Aspergers With Autism Spectrum Disorder; Female Asperger’s Syndrome In Undiagnosed Women

Undiagnosed women, within a world of autism spectrum disorder, cause all sorts of lifetime difficulties. With a diagnosis, come coping mechanisms, understanding and support. However, more women and girls are being diagnosed but for a sub-culture of 40 plus women – they are lost. They are the undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome women. They can’t make up for a lifetime. Here, in this article, you will find one of their accounts. This generation and the generations that preceeded them were the lost generation - the misunderstood.


-* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--*

World Of Autism A-Store

My A-Store is cram-packed full of great specialist information and products especially picked and recommended by me to you!

Why not treat yourself to a better autistic understanding by clicking:

-* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--* -*--*

Where's The Party?... In My Head! Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org
Where's The Party?... In My Head! Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Where's The Party? In My Head! Asperger's Bad Head Day??

I always said the party was in my head. There’s lots going on in there – you should join me. This is my magic box of tricks that I can open whenever I want to. Within my mind there is joy, sorrow, pain, love and anger. Many thoughts and many memories that can be revisited and viewed – yes I can relive them and feel the feelings just as if I go back in time. I can spend hours' just dreaming and allowing free thought. It is my safe haven but sometimes it is my nightmare. I can be kept awake thinking about my stupidity and what others might think of me. I guess I am a little paranoid and fearful.

I am compulsive, highly intelligent, depressive, incredibly immature and really quite weird in social situations. Didn’t Ruby Simone mention this in her book ‘Aspiegirls’? – Click on Autism Spectrum Disorder:: Asperger’s Syndrome:: Women and Girls for more.

Half Price, But Can't See The Wood for the Trees!

Shopping today was a nightmare. Although the supermarket wasn’t crowded, I somehow, managed to find other shoppers. Or did they find me? Confused? You and me both! All supermarkets are evil anyway! Why? Click Here.

The fish counter advertised ‘Two offers per week – half price’. I couldn’t find the two offers or the words to express this. My semantics were awful – I was having one of those ‘hard work’ days – again! After jumbling my words, I noticed a massive sign with the special offers splashed on a 3-metered board – what a fool! I stumbled my words and embarrassingly apologised – it wasn’t the smoked salmon this week then! How incredibly stupid of me not to notice the obvious!

Asperger Women Are Drawn to Psychology, Teaching and Social Working Professions

Both Rudy Simone and Dr Tony Attwood, say this is typical for a female with Asperger’s Syndrome. Just as they have both highlighted that many undiagnosed Aspie women are of my age group too. I am 42 years old but to meet me, you would think I was a lot younger. My attitude can be very child-like and immature. And yet I am very academic.

I obtained an Honours Degree in Psychology, a Diploma in Health and Social Welfare – both from the Open University (distance learning is great for social isolates and it is through this that I thrived!) - and a Certificate in Further Education. I found the class room environment quite hard – the social stuff made me quite, err… Aspie! What do I mean by this? Well, I get a fuzzy head, become clumsy and dominate the classroom with ‘know it all’ answers. These are nerves, you see. I am trying too hard to please. I am desperate to be liked, but you know, no one likes a ‘know all’, do they? However, I know this, but I just can’t stop myself!

What typically happens in these relationships, are that people latch onto me, initially but quickly drop me as they establish relationships with others. It is like I am a link until someone better comes along. Then I become the butt of ridicule.

It is funny how Dr Attwood – Autism Spectrum Disorder:: Asperger’s Syndrome:: Women, Girls & Dr Attwood

- suggests that many Asperger women become psychologists, teachers and social workers… I seem to fit in all these brackets 100%. It is also odd that both Ruby Simone – Autism Spectrum Disorder:: Asperger’s Syndrome:: Women and Girls - and the Doctor highlight a lack of self-esteem and being vulnerable to sexual predators when young. In both cases, I tick the boxes. Read my story ‘The Hunted Fox’ and ‘Child Molestation: Social Systems Abuse Victims’? Well, these aren’t about someone else – they are my stories (but don’t tell anyone, will you?).

