Top 10 reasons for adults to seek an Asperger Syndrome diagnosis

Lisa Jo Rudy


Asperger Syndrome (AS) is a high functioning form of autism that only became an "official" diagnosis in 1994. That means many adults with AS have never been diagnosed. Diagnosis can provide a framework for labeling, understanding and learning about behavioral and emotional challenges that have perhaps seemed inexplicable up to this point. This can diminish shame, lead to a greater sense of community and begin the process of learning to live more adaptively with an Asperger's brain. It may also help others in your life understand and respond differently.

1. Asperger Syndrome May Be Getting in the Way of Your Career
You never seem to get a job that reflects your abilities, even though all your credentials are terrific on paper. Or you're passed over for promotions regularly because you just don't get office politics. The problem could be AS.

2. Asperger Syndrome May Be Getting in the Way of Friendships
You have a tough time making and/or keeping friends, and don't know why. Or your friends are only interested in you when you're engaged in an activity you share but you haven't built a personal relationship. The problem could be AS.

3. Asperger Syndrome May Be the Reason You "Obsess" on Certain Topics
You've been called "obsessive" or "fanatical" but you feel you're just very interested in one incredibly fascinating topic. You'd like to figure out whether you're right or wrong, and make a good decision about whether to try to expand your interests. It would help to know whether you have AS.

4. Asperger Syndrome May Be Cramping Your Social Style
Parties and social events are a great way to meet people and they can be essential for business, dating, and even a happy marriage. But if you don't know where to stand, how to break into a conversation, what to wear or whether you're talking too loudly, you may need help and support to take part and have fun. And the problem may be AS.

5. Asperger Syndrome May Be Standing in the Way of Romance
You met someone special. You're interested in making a move. Now what? Dating is tough for anyone, but if you have AS it can be downright baffling. Need help? You might need to start with an AS diagnosis.

6. Asperger Syndrome Could Be the Reason You're "Mall-Phobic"
You get easily overwhelmed anytime there's too much sensory input - even at the mall, the grocery store, or at a sporting event. And you'd very much like to be comfortable taking part in those ordinary activities. The problem could be AS, and part of the solution could be getting that diagnosis.

7. Asperger Syndrome May Be Making it Harder to Get Through School
If you have Asperger Syndrome, you may be a visual thinker in a verbal world. With an AS diagnosis, you can get the help and accommodations you need to complete courses, tests and interviews to get the work you want.

8. Asperger Syndrome May Be a Problem in an Important Relationship
Someone you care about has suggested that you may have Asperger Syndrome, and they've pointed to certain behaviors that drive them crazy. They'd like you to get a professional opinion and, ideally, some help. Could they be right? Only an experienced professional can tell you if you have AS.

9. A Diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome May Be the Key to Getting Services You Need
If you do have Asperger Syndrome, you may have encountered problems throughout your life. You may be isolated, low on funds, or even in need of better housing. A diagnosis of AS can qualify you for a variety of federal services, accommodations and supports.

10. A Diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome Can Open New Doors to Friendships and Community
You've been feeling "different" your whole life. Now, you're hoping to find a community of people who get who you are, how you think, and even how you feel. A diagnosis of AS may give you the push you need to get in touch with autism support groups and connect with that community.

Courtesy of About.com a NY Times Company


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