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Social Behavior -add, Aspergers Etc.

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I was reading this and it struck a raw nerve....amongst others...

Before going CF, my companion was prone to making socially inappropriate statements, loudly, in public.

Not wanting to hijack the thread I thought this might be a good subject for us to share.

Not just this, this was that struck me along with the rest of the physcholgist thread.

Someone on this board very nicely pointed me towards looking into Aspergers (thanks) bit Im interested what we all share, what is common, what is related and what might be.

Like quite a few people I find what WE call brain fog the worst part of the disease ... D I can cope with, its not nice but its an inconvenience.

However what I notice with glutening is I become a recluse, i loath social interaction even with friends and family I just want to be alone (as Greta Garbo famously said) ...

I find myself reacting to unwanted attention by being highly inappropraite although this usally manifests itself in being rather too honest. I have said stupid things like answer my boss honestly when what was needed was a diplomatic answer. In personal relationships i have cut myself off completely unable or unwilling to share what is worrying me .. I frequently make unassociated mental links that leave people asking "what's he on" and I get irritated beyond what is rational with anyone that interferes with my solitude or interupts my private little world.

I thought perhaps we could share these in a thread, perhaps find a commonality .. so here we go.

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Thank you for starting this thread.

I can relate with some of what you said, definitely. When I get glutened, or have a real bad reaction to another food, sometimes I do all I can to stay away from anyone/everyone...I can't even stand myself!! If I stop eating all food it takes a lot less time for the symptoms to pass...sometimes 8-12 hrs. Other times it's not so bad but is a mood damper.

I agree totally on the brain fog too. Since I'm only very recently gluten free I have clear vivid memories of foggy experiences....uh, if that makes sense.

What kind of link does aspergers have with it?

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However what I notice with glutening is I become a recluse, i loath social interaction even with friends and family I just want to be alone (as Greta Garbo famously said) ...

In personal relationships i have cut myself off completely unable or unwilling to share what is worrying me .. I frequently make unassociated mental links that leave people asking "what's he on" and I get irritated beyond what is rational with anyone that interferes with my solitude or interupts my private little world.

gfp--Thank you for starting this thread! I will be most interested to hear other's stories. I highlighted the parts of your post that describe what I feel to a T. I have relationships that have suffered or ended because of my "need to be alone". This "need" had nothing to do with how I felt about the person(s), but it over-rode my feelings. When I was sick and didn't know why, I would feel most comfortable alone--and since that went on for many years, normal social interactions went by the wayside as time went on. I also get irritated (perfect word) when someone interferes with my "comfortable place". I don't get outwardly angry, though, just internalize it all. (My upbringing, I'm sure--hold it in, don't make waves...)

Now that I'm feeling better some of the time, I have flashes of what it was like to actually look forward to social occasions. I'm going "home" this weekend for the first time in 2 years for my parent's anniversary party. I'm nervous, but am determined to go--I will be bringing all of my own food, so I feel I'll have control over that part. I'm perfectly comfortable around my husband and sons, but outside of them, I still have problems. I also find that the anticipation is a lot of times worse than the event--I keep telling myself that this week!

Thanks again for bringing this up--how'd you get to be so smart, anyway :D

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Thanks for sharing the info gfp. I am the same on gluten, but it never occurred to me to link it directly with gluten. I thought maybe I just felt so crappy I didn't want to see anyone, but since that's not true of other times I feel crappy...

A curious world we find ourselves in

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Well, I have Asperger Syndrome. And even on the gluten-free diet (and cutting out everything else I am intolerant to) I am not much different. I am getting more autistic as I am getting older, gluten-free diet or not. I can't even stand having my family around at times. I need a lot of alone times, or I get very depressed and stop functioning. My preferred mode of communication is by computer, over the Internet.

But I find social situations somewhat easier at times, now that I am not feeling so sick any more.

If I was allowed to, I would become a total recluse, I am sure, and the celiac disease has nothing to do with it. Mind you, I value my friends, and force myself to call them to stay in contact. I never had any friends for most of my life, and would be very upset to lose the ones I have now. So, I make the effort, even if I often don't feel like it.

I am completely honest and blunt, and don't know how to be diplomatic. I try, but simply can't seem to understand why people get upset. It's frustrating at times. But my friends understand that I don't mean to be rude and love me anyway, and make allowances for me, because they know I don't purposely hurt them. When I find out I did, I end up being more upset about it than they are!

AS is genetic, and I inherited it, just like TS and celiac disease. My dad obviously had AS (and he DID turn into a total hermit at the end of his life), and my mom had all the symptoms of celiac disease and had tics (and I believe she had TS). Of my six brothers and my sister, I am certain that at least three of my brothers have AS (possibly four), my sister is obviously autistic (with normal intelligence, but is on a maturity level of probably a ten-year-old), and at least one brother and my sister probably have TS as well. Plus, many of my siblings show signs of celiac disease (but most are in denial and won't get tested).

