A few years ago, at the suggestion of online friends, I took the Autism Spectrum Quotient Questionnaire. Since “eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher,” I was surprised to score above 40. Naturally, I discounted the test, but not before passing it on to my parents.
Mom wouldn’t even consider Asperger’s, but I unearthed several more diagnostic questionnaires and passed them on. Annoyed, mom couldn’t bother with something, “dug up on the Internet.” She didn’t want Dad to know about my suspicions because he would fret. Heh.
Dad and I are alike. He would have worried. “Diagnosis” is a scary, medical word. And we did worry over Liev’s Asperger’s Syndrome. After Liev’s diagnosis, Dad contacted his former psychiatrist to ask questions. The answer was yes, he has Asperger’s, just like Liev.
And now, I’m wondering. Wondering about the broad autism phenotype. Wondering about my sensory issues, social issues, and failure to thrive when my intelligence should have hauled me through. I’m looking for data, lists, surveys, questionnaires. Do all the disparate and strange bits of information about my life add up to a diagnosis of Asperger’s for me as well?
I doubt myself. Doctors diagnosed, “Ulcers, anxiety, depression, Epstein-Barr.” So, what is going on? Without knowing that both my son and father are on the spectrum, would I have thought about Asperger’s? No. I’d be organizing, googling my favorite stuff, and avoiding cooking dinner.
I need someone to talk to about all this. Someone reliable and experienced. Someone who’s seen Aspies and won’t dismiss me or lead me astray. Someone who knows the difference between “typical” and “autism spectrum.” I need to know if this is what’s going on with me, and if not, what can I do to manage my life with my son better. I’m desperate here. Life shouldn’t be this hard. I need to find myself.