who and what

some things about me

I was 42 when I discovered that I have Asperger’s Syndrome.

When I visit the zoo, I always leave thinking that maybe I was a primatologist in another life. Or a monkey.

I’ve been my own boss since I was 18.

Statistics fascinate me.

I own three pairs of running shoes and no dress shoes.

Somehow I managed to find the one person in 7 billion who understands me and marry him. And stay married for 25 years.

The single most frequent response I got from professors: “I never thought of it that way.” Usually followed by a puzzled look and a change in topic.

I’m the lone confirmed aspie in a family of NTs.

When I was 34, I realized that my eyes are green with gold flecks, not brown like I’d always thought.

I’m afraid of heights but not snakes.

My daughter thinks I’m weird but loves me anyhow. Sometimes she says, “People don’t believe you’re real when I tell them about the stuff you say.”

Some days I spend more time talking to my dog than to other people.

The last time I wore make-up was the day I got married.

I have a lot to say.

what you’ll find here

~ thoughts about being a late-diagnosed woman with Asperger’s syndrome

~lots of strategies, adaptations and hacks; few answers

~stories about growing up aspie

~some geekery about AS and autism

~occasionally embarrassing revelations

~musings on aspie motherhood and marriage

~opinions, hopefully presented as such

~a deliberate absence of politics

~optimism and positivity tempered by reality

~an open invitation to share your thoughts

~a generous helping of comments by other adults on the spectrum

A More Traditional Bio

headshot-smallA lot has changed since I wrote that original introduction. I no longer blog anonymously. I’m Cynthia Kim and I’m pleased to meet you. I’ve written a guide for other adults who are struggling to navigate the diagnosis process, “I Think I Might Be Autistic: A Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis and Self-Discovery for Adults“.  My writing has been published in  Autism Parenting magazine, Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism,  and Autism West Midlands’ magazine as well as their forthcoming print anthology about girls and women on the spectrum. I’m a contributing writer for Autism Women’s Network and one of the editors for their forthcoming anthology as well.

But my first love will always be this blog. It’s where I got started writing about autism and where I feel most at home, thanks to all of the amazing people who read and comment here.  I thought about replacing the introduction above with something more formal, like this bio, but I’ve decided to preserve it because it’s still very much who and what you’ll find here.


© Cynthia Kim and Musings of an Aspie, 2012-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material published on this site without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cynthia Kim and/or Musings of an Aspie with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

147 thoughts on “who and what”

  1. Just found you on Twitter–and your blog–thanks to a RT in the Aspie world. I’ve been diagnosing myself in the past decade, and finally embraced it in the past few months. I feel much better about myself now. Look forward to reading your blog.

      1. Hi. I have just read your book ‘nerdy , shy and inappropriate’ and I stayed up all night and read all the way through as it describes my 18 year old niece perfectly. I would like to give her a copy of the book to read so we can start thinking about strategies, but I don’t know if this would scare her. How do you bring up the subject if you think someone has AS? Or should you wait and let them sort it out?

  2. Also got a late diagnosis and after much arguing with the professionals, was able to get a certificate indicating that I have it. Have mild symptoms compared to many, also had been good at hiding them for so long, that when asked about some of the things I couldn’t answer, as I had numbed myself to how they affected me. Also they looked for how boys did things not girls. Once I had the key to the mystery of me. Many of the words have now poured out in the last 2 years of so, in the form of poems. But if you ask me to tell you face to face with what I have written I struggle to explain myself.

    1. Like you, I find writing much easier than speaking to express so much of my experience, especially when it comes to emotions. Congratulations on finally getting your “paperwork” – there’s something about being “official” that’s a bit freeing, I think.

      1. Your website is the nearest to how it describes to be me. We must be very close on on the spectrum, you seemed to have found words or ways of explaining things that, I still haven’t quite found yet for some of my experiences. Thank you. Now if I struggle to explain things and people don’t quite understand my poems, I can send them to your site 🙂

  3. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have found your blog. As a NT woman in a relationship with an Aspie man, reading your incredibly well articulated advice, information, and stories is providing me some wonderful insight. Not to mention the wonderful layout and ease of search for different topics. Thank you! I look forward to reading more.

  4. Hi! I’m new to WordPress. To be honest, I’m an Aspie too but my diagnosis was found out when I was younger! I hope that I can learn more as an Aspie someday and I hope to chat with you soon…

  5. Trying to think of a way to say – that your blog is the best writing I’ve found to remind me that I am not not alone in my experiences and viewpoints. Many words and pages I’ve read here have helped me have the confidence to simply keep trying to be being me despite my struggles. (artist) I benefit by the fact that you like to write, like to get your thoughts and experiences “on paper”, so to speak.
    Keep on writing..

    1. You said it perfectly – thank you! And you said this at just the right time. I’ve been having a bit of a struggle lately when it comes to writing. It’s helpful to be reminded why I’m doing this and that the internal wrestling match is worth it in the end.So we’ve helped each other! 🙂

  6. I’ve never been diagnosed. I am 68 years old. I have taken the on-line tests and scored a 37. I like your blog. I don’t care to get a diagnoses .

    1. Thank you – glad you’re enjoying the blog! Often learning more about ASD and ourselves is more valuable than getting a diagnosis, which many adults don’t feel they need or want. I’m a big supporter of doing what feels best for you. 🙂

    2. I will be 71 in a couple of months and tried to get a group going here in Summerside but Covid came around. So nice to hear from another senior. I do not know what scoring a 37 means but had a wonderful person from UK give me information when he was in Vancouver BC nd I was fortunate to win a spot to hear him speak at an Autism Symposium. So nice to feel better about being who I am….self-acceptance is a big thing and also relieves a lot of stress when my mouth does not say the right thing. Lynda

  7. I was so excited to find your blog! I’ve been looking for online resources for aspie women for a few months now, and there’s very little that has resonated with me. I enjoy your blog because it reminds me of my own analysis of myself and others. I find it nearly impossible to understand and articulate emotions and interactions as they happen, but can analyze and articulate them eloquently in retrospect. What you’ve written here provides a valuable service — thank you!
    I continue to search for information on how aspie women function in a relationship with an aspie man. I suppose it’s a vanishingly rare corner case, but I’m not at all comfortable with “normal” men, and can be very happy with men who are intellectually and temperamentally like myself. I hope that blog exists — otherwise, I may have to write it.

    1. Thank you! It’s great to “meet” you and I’m happy you found your way here. I don’t know of any blogs by aspie women who are in relationships with aspie men, unfortunately. I do know there are some commenters here who are in that situation though, because when we did our survey questions, a few people mentioned that they were in aspie/aspie relationships.

      If you start a blog, let me know. Then I’ll have a blog to recommend if anyone else asks. 🙂

    2. Me too me too! I am not officially diagnosed and neither is my spouse but we are both clearly on the spectrum, though he is totally in denial and laughs sardonically at my supposition of Aspergers. My one serious boyfriend before him was even more obviously ASD. We are all “high functioning” with very real challenges in many realms of “normal” daily functioning. Six years ago a friend gave me the books “Aspergers in Love” and “Aspergers Syndrome and Long-term Relationships,” which saved my marriage because they gave me a context for understanding my husband’s incredibly annoying and intractable behaviors. My personal story was complicated by being of mixed race with an alcoholic father and some issues of abuse and neglect in childhood. I suspect most of my family is on the spectrum (eg parents almost never touched us or expressed love when we were kids) but only one nephew is diagnosed. I almost never spoke all the way through school and was labeled shy. I assumed my emotional and social difficulties resulted from childhood traumas and only recently have embraced my self-diagnosis of ASD (though I’ve suspected for years). Cynthia Kim’s book is the first I’ve read about Aspergers in women.

  8. A friend of mine sent me a link to your blog 6 months ago. I was finally ready to look at some bothersome parts of my life and was beginning to express and learn these things. I took an online test (the baron-cohen one linked by your blog) and scored a 44. I was astonished and also comforted by the idea of fitting somewhere and alternatively angry. I thought I was me, not a syndrome. I liked me and didn’t think I was broken-the rest of the world seemed hypersensitive, judgemental and duplicitous. In the months that followed I went through the diagnostic process and a whole gamut emotions.

    I No longer wanted to hide all of the “inappropriate”or unusual characteristics of my personality. I was tired of what I saw as my accommodation of the rest of the world when all I had received were contempt, anger, and frustration. I had been told my whole by everyone in my life from family to educators and colleagues to “act normal”, “learn to get along”, and “be nicer”. I couldn’t figure what “normal” was or why I didn’t “get along” or how I was not “nice”. Though I received a tremendous amount of criticism it was rarely constructive.

    I found your blog. It was filled with eerily similar ideas. The comments from other posters were things I could relate to. For the first time I felt like I fit in somewhere. It was fabulous!

    I received a diagnosis today and although I have not formally met you, sctually that is one of the best things because I can do this with letters instead of sound, I feel the overwhelming need to thank you and the many commenters for being my guides through introspective and sometimes volatile journey to self acceptance. Your writing is fantastic and blissfully free of political crap. I like that there is now a space for me to be me in all my terse and brutal honesty.

