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Asperger syndrome?


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#1 eched

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:25 AM

It was highly suggested in the documentary (a)sexual that being asexual and forms of autism might be linked, specifically asperger syndrome. I really don't see how these two very different things could be related and I'm pretty sure I'm not autistic. Any comments on this? 


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#2 IceHurricane

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:41 AM

I have Asperger's and it's true that lots of aspies are asexual, but that doesn't mean that all asexuals have autism.  ^_^ Just because you're asexual doesn't mean you're autistic so don't worry. Asexuality has nothing to do with autism.


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#3 astrobean

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:50 AM

I think there is misdiagnosis involved because lack of interest in sex is considered a sign of aspergers, and since a lot of people don't know that asexuality is an option, they are looking for something else to explain why they don't socialize like "normal" people.  I could pass a test as being borderline Aspie, but if I interpret the socialization criteria under the light of being aromantic/asexual then there aren't enough of the other signs there to qualify me as Aspie.


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#4 marki

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:05 AM

How do they test for it? I was also a bit curious after watching that film about that point. Is it possible to have it and not know?

#5 Honey_Badger

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:06 AM

There are a lot of misdiagnoses due to the fact that "lack or lessening of interest in sex," is supposedly a symptom of everything from PTSD to depression to OCD to, as you've already said, being on the Autism spectrum. I wouldn't worry terribly about it, because if I know anything from the psychology students at my school, it's that they do very little research stating that one thing causes another, and lots saying "an interesting number of people have both conditions."


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#6 Philip027

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:30 AM

There are a lot of misdiagnoses due to the fact that "lack or lessening of interest in sex," is supposedly a symptom of everything from PTSD to depression to OCD to, as you've already said, being on the Autism spectrum.

 

Bingo

 

For what it's worth, I am ace and exhibit numerous signs of Asperger's and OCD tendencies, but never been officially diagnosed with those.


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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:16 AM

Well nobody can deny it, there's a high concentration in this community. But do you know what I've noticed? There's usually a high concentration wherever you go online. I wouldn't have said that the 'net was a great source of study here, considering that you'll usually find a high concentration of X, Y and Z online, and it sort of distorts the reality of the figures

Me? I'm one of those average neurotypical folk (last I checked, "allistic" was replacing neurotypical)

#8 RazorEddie

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:55 AM

I did quite a bit of research on this some time back and it does appear that autistic people are more likely to be asexual than neurotypical people. Autism is basically a communication problem. Autistics find it hard to understand non-verbal communication. Attraction, flirting etc are all about body language and non-verbal communication. A common co-morbid condition with autism is alexithymia, which is difficulty understanding emotions and your body's reactions to emotion. The end result is that you have someone who doesn't really recognise if they are interested in other people and don't recognise other people being interested in them. This is pretty much the perfect recipe for an ace.

 

Does that mean all autistics are ace or all aces are autistic? No, not at all. Everyone is different and being autistic or neurotypical is only a tiny part of who you are.

 

How do they test for it? I was also a bit curious after watching that film about that point. Is it possible to have it and not know?

 

Initial testing is usually done with a questionnaire or short interview. If the results indicate you may be on the autistic spectrum you go through a series of tests and interviews with psychologists trained in diagnosing autism. Usually your parents or close family are interviewed as well to get an idea of your childhood history. Two of the most common screening tests are are available on-line. They are the AQ and the RAADS-R. You can find both here

 

If you score high on both tests you probably have autistic characteristics and if you think it is worth pursuing you could have a chat with your doctor about it. To be honest as an adult getting a diagnosis is not worth the effort unless you are having obvious problems. In the US it is expensive to be tested if your insurance does not cover it and support for adults is minimal.

 

Is it possible to have autism and not know? Yes, this is quite common for people on the milder end of the spectrum.



