***edit February 24, 2019 -The DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual edition V) was published in 2013 and removed the diagnosis of Asperger’s. Asperger’s Syndrome now falls under the umbrella term Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), in which patients can be grouped along a continuum. I have only just, 6 years later, cycled back to this dusty blog. I have chosen to keep the original wording not as erasure of my own identity as an Autist. But as a record of where we have come from on this social journey. Onwards to better things for the Autistic children. ❤ ***
Aspergal – (As-pur’-gul) adjective Characterized by influences of Asperger’s Syndrome
AsperGal – (Ass-purr-gal’) noun A woman with Asperger’s Syndrome
Do I have Asperger’s Syndrome or am I just influenced by the parent that was my primary mirror as a child? Am I an AsperGal? Or am I just aspergal through my upbringing?
My father was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in the summer of 2012 (at the age of 75). Dad was my primary mirror as I grew up. My 3 siblings looked to Mom for their connection and daily (unconscious) instruction on how to be human. I looked to Dad…even tho’ our connections were quite inconsistent.
This past summer (2013) I finally stumbled upon the (lesser known) symptoms of Asperger’s in Females…and in my stumble recognized myself gazing back from the list of traits. Looking back at my life through Asperger’s lenses, everything makes sense. EVERYTHING. All the confusing parts just meld into integration…AHA!
But….do I really have Asperger’s? Many people, even in my own family, don’t believe I do. Others are as convinced as I, that I do have Aspergers (thanks Mom!).
September 2013 and I have begun the process of seeking a formal diagnosis for myself. However, I am daunted by the journey ahead of me. Many women who have gone down that path before me report of extreme frustration, encountering denial from health professionals, more self doubt (as if they didn’t have enough already!) and mis-diagnosis of bipolar and schizophrenia.
The last is the most scary for me. I don’t want to open my deepest hidden self to a mental health professional to have them classify me with a “disorder” (that I don’t really have) that they will want to medicate me out of. As to what I do want from an ‘official’ dx…stay tuned that’s another post.
In 1944 Hans Asperger studied young males (exclusively) who showed the same traits of divergent thinking. Asperger’s Syndrome was named after him and his research is the foundation for the standards of diagnosing Asperger’s. Here is a list of general Asperger’s traits
However, as in other areas of medicine (example heart disease) there is a new approach of gender based medicine. One size does not fit all and women display different ‘symptoms’ whether it comes to heart disease or Asperger’s Syndrome. Unfortunately, the research on women with Asperger’s is still in its infancy. Rather than any consensus on official parameters, the traits are being cataloged by people (mostly women) who are interested in the subject of furthur diversity, within neuro-diversity. Here is a working list of Asperger traits in women.
So, I return to the question above…Am I an AsperGal, or am I aspergal? Time will tell!