    1. First, congratulations on your diagnosis! I’m so happy for you. 🙂

      Your comment made my day yesterday. I’ve written a half dozen different sentences here and deleted all of them because I can’t quite capture how happy your words make me. Instead I’ll say that I’m thrilled you found the blog and have felt at home here. The folks who comment on my posts are all amazing and so generous in sharing their experiences and I’m excited that you’re one of them.

      So, you’re welcome, and thank you!

  9. Thank you so much for this blog!

    I am an over-40 NT woman who has fallen madly in love with an Aspie man. He says he is in love with me, too. We are both divorced. I’ve been reading everything I can about Aspergers. My boyfriend’s symptoms seem mild. He had a PhD in elementary particle physics, was a Notre Dame professor, and now is the R&D officer at a high tech company here in Austin. He has been at the same company for 10 years. He is independent, somewhat social, and has friends who respect and care for him. They affectionately call him “Sheldon” at work. I met him at a sci-fi gathering, because I share all of his interests in science and science fiction. I have degrees in biology and computer science, so I never get tired of our discussions. Mr. Spock was my hero when I was a girl, so we joke about that and he gives me Vulcan kisses as well as Human ones.

    Do you think we have a shot at making a marriage work? I’m a little scared by all the stuff I’m reading about Aspie/NT marriages. Do you think that it helps that I’m a girl-geek? In my career as a computer programmer, and now a science teacher, the Aspie’s were always my favorite people to hang around.

    I would really appreciate any tips or good books you could suggest I read. Your blog is great!

    Nanette the Nerd

    1. You’re very welcome! Thank you for reading.

      I do think that AS-NT marriages can work (for obvious personal reasons) if both partners are willing to understand what it means to be autistic and how that impacts communication and interaction for both partners. There’s a lot of really negative stuff out there on the internet. I find it depressing and not that reflective of my experiences. Like anything else, your relationship is going to be what you make of it and will depend on the two people involved.

      It sounds like you and your boyfriend are well matched. My husband is a bit of a geek too and that really helps. Best of luck with and don’t let the naysayers get you down. It can definitely work and work well. 🙂

  10. Hey, so a heads up, I don’t know if you’ve gotten it before or not, but I’m nominating you for the Versatile blogger Award. Details of the “rules” are here: http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/vba-rules/
    It’s less rules and kinda a how to spread the word about blogs you like. Which is what blogging is all about…kinda?
    I hope things are well and shall continue to be so for quite some time.

  11. I’ve been reading your wonderful blog for awhile now but I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t read your personal info until now. The similarities to me are uncanny. I too was 42 when AS, the shoe situation, the lucky in love (20 years now), my eyes are green with gold (discovered a year ago), make up etc. I live on a bush block in Australia so I regularly come into contact with venomous snakes. My husband still doesn’t understand my relaxed attitude to them but try & get me to the sky deck of my city’s tallest building – not a chance!
    I have been meaning to ask you about one possible aspect of AS. As a child I hated my photo being taken. So much that I would go to extreme lengths to hide at family functions until the cameras disappeared. As a kid I never understood how people could like having their photo taken. Even now, I loathe it. I always look really uncomfortable in any photo – never seem to smile or hold myself properly. I have a 6 yr old son with AS & he is exactly the same as I was at his age. He is a gorgeous boy but always looks awkward in photos. He cringes anytime a camera appears. I don’t think he has learnt from me as I have been careful to suppress my avoidance behaviour since his birth. I assume this is the inability of some AS people to give appropriate facial expressions – I’ve never been very good at mimicking the right one. I’m sorry if you have covered this somewhere else in your posts. I was just curious if this was common.

    1. Wow, you’re my twin from down under! 🙂

      I think the photo aversion is quite comment in people with AS. It seems to be hard for us to project the “right” expressions sometimes, perhaps because we aren’t as keyed in to other people’s expressions as typical people are. I’ve heard a lot of people say that they can’t fake a smile properly and they look uncomfortable in most photos, especially anything that’s posed. I actually wrote about how much I dislike most photos of myself and all the photos of myself that I threw away before a recent move. If you’re curious, it’s here: https://musingsofanaspie.com/2012/10/10/you-scare-me/

  12. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your ebook. I downloaded it a couple of weeks ago and it was exactly what I needed at exactly the moment I needed it, and I love how clearly and concisely you detailed everything out. Thank you!!

  13. Cynthia, my name is Morgan Crutcher. I am an undergraduate student looking to create a research study to assess the sex differences between men and women with HFA and Aspergers Syndrome (according to the DSM-IV). I have Aspergers Syndrome, and as an undergraduate psychology student I find that topic particularly interesting. I also notice the gross misrepresentation of women in research about autism. I would be ver interested in having a conversation with you.

    1. That sounds like a huge undertaking. I’d actually recommend that you talk to some of the people who are already doing research in that area, for example the researchers at the Lorna Wing Centre. They’d be far more knowledgeable about what’s being done and where the gaps in the current research are. I’m more of a writer than a researcher.

  14. Found your anger post through google then came to this page. I have forwarded your anger post to my husband and Dad. I have a son who is just so angry. I have wondered more than a little if he has Aspergers. It doesn’t really matter to me except I want to be sure we are parenting him in the best way. Truth be told, I have some seriously Aspie tendencies. My Dad, whom I also emailed the link, has some neurological differences too, so he seems to really understand my son and tries his best to help him.

    Can I ask you if it is normal for an Aspie to spew really colorful language during angry episodes? My son does this, but only when he is in one of these anger moments. It really upsets me, but more than anything it upsets me because this is so out-of-character for him.

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for sharing here. I am definitely going to be reading more of your blog after I get my family fed and later tonight when little ones are in bed. Thanks so much for your willingness to be vulnerable and share here.

    1. Hmmm, that’s an interesting question. Two things came to mind: is Tourette’s Syndrome a possibility? and perhaps when he’s angry he has difficulty regulating or filtering his language. Inhibition of actions (including language) is a cognitive function and intense stress (of being angry or the situation leading up to the anger) can strain cognitive function, making it harder to self-regulate. That would explain why he only does it in certain circumstances. It that’s the case, you might tell him that you understand that he finds it hard to control his language when he’s angry and so in only that situation you’re going to simply ignore any foul language and pretend you didn’t hear it. I know it’s upsetting for you, but your upset and reaction could actually be creating a sort of feedback loop for him that makes it harder to control himself. Just a thought. Anger isn’t necessarily inherent to ASD, but living in a world that feels strange and where people treat you like you’re weird can make a person pretty angry.

      I’m glad you found the blog and I hope it’s helpful.

  15. I’m writing in from Europe where it’s already quite past my bedtime so I’ll try to keep this as short as possible.
    Thank you.
    Thank you for making me feel for the first time in almost a year that I am not alone.
    Thank you for helping me believe that I am might be alright the way I am – forever autistic .

    Due to a lot of personal factors I really struggle to accept the diagnosis that I received 11 months ago. A 24 hour long initial euphoria of finally understanding with perfect clarity why my life had played out just the way it had until that moment, was soon followed by despair and depression. The finality of never being able to obtain the standard I had set for myself, that of becoming one day a good parent, a good daughter, sister, friend or even person hit me hard.

    Almost a year later, after quite some therapy, self-analysis and self-education, I am happy to say that I have already progressed from this bleak picture to an understanding that I can be a different-but-good-enough parent, daughter, sister, friend and person in general. But I’m still working hard at bridging the gap between understanding and really believing.

    Yours is the first blog I’ve found where I encounter a mind that is really similar to mine. I have had the pleasure of discovering your well formed thoughts on a lot of topics that are so important to people like us. I look forward to reading the rest of your blog. While reading your posts and the comments of some other readers, I have felt for the first time that I belong to a community and that I am not alone. Thank you for this.

    1. You’re very welcome! Thank you for taking the time to let me know how much this impacted you. It’s really not unusual for a diagnosis to require a lot of processing time. There is a period of mourning and letting go that most of us seem to experience as we change our view of ourselves and our expectations of life.

      I’m glad you’re making progress and feeling better. It sounds like you’re on the right path. 🙂

  16. I discovered your blog recently and am devouring it obsessively. Your experiences and thoughts match mine so much, I’m stunned. Thank you for opening me up to the possibility that I may be an aspie. I was born and raised in a high sensory overload culture (SE Asia) so I must have calibrated but overload happens, even now. A few weeks back, after a multi hour DMV wait, I cried in public. It was so humiliating. I am so logical and rational and composed , but then it felt like I was out of my body. As usual I recovered quickly too. Would you , one day, consider writing a post about God and religion and aspie beliefs? I am an agnostic because the thought of God overwhelms me, but as a rationalist I probably should have been atheistic, right?

    1. Oh my gosh, the DMV! I had an epic meltdown after spending four hours at the DMV one afternoon. If my husband hadn’t been there to help me deescalate I’m not sure what I would have done.

