Social Interaction Survey

This week’s questions are all about general social interaction (next week is social communication). Some of these questions might hit a little close to home for some of us  because they touch on trust and vulnerability. Please don’t feel pressured to answer any questions that make you uncomfortable.

If you prefer to answer anonymously, you can do so at Survey Monkey.

1. Have you dated knowing you had Aspergers/Autism? If so, when and how did you disclose? How did that turn out?  How did you go about getting someone to date you?

2. How often do you like to go out? Do you prefer to do stuff alone? Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself to go out sometimes?

3. Do you talk a lot to people? A lot of books go on about how Aspies can talk the hind leg off a donkey about their pet topics  but I don’t have the desire to really talk to people.

4. For people diagnosed as an adult, do you have a changed perception of how others see you? for example how friendly/outgoing/confident you seem to them.

5. Do you see yourself as vulnerable because of ASD? Are you more likely to be persuaded to do something or taken advantage of than most other people might? Has your perception of this changed with age?

6. Trusting other people – over the years I have learnt that I am very poor at reading peoples intentions and have been taken advantage of. I have adjusted to this by needing to understand what is happening and needing to be able to logically join up what someone does and says into a consistent picture – or I don’t trust them. How do other people manage this?

7. Do you ever feel like you’re living on a different scale of time from other people? For example, do you hear about a new TV show and only watch it years later because it just didn’t seem urgent?

8. My therapist explained that extroverts gain energy from others and introverts gain energy from being alone, and that autistic people can be either or anywhere in between. She also said there are challenges for extrovert autistics because of the social difficulties making it hard to achieve needed social interaction. (more details) Thinking about it in these terms, where would you place yourself on a continuum from introvert to extrovert? Is this different from how you would think of yourself using the terms in a broader sense, and is this different from how others see you?


148 thoughts on “Social Interaction Survey”

  1. my answers:

    1. I was diagnosed after being married for quite a few years. I have no idea how dating works and wouldn’t know where to begin if I wanted to date. I met my husband through a shared interest, which is pretty much how I’ve met every person I’ve ever had more than a passing acquaintance with.

    2. Does going grocery shopping count as going out? Going out socially is something I rarely do. If I leave the house it’s generally to exercise, shop, do errands, or eat out/get coffee. That happens 2-4 times a week on average. Sometimes we’ll go to a movie or go for a drive, but I’m not into going to clubs or bars, etc. I enjoy doing things alone and am content to be on my own for long periods. I’m pretty self-entertaining and don’t need a lot of social interaction to be happy.

    3. I’m quiet by nature and have to push myself to engage in conversation at times, unless it’s about a topic that I’m passionate about. Then I can ramble on long past the point where any other human being would reasonably be interested in listening.

    4. I think they see me as more relaxed and more myself. Also weirder and less likely to make an effort to conform to social norms, which I think has been uncomfortable for them at times.

    5. I think I was when I was younger, but I’ve really hardened myself to people to the point that I am very slow to trust. That probably makes me more difficult than the average person to take advantage of.

    6. I’m very skeptical of people’s intentions and tend to question everything. I’m not sure if that’s actually a coping strategy or just a reactionary response.

    7. Well, I just started watching Six Feet Under, 13 years after it came out, didn’t discover House of Cards or Orange is the New Black until it was nearly season 2 of each and have never seen a Harry Potter movie (or read any of the books). I’m not very tuned in to pop culture. I watch a few current shows but most of what I’ve watched recently has been off the air for a few years. I like “closed canon” shows because I know that I can binge watch the whole thing and not have to wait for new seasons. My tastes also run toward quirky obscure things like the original “Grey Gardens” and “Harold and Maude” rather than massively popular shows/movies.

    8. I’m definitely an introvert–by that description, my own interpretation and others’ view of me. No question about it, although I like how simple this definition of introvert/extrovert is.

    1. 1. As I’ve been looking more into Aspergers I had a realization, I think my ex-boyfriend very well may have been Aspie, too. It made me terribly sad actually, because I think if I had known then what I know now it would have vastly helped out our communication (I doubt it would have changed our inevitable parting, though). All my ex-girlfriends are definitely NT. Since I’ve only really come to embrace having Aspergers in the past few months and I’m not seeing anyone, I don’t know how or when I would disclose this information to my next partner. I’m still trying to decide how to do that with my family.

      2. I don’t go out too often. I really hate going out for the sole purpose of “socializing.” But I really love having a sense of community and enjoy doing activities with friends. It’s very difficult for me to motivate and get out. Too many times I’ve been that asshole who cancels plans last minute (to be fair to myself, a lot of that overlaps with dealing with major depression too).

      3. I’m much more of a listener and observer than talker and participant. But I will definitely talk someone’s ear off if one of my “pet topics.” It’s funny, my ex-bf used to always say I was so friendly and outgoing and I would sort of get offended, like how can you even think that?! haha. But I guess compared to him I was?

      4. I haven’t really told anyone yet so I don’t know how it would change their perception of me. I might tell some family this weekend though, see how that goes. I know that once I do “come out” I will feel more sure of who I am, I already do, just understanding neurodivergence for myself.

      5. Looking back on my life, yes definitely. I probably am still more gullible than most people but I think I’ve gotten a lot better at looking out for being taken advantage of.

      6. I definitely vacillate between being incredibly trusting and not trusting anyone. Circumstance matters, and my mental health.

      7. I do for sure, more on a day to day time scale though. I remember as a kid thinking, “oh I have FIVE MINUTES to get from point A to point B and do XYZ… that’s SO MUCH TIME!” and then of course I would be late because that is not so much time, haha. I’m very much a daydreamer and that affects my sense of time as well.

      8. I’m very much an introvert. When I was a teenager I thought I was a loner, but I’m not. I really need community, whether in person (I joined a traveling circus) or on the internet (my saving grace for much of my life). But I AM an introvert. Having to interact with people drains me, and I definitely need time and space to recoup and recharge.

  2. anonymous answers from Survey Monkey:

    Q1: No. Found out that I exhibit a number of traits of AS when my wife brought it up after 8 years of marriage. Dating was never a problem as I could act the part.

    Q2: hate going out except on rare occaisions. Family events (my side) are an exception.

    Alone is heaven. Motivation is a struggle in general.

    Q3: Talk to a lot of people at work, but all very shallow. I prefer not to talk.

    Q4: No. Most people see my prickly side if they are around me long enough and see it more as a desire to get shit done versus AS.

    Q5: Yes as a child, but as an adult the shell has hardened and I view the world with suspicion, so very rarely do I get taken advantage of. Probably too closed off in some instances.

    Q6: Don’t trust others until trust is proven. Sometimes a hair trigger removal of that trust. Asking questions is a way to suss out the picture like you asked and and give myself opportunities to trust when no ill intent is observed.

    Q7: I binge watch a lot of TV because it is better that way.

    I feel like I am 6-8 years older than my actual age. Have always felt that way.

    I’m not influenced strongly by other’s desire to time events unless they are close to me.

    Q8: 90% introvert. Can fake extrovert when the situation calls for it, but don’t want to talk to anyone for a period of time after.

  3. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No, I only recently realized I’m likely on the spectrum.

    Q2: It depends. I definitely need a certain amount of alone to social time ratio. But time spent with my wife != time at a busy restaurant with a large group of people. When I was single, and going out was my only option for social contact, I would venture out maybe once a week and spend the rest of the time by myself. It’s always been hard to motivate myself to go out, especially to something new, and especially if it disrupts my usual schedule for things, even if that time would otherwise just be spent relaxing by myself.

    Q3: Not really. I’m incredibly self conscious about people being interested in what I have to say, so I don’t really share much at all, even when I’m just dying to tell someone. I think I was probably a lot worse as a kid, but I have a hard time remembering it. I can recall reading How to Win Friends and Influence People in high school and lessons like “don’t interrupt people” and “be interested in the other person” hitting especially close to home.

    Q4: I’m taking the ADOS is two weeks, so I guess I’ll know afterwards.

    Q5: I think so, yeah. That’s one of the things that pushed me to investigate that I had it actually. I was having trouble establishing boundaries with friends and family members. They would pressure me and I would cave, only to realize later how angry or upset I was during the conversation. I did a Google search and came upon alexithymia, and subsequently ASD.

    Q6: I haven’t really figured this out yet, as evidenced by my response to the last question. I lean to much towards the trusting end of the spectrum, and it burns me sometimes. I’ve tried to adapt by taking a more detached, Stoic view of what’s important to me.

    Q7: Yeah, but I think that has as much to do with the fact that I don’t have TV, and only watch shows on Amazon/Netflix. I think I have a bigger disconnect when it comes to news. I just don’t read it if it doesn’t relate to my special interests. I used to keep up on it, but I would get angry a lot, at the events and at the way other people responded to it. It didn’t make me happier or a better person, and ultimately the vast majority of it is stuff that has little to no impact on my life, so I just cut it out entirely.

    Q8: 100% introvert. Like when I see them talk about solitary confinement on TV shows and movies I often think, “that doesn’t sound so bad”, and have a bit of a perverse part of myself that thinks it might be kinda nice for a while.

    I think others definitely see me as introverted, but they don’t get a sense of just how introverted I am.

  4. anonymous answers:

    Q1: no

    Q2: I like going out alone. Mostly because I have family stuff filling most of my time.

    Q3: I can listen to chit chat for a little while; as long as I don’t have to talk. If someone asks me a question, it’s easier.

    Q4: I think people see me as outgoing and confident because I have worked hard to appear so. Friendliness comes from being taught to be exhaustingly polite all of the time.

    Q5: If I look back at myself in my teens and twenties, I was definitly in situations where things could have gone very wrong or gotten much worse because my sense of people’s manipulations was not good. Even now, it takes a while to figure out when people are trying to use me. I am able to walk away, but handling it or preventing it is hard. Surrounding myself with good people helps!

    Q6: Exactly! I usually decide to not interact with people who are hard to read. Just walk away.

    Q7: Yup! Most of my “new” tv shows or movies pop on Netflix or Hulu. That would be the first time I heard of them.

    Q8: I like being around people, but I don’t need to talk to them. I lived in a large city and loved it because no one expected you to talk.

    1. Maybe I will move to a large city. 🙂 been trying to find a comfortable place where I don’t “have,” to talk. 🙂 when asked question’s I would have to agree it is easier to answer. Heck might as well just agree with everything written. 🙂

  5. 1. Have you dated knowing you had Aspergers/Autism? If so, when and how did you disclose? How did that turn out? How did you go about getting someone to date you?
    No, I’ve been single for years and had no idea that I had Asperger’s when I was dating. I wish I had as it might have made huge differences (I probably wouldn’t have dated some of the people I did or at least I might have been more aware of myself and walked away instead of getting hurt). I’m happy being single – I can’t see myself having a relationship again. I find them too complicated and I get too intense.
    2. How often do you like to go out? Do you prefer to do stuff alone? Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself to go out sometimes?
    In terms of socially I rarely go out – I just don’t feel the need and when I do meet up with someone for lunch (pretty much my only social event) it’s because I feel obliged to make the effort in order to keep the friendship going. I rarely have any particular desire to see them and would be delighted if they had to cancel! I’m happy doing stuff alone – much happier. I can take my time, think about it, do what makes me happy… If I was doing something with someone I’d always feel rushed. I do go out every day to walk my dog (well almost every day – occasionally I might be really struggling to motivate myself and if it’s pouring with rain…) and probably once a week to buy milk. Some weeks that seems like a really big deal, other weeks I’ll find it easier. I would like to go out to the odd museum etc. (on my own) but the thought of travelling puts me off and I think my OCD around security stops me too – I’m worried that something will happen at home while I’m out and my dog and cats will be hurt (house burns down etc.). I do need to do something about that and hopefully if I ever get seen for an official diagnosis I can maybe look at sorting that out somehow.
    3. Do you talk a lot to people? A lot of books go on about how Aspies can talk the hind leg off a donkey about their pet topics but I don’t have the desire to really talk to people.
    Nope, I talk to myself ad infinitum (running commentary in my head, plus conversations with self and conversations with others in my head – real and imagined people i.e. I’ve gone through the whole diagnosis interview in my head several times!). I could potentially ramble on to someone but don’t get the chance, don’t have the confidence to talk, don’t think they’d be remotely interested in what I enjoy, and don’t really feel the need to share anyway.
    4. For people diagnosed as an adult, do you have a changed perception of how others see you? for example how friendly/outgoing/confident you seem to them.
    I’m not officially diagnosed as yet and no-one offline knows I have Asperger’s. I doubt anyone that remotely knows me thinks I’m outgoing (if they do they really, really don’t know me), but I possibly come across as friendly just because I listen – for some reason people on the whole seem to judge you as nice and friendly if you listen to them.
    5. Do you see yourself as vulnerable because of ASD? Are you more likely to be persuaded to do something or taken advantage of than most other people might? Has your perception of this changed with age?
    I don’t know that I feel vulnerable because of Asperger’s but I have been taken for a ride on several occasions in the past (and probably would be again despite being aware of it). I like to be generous (not sure if that’s to do with wanting to make friends) and several people have used that to get me to fund their lifestyles in the past. And not just in relationships where it could be less noticeable. I had a ‘friend’ who let me pay for everything (including spending lots on birthday & Christmas presents, and paying for holidays) and remarkably the ‘friendship’ ceased when I was no longer in a position to pay. And I don’t like to hurt peoples’ feelings so I’m more likely to say yes to something (except if it involves going out in which case I’m good at saying no!) even if I’m not happy about it. I’m more aware of myself now but I’m not sure that I wouldn’t make the same mistakes…
    6. Trusting other people – over the years I have learnt that I am very poor at reading peoples intentions and have been taken advantage of. I have adjusted to this by needing to understand what is happening and needing to be able to logically join up what someone does and says into a consistent picture – or I don’t trust them. How do other people manage this?
    I don’t manage it! I trust people initially and then if they screw up I won’t trust them at all. Very all or nothing. It does cost me friendships as I can’t differentiate or cope with the concept that people make mistakes.
    7. Do you ever feel like you’re living on a different scale of time from other people? For example, do you hear about a new TV show and only watch it years later because it just didn’t seem urgent?
    In terms of tv shows they rarely seem urgent. I’ll think to myself ‘I’ll watch that’ but it doesn’t happen and then I’ll be like ‘oh I missed it’. I just amble along in my own time – sometimes I feel like I’m rushing through life and need to slow down, other times I’m just idling.
    8. My therapist explained that extroverts gain energy from others and introverts gain energy from being alone, and that autistic people can be either or anywhere in between. She also said there are challenges for extrovert autistics because of the social difficulties making it hard to achieve needed social interaction. (more details) Thinking about it in these terms, where would you place yourself on a continuum from introvert to extrovert? Is this different from how you would think of yourself using the terms in a broader sense, and is this different from how others see you?

    I am so totally introverted! Marks out of ten this is the only area in my life where I would actually give myself the full 10. I don’t need to go out, I don’t need other people to re-energise me, and I need to spend vast quantities of time on my own. I could win a gold medal for being introverted! Unfortunately most people seem to see introverted as equalling shy! So I got labelled shy as a child and the label stuck. No folks I’m hugely introverted with Asperger’s!! (Sorry, had to get that out!)

    1. I’m not yet diagnosed either,although everything just said is like,wow!!! I to walk my dog almost everyday depending. :),enjoy silence and alone time a lot! Sometime’s I wish I could find someone to hang with that wouldn’t mind doing quiet side by side interest’s. Feeling that need by other’s to talk is anxiety stricken. I trust easily unless given a reason,then close off. Nobody that lose’s my trust will be aloud to see the real me.

    1. It’s done that to me in the past – now I paste the questions into Word, answer them there and copy it all back again, remembering not to delete my Word document until it’s been accepted! Technology, pah!

      1. I have also gone through the diagnostic process in my head, several times. I’ve also had arguments over it with my mother many times too 🙂

        1. Spooky – I just had that argument with my mother in my head inbetween reading the last comment and yours! (It didn’t go well!)

            1. I think it’s funny how even in our heads we don’t let ourselves win the argument, or at least not always. It’s like a cruel joke!

  6. anonymous answers:

    Q2: I go out mostly when I have to. Grocery shopping, to my kids’ events, church. I do find it difficult to motivate myself to go out. It’s easier to go out when I have a reason to or if someone needs me to go with them.

    Q3: No, not really. I’m not a big talker. I do talk but not excessively.

    Q4: I’m not diagnosed.

    Q7: haha! Yes, same here. I just don’t care about new shows, new technology, etc.

    Q8: I’m an introvert for sure. In my opinion, this is how others see me as well.

  7. 1. Have you dated knowing you had Aspergers/Autism? If so, when and how did you disclose? How did that turn out? How did you go about getting someone to date you?

    I haven’t. I dated before knowing I was ‘weird’ but that was all. Nowadays, I feel like I *should* date (I haven’t yet, after a failed marriage) and also like I should disclose fairly early, but since I have yet to decide for myself what exactly ASD means to me (or even if I can claim I have it), I’m not sure what disclosure would look like. I have a hard time getting around the feeling that ‘if you’re a great person (the kind of person I would like to date), why aren’t you finding someone more stable and predictably responsive to be with?’

    2. How often do you like to go out? Do you prefer to do stuff alone? Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself to go out sometimes?

    I find it very difficult to motivate myself to go out! I often have grand plans for the weekends (and the future in general) but stick at the steps to put them into practice, out of fear and a feeling I think of as ‘frozen brain,’ where I drop into tension and panic and have a hard time breaking that emotional cycle to get out. I’m actually thinking about using dice to simulate making decisions to go out and do things (i.e., keeping a chart of things I do want to do, as far as outings, and then rolling dice a few days before the weekend to figure out which one I’m going to do. I figure that also simulates being flexible to accommodate choices other people may make, too, to a degree). My hope is that I could use this as practice in breaking my brain freeze.

    3. Do you talk a lot to people? A lot of books go on about how Aspies can talk the hind leg off a donkey about their pet topics but I don’t have the desire to really talk to people.

    I can talk to people at length if they seem interested in what I’m interested in or have been interested in in the past (Doctor Who, translation, languages, the complexities of interpersonal relationships, some political issues). I *think* I don’t overtalk, but I *am* definitely most comfortable-feeling when I’m describing something I know about to someone else. I talk far too much online and am a terrible oversharer. I don’t tend to think about the consequences of oversharing; if I have information, I tend to share it because I feel like it might be useful.

    4. For people diagnosed as an adult, do you have a changed perception of how others see you? for example how friendly/outgoing/confident you seem to them.

    I haven’t been diagnosed.

    5. Do you see yourself as vulnerable because of ASD? Are you more likely to be persuaded to do something or taken advantage of than most other people might? Has your perception of this changed with age?

    I think I’m quite vulnerable, and my perception of this has only emerged since I began thinking of myself as potentially having ASD (that is, it’s only a few months old). I want very much to be useful and to fit in, and my weak sense of self means that I’ll easily take on the persona of a more forceful person who takes interest in me, even though it can cause me distress (especially in the long term), because it gives me someone to ‘be’ and a way to make decisions easily (or have them made for me). I won’t push myself forward for better conditions (such as raises) because a) I don’t realize I *can* (I don’t see or understand the rules of the ‘game,’ necessarily) and b) I don’t feel like I *deserve* better (after all, I usually believe I genuinely *am* capable of less than others, and so don’t see why I should receive consideration). I also find I am very keen to show that I am ‘smart’ or flexible, and that means, in the past, I’ve done some fairly edgy things because I felt like I had to to show the people I was with that I could keep up with them and that I wasn’t boring. I’ve never done anything illegal, thank heavens!

    6. Trusting other people – over the years I have learnt that I am very poor at reading peoples intentions and have been taken advantage of. I have adjusted to this by needing to understand what is happening and needing to be able to logically join up what someone does and says into a consistent picture – or I don’t trust them. How do other people manage this?

    I’m working on learning how to develop a nuanced picture of others, myself. In the past, I think I would form all-black or all-white pictures, which would flip-flop depending on whose ‘fault’ I felt my current emotional condition and general circumstances were. If I thought it was all my ‘fault,’ for being rigid, selfish, and having a poor imagination, I would see the other person as a saint, someone patient and better than I was (I’m working particularly on not always thinking of my mother this way, but it also goes for anyone I’m in a romantic relationship with), sacrificing to be with me and that I’m obligated to them. If I’m angry at them, I think they’re horrible manipulative people who’ve been using me. Sitting down and thinking of the other person as a full person and thinking about their characteristics nonjudgementally (but with an awareness that I don’t have to feel slavishly obligated to them no matter what conclusion I come to) is something I’m working on right now.

    7. Do you ever feel like you’re living on a different scale of time from other people? For example, do you hear about a new TV show and only watch it years later because it just didn’t seem urgent?

    I feel very much like my time scale runs ‘slow.’ Nothing seems particularly urgent, because if I get to it, I get to it, and if I don’t, I don’t (at least in terms of ‘fun’ things. I do pay my bills and do health things on time!). It’s not a big deal to me if I see a film or buy a houseware *right now* or not. This can be a liability, because some things I’ll realize *should* count as urgent (for instance, having furniture after moving in to an apartment) but don’t feel that urgent to me. I’ll live in a furniture-less flat for months! And then marvel when I finally get furniture and realize how much nicer my life is… :\

    8. My therapist explained that extroverts gain energy from others and introverts gain energy from being alone, and that autistic people can be either or anywhere in between. She also said there are challenges for extrovert autistics because of the social difficulties making it hard to achieve needed social interaction. (more details) Thinking about it in these terms, where would you place yourself on a continuum from introvert to extrovert? Is this different from how you would think of yourself using the terms in a broader sense, and is this different from how others see you?

    I lean toward extrovert, I think. As a child, I enjoyed being a ham and the center of attention (probably to a disruptive level). As an adult, I enjoy being around people, theoretically. I feel like I gain something (new ideas, new ways of seeing the world, a sense of place) from others, but being around others drains me. For instance, I went to the hairstylist this weekend and did my best to keep up conversation the whole time because my stylist seems like a decent person interested in talking about her family and I enjoy hearing what she has to say, but I slept for six hours after coming home and suspect I still came across as a little wooden and repetitive. It’s frustrating! I want very much to be conventionally social, because I think conventionally social people ‘see’ people’s complexity and context with a filter that makes it less painful to hold the slippery contradictions of a whole person in their minds. In a way, I feel like I’m in the mode people describe when they talk about that noncritical point of ‘falling in love’ with someone, except I’m in it all the time, with everyone–that point where you only see the good or the bad in someone and have strong intense emotional reactions to them that are based on excluding seeing what you don’t want to see.

