Battling Aspergers and ADHD at work

 

I changed jobs a few months back and what I knew would be a significant challenge has been more of a battle and for much of the time!

I’ve been forced into confronting my severe ADHD and Aspergers on a daily basis and my journey thus far has been painful.

  • The pressure and anxiety have, at times, has been crippling
  • But I’m still on track
  • In uncharted waters!

The prize for overcoming these battles is the dream that I have cherished since my youth.

But in order to cross the finish line I will need to reach far beyond the limits of my neurological impairments.

  • This is going to draw on skills that in some cases I will be accessing for the first time
  • As well as all of the mindfulness I can muster

To achieve this leaves me but one course of action.

I’m gonna to have to really suck it up

  • finally confronting my neurological demons……
  • and transcending my Aspergers and ADHD!

See you on the other side.

 

 

 

My RDOS result – An Aspie alphabet soup!

I wasn’t surprised with my overall Aspie/Neurotypical score.

  • My AQ score was 45/50 – a lost cause Aspie
  • another ‘online’ ADHD test concluded ‘severe ADHD’ – like I needed reminding!
  • I’m taking prescription anti-depressants, which the test also picked up

But I was very surprised by the other indications of extreme:

  • OCD
  • ODD
  • Social phobia
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia

and finally, for good measure, topped off with possible bipolar!

On reflection, I probably wouldn’t disagree with any of it except the bipolar, which 2 Doctors have ruled out.

I suppose it would be fair to say that a profile like this might be a little disabling?

Explains why I’ve spent my entire life feeling like I was canoeing with a tennis racket.

Two questions remain:

  • What kind of state/mess would I be in if I wasn’t also intellectually gifted?
  • What direction would my intellect have taken without the alphabet soup of impairments/disorders?

My RDOS test results in full

Your Aspie score: 176 of 200

Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 43 of 200

You are very like!y an Aspie

Aspie talent

This group contains intellectually related Aspie traits. Typical traits are related to interests (e.g. having strong interests; hyper focusing; having periods of contemplation; collecting information; good long term memory related to interests; figuring out how things work; making connections between things; strong-willed; stubborn).

Other traits are related to information processing (e.g. noticing details; finding patterns; unusual imagination; solving problems in unusual ways; unique ideas). Some people have special talents (e.g. numbers; language; computers; music).

Diagnostic relation

None, but a high score is related to giftedness.

Your group score: 9.9 of 10 (above average).

 

Neurotypical talent

This group contains neurotypical intellectual talents. Often these are defined in terms of Aspie disabilities. Typical traits seem to be adaptations to cooperative living (e.g. giving and remembering verbal instructions; learning from others; describing events; summarizing events; taking notes; keeping track of several conversations; learning things on demand; learning by imitation).

Other traits include multitasking and attention (e.g. doing several things at the same time; rapidly shifting focus; getting back to things quickly), getting a quick picture of one’s environment (e.g. generalizing; getting the overall picture), remembering where things are, grasping abstract concepts and organizing daily life.

Diagnostic relation

No direct, but many diagnoses like ADD/ADHD seem to be related to a low score

Your group score: 0.4 of 10 (below average).

 

Aspie compulsion

This group contains obsessive and compulsive Aspie traits. Typical of this group is a preference for sameness (e.g. routines; lists; schedules; sitting on the same seat; going to the same shop; wearing the same clothes; eating the same food; always doing things in the same way).

Related traits include getting frustrated when interrupted and a need to prepare oneself before doing new things. Some people have strong attachments to objects and like to collect and organize things and may need precision or symmetry.

Diagnostic relation

A high score is related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Your group score: 9.7 of 10 (above average).

 

Neurotypical compulsion

This group contains socially related compulsive traits. Key traits are to enjoy social interaction (e.g. meeting people; involving others; games; crowds; large social networks; hosting events; being a leader; gossip; cheering).

Other traits are related to social conformity (e.g. having views typical of peer group; preferring to socialize with others of the same age and gender; interest for fashions; wearing jewelry; wearing makeup; taking pride in ones appearance, style, image and identity; status seeking; climbing hierarchies).

Diagnostic relation

None.

Your group score: 2.3 of 10 (below average).

 

Aspie social

This group contain Aspie social traits. Important traits are a highly variable activity level with higher than normal motivation threshold.

Other traits include atypical relationship & courtship preferences (partner obsessions; not giving up on relationships; preference for friends of the opposite gender) and sexual preferences. Unusual eating and sleeping patterns as well as having a hard time with authorities and social hierarchy are other traits.

Diagnostic relation

A high score is related to ADD/ADHD, Bipolar and ODD.

Your group score: 9.5 of 10 (above average).

 

Neurotypical social

This group contains neurotypical social traits. The absence of the traits is often described as a dysfunction.

Key traits are adaptations for living in changing social groups (e.g. smalltalk; social chitchat; shaking hands; saying ‘hi’, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’). Related traits are adaptations for socializing with strangers (e.g. being comfortable with strangers; enjoying talking face-to-face with strangers; maintaining large social networks; easy to get to know; talking in public; enjoying uninvited guests).

Other traits are related to friendships and relationships and expressing feelings in typical ways (e.g. making and maintaining friendships and relationships; looking at people you talk to; enjoying hugs and touch; being emotionally close to others; describing and talking about feelings) and cooperation with others (e.g. using others expertise; working while being observed).

Diagnostic relation

A low score is related to Social Phobia.

Your group score: 2.0 of 10 (below average).