      I’ve never written about religion because I’ve met people on the spectrum who are atheists, agnostics, and believers in all different sorts of faiths so I find it hard to pin down any sort of pattern. Perhaps in the future I’ll write about my own beliefs though. That might be a good conversation starter.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog and finding it helpful. It’s so nice to hear from a new reader. 🙂

  17. My son was diagnosed at 14 with Asperger Syndrome, he’s 20 now, during this time I’ve been looking around my extended family for someone he might have ‘got it from’. I better stop looking, seems like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. All through this site is me, my traits, thoughts, struggles. I’m embarrassed, I wonder if my family realised all along? It doesn’t bear thinking about. I did one of the Aspie tests, the questions made me laugh – surely everyone gets annoyed by tags on their clothes, have trouble with authority, need to relax for ages after social interaction and hates noisy workplaces? I got directed here via a children’s Autism support website, I’m amazed to find this information for adults, thank you very much, I think you’ve opened a door for me!

  18. Hi Cynthia, thank you for your awe inspiring service here on the internet. I just found the Autism Womens Network on the web and on their facebook page they posted your article on Regression. I can’t find it now. Could you please put a link here so that I might make copies of this to share with folks.
    I have more to say, yet this is enough today.
    Grateful Grace

  19. Hi there!
    Self-diagnosed last year at 43, with two daughters, one NT and one aspie. Working my way through your wonderful writing, and the many comments from your readers, with a growing sense of relief that I am not alone. Veering wildly between joyfully embracing my ‘aspieness’ on the one hand and berating myself for not figuring it out sooner (and perhaps choosing not to have children…) on the other. Struggling with the ‘coming out’ issue…
    I feel like we know each other already.
    Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad to hear the posts and comments here have been a comfort to you and I totally understand those mixed feelings. They’re very normal. It took me a while to come out but eventually it felt like the right next step and it happened and nothing horrible has come of it (if that helps to know).

      Thank you for taking the time to let me know that you’re reading and enjoying. 🙂

  20. I have just finished your book this morning. The process of self-discovery you described is exactly what I am going through and I feel like I could have written it myself! Thank you very much for your insights and for sharing this information, as very little is available to women being diagnosed over 40. I have an appointment next week for my formal diagnosis after having already forwarded my tests to the team of four psychologists I am very anxious to meet. Your book was a tremendous help in understanding the process, and on the road to self-acceptance. I was born and raised in a primarily French speaking province of Canada where the lack of resources and information available for adults is extremely frustrating, therefore I am planning on setting up a bilingual blog similar to yours to share whatever information I can dig out and experiences of other women on the spectrum. Thank you again, and I am looking forward to your next posts!

  21. Dear Cynthia,

    I’m Myriam Leggieri and I’m a PhD student in computer science
    (http://www.insight-centre.org/users/myriam-leggieri) with a passion for
    social issues. Since social work doesn’t pay much, I’m trying to use my
    programming skills to help society nonetheless, especially those people
    more in need. I volunteer for an autism-related charity in my city,
    Galway, Ireland (Galway Autism Partnership) and that’s where the idea of
    a mobile app to support independent living for adult with autism raised.

    I’m currently developing a mobile app called “My Ambrosia”
    (my-ambrosia.com) that is a weekly meal recommender (for healthy diet
    style), planner (to take the fuss out of organizing) and grocery
    shopping support (to never waste or run out of food items).

    The idea was accepted to the second stage (out of three) of the Student
    Entrepreneur Awards competition, so that I’m now in the process of
    writing a Business Plan.

    In particular, I’m running a Market Research and I’d love to get
    feedback on the concept behind my app, from adults with autism. I’m a little struggling with this
    because all the charities I contacted deal with children and parents of
    children with autism, rather than with adults.

    Could you kindly help me out by simply filling the questionnaire at
    http://my-ambrosia.com/?q=survey , please? Also it
    would be super-awesome if you could spread the word and ask your friends to fill the questionnaire.

    I read that you usually eat the same thing for long time frames. I wonder, how would you like an app to recommend the best meal for you, taking into consideration your own preferences? Maybe the recommender could stick to only a small set of food items that you like in this specific time period. It would suggest the best combination of those food items which may not be the healthiest ever but still as healthy as you can get, while satisfying your current wishes.

    Thanks a million in advance! and keep up the great work 😉

    1. I completed the survey and hopefully other people will as well.

      I’m not sure if I’d use a meal planning app personally. Perhaps I would for dinner because that’s a meal that I vary daily, but for breakfast and lunch, I’m pretty set in my ways and will eat the same thing every day because it’s comforting and feels almost necessary to keeping my day on track. I do like the idea of having a shopping list made up based on recipes and of keeping track of what I need to pick up at grocery shopping based on a meal plan.

      Also, I know it’s probably too late to change the questionnaire, but I found myself wanting more options like “always, frequently, sometimes, rarely, never” for some of the answers. I tried to choose the closest answer in those cases, but I felt like my answers were not quite reflecting my actual preferences.

  22. Hi Cynthia, thank you so much for your help and very useful comments. I applied some changes to the questionnaire based on your suggestions: thank you! 😉

  23. Dear Mrs Kim, dear Cynthia,

    Finally, after being too occupied for the previous days, I could spend the last evening going through as many parts of your wonderful (and if I may say so -famous- , according to Google) blog as I could absorb. There are so many cross-references to your work that I really looked forward to the occasion. It were wonderful hours indeed, adjective deliberately chosen.

    Being in an advanced stage of self diagnosis (tests, tests, reading, reading) I consider myself a member of the club since about three months, Strangely enough, despite a decent bio-medical career, I had to become 58 before one of my MD-PhD students, herself an Aspie, pointed out that she saw many of her own traits in me, Since then she has become one of the four good friends I ever had.

    Although I was treated for many years for clinical depression, including some hospital stays, nobody ever came up with the idea that I might have some form of ASD, despite strong symptoms of social-overload-after-some-hours, writing lists of lists etc. etc. In hindsight I cannot even blame doctors and psychiatrists since my coping strategies were simply working too well. Sort of. Until I slowly cracked over time, using the classical self-destructive escape with alcohol and almost total withdrawal into dark rooms, literally.

    By this time, my marriage had deteriorated so much at the emotional level that my wife had no reasonable chance to restore us to at least the working-functional level that we had maintained for so long. So when our three wonderful daughters (only one has slight symptoms) had left home and set up their own lifes we had a divorce after 28 years. That was six years ago. Since then I take my anti-depressants, stay away from alcohol and lead a semi-stable life where I can fully compensate the stress of meeting people at the research institute where I work and in lectures with glorious solitude at all other times.

    Funny as it may sound after the lines above, I feel greatly relieved to finally ‘fit’ somewhere. To have reason to assume that not all that happened in almost sixty years to me and people around me was entirely due my faults and shortcomings. Thus, no looking back but ahead.

    What does all this have to do with your blog? You fill in so many of the personal aspects of living with The Scientist that I see a possibility how to reach out to the only person who really got hurt by this undiagnosed Aspie: my wife. At present we are sort of distant friends. By reading some of the things you wrote perhaps she can understand better what happened, maybe accept. Eventually, she even might become one of the four close friends again? In her own appartment 🙂 At least I can work on it.

    Ernest, a truly CrazyProf

    1. I apologize for the late reply – I’ve been dealing with a lot of offline things recently. Thank you for the kind note and for letting me know that you’ve gleaned so much from the blog. Wishing you the best on your journey!

  24. Hi, I am a woman recently diagnosed with Aspergers at age 42 after suspecting that I am on the spectrum for over a decade, and struggling with being different all my life. I discussed the possibility that I was on the spectrum with psychologist years ago but it was dismissed. It was only after my son was diagnosed with ASD that I finally was formally diagnosed. It seems there are many women in their 40’s and older who are finally being diagnosed after a long wait. Finding out I am aspie was my son’s gift to me. I feel a strong need to learn more and to connect with other aspies, so I went online and found the wonderful world of ASD blogs. I have only just started reading your blog and find it wonderfully insightful and relevant.

    1. Thank you. Finding autistic bloggers was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I like how you see your son’s diagnosis as a gift to you. What a great way of looking at it.

  25. Thank you so much for everything you’ve written about. I’d always thought that the presenting symptoms of what was going on, like my eating disorder, depression, and generally poor mental health, were what was “wrong” with me, and that my kind of weird personality and behaviors was just my personality, but I’m suspecting more and more that there might be an aspie connection, especially after taking some assessments. I think I’m finally going to brave it out to try get some kind of diagnosis or at least clue what’s going on, but whatever it ends up being, I feel much better about it thanks to the positivity and acceptance of the autism community I’ve encountered.

    1. I’m so glad you’ve been finding support and some potential answers in the autism community. It can be an incredibly welcoming place. 🙂

      Good luck with the diagnostic process. ED, depression and other mental health issues often co-occur with Aspergers so you wouldn’t be the first person to have a handful of diagnoses and then get an AS diagnosis to go with them.

  26. I have some asd traits, though not particularly aspie, and my 8 yo daughter is quite quirky. I’m trying to figure out how to help her understand herself better. It’s hard when there is so much negative stuff about asd. Im not going to help her by reading to her about how she is disordered. I’m not sure a diagnosis would have helped me any in the 70’s and 80’s, but more support could have. My daughter does not know about her diagnosis. She understands she is different and she tries to mask it and deny it. Do you have some suggestions for me?