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A good thread! My daughter has Aspergers and it is always helpful to hear from adults with it because sometimes my daughter cannot articulate what her world is like. Her social skills and abilities to deal with diffculties improved noticably on the gluten-free diet. She still prefers to work alone rather than in a group because - in her words "the other kids talk too much". The other kids are doing what "normal kids do - chatting with friends about anything and everything - my daughter doesnt undersatnd why they would do that during class time. She does not have any close friends her age at the moment - she is delayed with social skills so she relates to younger kids. her definition of a friend is "someone who is nice to me" (as in doesnt tease her).

It has been found that a person with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is more likely to have celiac / gluten intolerance.

AS was explained to the rest of her class as - someone missing the sixth sense (the social sense). The other five senses were described and if someone cannot see they are blind, can't hear they are deaf, etc. The social sense is missing or impaired in a person with ASD - they are missing links/hardwiring that allow a person to read body language and subtle cues that we all rely on to know when to enter a conversation, what to say etc. Conversation that you or I take for granted - can be stressful for a person with ASD.

If someone is a celiac (or hasnt been diagnosed yet) and ingests gluten then it impacts brain function (brain fog as described by some) - so it makes sense that the social sense is impaired too. On top of that, feeling physically ill makes anyone want to just be alone.

a link I posted on another reply talks about AS and gluten:

http://www.gluten free.com/autism.htm

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What kind of link does aspergers have with it?

Well I was waiting for an expert to answer... thanks Ursula.

Someone suggested I may have borderline Aspergers ... and the symptoms do sound correct... I don't know much about it other than that except as Ursula says its genetic.

I wonder about a link between Aspergers, celiac disease and other things like ADD ....is it common genetics perhaps?

I was a very troubling kid.... very much as desribed by many of the mothers here when their kids are glutned or caseined. I turned out to be dyslexic although I think that was partly the school I went to with their stupid ITA phoenetic system pushing me over the edge.

Is it possible to for instance be slightly Aspergers? Can glutening push someone across the edge if such an edge exists or is it on/off?

I am completely honest and blunt, and don't know how to be diplomatic. I try, but simply can't seem to understand why people get upset. It's frustrating at times.

I can relate to this but obviously not to the same extent.

I have some very fixed ideas that do upset people that just wait to be triggered .... for instance I have a very definate idea of lying. I consider telling a kid santa exists a lie and however hard I try I can't see how anyone could consider it differently. I know people do but I can't see how?

I get the same response if someone challenges what I say... I will be completely outraged.... and will do things can involve proving this even if the person was just joking.

how'd you get to be so smart, anyway

Well I have a whole load of school reports say Im not.... and a whole load of others that say I am. I spent most of school in the class with people with learning difficulties. I started the 1st yr of high school in the top set of 9 based on exam results and then the rest of the time in the bottom set of 9 then took 6 weeks off school at the end and studied for the exams which in the UK were 'O' levels and got straight 'A''s even in two subjects I hadn't actually taken.

You would think this would be enough to change anyone but nope.... I blundered through my 'A' levels (pre-uni) with total disinterest and barely managed not to be thrown out through non attendance and poor performance and then managed straight A's again?? .. and the same through my first degree?? except I ended up with a 2.1 not a first based on coursework. All my final exams were in the high 90's but I had simply not actually done much of the coursework. I also chose the subjects with a strong math base since there were easier to ace in exams... however much the professor hates you its right or wrong and mostly they hated me largely due to my complete lack of diplomacy but also for my ability to see the answer to math problems.

I mention this partly because of a couple of people who have pm'd me who also alternated between profoundly stupid and genius. It wasn't that I hated the subjects at school, I just had problems to be focused, I didn't deliberalty screw my exams at the end of my first year... I just couldn't see the point and couldn't be bothered to actually make any effort.

I also left out a lot since people will have problems beleiving it and I don't want to be in the position of getting really pissed with them .. which is what I do all the time... someone asks my opinion and I'm unable to judge whether to give it or how the will react so mostly I don't give opinion unless its backed up by fact and fact I can prove.

Someone asked me in a pm the otherday where I had worked and I went and scanned my old passports and residency cards in case they didn't believe me .. i know some of them are far out and lots of people don't beleive so I went and scanned them... why???? I dunno.... because I wouldn't have been able to let it drop.

Anyway, Im as confused as everyone over this.... people see the world differently to me anyway but when I'm glutened i think Im on a completely different planet.

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I found this on a link from an Asperger site. I havent read the book, but I too feel like shadow of my daughter sometimes, I understand her better than anyone else, I hate crowds, make social mistakes, hve only 1 close friend. I hate even good natured teasing cause to me it just seems mean even though everyone else seems to think its funny - I sometimes "dont get it". I also prefer to work alone and have no clue how anyone can talk on the phone for more than 15 minutes.

copied from another site:

I have read a book called "Shadow Syndromes - The Mild Forms of Major Mental Disorders That Sabotage Us" written by John Ratey and Catherine Johnson. It is all about a spectrums. They say there is shadow depression, shaddow imenent rage disorder, shadow adhd, shadow autism, shadow manic-depression, and shadow OCD. Shadows are basically sublinical levels of any of these 'mental disorders' (or biological diversity brought by human evolution?). That means you actually have this biological difference, but not to the degree present diagnostic criteria would label you that way because they rely on statistics to sperate 'normal' and 'not normal'.