#9 eched

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:13 PM

Took the AQ test just to see and only got a 16. But my God, all the comments about misdiagnoses were right on the money if the tests are all like that. I can see a lot of aromantic people scoring really high in this test and it wouldn't relate to them being autistic in anyway.


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#10 amygdala

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:19 PM

I have Asperger's and it's true that lots of aspies are asexual, but that doesn't mean that all asexuals have autism.  ^_^ Just because you're asexual doesn't mean you're autistic so don't worry. Asexuality has nothing to do with autism.

Agreed. But I don't think "not being sexual" isn't part of the criteria for Asperger's, but this is:

 

(B) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level

© a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interest or achievements with other people, (e.g.. by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
(D) lack of social or emotional reciprocity

(III) The disturbance causes clinically significant impairments in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

http://www.autreat.c...-aspergers.html


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#11 TheSilence

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:20 PM

If I take online test I have aspergers, but technically its only a disorder if you can't live a normal life, or something like that.  Then I can also take online test for schizoid, depression etc and test positive on them all.  People with lots of different disorders may be asexual but it doesn't mean that all asexuals have some sort of condition.

There is also the autistic spectrum, since according to new DSM regs aspergers doesn't really exist ( I have never read it so don't know the details).  Many people are on the spectrum but if they are living a healthy life then they do not have a disorder but can be asexual. I don't know if this make sense, sorry.



#12 Chardog

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:48 PM

I've never officially been diagnosed as an aspie, but I identified with extensive symptoms of that almost a decade ago and those things went back to my early childhood. Realizing I was ace came about 6 mos ago. There are similarities, but a lot of other components go into Aspergers that also don't necessarily overlap.

#13 Oceanid

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:48 PM

I'm an asexual aspie. I've read that asexuality is more common among people on the autistic spectrum, especially among women.


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#14 PerfectlyDarkTails

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:37 PM

Im also an Asperger, but only thing I can see are traits and similarities, this don't mean a thing as anyone can put two-and-two together and find the connections with disorder and normality.

#15 Great Thief Yatagarasu

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 12:39 AM

Can I maybe chip in a bit?

 

I'm an aspie, and it has nothing to do with my orientation. If anything, it makes me MORE sexual, because there are autistic people who seek sensory information, like myself. I'm an aspie because people confuse the shit out of me, because being around people tires me out, because my eye contact is often inappropriate, and plenty of other reasons. Basically every list I've ever found on "female asperger symptoms" maps out my personality, and I was diagnosed by a man who's considered to be an expert (even if I think his research is a bit iffy). My grey-asexuality was literally not mentioned in my assessment, even though my mum knew about it. 

 

I suppose they can be interlinked, but then, autistic people are generally more likely to be LGBT than the general population anyway, so I don't know. I'm just saying that not all autistic people are asexual, in the same way that not all asexuals are autistic.


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"I think for the most part I feel asexual, which is a kind like you are not completely attracted to either men or women, is in between spaces which is almost as to be bisexual, because you don't have a real choice. I've been with men, of course, but I love women so much (and you can see it on stage) ...and that's what men think: "oh, this is what women do?" that doesn't make me a lesbian, it's just what happened. But at the same time there's a part that I don't like, and is to don't be on only one side, because it makes me confused. And often I watch all from the outside, and I watch all as it is fine, and I respect it." - Emilie Autumn

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#16 mbw

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 12:57 AM

Many mental conditions seem to be "spectrum" syndroms Aspergers perhaps more than most.

 

I recently (a couple of hours ago) took a (very unofficial) online aspergers test.

Some features hit home exactly, others missed completely.

I get similar results for Bi-Polar...

 

The malleability of the human mind always amazes me.

There are even some people who consider it a good idea to strap a bomb to themselves

and blow it up in a crowded public place!

 

This raises the question, how far out there do we have to be, to be insane?

 

(oops I think the wine has kicked in, time for bed, good night everyone).