    1. I think it’s important for autistic children to know about their diagnosis. Growing up knowing that you’re different but not knowing why can cause a child to invent all sorts of reasons for their difficulties and differences, some of which can be really hard on their self-esteem. I would recommend telling her about her diagnosis in a way that she can understand. Also, there are some positive books for kids about autism and aspergers. Specifically I would recommend “I Love Being My Own Autistic Self” and “All Cats Have Aspergers” as a good place to start.

  27. I found your blog last night and gobbled most of it up in one sitting. I am a 40-year old aspie, also married to a wonderful NT, with a little girl of four. Thank you for sharing your experiences and advice. It is really great! 🙂

    1. Thank you for letting me know you’re enjoying it. And it’s pretty amazing that you read so much of it in one sitting! I seriously need to get t-shirts for people who’ve read the whole thing. 🙂

  28. Found this blog a few days ago, and I’m finding it quite helpful. I never realised some of the traits I possess were ASD-related until now, despite having been learning about it since I was 3.

    I’m starting my own blog for therapeutic reasons (but it’s yet to actually get off the ground), and I was wondering how you’d recommend going about publicising it. Should I share with friends/acquaintances or is it best to avoid letting too many know about my diagnosis so I don’t become “that ASD guy”?

  29. hello, I’m a graduate student and I’m writing my thesis on the subject of autism and gender from a critical position. I would like to get your permission to quote you on my study. I would be happy to send you some more details in a private message.

      1. great, thanks. sure, that’ll be possible. you can send me an email if you’d like so that I’ll have your address.

  30. I’m 40 years old and just self-diagnosed with Asperger’s, albeit high functioning. Thank you so much for this blog! I’ve struggled my entire life without knowing why. As I’ve been trying to find out more about Asperger’s in adults, I had a hard time finding resources, but I found your blog and feel so at home here. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and can relate to so much! I also want to thank all of your readers who comment on your posts – because I’ve learned just as much from them and your conversations as I have from you! I’m trying to determine if it is worthwhile to get a formal diagnosis or not. I also have this strong urge to “come out” to friends and co-workers, but since I’ve screwed up socially in the past, I wasn’t sure if this would be another faux pas that couldn’t be put back into Pandora’s box once I opened it. Any advice?

    1. Welcome! I’m glad you’re finding the blog helpful. I agree that the reader comments are as useful as the posts themselves.

      Regarding disclosure, what you say about not being able to close the box once it’s opened is very true. I know that you’re excited about your discovery in that it feels like a very positive thing to you – which it is, of course – however, not everyone will see it the same way that you do. I recommend going slowly with disclosure, starting with the people who you feel will have the most positive reaction or be the most accepting. “Practice” on them and see how it goes. Then, as you feel more confident, you can expand the circle of people to which you disclose. Disclosure often brings mixed results and while I don’t want to discourage you, I do think it’s important to go into it with realistic expectations.

      Congratulations on your discovery! It’s such an exciting time, just after that initial realization.

  31. From my own personal recent experience, the people I thought would be the most accepting and understanding (read immediate family) are the ones that I encountered the most resistance from. My relationship with them has changed because of it as I am not willing to hide from it and making efforts to be more “me”. They are the least inclined to make any effort to understand, so I’m giving them time to digest. Some people will tell you that getting a diagnosis doesn’t change anything, that you are still who you always were. For me, it changed absolutely everything, from the way I view myself, to the way I experience the rest of the world. The journey is challenging, but well worth the effort. Good luck and welcome!

    1. Coincidence, an interesting phenomenon. Sunday is my quiet day in the house where I try to avoid human interaction as much as possible and among other things catch up reading ‘our’ blogs. So I came across your comment and the most recent post on your own blog just a few minutes apart. So many related experiences! Here on disclosure.

      In the ‘enthusiastic’ phase after discovering my identity, also about a year ago, I briefly started to tell people about the exiting news, including part of the family. I expected that for my respective vis-à-vis it would make as much sense as for myself. Far off the mark. In the meantime I became careful like many others of our tribe, dropping hints, gauging the response before continuing. Head count by now: four allies that even try to accommodate my quirks plus two sceptics who want more ‘proof’. Re-writing our biography is extremely important to ‘us’ but taking the effort changing the view on shared experiences is not automatic for ‘them’. But, as you say, no compromises anymore. Finally I am ‘me’. Well, almost :).

  32. Hi Cynthia, I just wanted to thank you for being here – online, blogging, being such a clear, articulate voice. I am 31 years old and today I have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Reading your blog and your book has been a massive support for me throughout this process. It has been a strange process of self discovery – via the internet, then books, more reading, as much as possible, and then the feeling that all of this makes such profound and scary sense to me. I can’t thank you enough. Best wishes to you and your family, Zoe x (London, England)

  33. Hi Kim.
    Two years ago I took one of the online tests. I think most of them are junk, but I took it anyway. After the first test, I wanted corroboration (as though an online test can give that). After the tenth test, I decided to actually see someone and see if my entire life could be explained to me in a diagnosis that would make it all make sense. I was 42.
    I have no doubt that I’m on the Spectrum. I have excellent communications skills and a mastery of my native language, but I think it’s because I was born deaf and spent years after having my hearing restored obsessing over perfect communication. I could not understand why people did not understand each other when they were using words that were easy to understand. Often they would say, “What do you mean by that?” to each other. In my mind I would scream, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN ‘WHAT DOES (SHE) MEAN?!'” (Mom and Dad fought a lot) I won’t go on too much about what I’ve learned about myself, except to say that I’m afraid of an ‘official’ diagnosis. I’ve excelled at everything I’ve ever done, but I’ve worked 60 jobs in 30 years of working (60 that I remember). Throughout my youth I was accused of “trying to get out of responsibility” even though I was a model son. I was the first in my family to get a bachelor’s degree. I was excellent at everything. I just had no guidance whatsoever and fled to relationships for affirmation. I’ve done so many different things for work. All of the jobs are just horrible. I’m safe at home. I love to drive my car, but I’d rather not leave the house. My IQ tested pretty high last year, but that doesn’t make me feel any better.
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your book. Amazon gave me some teaser pages, but I’m going to have to purchase it for myself. I hate reading books on computers.
    Thanks for doing what you do. I’ll get caught up on your blog in time.
    Kind Regards
    Brett Self
    Tampa, FL

    1. It’s interesting that you attribute your outstanding communication skills to your deafness and having to learn to compensate so extremely in that area. I’m really glad you shared your experience here, as it will likely help others who’ve had a similar experience and are searching for answers. So often I think it’s tempting to read the boilerplate set of characteristics and then discount the possibility that a condition might fit us because we don’t fit every single one.

      I hope that seeking out a diagnosis and the self-understanding that can come with that turns out to be the answer you’re looking for. It was for me and gave me the starting point for understanding so much of my life. Thank you for the detailed comment and for sharing your experience.

  34. it’s been so valuable to follow the comments here! I received a diagnosis 18 months ago, and it’s made my life so much easier. Understanding the source of my limitations has allowed me to experiment more, and to change more than I could have imagined.

    One thing that’s interesting, though: NT people often minimize or downplay the differences, but I’ve gotten the most resistance from people who have autistic traits but no diagnosis. The idea of not being “normal” is just too stigmatized, particularly for people who long to fit in and try very hard to do so. It makes me sad because I agree with John Robison that there is no cure – and none is needed. Knowing my strengths and weaknesses allows me to have compassion for myself and others, and gives me the power to decide whether to change, embrace or forgive certain behaviors of mine.

    Thank you for this blog, and thanks to all the people commenting.

    1. So happy to hear that you’ve found the blog and the comments (which I agree are awesome, and amazingly varied) helpful. Acceptance is a long, winding road and some of us are lucky enough to get there a little sooner than others. 🙂

  35. I just discovered your blog. I am married to an Aspie. I want my husband to be happy and it is hard sometimes for me to figure out what to do. I will follow you.

  36. Thanks for the blog. My concern is employment and whether Asperger’s should be revealed in the employment form in the section where they ask about physical/mental disability, as I know I’ve been discriminated against before. But your blog has helped immensely. Thanks so much.

  37. We know each other from Twitter.

    I just saw your photo. We are twins. I have disliked hair my entire life and long had a vision of shaving it off, and a few years ago I did.

    I no longer wear makeup either. It is liberating.

    Also liberating was being diagnosed in my 40s. Odd, concerning, but liberating. Best wishes as you focus on other things, and thank you for leaving behind a treasury of good reading material.