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This is fascinating! I am definitely a solitude-lover; I actually enjoy social interactions & I think I'm fairly sensitive to people's feelings, but I REALLY NEED time to myself. Part of it is that I'm an artist & the creativity only happens when I'm alone in my studio. But part of it just seems to have to do with energy-- being with people, even if I love them, gives me an experience sort of like a sugar buzz-- big jump in energy followed by a hard crash.

The one thing I have that nearly approaches social phobia-- I DETEST the telephone. E-mail was a professional lifesaver for me. Dealing with clients was so hard in the pre e-mail days.

My son said just yesterday that he is afraid of his ring tone-- I know just how he feels. I cannot talk on the phone without pacing like a caged tiger the whole time, & I tend to giggle manically even when things aren't funny-- it's just bizarre.

Shadow Aspergers.... hm, maybe! Or maybe shadow manic-depressive... or ocd... or all of the above... but more or less functional, somehow.

Leah

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I was reading this and it struck a raw nerve....amongst others...

Not wanting to hijack the thread I thought this might be a good subject for us to share.

Not just this, this was that struck me along with the rest of the physcholgist thread.

Someone on this board very nicely pointed me towards looking into Aspergers (thanks) bit Im interested what we all share, what is common, what is related and what might be.

Like quite a few people I find what WE call brain fog the worst part of the disease ... D I can cope with, its not nice but its an inconvenience.

However what I notice with glutening is I become a recluse, i loath social interaction even with friends and family I just want to be alone (as Greta Garbo famously said) ...

I find myself reacting to unwanted attention by being highly inappropraite although this usally manifests itself in being rather too honest. I have said stupid things like answer my boss honestly when what was needed was a diplomatic answer. In personal relationships i have cut myself off completely unable or unwilling to share what is worrying me .. I frequently make unassociated mental links that leave people asking "what's he on" and I get irritated beyond what is rational with anyone that interferes with my solitude or interupts my private little world.

I thought perhaps we could share these in a thread, perhaps find a commonality .. so here we go.

All I want is to be alone most of the time. I always chalked it up to depression or just a weird family trait. Several of my other family members are that way too. I don't WANT to be antisocial. It's just how I feel. On the outside looking in. It will be really interesting if that ends up being because of celiac.

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I was reading this and it struck a raw nerve....amongst others...

Not wanting to hijack the thread I thought this might be a good subject for us to share.

Not just this, this was that struck me along with the rest of the physcholgist thread.

Someone on this board very nicely pointed me towards looking into Aspergers (thanks) bit Im interested what we all share, what is common, what is related and what might be.

Like quite a few people I find what WE call brain fog the worst part of the disease ... D I can cope with, its not nice but its an inconvenience.

However what I notice with glutening is I become a recluse, i loath social interaction even with friends and family I just want to be alone (as Greta Garbo famously said) ...

I find myself reacting to unwanted attention by being highly inappropraite although this usally manifests itself in being rather too honest. I have said stupid things like answer my boss honestly when what was needed was a diplomatic answer. In personal relationships i have cut myself off completely unable or unwilling to share what is worrying me .. I frequently make unassociated mental links that leave people asking "what's he on" and I get irritated beyond what is rational with anyone that interferes with my solitude or interupts my private little world.

i feel the same way, it has been like that for me today and the last couple of days, ive been rude, foul mouthed, shouting and just wanting to start a row, i tend to flip from wanting to be alone to wanting to be around others just to have a pop at someone, i can cope with D its the C i find difficult cos thats when the emotional rollercoaster starts for me, :ph34r:

I thought perhaps we could share these in a thread, perhaps find a commonality .. so here we go.

Well, I have Asperger Syndrome. And even on the gluten-free diet (and cutting out everything else I am intolerant to) I am not much different. I am getting more autistic as I am getting older, gluten-free diet or not. I can't even stand having my family around at times. I need a lot of alone times, or I get very depressed and stop functioning. My preferred mode of communication is by computer, over the Internet.

But I find social situations somewhat easier at times, now that I am not feeling so sick any more.

If I was allowed to, I would become a total recluse, I am sure, and the celiac disease has nothing to do with it. Mind you, I value my friends, and force myself to call them to stay in contact. I never had any friends for most of my life, and would be very upset to lose the ones I have now. So, I make the effort, even if I often don't feel like it.

I am completely honest and blunt, and don't know how to be diplomatic. I try, but simply can't seem to understand why people get upset. It's frustrating at times. But my friends understand that I don't mean to be rude and love me anyway, and make allowances for me, because they know I don't purposely hurt them. When I find out I did, I end up being more upset about it than they are!

AS is genetic, and I inherited it, just like TS and celiac disease. My dad obviously had AS (and he DID turn into a total hermit at the end of his life), and my mom had all the symptoms of celiac disease and had tics (and I believe she had TS). Of my six brothers and my sister, I am certain that at least three of my brothers have AS (possibly four), my sister is obviously autistic (with normal intelligence, but is on a maturity level of probably a ten-year-old), and at least one brother and my sister probably have TS as well. Plus, many of my siblings show signs of celiac disease (but most are in denial and won't get tested).

ursula are the symptoms i described in my thread " upset " anything like AS ? you seem to be the person to ask this, i think they are related to being glutend tho.

