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Question
Posted by: Claire | 2011/04/08

aspergers?

what are the possibilities of having Aspergers without being diagnosed as a child? I''ve done some internet reading...

My sister appears to have some symptoms which are very uncanny. She seems to think exactly as described in many articles - exclusively visual  she has an exceptional visual memory which I believe got her through school with high marks  she almost never cried as a baby  was excessively anxious as a child  had very sensitive reactions to ceratin fabrics and clothing-types  she has very poor verbal skills, but writes like a genius  she''s never had many friends and those she did are since long gone  she keeps herself completely isolated only seldom going out with friends or family for only short periods  she seems to wander in and out of conversations at times becoming quite oblivious to the fact that there are people around her, but keeps a very vivd, and active facebook ''life''  she has a brilliant off-the-wall sense of humour (but only written!)  she''s never kept a job for more than a couple months and has been unemployed for almost a year now  she seldom makes eye contact if talking about more meaningful things as opposed to everyday things like ordering lunch from a cashier  I don''t think she has ever read a novel in her life, but pored over nature books &  reference books (particularly birds) as a child to the point that she became very adept at identifying them when we were holidays  she always maintained that her dog was her best friend etc. ...
BUT
on the other hand, she''s never been very verbose and nor obsessive about any particular theme  most of her teachers described her as " the perfect student"   she''s very adept at almost anything she does - she''s musical, quite athletic, very artistic with a great eye for things beautiful etc etc.

Could this be Aspergers? Does one advise her to get help for things like her anxiety and isolation?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Firstly, guys, give this lady her semi-colons back !
There could be various explanations for the sort of situation bothering you. On your specific quesion, it's easy for someone with Aspergers not to be recognized as a child or adult, as its a recently recognized condition, difficult to recognize and diagnose, and most doctors and shrinks now in practice were not trained about this when they trained.
There are a whole variety of slightly different conditions similar in some ways to Aspergers, so a good assessment and diagnosis by a suitably expert psychologist or psychiarist ( maybe at a medicatl school ) would be useful to clarify precisely what could be the problem. Some of us just have an odd, quirky personality.
What's clear is that you love your sister and are worried about her ; what's not clear is whether your sister feels afflicted or unhappy about the way she is.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: Eric | 2011/04/08

Claire - it sounds very much like your sister is a candidate for Apsergers to me  but CS is right you need a diagnosis. The problem is finding a pyschiatrist who is capable in this field. I would contact Autism South Africa to find one in your area as Apsergers is a condition on the autism spectrum. Also when your sister goes for an assessment either you or your mom or someone very close to her when she was a child should accompany her as the doctor will want a few behavioural things confirmed by someone else if poss.

I was diagnosed with Apsergers 2 years ago at the age of 51 and what a relief to finally get an answer after many years of mis-diagnosis and wondering around in the wilderness. I have been studying this condition for two years now and believe me most of the doctors are clueless. I have only found one physchiatrist in my area who is knowledgeable so it is critical you find the right doctor - all the best Eric

Reply to Eric
Posted by: Claire | 2011/04/08

sorry about the punctuation-less paragraph. The semi-colons seem to have disappeared!

Reply to Claire
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/04/08

Firstly, guys, give this lady her semi-colons back !
There could be various explanations for the sort of situation bothering you. On your specific quesion, it's easy for someone with Aspergers not to be recognized as a child or adult, as its a recently recognized condition, difficult to recognize and diagnose, and most doctors and shrinks now in practice were not trained about this when they trained.
There are a whole variety of slightly different conditions similar in some ways to Aspergers, so a good assessment and diagnosis by a suitably expert psychologist or psychiarist ( maybe at a medicatl school ) would be useful to clarify precisely what could be the problem. Some of us just have an odd, quirky personality.
What's clear is that you love your sister and are worried about her ; what's not clear is whether your sister feels afflicted or unhappy about the way she is.

Reply to cybershrink

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