  38. As I saw you will take a break, thank you so much for your blog and who you are…
    When I discovered I could be Aspie myself a few months ago, and found “Musings…”, it felt home and safe and joyful.
    I definitely enjoyed the “explaining series” about marriage, executive function : I now can do things ! ; )
    “Stimtastic” is also a dream come true ! And you keep adding new toys and jewelry ! Pure bliss !
    Lots of beautiful things for you to come…

    (And please “excuse my French”…I am a French and not always sure if my English is understandable)

  39. Kia ora Cynthia Kim.
    Frolicking and fossicking for sociological perspectives on gender identity and Aspie-girls – for a Gender studies/Sociology essay
    (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand). Wondered if you had any insights, and specific research studies that you are aware of? I’m a single mama of Manuka-Rose Ariella, a 12year old Aspie-girl who wears boys clothes boys undies and struggles to accept her developing girl body, male brain. I also have a diagnosis of BPD (wondering if I’m more of an aspie-female as I travel this journey with my daughter).
    Fantastic blog.
    Warm regards
    Gina-Marie Aburn

  40. Cant express enough how much your blog has changed my life. Ive been reading for about a week and a half and confidently diagnose myself as having AS already (well, theres a myriad of sources, but this blog is my rock). Its like you lived there next to me and saw all the things i never showed, never shared. This blog has helped me understand my life more in that short time than the rest of my 32 years on this earth. You have helped answer so many questions i was never going to ask anyone, i feel like my life can finally be something now.

    Thank you.

    (Please dont think that i am irresponsibly only using one source to self diagnose, but just trying to express how your blog makes me feel more at home than anything else right now.)

  41. G’day.

    How refreshing it is to learn from you and everyone else in the comments! I’ve been stalking this site for the last few weeks, ever since I stumbled on it through deviantart.

    I was diagnosed at 12 months because my mother noticed I didn’t use eye contact. Given that one of my cousins has severe symptoms, it was logical for her to take note. Fortunately, she had a doctor who then proceeded to instruct her on how to mitigate the symptoms. Mother was told to send me to a special school since my cognitive issues were that of a vegetarian T-rex, but she wanted to be as normal as possible and sent me to a regular school. I had to see a speech therapist, do special exercises, and stay down. Even then, I knew it was the right decision for me to stay down, and I made that clear to Mother that I knew it back then. She told me she’d noticed me resent it, and if I hadn’t, she would have been very worried. Of course, my social skills and mobile dexterity were that of Frankenstein on a boat, and isolation was the main theme of youth. However, she never told me until it finally occurred to me to ask a few years ago.

    I’m in my late 40s. Why it hadn’t occurred to me to ask earlier is beyond me.

    My sisters had suggested that I take tests to get an up-date diagnosis, but I balk at the idea of seeing ‘experts’ and getting ‘tested’ again. The only reason I got tested in my 20s is because one of my professors noticed my oddness, and asked if I had had any support systems in school. Nope. I had serious difficulties in college; I chose a profession which utilised none of my strengths, but my professors were excellent and gave me extra chances. I wish I could remember all their names, ‘cos I would like to thank them.

    I have no problem with eye contact these days. I travel alone. I have close friends that go back decades. I collected garden lizards as a child, and got down and dirty playing footy and cricket with my siblings, and teaching myself how to rollarskate and do bombs and surf in the pool. (Swimming back and forth bores me to tears). I like spiders, raptors and snakes, and astronomy still fascinates me.

    I don’t know what I excel in, excepting mediocrity. I’m just an average Jane who happens to be on the spectrum.

    As for eye colour, I realised in my teens my eyes were not brown, but hazel. Most people can’t determine what my eye colour is, so that’s understandable.

    I have dress shoes, but rarely wear them. Not practical on a mountainous campus, but they’re too pretty for me to give to charity. Yet.

    I do hope this post finds you well, given that language glitches and the other symptoms your mentioned in your latest blog can be like Edward Scissorhands in a doll’s house.

    Lordy, this is long.


  42. My little 11 year girl, after years of desperate help looking for answers so we could help her better navigate our world, finally got diagnosed with high functioning autism. It has been a long year of struggles and at times we feel like giving up, but reading your blog helps keep me focused so I can help raise her to be the fabulous young woman she is destined to be! I have lots of research to do on your blog and am buying your book. Thanks for sharing your experiences; and when she is ready, I can have her read them on her own; so she will know there are ways around her world and ways to embrace her world and herself! – mom of an aspie

  43. Cynthia: you built a magnificent site. In my late 40s, I just received a quick Dx last year of alexithymia as an initial construct. But beyond that, I am increasingly struggling to keep relying solely on purely analytical strengths that start fading with age, to offset other AS signs limiting socialization and communication, motor balance, self-confidence, etc. A few aspects of your world experience may relate to gender and differ slightly from mine as a man, but for the immense majority, you describe my own life experience. It is absolutely amazing how closely I can relate to your words, how beautifully and accurately you are able to describe this journey. That helps to realize that none of us is alone. Thank you so much and congratulations!

  44. Hello. I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for writing your book. I’d done some previous reading on the Spectrum with more scientific and clinical points of view, the dry reads. But your writing did wonders. At times, it was if you were writing just for me, and at other turns, gave me a window into someone else’s experiences But mostly, the female experience won me over. And it gave me hope.

    After marking it up, I gave it to my parents to read. Not only will they understand me better, I want to help give them coping strategies too. It isn’t easy having a 30 something year old daughter who still has meltdowns, after all.

    As an undiagnosed person, I hope to get my diagnosis this year, whatever it is. If nothing if not for peace of mind, at the very least.

    Once again, thank you. It was hard, delving deep. The Dark Side chapter was aptly named, and one of the hardest to read.


  45. SO glad I found this blog! 😀
    My name is Kim. I am 37 years old, and I was diagnosed with AS at 19. My mother had Asperger’s, too, though she was never diagnosed (I was diagnosed after her death), and my father has a few traits as well. I’m unemployed and on disability, but I attend a school specially made for adults with Asperger’s and other learning disabilities. I’m single and I live on my own, aside from my furry, four-footed roommate who says “Meow”!

    This is a wonderful blog, and I hope to find connections to other women who are “normal” like me! (Anybody with autism is Normal, the rest of the world is “Abnormal”! 😛

  46. Thank u so much for sharing. I hope you don’t mind I gave shared this on my blog. I think the biggest thing for girls is learning to say NO and the Dos and don’t of flirting. I struggled right into my 30’s, had no clue and got myself into some pretty horrible situations. Again thank you so much 🙂

  47. I was diagnosed this year at age 41. I join my two sons, a cousin, an aunt, and (unofficially) my late father; we all have autism/aspergers. I recently came across your book and I can honestly say without exaggeration it has changed my life. As I was reading I would often think “get out of my head!” So many of your experiences mirrored mine and more than a few times you described behaviors that I have but never connected to having autism. I’m going back for a second read. I have a list of quotes that either moved me or reminded me that I am not alone or or gave me some much needed confidence in who I am and how I am. Thank you!

  48. I am SO HAPPY I have found this blog! I’m in my mid-twenties and sought out a diagnosis just last year, shortly before getting married. I sensed since elementary school that I was different somehow, but didn’t know why I struggled with social things. My diagnosis was a relief! I’ve read one book so far by Jennifer Cook O’Toole and want other books, but need to wait until Christmas. Thank you SO MUCH for making this blog! Even though I’ve learned a lot before my diagnosis and my sweet husband praises me for how much I’ve learned since we started dating, I feel like I have a lot to learn! I’ll be on this blog A LOT! Thank you! 😀

  49. PS — After doing a quick surface examination of other autistic blogs, Musings of an Aspie is a lot easier for me to relate to 🙂 Seriously, this blog is an answer to my prayers!

  50. This blog makes me so happy. I am a 23 year old woman currently on the long road to professional diagnosis, and so many of your posts made me almost cry from the suddenly overwhelming feeling of not being alone. Thank you for writing so clearly about your experiences. Reading the sensory processing/sensitivity posts where you use the raw chicken analogy felt like a real Archimedean Eureka moment for me. Yes! That is exactly my reaction to eating jelly (jello) or drinking very fizzy carbonated drinks like Coca-Cola … and to getting anything on my hands that shouldn’t be there. And now I understand the neurological and physical processes behind my reactions, thanks to you. Understanding why is always my motivation for research, and like you I can’t rest until I have an answer. Your posts have given me many answers to questions I had thought impossible to explain. Thank you so very much. Please, never stop writing about your experiences and understanding of ASD/Aspergers.

  51. Hi Cynthia,

    I’m not writing this as a comment so please don’t post it. I just wanted to say hi and give you a bit of an update I guess, because I thought it might be pertinent to you (or at least interesting). I was diagnosed with ASD a bit over a year ago and since then I have also been diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Mitochondrial disease which, as it turns out have anecdotal connections to autism that geneticists seem to readily recognize. They are rare disorders but family doctors rarely seem to pick up on them unless the symptoms are severe so some researchers think that they are more common that the numbers of diagnosed individuals would suggest. I know that you stopped blogging for health reasons so I thought that I would mention this.

    Also, I don’t know if you would remember this as It was over two years ago and your blog sees so much traffic, but we occasionally talked about writing. I have decided to self publish one of my novels and I wondered if you might have any advice? I guess you have access to my email through my comments. I won’t be offended if you don’t get back to me. I have limited energy so I understand if something is just too much.