 

Aspie communication

This group contains communication related Aspie traits. Key traits in this group are related to atypical nonverbal communication (e.g. odd facial expressions; odd posture; odd prosody; being accused of staring; using unusual sounds in conversations; blinking or rolling eyes; clenching fists; grinding teeth; thrusting tongue; blushing).

Related traits are stims (e.g. wringing hands; rubbing hands; twirling fingers; rocking; tapping eyes; pressing eyes; fiddling with things; pacing; flapping hands; biting self or others; chewing on things; picking scabs; peeling skin flakes; examining hair of others; singing). Tics are also here and are often confused with stims (e.g. stuttering; sniffing; snorting; coughing; echolalia; echopraxia).

Other traits include general communication differences (e.g. not verbalizing thoughts; talking softly or loudly; turning words around; talking to oneself; odd pronunciation; not separating ‘I’, ‘we’ and ‘you’). Some people also prefer to look a lot at people they like and not at all at people they dislike.

Diagnostic relation

A high score is sometimes related to Tourette, but the primary relation is with stimming and unusual communication.

Your group score: 7.0 of 10 (above average).

 

Neurotypical communication

This group contains typical nonverbal communication traits. A key trait is the ability to interpret and show typical nonverbal communication (e.g. facial expressions; body language; courtship; timing; reciprocity; turn-taking; prosody).

The absence of these abilities lead to secondary problems (e.g. unaware of how to behave; unaware of boundaries; being misunderstood; missing hidden agendas; being unaware of others intentions; misinterpreting figures of speech, idioms and allegories; literal interpretation; not knowing when to apologize; saying inappropriate things; seemingly poor empathy).

Diagnostic relation

A low score is related to Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC)

Your group score: 0.5 of 10 (below average).

 

Aspie hunting

This group contains passive hunting traits. One part of the traits is related to preferred habitats (e.g. slowly flowing water; caves; woods; liking mist or fog).

Another part seems to be close-contact hunting traits (e.g. jumping over things; climbing; chasing animals; biting; enjoying spinning in circles; strong grip; strong hands; physical endurance; enjoying rodeo riders). Some other traits are related to sneaking (e.g. sneaking through the woods; sneaking up on animals; walking on toes) and general hunting tactics (e.g. mimicking animal sounds; digging; throwing small things; building traps; fascination for fire; sniffing)

Diagnostic relation

None.

Your group score: 5.8 of 10 (average).

 

Neurotypical hunting

The traits in this group are related to cooperative hunting. These traits are often described in terms of dysfunctions. Typical traits are recollections of environmental information (e.g. positions of things; scores in games; order of words, letters and digits; map reading) and passing on information to others (e.g. passing on messages; knowing left from right; dates and times of events; remembering appointments and events; reading clocks and calendars; carrying over information between contexts).

Other traits are related to trading and exchange with others (e.g. calculating change from a purchase; knowing what to bring to appointments; remembering sequences of past events; remembering formulas; filling out forms).

Diagnostic relation

A low score is related to Dyslexia and Dyscalculia.

Your group score: 1.5 of 10 (below average).

 

Aspie perception

This group contains perception-related Aspie traits. These traits commonly become disabilities, but their core seems to be more sensitive senses (e.g. touch; sound; tactile; smell; taste; light and glare; humidity; changes in air pressure; wind; heat; electromagnetic fields) or less sensitive senses (e.g. pain).

Related to this are instinctual reactions to sensory information (e.g. being distracted by sounds; being afraid of motor-bikes; being afraid of floods or fast running streams; disliking stomping). Other traits are difficulty filtering out speech from background noise and using peripheral vision.

Diagnostic relation

No direct, but Autistics often have differences in perception.

Your group score: 9.5 of 10 (above average).

 

Neurotypical perception

This group contains neurotypical motor abilities and perception traits. The absence of these traits is often referred to as clumsiness. A key trait is the ability to interpret spatial information (e.g. judging distance, speed and acceleration; keeping track of positions of objects; predicting motion; concept of time; optimal pressure to apply).

The absence of these skills leads to secondary problems (e.g. poor fine and gross motor skills; poor body awareness; poor body control; problems with ball sports; poor hand-eye coordination; poor balance; poor handwriting; dropping things).

Diagnostic relation

A low score is related to Dyspraxia.

Your group score: 1.4 of 10 (below average).

 

Environment

This group contains traits that seem to be of environmental origin. Typical traits are related to stress and overload (e.g. shutting down; having a meltdown) and consequences of not fitting in

(e.g. depression; being bullied; being taken advantage of; low self-esteem; suicidal thoughts; harming oneself; mood swings).

Diagnostic relation

A high score is related to many psychiatric diagnoses and is sometimes required in order to get a diagnosis.

Your group score: 9.2 of 10 (above average).

 

Epilogue 

I have read this report several time since I posted it and I am discovering more about myself each time.

It is a remarkably accurate analysis of how I see and interact with the world and the people in it, highlighting the main areas where I struggle and therefore a snap shot of the gulf between me and the neurotypical population and therefore a compass bearing for setting out stepping stones to make my life a little easier?

 

Aspergers and ADHD

 

According to Dr. Russell Barkley, as many as 60% of Autistic people have ADHD.

I am one of them.

 

This set of short video clips, captures the essence of my experience of ADHD.

If you have been touched by ADHD in any way, I hope you find this post helpful.

 

ADHD and Autism contrasted

 

 

ADHD and comorbid disorders

 

 

The ADHD and ODD connection

 

 

ADHD diagnosis acceptance

 

 

ADHD and family awareness

 

 

ADHD is no gift

 

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