      1. 😀

        All of the photos I was finding for social interaction were so . . . human. Then I saw these two pups and was like, “oh, that’s how I do social interaction!” 🙂

        1. Is that what they are? Papillions? Thank you! I see them a lot in my neighborhood but having been a cat person all my life I’m relatively new to dog adoration and so I have no clue of any breed. Moving on from heart-rending cuteness… I could, as usual, really identify with the different aspects of your comment Otterknot, particularly over-sharing, and the black-and-white view of people. Saints or sinners in my book, and that is especially true of myself. I did actually put this down to my very Catholic upbringing, which would also have included the idea that you are as guilty for a thought as a deed, but now I’m not so sure. I’m not sure strict adherence to religion would be an ideal way to raise a child like me (I forget that for some people it’s a deep-rooted value, and to not raise a child with religion is a little like asking the parent to not teach the child to be honest – hope that makes sense), but I see now how my ASD might have impacted my thinking on these matters and, desperately looking for answers, I blamed it on my childhood experience of Catholicism. More to think about! Which actually makes me happy… 🙂

          1. I think it’s a Papillion. They’re very cute! There’s one in my neighborhood, too. Such big ears.

            When I was little, I used to think my thoughts could have a negative impact on the world and felt horribly guilty *all the time,* and I had no Catholic upbringing (therapists would ask me, as an adult, if I did), so I’d say that feeling is separate from the upbringing, though I’m sure the upbringing makes it seem more like the norm. I would feel guilty if it snowed and I’d thought about wanting snow, for instance. Unsurprisingly, I was stressed all the time, and had a large bank of mental mantras that I would recite in case I had bad thoughts. I bet you, in a lot of cases, OCD isn’t its own separate thing but an attempt to develop coping skills for ASD.

            1. I deal with allot of useless guilt as does my sibling and neither of us were raised catholic. I often find myself caught in a guils snowball. Little bits of guilt build up until I’m just one big ball of guilt. Sometimes I feel guilty for *not* feeling guilty about something that I think that maybe I *should* feel guilty about. It’s something I’m working on.

              1. Ha! That sounds so familiar, Beth. A lot of my guilt is about not feeling ways I think I should feel, and not knowing when I ‘should’ feel certain things.

                1. Ah… the confused guilt. Yes this is a thing… and sometimes I feel confused about why I feel guilty *or* guilty for being confused. It goes both ways.

                2. Exactly. Sorry for the short response. Everyone is saying exactly how the guilt goes. Oh wait,here’s a prime example. I’m already wondering if I should have written more.

                1. It’s like worrying over not having something to worry about: I must be missing something, there MUST be something bad I need to focus on, and if I don’t recall it right now, it’s going to leap out of nowhere when I least expect it and then all hell is bound to break loose. I’m actually waking up these days with old memories of times when I was horrible to someone, usually in school. I think it’s because I’ve been feeling angry about how I’ve sometimes been treated and this is my brain’s way of telling me ‘Oh, think YOU were a saint, do you?’ Because I have a very weak sense of self, I cannot tell if I was a bully, simply a part-time b*tch, if I just had absolutely no clue how to act around people, or if I was just acting like lots of other normal, occasionally nasty, kids. I have such poor perspective, so my brain just naturally assumes the worst. I really want to find a couple of people I went to school with when I was young and apologize for any part I played in making them feel bad about themselves. Hell, I want to take out a full-page ad in our national paper and tell each and every one of them IT WASN’T YOU, IT WAS ME; why ever I did it, it was so wrong. I know what lasting damage bullying, and ostracizing, can do to a person, and the idea that I may have contributed to someone’s years of pain is almost too much for me to bear. I just hope that those people that I may have hurt are much stronger than me, and much better at letting go.

                2. Everyone behaves like a git to someone at some point in their life, that’s just human nature. But if you can’t remember any particularly huge instances where you ill-treated people yet feel guilty then I’d say you probably weren’t a bully. Because bullies either do enough harm that they’d be able to remember it in quantity or they don’t have the empathy to realise and don’t feel guilty. You feel guilty & have some memories, ergo I’d suggest you were a normal kid who occasionally behaved in a thoughtless manner 🙂

            2. I agree that it seems a number of diagnoses have overlapping characteristics. On the subject of guilt, have you ever caught yourself feeling guilty for things that *other people* have done? As if, had you just done better, they wouldn’t have done wrong? I don’t know if that’s about boundaries or self-esteem or control or anxiety or heightened conscientiousness or what! So nice to be freed from such thoughts, in any case.

              1. I don’t experience that, but I experience shame/embarrassment for friends if I hear or see someone do something inconsiderate or hurtful to them and they let it go. I won’t defend myself if something similar happens to me (I may not even realize what’s happening), but I will instantly defend that friend, even if my defense just makes the situation more awkward and escalated… It’s like I’m compensating for rarely defending myself by defending I perceive as ‘affiliated’ with me.

    1. ” I have a hard time getting around the feeling that ‘if you’re a great person (the kind of person I would like to date), why aren’t you finding someone more stable and predictably responsive to be with?’” I can relate to this very much :P. I have found myself grilling potential partners, so why do you REALLY want to get married anyway? Why do you even want to take on a wife and kid? I have a hard time imagining why anyone would want to be in a relationship with me sometimes :P. I mean, I like me, most of the time, but there are so many easier options… so that’s not a great outlook to finding a new partner. This wasn’t always my viewpoint, I was more optimistic when I was younger and didn’t know how messed up I was.

      1. I’m trying to think my way out of that ‘you’re a really great person, you should be dating someone simpler!’ box, but it’s definitely hard to do! The best thing seems to be trying to just work on making me happier about myself. Maybe someday I’ll be happy enough about myself that I will be like, hey, sure, potential dates, I can see how making the extra effort to be with me as opposed to with someone else is worth it 😉

        1. Focusing on being happy with yourself is of utmost importance; a corollary consideration is whether the other person, as a potential partner, merits *your* time and effort!

  8. 1. I figured out I have aspergers a few years ago and the few dates I’ve gone on since then I tell them about. One time before we met after talking on the phone and establishing a report, it didn’t seem to matter as everyone had their own quirks and I sound coherent. One other time was on the 2nd date when we were kissing and she asked why I was so shy, which really shocked me because I didn’t think I was being shy.

    2. I like to go out (when I’m doing things with other people) three times a week. I used to prefer once or twice a week, but the more I go out the easier it gets. Less than that I can feel lonely, more than that I can get stressed out. I prefer to do chores (shopping, etc.) alone. I do not like to go to movies or concerts alone, I feel stupid waiting around for the band to start when I am by myself.

    3. I do not talk a lot to people. My Dad used to say to me you can not get a pause in edgewise when talking to me. I would usually only talk when I thought I had something specific to offer. I now know that you make connections with people by recognizing common feelings, something I am learning to do (not natural for me). When it one of my special interests (professional wrestling or music) – I can talk on and on.

    4. I have little change in how I think people perceive me now that I know, but I have a better understanding of what to expect and more skillful reactions.

    5&6 When I was young I figured out that people can be manipulative and untruthful, so I always kept my guard up. I now know that doing that was keeping people away. It is sometimes hard to figure out the right balance. This is where having people you can trust in your life to bounce things off can be helpful.

    7. I definitely feel I am living on a different time scale. I did not have my first Girlfriend until I was 30. My speed of interaction (responding to phone calls, emails) seems much slower than other people. If I have a project or goal I can stick with it much longer than others.

    8. I am an introvert. I prefer lead time to psych myself up before social interactions and being inserted spontaneously into a large social situation can be very stressful. I describe myself as having a finite number of words in me, and if I am socializing continuously for a long time I will just run out and can’t really talk anymore.

  9. 1. I never really dated, I met my husband shortly before my 16th birthday, we had our first child when I was 19 and then married a couple of years later. I found most boys to be tedious, he was different, always accepted me as I was. I was dxd in my mid thirties officially, we knew long before then however. Our two oldest boys are on the spectrum as well.

    2. I despise going out for the most part. I thoroughly enjoy doing things with my family, but I have to spend time alone to center and balance. I have a very difficult time motivating myself to go out.

    3. If I encounter someone with a similar interest who is capable of having a conversation on an intellectual level on a particular topic, I love to engage, but for the most part, I do not care for talking to most people.

    4. My friends and family saw me the same as they did before, they already accepted and loved me the way I was, a dx didn’t change that. I did not notice a difference in the way they perceived or treated me.

    5. If anything, I feel I am the opposite. I have never been vulnerable to others in this way. I have always had a very good grasp on the intentions of others, I realize this is a blessing. Through the years I have noticed there are people who see the introverted side of me and associate it with weakness, they always find out quite the opposite is true. I was blessed with an amazing mother who was able to teach me how to recognize things in those around me many on the spectrum may not.

    6. Like I said, my mother was able to teach me to read people in certain ways, it is difficult to explain. I do have conflict when someone has certain qualities I find issue with in seeing past those issues. If they seem one way with me and another with someone else I question their authenticity. I tend to forgo associations with people I see are not genuine in any aspect of themselves, if they are to remain a part of my life I find myself questioning their motives and honesty.

    7. Most certainly. Many of the things people attach urgency to do not matter as much to me. This has caused some level of interference in my life though, my priorities don’t always match up with what those close to me find important, they don’t always match up with what the outside world deems important either. Deadlines, due dates, appointments . . . I am always off. I know I need to do things, but the time frame in which to do them inside of me is kind of broken.

    8. I am much more introverted than extroverted, with family I can be outgoing, fun, and silly, but for the most part I am definitely introverted. There are times I may seem more outgoing to those around me and I can be, but my internal self is just waiting to get away and decompress.

  10. 1. My boyfriend and I had already been together for a few years when I discovered autism. I was researching it at home while he was at work and things just started clicking. I was chatting to him at the time, and was relating the discovery to him as it happened, so there was no real moment of telling him.

    As for how we started dating, we simply met in highschool and started talking (online) about our common interests. Then we fell in love.

    2. I leave the house maybe 1.5 times a week on average. Twice a week is pretty much my maximum that I can enjoy, and I can comfortably not go out for about 3 weeks. I usually don’t like going out, and when I do, it needs to have a clear purpose and not be too long. It’s quite hard to motivate myself to go out, especially if it’s for some kind of errand.

    3. I don’t talk a lot to people, except my boyfriend. Other than that, I’ll generally have spurts of conversation followed by periods of quiet. With most people, I won’t initiate a conversation unless they do first. Many times, I only respond so as not to be rude.

    4. Perhaps? I’ve always really struggled in figuring out how others see me, which has lead to considerable anxiety (I can’t even tell if someone enjoys my company or not). I guess I’m more familiar with how many things I do that are seen as abnormal.

    5. I do see myself as vulnerable, but then again I always have (even before I knew about autism). I often don’t understand what’s going on in a social situation until after it’s happened, so it is easier to take advantage of me. The only thing that’s changed with age is that now I’m much less likely to go along with something “because I should”, which makes me a bit more resilient.

    6. I have an automatic and intense distrust of everyone until they prove otherwise. I’ve simply been burned too many times. I have very serious trust issues (more a product of childhood abuse than autism), and I can’t 100% trust anyone. 99% is the best I can get, and only one person has ever managed to reach that. The amount of proof I need to trust people is more than can fit in the scope of most friendships.

    7. Yes, I do. I feel like on a biological level, I have hardly any sense of time. At the very least, it’s inconsistent. Also, I can’t really feel how much time is passing; for example, I don’t know how half an hour feels, or ten minutes, or 4 hours, or 3 months. As a result, I’m often surprised by what time/day/month/year it is. I check the clock a lot, and I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t, I’d have no idea about the time.

    8. This aligns with how I think of the terms, and I am definitely an introvert. A pretty extreme one, I would say. However, there are nuances. Being with my boyfriend, for example, is equally recharging as being alone. Perhaps this is because we mesh so well, and it doesn’t feel like he intrudes upon my space at all – he’s part of it. Interacting with other people is usually quite draining though, even if I really like them. I do find, however, that the more of an emotional response is expected of me, the faster my energies will deplete. Small talk, especially the kind where you have to keep up a “oh that’s so nice” attitude, can drain me in a matter of minutes. On the other hand, I can be on voice chat with people while playing a video game, and as long as we keep the conversation focused on the game, I’ll be fine for hours. As for how others see me, I really don’t know. I’m not able to put myself in their shoes enough to tell. I don’t know how I come across to other people.

    1. “Perhaps this is because we mesh so well, and it doesn’t feel like he intrudes upon my space at all – he’s part of it.” Firstly, that is so sweet! 🙂 Anyway, I can really relate to that wording of intruding your figurative “space”; sometimes when I’m socialising it’s like a constant attack on the senses.

  11. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No, I was married before I suspected I had ASD.

    Q2: I do need to do stuff alone sometimes, but I like to be with others when I go out of the house. I can motivate myself to go out if I have a specific task in mind, like I need to go to the grocery store to get tortillas, because we are doing tacos for dinner, or something like that.

    Q3: I don’t like to talk to people much, especially to people I don’t know well. I get really self-conscious when I’m talking, and I tend to talk too fast, and don’t know how to gauge when I’m boring people, so I usually let others do most of the talking in a conversation.

    Q4: I wasn’t formally diagnosed, and no one knows about my suspected ASD other than my husband.

    Q5: I don’t know if it’s because of ASD, but I know that I am easily swayed and persuaded by people. I will usually try to do whatever is asked of me, and sometimes it is overwhelming. I also find that I am easily persuaded by arguments for or against something, so I try to avoid getting into political discussions unless I’ve had time to educate myself on all sides of an issue, so that I’m sure that my opinion is my own.

    Q6: I think I do something similar. I can’t really put it better than you did, but I do have a hard time trusting people for the same reasons you laid out.

    Q7: Yes. Actually, with the tv show example you wrote there, it can be frustrating for me, because I’ll watch the show years later, only to find it was cancelled after one or two seasons, and get mad at myself for not watching it while it was originally on, and maybe giving it better ratings. More generally, I have a hard time motivating myself to do things quickly. If it’s something that does need to get done on a deadline, I find that making lists and breaking tasks down into smaller bits helps.

    Q8: For me, it depends on who I’m with. If I’m with my husband or my close friends, I feel comfortable enough to be myself, but when I’m with people I don’t know well, it can get exhausting. I think I’m somewhere in the middle of the introvert-extrovert spectrum, in that I like to have a mix of alone time and being with others time. I think most people that don’t know me well would consider me to be an introvert.

  12. 1. No I was married before I realised I was an aspie.
    2. Don’t go out very often and really struggle to motivate myself to do so. I can easily persuade myself to stay in with a take away and a DVD rather than go to a restaurant and the cinema. I don’t particularly like sitting next to strangers in the cinema either! Haa haa
    3. I’ve no desire to talk to people it feels false when I do. I’ve never really understood the point of chit chat. Meeting people for the first time and asking about the weather – what is all that about anyway – completely pointless.
    4. Not sure how to answer this question. my friend understands me better and we both laugh more when I misinterpret things. I suppose being able to articulate how your feeling and understand why is helpful on both sides.
    5. I have never felt vulnerable – Perhaps because I have a good sense of my own self worth?
    6. Trust is interesting – I do tend to be quite trusting but when someone breaks that trust I struggle with forgiveness. I absolutely detest lies and half truths.
    7. Oh dear this is a funny one – I have absolutely not concept of day of the week,date and year. Completely confuses me. I have only just realised we are in 2014. I have to ask constantly what the date is. I double book appointments all of the time. Arrange meetings for the wrong dates. fail to turn up for appointments. I’ve booked because I have written them down wrong. I have a friend who helps me to organise my diary and sends me my appointments through outlook. When I try to do this myself I get everything mixed up. I have a reasonable concept of time though it’s just dates that I struggle with.
    8. I would definitely call myself an introvert but I can act extroverted when I want.

  13. 1. Have you dated knowing you had Aspergers/Autism?

    2. How often do you like to go out? Do you prefer to do stuff alone? Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself to go out sometimes?
    I do have to motivate myself to go out, whether alone or not. | I like organized activities as a means to socialize, and in my case they consist of about 20% social interaction and 80% “parallel play”. Lately I have been partaking in those once or even twice a week.

    3. Do you talk a lot to people? A lot of books go on about how Aspies can talk the hind leg off a donkey about their pet topics but I don’t have the desire to really talk to people.
    I am of the kind that “can talk the hind leg off a donkey about their pet topics”. I enjoy a good one-to-one in-depth conversation (not too long though). Group talk is difficult (especially sensory-wise), small talk a horror.

    4. For people diagnosed as an adult, do you have a changed perception of how others see you? for example how friendly/outgoing/confident you seem to them.
    Not really, especially because since I moved someplace else. But I wouldn’t know, in general.

    5. Do you see yourself as vulnerable because of ASD? Are you more likely to be persuaded to do something or taken advantage of than most other people might? Has your perception of this changed with age?
    I think so, but only if people do so in a subtle way (I am aware of scammers, etc.). Over time I’ve got better at recognizing free-riders.

    6. Trusting other people – over the years I have learnt that I am very poor at reading peoples intentions and have been taken advantage of. I have adjusted to this by needing to understand what is happening and needing to be able to logically join up what someone does and says into a consistent picture – or I don’t trust them. How do other people manage this?
    I try not depend on people at all, and avoid having people depend on me (except in the workplace). I avoid gossip, and don’t trust a plan until there is a schedule written somewhere (which I mostly propose myself).

    7. Do you ever feel like you’re living on a different scale of time from other people? For example, do you hear about a new TV show and only watch it years later because it just didn’t seem urgent?
    I tend to obsess over certain TV series, and I happen to know lots of fans, so I’m covered on those. I have reached social milestones much later or not at all. I rely heavily on routines.

    8. My therapist explained that extroverts gain energy from others and introverts gain energy from being alone, and that autistic people can be either or anywhere in between. She also said there are challenges for extrovert autistics because of the social difficulties making it hard to achieve needed social interaction. (more details) Thinking about it in these terms, where would you place yourself on a continuum from introvert to extrovert? Is this different from how you would think of yourself using the terms in a broader sense, and is this different from how others see you?
    From the viewpoint of energy, I’m definitely an introvert, but I feel that being together with people in small doses and without too much social interaction (see n.1 ) does improve my mood. Living alone is very important for me because it allows me to recharge fully. I took an official MBTI test a few years ago and scored only slightly introverted. People see me as extremely shy but that is not true, I’m mostly just uninterested or I don’t want to talk for the sake of showing off (unless it’s really necessary), or there is too much noise and I just can’t.

  14. 1. Dating – Only just in process of self-diagnosis, so no experience with disclosure – husband is generally puzzled, amused and underwhelmed by my self diagnosis. Have had a number of moderately successful relationships in the past, and I am now married with kids. I was introduced to my husband by a mutual friend who thought we would like each other, so that overcame the initial ‘does he/doesn’t he?’ issues that confuse me normally, as she brokered the first couple of meetings and said “he really likes you”. My other long term relationship came about when I was working in IT research in 1987 and I got an email address for the first time. I only knew one other person with an email address, so we started emailing and flirting over email, so when we next met we had got over a lot of the initial stages already! So intros from friends or email dating are probably my best tips! Most other relationships have been initiated by the other person and I have sometimes been taken advantage of because of this.

    2. Going out – I do like to go out with friends, but not particularly in large groups. Cinema/meals out etc with a friend/husband is fine, weddings, office parties etc more intimidating. Sometimes I like the idea of it more than the reality. I like to think of myself as a social person.

    3. Talking – Really depends on the context. I am pretty good with talking to random strangers who I will never see again, as I have nothing to lose – shop assistants, waiters, postman, person in front of me in the queue – I think I come across as chatty and friendly.

    I am also good if I have a purpose – discussing work related stuff in meetings, school governors meeting, giving presentations. Maybe sometimes go on to long about stuff or come over as inappropriately enthusiastic at work.

    I am not so good in social chit chat situations with people I know a bit but not that well eg. work colleagues or school mums – find it hard to know what to say and hard to break into conversations, difficult to remember names and faces if I only met someone once or twice, so I make silly mistakes.

    Close friends no problem talking generally but still not easy to talk about my feelings and emotional stuff. Probably talk a bit less than most of my friends – see below..

    Interview or work situation that requires talking positively about myself and my skills (rather than a concrete example of a problem) total nightmare and turn into a gibbering wreak.

    4. Others perception – I’m slightly worried now that others have always noticed that I am different and treated me differently – maybe I really did have a sign saying ‘kick me’ stuck to my back…

    5. Vulnerability – I have been told I am too honest and I do find things like negotiating rates for contract work, where you have to intentionally exaggerate, quite hard. I have met a number of people in my life who have realised that I am easy to manipulate and have taken advantage of that.

    6. Trust – My default is not to trust anyone! But I generally have quite a good instinctive judgement of people and can spot really nasty pieces of work, and liars, but sometimes not someone who sets out to be really friendly to me and then stabs me in the back.

    7. Timescales – No – haven’t felt this.

    8. Introversion/extroversion – I generally score extreme introvert on a personality scales (Myers Briggs etc), and think that is true in that I get my energy from being alone. However I do enjoy the company of others, especially working with others and wouldn’t describe myself as a total loner.

    I have been wondering about the extrovert/introvert thing in relation to Asperger’s as the stereotype aspie male is introverted, but a lot (all?) of my close female friends have aspie traits – OCD, control issues, food and sensory issues, tact issues, extremely intelligent – but are also quite social, outgoing and loud. But I don’t think I have ever met a loud, domineering male aspie, other than maybe when he is on about his special interest. Until recently this had prevented me from recognising women as having aspie traits – does anyone think is this a more female aspie thing?

    1. “Sometimes I like the idea of it more than the reality.” – I have that too. Most people I know either like loud parties etc, or if they don’t like it, they know they don’t like it so they don’t bother. I end up really looking forward to things then having a really horrible time and hating myself for being silly enough to not see the obvious problems.

      1. I am so glad that I am not the only one who does this. Sometimes I am shocked by how self-unaware I am. I now know to take a good few days, or weeks, before deciding to commit time and money to an activity, especially one that involves people and happens at a set time every week. I will almost always change my mind about what a great idea this!

  15. 1. I met my husband in our teens and was married then. I was quirky but popular because I really knew how to be a chameleon and conform to society’s standards and beauty was a personal obsession due to the 1940s films I obsessed over and copied…I guess I had class from Audrey Hepburn- LOL:) But that all came at a cost. he knew I was “different” but that is why he chose me. I would not know how to date and if anything happens to him I am not going to attempt to. I am adored and I adore him…but he really chased me. Before him I did not date but I had lots of guy friends because I could relate to men more than women at times…Now we have come to find out my husband has ADD which is why sometimes he can understand my different ness but still be an NT. It actually works well. Plus we communicate ALL the time. He reads all this stuff…it really helps.

