Is Autism real or fake?

Luna Novem

Woodpecker
Woman
This seems to be a bit in my lane. This past August, I, well into adulthood, was diagnosed with high-functioning autism. I had been telling my family that something was off about me for decades and after my sister suggested it as a possibility, I went for a series of tests to confirm it. The reason I suspected is at 40, I had never had a boyfriend. I didn't have any close friends, even at college. Unless I was related to either the bride or groom or they went to my parents' church, I never got invited to wedding. I used to go to a largish young adult Bible Study for years and didn't get invited to a single wedding.

However, I was an incredible stickler for the rules while in K-12 and did well in classes, while I floundered in a far less structured college. Here are a few of my takes:

1) As difficult as autistic kids can be, I do think a lot of parents throw their hands up and give up. I read a story about a single mother that allows her 9 year old son to be "home schooled" by his 19 year old sister, even though he is one of the few students that is able to physically attend school. Because the child demanded it and the mother has no spine, he gets to stay home too, eventhough he needed in person learning. Cousin of a cousin of my mine has be diagnosed with autism and his parents leave him mostly to his own devices, with only some help from his school. So he calls everyone multiple times, turning him into a nuisance. I have suggested to get him in touch with a counselor to develop better coping skills and even sent a phone number. My mother was also pretty frustrated with me and had the added of responsibility of looking after her 4 youngest siblings, so she would handle it wrong when I had a meltdown. I don't know a ton about my dad's relationship with my grandfather, but it sounded like he was pretty strict, which is why he became so successful.

2) Lockdowns aren't helping. Turns out it is a pretty bad idea have kids stare at a screen for hours at a time. I go to a clinic of sorts that treats brain functions and memory, and because it is mostly computer games, the kids aren't returning because they can't take anymore screen time. If teachers aren't willing to teach the kids in person, they should have their salaries cut since they are no longer doing classroom management or they should be fired altogether.

3) Sounds like the schools weren't doing that great before lockdowns. I have been reading that recess are getting cut shorter. The one thing that can make a kid more manageable, is being pushed aside and looks like the schools are requiring a lot of woke bullshit in the curriculum. If the kids got funded instead the schools, maybe resource would be used to better help these kids cope.

4) I have told my sister this, but don't get lax with any standards. I am not saying don't help these kids reach deadlines and manage their time better, but never let ADHD and Autism be an excuse. However, do give them extra help to deal with the world. Rarely will they "figure it out," and if they are anything like me, they won't be able to create a support system outside of family. I didn't have any group friends in college, I barely had a single friend. So will everyone else had people to study and socialize with, I couldn't connect with anyone.
Do you mind saying what country you live in? Here in the U.S. I find it incredibly hard (as in, you need to be willing to cough the money up yourself) to get an official diagnosis as an adult.
 

Luna Novem

Woodpecker
Woman
If you don’t mind me asking, so what does this mean for you? What does it change now that you’ve been officially diagnosed?
I'm not Artemis Seven, but I humbly beg allowance to answer this question from a slightly different perspective.

I also discovered my high-functioning autism well into adulthood (age 35-ish). I STRONGLY resonate with Artemis Seven's sentence "something was off about me for decades". When I say that I "discovered" my autism, what I mean is that my "off" traits (one in particular) became so life-altering that I began to seek answers as to what on earth the deal was. Upon discovering that it was a very common trait of autism, my first reaction was "no. No WAY." However, upon further thought and research, it became crystal clear and virtually doubtless.

I was able, with my insurance, to get in to see a neuropsychologist who specializes in autism. While she did not diagnose me, my meeting with her was only further confirmation. She was finishing my sentences. I'd be trying to explain something about myself that no one else understood, and she'd complete the sentence, and I'd practically scream "YES!!!" She put me on her schedule for official testing, but when I discovered that my insurance would not cover it, and the out-of-pocket cost was in the neighborhood of two grand, I canceled.

A few years later, I moved cities, and my new city had a free adult autism screening test available. I took it. I was told that the score needed to be somewhere in the range of 60 (I don't remember exactly) in order for them to say, "Yes, we highly recommend moving forward with more testing." I doubled the score.

I have zero doubt in my mind that I do indeed fall on the spectrum. It explains everything about me; everything about my past. It's really interesting to look at my old report cards (my mom held onto them) going all the way back to age six. "Luna Novem isn't living up to her potential. Luna Novem is very disorganized." Etc., etc. I was labeled very early as "gifted", and so it was always a mystery to the adults in my life (Why is a gifted child... well... FAILING at so much in her academic life?)