Courtesy of DerrickT Flickr
Courtesy of DerrickT Flickr

Learning Psychology Helped Me Understand People!

My interest in psychology stems back from childhood. I was always in a perpetual dream state. As I wondered home, I can remember always asking myself why… why didn’t I have any friends and why didn’t anyone like me? So through psychology, I learned about human behaviour – an answer that I sought for ‘why’? I have worked with people with severe learning difficulties and challenging behaviour, nursing and presently volunteer to drive patients to their radiotherapy appointments for their cancer treatments. I, therefore, help people to live and support them through a difficult time. I am told that I should be a councillor – I use the ideas of client centred therapy, which I learned during my studies – if you want to know more click Psychology 101: Client Centered Therapy.

Autism Spectrum Disorder - Interesting Course Work

I couldn’t read and write until I was 10 years old and no one could teach me the time. I learned that by working it out myself from simple subtraction on a digital clock face. In fact, I failed my 11+ at 11 but by the time I was 12 passed with distinction! Work that one out, eh?! When I was being taught to read, for example, I was told that the ‘e’ at the end of the word made it longer. On observing, I could see that an additional ‘e’ would change a four-letter word into a 5-letter word, so yes, it did make it longer. If you want to learn more about I.Q., please click on Psychology 101: What Is Intelligence?

People with Asperger’s syndrome take things literally – I should know that, I have a son that was diagnosed in 2004 with Asperger’s – Click for more: The Story of Daniel - My Asperger's Autistic Son. Autism spectrum disorders was something that came up in my course work when I was reading psychology. I knew from that moment on what was wrong (or right?) with my son and I. However, it is too late for me, but not for Daniel.

We Are Family
We Are Family

Asperger's Syndrome - A Family Epidemic

Interestingly, my husband is an undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome nurse – through knowing about our son, he has identified his oddness too. My father is another and my husband’s father is one too (although, I would never tell him – he deals with things in his own way and I don’t think he would be accepting of it), so we are all rather odd! They say it can be genetic and my grandmother used to tell my mother how, as a child, she just used to stand in the playground and watch the children play – she never participated! Maybe she was one too? She certainly was an isolate.  It certainly is a family epidemic with us!

So, how do I manage to ‘fake’ social interaction, as Simone says? I learned to act from an early age. I pretended to be someone else and this helped me. However, you get found out in the end. It is impossible to act all of the time.

Typical Asperger's Syndrome - Lost Women

So I am a round block in a round hole in the realms of autism spectrum disorder. I think literally and have an amazing imagination – the party is in my head! I am truthful (which doesn’t always go down well in society), genuine and love the deepest love. I can lack empathy and come over as cold sometimes – but can play the part well enough to hide this coldness from others when needed. I am one of those undiagnosed women - one of the lost women that Rudy Simone and Dr Tony Attwood’s talks about. Simone says that diagnosis and support makes a difference between living a fuller life as opposed to one that is a struggle. Life has always been a struggle for me, so what use is an Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis? I can’t think of what support will help me further but only to substantiate what I already know to be true.

© This work is covered under Creative Commons License

It Might Be Too Late For Me, But It Wasn't Too Late For Her!

More by this Author


Comments 41 comments

CassidyS profile image

CassidyS 6 years ago from OK

Nice hub and very informative! I have social anxiety, but don't quite fit the profile for aspergers. It sounds like you're doing a great job not only with your family but helping others too.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

CassidyS - Thank you, you are too kind. Lets hope we can spread the looove and help others put the missing piece of the puzzle together. :)


Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 6 years ago from trailer in the country

I fall into some kind of category...I know I am not normal...or at least in the sense of the world. Thankyou for giving details...that helps to understand what Aspergers is.


poetlorraine 6 years ago

aw none of us are normal, some of us just don't get the help we nee need, nice one.


mega1 profile image

mega1 6 years ago

I know. I know.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Enlydia - I guess you are just individual! :)


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

poetlorraine - it can make us fighters though :)


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

mega... I say now more! :)


vidita shrotriya profile image

vidita shrotriya 6 years ago

we should have sympathy for them & give them moral support to get out from their suffering.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Vidita - empathy would be nice. Understanding an an allowance of the weirdo behaviour in social situations would help to relax her. Misinterpreting her as acting 'off', when she is just having a hard aspie day would be good. Thanks for reading :)


viking305 profile image

viking305 6 years ago from Ireland

To have Aspergers Syndrome makes you different

To be different in this world we live in is hard and traumatic.