    2. I hate going out. The only person I like to go out with is my husband. We love our city trips but only if I am feeling good about the day so usually last minute…otherwise I prefer to be at home. I also love having my kids keep my company. With them homeschooling they are always around and I like it so I don’t feel alone. In fact- they are gone on a sleepover right now and I hate it. I miss the company of them even if they are involved with other activities at home. But I also do not mind myself as company. other people though drain me. A grocery store trip takes an hour to recover from…so do errands. I have to force myself to do weekly errands.

    3. I talk to the people I love a lot. But I also enjoy being silent. I can only handle giving my inner life workings to two people verbally- my husband ( and children I guess) and best friend. Other people get silence or short versions…or written ways of sharing for the most part. I did talk way more under thirty but was always sick after. Now I stay silent even when I feel the urge to talk and feel much better for it in general and save the talking for those who I know share my interests.

    4. Yea. It was an adjustment to know I am an Aspie/ Autistic. The first year was so validating but so hard. I now find with the knowledge I see myself as a hermit a bit more…or a bit more awkward…but in a comfortable way where as before I knew I was awkward but it was painful because I did not know why. My close friends and family preferred the diagnosis because now they can understand me more and not force me to participate in things i hated but could never explain:) In most cases diagnosis and disclosing has been good with those who love me…for strangers and professionals it can go either way ( sometimes being worse and very condescending) I console myself with the fact that it has done more good than damage:)

    5. I am more vulnerable sensory wise and compassionate wise. I am also naive at times. On the other hand I am also very distrustful and have always had a strong inner steel of knowing what I am about and what I need…but I can be taken advantage of. My husband is my protector in this regard and sometimes still my extended family and good friends tend to protect me too…sometimes that is frustrating and other times it is a relief after the fact when I did not realize I was being played. Its humiliating but also endearing. My perception has improved with age but it still catches me off guard the rare time.

    6. I dont trust people. It is the one thing I am consistently working on for balance. I just can’t . Even my husband, who is amazing, does not fully have my trust and I am constantly asking him to tell me the truth. I will trust lightly but never fully.

    7. Time is elusive to me…and does not hold me like it does others. I do love my TV shows and movies and music and am up to date on most due to interest or boredom…but I also find the shows that do not matter to me- I wait until years after the hype goes down. I also prefer to watch back to back after the whole series is out but I can’t do that with ones I am already obsessed with ( Like Glee, Once Upon a time ect.) I also get annoyed when something cult ish or unique to me gets suddenly taken up by the masses. I like to be fiercely individual. For instance, I have been obsessed with Wicked since it came out as a musical, but now that Idina Menzel is so popular from Frozen, Wicked is gaining new fans by the minute. While this pleases me as far as accessibility and guarantee that it will keep running, I am also slightly possessive of it…like it was MY original obsession and it feels like part of my life and soul…( this is rare for me to feel BTW- I think I actually only feel it with a few things in my life like Elphaba in Wicked, Audrey Hepburn, Singing in the Rain, Anne of Green Gables…certain people or shows that I related to SO much it felt like they were a part of me…) Anyway, tangent…sorry!

    I am an Introvert on top of being Autistic. Susan Cains book Quiet really spoke to me. It makes my autism stand out even more I think and be even more of a hermit. I agree with this and I think it is so important for Autistics and NTs to discover other facets of their personas ( introvert/ extrovert, keirsey temperaments, colour persona, water/fire ect. birth signs…I feel it all helps put the puzzle of understanding together…of course my personal interest is personality studies but I feel it helps so much in personal understanding and the layers of our soul! I make my friends do all sorts of persona studies and tests ect. Its fun!)
    My son however was misdiagnosed because of this. He is an extrovert. He had all the symptoms of ASD except for a few points in sociability. They named everything in the report that had to do with ASD but concluded due to the sociability parts that he only has ADD and sever anxiety, severe sensory overload, language impairments, executive functioning needing OT ect. It was so frustrating. I argued with the diagnosis explaining that he does not get social cues but it goes the other way. He walks up to people introduces himself and thinks they are best friends. He goes the other way than my other two introverted kids to, but he has the same boundary and social issues…it just manifests itself in the extroverted way. Sometimes I feel it is more painful to watch as he LONGS for connections with people and people energize him…in a family full of introverts this is an issue for him…and he is more propelled to want to be with people even when those people are mean to him or take advantage of him.

      1. Oh anne…I feel she was so completely Autistic/ Aspie…I practically lived in that show as a child and copied the fashions from that time not knowing it was not in style or that it was not the time we lived in:) I was strange but endearing…:) LOL. I wanted a Gilbert and prayed so hard someone would adore me like he adored her…quirks and all…that is all I ever really wanted in a partner but otherwise I was determined to be single…then I found my “Gilbert” or he found me at 17…and I now know why I felt I needed that so much. My life has changed with that support and for my personality type…I needed that:)
        I love that you can relate to Anne to!:) I agree with what you say about Being alone with your husband. I feel the same about mine!

          1. Did anyone watch the Avonlea TV show? I remember one of my earliest crushes was Jasper Dale. Which is somehow not at all a surprise to me, looking back at that character (socially awkward but extremely well-intended inventor). I bet I would still find him attractive.

            …And now I want to find that series and binge watch. I had completely forgotten about it and about my youthful geek passion.

                1. I adored Jasper!:) I liked that series too:) Although it did contribute to my desperate anxiety over illness and accidents because I did not understand at age 4 that what they suffered from was mostly preventable in our time…my mom always wondered why I would freak out after the show:) LOL

                2. Oh, man, I hadn’t thought about that! Didn’t they have an episode with appendicitis?

                3. Lol that is the exact episode I was thinking of as especially traumatizing. all my family has their appendix out except me and to this day ( in fact yesterday) any time I get in pain on that side that last long I FREAK out…I don’t know how many times I have had “appendicitis”:) I don’t go to the hospital or anything but I freak out at home…lol. My husband says I have had it hundreds of times…the problem is I don’t know if I would KNOW if I had it…My pain tolerance is really high and with Fibro and other pain filled conditions – I don’t know…My pain tolerance is also low too if that makes sense…weird things make me feel pain sharply that should not be and then I will not feel pain I should feel…anyway, tangent…but yea my therapist says it was real to me at four years old and it was ingrained into a pathway of panic- I could not separate reality from TV so it is like it really happened in my life ( that trauma) so we try to work through stuff like this with cognitive therapy. I really have to watch what I choose to read, watch or see…I can’t handle any sort of violence with out being triggered into anxiety and empathy. It sucks because I can relate to a show like Sherlock and watched one episode when he was the best man and thought he said stuff I would say, but afterwards I was paranoid about my belts and had nightmares…it just sucks. Oh well, there are other good things I CAN watch. (sorry – I am exceptionally chatty today because I am recovering from a stomach virus and stuck inside more than usual ( which probably contributed to said appendix panic the other day:) LOL

                4. It must have made some mark on me, too, to remember it all these years later! (Though obviously nowhere near what it made on you.)

                  I know what you mean, about TV shows/movies/etc. For me, it’s not the bad stuff that happens that gets to me (as I’ve posted about before, I am currently a Hannibal-watcher), but my tendency to overinvest in characters and start mirroring them, if I’m not careful, which I’ve done with Doctor Who in the past, with The Matrix, and, very briefly, with Les Mis (JAVERT, man, Javert. I love that character. He’s even better in the book). The nice thing is that as I get older, I can see it happening and I seem to have developed the ability to defuse it. I still have all those personas tucked away, though! Sometimes I think that if I ever get dementia as I age, I’ll just start standing around in phone booths, yelling at them for not letting me into the console room, complaining about my current regeneration, and developing really flimsy plots for world domination. I hope I enjoy it, at least a little.

  16. 1. I have been in a long term relationship for the last fifteen years and it is only the last few months that I have realized that I am autistic. That being said, I have always known that I was not exactly neurotypical either so when I was in the dating stage with my husband some of my differences simply came out as we got to know each other and learn about each other’s childhoods. I had told him about my school experiences and showed him the results from my psych-ed assessments. By the time ASD became the label for my quirks he simple nodded thoughtfully and said, “That would make allot of sense.” But that was after fifteen years together.

    2. I don’t like to go out too often. Not every day. Every other day? Sometimes I love to have a whole weekend in. I like going out when I do as long as the trip is fairly well planed and I like to go out with my husband and kids, or my oldest friend, or my mum or brother and sometimes on my own but if I have a chance to be alone often I will want to stay in. I loath going out with my father.

    3. I don’t talk allot, except maybe to my mum. I join in conversations with my family but often I do allot of listening. Also I love listening in on conversations people have on the bus.

    4. I haven’t told many people so I don’t think that I can answer this accurately. It hasn’t much changed the way my husband treats me except that he is perhaps even more understanding. My mum treats me the same but I think she is also relieved to have an explanation for me. And my oldest friend and brother treat me exactly the same as ever. But I haven’t told anyone else.

    5. I have always seen myself as somewhat vulnerable because of how often I ended up hurt or disappointed but knowing more about myself is helping me play even more to my strengths. So now I see myself as a little less vulnerable.

    6. Based on how few close relationships I have I think that trust may be a small issue but I don’t think that I can answer this one in full

    7. Oh yeah. Sometimes I feel like I am a Replicator trapped inside the Asgard time-dilation-field from Star Gate. I feel like my time is moving more slowly and the rest of the world is moving too fast. Sometimes also I feel like time moves more quickly than it should have but I didn’t move fast enough and then I am scrambling to catch up. That was inarticulate.

    8. I think that I am somewhere closer to the introvert end of the scale. I do have people who I enjoy spending time with and people like my husband who do not demand any of my energy (being with him is not the same as being alone though) but I can go through long periods of not socializing. That being said I have kids and so I am often in enforced interaction. I don’t know how others see me anymore.

    1. Being with my husband is like being *alone together* if that makes any sense. It recharges me in a completely different way from *alone alone* time, and doesn’t require any resources from me.

    2. I have to add that my definition of going out is leaving the house. So going to the park or the grocery store count as going out. I also don’t like to be out for more than three hours. I can handle it but I do feel wiped out when I get home.

  17. 1. I was married before I was diagnosed. Disclosure was after some online research, during a car journey I asked my wife “do you think I might be autistic?” Her response was considered and considerate. By the time I got a professional diagnosis we both already knew.

    2. I go to work every weekday. Mostly this is ok but sometimes I get maxed out and need downtime. I play guitar with one other person once a week. At weekends I spend time with my wife and occasionally with a select few friends, my primary motivation for going out is to pursue interests, other people need to share these interests.

    3. I am concise. I enjoy the casual chat with strangers that can occur when camping, out for a walk or up a mountain.

    4. I dont really have a perception of how others see me. I now know why I am not as friendly/outgoing/confident as others.

    5. I do feel vulnerable to manipulation. My perception has changed with diagnosis rather than age.

    6. This was my question, it is exactly how I feel.

    7. I regress in many ways. Also I like to wait as the stuff that people still talk about years later is better quality – I get to use my limited attention on quality.

    8. I think of myself as an introvert. In a group I am noticeably quiet compared to one to one.

  18. 1. Yes, I have. As far as disclosure goes, it’s definitely not the first thing I tell someone. Because there are so many misconceptions and stereotypes regarding Autistic people, I usually wait until someone has a chance to get to know me pretty well before I disclose. I’ve disclosed in person and I’ve also done it in writing. I’ve never had an outwardly bad response and I’ve been surprised to find that people are often far more understanding and gracious than I expect. As far as getting someone to date me goes, I typically go the online route. I tend to communicate better in writing than I do in person, so it can be useful for me to get to initially connect and get to know someone via written communication first. I’m also gay, so I have a smaller dating pool anyway, so online is usually my best shot of finding someone.

    2. I don’t like to go out very often. It depends how busy I’m already going to be with work or school. If my schedule is already full with mandatory things, I prefer to stay in during my free time as much as possible. During the summer I’ve had a lot of downtime and have made more plans that involve going out, but that’s a rarity. When it comes to running errands, I definitely prefer to do that alone. People with me just slow me down and end up sidetracking me. I like to be as fast and efficient as possible when I run errands. When it comes to doing fun things like going to the movies or something, I don’t like to go alone. I prefer to take one close friend or sibling with me. I also like to have people with me when I have to do things that require a certain level of uncertainty. E.g., I took my mom apartment hunting with me. Yes, it’s always hard to motivate myself to go out. So many pros and cons to weigh and then the getting ready process is always so tedious.

    3. It greatly depends. When I’m one-on-one having a coffee date with a close friend, I can talk their ear off. But this also largely depends on my mood and energy level. If I’m tired and/or sad, I have far less words. But if I’m energized and happy, I can talk a million miles an hour. I don’t really like talking to strangers or people I’m not close to though.

    4. I think some people changed their perspective of me when I got diagnosed, but it was more like it caused them to have explanations for why I was the way I was, instead of them trying to fit me into a certain mold. One thing I have noticed is that people now say things like, “wow, for someone with Autism, you’re really outgoing!” or “wow, for someone with Autism, you’re really independent!” Which is annoying and frustrating, but again, there’s so much ignorance and so many misconceptions about what Autistic people “look” like.

    5. I don’t see myself as vulnerable…I have a really good head on my shoulders and I don’t buy into things too easily. I do get hurt more easily though, but this is because of how trusting I am. More on this in the next question…

    6. I tend to be way too trusting of people and have assumptions of others that they’re inherently good and trustworthy people. This has caused me to get burned A LOT, because of course, there are a ton of terrible assholes in this world. This is really hard for me to cope with, because my brain doesn’t seem to know how to process things like betrayal. I can’t fathom why people would behave that way, so it takes me a loooong time to get over things when I get really hurt by someone. I don’t really know how to manage this. I try to get the perspective of people that I’m close to so that they can give me some feedback on another person’s trustworthiness or help me when I feel like I might be walking into a sticky situation. I rely a lot on my therapist and her insight and insights from other people who are better at understanding and perspective taking than I am.

    7. No, I don’t really feel this way. I mean, sometimes I have watched TV shows years later than other people (for example, I just recently got obsessed with Scandal, and the fourth season is about to start), but that’s only because I get into things when I’m interested in them, and not necessarily because they’re fads. I only read the Harry Potter series last year, and now I’m super into that…waaaay later than everyone else. 😛 So I guess I just get into things on my own pace whenever I feel inclined.

    8. I’m extremely introverted. I have to be alone to recharge and being around others quickly drains me. I’m not shy though, and I can actually be really outgoing when I’m with people that I love. But using the definition of introvert = gaining energy from being alone, I’m highly introverted. There’s also the other piece of being Autistic and how I get drained during social interactions because of sensory overload and having to expend so much energy on trying to communicate and understand the other person’s communication. So I’m really glad that I’m introverted because it’d be really tricky to be extroverted and Autistic.

    1. Hello my dear Rae:) Number two of yours just struck me…that is EXACTLY how I feel…with errands I like to be as fast and efficient as possible. Same with shopping. People are always amazed at how fast I can shop costco or superstore or even clothes shopping…when I know what I want – I get er done. I hate to wait…I have to force myself to wait for others if I am with them and then I will wander a bit…as for the other stuff..I agree- I do not want to go to movies alone and could never apartment hunt alone or anything either. I always need someone with me for things like that:) ( preferably hubby as we have our groove for this type of thing and he gets it.) The process is tedious! I liked all your points…and the trust thing I get too. My brain can not fathom why bad people do bad things either. Its perplexing.:)

      1. Apartment hunting alone would do me in. I have been to the movies a few times alone but I tend to feel much more grounded when I go places with someone I trust. I think i rely on the to do a lot of the navigating (sort of like an assistance . . . human). 🙂

  19. 1. First time: He was also autistic, we met at a group related to this so disclosure was never an issue, he got me to date him by literally asking “will you go out with me”, and I’d rather not dwell on that relationship anymore. Second time: Short fling with someone from uni, broke up after two weeks, so I never got past the “MUST MAKE SURE HE STILL LIKES ME” phase. I did, however, make a point of showing him my Tumblr (on which I regularly reblog autism-related posts) because I thought there would be autism-related info on there that he would find useful if things did progress long-term. So I guess I didn’t really disclose properly. In terms of “getting him to date me”… I don’t know, things just sort of happened, one minute we were going to meet up in the common room, the next minute we were kissing and hoping nobody else would burst into said common room, I didn’t set out with that intention and I don’t think he did either, it just happened. Sorry that isn’t particularly useful!

    2. At home (i.e. not at uni), I don’t really go out, apart from family stuff and a group of old school friends who meet up at least once during uni holidays. At uni,it’s a different story; I feel like I have a fairly busy social life, although I don’t compared to most of the others (most of the others have a literally impossible social life, in my opinion). A lot of uni socialising is based around clubbing and drinking and stuff, and I find all that really overwhelming so only get involved on rare occasions; these are usually the times where I have problems motivating myself as the event gets closer, because it becomes more scary than exciting. Having said that, I have quite a few social circles in which social things, well, happen. The usual highlight of my week (please don’t judge me!) is the weekly Doctor Who Society meet-up, which involves watching Doctor Who and then heading to the nearest pub, and I also get stuck into a lot of feminist campaigns as well, which is great. It might not be what my neurotypical uni friends consider an exciting social life, but I’m more than happy with it!

    3. I’m quiet(/scared) around most people but once someone earns my trust I can, well, talk the hind leg off a donkey. There are loads of other variable factors too; for example, if I’m struggling with sensory stuff I’ll be less able to hold a conversation. As for special interests, I do the stereotypical monologuing thing quite a bit (and sometimes it’s scripted). A lot of my uni friends know they’ll probably get further with “DOCTOR WHO DOCTOR WHO DOCTOR WHO” than your standard small talk…

    4. I was diagnosed as a child so can’t really answer this.

    5. To an extent, I suppose I do. A particular recent occasion springs to mind in which I was out with friends and, on my way home, discovered from the group still with me that one particular person a.) was really obviously, erm, interested in me and b.) was being really, really inappropriate about it, staring and the like. I didn’t notice at all until it had been pointed out to me, but other people had been made really uncomfortable by the whole thing. Having said that, I suppose I feel less vulnerable now than I was, say, five years ago, and sort of compare myself to my own past rather than a neurotypical person in that regard. I should do that more often.

    6. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how I find it really, really, really difficult to trust people now. I put this mainly down to growing up autistic in a world that for the most part doesn’t accept me for who I am, being terrified of conflict, the usual school bullying stuff, and the (still fairly recent) experience of a long-term relationship turning scary. It may also be a side effect of getting involved with feminism and other social justice stuff, because basically MICROAGGRESSIONS EVERYWHERE. I currently deal with this by being scared of people, which is evidently not the best way of dealing with this.

    7. Not really? With TV and stuff, one thing I’ve noticed is that for someone who’s so incredibly obsessed with That One Show In Particular (new series coming up, can you tell?! :P), I don’t actually watch that much TV. I’m currently making an effort to do something about this, so I signed up for Netflix and I now have a list of shows I’ve been meaning to watch that I aim to get through (currently watching The Thick Of It, because Peter Capaldi, because Doctor Who – when I’m finished, I’ll do Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I feel younger than I actually am (I’m 20, but refer to people a few years older than me as “proper adults”) and I feel like I’ve reached certain milestones later than other people, but I guess that sort of thing varies anyway.

    8. This is a conversation I often have with my best friend at uni, who is allistic and definitely an introvert. Basically, I’m not entirely sure. The general definition of introvert seems to be “gains energy when alone and uses it up when with others” and I can relate to that; however, I actually think a lot of that is due to sensory overload, and in socialising where I actually feel safe, I’m more open and talkative and energetic and happy, and when I don’t get that chance for a while I get really lonely. My friend says I’m a “closet extrovert” forced into introverted ways by a world which centres social interaction solely around neurotypical people (and even then, perhaps only certain personality types).

    1. Oh yeah, and as a child I definitely leaned towards more extrovert. I guess at some point I learned to shut myself away. This is all stuff that’s been at the forefront of my mind for a little while and that I intend to work on… I just don’t know where to start.

  20. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I’ve never dated anyone.

    Q2: I try to get out at least twice a week if I’m on vacation from college. If I don’t, it gets harder to leave home the longer I stay, I guess I go feral! After a long period of staying home, I usually have to talk myself into going out and my social skills start to decay.

    Q3: I speak more with my family than with anyone else, but even that isn’t excessive. I have a tough time conversing with other people, generally I give a one word answer and later realize they were probably hoping for an answer big enough to keep the conversation alive!

    Q4: I’m not too sure how others see me, but I have gotten much more comfortable with how and who I am. I don’t think I have ever looked particularly friendly, even though I always try to be helpful and polite, but at least I probably seem more confident!

    Q5: I probably used to be more likely to be taken advantage of as a child. Nowadays, I am pretty skeptical of people’s motives, so I am not as likely to be taken advantage of. I was not (and still am not) too likely to have been persuaded to do anything wrong, I knew the rules and I followed them, which was probably a good thing!

    Q6: I completely agree with only trusting people whose words are consistent with their actions. I generally do not trust people from the get go.I have a hard time with the sort of people who say “just kidding” at the end of nearly every sentence as well. Even their “non-kidding” sentences are subject to suspicion as far as I’m concerned.

    Q7: Yes. I usually don’t get to things until they’ve become slightly passé. Or sometimes very passé, I love 60’s TV shows!

    Q8: I am certainly very introverted, I like and need some interaction, which I get mainly from my family, but much of the time I am happy to be alone. It is interesting that my need for socialization fluctuates, but usually just being around people in a public space is socializing enough for me.

  21. anonymous answers:

    Q1: no

    Q2: Rarely – normally only because I know it’s how people keep friendships going, and as I only have one friendship I really value, I can keep track of it (I diarise it, actually, but he doesn’t know). Prefer alone? Oh yes. Motivation to go out isn’t too hard, but reasons to abandon the plan are too easy to find.

    Q3: Less so as I have become aware of being Aspie, as I restrain myself now. This saves me the energy, but I have no idea whether it is a better situation than the occasional over-long, over-enthusiastic one-sided talks I know I’m capable of.

    Q4: Yes. Everything changed. I still mourn the loss of my innocence from ‘before’ I knew. I rid myself of a LOT of anxiety by seeing I was Aspie, but also lost an awful lot of freedom in interactions, becoming determined not to make ‘mistakes’ as before.

    Q5: I didn’t think so, but as I review past experiences and relationships, yes, I have been taken advantage of to an unusual degree, and I have begun to resist that kind of persuasion better. Difficult to say regarding age, as I have only been diagnosed 1 year of 45.