I understand now. I understand the whys and hows of that building block of my life and so many others. However, there are still people very close to me who deny outright that I am on the spectrum. My sister, for example, can't believe it. After all, I'm verbal; I can make eye contact; I've managed to have a long-term relationship. She'll be the first to admit that I'm "weird", but autistic? No! While I myself don't doubt (especially after all the research I've done about females on the spectrum... we present very differently than boys) it would be amazing to have an "official" diagnosis, solely for justification purposes. Sometimes I consider making the sacrifice to pay out of pocket, because it would just mean that dang much to me. I (like many autistics) am a very honest and authentic person, and it drives me batty to have someone think I am "making it up".
 

Artemis Seven

Chicken
Woman
If you don’t mind me asking, so what does this mean for you? What does it change now that you’ve been officially diagnosed?
For one, a little relief that it wasn't completely my fault. Can social skills be worked on, yes, but I actually had a harder time than most. It gave me a map on other things that can be done, like skills workshops or individualized therapy that deals with adult autism. Admittedly, things are harder during COVID. Not only are there that many in person meetings, but my hours have been further cut back. I don't plan on sharing my diagnosis with anyone outside close family. I want to train with new methods that can manage my autism, since I get easily frustrated. Also confirmed my ADHD, but when you have ADHD on top of autism, a lot ADHD medications don't work properly. However, eliminating foods you have intolerances too, and processed foods and refined sugars, does help. Also, despite my age, if I ever manage to have a kid, I know what to look for since I inherited my Autism from my father.
Do you mind saying what country you live in? Here in the U.S. I find it incredibly hard (as in, you need to be willing to cough the money up yourself) to get an official diagnosis as an adult.
I am in the US. It was hard for me to get my diagnosis and expensive. I saw a counselor for 5 years, every week and when I floated the possibility of being autistic, he said he suspected for a while. If he was just trying to save face for missing a key diagnosis that could help me or if he actually was withholding info that I need for "my own good", I felt betrayed. I saw two specialists after that, because the first person mainly dealt with kids, and the adult testing is completely different I learned later. Any person that tells you that they can diagnose you after only one or a few session over the phone or video chat, doesn't deal with adult autism or hasn't been keeping current. The adult version has an online component and at least has in-person 3-4 hours of testing. That test cost me $1,200, but I did a full psych evaluation to rule in or out any other issues I might have. The Autism test is the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule - Second Edition (ADOS-2). For me, it was worth it to know since I am middle age and need to work for a few more decades and always had a poor social life. My dad won't be taking the test since he has already retired and has done alright without it and has been married to my mother for decades. I used my HSA account to pay for the testing.

Luna Novem, your story of seeking out an answer sound similar to mine. There is a theory that a lot of woman that have eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia might be on the spectrum as well. The unpopular kids, the girl that has "cooties," has a real possibility of being on the spectrum. Hopefully the knowledge of these different types of kids will give them the help they need.
 
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J.E.

Robin
Autism is real but it is not, like many other mental disorders, a fixed state. It depends on the degree of Autism. Low to mid-level Autism is fixable, high level Autism may be fixed to a tolerable degree. As with any spiritual disease, you need a proper understanding of the natural law and how our mind/body works in order to minister the proper care and healing. We treat mental disease with drugs and enabling therapy which never goes to the root and source of the problem, instead makes you funtioning enough to be tolerated by the system by being an impotent and dysfunctional member of society or until the mental suffering is so unbearable that the patient commits suicide. It is not the official narrative obviously, but if you look how mental illnesses were treated back then and now, then the purpose of our "therapeutic system" becomes obvious.

Back to autism: these kids need a guided exposure to the dangers of the world, but before that they need the will to confornt their demons in order to exorcise them. If we'd have capable psychiatrists or priests, they would exorcise the Autism demon in Jesu name, but most lack faith and understanding of exorcism. Either long term therapy by exposure and confrontation; the patient needs the right intentions. Or quick therapy through real exorcism. Since the latter lacks as good as entirely, the former is the only solution. Imagine it being a rite of passage, of initiation into manhood. If the initiation is successful, the (former) Autist is a respectable and valuable member of society, independently if he is socially handicapped or not. The solipsistic egocentrism and the irrational fear is gone, which is most important.
 

stugatz

Pelican
It's real, but overdiagnosed to a point where it's almost a racket. I was diagnosed as an aspie in high school, and when in a school therapy discussion with others who were on the spectrum, I quickly realized I wasn't one of them. I guess that I superficially resembled one (socially awkward, obsessive interests, major social issues) and that was enough for them to get a bunch of funding off of me.