    Hope you are well,

  52. I enjoy your blog so very much. It makes me feel less alone in a culture of loneliness.I have referred to your blog in a paper I have written as well as a blog posting of my own. You have taken so time and poured yourself into this blog. I really applaud your work. Thank you for time and experiences.

  53. I just found your blog and am so super excited! I am a special education teacher in NJ. I teach 7th grade in a self-contained classroom to 11 students with a wide range of ABILITIES. Thank you for your insights!

  54. Hi! My name is Anna, and I’m an Aspie who sometimes goes around and gives talks about what it’s like to be on the autism spectrum, and tries to give people (especially parents and teachers) a more helpful understanding of what they should be trying to accomplish than the “traditional” autism view. There was a video on Youtube about a sensory diet that was very helpful, which has now been made private, and I was told that you were responsible for it. I obviously respect the privacy of the children involved, and any reason they or you may have for not wanting to share it, but I was wondering if you knew of any similar videos that are public that I could use–I haven’t been able to find any myself, Google has been failing me.

  55. As a 51 yr old female, I just recently discovered that many many many of the challenges over my entire lifetime, as well as some of my favorite quirks about myself, can be explained by Asperger’s. What a HUGE relief to find an explanation and understanding of things that at first puzzled me about the world but came to torment me since I could never figure them out and I felt at odds with the world around me. THEN I stumbled upon YOUR BLOG and I think I’m in love. It feels kind of magical to have my own thoughts and experiences validated over and over and over. THANK YOU a zillion times over for SHARING!!

  56. Hello. My name is Chesne and I’m also an Aspie. I’m doing a paper for a college class on the differences between Aspies and neurotypicals and, I’m wondering if you could tell me if you studied psychology or got a degree or anything just to make sure that you’re a credible source. Terribly sorry about an inconvenience.
    -Chesne Wisdom

  57. Hi. I am 48 . By the end of this month I will be 49. Like you I knew I was different, but I did not exactly what was wrong with me. I work in healthcare, in Pediatrics so I knew about Autism and ABA. I have had patients that have Asperger’s. When reading about it on the internet I learned about your book. I read it. It was like I had written it myself! Went to see a very qualified child psychologist in my area. He confirmed it. I DO have Asperger’s. I am an Aspie. What know?

    1. Hi Gabriela! I’m in my 20’s and was diagnosed a couple years ago. It was a big relief and an answer to why I’d felt different for a long time! I just saw your comment and would like to share my personal experience 🙂 Every Aspie is different, but I’ve learned a lot from other Aspies and have been eager help others in any way I can.

      After being diagnosed, I immediately began reading books and finding blogs about Asperger’s (that’s how I found Cynthia’s wonderful blog!) One of my favorite authors you might know about is Jennifer Cook O’Toole, who’s Aspie, along with her husband and three children. I also like Dr. Tony Attwood, who specializes in Asperger’s. (Temple Grandin is one of my heroes, too!)

      My reading has slowed down because of work and other obligations, but using those resources, along with tips from my wonderful neurotypical husband, has helped me learn so much! I’ve increased my knowledge of social things, and I’ve learned a lot about managing my emotions better. I’ve also gradually become more observant in social situations, and gradually gotten better at having the right thing to say in the moment, with practice, reading, and consulting with my husband.

      When I was diagnosed, my therapist also recommended I become evaluated for my cognitive and language functions. I haven’t done that yet, partly because I “didn’t get around to it,” and partly because my family members observed that I function well overall in daily life. I still think it would be beneficial, though, and the idea of being evaluated for my cognition/language often stays in the back of my mind.

      I’ve also heard that it may be a good idea for some Aspies to be evaluated for conditions that often go with Asperger’s, such as anxiety or ADD.

      At my age, about to have children, it’s possible that some of my children might have Asperger’s, so I want to learn as much as I can about being a good parent, both to neurotypical and Aspie children. Jennifer Cook O’Toole has some books about being an Aspie parent. I also want to re-read “Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child” by Dr. John Gottman.

      I recommend reading Cynthia’s section about when and to whom to disclose your Asperger’s diagnosis to, if you haven’t already
      For instance, in my situation, I told my friends and family members so they could understand why I was so tactless, awkward, obsessive, etc growing up, but I haven’t told anyone I work with, because I don’t know how they perceive Asperger’s or if their trust in or perception of me would change. It’s not relevant to my job, anyway. The decision of disclosure is a decision I think every Aspie should make for themselves, consulting with those neurotypicals they trust the most.

      For self-understanding and personal development, as well as understanding others, I also highly recommend a personality book “The People Code” by Dr. Taylor Hartman. I began reading it before I was diagnosed, and it was super insightful, liberating, and motivational for me!

      I would be very happy to hear anything you have learned about Asperger’s and Autism in your position in pediatrics! (What is ABA?)

  58. I have just finished reading your Nerdy, Shy and Socially Inappropriate book and oh my goodness. I think you may have been writing about me. I am at my most relaxed when I read about other women on the spectrum. I have not gone through diagnosis but in my very early 20’s I gave the doctor a list… and mentioned Asperger’s. He took no notice of my concerns and sent me away to not worry myself about it. A few years later I had children of my own with my NT husband. They are now 7 and 9. For so many years we struggled.. and I began to realise that my daughter had Asperger’s. She was finally diagnosed this year. Our son has some traits and seems to have OCD signs. I threw myself into learning about it all… as I always do. And it all came back to me. My childhood. The ‘oh I used to do that..’ (or I still do..!). It started out with partly relief but also.. I was scared. It took a long time before I passed a piece of writing to my husband that I’d read. I was scared he’d think less of me. He’d been with me before I knew.. The ups and downs. But it was ok.. although I needed him to read more. I’ve just finished reading your book. I’m a little scared to pass it to him. . But I think maybe i should. Your book has kept me company for a few days. Like listening to another me, telling me it was all normal for me…. If that makes sense. I relaxed a little more with my struggles. I do worry about helping my children when I struggle with my own self! But I also fully understand them. So I’m counting on that. And a lot of lists. 😀

    1. My husband and I were together for a couple years before I was diagnosed, and my diagnosis was just as much a relief to him as it was to me! He was also happy with how much I read about Aspergers and the information I passed along to him. It’s understandable to be scared! We have found value in Cynthia’s writings about Aspie-NT marriage. Since you have children, you may also consider reading books by Aspie Jennifer Cook O’Toole, whose husband and kids have Aspergers and some accompanying conditions as well 🙂 You can also visit with a counselor together 🙂 The knowledge and tools a diagnosis brings can help the whole family, whatever the condition diagnosed!

      Oh, since your son has OCD signs, have you heard of the book “Brain Lock” by Dr. Schwartz?

  59. So glad I found this blog, by accident. I’m now 74, (female) but discovered AS, again by accident at the age of 63. It explained so much! My first reaction was euphoric relief and a sense of validation. Now 10 years on, I’m struggling growing sense of depression and a sense of doom. It’s so final and there will never be anything different. I have a hard time with accepting what is and myself at where I got to in my life. Being on the spectrum, I have few of the social roots and ties that NT’s have. I struggle with an overwhelming sense of failure which I had no control over, given my nature, which I had no knowledge of for most of my life. I would like to learn to be more accepting of where I’m at and to be more grateful for what is good in my life. Any advice?

  60. Dear Cynthia,
    I would like to express my deeply felt gratitude for the work you have done in writing this blog and your books and sharing your thoughts and experiences with other people. Together with Tony Attwood’s writings and interviews on the topic of Asperger’s in general and autistic women in particular, your blog was a invaluable source of information and inspiration for me, which ultimately led to my diagnosis (I am in my 30s) and my beginning to write a blog myself recently. I just finished reading your second book and want to thank you specifically for your heart warming words in the last two chapters (“redefining myself” and “arriving at acceptance”), which I think should give those of us, who are on their journey to a better self-understanding, much-needed confidence. Keep up your courage and honesty!
    All the best whishes from across the pond (Germany) 😉

  61. Hi Cynthia – I´m writing to you in a sense of desperation. I underwent an aspergers assessment two years ago. I live in Spain so they still have the distinction between ASD and Aspergers. I was diagnosed with Broad Autism Phenotype, which I accepted at the time.

    However, after a recent evalutation by a neuropsychologist, I was told I need to revisit this. I answer yes to a number of questions you have in your book but I haven´t seen that range of questions reflected in formal diagnostic assessments. I also scored NT on the systemising quotient but am not sure the questions reflected my everyday life. I also scored low on the ADOS – I´m creative and know how to communicate, but its definitely something I´ve learned over the years (I´m 45). so, I´m not sure where to go next? I´m pretty sure I´m on the ASD, albeit the low end of the scale, where I can live independently (as long as I don´t have a credit card in my hand). Just not sure what next steps to take.

    1. I’m only 26, and was diagnosed with Aspergers (Autism Level 1 according to the DSM-5) at age 23, so I have a lot less experience in general, and still admittedly probably less experience with Autism than many other people. (I also live in the USA, and the ways people see and handle Autism there seems to differ than with other parts of the world.) But perhaps you could keep on reading books (such as from author Jennifer Cook O’Toole, and Temple Grandin, and Tony Attwood, and many others.) And perhaps you could keep talking to psychologists. I also have found it helps to find other people who are on the spectrum and talk with them.