    Q6: Can’t say yet – still learning to adjust and develop new strategies myself. I try NOT to label people as vile and deceitful when I finally see they were playing to an agenda of their own selfishness, but it’s pretty difficult – especially if they then ask if something is ‘ok with me’ regarding their proposals, and it’s so hard to NOT tell them.

    Q7: Ha – yes. I am currently watching a series that contains adverts for Christmas items and new series that will start in January (2014).

    Q8: Alone. Not only essential, but the greatest indicator to my wife that I was different, and the key factor in my own acceptance that she was right.

  22. anonymous answers:

    Q1: no.

    Q2: I like to go out with just my husband for dinner and an occasional movie. Going out with others is exhausting.

    Q3: I talk to people but only when the subject is something I can talk about. I never steer a conversations direction just try to chime in when I can. When it’s with a group of people I typically just give up and walk away – I never get a chance to contribute as others are too quick and the subject typically gets changed before I get a chance to say what I wanted.

    Q4: I don’t think it’s so much a changed perception just a better understanding of that perception.

    Q5: Yes. I am definitely gullible and naive. Plus, with the extreme empathy it makes it hard for me to not want to help someone out – makes it easier to be taken advantage of.

    Q6: I’m with you in this one. If I don’t understand the why, I don’t trust the action of the person. I’m very slow to trust.

    Q7: Yep. As a matter of fact, I now have internet TV (Roku) and only watch TV on Friday evenings or while on the treadmill.

    Q8: I’ve taken the Myers Briggs test and I am an extreme introvert. Being an introverted Aspie is also difficult because it makes it hard to come out of your shell and social interactions are much more draining – a double whammy so to speak.

  23. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No. I found out after I had been married for nearly 4 years.

    Q2: I’m a homebody. I find it meditative to do things on my own when I get the chance (3 kids, ages 3 and under makes that challenging). I will get into the habit of daily going out and then if I miss I don’t know what to do with myself.

    Q3: Yes. I dominate conversations and am often oblivious as to whether or not someone wants to keep listening. I find it very hard to listen to people. Often what they say is of no interest to me. I don’t want to listen to gossip or fashion. It’s boring and I cannot hide that I don’t like it.

    Q4: Yes. On the Meyers-Briggs I always score in the introverted section by about 80% but because I’ll talk to almost anyone on my topics of interest I come off as extroverted. I’m probably extroverted like my dad but the need to recover because my sensory processes are overwhelmed throws me into the appearance of introversion.

    Q5: Had I learned of this in my youth I would likely have used it as a crutch and excuse. I might have played the victim card like my cousins do. Now, I understand why I do parculiar things and realize that it’s not always something that is fixable. Customer service is not something I handle well and avoided it even when people said I had to do it. They were surprised I hated it so much when I was passable at it. I did much better at data entry where I could ignore everyone and zone into my work.

    Q6: I set up boundaries and limits. I no longer blindly lend money to others. I can’t afford it. I might buy something for them, like food, but I don’t lend money. I also treat most people like a business aquaintance and verify meetings the day before.

    Q7: Yes. I live more in the present and if it is less pressing than my current arrangement I save it for later when something gives way and makes room. Rarely do I find I have to do something immediately.

    Q8: On the Meyers-Briggs I always score in the introverted section by about 80% but because I’ll talk to almost anyone on my topics of interest I come off as extroverted. I’m probably extroverted like my dad but the need to recover because my sensory processes are overwhelmed throws me into the appearance of introversion.

  24. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Got diagnosed later in life, always felt weird, wrong, different. Met my partner through a house share mate a long time before being diagnosed. Saw him 2 years before we got together, I had him ticked in a box in my head as interesting, political, aware, into art, and knew I’d have to get to meet him, which I did 2 years later. Before this I used to get very drunk, to be able to handle going to clubs to meet people. I always hated being passive as a woman, and used to go after people I liked in my drunken stupor, often regretting it later. My partner thinks the diagnosis fits, absolutely.

    Q2: I hate going out, per se. I have to force myself to do it for the sake of my partner. I like spending time alone, but also like being with my partner, and my dog, at home.

    Q3: I don’t talk a lot, only to my partner, we have the same interests. I feel that my life has been so different to other people that I don’t have anything to say about subjects they seem interested in. I hate small talk – a total waste of time, but I’ve learned, sort of, to do it, and I still get it wrong, and I always find it uncomfortable. I have Selective Mutism, severe as a teen, now I just go mute if I’m in a judgemental type of situation, or with people who are judgmental, or unkind.

    Q4: I think people always felt I was slightly ‘off’ in some way, so it’s probably just confirmed things.

    Q5: Definitely, I am much less likely to trust. I am always questioning people’s motives.

    Q6: I have been bullied and taken advantage of at work as an adult. It now takes me a long time to trust people, I have to watch and wait, usually it’s ok and I can let my guard down. There are people that I never get to feel comfortable interacting with, this is ok when you can just avoid them, but at the moment, that person is someone I work with. I always end up feeling stressed about the slightest interaction. My way of coping is now to hang back and see how other people react/cope/answer then I can gauge my response, but this makes it seem like I am hiding behind other people, and gets me more stressed. Referring to what one of the previous respondents said, I have realised that I can’t read this person, I can’t find something that I’m able to tune into, to connect with.

    Q7: What is ‘popular’ has no interest for me, it actually puts me off wanting to engage. If I discover something for myself, that’s ok. But my ‘taste’ in all sorts of stuff is very different to most people I know.
    PS I love Grey Gardens, the original, and Harold and Maude. Has anyone seen ‘Come and See’, it’s about the Second World War in Russia (I’m not into war films) the whole thing is seen only through the eyes of a child, and this with the sound/audio has an incredible impact. Warning – it is not an easy film to watch.

    Q8: Definitely an introvert. When I was younger I was quite good at putting on an act, but always felt exhausted after the experience. But it worked because people thought I was ‘bubbly’ and dynamic, it was only at home with my partner that the ‘real me’ came out as a result of all the effort, which was me having melt downs, anger, depression. Now I can’t be bothered, it’s too tiring, but life is better for my long suffering partner, and for me.

  25. 1. No to the dating, but after several failures, I asked some married friends to help me develop things like small talk and how to dress properly to atract a potential girl friend. Although not knowing the underlying reason why (ASD), I did this to hide the ‘wierdness’. As it turned out the girl I married liked my wierdness so make of that what you will.
    2. I go to work everyday, so that is a must that I try not to think about, but socialy I do not go out much.
    3. Now I am much older 50’s and knowing I am on the spectrum I cannot be bothered with the chit chat stuff. I am just not interested. I can talk alot about some subjects, the conversations I like are non personal, speculative, enquiring type. Most other conversations bore me.
    4. Perception has not changed, and I have always tried to hide my differences. And I have found out that I failed at this. So I do not bother trying to hide my differences anymore, which is better as I am more relaxed.
    5. No I have never been particularly vulnerable, but when I was young and occasionaly now, I can be too trusting, but with a scpetical inner core. I do not trust anybody completely.
    6. Skeptical, life has shown me this is the healthy response to strangers.
    7. No I follow what I am interested in regardless of what is current. I decided while still in my teens that I will listen to anybodies opinion, but will do what I want and not be influenced by others. I am only swayed by proper reason.
    8. Depends on my mood, but if I do behave in an extrovert manner, I am faking it. So very much introvert.

  26. I love the picture of the two dogs! It reminds me of my husband looking to get my attention and me being completely oblivious because my head is wrapped up in something else.

    1. I only self-diagnosed about two weeks ago (though it feels much longer, so much has changed for me already), and I’ve been with my husband for ten years. I suspected I was ASD several years ago, but when I rediscovered the idea and felt sure this time that it applied to me, I was so excited I cornered him when he woke up from his long nap and told him all about it. As he said, I have very unique timing.

    I have always been quite keen to disclose who I am, and how I am. It’s like a need to confess, to feel certain that people know me, and understand me fully. I am more hesitant about it now because I have learned that not everybody is comfortable having that much personal information about somebody they may not feel very close to, and I also realized that this habit of mine had the potential to leave me quite vulnerable. I am not so worried about people using information about me against me, but if I tell them something personal about a loved one and I do not yet know if I can trust this person one hundred per cent, I feel as if I have betrayed my loved one’s right to privacy and left them open to being hurt. I also see disclosures as both a natural test of a friendship or relationship, and an expression of trust in the state of the friendship or relationship so far. There are few absolutely right or wrong ways to react to a disclosure, but I will look at the reaction in the broader context of the relationship and see if it’s worth pursuing long-term. I also don’t want to be the only one doing the disclosing or sharing. That, to me, creates an uneven power dynamic, however unintentional.

    I have been open early on about my hormonal condition, which renders me effectively infertile, to men I’ve dated, as well as other issues in my life such as a personal and family history of depression. I only had one unexpected reaction to my disclosure about my hormonal condition (and that was a reaction to the matter of adopting children), and I was quite shocked. I was brought up to be very strong, borderline bullish, in my dealings with men, lest I run the risk of being taken advantage of, and I never expected anything less than total acceptance from any man I was romantically interested in. I tend to find, in my own life, that people react to an aura of self-assurance. If I present as unsure about, or ashamed of, myself, or something I’m doing, people will pick it apart, pick me apart. It’s like preying on the weak. This is why I only disclose when I am fully confident in what I am saying and what I think it says about me. The problem with my ‘strength’ around men was that I didn’t always know how to apply the rule appropriately or fairly, and I also did not apply it to my friendships with females, around whom I used to have precious few boundaries.

    2. This question, and this survey, is extremely timely. I opted out of employee life four years ago, and am at home alone most of the day. I loved it right away. I could not understand people who said they would miss having colleagues. Colleagues were one of the reasons I wanted to leave my job (and all the jobs before that). I didn’t like being forced into interactions with people, many of whom I found confusing and downright mean, on a near-constant basis.

    However, to counteract all the alone time, which of course I knew to be inherently ‘bad’ and ‘unhealthy’, I made sure to socialize regularly. I even stepped it up a few gears. I found a group of friends, in addition to the two close friends I had, and went drinking regularly with them. If my husband was out with his friends and I wasn’t out with mine, I panicked: what was wrong with me? Why was I alone? Did this mean I would be alone forever? What if I got supremely boring and introverted and my husband left me (or he left me for some other reason, or, heaven forbid, he died) and then I would really be completely on my own. And of course miserable. Because being on one’s own, or being on one’s own regularly, must equate with misery.

    Then I moved. Just me and my husband. No friends, no family, no time to make friends (at least not initially), not a lot of spare money to join a whole load of expensive activities, or go out drinking. And… I love it. I read, I walk, I shop for food, I cook, I bake, I go on this website and interact with really interesting people on really interesting topics, and life has never felt quite so secure and complete. My home is my sanctuary, but I love to be outside, especially because I live in a sunny climate now, and I will walk all day if I have nothing else I have to do, interacting with people only in the briefest of bursts, if I feel like it. I will also go out exploring my new city with my husband at the weekends. We went to a pub last weekend and, even though it was quiet for a Saturday night, I hated it. Too many people, too much noise, too much a case of ‘I’ve done this already, and I never even liked it to begin with’.

    3. I am extremely talkative. Have been my whole life. Except for those times when I will disappear to be on my own and I don’t want to see anyone for hours at a time, never mind say a word to them. I talked AT people, rather than to them, especially when I was younger, and my husband still lets me do this, which I think is very sweet. He calls me up as he’s starting his one hour commute home and, if I’m not in the middle of something else, I will talk to him until I have run out of things to say or until he is pulling into the garage. He says it’s like tuning into a radio station, and makes all the hours spent apart during the day seem a lot less. I think that is one of the reasons I thought I had to be more sociable previously – how would I have anything to say if I was on my own a lot? It turns out my head is a very fruitful, and sometimes wild, place.

    With people I hardly know, I am only talkative if I am feeling socially anxious or over-stimulated. Sometimes I just need to get the words out of me and the woman behind the counter serving me coffee will do, although I mostly know now when to stop (I hope!). When anxious, however, and if out with my husband, I have to ask him afterwards if I talked too much, because I only have the vaguest idea. Sometimes, I enjoyed the idea of making new friends because I figured if I distributed my talkativeness across more people, then it would be less of a burden. Now, I’m back to having only a few close friends and my husband, and with the exception of my husband, we take it in turns to talk each others’ ears off. It works for us.

    4. I have absolutely no idea how people see me, not even my husband. It’s quite disconcerting.

    5 & 6. I realized in university that I was quite ‘impressionable’ and I feared that I could be easily manipulated. I developed coping strategies to ensure that no one could get close enough to hurt me until I had thoroughly vetted them first. My area of work after college was not ideal in that there was a lot of politics involved and therefore a risk of being manipulated on a daily basis, or that’s how I saw it, and that perception exhausted me. Even some of my colleagues have gotten the wrong idea of me, and tried to take advantage. Some thought because I acted so polite, because I was nice to everyone equally, that I must be a pushover, and they got a shock when I eventually snapped (though all I did was call them out on poor behavior; I didn’t go off the deep end) As someone said above, I cannot understand those who would try to take advantage of another human being. I think they are scum.

    I give people the benefit of the doubt, all people, and I can do this because I distrust all people equally. I will be nice, polite, even talkative, but there is a small, important part of me that is kept locked away until it’s safe to be exposed. I find that adopting elements of an extroverted personality can be good for fooling people into thinking that they know you, and I find that in itself a protective shield. They don’t go looking for the real me then, unless they are real friends. The downside is I have had people get attached to a lie, and that is not fun for anyone.

    7. I feel like I live in a different reality from a lot of people. It’s very unnerving. I keep trying to get a foothold on their universe, but it never works out quite the way I imagined. I do not watch much TV. We don’t actually have one, but we will watch episodes of a show my husband likes online. When I start watching a show, especially a current show, I feel pressure to continue watching it. I feel it waiting for me every week at the same time, and that bothers me, even if I do enjoy the show. Most of the time, I will read plot lines on the Internet and that helps me to know what’s going on so I don’t feel completely left out. I prefer my stories to be written down, rather than played out. I find I miss too much when it’s on screen and I don’t like how little control I have over slowing the action down, or taking a break to try and process my reaction to something just seen. I love to pause after reading a particularly enlightening sentence in a book, and I can take an hour to disseminate that one sentence in all sorts of different ways. On the other hand, when I form narratives in my head (which is how I cope with daily life), they come out looking like a TV show with an incessant voice-over and bad dialogue.

    8. I am an introvert with some genuine extrovert qualities (I think). I come across as extroverted (again, I think) to people not very close to me, possibly because I smile a lot and I talk a lot, and I like to travel and I know all sorts of different kinds of people and this is not something others tend to associate with introverts. I do get energy from certain kinds of people and, more to the point, certain kinds of conversations. I can be on a high for the rest of the day after a good conversation even with someone I will never meet again. It’s the information being passed between us, and the mutual enjoyment it engenders, that matters. I love forming connections with people sometimes, however brief. Sometimes I just need to know I exist. I just need to feel tied to something in the world, and if my husband or my close friends are not around, anyone walking their dog will do if they will happily talk about the weather (or their adorable dog) with me for two minutes. Mostly, however, I am happy with my words, my solitary walks, my husband, three good friends, and a glass of wine – and by no means all of this at the same time!

    1. I wish that posts and comments would magically transform themselves into a lovely bound volume – I like to keep up but computer screens are murder on my eyes!

      1. That would be fabulous – being able to dip in and out easily whenever you fancied! I much prefer a good book to a screen.

    2. Totally get your number 2 & 7 answers! And I love how your husband rings you at the start of his commute home 🙂 That is so sweet! It’s great because reading on here how some people have great relationships / marriages makes me realise that actually some do work and are beneficial. My parents have argued all their marriage (I’ve ended up stuck in the middle and still am which I find hard) and why they’ve stayed together god only knows (though I suspect apathy, the inability to actually take action and the fear (in my mother’s case) of what the neighbours would think). So it’s affirming to read.

      1. That sounds a lot like my grandparents. Their kids could never figure out why they were still together, though they threatened to divorce one another regularly. They stayed together til the end. I think there was love there between them, but I also think it was a lot of habit and fear. Getting stuck in the middle of parents with a bad marriage sounds like hell to be honest. You have my utmost compassion.

        I like to try and figure out how relationships (platonic and romantic and indeed familial) work, how they stay together, grow, or fall apart. It’s my tendency to intellectualize everything, especially those things that I do not understand instinctively. I really struggled to grasp as a child why some people liked a person enough to be their friend, but other people didn’t like that exact same person at all. That made no sense to me. A person was either likable or not, so far as I was aware. All I can figure out about my marriage is that it probably works because my husband and I share the same needs, yet we are different in almost every other way. This keeps things interesting, and keeps me growing as a person, which is very important to me. I abhor the idea of stagnating. But I have, literally, never experienced a moment of boredom in his company, which is amazing to me. We’ve been together ten years and the other day he said something that just blew my mind, just his perspective on a certain kind of person that I had never thought of before, and so I happily added it to the info-bank. It’s funny: all the important males in my life provide me with my beloved information (as well as their own version of love and support and, quite frankly, an unbelievable sense of loyalty that I could hardly match); and the two women provide me with a more day-to-day ‘I know your pain, I know your life’ kind of affection. Women are my mirrors, men are my challengers? (and I mean that in a positive way).

        Such gender bias, from a former Sociology student – terribly shameful 🙂 It is kind of embarrassing though how much I repeated the dynamics I saw in my household growing up. I thought I was much more original than that!

        1. I have to admit that I’ve never really analysed relationships of any kind and yet I like to understand how material objects work – strange. I guess I have a negative view of relationships – I don’t seem to see many working therefore I obviously assume that generally they don’t. My friendships don’t seem to last long-term (though some have gone for a few years and ended more recently – maybe because I no longer feel the need to put myself through such effort and haven’t given them so much attention – which then makes it my fault! That sucks!) and I pick the wrong people for relationships, and my family (immediate and extended) hasn’t had great marriages.
          Maybe this is why I don’t analyse them – it’s all too doom and gloom in my perspective!! I may need to work on changing my thinking…
          (This is another reason why I love this place – it spurs on so much thinking!)

          1. I know! It’s amazing. Few things have changed me so much, so quickly, and so positively as realising I’m ASD and finding this site. Or, wait, is that supposed to be – discovering this site and then realising I’m ASD? 😄

            Regarding the whole guilt thing I was on about earlier, it’s made me think a huge amount about forgiveness. Mostly forgiving people, including myself, for being human. I really think I spent the past thirty-two years trying not to be too human. Trying to rise above my humanity wherever possible. I saw it as a great weakness, a cause of so much suffering in the world. So little about people made sense to me, so I didn’t want to be people. That I am very much human, and am very much flawed, is a bit of a kicker. It’s going to take some getting used to. I think the guilt is there to show me that I’ve been thinking about things wrong. I hope I wasn’t too awful to this one particular girl, mostly because I hope her school days were not as lonely as they seem to me now to have been. No child should go through that torture of dreading such a big part of their daily lives but unfortunately too many of us do, for various reasons. Thanks Liz for the support and perspective.

            1. It’s helpful to me to read how extensive your life-review process is. I’ve experienced a variation of that after realizing some things in my own life, and have also experienced it from “the other side” of the ASD situation in a painfully after-the-fact kind of way (as in, “If only I’d understood, I would’ve…” – sorting through memories) but reading about your (and others’) process helps me understand a little better, maybe. In any case, I find it comforting. Maybe it’s just the intimacy afforded with someone else’s articulate self-reflections… I’m not really saying what I wish to – searching for the right words always makes me late to work!

              1. I liken my brain to a car engine sometimes. Sometimes, it takes an age to start. The engine turns over and over half a dozen times, sometimes I even need jump leads, sometimes I cut out in the middle of a highway… But other times, I am the fastest, most fuel-efficient, smoothest running engine on the road. When a part of me becomes my special interest, my brain naturally diverts all major power supplies to sorting through the information, analyzing it, and coming up with all sorts of useful results. I went to a therapist a few years ago, and he was dumbfounded at how much I had thought about what he’d said in the week since the last session. We often started the current session at a completely different place to where we’d left the last one, which I think he found disconcerting at first.

                Intimacy. That’s a good word to describe how I feel around other people’s ‘articulate self-reflections’ too – and it’s a good word to be late for. I always wondered why although I technically fit into several groups in society (nationality, gender, belief system, hobbies) I never felt like I belonged. I never felt wholly comfortable. Here, on this site, my sense of finding a place of my own was immediate. As it stands for me now, although there is of course more to me than simply ASD, it is more fundamental than other ‘marker’. It IS the way I view the world, and so it is the lens through which I must view my place in other communities as well.

            2. Is there any way you can contact this girl online just to sort of say ‘been doing a lot of thinking recently and thought maybe I’d been a git in your direction at school – just wanted to say sorry’? That might put your mind at rest a bit without making too big a deal out of it… Or if you’re still in contact with anyone else from school (I’m not!) you could see if they thought you were as bad as you worry…
              To be fair I’m not sure I’d necessarily take my own advice (I rarely do :)) but it depends how much sleep you’ll lose over it. I’m no good at forgiving myself so I don’t know how easy or hard it is for other people…

              1. I have lots of possible options for getting in contact with people I knew back then, and I am considering it. However, I want to be very sure of my motives for doing so. I don’t want to be so blinded by guilt that the person I’m apologizing to thinks that I want them to make me feel better about what I’ve done. The apology has to be for her, and for her alone.

                I’m probably going to feel a lot more philosophical (also, rational) about everything in a few days. At least I know now not to act on impulse when my emotions overwhelm me. I also know that I can’t really rely on my memory, because my sense of perspective is very skewed. One week, I’m pure evil and how on earth did anyone put up with me, then or now? And the next week I feel like I’m a decent person. Decent is as far as I will go to describe myself, and I think it’s fair. I know myself too well to say I’m ‘good’. I don’t even know what that word means half the time.

                I don’t know if I will ever have a truly balanced perspective of myself, but I am hoping as I accept my flaws, my human nature, that it won’t fluctuate so wildly. It’s exhausting. I am so grateful to people on this site, and just for this site itself, for being a place where I can work out all the messy emotions and thought processes in order to achieve balance (one day).

                1. Good point. I have a funny feeling that if I tried doing that I’d end up using so many words and sentences that it would definitely not sound like a sincere apology. In fact it probably wouldn’t make much sense 🙂 And I’m very aware that I’m usually trying so hard to be empathic that in trying to give examples I end up talking about me, me, me and probably come across as being very self-absorbed! I need to work on that big style. I’ll settle for being ‘decent in intention, most of the time’ 🙂
                  And a very good point about not acting on impulse. Some of my worst decisions have been on impulse.
                  Hard work isn’t it?!!