The hoards of so called normal people attack you, phyically and mentally, when you are a child in school. When you become an adult the same thing happens in the work enviroment.

I am different, I have Aspergers Syndrome. I am a 53 year old female. I knew I was different when I was 3 years old. I went through hell in schools and in jobs until I was 30 years old. Then I decided I was not 'playing the game' anymore. I am me and that's what they get, like it or not. It is their problem, not mine anymore.

I was blessed with parents who allowed me to be me from the age of 6. Why? Because we all know now that my father has AS too. I have one brother who is AS and 3 sisters who have AS too in a milder form. There is also 2 nieces and 2 nephews with the condition. Our family is different but we are together and we understand each other.

Thanks for the hub


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

I am so glad you commented here Viking. People like you and your family should be proud of what you have achieved and who you are. Daily living is a struggle and a fight. I tend to avoid people, telephone etc on bad head days, and when I have a good head day, do what I can when the going is good. It is those days when I do my ringing around and prepare myself for the days when I have to socially interact. I, sort of, put myself in a different person - yes, I act a performance, but it gets me through.

Again, many thanks Viking :)


Steven Michaelis 6 years ago

There is more and more research that links many learning and developmental difficulties to poor communication and synchronisation between the two brain halves. An effective way of improving the processing functions in the brain is to listen to specially altered sound or music through headphones as pioneered by Dr. Alfred Tomatis (Tomatis method) and Dr. Guy Bérard (Auditory Integration Training - AIT).

Now there is a new Sound Therapy Programme which has been specifically developed with the aim to improve sensory processing, interhemispheric integration and cognitive functioning and it is entirely free to download and use at home. It has helped many children and adults with a wide range of learning and developmental difficulties, ranging from dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder to sensory processing disorders and autism. It is not a cure or medical intervention, but a structured training programme that can help alleviate some of the debilitating effects that these conditions can have on speech and physical ability, daily behaviour, emotional well-being and educational or work performance.

Check out the Free Sound Therapy Home Programme from Sensory Activation Solutions. There is no catch, it's absolutely free and most importantly often effective. Find it at: http://www.uk.sascentre.com/uk_free.html.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

This is a very interesting concept and I am not aware of it. However, Steven, we need to know about new research methods. Thank you for posting :)


embee77 profile image

embee77 6 years ago

Isn't Attwood wonderful? I've heard him speak in person: funny, and dead-on accurate. Thanks, Shaz, for your story. Why can't we all just accept each other for what we are? Either we "have" some "condition" or we are eccentric. I truly believe our personalities all originate from neurological settings we're born with. People have more similarities than differences - we just have to know how to interpret each other's behavior. I am working on some hubs addressing this very subject. Thanks to you and your readers for some helpful insight.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

embee - I am glad that people like Attwood is spreading awareness. He, as well as my son, has helped me understand myself more. I now understand why I feel the need to do what I can on good head days. It is like, 'well tomorrow I might have a bad head day, so best to get things done whilst the going is good'.

Lately, I have had a period of severe aspie episodes. I think this is because I am under pressure with my son's problems. High levels of stress can make for more bad head days. It is frustrating when your cognitive abilities go awol when you need them more than any other in your life.

For example, I had to talk to the Doctor about my son and the impact 'the system' was having on the family. Again, jumbled words and red rashes appeared on my chest. There was so much in my head, but not enough time to get it out. The head runs fast, but the words are slow. A plan was made during the discussion, but it was all underlying - context. I needed a summary at the end - something black and white. I said 'so what is next?' she looked confused - what had we been talking about for the last 10 minutes? So I said 'Shall I wait for you to contact me or do I need to make another appointment?'.. well she is going to contact me after talking to my regular Doctor. So, as far as I am concerned, that is set in stone. Now I know that if she doesn't, I shall find this difficult because we have made a plan.