I'd struggled for years socially (more than other kids) but I'm 100% certain those problems came from moving every two years and being a generally shy and introverted person that was a bully magnet. (My home life too - which is not something I'm going into here.) Towards the end of high school, my grades bottomed out and I barely ended up graduating - the pressure of everything got to me to a point where I almost was doing what I'd call a sit-down strike.

Today I'd describe myself as socially adept with the right people, and I've never lacked friends or women interested in me - but I've never been able to really determine what's off about me. I believe I have a personality disorder.
 

Vigilant

Woodpecker
Woman
It's real, but overdiagnosed to a point where it's almost a racket. I was diagnosed as an aspie in high school, and when in a school therapy discussion with others who were on the spectrum, I quickly realized I wasn't one of them. I guess that I superficially resembled one (socially awkward, obsessive interests, major social issues) and that was enough for them to get a bunch of funding off of me.

I'd struggled for years socially (more than other kids) but I'm 100% certain those problems came from moving every two years and being a generally shy and introverted person that was a bully magnet. (My home life too - which is not something I'm going into here.) Towards the end of high school, my grades bottomed out and I barely ended up graduating - the pressure of everything got to me to a point where I almost was doing what I'd call a sit-down strike.

Today I'd describe myself as socially adept with the right people, and I've never lacked friends or women interested in me - but I've never been able to really determine what's off about me. I believe I have a personality disorder.
I'd be less inclined to accept disorder framing. You're probably perfectly peculiar.
 
Autism is real. It's more real than usual in CE bc of the spike in autism due to the impurities found in mass-produced vaccines. I myself am a victim of this. I place on the autistic scale due to a double whammy: I was injected with a plethora of mercury through poor-quality vaccines throughout the 80's/90's, and got a mouthful of mercury-leaching amalgamate in my fillings. I was sperged by the US government. Where's my check?
When these impurities are corrected out of future mass-laboratory-experiments-on-the-populace, there will be a far lower incidence of autism in future generations.
Autism will fall as surely as madness fell in Rome after they stopped lining their aqueducts with lead.
 

Luna Novem

Woodpecker
Woman
Autism is real. It's more real than usual in CE bc of the spike in autism due to the impurities found in mass-produced vaccines. I myself am a victim of this. I place on the autistic scale due to a double whammy: I was injected with a plethora of mercury through poor-quality vaccines throughout the 80's/90's, and got a mouthful of mercury-leaching amalgamate in my fillings. I was sperged by the US government. Where's my check?
When these impurities are corrected out of future mass-laboratory-experiments-on-the-populace, there will be a far lower incidence of autism in future generations.
Autism will fall as surely as madness fell in Rome after they stopped lining their aqueducts with lead.
OK, so this is interesting. I've heard many neurotypicals say that vaccines cause autism; I've never heard an autistic say so. As an autistic myself, it seems strange to think that a vaccine could cause autism.

Please help me understand your line of thinking. I usually point to my ability to memorize birthdays when I'm talking about this. I have a collection of about 150 or more memorized birthdays; many belonging to people I have not seen in 25-30 plus years. Thursday, for example, is the birthday of a boy from my 5th grade class who I have not seen since 1990.

How would a vaccine cause this ability?
 

Vigilant

Woodpecker
Woman
Please help me understand your line of thinking. I usually point to my ability to memorize birthdays when I'm talking about this. I have a collection of about 150 or more memorized birthdays; many belonging to people I have not seen in 25-30 plus years. Thursday, for example, is the birthday of a boy from my 5th grade class who I have not seen since 1990.

How would a vaccine cause this ability?
So funny!
 

Vigilant

Woodpecker
Woman
Yeah I mean I'm totally serious.... I don't mean to come across in any way as though I am making light of or demeaning LightofApollo's opinion... I'm genuinely curious.
Yes, I get that :) I have no position on whether vaccines cause autism, despite reading about it. I do wonder if the premise of autism is true because the medical establishment is to be taken with a huge chunk of salt, so I question everything. I'm still in the process of figuring out why autism is so prevalent.
 