  27. 1. I didn’t realize I could have Aspergers/Autism until years after I got married.
    2. I like to go out once in awhile, preferably only with my husband or someone I know really well.
    3. I don’t talk very much at all. With someone I know well, I can talk more, if it’s something I know a lot about.
    4. I think I realize now how awkward I really was.
    5. Yes, definitely. I think I’ve been taken used and taken advantage several times by people I thought were friends. I’m trying to be more aware of it now. I need to learn how to say no to people.
    6. I’ve always tended to assume the best in people. I usually trust too easily until it’s proven to me that I shouldn’t.
    7. Sometimes. I often feel like moving in slow motion.
    8. I’m pretty sure I’m an introvert. Sometimes I just need time to “breathe” alone. At the same time, I usually don’t like going places alone. I am very quiet, so others also see me as introverted.

  28. 1. Dating – I was married for 26 years and divorced 6 years ago. We wife and I are on reasonable friendly terms, so we go out together occasionally but that can hardly count as dating 🙂 Since the divorce, neither before my diagnosis last year nor thereafter, I made any attempt to get a date. In fact, already the idea makes me feel uneasy. I am happy about living alone and have every intention to keep it that way. In one of the ‘medical’ texts on ASD I found the citation ‘ After a divorce an Aspie will most likely stay alone forever and not even try to have dates’. True for me. Unfortunately I copied only the sentence but not the source.
    2a. How often do you like to go out? – Less than once a week. And if, then mostly with my daughters for having dinner or watching a movie. Drinking coffee in ‘my’ Starbucks maybe twice a week, alone, sitting in the same place when possible, typing mails or reading something does not count. This became an extension to my living room, the other people around only serve as ‘white noise’.
    2b. Do you prefer to do stuff alone? – Definitely. Cinema, again, museum, shopping, a tour on the bike, a hike in the woods: the idea of having to take somebody else opinion in account whether to turn left or right or to stay in a place longer or shorter than I want, without being able to leave on a whim spoils the potential fun already in advance. Totally egoistic in that respect.
    2c. Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself to go out sometimes? Except on weekends it is almost impossible to go out. After a day at work, the social interactions there just leave me with the overwhelming drive to return to my comfort zone. If that is not possible for some reason I become highly anxious, often days in advance.
    3. Do you talk a lot to people? – Yes, at my workplace I talk a lot to students and colleagues, even including small talk to some degree. It is not actually a desire, it is part of the job. I can even come across as charming as I was told. On the other hand, the potential danger that I fall into the typical non-stoppable rambling modus has people already led to take another corridor when they see me in the distance. I try my best to suppress this habit but fail regularly, sometimes miserably. With all this talking often I just notice in the evening how exhausting it has actually been.
    4. For people diagnosed as an adult, do you have a changed perception of how others see you? – Yes. During my sense-making process I became more reflective and noticed the certain reluctance my colleagues have to interact with me, although it is not very overt. Students, on the other hand, like me quite a lot since I am very open with them, can offer reasonable advice due to long experience and the quirkiness of an absent-minded prof is frequently perceived as unconventional, in a positive way.
    5. Do you see yourself as vulnerable because of ASD? Yes and no. Yes, because I have been taken advantage of, twice in a quite bad way. I am very bad in judgment how trustworthy people actually are. The second case cost me the equivalent of two years income. Worse, I seem unable to learn from these mistakes. No, because I can ‘fight’ quite well for my cause and intentions as far as professional issues are involved and stand my ground. Does not even cost me too much effort since I started taking anti-anxiety meds. This goes along with my involvement in civil rights activities, though the latter are mainly done via the internet.
    6. Trusting other people – See above. I trust too much and start out with assuming that everybody approaching me is doing so with basically good intentions. Stupid, I know. It is not so bad, however, since an academic environment is more benevolent than others.
    7. Do you ever feel like you’re living on a different scale of time from other people (e.g. TV shows) – No. And I am almost not watching TV at all, except for documentaries, no shows.
    8. Gaining energy from others – Not at all. The idea of being an Aspie and potentially extrovert never occurred to me before reading corresponding personal accounts here. My level of introversion was always very high and obvious to me even during the decades I considered myself NT. This may seem to contradict my answer to question three (talking to people). I explain the latter by ‘acting’ quite skillfully and with a lot of practice. Energy for acting and coping is getting less with my developing ASD narrative since diagnosis and ageing anyway. So if at all I am becoming even more introvert.

  29. 1. Have you dated knowing you had Aspergers/Autism?
    I never dated. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to. I was ridiculously shy as a teenager, and didn’t know how to make small talk. I was also hopeless at recognising nuances of language (spoken or body). I had a number of pen friends with whom I chatted. It was slow in those days as communication was by airmail. That’s how I met my wife over 44 years ago. We’ve ben married for 42 years. I was diagnosed as being on the spectrum in 2008.

    2. How often do you like to go out?
    That’s a difficult one to answer. It depends on where “out” is. I dislike loud noise and bright lights. But my wife and I enjoy dining out. We select quite places, often with an ethnic theme. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a simple café or a fine dining restaurant. It’s the flavour and presentation that’s important. We dine out about twice a month. I enjoy social gatherings of up to 12 people in the right environment, but I notice that when there’s more than six people I get progressively more exhausted. With a few close friends I could chat all night, but with twelve people three hours is my limit.

    3. Do you talk a lot to people?
    With close friends or family, I have been known to “talk the hind leg off a donkey” if it’s a topic I’m interested in. But is would need to be in a small group of less than 6. With larger groups, or with people I know less well, I never know when it’s appropriate to comment. I tend to just listen, and contribute only when asked.

    4. For people diagnosed as an adult, do you have a changed perception of how others see you?

    5. Do you see yourself as vulnerable because of ASD?
    I guess that’s a possibility. I’ve always been a very trusting person, but so far any betrayals have been minor in nature and easily forgiven. I guess you could say I’m trusting but not naive.

    6. Trusting other people
    I trust people until such time that they show they are untrustworthy. Because I don’t always recognise what someone’s intentions are I probably ask more questions than other people would. It’s not so much that I don’t trust the other person, it’s that I can’t trust my understanding or the other person. Does that make sense? I’m in my sixties and have so far had no reason to review my trust of fellow human beings.

    7. Do you ever feel like you’re living on a different scale of time from other people?
    To be honest, I’m not sure what people understand by a time scale. I’m not aware of the passage of time, which I realise is unusual. Without out external clues (a clock, position of the sun, etc) I have no idea whether 5 minutes or 5 hours have passed. I know other people consider time is important, but it is meaningless to me.

    8. where would you place yourself on a continuum from introvert to extrovert?
    Introvert. I find anyone who I haven’t known for a long time or requires interaction to be exhausting to be around. Essentially, I’m only comfortable around people I have grown up with, or who have grown up with me. I need time alone to “recharge my batteries”.

  30. 1. No. I only realized recently that I was probably on the spectrum. My boyfriend has numerous ADHD & SPD traits, so, well, we have a lot in common. (His ability to translate/interpret the social world for me is an incredible blessing.) We met through work. I’ve not dated much throughout my life, in the traditional sense. It doesn’t really work for me. I’m better at meeting folks, that I have something in common with, and spending time with them, maybe something clicks and it goes from there.

    2. I don’t like to go out often, though it is nice to have dinner out or go do an activity or something, every once in a while. Sometimes I prefer to do stuff alone, sometimes I’d prefer company. I’ve spent most of my adult life on my own and have learned to do all kinds of things by myself, to the point where I find it difficult to ask for help or company when I really do need it.

    3. I’ve always struggled with this stereotype, that aspies only talk about their pet interest and then they can’t shut up and that they have zero self-awareness about this ever. I don’t feel it applies universally. Why would I assume that because I’m interested in something that everyone is? Everyone is different. It doesn’t make sense to me. Though this might be because I watched my mother, and then my now ex-husband, bore the pants off anyone they could get within earshot, for hours. I don’t really know if this taught me that skill or not. Anyway, I do talk to people I know, and I can desire, make, and enjoy conversation in limited amounts.

    4. I’m not diagnosed and the only person who knows that I think I’m autistic is my boyfriend.

    5. Not much anymore. People really have to prove themselves to me before I trust them. Most of the people I should be able to trust have proven they aren’t worthy of it (can’t keep a confidence, can’t see my side of situations, only are interested in telling me how I’ve done wrong, etc.). I learned at a fairly early age not to trust anyone, the hard way. It’s a detriment to my relationships, honestly.

    6. See no. 5. Also I’ve learned that my gut feeling isn’t terribly wrong and that I can usually believe it. That helps in non-critical situations sometimes. When I was younger I was gullible and got burned by that.

    7. TV. Well, the older I get (and I dunno if this is an autism thing or not so I’ll put it here), the less I want to watch TV/movies. I get so emotionally invested in them that it’s draining. If something unexpected happens I am overwhelmed. If they are sad I’m crying. The tension that is built up as part of any decent show makes me wound up and almost panicky. It’s exhausting. To answer the question that was asked: I don’t think I have a terribly different time scale from other people.

    8. I am an introvert and also terribly shy (not quite the same thing). Knowing what I know now, though, the shyness may have always been knowing I was “different” and learning that if I blended into the woodwork and avoided interaction then folks wouldn’t figure out how different I really was. I do not draw energy from being in groups and instead need time to recharge from social events, not always in a sensory overload way but just in the amount of effort I have to spend to interact with people in a socially acceptable way. I have learned to ‘act the part’ but it is tiring.

  31. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No. Never knew groing up.

    But back then, I was always very direct if I wanted to date someone. I got the social ques all wrong. Made many invites to individuals I later found out were gay.

    Q2: I need to get out of the house at least once a day, but that is mostly to walk myself. With people I like, such as spouse, happy to go out Maybe 2x week. With friends no more than 1-2 x a month.
    I don’t find it difficult to motivate myself. I know what I need to do to function well.

    Q3: When I meet new people I talk a lot. Focusing on what they say is hard so I will try to remember to repeat what they say and ask a question.

    Q4: Yes!!!!!! So much makes sense now.

    Q5: Yes. We have discovered I don’t “rate” people well. Now that we know, I have to trust / rely on people that do. I have been taken advantage of at work, business dealings, social since I don’t say no well.

    Q6: Yes see above.
    I find once i decide to trust someone it is nearly impossible to change my opinion. Having a spouse that can help interpret has been a blessing after my diagnosis. He really does take care of me and my (our) best interests.

    Q7: Yes

    Q8: I’ve done Myers Briggs for work. I am an INTJ. but from an introvert I am right in the middle between intro/extrovert. We think this is a result of me trying to fit it.
    People think I am an extrovert. The social anxiety is huge. I would rather only talk to the people I know and trust.

  32. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No not officially. I met my husband at 17, got together after I graduated and got married when I was 21. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 29. He doesn’t care and thinks he is too to be honest. Lol

    Q2: Depends on what you mean by go out. We (me and the kids) go to town at least once a week and that’s enough haha but we have other responsibilities too that we go out and do. Yes sometimes it’s hard to want to go. Yes I prefer to do things alone but honestly I don’t want to go alone without my kids. If hubby goes with me that’s even better but he works.

    Q3: I just don’t know what to say. My son (undiagnosed but highly suspected aspie) will talk to anyone and he doesn’t know when to stop lol. But I would prefer not to unless pressed with questions. Then I never know what to ask the other person.

    Q4: No?

    Q5: Yes I do and yes I think so. My perception hasn’t changed but I am less likely to be trusting of people I don’t know. I don’t know if they are being sarcastic sometimes or not.

    Q6: I do tend to be distrustful of people who have burned me. And if they are new and they make jokes or sarcasm I have a hard time figuring out when they are serious or not

    Q7: I don’t stay “up with the latest” and I like it that way.

    Q8: I am an introvert but I still have social needs too. Problem is that no one takes me serious and they dont put me as any kind of priority as a friend. Most of the time it’s okay I don’t need much I’m not a high maintenance friend. But the odd occasion that I invite them to something they will never commit to doing it unless they don’t have something else going on. And there is always something else going on. Something else is much more important than I am.

  33. anonymous answers:

    Q1: no
    Q2: maybe once a week – going alone makes it hard to motivate myself to go out since I always just feel like a creepy nerd doing a lot of things by myself
    Q3: no – hard to know who to trust beyond maybe asking for help
    Q5: yes – I’ve actually been more conscious of that with age
    Q6: what someone does and says into a consistent picture – or I dont trust them. How do other people manage this?
    hard to know
    Q7: pretty much though it’s partly just that I was too young to be able to watch some popular shoes when they came out
    Q8: introvert – tbh it’s probably not much different from how other people see me or how I’d see myself in any sense

  34. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No, I came to the realization later despite the always present feeling of differentness throughout my life. I don’t know the first thing about dating or how to initiate; I met my partner of going on 9 years through an online game and they were the one to ask me out. It was long distance at first and also rough because my parents weren’t the most understanding. My partner and I are both autistic so it wasn’t hard to disclose and we felt a certain shared connectedness right away.

    Q2: I don’t go out very much. I had timespans where I only went out once a week if that during my more reclusive stages. It can be hard to motivate myself to go out sometimes especially if I know I will be going to a busy place. I like to do stuff alone or with very few people.

    Q3: I dont think I do. I am.more the type of person that needs to be approached rather than being the one who does the approaching. I feel like my younger self was a bit more outgoing in this regard.

    Q4: I’ve always been categorized as ‘shy’ so I don’t think much has changed.

    Q5: I’ve always thought myself as a tad naive and gullible, and I have been taken advantage of in the past. I don’t feel like age has improved my perception too much but I’d like to think it improved.

    Q6: I manage it poorly by avoiding moat people.

    Q7: Yes. I feel like I have ‘stopped’ aging internally at some undiscernable point or that I am lagging behind. I lose track of the days or how long something has taken place. It can be distressing.

    Q8: I have to reserve energy to interact with people but it doesn’t mean I dont enjoy interacting although it can get frustrating sometimes. I still think I am primarily an introvert.

  35. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No
    Q2: I don’t like to go out. If I go out I like to have someone with me.
    Q3: I don’t talk to a lot of people. If I am taking about a special ibterest then yes, I will talk more.
    Q4: I don’t know yet, I am still finding out this.
    Q5: Yes. I feel vulnerable. I can and have been taken advantage of. Not changed with age.
    Q6: I have trouble trusting people.
    Q7: Yes
    Q8: Middle. But I need a lot of time on my own, but I like being near others, perhaps not talking though.

  36. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Yes, but at that time I didn’t really understood it. I told him a couple of time but he was never taking it seriously. Might have been less stressful if I understood it better myself.

    Q2: I actually like to go out with friends, but I do that usually once per semester. It’s really hard to get myself to get out, if it’s not in my day to day schedule. That’s why I prefer to do stuff alone, it’s less stressful and you don’t need to get out, wasting a lot of energy on getting ready.

    Q3: I do talk a lot when I am stuck with people, in person, and if I know them well. Beside that, I’m quiet and really don’t like to talk, futhermore if it’s to strangers. I don’t have the desire to talk to people, just a couple of friend via texting is plenty enough without having to open my mouth.

    Q5: I don’t see myself as vulnerable because of ASD, but I know I’m really likely to believe someone if they tell me something. If they are strangers, I am certain to not be able to know if they are lying, or being manipulative, but not to do something I don’t want to do. I guess that everydays make me change opinion of that… but I still don’t want to blame ASD, and blame those who try to manipulate me instead.

    Q6: I guess I do the same, and end up not trusting a lot of people.

    Q7: I’m always out of synch with other people, unless they happen to be dogs. Why the urge to see a TV show right now when you can just let it slip a few months and then watch it? I guess months flew up easier on me than on others, I don’t consider anything to be urgent, futhermore when it’s medias that will definitly be there in a few years.

    Q8: I guess i’m a bit extrovert because I like to talk with people and be with them, but it burn my battery faster than an Iphone run out of charge. It’s different because most people describe me as a complete antisocial person who likes to hide. But as a fact, it’s rather because being with people drain me and makes me really nervous. It does differt from how I see myself, as being alone is good for me but I can’t stand it too much.

  37. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I decided when I was nine I wasn’t going to date until at least eighteen – I’m sixteen now and still have very little interest! I just can’t see how it could possibly work out so it would be a little pointless, really.

    Q2: I go out for therapy sessions down the street once a fortnight but that’s it. I’m quitting those soon anyway lol but my parents are going to start pushing me to go outside more. I have other brain things as well as asd that make it hard for me to be out and around people. I much prefer doing things with my mum with me because it’s good to know I have someone to fall back on if I lose my words or start to panic. It takes a lot of pep talking for me to go out.

    Q3: Even when I was at school and going out a lot (I left school at fifteen) I was mostly nonverbal at school. I talk with my family sometimes but mostly my brother. I’m trying to stop talking at people about my special interests.

    Q5: I don’t think so and if I did I don’t think it would be ‘because of asd’ really, I just feel like it’s… me? My asd mixes up with a whole other lot of stuff. I don’t go with other people unless they’re family so I’m not likely to be lead anywhere or anything like that.

    Q6: I just go about treating everything with suspicion haha

    Q7: Sort of, yes

    Q8: I don’t like the introvert-extrovert thing because I think everyone switches from one to the other depending on situations

  38. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No

    Q2: Depends what you mean by going out. If you mean socialising then I guess I go out about once a month usually to the cinema, usually with my husband. I also sometimes have a meal or a coffee with a friend, again about once a month. If you mean go out as in leave the house, then I guess it’s about every other day. I LOVE, LOVE to do stuff alone. I work at home so that is alone and in the evenings I am often alone as my husband will be upstairs, or if we are in the same room we are usually wearing headphones. I do find it very difficult to motivate myself to go out. Especially as I am currently living in a city. In the country I find it easy to leave the house because there aren’t many people about.

    Q3: I can talk to people and sometimes I enjoy having conversations with strangers, but generally I am pretty happy NOT to talk to people. Once a college lecturer shocked me by telling someone that I could talk the hind legs off a donkey (her exact words) I had no idea that I talked a lot, especially to her! It was quite upsetting. I am self-conscious about how much I talk now and have developed a strategy for asking lots of questions when I am with other people, so that they end up talking the most!

    Q4: Totally. My late diagnosis turned pretty much every social interaction that I have with people on it’s head. I am now extremely self-conscious when I interact with other people and constantly monitor myself. It is frustrating when people find out that I have Aspergers and then say that I don’t seem to have any problems with social interaction – if only they knew how tightly I am holding myself and how brilliant a performer I am haha!

    Q5: I think that I was vulnerable as a younger person because I didn’t know about my neurology. I can see that I misunderstood so much in my youth and was very lucky that I managed to avoid some potentially serious situations. Having said that, I became pregnant at a young age by a man who didn’t keep a single one of the ‘promises’ he made and raised my daughter alone for several years. I don’t feel vulnerable now though because I am older, wiser and much much angrier!

    Q6: I forget that people lie. My instinctive reaction is to believe people nd I’m often very surprised when people’s motivations are pointed out to me. I don’t think I have been taken advantage of though, apparently I come across as a bit scary so I think people tend to be wary of me. I don’t think I come across as a victim at all.

    Q7: Yeah. I’m not interested in the things most people seem to be interested in.

    Q8: I’m a introvert. I need to be alone, I learn about the world alone, I love to be in the world alone. But I think people who meet me but don’t know me probably think that I’m an extrovert. I’m a very good actress.

  39. anonymous answers:

    Q2: Just leaving the house, or out-out to gatherings/parties etc? The former, probably every day, the latter, maybe once a fortnight/month? I mostly prefer to do stuff alone. I do like to have someone with me when I am out/having to socialise with people I don’t know though. I find it difficult to motivate myself to do anything……

    Q3: How many is a lot? I live with five girls and regularly talk to them and two or three friends, even if i do have to take breaks and hide in my room sometimes. And I can totally talk about my special interests but it’s more talking ‘at’ people than ‘to’ people: them talking back or even being engaged really isn’t necessary.

    Q4: I was diagnosed as an adult but haven’t told anyone. I think people will treat me differently.

    Q5: I feel like maybe my ‘going along with stuff because I don’t feel comfortable saying no/putting up a fuss’ thing could be taken advantage of, but as a person I don’t think I’m vulnerable per say.

    Q6: I don’t know actually. Huh.

    Q7: Not as far as I’m aware? I don’t know….

    Q8: I am definitely more introverted in that I rejuvenate after being alone, and find being with people exhausting, however -with my friends that is- I do really enjoy being with them and going out with them etc.So I guess there’s a lil bit of extrovert in me?

  40. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Never dated

    Q2: I only like to go out for specific things with a lot of planning, or regular sport activates I do all the time. Sometimes it’s hard, especially with unwanted social events to motivate myself to go

    Q3: I have several smalltalk scripts I can use but I only really talk about important things if I feel comfortable with the person or if it’s a strong special interest. Most of the time I don’t desire conversation

    Q4: Not an adult

    Q5: I sometimes feel vulnerable if I don’t have a script as I know I will not be able to act conventionally which will cause trouble for me

    Q6: Literally never ever tell important stuff to people unless I’ve known them for years and trust them with that bit of information specifically. Very bad way to do things, would not recommend for emotional health but none of my secrets have got out yet

  41. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No

    Q2: I often want to go out, but it is difficult to overcome inertia, and actually do it.

    Q3: Depends on the topic. If someone shows interest in something I know a lot about (which covers a surprising array of eclectic topics, usually related to “how something works”) then they’ll get a real education.

    Q4: It’s too new. I don’t know how they respond, or if they are responding differently (is that what you are asking?) I am much more self-aware, however, which has good and bad edges.

    Q5: I was pretty gullible as a kid, but probably miss opportunities today in overcompensating.

    Q6: I can pick up incongruent language in a heartbeat. I think this is similar to what you said about logical consistency.

    Q7: Yes

    Q8: For years, in all of those informal “styles” exercises that divide people into four quadrants, I would end up in the “promoter / expressive” corner, with “analyzer” as a secondary. That says I’m supposed to be the life of the party, etc, blah, blah. But I am very uncomfortable in an unstructured social setting. Speaking from up front gives me a lot of juice, but at the same time, at the end of the day I am exhausted.

    I am speculating now (with the ASD context) that I am processing hard in the background to read how people are reacting, etc. and that is what is draining the energy.

  42. anonymous answers:

    Q2: I don’t really go outside aside from class and walking my dog. Even that is really hard because I have to walk about a mile along a really busy street to get to class.