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Is it possible to for instance be slightly Aspergers?

Yes, as with all 'syndromes' there are degrees to it. And not all the 'symptoms' have to fit, either. With me, probably 97% of the possible AS symptoms fit. You may have less, I don't know. But you sound a lot more than just borderline Aspergers. You sound pretty typical, in fact!

I agree with the lying. I've never been able to do it, I am not capable of being dishonest. None of my kids believed in Santa, because it is a lie, and that's that. I remember how upset I was when I found out that my parents had lied to me all those years, and didn't really believe the truth until I was nearly ten. It was just inconceivable to me that parents would purposely lie to their kids like that, and think it was a good thing to do!

Being dyslexic (or having dyscalculia, as is the case with me) is actually quite common with AS. I am quite unable to understand more complex math, but I am gifted with languages instead. Mind you, I was not capable of learning to read with the whole word method, and learned to read at the age of eight, when a teacher taught me phonics. That was logical and made sense, and a 'lightbulb' went on in my head, and I was off to a 'running start' and excelled in anything related to language from that day on.

If somebody claims I am wrong with something, I also 'have' to prove I am right (and often I am and can prove it), which makes people angry. But I am willing to admit I was wrong, if I am proven wrong.

One thing that has improved an awful lot on the gluten-free diet is, that I have stopped having rage attacks. I have never hurt anybody but myself when having those, though. I would cut myself, or punch the wall. A couple of years ago I cracked a bone in my arm when my husband made me so angry that I hit my arm against the edge of a wall opening (with the intent of breaking my arm, to punish myself for being who I am). Not long after that I put a hole in another wall with my elbow.

I don't do those things any more. Sometimes I am still tempted (my husband still drives me out of my mind), but it is nothing like that 'out of my mind' red hot rage. I really believe that gluten made me like that.

blanchemae, it may be a family trait! Because AS runs in families. And it has been shown that when two Aspies marry, their chances of having a profoundly autistic kids multiply in comparison to the general population. Because then the autistic genes come from both sides.

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If this makes sense then I think I understand....

If somebody claims I am wrong with something, I also 'have' to prove I am right (and often I am and can prove it),
Why else would you say it? From my point oif view I wouldn't have said anything unless I was both pretty sure I was correct and able to prove it. If I think something i say I think, If I believe something I say believe... If I say I know something then its usually correct, otherwise I wouldn't say so.

which makes people angry.

I think its because you are nearly always right... I don't think people really understand that you wouldn't have said anything unless you were sure....

But I am willing to admit I was wrong, if I am proven wrong.
I'd rather be proven wrong.... if someone contradicts then I can't just back down if I believe something to be true and if someone contradicts and can't prove it then that really winds me up.... so I'd rather be proven wrong...

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I can't STAND the phone. I hate calling about anything. Thank GOD for the internet and email.

I also have a thing where I hate even going to get the mail. I always look to make sure none of my neighbors are out there before I go. It's not that I can't say Hi. It's just that if I say hi, and they say hi, then what are you supposed to say next? I don't want to look like an idiot.

Once I went gluten free, I realized that a lot of this comes from being brain-fogged all the time, and not knowing if I'll be able to respond appropriately, if at all, to something someone might say that I don't have a quick answer to. When I get stressed, my mind goes blank.

A lot of the not wanting to talk to my neighbors has to do with my parents (both painfully shy) making me "go out and make friends" whenever we moved to a new place. (My dad was in the military.) My mom would tell me that I had to go outside and I'd pretty much be sitting outside like an idiot, feeling exposed and helpless. Ugh. Half the time, there weren't even any kids outside at the time.

I'm fine talking to people I know well, and fine once I leave my neighborhood interacting in stores, etc. It's just the times when there could be a potential friendship, like with neighbors, I get all wound up about it.

There has been a huge difference in going gluten-free. I don't get upset about it. I just accept myself as being on the shy side.

I also really NEED alone time. My daughter is the happiest, chattiest, energetic, loving child in the world, but she's also loud and kind of on me constantly. She gets within two inches of my son's face when she talks to him. It drives both of us nuts. My husband is the same way, except just with talking. He just talks and talks, and talks and talks, and talks and talks. Between the two of them, I can't get a minute's peace. My son is just like me, and is quiet and contemplative. Sometimes when my son wakes up in the morning, he just cries at the first sight of his sister, who is just so excited to see him and wants to play right away. I've been able to explain to her recently that Mikey just needs a little while to wake up before he's ready to play. But basically, she's up and singing, talking, playing way before I get up, then that's all day long. They go to bed at 8, and then my husband starts talking at me until we go to bed. ACK!!!

I recently read a book called Raising Your Spirited Child. http://www.amazon .com/gp/product/006092328...3299961?ie=UTF8

I swear that answered so many questions I had about just PEOPLE. Not kids. It said that some people's batteries are recharged by solitude, and some need interaction to be recharged. If I don't get some solitude, I get really exhausted and irritable. My daughter on the other hand, in order to be at her happiest, needs some attention and interaction. If she doesn't get it, she gets cranky and irritable. My husband is just like my daughter, my son is just like me. My dad was like me, my mom like my daughter, my MIL like my daughter, my FIL like me. It really reaches into every aspect of my friends and family.