You see, lots of people make verbal commitments and when they don't follow through, it causes such a lot of heart ache to asperger's people and, as a result, these experiences can lead to a lot of mistrust in the individual's life.

I think, if I did have an official diagnosis, then it would give me license to say 'excuse me, but I am asperger's and I don't get certain things, can you explain?'. Whereas now, I am finding myself saying 'I am an undiagnosed Asperger's' - it just makes you 'odd'.

Sorry, I didn't expect to respond so intensively in this comment. Thanks for reading:)


embee77 profile image

embee77 6 years ago

Shaz - THANK YOU for your "intense" response. I LOVE the way you describe your difficulty getting out in words what you are thinking in your head. And the dead-on accurate way you explain why we ask for summarizies and deeply rely on people to follow through on verbal commitments. You've helped me a LOT with your feedback. My thought for you is: Even if you don't have an Official Diagnosis, it's OK to ask for what you need. Good luck.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

embee - thank you for your words of support and encouragement. It is good to know another 'head' person x


vanessak69 6 years ago

Hello all. Thank you Shaz for this wonderful page. I just learned I had Asperger's this week so it's all rather new for me. But hearing that I had it made my whole life suddenly click into place.

I too have bad head days (I will have to borrow that line from you Shaz) and become overwhelmed with whether I navigated iteractions appropriately. Did I talk to much? Why did I interrupt that person? Why did I act weird in that meeting when they asked me what I thought? What I thought was I was in ill-defined trouble with the adults (I'm 41, btw) and that I shouldn't speak.

Since I didn't know I had it, the diagnosis made a world of difference to me. I no longer was different from the rest of the planet (having long since stopped trying to tell people something felt different and being told in return "Oh, everybody feels that way sometimes.") I long suspected my Father has it and my therapist confirmed that it sounds like he does, although much worse than me.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Vanessa.. thanks for stopping by. It might be that your father may appear to have it worse than you because, being male, they only use one half of the brain in communication skills, whereas women use both sides. This results in it appearing more profound in men - that is why it is easier to diagnose males than females. We can cover it better or 'fake it' more.

Bad head days seem to be more prevailant when under stress. It might appear to others that we are neurotic or depressive, but it really is the aspergers. This for me is a time of retreat.

Thanks for your valueable comments and good luck:)


Xgear profile image

Xgear 6 years ago from Chile.

Hey there shaz,

Creepy a full family of Aspies, in my case its rather different, Brother with ADHD and a Bipolar mom.

Anyways, the world is a vast place forr differences to grow, luckly we've been able to keep it together.

Nice article =) Although your writing seems kind of, weirdly structured, its fun to read :P I can imagine your head sort of like a Magician's box with stuff floating everywhere :P

Fun to read this was =)

Greetings


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

xgear - the sequencing is a bit awol! Glad you came to read, it is great to have diversity in autism. Welcome to my head! :)


Susana S profile image

Susana S 6 years ago

This was a great read Shaz - I was gripped! I'm also kinda weird and when I recently took an online autism test (on the advice of my 17 year old daughter!) I scored incredibly high. I have also studied psychology and have done social work so maybe I fit the bill in more than one way. Nearing 40 myself I don't think I'll ever have a diagnosis, but then again I'm not sure I want one! I appreciate my ability to think creatively and concentrate so hard that everything else is blocked out - not sure anyone else does, but hey we can't all be the same can we? Thanks for your honesty and well written article :)


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Hi Susana S... I recon hubpages must have quite a concentration of Aspies. Apparently, it effects 10% of the population. Where would the world be without diversity? We might be 'stupid' in one way, but genius in others. Every positive always has a negative! That is the payoff.

If you read my aspergers and jewish ostrasiation hub, you will see some of the great people of our history who were aspies. They inspire change and a different way of looking at things.