  43. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I’m currently in a relationship with someone I’ve disclosed to. They’re pretty accepting of it, though. I’ve only dated a few people, and I disclosed to one other about maybe being autistic, and that did not go over as well. It wasn’t entirely awful, but I got gaslit for an hour or so.

    I dunno how to explain the relationships I’ve been in, they’ve mostly evolved from friendships of some sort.

    Q2: I don’t like going out to do things that often in general. I feel like going by myself attracts negative attention sometimes, even though I’d sometimes prefer to be alone, so I generally do things with people. Sometimes it’s hard to do things like grocery shopping or clothes shopping unless I have a big motivator, though.

    Q3: I can talk to people who I have a lot of things in common with, but if I don’t then I have an extremely hard time finding much to say.

    Q4: I’m not really sure, because I was never really sure of how people saw me when I was younger unless I was explicitly told how they saw me. I was never really able to guess unless they said “well you’re not very confident” or something directly to my face. I still can’t, really, but I feel like sometimes when I try to read people’s impressions of me, they’re mostly negative. It’s hard to discern much beyond “negative” though unless I overhear them talking.

    Q5: To be honest, probably. I’ve been manipulated by other people in the past, and while I’m trying to see the signs of this and generally can, it doesn’t always seem to work for me. I can kinda cope with this by being generally less trusting, though.

    Q6: I can’t really trust the people that I can “read” very well because there have been situations where even those people have taken advantage of me. I just don’t really trust too many people too much, but I still have problems where I’ll infodump about something personal to someone who I don’t feel comfortable knowing about it and then feel really anxious for a while afterwards.

    Q7: It depends. Sometimes I think that a show aired a season ago, and then I realize that it aired about 2-3 years ago. My time has distorted more since I’ve entered the workforce.

    Q8: I think I would place myself at approximately 70% introverted, and 30% extroverted. I tend to get somewhat socially burnt out though if I’m in stressful social situations, such as when I’m with people who I’m uncomfortable around, or family events, or work, and that tends to make me more introverted. At this point in my life, I’m very introverted, but I think that’s also due to my life circumstances. If I were put in a situation where the unwanted social interactions were gone from my life, I feel like I’d start seeking social interaction sometimes, but still being primarily introverted. Others tend to see me as either extremely introverted or somewhere in the middle, from what I’ve heard.

  44. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Yes, after a few months in. It has affected people’s view of me, partner brings it up during conflict which is painful.

    Q2: Around once a week. I do find it hard to go out sometimes.

    Q3: I am friendly and generally approachable. People often prefer to talk about themselves though, so I give them that opportunity. If I’m surrounded by people for more than a day (e.g. going camping) then I become irritable and end conversations early.

    Q4: Yes, but I used online resources and literature to effectively blend in. I appear much more confident and with less ‘issues’ than my NT peers because of this.

    Q5: Yes I can be very trusting and don’t see through sarcasm or when people mean to make fun of me.

    Q6: I don’t have a coherent way of managing this yet. It’s mostly modelled on past experiences.

    Q7: Yes! I don’t stop playing video games I like too when they’re out of fashion or made redundant.

    Q8: Highly introverted, I never thought of extroverted aspies, that must be very difficult.

    Others see me as outgoing, most people don’t classify with extrovert/introvert. I need time to recharge, but as I can be a private person most people don’t realise this or assume I have other engagements.

  45. Q1: No, but I’m self-diagnosed. I think it’ll be more complicated for me. Might disclose by dropping hints about being sensitive to sound and needing to talk to myself a lot to learn things. I know that’s how acquaintances have hinted to me they were transgender or bisexual long before they officially came out.

    Q2. I prefer to do stuff alone. I like being a hermit.

    Q3. Online maybe. In terms of talking the hind leg off someone, I think it’s referring to infodumping. It’s not exactly an allistic conversation. The best part is when I talk to someone and we’re both infodumping. We’re literally talking parallel to each other and it somehow works.

    Q4. N/A, but people think I’m quiet

    Q5. Definitely vulnerable. Now I’m more aware that I’m vulnerable.

    Q6. For some reason I’ve been able to rely on my instincts to protect me when I get far too close to danger. Other times though, if I’m not that close to danger, but I’m approaching it, I don’t always know what’s going on so I’ve been working on getting to know myself and developing boundaries. If something feels offensive, I acknowledge it. If I feel uncomfortable, I acknowledge it. I might not always talk about it with others, but in my mind I accept that it’s there.

    Q7. Yes. I feel I move slowly compared to others. Other people move at a pace that’s far too fast for me. It’s bad if we’re on a deadline.

    Q8. Oh yeah, there are definitely difficulties when it comes to being an extroverted autistic, especially if you’re not aware that you infodump a lot. Me, I’m in between, but leaning toward introverted. Around people I can connect to, I’m happy to be around them. I love people watching; I like being in a mall but I don’t necessarily need to enjoy it with friends. Lately I’m learning to rely on people beyond those individuals I naturally connect with and inviting them to hang out, but I think it’s drawn out of a need to do that (safety in numbers) as opposed to actually wanting to hang out with all kinds of people.

  46. 1) I haven’t gone out on a date since knowing I was autistic. All my previous relationships were with people I met directly through interests or from social gatherings related to interests or work.
    2) I go to the movies or out to dinner on occasion. I always go alone and try to go when there is going to be less of a crowd.
    3) I am forced to talk to a lot of people through work and that’s enough for me. I usually don’t have anything to say to anyone on my spare time.
    4) I’m more aware that I can seem awkward to other people, at work I do my best to amend that. I probably have been more able to project myself as more confident as of late because of self knowledge
    5) I have always known I was socially vulnerable, long before an ASD diagnosis. I used to beat myself up over it. I learned from experience, and many mistakes as a young adult not to do things that make me feel uncomfortable and to stand my ground. If anything because of knowing about ASD has helped me begin to accept this about myself.
    6) I tend to be skeptical of others intentions. I like to know what the payoff is for each person that i am dealing with so I can predict when I am no longer a part of their plan.
    7) I’m like that big time, especially with TV shows. I would rather a season compete or the whole series complete so I can binge watch it, or I will obsess over it.
    8) I am indisputably a complete introvert.

  47. 1. No. I haven’t really done much dating in my life at all, and I’m not really sure what counts as dating, but no in any case.

    2. What is the definition of “going out”? I don’t go to dinners and parties due to noise sensitivity, and because that type of events are too social & long for me. However, my husband and I sometimes go out and have a coffee in (~ usually outside) a cafe, and we go out every Sunday – namely to Church. I prefer to go out that way perhaps 4 – 6 times a month, including Church.

    “Do you prefer to do stuff alone?” It depends what stuff. I like to walk the dogs together, but run alone. If something needs to be purchased then I prefer to do that together, but I generally prefer to spend most of my time alone.

    “Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself to go out sometimes?” I am rarely motivated to go out, I mainly do it for some good reasons that I explain to myself.

    3. No.

    4. I have always felt very uncertain/confused about how people see me (when the thought occurs to me), and that is still the case post diagnosis.

    5. I tend to feel socially vulnerable and unsure of what is going on around me in a group. I’m feeling more confident and better at drawing boundaries in my current age, and not willing to put up with crap just to look like I belong or something like that, that is definitely something that has improved with age.

    6. I often try to ask people for their feedback and what they want, and try to “plot their needs” on my inner social map. That’s in order to be able to accommodate them as well as possible and work out the overall social situation, but in some cases there may be a dissonance between what they say and what they do, then I don’t trust them.I don’t mean that I don’t trust them if they don’t live up to all promises they make (I know I don’t live up to all mine… certainly not in a timely manner). It is more if they express a certain attitude with words and a different in actions and attitude – then I’ll judge them on their actions and attitude, and regard their words as lies / social theatre.

    7. I don’t watch TV and rarely even read newspapers, so I guess I tend to be a bit behind “other people” in exploring popular trends… but that isn’t because I have a different time scale, it is more that I have different interests.

    8. I’m quite certainly an introvert, but that doesn’t mean that other people are not important to me, just that I need a lot of time alone to recover/recharge. Some people who encounter me in certain situation may think that I am not introvert because I can be quite assertive, enthusiastic and not afraid to say my opinion, when “on task”. However, according to the definition stated, I’m definitely introvert. I actually tend to find most extravert people extremely draining, and those who are also socially insensitive and intrusive – unbearable to the point of pushing me over the breaking point (snapping) very soon.., so I’m afraid that the combination of me and an extrovert aspie would not work at all. (I may have some in my family, I suspect)

  48. 1. N/A

    2. I like to go out very rarely and generally prefer to do stuff either alone or with my best friend. Motivation is definitely difficult.

    3. I generally only talk to people I know.

    4. Adult self-dx, and no. I learned not to worry about how others see me before diagnosing.

    5. I can definitely be more vulnerable because of ASD. I tend to take people at their words, barring obvious deceit.

    6. My best friend is much better than I am at reading people’s intentions, even if he’s not there and I describe what happened, so when I’m unsure of something, I usually ask him. As for completely misreading something and thinking I have it right, I have no workarounds for that yet.

    7. I don’t exactly feel like I’m living on a different scale of time, but I do know that I don’t have a sense of time. If I don’t have a clock or alarm, I only know time has passed due to the changing light coming in through the window. I’d say I also have a different scale of urgency from other people, which caused a lot of trouble growing up, when my mother would give me multiple things to do and I’d do them in the wrong order.

    8. In your therapist’s terms/psychology terms, I’m somewhere in between introvert and extrovert, probably middle-to-introvert. I can gain energy in three ways: doing things alone, doing things with a very close friend, or doing alone/solitary things in the company of a very close friend. However the company of most people drains me (and even with close friends, I can be drained by too many of them at once), at least before I get to know them, so I call myself an introvert when necessary to explain to people who aren’t familiar with the psychology definitions. People in general definitely see me as an introvert.

  49. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I was diagnosed just after the collapse of a seven-year relationship, so when I started dating again, my autism was front and center in my mind. I typically brought it up on the first or second date – which, in hindsight, probably made a lot of my dates very uncomfortable. It worked out, though, since one of the people I dated at that time I went on to marry. He was not only unfazed by the news, but seemed actually relieved by it. Turned out he has an autistic uncle and an autistic cousin, and that he had been trying to figure out why he couldn’t “read” me emotionally very well and when I said I was autistic, everything suddenly made sense to him.

    I found dates during this period via OkCupid, which is also where I met my now-husband. Online dating let me express myself in writing, which has always been easier for me than expressing myself socially, and it let me get to know people gradually before meeting them in person.

    Q2: When I’m not teaching, I work almost entirely from home, which means it’s very easy for me to forget to leave the house for days at a time. The longer I stay in, the harder it is to motivate myself to go out, especially if “going out” means interacting with other human beings in public (even if that’s just ordering coffee or buying a movie ticket). I recently took up running as the most efficient way to get the exercise I need to tire myself out enough to sleep, and that “getting out” has been a really good bridge between “physically leaving the house” and “interacting with other humans” that has made it much easier to get out for interaction purposes.

    Generally, I prefer to do almost everything alone, including running, coffee shops, grocery shopping, and going to movies. When my husband and I go out, we most often go to the movies or go kayaking, which are great “parallel” activities. I know my (NT) mother would like to get out with me more often, but she treats going out as an interaction experience, and interacting with her (or really with anyone) for extended periods is exhausting for me.

    Q3: It depends entirely on the person and the topic. Years of having people rudely announce “NO ONE CARES” when I’ve gone on about my special interests has made me very sensitive to when it is and is not okay to chatter about mine. Also, while my favorite way to teach is to infodump, I know this is not my students’ favorite way to learn, so I work hard to limit my lecturing to about ten minutes at a time and to break it up with activities and discussion.

    I almost never have the urge to talk to strangers. I will talk to my colleagues, but how much I talk to them is directly correlated with how comfortable I feel in their presence (not always the same thing as “how well I know them”). I infodump to my (neurotypical) husband frequently, but he seems to like it.

    Q4: Changed as a result of the diagnosis? Not particularly. My perception of myself changed significantly; I no longer see myself as some kind of failure or freak who must hide her deficiencies at all costs. As a result, I act more “autistic” than I once did, but the energy I save in not forcing myself to “pass” has allowed me to be better at my work and has reduced my anxiety significantly. If anything, I’m probably more friendly and confident now than I was pre-diagnosis, if also more stimmy and flat-affect-ed.

    Q5: I think my diagnosis made me less vulnerable. As a child and young adult, I was regularly persuaded to do things I didn’t really want to do or taken advantage of because I was terrified other people wouldn’t like me if I said no. Since my diagnosis (at age 27), I’ve done a complete about-face – now it’s very hard to persuade, coerce, or take advantage of me because if something makes me uncomfortable then I simply refuse to take on the anxiety of doing it anyway.

    Q6: I don’t trust people, as a rule. I generally assume that everyone is playing some “friendly interface” script that will get dropped the moment they feel crossed or want something they don’t think the other person will willingly give them.

    I don’t recommend this management method; it’s painfully cynical and I suspect that it’s cost me a few potential friendships. But I also have to admit that it has saved me from a few otherwise awkward or dangerous situations.

    Q7: I’m often bemused by the amount of “manufactured urgency” in our popular culture. The message seems to be “you have to watch/buy/attend/do this now or you are hopelessly uncool!”, but I have zero interest in being the first to do anything so why should that message sway me?

    Q8: I’m intensely introverted, though there have been periods in my life in which I’ve been out and about or with people for large parts of my day and have seemed extroverted. (I need the alone time to have the energy for the people-time, and I only do the people-time when it’s something I really care about and am really interested in, like teaching.)

    I think, however, that most of my colleagues see me as more introverted than I really am – especially since when I’m not teaching, I’m in the habit of working from home rather than in my office. I think a lot of them believe that I genuinely don’t like people or have no idea how to handle them; the first is false, and the second is true but not a significant barrier to my being around people.

  50. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No. I found out long after I was married. My wife refuse to believe the diagnosis so we never talk about it. I wish we could.
    Q2: Married already.
    Q3: No, I talk to as few people as i have to.
    Q4: Yes. I now see how I bore some of them and how some see me as weird.
    Q5: Yes. I can be easily fooled by people. Then I feel stupid and betrayed.
    Q6: I don’t trust most people. I handle this my trying to avoid people.
    Q7: No
    Q8: Introvert and shy. Hate parties or being looked at.

  51. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I have never been asked out.

    Q2: I like to get out of the house at least once or twice a week. I like being with my family sometimes and other times I just want to go someplace where no one knows me and no one will talk to me so I can just be alone. Self motivation is definitely a problem for me a lot of the time.

    Q3: If I know someone really, really well and am comfortable around them, then I can talk non stop sometimes. This was particularly true when I was younger, but now that I grown older it’s like I have this complex that no one wants to hear what I have to say. I love Sherlock Holmes, I know a lot of books, and movies, and TV shows, but about the only other people who like those things are my family and I always feel like they’re looking at me like I’ve sprouted two heads whenever I start really going on a topic.

    Q4: I was diagnosed as a child, though never officially.

    Q5: I find that I can be ‘guilt-tripped’ or persuaded into doing things that I would really rather not do, but everyone else wants to do it so not doing it will put me as the odd one out. About the only thing about this that age has changed is the fact that I am a little more comfortable with who I am, and I also understand myself better so when I say no, I feel less guilty about not doing something that I really didn’t want to do to begin with and I can tell the little voice in my head to sock it and go away.

    Q6: I trust my family; my Dad, it’s a little touchy there. He’s always doing goofy things, so whenever he asks me to do something I usually want to know what I’m supposed to do before I say yes. Same with my Grandma. I think part of this is the fact that I am largely introverted while my father and grandmother are largely extroverted, so what they consider as ‘fun’ and ‘exciting’ might be something that makes me want to run away.

    Q7: Yes. I saw the preview for the BBC Sherlock TV show on a BBC Robin Hood disc my family owned, but I didn’t ask mom to put it on the rental until a couple years after the first time I saw the preview.

    Q8: I am definitely introverted; in fact, my mom thinks this is where a lot of my childhood symptoms of AS came from, because as I have aged most of my sensory issues have diminished and I can handle life in ways that people with AS generally can’t. Personally, I think we all have a little ASD in us; it just effects each person uniquely and manifests stronger in some people. Knowing that I am introverted has helped me immensely in coping with life and being comfortable with who I am.

  52. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I briefly dated another person with Aspergers, therefore, it was immediately disclosed. This person worked at my Mom’s work, and she told him about me. He added me on facebook, and we started talking.

    Q2: I like to go out maybe once a week, or so. It depends on how I’m feeling. Some weeks I want to go out a lot, and other weeks not at all. It also depends on the activities! If it has something to do with a special interest, I will almost always want to go out. Though, somedays it is difficult to get up, and go, even if I am intensely interested.

    Q3: I talk to quite a lot of people! I have a group of friends who I hang out with quite a lot. I have many friends I met through the internet that I talk to frequently. As well as many friends I met going to concerts that I talk to a lot, and hang out with when I can, or when a show comes through town!

    Q4: I was diagnosed as a child.

    Q5: Yes, and yes. Though, through being persuaded, manipulated, ands taken advantage of I’ve learned not to trust that everyone is honest, and in my best interest.

    Q6: I will turn to friends, and get advice from them on the situation, and share my perspective if I’m wary. I also compare it to past situations where I was taken advantage of. I also manage it similar to you, taking what they do, and what they say, and lining it up to decide if it adds up.

    Q7: Yes!

    Q8: Introvert. It isn’t different either way.

  53. anonymous answers:

    Q1: We disclosed before dating, because we met through an autism organization. It turned out very well and I would not have wanted it any other way.

    Q2: When I am in Davis, I hardly ever go out, because it is a crowded college town and it feels weird going places alone. But I love going places when I have a close friend with me.

    Q3: I do talk to people when I get the chance, but I rarely initiate phone calls or show up at social events where I have to do all the work meeting people.

    Q5: I have been in the past, but with education and experience I have been able to fight my vulnerability.

    Q6: Experience is everything. Many of us have a harder time getting the experience that will allow us to be able to predict motives through the patterns seen. But after screwing up here and there in life, I have become better at telling which people are not to trust, whether it is online scammers or men looking to take advantage.

    Q7: Absolutely. It is never too late to start watching a good show. Kimba the White Lion is decades old, but new to me and forgotten by others.

    Q8: I am intorverted. I never had a need for a lot of human interaction, and never liked being the “baby” of the family. I prefered being left to my own devices rather than having family members pamper me with attention.

  54. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Not really.
    Q2: Occasionally. Sometimes. Yes.
    Q3: It depends. Sometimes I feel like talking and people stop me because my voice is annoying them or the topic is tiresome – other times I just don’t feel like talking.
    Q4: Yes.
    Q5: Yes. Yes. I’m more aware of it.
    Q6: I’m still working to manage it.
    Q7: Yes.
    Q8: I’m not sure. I’ve generally considered myself an introvert but sometimes I think I’m more extroverted but haven’t properly explored it because of social difficulties. Most people seem to assume I’m an introvert.

  55. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I have not.

    Q2: I prefer to be with people a lot for leisure but if I’m working I need to be left alone.

    Q3: There are some days when talking is nearly impossible for me, but on most days all I want to do it talk. I don’t really like talking about topics that I’m not interested in, but I’ve gotten good at pretending that I do!!

    Q4: I feel like they see me as different now but I’m scared to verify that.

    Q5: Yes, I see myself as vulnerable. I never used to, this has changed with age because I haven’t noticed it until recently. I was complaining about some stuff an old teacher did to me and my mom got really angry that she had never heard of that while it was happening, because he was essentially bullying me in front of the whole class. It wasn’t until she expressed this upset that I ever realized how messed up what he was doing was- at the time I just thought of it as annoying. I then started thinking about other problematic people in my life that I never told on. I generally didn’t question anyone’s motives and it kind of screwed me up.

    Q6: I still just go with what people say, trying to figure out their intentions or whether they’re lying is such a headache. But I’ve learned to step out the second I start to become uncomfortable.

    Q7: Yes, I do that a lot. Time gets muddled a lot for me as well, I can’t remember if something that happened this morning actually happened this morning or a week ago.

    Q8: I don’t know how others see me, but I’ve always tested as an introvert. (INTJ for Myers Briggs to be exact) I guess I mostly agree with that, as I stated earlier I do work best alone, but the older I get the more I seem to like being around people, so I suppose I’d be somewhere in the middle now. I don’t really gain energy from either, that I’ve noticed.

  56. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Yes. In all cases (3), discussions of autism and neurodiversity and me and/or my partner being neuroatypical came up before or shortly after we were officially dating.
    In all cases, it went well and both of my current partners are very accepting and understanding of my needs and limitations and whatnot and it is great.
    The only case wherein there was any ‘getting someone to date me’ was with my more recently officialized girlfriend. We were already best friends and I basically infodumped for a half hour about all of my thoughts and feels about romance and dating and what it even might be cause I’m wtfromantic, for lack of a better word, and my thoughts on such matters can be confusing, and then asked if, understanding where I’m coming from, if she wanted to call us girlfriends (and she did).

    Q2: If I am ‘entertaining’, like if one of my partners is staying with me, I may go out every day, but since I have no job or school or any irl friends in a two hundred kilometer radius at the moment, I tend to be quite the homebody. I like doing stuff alone, and I do get out sometimes, and scooter around town, go to bookstores, stuff like that. Being alone is kind of nice. It’s… easy.

    Q3: I do enjoy telling people about things that interest me. Sometimes that means I talk a lot, yes, but other times, I don’t talk, and sometimes, I *can’t* talk, and sometimes, interacting with others is just way too much of a bother, and sometimes, I reign myself in because I know that they won’t understand or appreciate what I want to tell them about.

    Q4: Hmmm. I don’t know, to be honest. There are too many other variables. Like, in addition to figuring out I’m autistic, I also basically started transitioning around the same time, and I took a speech class that taught me how to fake confidence fairly effectively. Shit’s complicated.

    Q5: Yes and no. Like, being a technically an adult now, I’ve become very aware at how little I know about navigating certain sorts of grownup nonsense. But to be honest, seems like this issue is very not limited to just neuroatypical people.

    Q6: I’m not sure I totally understand the question at all, sorry. :\

    Q7: This reminds me. I really need to get around to watching Firefly finally. (Though I did finally see Pacific Rim the other day, which I’d only been procrastinating about for like a year (despite really wanting to see it). So, go me.)

    Q8: I see myself as very clearly an introvert. hanging with friends is nice, but exhausting and I always relish getting back to having some me time. Others tend to notice that as well, if they know me well. Even with my most super special important people, I eventually need time alone to recharge.