      I can tell you, as empowering as it is to have some sort of label for these struggles, it also doesn’t feel right if someone tries to put you into a “box.” When I disclosed my diagnosis to my family, one family member began to say things like “I know you ____ since you have Asperger’s,” or “I know because of you Asperger’s you do/feel ____.” I appreciated their efforts to understand, but I eventually asked them to just let me guide and dictate how I should be treated, since I know myself better than other people do, and I would tell them if they needed to change something about the way they acted toward/around me.

      The thing is, no person is the same. No woman is the same. No person with such-and-such diagnosis is the same. It can also be tricky with ever-evolving ways that “experts” like psychologist try to define and diagnose things. I personally have found the most empowerment in reading books, since that matches the way my mind works and processes things.

      Hope you can find all the help that you need in this journey!

  62. Hi Cynthia; I am an NT woman married to an Aspergers man (not officially diagnosed), and I am also a public school teacher. I work with a lot of children on the spectrum and I come home to it every day. I just wanted to let you know that I have been reading through your blog, and honestly, your experiences are the closest to how my husband describes the world he lives in. Right down to the sleep issues, the difficulty with body/spatial logistics and voice control.

    I am very lucky to have been a teacher before my husband and I got married 5 years ago, because I was aware of Aspergers and its unique aspects. I have learned patience & understanding from working with my students. My husband and I have an amazing relationship, much , I think, like yours with your husband.

    I just wanted you to know how well written your blog is, how it is helpful in understanding the various ways Aspergers presents itself. Honestly, I just like how it verifies what my husband tells me about himself. Much of the written literature on Aspergers seems hit or miss on what my husband experiences every day. But you are spot on.

    So, thank you for this resource. After reading many of the posts, I know my husband and I are doing things right. It also helps me see, even more clearly, that my husband works hard every day to do his best. Though I already knew this, reading your posts just sort of gels this in my mind for me. There is something big in the understanding that other people are experiencing what my husband and I experience on a daily basis, and , more importantly, that they are successful at it. 🙂

    (HAHA for transparency, it also helps my marriage that I seem to share a lot of his quirks- some sensory issues, uncomfortable with large groups of people, absorption in my own special interests, very literal. Though I have taken tests to see if I am Aspie also, it does not seem to be the case, but my own quirks mirror many of my husband’s so I think it’s pretty cool )

    Anyways, thank you again for taking the time to share your experiences with the world. It keeps us NT’s more tolerant and helps Aspies know that they are not the only people in the world dealing with these issues.



  63. I’ve been around here before, because for a while I’ve been trying to learn more about autism and Aspergers and figure out if any of this applies to me. I’m really glad to find autistic voices, like yours, because I know the harm organizations like AS do by prioritizing NT voices over autistic ones. I’m still trying to figure everything out, but thank you for writing; your voice, information, and resources are invaluable.

  64. It may be too early to “share my thoughts” but I took the “Aspie Quize” the first of the year. (ND 149/200 NT 104/200) I’ve been in a life-long search to find an answer to a question I could never clearly define. I still can not “sure” I’m on the spectrum. But all these pieces I’ve been holding.. trying to fit together, for the first time in my life seem to make sense. This is a profound experience I’ve been going through.. It feels like it is the first time I’ve met myself. I’m a mix of both terrified and relieved. I’m not terrified I might be Autistic.. that is actually the relief part.. I’m terrified I will have to go back to that dark and lonely life of searching.. and searching… and searching. I’m so looking forward to meeting at least ONE person in the world who truly understands. I so want to go home.

  65. Thanks, Cynthia, for your blog and your quiz. I borrowed your book from the library, then just had to buy my own. You have a lot of good advice that I think will be useful to me, such as how to fake the non-verbal cues in a face-to-face conversation. I have watched and been fascinated by other people all my life, but have never been able to figure out how to be like them. I have often felt like I was from another planet and just couldn’t learn how earthlings are supposed to act. When I am “mindful,” I can do well, but having to be mindful all the time is exhausting and easily forgotten about. It’s a relief to know that there is probably a reason – brain hardwiring. And in my case I think it may be genetic, passed through my maternal line. My mother was never very socially skilled, and my sister even less so. And, in both their cases, they never even seemed to notice.

  66. I just found your blog. My aspie daughter is 24 and now some things are finally making sense. She has a melt down at least once a month and ends up in the ER with a paper sending her home two-three hours later about panic attacks. Her Psychiatrist could not tell me what these really were. I will be reading your blog to him. They have been pumping her to no avail with antipsychotics, SSRS, to get them to stop and nothing does. If she gets into an argument or is highly upset, there is a meltdown with her voice muted, curling in a ball, shaking and crying. She cannot control her legs. This did not happen in her teens it is something new that has started to happen in her twenties and no one could figure out what was going on. Your meltdown segment was so informative, why doesn’t everyone know this? How could the mental professions not know this? I would like to know if there is a medication that stops these meltdowns. I find them to be dangerous. She can’t seem to go anywhere without someone ticking her off to the extent where she has an attack and she could be hurt by a stranger – could go in front of a car – so far has always ended in the ER, which never helped anything. Something has to be able to stop these dangerous meltdowns from occurring. She wants to learn to drive but until these stop I can’t see letting her drive in traffic. Some one out there is always going to upset you, from traffic, to bosses, to boyfriends, to customers and you need to be able to handle conflict without ending up on the floor shaking and crying and muted. I see you haven’t written anything for years now on this blog. I wonder what happened to you. I was so happy to find you but now I see your last posts were from 2015. I would love your feedback. Barbara Sassano

  67. Was just led to “Nerdy, Shy and Socially Inappropriate. Laughed at all the aha’s as I read. Always assumed it was just my un-diagnosed Bi-polar, but some behaviors remain after meds. They are all on the spectrum. My sister says she has seen my weirdness all my life. A year in my closet (literally only came out for school and meals) when I was twelve is a big indicator. At 68, a formal diagnosis is not worth the time and energy. I embrace who I am and find ways to avoid meltdowns. I would totally wear a t-shirt with the title of this book imprinted. Might be a little long for the front. Let people see it as I walk away from awkward encounters. Discovered the blog here, will start following your “words of wisdom” and random thoughts. 🙂

  68. Hi Cynthia, I’m Dan and I’m 43 I was diagnosed nearly 2 years ago after a huge breakdown and near suicide, led me to getting treatment. Sitting in bed one night my wife semi-seriously commented that she thought I was autistic and the rest as they say is history. I started writing as an outlet for everything that built up in my head. One thing that has really struck me is that there are actually quite a lot of us out there and yet there is so little acceptance.

  69. been searching for information because it occured to me that I might be an undiagnosed autistic (I’m 23, to be 24 later this year). I am eternally grateful for the information that you’ve shared here, because it’s helping me to figure out myself and figure out how my mind actually works.

  70. Very glad to see your blog up and running.
    Thank you, Cynthia, for your book Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate. It is changing my life. I have always felt like the proverbial person from another planet. I’ve searched all my life for the puzzle pieces that make up me. At 74, I am now no longer searching. I’ve finally found the rest of them. Finally I know why I have a “Jeopardy! mind” (full of random bits and facts I seem to acquire effortlessly). I know why I have never been able to stand hand creme or body lotion. I know why I can’t seem ever to be “socially appropriate” without a whole lot of effort at playing a role. I know why I seem not to be able to learn that, either. I’m wired differently.
    Thank you, thank you, Cynthia, for helping to make me whole and to set me free.

  71. I wanted to thank you for the work you’ve put into this blog. I was undiagnosed until I was about 42 or 43 (turning 50 in a couple of weeks), and it wasn’t until that time that I started being comfortable in my own skin. So many of my behaviors now make sense.

    And speaking of sense, I have long known that I was different in how I experienced the world, but had no idea that it may be related to my being an Aspie. Several of my senses have always seemed to be heightened compared to the NTs I spent my life around, and I recently read your series on senses and the Spectrum. I also seem to have a touch of synesthesia. This thought recently occurred to me, that I was sensing things differently than others, and I did some research when I got home, and found this blog.

    Starting with sight, colors have always fascinated me. My vision is certainly hyper-sensitive, in several ways. I didn’t know that most people can’t see UV wavelengths at all. In college, I learned that others can’t see the patterns on flower petals acting as guides for pollinators. I can see when somebody starts to get a sunburn well before they are aware of it. I wear a lot of tie-dye shirts. I am instantly attracted towards blues, both bright and dark, shiny or glossy, with a lesser attraction to black, greens, purples, reds, and white. I am repulsed by yellows and orange. When I listen to someone speaking, the words appear on the inside of my mind in colors. The oranges do not bother me much, for which I am grateful, as I am in awe every night watching the sunset.