For the longest time, we were all running on half-charged batteries. I'd get my daughter and son up at the same time. My daughter would be at my son and I immediately (needing to charge her batteries). My son would just cry. I'd turn on the TV to whatever it was she wanted. And I'd spend the rest of the day just letting her watch whatever it was so that she'd back off.

Now that I kind of get how we all work, I sneak downstairs (bad mommy!) and take about a half hour to read my email, visit a few websites and come on here before I get her up. Then I get her up, spend some time talking to her, and asking her about things. I get Mikey up after he has been awake for about half an hour too. Then he's fully awake and ready to play with his sister. It really helps all of us to have a much nicer day.

Nancy

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I used to have a very difficult time in social situations. The brain fog made it impossible for me to concentrate and I would make a total idiot out of myself every single time. It didn't take long and I avoided every social situation. Now I can handle myself quite well in any social situation but get very fatigued if I do too many of them. I am not shy but I am certainly not outgoing. I still need a lot of time alone to get recharged.

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Nancy and Ian, you are probably just 'inwards', which is a perfectly 'normal' way of being. My son is definitely an inward, and he needs quiet time to function. He absolutely doesn't have Asperger syndrome, he really enjoys being around people, but not all the time. He recharges by being alone and having peace and quiet. In fact, he is our youth pastor for our church, and the teenagers hang out at his house all the time, and he loves that (while it would drive me crazy, to have my 'space' invaded by strangers all the time, I would stop being able to function after a week of that!).

My husband and two of my daughters recharge by being with people, the bigger the crowd, the better, ugh! Parties are where they thrive, while I need weeks to recover from a party.

My need to be alone is not your normal alone recharging time. I would rather be alone ALL of the time, just my computer and me. If I wouldn't see another human for a few weeks, I wouldn't miss them at all. I'd probably want somebody else to talk to eventually, but doing that by e-mail would likely be enough. As you can see, I am at the very extreme end of 'inward'.

I also don't miss people. When my kids moved out, I didn't miss them. I would call them at times to see how they were doing, but I can't understand what people say when they are talking about missing somebody. That emotion is foreign to me. I have to remind myself that I need to call my kids or friends every once in a while so they don't think I don't care. It isn't that I don't care about them, but I simply don't miss them at all.

Taz, I didn't see your question earlier, I didn't mean to ignore you. And no, I don't believe it is like you described in your other thread. It is not like a brain fog, the way I am is just normal for me. Now I have been in a terrible fog at times, being quite removed from reality and possible on the verge of staying in that unreal world and ignoring reality, as a result of abuse and terrible upsets. Like going so far inside myself that there would have been a real danger that I wouldn't be able to come back from that place and being completely autistic. I don't know where I found the strength each time (once at the age of eight, and once when 15, and another time just within this past year) to come back to reality, but I did. But I don't think that had anything to do with gluten, either.

I know I've had brain fog many times from being glutened. It's totally different, more like being completely scatterbrained and forgetting things, and just acting stupid.

This is so interesting. How can I forward this entire thread to someone else not on the site.??

Lisa

Lisa, you could just go to the first page of this thread, copy the url in your address bar and paste it into an e-mail. Then the person you send the e-mail to can just click on the link and get straight to this thread.

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I'm so glad there are others like me. In reading this thread you are all discribing me. I don't know anything about Aspergers but I'm going to look into it.

I was always painfully shy as a child. People would always comment that I never talked. I think alot of times I would just say something to say something. It never came easy. I'd return from a social event rehashing everything that was said and want to crawl into a hole. But my personality is I'm very quiet, observant, reflective and it takes awhile before I open up to people. More time then people are willing to give.

My husband is just the opposite. In fact I attract people who like to talk because they enjoy doing all the talking. lol

Its still hard to do social anything even going to church and like others have mentioned talking on the phone. I come from a big family and I even hate get togethers because everyone teases so much in my family and I don't want to do that. I usually do alot of the cooking and keep busy.

My husband says its just a matter of learning to ask questions of people and keep a conversation rolling like tossing a ball back and forth. For me though my mind would go blank and I would have horrible recall and some of that has improved so much going gluten free. So I'm sure there is a relationship there I never knew about between how I was feeling from the gluten etc.

So anyway I still like being home with my two dogs, I enjoy my kids, my husband and I enjoy internet relationships since they arent as demanding. I'm working on accepting who I am. I'm not like my husband.

I'm me.

gail

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I swear that answered so many questions I had about just PEOPLE. Not kids. It said that some people's batteries are recharged by solitude, and some need interaction to be recharged. If I don't get some solitude, I get really exhausted and irritable. My daughter on the other hand, in order to be at her happiest, needs some attention and interaction. If she doesn't get it, she gets cranky and irritable. My husband is just like my daughter, my son is just like me. My dad was like me, my mom like my daughter, my MIL like my daughter, my FIL like me. It really reaches into every aspect of my friends and family.

Nancy

I think it's fascinating that in each couple you list, there is one inward type & one outward. In my marriage too, my husband is the outgoing one. And his mom is outgoing, his dad very introverted. It's almost as if we seek each other out! And then we spend the rest of our lives not really getting each other... hmmm. Must be something in us that drives us to complete our genetics with opposing traits... seeking more balanced offspring? In my case I have twins (fraternal)-- one introvert & one extravert! I guess that's balanced in a way!

