Aspergers – anyone had a positive diagnosis…?

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  • Aspergers – anyone had a positive diagnosis…?
  • brooess

    And did it make any difference, really?

    Having read up a fair bit on this including Simon Cohen-Baron’s book, I suspect I’m on the spectrum. I think my Dad and brother are too…

    You might say it doesn’t matter but I’ve lost my job more times than I care to remember, and as I’ve never really understood why, I don’t know what changes to make… so it’s having a real negative impact on my life in terms of stress and financial security…

    I’m extremely analytical, focussed on quality and persistent which makes me very suitable for certain roles (I work in Marketing) but it’s a very conservative industry and I suspect if I tell potential employers I have a diagnosis (if indeed that’s the case) then I won’t even get the job… Which is worse than managing to hold a job down for 18 months before I end up leaving (which is the current pattern…)

    That said in the right role with the right understanding of how to use my strengths I think I could excel, or at least do a good enough job to have some security…

    Anyone with experience of their own or someone else’s diagnosis, it would be helpful to have some thoughts. I’m already planning to get my GP to get me a referral.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen

    I’d avoid jumping to a conclusion because you’ve read a book, part of the issue with Asbergers is that you can’t point to a genetic factor or a scan or a blood test – there are no physiolgical similarities between different people with the same diagnosis. So to confirm the condition (and some would say ‘condition’ is too strong a word) really it requires a group of diagnoses from a range of specialists in different fields. If its a genuine concern speak to an expert, but I’d really, really avoid convincing yourself you have it.

    If you are saying that you feel that analytical and persistent traits are an asset in the work you do – what are the circumstances that are causing you to leave or lose work?


    Perhaps rather than worrying about a possible condition, you should look at changing your line of work? Good analysis skills are ideal for a business intelligence type job, and nobody is surprised when an IT worker has a different concept of “normal” social skills 🙂

    Herman Shake

    I’m already planning to get my GP to get me a referral.

    Great! This is indeed the right start.

    I support adults with autism among other diagnoses and as a result have attended training/learned a bit about it on the way. A friend’s ex was diagnosed with Asperger’s in his 40s, it was a huge relief for him as it accounted for previously frustrating patterns of behaviour.

    Excuse me if I repeat things from SBH’s book, I’ve not read it. Asperger’s refers to part of a spectrum which we all appear within. Autism & Asperger’s have been strongly linked with male brain development which is partly associated with gender biased handling of data (male and female social behaviour, multi/mono tasking, appreciating numerical data such as grams, sports scores, formation, fork travel etc). The interaction between the hemispheres is part of this too.

    I digress, but what I’m fumbling at is that you may or may not fulfil a complete diagnosis but could still benefit from understanding more of the Asperger’s characteristics of functioning. I personally have learned that I’m a little more towards the ASD end of the spectrum than average, but also know I don’t fit with autism or Aspergers. I did some digging and found that I scored medium-high in a number of valid ADD tests. ADD and ADHD are within the autistic spectrum. I went to my GP to request a formal test and due to the fact I was managing ok in my day to day life it was said that assessments are prioritised for those in some form of crisis/clear and obvious distress (I live in Brighton, there’s lots of mental health stuff going on here; drug misuse, homelessness, etc etc). On the scale of NHS mental health priority I appeared insignificant so was encouraged to pursue this myself if I really wanted too. The Dr wanted to know what benefit the piece of paper would give me, I was thrown by this and “peace of mind” didn’t cut it.

    I go through phases where things get on top of me and the recurring frustrations I have emerge and keep me in a mental funk; they are strongly connected to time management, organisation, internal noise/chatter, focus, attention to the different aspects of my life, self esteem and therefore confidence also directly slump with the funk. I know these are also normal issues for many but it’s the lack of ability to “grow out of it” that frustrates. Equally learning about hyperfocus and tapping into behavioural predispositions appears to have helped. I will probably pursue a formal diagnosis at some point but in the short term I have been reading up on lifestyle coping strategies for adults with ADD which have been working. There is bound to be a wealth of these resources for Asperger’s specifically and I suggest you do some reading.

    The personal qualities you’ve identified are particularly useful for a number of things. You don’t need to declare a diagnosis if you don’t want too and it’s illegal for you to be discriminated against for the ignorance of a potential employer if this was to happen.

    As mac ^ said, what specifically are the problems you feel congruent with an Asperger’s diagnosis?

    Herman Shake

    Christ that’s a long response! 😳


    Thanks for the thoughts above…

    To be honest, if I was holding down my job I don’t think I’d have a problem that needed to be solved. I’m happy enough in myself and most things in life are ok. Some of the descriptions in the Baron-Cohen book are more extreme than I would apply to myself so I’m not sure a diagnosis would be positive in any case, but lack of confidence I can hold down a job is an increasing concern, not least in terms of financial security…

    My work history is a mess. I’m contracting right now, partly because it’s easier to explain short stints… but that’s not a real solution.