    With sound, I too cannot easily set my filters to block out extraneous noises. I wondered how people could so easily focus on only the relevant sounds for what they are hearing. Sounds I do not like, such as much dissonance, loud, pounding music or voices, or the squeaky-voiced comedic parts in show tunes, physically repulse me, as you noted, comparable to eating raw chicken. Sounds I like, especially music, give me the chills, goosebumps, and literally do cool me down. I was at a crowded concert of my favorite band, in a hot and humid building, but when the first notes appeared, as they started playing, my arms broke out in goosebumps, and my friend’s daughter, next to me, felt some cooling relief coming from my arm. She told her friend, and the two of them were huddled towards me for the rest of the show. Sounds can also be colorful.

    With taste (and related senses) and smell, the foods and smells I enjoy are so very stimulating. Especially regarding ice cream. I will kill someone to get to chocolate peanut butter ice cream, and if there is crunch chocolate bits or peanut butter, and especially cookie dough (especially peanut butter cookie dough and chocolate cookie dough, as I found all mixed together in several brands recently), you’d better not get between me and that flavor/texture/mouthfeel, or I might hurt you! There are other foods that repulse me, much stronger than dislike, and I remember being forced to eat things I couldn’t handle the taste, smell, texture, and or mouthfeel, and I am shaking just reminiscing.

    With touch and the other 3 senses, I have long had both pleasure and plain from the feel of certain fabrics, and I am so glad I live in southern Florida because I really like to wear as little clothes as possible, which feels proper to my body. If I can, I wear a t-shirt and shorts, and little slip-on shoes, only wearing pants or a jacket if it is the one week of cold weather per year, or if I have some formal event to attend (I have a lot, being active in the Freemasons). I have had 2 severe car accidents, so now I have both hypo-active and hyper-active senses of touch, especially in my extremities. I can feel things too little or not at all, or too much. My sense of pain is horrible. I have nerve pain, muscle pain, and joint pain, both from being born before I was finished and as a result of accidents and injuries. At home, I can’t even use a glass for water at dinner, only a plastic cup, as I have been sure of holding the glass tightly enough and dropped it several times, and I have even held a glass with what I thought was the correct pressure and proceeded to shatter the glass in my hand.

    I noticed you had not written in several years, so I hope all is well with you and your family.

    1. Scott🦋 Beautiful kaleidoscope of a sensitive, sensual, vivid self & authentic elemental creature. Perfect poetry to feel your story this morn, way over yonder in New Zealand🌈❤️

      I’ve loosely followed this blog because my daughter is a highly sensitive androgynous aspie teen. I’m a highly sensitive, sensual expressive organic woman – also a being holding a complex trauma story. Few days back, my GP suggested I express autistic traits as well. Nearly 50, too🌈🌈🌈.

      I felt your words so deeply. Intuitively, I sensed myself feel simply natural & free reading your story. Thank you for this utterly wonderful gift of your sharing yourself🌟

      Ps. Wearing a vibrant blue 👗 😉

  72. Hi. I am so happy that you’ve gotten such success. I will be purchasing your book soon. Your site was one of the first when at 25, I finally figured out what was going on with me. I’m a self diagnosed aspie, two/three therapists swear I fall right outside of the line
    for a diagnosis, not meeting the same level of pattern behaviors but I’m female sooo …
    I just want to say thank you. You’ve changed my life and given me a self worth through this blog over the last five years.
    I’m currently struggling with being assertive at work esp around coworkers who try to dominate and intimidate. I don’t like being mean, or fake, but I’ve had enough of being “good”/quite. Do you have a list of rules for how to stand up for yourself? When I try it normally looks more like a tantrumn. Thanks.

  73. Cynthia, i just finished reafding your book, “I Thinkl I might Be Autistic.” I imagine that title explains why I picked it up from my library. Never diagnosed and at age 67 I’ve probably seen my best days/years go by so it probably doesn’t matter whether or not I learn a definitive answer, but you led me to the AQ and the title still applies. I do have a question or two. you refer to the spectrum as being a “neurological” phenomenon. That implies that the brains of Aspies should differ from those of NTs. What is the difference? Is it anatomically apparent? What section of the brain is “affected,” and how? Thank you.

  74. I just finished your book and I don’t know if I can thank you enough. I was tested for aspergers and was told that though I many of the traits, I am not an aspi because I am holding down a job and am married. I have struggled all my life with this and your book described many of the things I struggle with daily along with giving me a solid path forward. Thank you!!!!!!!

  75. Wow! I found you quite by accident while Googling Asperger’s. I ordered and read your book “I Think I Might be Autisitic” and read it in a single day last week! It was very helpful as I self-diagnosed a few days before my 64th birthday in April. I am retired and live in Canada.
    There is no doubt now in my mind that I am an Aspie. Everything fits. I did several tests and then told my wife. I did some tests on some other disorders just to be sure. I finally did the Aspie Quizz with my wife. We were astounded. She pointed out some traits I did not realize were autisitic. Now I am on an emotional roller-coaster.
    My wife had suspected I had Asperger’s for two years now. A whole new dimension has opened up in our lives and we are talking about it like crazy LOL! I think I am too old to get a diagnosis. It would serve no purpose, cost precious money, dig up a long past I don’t want to relive, and offer no change to my life.
    Your blog is just awesome! Thank you so much for all your work. I am so enlightened and no longer feel alone. 😀

  76. A friend told me yesterday that she thought I was on the spectrum. Me: I don’t see it. Her: you have a lot of the characteristics. Me: Like what? She started listing them and I checked off a lot of the boxes. Some I didn’t know how to answer, but she’s known me for a while and assured me that I hit more boxes than I realized. She then told me I was “different,” “didn’t fit in with other people,” “eccentric,” and “weird, but in a nice way.” Called my daughter who has two diagnosed sons and told her what was said. She said she would have told me that a long time ago, but didn’t want me to think she was being weird. To be honest, I’ve known these things about myself for a long time, but didn’t have a name for it. I doubt I’d get a diagnosis at my age, 71, because I’m so good at covering (at least I thought I was). My daughter suggested your blog and book. So, here I am, feeling like a total nerd, but starving to hear from other adults “like me.”

    1. Like you, I’m a woman in my 70’s. There seem to be more and more of us recently discovering Asperger’s late in life, which was not known when we went to school and may have been spotted. It explained a lot about my life and certainly why I was always “different”. I had previously thought it was due to my immigrant background, but this just added another layer of otherness. I agree that getting a diagnosis at this stage is pointless; the major part of our lives is behind us and there is nothing that can be changed now. I suppose it helps to know that there’s a medical reason for how our lives turned out, not because we caused it ourselves. I wish this knowledge had come much earlier. I honestly don’t see much that I can do with this at this point in my life, except acknowledge it.

  77. I’ve just been diagnosed at 60 – another one of the lost generation before Asperger’s/ASD was recognised more widely although my parents recognised issues and sought paediatric support for me as a child. I’ve just finished ‘Nerdy,Shy and Socially Inappropriate’. The last month or so has been full of reading and thinking of course as I try to integrate the recognition of so many of the traits and things in my life with the knowledge that my sense of alienation and so on had some basis in reality. The diagnosis actually helps me to reconcile my inner image of myself with the outer image reflected back to me by the outside world in all its tarnished glory lol. Cynthia, your book has been an enormous eye opener in this regard and there is so much of what you say which is immediately pertinent to me at this time of uncertainty, and reanchoring my Self. Thank you for sharing it :), it is helping me enormously..

  78. Cynthia,

    Thank you so much for your book–Nerdy, Shy, & Socially Inappropriate has already changed the way I view myself and how I treat others. I realize now that I can do anything a neurotypical can do–I just have to be more conscious and deliberate. The only thing so far (I’m almost done with the book) that I will have to turn to my ASD friend for in terms of guidance would be handling conflict…I am male and the pressure on me to do so has been unbearable for reasons you mentioned in the book. Other than that, you described me so well, and I’m thankful for your work. ❤

  79. Hi Cynthia, I’m a 46 year old Aspie mum of two, and have just started reading Shy, Nerdy and Socially Awkward. It’s making me cry, because it’s like reading about myself. I was diagnosed 2 years ago, and it’s still hard to get people to understand how hard just living a “normal” life is. It’s wonderful to know there are people out there like yourself who really get it. Thank you.

  80. After recently discovering my own ASD and likely Asperger’s, I was grateful for finally being able to read about someone who experiences the world as I do and to know that my experiences were not unique.

  81. Hi! I just finished reading your book (“I Think I Might Be Autistic”), which I found tremendously helpful. For a number of years, I’ve suspected that I might be on the spectrum, especially after remembering some of the things my mother told me about how I behaved when I was a kid. Her description of me was almost word-for-word what an autistic person is often described as. I’m in my 60s now, and have been able to get through life by learning how to do things by head that others are able to do by heart. I’m not sure how I would benefit from an official diagnosis at this point, but the more I learn, the more likely it is that I’ll be able to develop self-acceptance.

  82. A huge thankyou Cynthia for your blog. Understanding myself and who and what I am has made a huge difference to my life now. I was unhappy for years given the social problems I always seemed to have. I always knew I was different but never knew why until I came across Asperger’s blogs and yours in particular. While the past is past and cannot be revisited and changed (so sad about that am I) at least I won’t die in ignorance.

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one woman's thoughts about life on the spectrum

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