Good for you, Nancy, for figuring out what you & your children need to be happy. When my kids were young I would get up before dawn for the few minutes of solitude to fortify me for the day... now they sleep so late that it isn't an issue! (That's when they're home from college.)

Leah

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Thanks, I'll try.. Good night, sleep well. Lisa

Shadow Aspergers, fits my oldest to a tee. But, I think at 25, she doen't need to have a label. She is a college graduate, in Bio-Chem. and loves what she does in the lab that she works in full time....testing pharm. before FDA approval.

She struggles to have a converstion in social settings, but she can beat you ass in jeopardy every night., and I mean EVERY night., Really pisses off her dad, who used to beat her in high school.

Digressing. Good night all.

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This thread is wonderful and has answered many questions regarding my "{moods" that I've had in past months. I'm glad that I'm not alone. I feel the need to just be left alone so much and struggle with trying to suppress it in order to make my family happy but in the end I'm just miserable. I've found since going gluten free that when glutened, I am a completely different person. I've lived this "other" person my whole life and am just beginning to see the real me. I always had a diffucult time living in the moment and truly appreciating small things. I was always obsessing about unimportant details in an attempt to gain control of my life.

I always thought that my need for solitude, my moods, my depression was just that - depression. I now know that I am not the "shy" person I always thought I was. When glutened, I am so critical of myself that I can barely interact with others for fear of their ridicule, talking about me behind my back etc...paranoia! I even go so far as to not say hi to people who I recognize because I think that they won't remember or don't like me. I'm recognizing this in myself now and when glutened and when it happens, I tell myself it's just the gluten but it's hard to live through. I hang on, hang on and then in about 12-18 hours of being glutened, it goes away and I'm me again. My body just sighs relief...I really do agree with most that say the brain fog and neurological symptoms are the least tolerable of symptoms. Why does this happen? Is it a matter of vitamin deficiency, villi damage, toxic sludge flowing through my veins...what? I would love to hear your feelings on this!

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Shadow Aspergers, fits my oldest to a tee. But, I think at 25, she doen't need to have a label. She is a college graduate, in Bio-Chem. and loves what she does in the lab that she works in full time....testing pharm. before FDA approval.

I think the label isnt so important as having a guide to understanding the person with AS or shadow forms of it. If someone reading this has or knows someone who acts like a -person with AS, then understanding what the disorder is, can give a sense of belonging. I dont know if I am making sense, Ursula can set me straight if I have got the right idea..

I wrote this a while back and this was one part that was included in a published article for Autism Spectrum Quarterly:

Sometimes the doctors thought they knew what was wrong... but the diagnosis didn't truly fit all the symptoms I saw in my child.. .. then years of tests, examinations and observations cometogether and someone says .. I think your child has an autistic spectrum disorder... YES!!.. I say as I read and research this disorder called Aspergers... I weep as I read and see my child on every page, every description. Finally after all these years, as her mother I feel that I can get to know my own child!! Imagine the joy!!!! I tell as many people as will listen - some think it strange that a mother would be so happy about a diagnosis of an autistic disorder; they do not understand that the diagnosis has opened the curtains to my daughters world. It was a relief to find out that I wasn't overprotective, or an ineffective parent - there WAS something wrong!

Some friends and family are curious and want to know.. What caused it?... How do you fix it?

It doesn't matter what caused it or what name they gave it, she has it, she was born with it, and the disorder doesn't define who she is; but it does provide a guide to help understand her world.

Things I have discovered about life with Aspergers in our family:

Movie theaters are only for the sensory intact child. Ear plugs help, but waiting until the movie comes out on video is better. (she has auditory processing difficulties and loud noises cause her to cover her ears and wince)

Big birthday parties are not fun. (we do family birthdays)

We live in the twilight zone some days - there is a place she goes in her head and I have to remind her what to do : Honey, you need to eat.... as she sits staring into space, she replies: Oh yeah, (giggle), thanks mom

I can still joke and tease my child - if I tell her what I am going to do.... I know it loses the point of the joke, but it saves on tears.

I have to plan spontaneous trips. (she has difficulty with transitions, it is much better than it used to be though)

Competitive sports are a source of stress. My daughter asked the question "why dont they give everybody a ball so we won't have to fight over it?"

Good friends with squishy hugs are worth a month of antidepressants.

I like sticky tack. I have lists all over my house and it saves on holes in the walls.

A well matched and educated aide or "para" brings joy and peace.

I get excited when my daughter tries to mislead me - deception takes a lot of work when you have Aspergers! She tells me right away "I'm just kidding...did. I do that right?"

I have to be specific, e.g. : Look both ways before you cross the street AND do not cross if there are cars. I didnt give the last half of directions the first time, and there was a car coming - she went out into the street.....I grabbed her back but it clarified what life with an Aspergers child would be like.

I prefer digital clocks for teaching time. I still dont think she will ever understand the concept of time.

I believe her when she is sick - she does not fake illness.

To hear "I love you" or receive a hug from her is a thrill every time!!!