    Ostensibly I’m well qualified in Marketing – a degree + 2 post grad diplomas (2nd one I had the best mark in my class) I seem to impress at interview but don’t deliver to expectation on a day to day basis. I struggle to keep track in group conversations & meetings. Feedback I’ve had is that I’m too slow to get things done, focus on the detail, make things too complicated, don’t listen (I’m usually analysing what’s being said which means I lose track.)

    Current situation is after 17 years of this and working my ass off to try make progress in my career/work through the issues, I’m getting nowhere. The crux is having been thrown out of 3 jobs without understanding what I did wrong, but a feeling that I didn’t fit and said the wrong thing to someone or said something in the wrong way…

    I’ve always had a feeling I was ‘different’. I’m definitely an introvert (in an extrovert industry) and people who know me very well say my world is a wonderful one but rather unique…

    Some people think I’m weird and I struggle in group situations to follow the conversation and always get the feeling there’s an unspoken conversation going on which I don’t understand.

    If I’m in a situation where I choose the people I interact with and how and when I do it, can do it on a one to one basis and can choose my own workload and pace, then I can produce some really good work. But work life’s not like that IME… certainly none of my employers have been willing to give me that flexibility…

    Getting a diagnosis would as much as anything help me frame and define my issues more specifically (as opposed to a general feeling of ‘getting it wrong’) and hopefully give me some support in how to deal with the typical office environment so I can hold a job down.

    Edit: this whole answer is a typical response from me: detailed, thorough, well thought through, precise but taken an age to do it!

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager

    It’s maybe something to pursue in terms of remedial training / help. I’ve encountered quite a few students who have the diagnosis over the years (and my brother is also autistic so I grew up with someone struggling with communication and interaction). Some of them had received help in how to interact and it did make a clear difference.

    e.g. There was one PhD aspergers student I knew who, ironically, always stood out as being quite a good communicator and someone who could take the lead in discussion. So you had 10 chemistry students staring at their shoes whilst the aspergers guy took the lead in shaping the conversation. It most definitely did not come naturally or easy to him, but he had been taught to recognise cues that would help him engage. So maybe it’s possible to do a similar thing to help you get a grip on the subtext of work interaction that you’re missing.

    One thing that would argue against an Aspergers condition, if you want my internet diagnosis, is that you impress at interview. Or rather, anyone really on the spectrum certainly could impress at interview, but there would be little doubt that they had an aspergers related condition. I’ve interviewed a few aspergers A-level students for university places and it is very obvious. If you’re saying your industry wouldn’t be open-minded about this sort of condition, yet you’re winning positions at interview, then that points away from this diagnosis IMH and inexpert O.

    But really the immediate problem sounds like you’re losing out on the soft-skills game at work, and need to do something about it. Whether you’re 100% on the spectrum, or 100% no way off it, then that won’t change, but there’s likely to be more resources available to you following a positive diagnosis.

    Best of luck – it sounds like you’ve done well to define the problems. It’s really hard to put your finger on things when you’ve missed out on work stuff for vague or ill-defined reasons.

    Herman Shake

    If I’m in a situation where I choose the people I interact with and how and when I do it, can do it on a one to one basis and can choose my own workload and pace, then I can produce some really good work. But work life’s not like that IME… certainly none of my employers have been willing to give me that flexibility…

    Is there another field of work you would be interested in? It strikes me that working for yourself or being the one deciding things in an environment are better suited to you.

    Maybe you’re not bull**itting enough? As you’re taking things directly and thinking about them, others may be riding the wave of momentum in the conversation to look good which would leave you behind if you’re less abstract. The answer to my assumed hypothetical situation would be to preserve your approach and not cave to being like them, but this is difficult in a ‘team’ work environment; hence move to something more suited to you.

    I get the feeling (from my non-qualified stance) that you’d show as a bit Aspergers, but not strongly. I might be projecting but I can relate to receiving similar critique, which comes back to my point of being more on the spectrum than average but not high up.

    It would then be worth considering the change in direction as mogrim says. What about a teaching/training role? With an interview the objective is clear, with a meeting this is not so much as discussion can meander while you consider the hypothetical impacts of each variable. With teaching/training you’d be the one controlling the interaction, it makes use of your experience and depth of knowledge and attention to detail is key.


    My brother-in-law has just gone through this, and last week got his official Aspergers diagnosis (at age 48).

    In his case, the diagnosis has helped, so far, if only because it takes away the blame and gives (everyone) an explanation for his behaviour.

    You sound a lot clearer in your posts and more self-aware than he is.

    Your posts could be describing me, and I’m pretty certain I’m not Aspergers/autistic to the extent I need a diagnosis. Just introvert, intuitive and analytical, all of which seem to count against us in certain situations, especially group.