#17 PerfectlyDarkTails

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:08 AM

I'm an aspie, and it has nothing to do with my orientation. If anything, it makes me MORE sexual, because there are autistic people who seek sensory information, like myself.

Ah yeah... That reminds me of getting a Sensory Profile done, the one with Sensory Seeking, Sensory Avoidance, Information Processing and visual/auditory processing. No surprise that I scored high on the Sensory Avoidance and significant affected in other areas.

It's an interesting area in regards with sex and masturbation. Sensory Seeking, if significantly impacted enough, an affected individual may even need sexual stimulants to get that sensory fulfilment, even that of a libido that could feel dull in enjoyment.

It's an aspect where it is a sliding scale for me, where simple self stimulation could just be far too overwhelming to enjoy it, when the entire body gets hyper stimulated. The Opposite is true in some instances where I need more advanced stimulation to get enjoyment out of it. It can often feel no physical enjoyment as well.

An interesting Neurological area of study at least :)


#18 iamphoenixfire

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:24 AM

Yeah, like I have PTSD and I was actually tested for Asberger's (came back negative... not really surprised....) but honestly there is a difference between lack of interest in sex and asexuality. 


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#19 Honey_Badger

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 02:49 AM

Yeah, like I have PTSD and I was actually tested for Asberger's (came back negative... not really surprised....) but honestly there is a difference between lack of interest in sex and asexuality. 

 

Same here. I got tested for Aspergers the year before the events that lead to my PTSD, though... I probably fill a lot more of the mutual symptoms now than I ever did at nine years old. Of course, I've had PTSD for half my life now, so that will confuse a lot of diagnoses. I've also been tested for several other conditions (mostly related to OCD and depression,) on the way to the PTSD diagnosis, so I remember pretty well which of the questions were on all of the questionnaires. 

 

Actually, when I got tested for Aspergers they returned an interesting result: hyperawareness of other people's emotions, which was more than my nine year old brain could handle when dealing with other shiny new human beings.


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#20 Sgt Salt

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 04:36 AM

 

There are a lot of misdiagnoses due to the fact that "lack or lessening of interest in sex," is supposedly a symptom of everything from PTSD to depression to OCD to, as you've already said, being on the Autism spectrum.

 

Bingo

 

For what it's worth, I am ace and exhibit numerous signs of Asperger's and OCD tendencies, but never been officially diagnosed with those.

 

 

Same here.  I exhibit a LOT of Asperger's signs and have been diagnosed with OCD.  But honestly, my asexuality is not the result of that.



#21 Great Thief Yatagarasu

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 10:31 PM

 

I'm an aspie, and it has nothing to do with my orientation. If anything, it makes me MORE sexual, because there are autistic people who seek sensory information, like myself.

Ah yeah... That reminds me of getting a Sensory Profile done, the one with Sensory Seeking, Sensory Avoidance, Information Processing and visual/auditory processing. No surprise that I scored high on the Sensory Avoidance and significant affected in other areas.

It's an interesting area in regards with sex and masturbation. Sensory Seeking, if significantly impacted enough, an affected individual may even need sexual stimulants to get that sensory fulfilment, even that of a libido that could feel dull in enjoyment.

It's an aspect where it is a sliding scale for me, where simple self stimulation could just be far too overwhelming to enjoy it, when the entire body gets hyper stimulated. The Opposite is true in some instances where I need more advanced stimulation to get enjoyment out of it. It can often feel no physical enjoyment as well.

An interesting Neurological area of study at least :)

 

 

I've never gotten a profile like that done, but honestly, I like doing things just for the way they feel a lot of the time. I can spend hours in a hot shower, just for the way the hot water feels on my skin. More than once, on weekends where I have nothing important to do, I've showered, dried myself, and then just gotten back into bed because of the way the sheets would feel. I just do a lot of that kind of thing. 

