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Old 01-28-2012, 09:17 AM   #1
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My own childhood (a spectrum reflection) ...

I don't know if anyone's brought this up before, but have any of you spectrum mamas realized you're on the spectrum as well (confirmed or not)?

When DS was diagnosed with HFA (well, I guess they're getting away from that title, but he has a "milder expression" of classical autism, whatever that means), I (like everyone) was swamped with information. What I found most helpful was the reflections of emergent spectrum indiviuals - their memories of their childhood. But what struck me was how powerfully I identified with those memoirs in my own memories!

I remember loud noises (like any siren, or the train going by a 1/4 mile from our house, or my dad running the lawn mower or chainsaw) physically hurt and utterly terrified me until I was about 6 ... that I could hear electricity ... that visiting home-improvement stores made me utterly ill ...

... my parents recall with great bemusement my early childhood "quirks": I made up my own language, referred to myself in the third person until the age of 8, and was quite content in my own world (and most at peace outside).

What I remember is that I didn't perceive things as the world seemed to (for instance, if the wind was rustling the grass, I was acutely aware of it moving each blade individually - sometimes a lovely experience, sometimes overwhelming). I remember as I got older that I perceived how I should act to blend in with the crowd, but couldn't make t work until I was an older teen when everything began to "click". I was still different internally, but I learned how to play the role. I liken it to learning to drive a stick (rather than being born with an automatic transmission).

On the flip side ... while I struggled with elementary skills (thank God my mom homeschooled me!), I took off with the advanced ones (including an intuitive comprehension of calculus and Base 2 math - but don't ask me to explain it). I have an audiographic memory and a knack for advanced critical reasoning.

... sound familiar ...?

So while everyone talks about finding the "causes" and "cures" for autism ... I can' help but wonder how much of it really is genetic lottery (exaggerated/catalyzed by environmental influences like added hormones and toxins). My father exhibits spectrum signs as well: he's a genius but struggled in school and is highly eccentric); and my mother-in-law shows all the signs of an Aspie.

Anyways ... just wondering if anyone else has had similar reflective moments ...

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Old 01-28-2012, 09:59 AM   #2
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Re: My own childhood (a spectrum reflection) ...

Definitely!

My son is profoundly autistic. I knew I had some of the issues but it didn't really dawn on me until I watched a video from Tony Atwood. He described what a typical life of a female with aspergers and it was soooo my life. The most eerie thing to hear someone describe you and they aren't even talking about you.

My parents now enjoy pointing out all my autistic things, or asking me if a particular weird thing I did is typical for autism, lol. Its amazing to me how my teachers just made accommodations for me, no IEP meeting needed. My parents barely understood that I had a problem at school other than I didn't speak and learned better if they let me sit far away from the rest of the class. My older sis was getting into a lot of trouble as I started school so as long as I was passing and not beating kids up my parents thought I was ok.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:00 AM   #3
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Re: My own childhood (a spectrum reflection) ...

My dad definitely has some symptoms, lol. My nephew is aspergers as well.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:56 AM   #4
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Re: My own childhood (a spectrum reflection) ...

Yes, It's only been in the last 5 months that I can honestly say that, yes, I do find myself on the autism spectrum. I didn't really know my father but many who did know him say he acted just like my Oldest child. My Older brother was diagnosed with Asperger's and I have some Nephews as well.

3 of my 7 children have HFA to some degree. (That we know of or suspect having) Some we are working on an official diagnosis and others we already have diagnosed. I've always been prone to getting an Idea or interested in something and going all out, talking, doing, explaining, making...almost to the point of obsessing about it.

As for my childhood, it was riddled with abuse. I can't really say what my childhood was about or even if the abuse came about because of how I acted. I do know I was quiet and didn't talk much, always afraid of saying something wrong (Which hasn't changed) or Annoying someone (Also, which hasn't changed) Crowds in the halls at Jr. High caused me endless anxiety and I would wait till the halls cleared out part way before making the track between classes. In 9th Grade I dropped out of Public School and enrolled into Correspondence Homeschool though the mail. I still avoid crowds but with Teens I find we can't always avoid them. I also get along with younger children much easier then Teens. Must be a social aspect I can't grasp. Thankfully, my teen children partly understand.
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Suzi
Definitely!

My son is profoundly autistic. I knew I had some of the issues but it didn't really dawn on me until I watched a video from Tony Atwood. He described what a typical life of a female with aspergers and it was soooo my life. The most eerie thing to hear someone describe you and they aren't even talking about you.

My parents now enjoy pointing out all my autistic things, or asking me if a particular weird thing I did is typical for autism, lol. Its amazing to me how my teachers just made accommodations for me, no IEP meeting needed. My parents barely understood that I had a problem at school other than I didn't speak and learned better if they let me sit far away from the rest of the class. My older sis was getting into a lot of trouble as I started school so as long as I was passing and not beating kids up my parents thought I was ok.
Do you have a link to the video?
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:22 PM   #6
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Re: My own childhood (a spectrum reflection) ...

We had it on DVD as part of our autism parent support group, I don't remember the exact name of it since he probably has more than one. Tony Atwood is an awesome speaker!
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:25 PM   #7
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Re: My own childhood (a spectrum reflection) ...

I got picked on some but I was very good at sports, saving grace as a kid. They were fine with me not talking as long as I scored some goals/baskets. I didn't talk outside of my home until I was almost 8, with the exception of answering flash card answers. I always had friends, there are plenty of girls out there who are happy to have a friend to boss around But seriously, I'm very grateful to the friends I had in elementary and middle school. They basically adopted me as a project and would teach me how to talk to people and other social stuff.
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