  57. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No, I haven’t, because I haven’t been interested in someone. However, I do intend to disclose, or rather, by the time I get to the point of dating, that person will alrerady know. I don’t really believe in the whole concept of dating with (relative) strangers. I get to know someone and that contact may turn out to lead to more than acquaintances or friends. The point of disclosure has probably already passed by then, because I’m fairly open about my autism.

    Btw “getting domeone to date you” sounds kinda dubious, like I am actually horible and I need to persuade others to date me anyway 😉

    Q2: Interpreting it as going out the door in general, I kick myself out of my house (;)) because I get broody when I coop myself up. I don’t have internet connection at home, to motivate myself to go out the door at least daily (library). I work 3 mornings a week, I have meetings for volunteer work every month and I have a talking group with other autistics every month. Those are the things I do outdoors, with other people. Once or twice a month I meet up with a friend, at their or my home. Apart from that I mostly do things alone, like my twice-daily walks, sometimes an interesting lecture at the uni or such things. I may go to a concert later this year, the first time in years.

    Q3: About the talking so much: I know that I can do that and therefor am hesitant to start talking sometimes. I don’t talk to non-autistic people a lot, just my colleagues when they start a conversation or sometimes a chat happens in a store or something. I am in a talking group with autistics, and I have meetings with other autistic people for volunteer work I do. Then we do tend to blab all over the place, and we cut each other off 🙂

    Q4: I have known for years (long before my diagnosis) that I come across as confident, to the point of arrogant, mostly friendly, but with a tendency to go on about things. My diagnosis has had no influence on how I think people perceive me, but on how I judge that perception. I am more able to let myself be me, and forgive myself for going on about things, losing myself on a sidetrack or realising I wanted to say something differently hours later. These things also make me be open about my autism, in the hope that others don’t judge me as harshly as they might otherwise.

    Q5: Yes, I do see myself as more vulnerable, and have gotten into some not-so-good situations, e.g. boyfriends easily pushing me to go further than I wanted sexually. Also because I believed the media about having to be sexual I suppose.
    I used to be really naive and I suppose that has really changed, I’m more on my guard now.

    Q6: I’d say I have become more distrustful over the years because of bad experience with being taken advantage of. I also need to understand the situation better now, needing to make sure that I really do something because I think it’s right and/or what I want, rather than just following someone else. Although I have to say that I haven’t really been challenged in that respect in the past years, so I don’t know how well it’s working. I’d say I am taking things more slowly, giving myself more time to make up my mind.

    Q7: Yes, I generally pick up things much later than others.

    Q8: I think I am relatively introverted, although I do need some social contact. It keeps me from being locked in my head and creates new input. I do find social interaction to be tiresome, so I don’t want too much of it. But no social interaction makes me stagnate.

  58. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I never actually used the term Aspergers. Instead, when describing myself, I just described what it was as apart of me.

    Q2: I find it very difficult just to “go out” If I do go out, I have to make myself have an important reason for going out, or I’m not motivated enough.

    Q3: I tend to talk the ear of people on random subjects. Sometimes most definitely details that they aren’t exactly interested in, and I usually tend to find out much later. But most seem to humor me and will listen until they have to go.

    Q4: Out of curiousity, I have told people in two different ways. I usually explain that I have trouble socializing and other things and in a way that they always seem to say, “I know how that feels” and the other way is if I mention I have aspergers. Usually the latter makes them look at me funny and talk to me less.

    Q5: I am nearly 30 but due to the way I am and youthful looks, everyone thinks i’m barely 18 and very naive. I’ve actually been told this multiple times when I tell them my actual age (they never believe me which is weird because why would you say the wrong number for your age?)

    Q6: For those closest to me, I constantly ask what they are thinking/doing and why they are. It drives some of them bonkers when they hear it constantly, but I get very anxious if I don’t know. Sometimes it gets a bit frustrating for my significant other because at times he feels i don’t trust him.

    Q7: tv shows, books, homework (back in school),

    Q8: I am definitely an extrovert with lots of introvert tendencies. I find a lot more comfort in my bedroom in my home but I find I have more energy when I’m out and talking to people.

  59. anonymous answers:

    Q1: no. was pretty & naive. thought boys asked me out because they liked me.
    you can guess where that went

    Q2: I like to go out alone. Haard to go out alone.
    Like to go out with friends. Aspie partner won’t
    Love to join a group of friends. Never had a group of friends.

    Q3: I am truly social and desire friends. Don’t have directions to their planet. Can only be friends with “real” people. They prob don’t like me donkey-talking.


    Q5: Yes but I always chose to be real than to be well defended

    Q6: few close advisors

    Q7: don’t live in time. son doesn’t live in time
    anxiety creates time

    Q8: Am somewhat of an expert. Always wished to be in a big loud family.
    Have to pay the piper/heal/count spoons.
    don’t need people to understand, only to allow me to be different.

  60. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No, I found out after I was in a relationship which, by the way, has its own challenges.

    Q2: I prefer not to go out for purely social reasons. I will go out for activities that art purposeful and involve a subject or activity I am interested in. I love doing things alone for the most part. Before I was in a relationship I had often had difficulty motivating myself to go out. Now I have an assist in the motivation department.

    Q3: I do not talk much in groups unless a topic comes up that interests me. Then, I stereotypically talk too long and in too much detail.

    Q4: I don’t think so. The perceptions change is more about how I see myself. In some ways it has helped me to understand myself better. In other ways I has damaged my confidence and self image. I am still working through this.

    Q5: No, I do not feel vulnerable or taken advantage of though I have been told once or twice that I am. I feel I am smart enough to avoid this and overcome whatever disadvantages I have. This view has persisted throughout my life.

    Q6: I look for logic and consistency in people’s behavior and am often disappointed. Over the years, I have learned that the most people work on emotion not logic so I am not surprised by illogical behavior. I don’t understand that behavior nor can I usually figure out what the intention is because there often is no real intention it is just response to emotion. I observe and try to respond appropriately but do not see it as a trust issue.

    Q7: I definitely have a different view of what is important and find learn about some things, people and events long after others around me. On the other hand, there are some things that I learn we’ll before them. I guess it is a matter of what one sees as important and what one pays attention to.

    Q8: I am an extreme introvert and everyone sees me at least as an introvert. I doubt they know how extreme I am as I work hard to appear less introverted than I am. Any interact takes energy. I have never thought myself to be other than an introvert by any measure.

  61. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I was already involved with my now ex husband when I found out I have Asperger’s. He was uninterested/denied it and basically didn’t want to know about it or learn about it (though complained about factors of it). I never really dated before meeting him, though I was interested in some people but they were not interested in me. Since getting divorced, I have tried to meet people using matchmaking sites, unsuccessfully. I also tried a religion-related singles event. I met some people in person out of these but we did not keep talking long enough to get to the point of revealing that I have Asperger’s because I decided we were not compatible. I have tried to get referrals from acquaintances but rarely does anyone “set me up” this way, although I don’t specify in great detail what I am looking, maybe they just don’t think I’m a good candidate to introduce anyone to. Online, I specify a lot of details, mostly I get people who don’t fit the criteria but want to bug me about why my criteria is picky (it’s not really that picky… job, citizenship, no smoke/no drink, religious affiliation, don’t want me to relocate far away, etc). I also don’t like to talk to people right away until I’ve determined that they may be an option, since I’m better able to communicate in writing, so that may also be a factor. I get responses when I try this but they generally don’t fit the criteria or are creeps so that’s depressing. I am not a social person and I don’t make friends easily so these factors don’t help either.

    Q2: I like to go to events where I’m not expected to interact with a lot of people on a personal level. For example I’d rather go to an outdoor festival with various things to look at or a park than an event at somebody’s house with people that I’ll have to interact with more… not that I don’t interact with strangers and crowds per se do not bother me but there’s a different expectation and I can leave whenever I want. I find it can be difficult to motivate to go out but I do like to go exploring, also going to natural areas is calming for me, once I get there. I also like to try restaurants and stuff. I like to take my son to events he enjoys. I can’t really go “alone” because I have to look after him, but sometime he is a motivating factor to go places. I also like to go with another adult but not a bunch of other people.

    Q3: I think it depends on who the people are. To the general populace, I do not talk a lot and people often see me as shy and quiet initially. To people that I’m very comfortable with, sometimes I talk a lot especially if I’m excited about something. I don’t like to make “small talk” and I have trouble talking on the phone. I think when I’m not super excited about something I have gotten to the point where I know that nobody wants to hear about my areas of interest due to feedback over time, if I’m very excited though or interested in something I might not check myself on this until I realize I’m babbling, or I realize afterwards that the person was not interested or I said too much. I think I may have a hard time regulating when to talk and when not to talk… sometimes I don’t talk when I’m supposed to (like to be polite with people I don’t know well) or I “overshare” if it gets onto something I have things to say about. Too much talking gets exhausting though, even if it’s someone I like. Most of the people I talk to, or that I successfully am able to “catch up” on the phone with, it’s because they talk and I listen and let them carry the conversation. I have only learned to do this over time due to the fact that they’re people I used to see in person a lot, and now they are far away, and I am in danger of losing connection with them or have previously lost connection with them and mourned it.

    Q4: I think that learning about Asperger’s (I self-diagnosed as an adult) has helped me in positive ways. I know longer spend as much time beating myself up over what is wrong with me or why people don’t like me. I can understand more on an intellectual level why I make people uncomfortable sometimes, when analyzing a situation afterwards, and I feel more sympathetic towards them as a result. I think I am less shy than I used to be and care less about how people might be evaluating me, as I’ve realized that I’ll never fit the “norm,” I can fake some things in certain situations to be accomodating but sometimes that is too exhausting and I allow myself to choose when and where to do this, and what things to do it about vs. what things I don’t care are “weird.” It has helped me differentiate between some things that really bother other people vs things that they may think are odd but don’t bother them as much, because before Asperger’s I didn’t have a very good idea which of the things I did were unacceptable and which were just mildly quirky, aside for specifics which had been pointed out. I think I seem more sure of myself sometimes, but on the other hand I don’t get as much feedback about my own behavior from people as I did when I was younger (probably just due to age) so I don’t know how accurate my perceptions are. Sometimes I’ll think I’ve got interactions with somebody down to a nice level and then my parents will inform me that I’m actually being horribly rude or unfriendly.

    Q5: I didn’t used to think I was but I realize now that I’m not very good at telling when people are lying to me or have an ulterior motive. It took years to figure out that my ex husband was lying to me habitually, but once I figured out his pattern it was obvious and I felt stupid. When another person points it out sometimes I can see it. I don’t think I’m quite as bad as I used to be but it could also be that I’m simply far more jaded and distrusting in general than I used to be due to life events.My own ex actually said he was worried about me getting remarried (in front of me, to my father) because I was so naive about people and not a good judge of character. I thought this was ironic that he should say this. I do think that other people think I am more naive than I actually am. Sometimes, I feel that I am the only one seeing the “true colors” of someone because I think that I can pick up on emotions or a sense of discomfort that they are trying to mask… I don’t get the message that they are trying to send necessarily but I think sometimes I get a more accurate message, because sometimes I will give my impression to an NT companion, and they will question why I thought that giving evidence from what the person said or did that I didn’t pick up on, but later my impression will prove more correct. I think this is especially true when people are putting on a “fake” behavior. Sometimes this is very obvious and offputting to me. Other times I think someone is genuine but they aren’t, of course. I think I am more easily fooled by people acting friendly/nice to me when they’re really trying to take advantage. In terms of where a person is using emotion to cover up faulty logic, however, I can easily see right through it and am not swayed where other people are.

    Q6: I have this issue and I get hung up on it because if I don’t understand what a person is saying/doing logically, I question them about it to a minute level in an attempt to understand and resole my uncomfortable feeling. In many cases this really irritates people who are close to me (and aren’t really trying to take advantage of me, I just can’t understand their motivations or behaviors or why they would/would not do what they are doing, etc). I really just want to understand them and our discussions seem to go around and around. As mentioned in a previous question my ex husband as it turned out was lying all the time and I was sort of allowing it as “well, I guess I just don’t understand like I often don’t understand” only to find out it was intentional deception and “gaslighting.” That made me a lot more distrustful of not understanding or people not being able to give me clear explanations for their behavior. The problem I’ve run into is it seems like people don’t always have clear reasons for their behavior or they haven’t thought through the reasoning behind why they do stuff, nor do they even want to, which is baffling and leads to these discussions with no end trying to get to the bottom of it.

    Q7: Yes, I often do this, but also if a book or show gets a lot of hype sometimes I intentionally don’t watch/read it until later for that reason 😛 lol. I don’t find the need to get the newest thing or whatever is popular right then, in fact it can be a little offputting. Sometimes something is such a phenomena though that I eventually will look into it for that reason, because I’m conscious of a pop-culture deficit which occasionally runs me into problems. Example, I didn’t watch a lot of TV, nor really follow the news or remember who famous people were (prosopagnosia may have played a role), so when I first started working after college I noticed that people were constantly talking about names I didn’t know as if they were people I should know (like maybe somebody else in the department), and I would ask who they were, only to find out they were tv characters or pop figures. This happened so much I decided I had to remedy it by watching some of these shows/reading news, etc because whenever I would ask these things it would just derail the whole conversation and not end well. So I do maintenance on that end to some extent.

    Q8: I learned about this theory before I knew about asperger’s, my mother referred me to a good book “the Introvert’s dilemma.” It helped me understand a lot of things as I am quite toward the introvert end and I used this as an explanation with some people. I have noticed however that some people consider introvert a pejorative term, though I do not see anything wrong with it intrinsically, but certainly the world is geared towards extroversion being viewed as more “positive” in traits. I am not so introverted that I can be happy living all alone in a cabin 100s of miles from everywhere with no humans at all, but I’ve often wished I could because it sounds lovely. Unfortunately I have found that I need other people for something, I’m just not good at connecting with them, so I wished I didn’t need that. The pull between wanting to be away and still needing people is a difficult one. I think it works best if I limit my contact to the people I care more about, and I spend less of my time in those draining situations with “acquaintences” which don’t “do” anything for me, while sapping my energy. Since I have very few close contacts, I do continue some of these interactions because I hope to eventually make a few other close friends or a meet a husband, and it seems to be the only way to do it. I can relate to other introverted people well but I tend to make more contact with extroverted people because they do more of the work for me 😛 it is hard for introverts to find the bond with each other (except maybe on the internet). It also makes me more cautious of relationships with people, as it has so often ended up that I set out to make someone a close friend but to them I was only an acquaintence, with the relationship being more draining than fulfilling to me. I really need more intimate interaction for it to be worthwhile. Other people definitely consider me introverted, I think more than I actually am. I think other people see me as needing people less than I do, because they assume if I really wanted to have friends and a significant other and spend time with people, I would have these people, but it’s hard to find people I feel a close connection with and the process of getting there can be exhausting. I am very lonely a lot of the time, even though having people around doesn’t make me un-lonely. Having small doses of deep connection makes me less lonely. Even having an intimate friend or companion there, or family member, I don’t want to interact all the time. Sometimes just living with my son I have to establish quiet time because it just gets to be too much. He is way more extroverted than I am and there is no one else around most of the time for him to interact with except me and it can be extremely draining, though I love him very much and enjoy time with him. A large motivating factor in finding connections for me is really to find friends for him, because he needs them even more. But “mommy friends” are even harder to come by. Mother’s groups have been one of the most dismal failures for me in terms of attempting to make social connections (for me or for him). I appear to be one of the few adults who would rather do what the kids are doing than sit around and make “small talk.” The funny thing is when I was a kid I did not get along well with other kids. Now, I’ve learned, perhaps through my son, how to enjoy time with kids, but I dunno what to do with most adults.

  62. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Not really

    Q2: Maybe once a week or so, but the one person I had been going out with (kinda ) hasn’t been very available and/or interested lately.

    Q3: I communicate more by emails and texts. My sister and I usually talk on Saturday nights and it tends to be pretty long. That’s not as comfortable for me, but has become routine for me. During the week, we tend to leave each other long voice mails, so we know a little bit of how we are doing.

    Q4: I think I wonder more about others see me, maybe not worry, but wonder how I seem to them. I have made friends on the spectrum and it is very nice to communicate in different ways that are often more comfortable for both of us.

    Q5: I think I am vulnerable. Sometimes, people on the spectrum as described as not being empathetic or picking up on others’ emotions. That is true in some ways, but, at other times, I think I am very sensitive to other people and internalize their feelings rather than verbally responding to them.

    Q6: I am very trusting of others and sometimes don’t know what is the best response in a work situation.

    Q7: I feel like my emotions come delayed. Like I will react to something later, maybe when something else entirely is happening.

    Q8: I am more of an introvert, though I do like to have some people around, at least during the work day. I am very tired from work when I have to interact a lot with people. Then again, I perform interpretive dance and have performed poetry and people might consider that extroverted at some level.

  63. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Aromantic asexual autistic here. I don’t date.

    Q2: I can do 2-3 things a week. Dance class is one. That means I can add 1-2 things like dinner out, going to a play, attending a Saturday training workshop. If I absolutely have to do 4 things out, I have to rest before/after and pretty much spend the rest of my time after work sitting on the couch.

    Q3: I work with people so I talk a lot with people at work. Outside of work, I do talk a lot in some situations. If I have dinner with a friend, I talk a lot. But I spend a lot of down time home alone and don’t talk to anyone then.

    Q4: I’m not sure how others’ perception of me has changed since my diagnosis. I’m not Out to everyone, but I can’t say I’ve seen or been told a difference in perception from the people to whom I’ve disclosed.

    Q5: In some ways less vulnerable because I’m pretty much immune to peer pressure.

    Q6: I was teased and bullied a lot as a kid and didn’t trust people for years. People have to earn my trust and I pretty much don’t trust anyone who tries to pressure me into anything.

    Q7: I do things on my own time frame, which means I’m an early adopter some times and a late or never adopter other times. I got into computers and laptops early due to a handwriting disability. I got into Harry Potter and ER around the same time others did because I liked them. I got into Little House on the Prairie decades after the show was popular. I don’t do contemporary music at all.

    Q8: I’m a classic introvert. But a talkative one, so people mistake me for an extrovert.

  64. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No, I am self-diagnosed.
    Q2: I prefer to do things alone. I go out sometimes, and it is difficult to motivate myself.
    Q3: I don’t talk to people very much; only my friends and family.
    Q4: I am self-diagnosed.
    Q5: Maybe a little bit.
    Q6: I can’t really understand people’s intentions either. It’s hard to tell.
    Q7: Yes, a little.
    Q8: I’m definitely more introverted.

  65. I entered this into survey monkey a while ago when the comments weren’t working. I hope this works now so you don’t have to copy it over.

    1. Have you dated knowing you had Aspergers/Autism? If so, when and how did you disclose? How did that turn out? How did you go about getting someone to date you?
    No, but I have done with the recent (mis)diagnosis of ADHD so he was aware that I was going through a process of discovery. It was rather an obsession at the time and I kept trying to get him to read things and listen to radio articles about adult ADHD, it was never a secret. When the doctor first suggested I might be autistic my boyfriend wasn’t a bit surprised. I don’t think he ever thought I was “normal”.

    2. How often do you like to go out? Do you prefer to do stuff alone? Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself to go out sometimes?
    The less I go out, the less I want to. When I find myself no-longer wanting to go out or see people, that’s the time I need to make myself. It gets better if I keep in practice. I think I am healthier if I mix with people (that I like and find interesting) at least once a week, but I very easily would not do this. I like doing activities with people rather than just chatting, which I find awkward and often boring, so go to clubs/groups for something I enjoy to get my quota of socialising.

    3. Do you talk a lot to people? A lot of books go on about how Aspies can talk the hind leg off a donkey about their pet topics but I don’t have the desire to really talk to people.
    I think sometimes I don’t know when to shut up, but sometimes don’t know how to begin. A little off-topic, but I was reading Attwood’s complete guide to aspergers – the chapter on language issues. It was fascinating seeing it from the other side as it described patterns of talking, jumping to new subjects not apparently related, failing to display usual social signs of interest, and several others. I get told I’ve changed the subject, my joke doesn’t make sense, what I said was unkind, I look unfriendly. I think these are reasons why. Because of that, I don’t think I can answer this question very usefully. My view of things is different from other’s.

    4. For people diagnosed as an adult, do you have a changed perception of how others see you? for example how friendly/outgoing/confident you seem to them.
    Definitely. I have a recent example of this: My boyfriend was telling me about meeting other academics and how they always like to talk about their subjects and what they are studying. I said maybe if you’re a graduate, I found people didn’t like to explain things properly to me when I was a student and thought it was because they assumed I wouldn’t understand if I was still an undergraduate, and also I look younger than I am so maybe that contributed. He then said maybe its because of the way I sometimes have trouble understanding simple sentences that would make strangers think I wouldn’t understand or be suitable to discuss things. This really shook me because sometime I feel like my intelligence is all I have going for me, and now I hear I can look a bit thick or incompetent to strangers! He wasn’t being mean, he knows I’m capable, but I had no idea I can look that way.

    5. Do you see yourself as vulnerable because of ASD? Are you more likely to be persuaded to do something or taken advantage of than most other people might? Has your perception of this changed with age?
    I hate to admit it, but yes maybe I am a bit more vulnerable. I think my executive function deficits make it very difficult, or impossible, to way up all aspects of a thing to make a decision in the moment. Also I’ve always been very trusting and assumed the best of people. Nice, but not necessarily accurate. I think it’s the product of my own honesty, inability to lie and wanting to do the right thing, and having a really nice family growing up. I didn’t imagine others weren’t the same for a really long time. That sounds ridiculous doesn’t it! I’ve been mostly very lucky, but there are things I would never have thought to do myself if I weren’t persuaded it was right by someone else.

    6. Trusting other people – over the years I have learnt that I am very poor at reading peoples intentions and have been taken advantage of. I have adjusted to this by needing to understand what is happening and needing to be able to logically join up what someone does and says into a consistent picture – or I don’t trust them. How do other people manage this?
    I don’t, see above. I have had unpleasant surprises from people. I have a set of rules for strangers I try to remember, like a child may have. I went through a phase of not trusting people after someone hurt me, but I eventually went back to my usual “assume the best” attitude because it was making me miserable.

    7. Do you ever feel like you’re living on a different scale of time from other people? For example, do you hear about a new TV show and only watch it years later because it just didn’t seem urgent?
    Yes, things are either now or not now. I often think something will happen eventually but miss it. TV is a good example, I’ve only just watched Gavin and Stacy!