I am honoured you visited Susana. Thanks:)


Baileybear 6 years ago

Nice hub. I grew up with undiagnosed AS too


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Baileybear - there is a lot of 'us' here - we seem to be concentrated on the internet. It is how our minds are wired! *wink*

Thanks for reading x


Baileybear 6 years ago

My husband complains that I'm always on the computer!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Computers give us time to think and react appropriately. They are also a great tool for sequencing problems. They help us with organisation and you can always escape social relationships if they get too difficult for us. We dont have to worry too much about eye contact, verbalising and body language which can be a stressful in social situations.

The 'normals' seem to cope well in these situations whereas the 'specials' just dont 'get it'. We have to study social situations logically and simulate what we have learned. But we never quite seem 'natural' however hard we might try.

Me? I am just over the top with social relationships... a bit overbearing, wanting to impress. It is just a way of saying 'please like me' which can be a real turn off.

The computer enables me to express what is in my head in a non threatening, rejection way.

:)


Lonicera 6 years ago

My son has Asperger's. I think I have Asperger's. I also think my mother had Asperger's. She committed suicide.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Lonicera - With the new information about undiagnosed women and girls, your son and your generation, will be found. It is good that you have identified that you have this condition. Now you know that it is just the way your brain is wired. This is a new found hope for you , and even better, your son can reap some silver from the lining of the cloud that you have had to shoulder. Keep strong and know that you are one of the many in this world that has this condition. It is not an easy life, but you now know that you are far from being lost... now you are found. It is a shame that for your mother, it is too late :( God rest her soul x


Tarin profile image

Tarin 6 years ago from San Diego

I don't think Asperger's is a disorder at all I think it's a benefit! I am a male who was diagnosed with asperger's. I love the fact that I stim and love objects more than people. What's curious is that Aspy women are drawn to psychology...


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Tarin... I always say celebrate who you are, whatever the label and particularly when ASD.

As regards to Aspie women, I think they are drawn to psychology because they don't 'get it' when they are children. I know this through personal experience.

Thanks for calling by and glad that you are happy just to be you!


breete01 profile image

breete01 5 years ago from Huntington, IN

Great article. You have amazing insight. Thanks for sharing this hub.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thank you breete... it takes one to know one!


breete01 profile image

breete01 5 years ago from Huntington, IN

Yes it sure does. Have a fabulous weekend.


Elderberry Arts profile image

Elderberry Arts 4 years ago from Surrey, Uk

I was diagnosed at 31 when I realized through my own studies and research I has aspergers syndrome


thewritingowl profile image

thewritingowl 4 years ago from Ireland

Very well said there is another party going on inside my head. Like your story I only found out it was AS last year after my son was diagnosed with Autism and I thought could that be it? My difference, my depression, anxiety, as my husband says often my problem with thinking too much about things, over analyzing situations and being rather paranoid at times. Eight years ago I developed a very intense interest in psychology after I was diagnosed with depression and there started my journey to trying to figure out my head. Never would have dreamed it was AS though (knew nothing about ASD until after I had my son four years ago). For me a diagnosis was something I needed so that I could finally understand myself and I believe it has helped me to know it explains a hell of a lot and makes me more accepting of my mistakes i.e. I didn't know how I was supposed to handle my brain. I will check out more of your hubs and follow you. Please check out mine sometime too.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

thewritingowl... ditto my friend x


thewritingowl profile image

thewritingowl 4 years ago from Ireland

Thanks yeah I have copped that now!


emmy1980 profile image

emmy1980 4 years ago from North Carolina

Great hub! Thanks. I'm going to follow you. I have two children with autism (2 boys) and a girl that has a lot of aspergers traits. It was through raising my kids than I discovered myself and why I have had so many social difficulties all my life. I feel I have aspergers but have never been formally diagnosed. I identify with so much of what you said. Thanks again.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

It is just a label emmy, but now you know more about yourself, you can progress and develop into be the best you can be. I am glad to have helped you with your progression :)

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Disclaimer

    Use this article at your own risk. This article does not give legal opinions or advice.  Any action or outcome that may result from this article is the sole responsibility of the reader.  This article is assumes no responsibility or legal claim against it.

    Click to Rate This Article
    working