This last part about hugs - we waited several years for a hug from our daughter, the kind of hug that is not stilted or obligatory - but a real squishy warm embrace. I was emotional for days afterward.

The transition began one night as I tucked her into bed and said I love you, and although I wanted to hug her, I had gotten used to a distance as she usually resisted my embrace. She was 4 years old and she asked me in an annoyed way "WHY do you keep saying that! I know that already because you tell me every night!!" I gently explained that mommies and daddies like to say I love you all the time to their kids because they are so happy to have them as a wonderful part of the family. I told her how it makes me feel happy inside to say it to her, and that hugs are also another way to say I love you or to help you not feel sad. The next night she awkwardly

returned my embrace and said "I love you too" in a shy voice, almost uncertain if she was doing it right. I wept for joy and realized that I had been aching to hear the words for so long. She was not diagnosed Aspergers at that time, but I recognized just how much of this world was unknown to her - how much I would have to explain. It took time, but she began to give hugs and accept hugs as long as I asked her: "Can I give you a hug?" Now, I can sometimes

spontaneously give her a hug - no questions asked!

Sorry this is so long, my daughter has taught me more in the last 10 years than I learned the first 3 decades of my life. Without Aspergers in our family, I know I wouldnt be the same person that I am today. She taught me how to sit still and watch the butterflies, how to slow down and embrace life. She allowed me into her world.

My only hope is that this will help others understand and accept the unique beings we all are - and that you should not pity my child because she is alone so much. She likes it that way, she is less stressed, and she is happy.

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If I can just comment back on topics .... would it be an idea for others to do the same?

I think Im just looking for some commonality here? We seem to have struck a thread!

Movie theaters are only for the sensory intact child. Ear plugs help, but waiting until the movie comes out on video is better.

OK definately not me.... Im fine once the lights are out and noone can see me ... OK I get irrationaly irritated by people talking, moving etc. but overall I still enjoy the movies.

Big birthday parties are not fun.

I would do anything to avoid my own birthday party ... I can face most small parties or social get togethers with the right people but being the centre of attention at my own birthday party is pretty much a nightmare...

I have absolutely no idea what to say to people who wish me a happy birthday ...

Imnot very good at dates anyway, I rarely know what weekday it is let alone when its my birthday and it nearly always soeone else reminds me... when I have been really alone its usually a phone call from my parents or the cards that arrive. When I moved to my present appartment I had 4 years of unopened birthday and XMAS cards. I hate XMAS almost as much... probably more so because of the whole build-up.

We live in the twilight zone some days - there is a place she goes in her head and I have to remind her what to do : Honey, you need to eat.... as she sits staring into space, she replies: Oh yeah, (giggle), thanks mom

I can still joke and tease my child - if I tell her what I am going to do.... I know it loses the point of the joke, but it saves on tears.

I sometimes forget to eat completely but this is definately post gluten ... perhaps it a combination of the two for me.

I have to plan spontaneous trips.

Do you mean no planning? I just can't handle planning trips... It makes me feel tied down like being in prison or something. I can book flights in advance but that's about it, I don't want a hotel or itinery at all.

My girlfriend is the oipposite, she wants to plan everything... she gets tremendously excited about it so I go along but it really makes me feel trapped.

Competitive sports are a source of stress. My daughter asked the question "why dont they give everybody a ball so we won't have to fight over it?"

I hate all team sports, even ones I am actually very good at like rugby. The whole team thing I just don't get... its like everyone else is sharing a private joke and I just don't get it.

I find groups of people like this very very scary. I find the whole guys watching soccer on TV or in a bar really really really bad. I haven't left the house other than groceries since the world cup started.

I am usually fine in a bar where people have quiet conversations and can quite happily sit around a group and enjoy the company in a distracted sort of way but soccer crowds really really scare me. I find the whole group mentality of whatever it is they are sharing akin to barbaric...

Even sat at home watching videos its impossible to escape right now... everytime someone scores you can hear it all around from bars, nearby appartments and people tooting their horn... and I have to actually exert a concious effort not to actually go outside and start hitting people... I worry Im going to flip and just go outside and pick a group of guys who are shouting and making noise and just start hitting them .. every single roar and shout ....

I have never understood this at all.... I am usually not violent to other people, mainly myself but the whole groups of 50 guys acting in unison really makes me feel very very uneasy...and the thing is whatever they are sharing I cannot even feel... all I feel is the danger of a predatory pack outside my home. I guess I feel like some farmer in Africa who had a pride of lions outside and hears the roaring every roar making him jump and fighting against going outside with a spear to kill as many as he can before he gets killed.

I prefer digital clocks for teaching time. I still dont think she will ever understand the concept of time.
I don't have a problem with the mechanism at all digital or analogue... or the concept of time as an abstract ... I just don't get time and me .... given what I said about the world cup you'd think I'd know how many days are left... I don't even know how long its been going on.

I believe her when she is sick - she does not fake illness.