    8. My therapist explained that extroverts gain energy from others and introverts gain energy from being alone, and that autistic people can be either or anywhere in between. She also said there are challenges for extrovert autistics because of the social difficulties making it hard to achieve needed social interaction. (more details) Thinking about it in these terms, where would you place yourself on a continuum from introvert to extrovert? Is this different from how you would think of yourself using the terms in a broader sense, and is this different from how others see you?
    People I meet tend to think I’m very shy and introverted when often I just don’t know how to join in but would if I could. After getting to know someone, maybe years done the line, they are surprised that I am fun and have a sense of humour!
    I need a lot of time alone to re-charge, but also feel more cheerful after a positive social encounter. It could be a very short chat with a neighbour about the garden, going to see a friend, going to knitting group, or some time with family. It gives me a lift, but if it lasts too long I start to get overwhelmed and feel fragmented and exhausted. I need decent stretches of time alone every day, and too many social days in a row gets too much for me. I need time away from immediate family too, so often disappear for the odd hour at weekends. I suppose that makes me more towards introvert, but the happy feeling from good and manageable socialising suggests I have some extroversion in me too.

  66. anonymous answers:

    Q2: I prefer to do fun activities with just one person; occasionally two. Conversation takes soooooo much less guesswork with just one other person to focus on. l like doing errands and tasks alone.
    Q3: I can talk a lot to a very trusted person-husband, brother, best friend… But that’s about it.
    Q4: Still processing this.
    Q5: Unsure — but age has helped.
    Q6: l wish I knew…
    Q7: I’m a mild introvert, and many people do not realize this because I am friendly.

  67. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No.

    Q2: I do things alone because I am alone. I often feel sad that I have no one to share life with. I do find it difficult to motivate myself to do things outside of my apartment.

    Q3: No, I rarely speak to to others. This is so bad, when I do talk my throat is horse. When I do gt into a conversation, I find it difficult to stop.

    Q4: I’m not sure. I seemed to have retreated into myself further than I have ever been. I have literately sat at home for months without going anywhere other than work.

    Q5: No, never have.

    Q6: I have always thought the Best way to trust people is Not to! I have opened up to very few people, and find myself with no personal friends during the past 14 years. Things just seem to be getting worse with me.

    Q7: LOL! I often start watching shows After they have ceased production. I just stumble upon then while channel surfing.

    Q8: I am without question an Introvert. I have been married 3 times, and in all 3 my wives were very social. I guess I counted on them to produce my social opportunities, which I did well at. It is getting there on my own that I fail at.

  68. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Not ‘clinically’ diagnosed, so no.
    Q2: Some days I socialise ‘normally’. A lot of the time I need ‘me time’ to be able to ‘do the social thing’. And sometimes it’s a flat nope, no matter how important.
    Q3: I think I ‘get on a roll’, but I’m usually more socially aware than to monopolise or talk over anyone else.
    Q4: Yet to be formally diagnosed, but I have plenty of female Aspie traits.
    Q5: I was, when younger. I’ve a workable ‘trust no-one until proven trustworthy’ strategy, espcially as I appear to take people at their word but am ‘naturally reserved’.
    Q6: Don’t trust anyone. Easy. But pretend to – most people can’t tell the difference.
    Q7: Yep
    Q8: Introvert & that’s how I like it.

  69. anonymous answers:

    Q1: no
    Q2: I like to go our with either my fiancé or best friend the most and I prefer the atmosphere to be relaxed and non-chaotic. I can’t stand busy places that are loud with tons of people.
    Q3: I don’t often have the desire to talk to strangers about my favorite topics because they don’t know anything about it. Now if I have previously spoken (let’s say to my sister) about a topic than she is already well rounded and I could go on and on.
    Q4: I have not been diagnosed however only my fiancé knows.
    Q5: No. I do what I want, believe what I want, when I want.
    Q6: I have no idea. Surround oneself with a support group that understand your strengths and weaknesses. That can help a lot. I utilize my fiancé.
    Q7: OH YEAH!
    Q8: INtrovert all the way but at work or at family/friend gatherings I am more likely to put on a façade.

  70. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No
    Q2: I prefer being on my own , when I go out I find I need to take free diving type deep breaths !
    Q3: No .
    Q5: Do you see yourself as vulnerable because of ASD? Are you more likely to be persuaded to do something or taken advantage of than most other people might? Has your perception of this changed with age?
    Respondent skipped this question
    Q6: I find trusting very hard . Takes along time.
    Q7: DYes
    Q8: Introvert

  71. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No, I wasn’t aware of it at the time.

    Q2: I’m out and about a bit because I’m in school, but as far as planned activities with others, I keep that to a minimum. I’m disabled as well as autistic and it’s generally super hard for me to go out and do things, so I have to save all my energy for the days I do go out.

    Q3: I rarely talk to anyone IRL unless I have to. Physically speaking is really exhausting for me. As for online communication, I love it. I can get overwhelmed by talking in general, but on the whole it’s a lot easier for me to type things out rather than actually speak.

    I’m somewhat talkative, mostly preferring to keep a sort of “checking in” chat running, where we sort of just talk at each other.

    That’s until the topic of my special interests comes up, in which case you’ll probably need to tell me to shut up.

    Q4: Yeah, I now see how people infantalize me often, especially my parents. Even though not that many people know about my diagnosis, I can just tell that their autie sensors are going off and their internalized ableism is telling them to treat me like a child. It’s frustrating at best.

    Q5: I don’t think it’s strictly ASD that made me vulnerable, it’s a combination of my disabilities + mental illnesses + abusive home life that made me more likely to want to please others in an attempt to prove my worth and value as a person. The past few years have been super tough on me, so I had no choice but to adapt to the point where I don’t think I’ll be taken advantage of very easily.

    Q6: Again, this relates to the stuff above. I honestly can’t really identify what it is that makes me trust or not trust people. With my OCD and schizophrenia in addition to my autism, it’s super hard to get an accurate view of someone’s intentions, so I have a long list of arbitrary rules and guides on whether or not I should let myself get close to someone.

    Q7: I guess? I haven’t really thought about this.

    Q8: Hella introvert. Whether it’s because of my disabilities, autism, background, etc, it’s just super draining for me to be around people for a long time.

  72. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No, I was already married.

    Q2: I work from home, so I try to go to church functions when they’re scheduled (once or twice a week), a couple of meetings a month with one friend or another, and date night with DH whenever we can get a babysitter.

    Q3: Not usually. I can go through an entire meeting at church without saying much more than Hi, and responding to the typical question of “how are you” with my typical, “good, how about you?”

    Q4: I realize there’s a mistranslation in what I thought was real and what actually is the case. Haven’t figured all of that out yet…right now just trying to figure out how much of “me” I want to be, realizing that being “me” is annoying to people.

    Q5: Vulnerable, yes, but not necessarily in the ways I thought I was before diagnosis (which was only recently).

    Q6: I suck at this. My expectations for what it looks like for someone to be trustworthy, is just so different from what most people apparently seem to think qualifies. So I don’t know if the problem is on my end, that my standards are unrealistic, or on their end, that their standards lack personal investment. And this is all complicated by a history of child abuse and ongoing enmeshment and codependency issues in my family.

    Q7: Oh yes, all the time! I’m so not concerned with mainstream interests and fanaticisms. Never have been.

    Q8: I think of myself as an introvert, but I definitely need some social contact. The problem is that this social contact is rarely fulfilling, so I end up giving up. It just costs too much for what I get out of it.

  73. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No, but I have done with the recent (mis)diagnosis of ADHD so he was aware that I was going through a process of discovery. It was rather an obsession at the time and I kept trying to get him to read things and listen to radio articles about adult ADHD, it was never a secret. When the doctor first suggested I might be autistic my boyfriend wasn’t a bit surprised. I don’t think he ever thought I was “normal”.

    Q2: The less I go out, the less I want to. When I find myself no-longer wanting to go out or see people, that’s the time I need to make myself. It gets better if I keep in practice. I think I am healthier if I mix with people (that I like and find interesting) at least once a week, but I very easily would not do this. I like doing activities with people rather than just chatting, which I find awkward and often boring, so go to clubs/groups for something I enjoy to get my quota of socialising.

    Q3: I think sometimes I don’t know when to shut up, but sometimes don’t know how to begin. A little off-topic, but this morning I was reading Attwood’s complete guide to aspergers – the chapter on language issues. It was fascinating seeing it from the other side as it described patterns of talking, jumping to new subjects not apparently related, failing to display usual social signs of interest, and several others. I get told I’ve changed the subject, my joke doesn’t make sense, what I said was unkind, I look unfriendly. I think these are reasons why. Because of that, I don’t think I can answer this question very usefully. My view of things is different from other’s

    Q4: Definitely. I have a recent example of this: My boyfriend was telling me about meeting other academics and how they always like to talk about their subjects and what they are studying. I said maybe if you’re a graduate, I found people didn’t like to explain things properly to me when I was a student and thought it was because they assumed I wouldn’t understand if I was still an undergraduate, and also I look younger than I am so maybe that contributed. He then said maybe its because of the way I sometimes have trouble understanding simple sentences that would make strangers think I wouldn’t understand or be suitable to discuss things. This really shook me because sometime I feel like my intelligence is all I have going for me, and now I hear I can look a bit thick or incompetent to strangers! He wasn’t being mean, he knows I’m capable, but I had no idea I can look that way

    Q5: I hate to admit it, but yes maybe I am a bit more vulnerable. I think my executive function deficits make it very difficult, or impossible, to way up all aspects of a thing to make a decision in the moment. Also I’ve always been very trusting and assumed the best of people. Nice, but not necessarily accurate. I think it’s the product of my own honesty, inability to lie and wanting to do the right thing, and having a really nice family growing up. I didn’t imagine others weren’t the same for a really long time. That sounds ridiculous doesn’t it! I’ve been mostly very lucky, but there are things I would never have thought to do myself if I weren’t persuaded it was right by someone else.

    Q6: I don’t, see above. I have had unpleasant surprises from people. I have a set of rules for strangers I try to remember, like a child may have. I went through a phase of not trusting people after someone hurt me, but I eventually went back to my usual “assume the best” attitude because it was making me miserable.

    Q7: Yes, things are either now or not now. I often think something will happen eventually but miss it. TV is a good example, I’ve only just watched Gavin and Stacy!

    Q8: People I meet tend to think I’m very shy and introverted when often I just don’t know how to join in but would if I could. After getting to know someone, maybe years done the line, they are surprised that I am fun and have a sense of humour!
    I need a lot of time alone to re-charge, but also feel more cheerful after a positive social encounter. It could be a very short chat with a neighbour about the garden, going to see a friend, going to knitting group, or some time with family. It gives me a lift, but if it lasts too long I start to get overwhelmed and feel fragmented and exhausted.

  74. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No. No one wants to date me
    Q2: I haven’t been out socialising for months. Prefer to do stuff alone, less stress & hassle. Yes, if I have nothing I have to do can stay in the house on my own for ages
    Q3: No. I am not good at volunteering info but if asked I am always very open to answer. Think I can go on a bit in these situations
    Q4: Yes
    Q5: Not likely to be persuaded to do something but can be taken advantage of. Lost 2 very close relationships in recent years as they acted in a way I never even imagined people could
    Q6: I get told off for trying to reason why people do stuff & try to make it logical. I take a long time to truly trust someone, if ever
    Q7: Yes
    Q8: Introvert, without a doubt. Others close to me would not realise to what extent I really am

  75. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I was diagnosed at 25, one year after I got married. My first date was at 16 and, in general, never had problems. Always dated much older people, and linked to the world of art (like myself), which, I believe, facilitated my “oddities”. My wife, who is a psychologist, was the first to diagnose me.

    Q2: I work at home now (I hated to work out of home), so I choose one day to get out and solve all, like supermarket, petshop, drugstore, and all other buys. I also try to use this day to visit my parents and sister on their jobs. I don’t go out at night. I used to, when I was a teenager, but also I used to drink a LOT to get on with this interactions. Sometimes me and my wife take a day in the month to spend with another aspie, who is my best friend. We stay on his house and usually make a great lunch.

    Q3: Not really. I don’t like to talk at all. I think I can never be clear. People, otherwise, says I’m too clear, lol. I like to talk with my wife, but we also like to spens hours and hours in silence. I have to talk to clients and pacients that come to my house (where I work), but I get anxious, and smoke a lot. Usually, when I’m alone, I smoke less than half a pack, but with people around, I can smoke two or more packs. I can’t fell confortable near other persons, and with
    rare exceptions, people also don’t like what I have to talk.

    Q4: The perception I have on how other sees me is the same as I have ever had. They think I’m prepotent, self-sufficient (I don’t need others), cold, true, odd, inteligent, and offcourse, odd. A lot of people have already told me that they saw me this way. Who really knows me, on the other hand, thinks I’m intelligent, sensitive, and a little odd. None of them notice that I’m always unconfortable and afraid.

    Q5: I don’t think I’m more vulnerable because ASD. I’m more vulnerable because I’m always afraid, and this one is due to ASD. Yes, my perception about my interactions with other changed a lot after de diagnose. Now I can just believe and impose myself.

    Q6: I don’t try to trust or distrust, I just try to don’t get in touch. I choose who I’ll get in real touch with, and generally it’s people that I can see that really understands who I am, and that protects me. With others, I just do the basic talk and, well, no, I don’t trust.

    Q7: I don’t feel only, I’m certain about it. I just can’t feel that I’m on the same time and space that others. I can’t feel I’m home and well adjusted.

    Q8: I think that autistics get energy from interactions with choosen ones, lol. We can’t live totaly alone, but we can’t live with too many people, and specialy not with strangers. I think that an well married autistic, with a close and small group of friends, would be the best.

  76. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No.

    Q2: I go out to do the things that are necessary, like groceries, library, doctors, appointments. I walk at night, once it gets dark.

    Q3: Well I have a hard time not talking to people at Bus stops. That is almost exclusively women. And it is because I am curious or sense their anxiety and wish to show I am friendly. It usually goes very well.

    Q4: I have not talked about this with anyone. I wonder more now about my uniqueness, or weirdness. I wonder how I am coming across, and how they experience me as being difference from others.

    Q5: I think that I have always been vulnerable because of this. The though of not telling the truth or feeling I have to explain everything to my satisfaction, makes me vulnerable. I have always been that way. However with age, I am in my fifties, I have given myself permission, not to answer all questions. And to protect myself I am allowed to lie, or change the subject. This has helped a great deal.

    Q6: The same. I am very poor at this. On the other hand I am rather hyper vigilant due to some traumas, so something I feel I know a great deal about what is happening, and can sense danger. On the other hand, I don’t understand lying and can easily be made a fool of.

    Q7: Yes! That is what happened with Bones and Game of Thrones. And I love them both, but had the fun of watching them in big binges.

    Q8: When I was fifteen, my sister took me to the college to have an assessment. They told me that I was an extroverted introvert at that time. I would say that is likely true, in a push/pull sort of way. I have been through much and prefer not to do much socializing in groups or big events. But I am still a warm friendly person and do reach out to others often. I just don’t bring them home.

  77. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Yes once, he already knew, it was fine.

    Q2: I don’t go out as often as I’d like to. Sometimes I’d prefer to go out on my own, but the company of friends is also nice at other times.

    Q3: No I don’t. Sometimes I’d like to talk about one of my ‘pet’ topics a whole lot but I’m too scared of boring people or having them dislike me for not talking about normal things. Sometimes I’m just too anxious to talk full stop.

    Q4: Well I wasn’t diagnosed as an adult for starters. Otherwise I’ve always known I others would see me as eccentric and now it feels like a have a license to be, though sometimes I’m very self conscious about it and feel isolated.

    Q5: Yes, I’m not completely brushed up on my social skills. I feel like it’s going to hinder me in getting jobs and in getting by in the world. My perception has changed with age, over time I’ve come to realise the extent of how different I can be in some fields.

  78. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No. I was already married with children when the possibility of aspergers came up.

    Q2: I like to go out once a week or so, but there are restless spurts when it becomes impulsively more frequent. I don’t always prefer to be alone, but I need alone time each day. I find it very difficult to motivate myself to leave, but if I make going certain places a part of my routine (like going to the gym or studio), it’s not so bad.

    Q3: I temper what I talk about pretty carefully. My husband is sensitive to it, though he is an obsessive personalty as well. I do tend to want to exhaust a subject in conversation before moving on.

    Q4: I’m not sure how to answer this, since I haven’t really told anyone in my life that I think I’m an aspie. People have always seen me as different, and I am very polarizing; they love me or hate me.

    Q5: I thought I was good at saying no and keeping healthy boundaries, but my ability to focus and my obsessive devotion to seeing something through made me willing to sacrifice important things in my life (like sleep, decent wages, downtime, attention to my family). My former boss took full advantage of that, enjoying the fact that I would take responsibility for a project even when she moved deadlines up, quadrupled the workload, changed her mind constantly on what she wanted. She would promise me staff and a budget, but she really meant that she was confident I would recruit my own volunteers and funding if I was desperate enough. I only failed on one project in 18 years, but she never let me forget it. She let others in the company bully me the same way, because apparently I give off a cold demeanor and she felt I “could take it.” I was expected to be available at any time and constantly received work to take home and tasks to complete after hours and on weekends. When I finally reached an exasperation point and stated that I needed a vacation after 7 years of nonstop work, she had me fired, citing a false rumor that I had shoved a fellow employee (who herself denied the charge), insisting I needed anger management, and making a personal charge that I abused my children. I could have fought the dismissal, but realized I didn’t want to work that way anymore! The experience set me on my heels. I questioned myself, my abilities, my self-control (did I need anger management?), my vulnerabilities, my parenting skills (what made her think I abused my children?). Thank God for my husband; he affirmed me, helped me take stock and apply new boundaries to make sure this kind of thing didn’t happen again.

    Q6: Yes, actions speak louder than words. I have learned to keep my distance emotionally from people who are dramatic or seem to always be surrounded by drama. It’s important to me as well that I value my own time and efforts as precious commodities, as much a part of my budget as money, and to be treated with as much care.

    Q7: All the time.

    Q8: I often feel I am both, because I like being a part of the action, need direction and a place to focus, and I make more progress on tasks in the company of others. But I’m drained by lots of social interaction, have difficulty communicating effectively (even when I thought I was doing fine), can’t really relax or be myself among lots of people. Because I will initiate introductions, naturally delegate well, easily implement plans, am proactive and creative in group situations, am a snappy decision-maker and good troubleshooter, I end up in leadership positions. But I’m a horrible schmoozer. I can’t sell or fundraise. Cold-calling is pretty much my nightmare (although I did it last week). People tend to gravitate toward me for advise or help, which doesn’t mean I’m an extrovert, but because of my leadership abilities, I think it makes people think I am.

  79. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I have only told the man I am currently seeing. I told him about 6 months into the relationship. I’m not sure he understands or knows how to take it. He seems to not want to discuss it. I have really only been approached by others. I have never successfully “sought out” a date.

    Q2: I rarely go out. I mainly like to do things alone. Going out with others either feels like “parallel play” or goes poorly. I end up feeling disappointed. It is difficult to convince myself to go out with others sometimes.

    Q3: I talk to people at work. It wears me out. I do like to talk about things that interest or excite me, but virtually no one wants to have those conversations-at least for very long.

    Q4: I do. I thought I was “normal” (Whatever that is) and that people saw me as competent and professional, if odd. Now I understand that my oddness is more obvious than I’d thought. The one or two people I’ve told now see me as “damaged” or “having a pity party” AARRGGH.

    Q5: I do see myself as a bit vulnerable, mainly to ridicule and sarcasm. I do not feel at risk of being taken advantage of-I am pretty savvy.

    Q6: I stay removed and professional/distant towards people that I do not need to have a relationship with. People are just illogical, it never ceases to amaze me. I assume that nearly everyone may have less than noble intentions and just work under that premise.

    Q7: Yes. Every NT I know feels urgently about phone calls, texts, movies, TV shows and the like. I cannot care about these things-I struggle to develop a sense of urgency about anything that is not an EMERGENCY.

    Q8: I am on the far introvert side of the scale. I can work, and do basic interactions that I can control to a reasonable degree, but I prefer solitude, mainly. Others see me this way, as well.

  80. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I have not dated knowing I’m autistic. As for getting someone to date me, it typically happens by accident where I go out with a person as friends more and more often and eventually realize we’ve been exclusively dating for the better part of a year

    Q2: No more than once a week – I’d prefer to stay in and do quieter things. Motivation is difficult when I’m stressed out or under the weather.

    Q3: My talking is very task-oriented. I won’t talk without a reason to – if I find it useful, I’ll talk, but I won’t make small talk just for the sake of it.

    Q4: Not really no. People see me as they’ve always done: Weird, a bit standoffish/shy, but nice enough.

    Q5: Less so than I used to be, but when I was younger definitely. I’ve learned how to recognize when I’m being pressured into something and developed a reliable no reflex.

    Q6: I basically do the same. I also keep an eye out for how much the other person gets me to do things I wouldn’t do ordinarily and whether or not that’s to my advantage – for example, I’ve stopped going out with a coworker when I realized that she seems to get me far more drunk than I ever would want to on my own and my finances can’t handle it. Sure enough, after I started suggesting alternate activities, she’s largely quit hanging out with me – she likes me around because she can fast-talk me into paying for drinks, not for my company.

    Q7: Yes.

    Q8: I am strongly introverted both in the energy sense and in the preference sense, though many people think that I’m extroverted because of how enthusiastic I am about things.

  81. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Yes.
    1 when I found out, he didn’t seem to believe it. The other before, he didn’t care.
    And I don’t know, it just kind of happened.

    Q2: Not very. Sometimes, once a month, sometimes once a year.
    Usually, easier than worrying about other people.
    Often. it generally seems pointless.

    Q3: No. I know people in the past have wished I’d shut up, so these days I don’t talk much at all unless they keep asking questions/ prompting me for more.

    Q4: Yes, so much of my childhood actually makes sense now. I tried so hard to act like everyone else, thought I was doing good, and couldn’t understand why I was still the outcast freak. Now I know, they weren’t acting.

    Q5: Maybe? Yes that stuff’s happened, but I’m not sure the issues are related in my case.
    Now days, I’m just done with taking shit from anyone.

    Q6: I ran out of ability to trust a very long time ago. I trust some people in some ways, but no one completely.

    Q7: Yes, I never even go see new releases. Time just doesn’t seem very important to me.

    Q8: Definitely on the introvert side, I absolutely NEED my alone time or I can’t keep myself together.

  82. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Nope.
    Q2: 2-5 times a month with friends, similar amount with family.
    Q3: Nope / when i feel like it.
    Q6: I am often suspicious of others, and will flat out not participate if I suspect something.
    Q7: YES.
    Q8: Heavy introvert in the social sense, perhaps less so physically.

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