Wednesday, 7 May 2014

I forget to tell him about sponges.

Been quiet here for a little while, sorry about that. I've been mulling and struggling with words to describe what I'm going through. I'm going to go for emptying my head on to the page, and you can make of it what you will.

I've now had two meetings with a clinical psychologist for the purposes of diagnostic assessment. We've spent about 4 1/2 hours talking our way through a DISCO which in this case isn't a dance with flashing lights. Instead it's a structured interview covering every aspect of development. It's best done with a parent, but that wasn't feasible, so we had to work from what I knew.

And despite taking over 4 hours, I'm still thinking of things I didn't say.

So we talked about textures that I find problematic - velvet makes my hair stand on end. Literally. You can see it. But I forget to say that certain textures of sponge do much the same and I can't touch them, and that I don't like sticky paints or doughs or things like that on my fingers. (Or probably anywhere else, but you don't tend to paint or knead dough with your feet.)

We talked about literal understanding of language, and I explained about parsing everything multiple times and working out the most likely one. And how frustrating I find wrongly worded things, like the painted sign on the road that says Keep Clear. What, I should somehow vault my car over that space? You actually mean don't stop/wait here don't you? But I didn't tell him about the numerous occasions when I miss the joke, or I'm in a conversation, and I gradually understand that there's a whole other conversation going on that I just haven't picked up on.

We talked about hugs and greetings, and I mentioned the minefield that is social greetings. Are you going to hug me? Go for a kiss? One cheek or two? Which one first? I said I'd like it if people had greeting cards that they handed out - but I knew some people would hand out the wrong ones. (I remember a woman who used to sign off her emails "beware, I may hug you!" and then I went camping with her and never saw her hugging anyone, and she certainly didn't hug me.)

Do I like being hugged? Yes. But I don't like being draped on. (I forgot to say that.) A hug has to be defined, if that makes any sense.

It feels like there were more things I didn't say than I did say.

It also feels like a test I failed.

I'm not sure what I'm looking for here. An excuse? A reason for being so socially inept and incompetent? Absolution for all those times that I just haven't understood, that I've put my foot in it, said something that other people find beyond the pale?

I really don't know any more. In the pre diagnostic interview we talked about whether I wanted to go forward for diagnosis and I did, I very much did. But now, with diagnosis hanging in the balance and feeling that possibly I just didn't present as sufficiently autistic, now I'm ground to a halt. What if I'm not autistic? What if I'm just bad at people, what if there is no excuse?

I now have to wait for probably a couple of weeks I guess before I get the draft report in. Somehow I've got to pick myself up and actually do things in that time. Like trying to earn a living, as well as just the day to day tasks of having a family all around me. I'll manage - today we were out in the garden by ten, with chalks and bubbles, then we came in and did painting, we had food and snacks (home baked banana cake) and we'll try not to think about all the unwritten blog posts and emails.

I recognise this feeling, this state. In the past it would have been called depression, but I'm not depressed. I'm empty. Of energy, of emotion, of point. I'm Clockwork mouse, my spring's wound down and I need winding up.


  1. I'm not an autistic spectrum specialist, nor have I had masses of experience with it. However I would say everything you've described above puts you somewhere on the spectrum. Is it definitely autism and not asperger's they're investigating? Either way, I'd say it's not just social ineptness but *something*. Have a hug, and I actually would hug you! ;-)

  2. Asperger's is part of the autistic spectrum now, rather than a separate diagnosis. It is what mine says now :) Must write properly on it.


Removed word verification to see whether people can actually comment. Put on moderation on older posts to prevent spam.