    I like to take the time to stop and understand things before taking action, and to understand the complexities and subtleties of a set of problems before attempting to define solutions. Some people appreciate this, and others think it’s just me taking too long and overcomplicating things.

    But of course you have to digest the complexities before you can simplify.

    I suppose the key thing is that you are able to come to clear conclusions: in my brother-in-law’s case, that moment of clarity never arrives. I think that’s what made me think he needed diagnosis, and help.

    Anyway – good luck with whatever you decided to do. Self-knowledge can never hurt, no matter how you get to it?


    …perhaps some sort of professional coaching might be appropriate?

    Berm Bandit

    Not the same experience, but similar.

    My daughter has always been a problem child, not so bad that you could out your finger on it, but bad enough to take her to see an Educational Psychologist when she was wee. Nothing was really found so we soldiered on. She eventually went to university and got a degree in psychlogy. All good you would think. However cutting a long story short, she went again to another Ed Shrink and this time was very thoroughly assessed. Turns out shes Dyslexic, Dyspraxic and Discalculate to quite a severe level. She is however also highly intelligent, and this high IQ has veiled the underlying problem. It also meant that much of her behaviour has been from frustration over her IQ not being given the opportunity to express itself due to her handicap.
    Having been diagnosed, nothing has physically changed, but she has taken off like you wouldn’t believe. Whilst she still has problems and issues, she now knows what they are and how to cope with them.

    As an aside, both my wife and I have recognised some of the symptoms and without boring you, have found that likewise we both have similar, albeit not as severe issues, so all these years of saying the other left when I’ve got hands mixed up now has an explanation and there is a considerable weight lifted as a result.

    Best advice: Check it out, and good luck.


    Diagnosed one year ago and apparently they’ve never had someone so well “adapted”.

    Diagnosis welcome by the parents, to me it made no difference.

    There is no “cure” for aspergers, but constant adaptation, appropriated diet (ketogenic, gluten-free etc) and appropriate psychiatric support and you’ll probably be more normal than most “normal” people….


    It seems to me that there is an awful lot of confirmation bias on this thread. So you read a book and reconginised some of the symptoms of Aspergers in your own personality. I’d be amazed if everyone couldn’t do something similar. It’s a spectrum dissorder so everyone is “on the spectrum” somewhere, I’m a male engineer which on its own probably puts me higher up the “average” than most people but by itself that doesn’t really mean anything and job losses aside the description you give of you could just as easily be of me. It appears that you (the OP) are after a reason to explain the reasons why he has lost a jobs in the past, but have you ever actually been told why by the people who let you go?

    Going for a diagnosis will tell you one of two things; either you do or you do not has aspergers but what exactly do you expect to change as a result? If the result comes back that you don’t have aspergers, what then?


    A while back my other half suddenly asked me if I knew what Aspergers was. I made my way through my definition, she nodded and seemed satisfied (her brother works in ‘mental health’ so I suspect she’s been talking to him). I asked why she had asked, and she just said “no reason”! Not sure I believe that. 😆

    (Not sure if finding out when you’re the wrong side of the wrong side of 35 is any help anyway.)

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    I think a lot of men are probably on the aspergers/autism spectrum.

    As above what change would you expect a diagnosis to make?

    Perhaps, regardless of the cause your personality and skills aren’t suited to a people focused career? Most jobs obviously involve meeting people and understanding what they want you to do but it’s often incidental to the day to day.

    I’d try and find something you enjoy doing and feel you have an aptitude for and see if you can get work in that field.

    Being asked to leave without really understanding ‘why’ is a bit harsh of your previous employers – the least they owed you was an explnation.

    Premier Icon footflaps

    My 2 cents worth is you don’t sound like a typical Marketing person, more like an engineer (I work in Engineering and some form of autistic spectrum disorder is very common as in introversion). What about diverging into something with a narrow focus and detailed work eg graphic design? Generic marketing seems to be a broad but skin deep profession rather than a deep and narrow one (no offence intended to anyone in marketing).


    Recently been diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 42. Personally this is good to know as it offers an explanation for years of feeling a bit ‘different’. I no longer have to worry about trying to be a square peg in a round hole, instead I can play to my strengths.

    The biggest benefit is for my wife, kids and family. We now know what we’re dealing with and can adjust accordingly.

    Knowing who you are, whatever the ‘label’ can only be a good thing.


    It’s odd that it’s labeled as a condition. Virtually everyone I know and everyone I work with fits the bill. I work in IT. No doubt I’m there too.

    Aspergers is normal. Everyone else is weird.