 

I think people need to study how sexuality and autism cross over, definitely, especially since multiple studies have found that there are way more neuroatypical queer people than you'd think. But I think that can only happen if people stop immediately equating autism with asexuality, because when people make that assumption, it's not because they care for asexual people - it's because they assume only "weird" people are asexual, they assume that autistics are "emotionless," and the idea of disabled people being sexual squicks them out. 


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"I think for the most part I feel asexual, which is a kind like you are not completely attracted to either men or women, is in between spaces which is almost as to be bisexual, because you don't have a real choice. I've been with men, of course, but I love women so much (and you can see it on stage) ...and that's what men think: "oh, this is what women do?" that doesn't make me a lesbian, it's just what happened. But at the same time there's a part that I don't like, and is to don't be on only one side, because it makes me confused. And often I watch all from the outside, and I watch all as it is fine, and I respect it." - Emilie Autumn

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#22 Jonitus

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:51 AM

I too score high on indexes that test for Autism/Asperger's, but am neither.  I'm asexual, highly intelligent, and simply don't LIKE socializing with other people.  It's kind of disturbing to me that we try so hard to categorize and classify everybody in the world to fit in these neat little boxes.  There is a broad spectrum when it comes to humanity, and most of us don't necessarily "fit" in any particular category.



#23 Satin

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 02:38 PM

Under the assumption that the movie (which I haven't seen) speaks of a link in terms of a correlation, which I believe is the case:

 

So what if asexuality and autism/Asperger are linked? That means nothing else than there is a correlation between the two. It does not, however, say that one thing causes the other or that they are even related other than being influenced by the same third variable in the background. Also, when people speak of correlations, it's virtually never a 100% correlation that is being referred to.

 

There simply seems to be an increased amount of people that report being both asexual and Asperger compared to people that report, i.e., being heterosexual and Asperger. Doesn't mean every asexual is an Aspie and vice versa. I'm asexual and neurotypical and have a friend that was recently diagnosed with Asperger but is quite sexual. But considering that research knows so little about the asexual population and asexuality generally, it's quite possible that there are just huge biases because as Arca said, autistic/Asperger people may clog around online communities, or asexuality and Asperger get mixed up by because one criteria for Asperger looks like it's asexuality. And of course, the autistic spectrum is, as the name implies, a spectrum, like many constructs that in extreme cases lead to a diagnose of some disorder.

 

So again: What's the big deal?


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#24 Zash

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 02:03 PM

People who have Asperger's also already feel different than everyone else, and more likely to not fit in, so are also less likely to try to cling to a more common sexuality.  That can also skew the numbers.  The problem is there is no clinical test for sexualities, so it more or less has to be diagnosed based on the subject's willingness to admit it and actions.

 

So either, Asperger's may cause asexuality, or maybe it just makes them more willing to admit it.



#25 Kyon.

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 06:05 PM

I know a few people in the medical profession (including a carer for autistic people) and they've said a few times that I exhibit AS tendencies. A few years ago, I went to try to get tested so I'd know one way or the other...and ended up with a diagnosis of depression (huh?) and the helpful statement of - I quote - "maybe you've got aspergers, maybe you haven't."

 

The whole experience was very confusing. 


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#26 RTerroni

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 03:03 AM

I have Aspergers and am Asexual as well



#27 CodeRed441

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 05:57 PM

Me too!  :P

Wouldn't like to say the two are directly linked, but they do have a lot in common.



#28 Satin

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 06:03 PM

Me too!  :P

Wouldn't like to say the two are directly linked, but they do have a lot in common.

Yeah such as?



#29 RTerroni

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 09:03 PM

 

Me too!  :P

Wouldn't like to say the two are directly linked, but they do have a lot in common.

Yeah such as?

 

Well for one the idea of being anti-social and not wanting contact with anyone is a lot in common to not wanting to have sex with anyone.



#30 Satin

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 09:28 PM

Please don't pretend being anti-social and not wanting contact with anyone is a key trait of most asexuals. : /


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