Slide-Rule

Sparrow
It's real. I have a younger sibling diagnosed with it. I also had the responsibility of a child diagnosed with autism dumped on me, making me a depressed suicidal wreck before I was ten... I've wonder if I am on the spectrum myself. I don't have any official diagnosis, but some of the symptoms match up with me. I think I'm just a normal, quiet, introverted guy.

I don't know if autism is "over diagnosed" or if we're just getting better at diagnosing it.

I tend to think that it might be that more and more people who are on the spectrum, instead of going into a monastery or becoming a nun like they would've 1,000 years ago, and making copies of The Bible and other classical works, are going into programming engineering and similar jobs, making a decent amount money, and meeting one another and having kids and families (I think pretty much everyone, guys and girls, in my Differential Equations class was on the spectrum to one degree or another).
 

get2choppaaa

Pelican
I have a child with Autism.

I noticed it when he was 1 year old after his 1 year vaccines. At the time I was only seeing him once a month due to divorce/military distance.

I am of the opinion that the fever he had post vaccine caused brain inflammation.T That inflammation caused mental regression.

He went from saying "dada" and engaged in his eye contact to spaced out. Its taken 2.5 years to get him anywhere near where he was at 1.

I also think some people are also looking for reasons to say their kid is special or looking for a reason why they themselves are different so that can have a reason to not take responsibility for behavior.
 

Mrs.DanielH

Robin
Woman
Raw intelligence is genetic. The application of it is environmental. For simplicity's sake, intelligence is "located in the brain. The brain is part of the nervous system. Now think of all the neurological malformations and syndromes, etc that can be cause by exposure to a certain chemical during pregnancy. The brain doesn't reach "maturity" until age 25. We know of the blood-brain barrier, but it is unethical to formally study new chemicals on humans. Therefore, we do not know 100% of the mechanism of the blood-brain barrier. You reminded me of someone i know who is really good with calendars. He can tell you the day of the week for any date. Now he was pretty high functioning, don't know if they labeled him autistic. Many people with extremely high IQ throughout history have been loners, have intense interest in one subject, etc. That's probably how most major discoveries have been made. Prior to pharmaceuticals, these people were just "oddballs" in society, but some of them had families and interacted in their own ways. Now enter vaccines. You have a toddler with high intelligence, but you inject them with a neurotoxin. Their natural intelligence is still there because it's genetic, but the environmental influence on this ability is so damaging that the child can no longer function in society. Now comes along medications and the child isn't just and "oddball". Now they have a disease that has to be treated. But modern medicine doesn't treat diseases, they treat symptoms. So they give the child an antipsychotic or a tranquilizer, then the child's nervous system is being attacked directly. I'd love to time travel to study the history of this. I think it existed in the past, but perhaps in a less severe form. I'm not saying vaccines are the only cause, but most people are ignorant as to how the brain and nervous system actually work. So they knock environmental influences.

Anyway, LunaNovem, i don't think the vaccines cause supernatural abilities like you being able to memorize birthdays. I think that's just a gift from God, your raw intelligence and a sign of your brain's structure. But the interaction of genes and environment is very complex when it comes to the nervous system because at the end of the day, the nervous system "controls" your entire body. I find it fascinating, which is why I chose it as my major even though it wasn't the best for getting a job out of college.
 

FrancisK

Woodpecker
Gold Member
OK, so this is interesting. I've heard many neurotypicals say that vaccines cause autism; I've never heard an autistic say so. As an autistic myself, it seems strange to think that a vaccine could cause autism.

Please help me understand your line of thinking. I usually point to my ability to memorize birthdays when I'm talking about this. I have a collection of about 150 or more memorized birthdays; many belonging to people I have not seen in 25-30 plus years. Thursday, for example, is the birthday of a boy from my 5th grade class who I have not seen since 1990.

How would a vaccine cause this ability?

Curious here, why would a odd knack for remembering birthdays cause you to label yourself with a condition?
 

FrancisK

Woodpecker
Gold Member
It's real, but overdiagnosed to a point where it's almost a racket. I was diagnosed as an aspie in high school, and when in a school therapy discussion with others who were on the spectrum, I quickly realized I wasn't one of them. I guess that I superficially resembled one (socially awkward, obsessive interests, major social issues) and that was enough for them to get a bunch of funding off of me.