    Premier Icon kcal

    in IT, and with a son who is diagnosed on the spectrum. Curiously there’s a fair proportion of my colleagues in very similar situation..

    thinking back, I might not get a diagnosis but would be hovering towards it. Many of my former colleagues (I’m thinking of a good handful for sure) would be screaming in at top 10 for a diagnosis – classic ASD cases. Very good programmers…

    Premier Icon smartay

    Our son is diagnosed with aspergers, non mathematical, passable It skills, in fact he has no interest in computing, peer mentor in school but enjoys drama, english and history and likes an audience.

    However, time awareness , routine( his own) hand washing and fixation on objects… unfortunately not bikes

    Just goes to show how wide the spectrum is

    A diagnosis is one thing but it doesnt change the condition or situation


    Personal experience for me a diagnosis would be nice, but peer diagnosis is just as good. As many have said, the older you are the more likely you’ve learned how to be externally ‘normal’ which is a difficult thing to switch off and make sit difficult to get a diagnosis, leaving you on the invisible spectrum as I once heard it called.

    Knowing that you have it, or may have it helped me loads. the reason why I feel the way I do about a lot of things and the meltdowns, emotional disengagement that sort of thing. The stuff that’s always gone on, but now that it has a name, other folk can look it up and give you a bit of slack (if they need to)

    My Daughter is 13 and has just been diagnosed with Aspergers. She’s coming to a similar conclusion (My wife I suspect has it too).

    Key thing not to do is attribute every part of your personality to it, being high functioning it’s easy to intellectualise your way around everything, where in reality it’s more often only when you become ‘full’ that the traits are obvious.

    It’s important to find mechanisms to enable you to function in a world of neurotypicals (or ‘humans’ as I used to refer), Both my wife and I, having walked a path know what’s coming for our daughter. But what has helped are the many online support groups, just for open discussion.

    Books are OK, but they often tell you what an Aspie is, or tell you how to live with an aspie, which for me, didn’t work. I knew my traits, I just didn’t know why.

    Once you’ve met one aspie, you’ve met one aspie….


    I score 29 on the spectrum test so shouldn’t be able to talk let alone run businesses, etc.
    If you ask my ex, “it explains so much…..”
    Me? It’s who I am – like it or lump it. 43 next week and I ain’t about to change now…


    Often its the co-morbit aspects that cause the real problems – e.g. my eldest daughter is High Functioning autistic with OCD

    its the OCD thats the real problem, but its very much tied in with the social aspects and ‘coping mechanisms’ that have developed with the autism.

    There was an interesting post on here last week about Pathological Demand Avoidance, which is recognised as another aspect of the autism scale, which I suspect my other daughter has

    Personally, I know that I’m very much on the spectrum, largely through learning more about it from my daughters conditions and through ‘peer diagnosis’ – on reflection (lots of this learnt from others, as you can’t really see it happening yourself) my problems are not giving a toss about appearance, appropriate dress for work etc, constantly misreading social clues and inadvertently offending people (getting pulled in by the boss for saying something to someone and not knowing what you’ve done wrong. for example) and from arguing my point obsessively – all very damaging work wise, at the same time, an ability to take on and process/recall huge amounts of data, numbers etc is a big strength.

    I Just never let anyone see me endlessly pack and repack bags of outdoors kit and bike parts etc – my Ex still laughs about it now 😳

    Premier Icon I_did_dab

    A diagnosis is definitely helpful for school age folk as it releases a number of interventions at school level. My adult nephew has just been (finally) diagnosed and now has a key worker to help him move to an independent life (i.e. leave home and get his own flat), he is quite disabled. Adult high functioning Aspergers might benefit from the label and new sense of identity, but it shouldn’t be an excuse for being an a**-hole.


    Echo what a lot of have said already, I see little benefit from a professional diagnosis, but a great deal from reading and learning about why I’m the way I am, and largely why my life has panned out the way it has, I just wish I’d discovered before I was 33.


    Adult high functioning Aspergers might benefit from the label and new sense of identity, but it shouldn’t be an excuse for being an a**-hole.

    spot on.

    I just wish I’d discovered before I was 33.

    mine was within the last year, so at 38, wondering why relationships constantly fail and why I don’t appear to give a sh*t about things that don’t involve the big me. It’s not exactly how you feel, it’s about how people perceive you. Learn the tricks and you can fool most folk that you’re neurotypical.

    It is however the worst thing I’d wish on anybody when it comes to lack of outward empathy and inability to sufficiently support loved ones at times of need. That had been previously put down to a willingness to cause hurt, which didn’t help as I know I’m not a sociopath.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth

    I know next to nothing about Aspergers or ASD generally, but I was at school with this lady. She wasn’t the only 17/18 yo whose behaviour could be out there at times, and I certainly didn’t have had the ability to understand the subtleties. Turns out she was diagnosed aged 26. If you google her name, she’s done several interviews, which may help.

    Remember, being and feeling different may be really tough at times but really its just fine – it makes us all interesting. And interesting people are the best.

    Good luck!

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