every single word in this article… Some to greater or lesser extents, but… This is literally an article about me.

    I read the other comments and replies. AANE.org you say? I’m on it.

    Thank you. I wish I could be more coherent. I hope you understand that I have hope for the first time in a very long time thanks to this article. Thank you.

    Reply
    • August 31, 2020 at 3:23 pm

      I’m so glad that this has been helpful; it was my purpose and hope in writing it.

      Reply
 

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