I'd struggled for years socially (more than other kids) but I'm 100% certain those problems came from moving every two years and being a generally shy and introverted person that was a bully magnet. (My home life too - which is not something I'm going into here.) Towards the end of high school, my grades bottomed out and I barely ended up graduating - the pressure of everything got to me to a point where I almost was doing what I'd call a sit-down strike.

Today I'd describe myself as socially adept with the right people, and I've never lacked friends or women interested in me - but I've never been able to really determine what's off about me. I believe I have a personality disorder.

Good for you for fighting through it and adapting instead of letting them brand a label on you in return for that automatic crutch!
 

DanielaEverheart

Pigeon
Woman
(...)

2) Lockdowns aren't helping. Turns out it is a pretty bad idea have kids stare at a screen for hours at a time. I go to a clinic of sorts that treats brain functions and memory, and because it is mostly computer games, the kids aren't returning because they can't take anymore screen time. If teachers aren't willing to teach the kids in person, they should have their salaries cut since they are no longer doing classroom management or they should be fired altogether.
Excellent post Artemis. I just hope you mean to gather in one classroom instead of a teacher visiting each home at a time, which wouldn't be feasible in many countries :)
 

Luna Novem

Woodpecker
Woman
Curious here, why would a odd knack for remembering birthdays cause you to label yourself with a condition?
It's one of many things. Each of my weird traits, looked at individually, could well have other explanations. It was only when I began to look at everything under one umbrella that I made the connection. And then, when I began to study how autism looks in females, the connection clicked even tighter. I wrote a long blog post once about making the discovery. A parallel experience would be that you don't think of lung cancer just because you have a chronic cough, but you surely may begin to think of it if you add in five or six or more other lung cancer symptoms.
 

Vigilant

Woodpecker
Woman
I'm not Artemis Seven, but I humbly beg allowance to answer this question from a slightly different perspective.

I also discovered my high-functioning autism well into adulthood (age 35-ish). I STRONGLY resonate with Artemis Seven's sentence "something was off about me for decades". When I say that I "discovered" my autism, what I mean is that my "off" traits (one in particular) became so life-altering that I began to seek answers as to what on earth the deal was. Upon discovering that it was a very common trait of autism, my first reaction was "no. No WAY." However, upon further thought and research, it became crystal clear and virtually doubtless.

I was able, with my insurance, to get in to see a neuropsychologist who specializes in autism. While she did not diagnose me, my meeting with her was only further confirmation. She was finishing my sentences. I'd be trying to explain something about myself that no one else understood, and she'd complete the sentence, and I'd practically scream "YES!!!" She put me on her schedule for official testing, but when I discovered that my insurance would not cover it, and the out-of-pocket cost was in the neighborhood of two grand, I canceled.

A few years later, I moved cities, and my new city had a free adult autism screening test available. I took it. I was told that the score needed to be somewhere in the range of 60 (I don't remember exactly) in order for them to say, "Yes, we highly recommend moving forward with more testing." I doubled the score.

I have zero doubt in my mind that I do indeed fall on the spectrum. It explains everything about me; everything about my past. It's really interesting to look at my old report cards (my mom held onto them) going all the way back to age six. "Luna Novem isn't living up to her potential. Luna Novem is very disorganized." Etc., etc. I was labeled very early as "gifted", and so it was always a mystery to the adults in my life (Why is a gifted child... well... FAILING at so much in her academic life?)

I understand now. I understand the whys and hows of that building block of my life and so many others. However, there are still people very close to me who deny outright that I am on the spectrum. My sister, for example, can't believe it. After all, I'm verbal; I can make eye contact; I've managed to have a long-term relationship. She'll be the first to admit that I'm "weird", but autistic? No! While I myself don't doubt (especially after all the research I've done about females on the spectrum... we present very differently than boys) it would be amazing to have an "official" diagnosis, solely for justification purposes. Sometimes I consider making the sacrifice to pay out of pocket, because it would just mean that dang much to me. I (like many autistics) am a very honest and authentic person, and it drives me batty to have someone think I am "making it up".
Is it possible that many whom are labeled as high-functioning autistic, are actually just peculiar, and that this form of peculiarity is one whom does not want to mimic the status quo, being a more genuine, honest to (perhaps) a fault person? I have met people who are high-functioning, and they seem healthy, just with a uniqueness of tendencies. Mainstream pressure seems to produce unrealistic criteria, for what they deem acceptable behaviour, yet rewards perversion. Who decides the criteria?
 
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