This took me a long time.....I think my concept of pain is rather abstract as well. Pain is something I just switch off and for instance I was putting some shelves into the storage room and my other arm was against the bulb...I felt discomfort and switched off then the job took longer than I expected and I smelt burning and ended up with a really bad burn on my arm ... When ever I break a bone I had to learn to react to prodding from Dr's ... I find it really hard to tell a Dr. Im in pain... pain is migrane and bleeding from my nose and ears and bursting capillaries in my eyes (thankfully never since going gluten-free) whereas a broken arm isn't pain its discomfort.

Oh and what is a telephone .. is it the thing connected to the answerphone? (joke)

edits:

I just remembered something which I don't know if its relevant .....

Even though I can find other peoples feeling very hard to understand I can also be very perceptive.

This is a true story but I can't prove it so take it or leave it....

When I was 13-14 I was sent to the child pycholgy people from school .. this was back in the good ole days of corpral punishment which my school had already exhausted ... the thing is I wasn't doing anything really bad to be punished it was my reaction and non-complaince that was the problem. Most of the incidents were possibly ADD related to start with such as staring out of the window or just into space but it was my reaction to the teachers admonishing me that caused the problem. I ended up with a "diary" I had to take to each class and have behaviour and homework signed off but I never did the homework so I would be punished the next morning which was fine by me... waiting in line to have the strap whilst others were tortured (by my reconing) in morning assembly.

Anyway, I end up at child psychology where they were not allowed to hit you and spend a morning a week with some child psychologist who keeps going on about "does your father touch you" ... seriously rather a stupid question to someone who rarely touches anyone !!

Anyway I put up with this for I think 6 weeks until she rattled me enough at which point I started asking the questions so I launch into "When your father gave you spending money did he put it on the table or in your hand?"

"Did your father ever hug you" .... "Do you wish your father could have shown his affection to you?" Do you think that is why you wasted your life doing phychology and trying to screw up everyone elses life?"

anyway the upshot was she left in tears .. closer to hysterics and I got sent back to school and they were told not to send me back.... I got suspended for a while (which was more than fine by me) and I guess I got punished at school but it strikes me I knew exactly what was causing this woman to try and ruin my life ... I knew exactly the questions and I knew before I started she would leave in tears...

What strikes me is that I can't understand some basic human feelings except as an abstract .... I know I have to phone my mum ... but I don't miss people.... but I realise they miss me ... I just don't 'feel' what they say they feel in anything like the same way. All my "controls" are artificial .. self imposed based on they way I think people will react and what I feel to be right .... when I take someone apart verbally I just open the artificial self-imposed gate.

What I seem to lack completely is ANY group emotion.... All I feel is best described as a cat who is not afraid of individual dogs watcing a pack of doga harmlessly playing with a ball....

The cat can't FEEL any gruop thing from the dogs at all. (IMHO) what the cat sees is a pack of dogs which are dangerous. It is completely immune to the group feeling dogs get by playing together as a pack ..yet at a primaeval level it can't get away fro the danger that a group mentality poses.

This is exactly how I feel with group things.... I can't feel whatever people feel watching football or mass celebrating (at any time glutened or not) but all I can see is the primaeval danger of a group of emotionally charged pack animals. At the same time I can feel individual emotions and even hidden feelings but only some or perhaps its more accurate to say I can't distinguish the level of them?

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Gfp, this is a very interesting thread, thank you for starting it! You know, I can understand some of the more heated discussions you've been involved in here much better now!

I gently explained that mommies and daddies like to say I love you all the time to their kids because they are so happy to have them as a wonderful part of the family. I told her how it makes me feel happy inside to say it to her, and that hugs are also another way to say I love you or to help you not feel sad. The next night she awkwardly

returned my embrace and said "I love you too" in a shy voice, almost uncertain if she was doing it right.

2kids4me, this was so sweet! It brought tears to my eyes.

Ursula, you know I'm always impressed at how nicely you're able to explain your way of thinking here on the board, and how you make sure you're not accidentally offending people. Really many so called normal people could learn from you!

My husband and I are both rather introvert people. Our nights at home can be very quiet! :D I'm very happy with my job which involves teaching people privately one pupil at a time, I do enjoy people but I enjoy them the most one at a time!

Pauliina

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This is a very interesting thread.

gfp, I just read through your analysis of different events and some of them are similar to experiences and emotions that I have/had. Part of my issues I think are related to being a scientist and not really being interested in anything I'm not studying or can't learn from - like sports. However, for the last few years I've been commuting with groups of normal people who make (gentle) fun of my lack of socialization and have slowly been teaching me how to interact with other people more normally. This makes me wonder if some of what people are describing on this thread is an exageration of normal (for them) tendencies. I'm not gregarious by nature and I avoid large group events when I don't have a specific task, but because I've my friends' help, parties are no longer dreaded events. Now I go to work or volunteer functions with the idea that it might not be as much fun as staying at home reading a book, but it won't be so bad either.

Maybe we all have similar tendencies if we just look at enough different things, and we can choose to appreciate them in ourselves, or learn to work past them if necessary.

I've noticed that some of the people that feel they have real socialization issues tend to post a lot on this site. Maybe they don't have trouble interacting with people, but rather have trouble with the thought that people don't understand them. So by writing what they want to convey, they can be fairly certain that what they want to say has been said as clearly as possible.

Maybe we don't want to be alone, maybe we just don't want to feel alone in a room full of people.

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