Un-diagnosed Autism

Any kind of un-diagnosed mental health problem can become a huge issue in families and the general population if the person with the mental health issue does not recognize there is a problem.  I am familiar with un-diagnosed autism.  It has happened in my family.  I also understand the ramifications of autism when the person who is manifesting the symptoms does not recognize their own symptoms as a problem and will not talk about it.

A person with autism will be socially shy and at times inept.  Their thinking is rigid and it is their way or the highway.  They  can and often do, if allowed to get away with it, have temper tantrums when they do not get their own way.  These tantrums as an adult  may manifest themselves as holding out on affection, talking about the issue or not being present emotionally, physically or mentally to those people in their family.  They can hold out for a long time because they don’t care how you feel.   Their opinions become fact because what they think, to them, is fact, not just another opinion.  They have no empathy for how what they think, say or do may effect others.  They also have no idea of what comes next.  They can and often are impulsive and will say or do something without thinking and hurt another person without realizing what they just did. If the person they just hurt responds to what just happened it will be their fault because they, the person with autism, will not own the fact that they began the exchange.  They can’t.  Their is no understanding of the fact that their actions caused a reaction.  They only understand that now they feel bad because of something you just said, even though it was in response to something they initiated.  They have no empathy for your feelings, only for how they are now feeling.  They have no boundaries about where they end and the next person begins.  They will share their opinions as fact with the expectation that you will follow blindly just because they said it.  Remember their opinion is fact in their mind.  You are the one who is being obnoxious because you are uncooperative.  You must not like them because you are not cooperating in their plan.  They need to control their environment and change is not ever a good thing unless they can control that as well.  There is also sensitivities to sights, smells, tastes, touch and sounds.

If you can talk about any of the symptoms of this disorder in a sane manner it will help the person recognize when their thinking is disordered.  If you cannot, it will tear families apart because of the self-centered manner in which this disorder manifests itself.  If you can catch this disorder in childhood, it is a good thing.  The earlier the better.  They will learn how to control their thoughts and recognize socially acceptable cues as well as the fact that their thoughts are opinions, not facts.  If the person is un-diagnosed and has reached adulthood, they are probable operating under the impression that nothing is wrong with them, the rest of the world, or at least everyone they don’t like, is wrong or picking on them.  The people they do not like will be people who have not cooperated in their plan.  People who have seen their thoughts as another opinion, not a fact to be followed blindly, or have called them on the fact that they just insulted them and should apologize.  They have no empathy, that will never happen.  Remember you are the problem because you just made them feel bad.  If there is a refusal on their part to get help understanding their disorder, you are stuck with a choice.  Not a great choice, but a choice.  Leave or get yourself help to cope with their disorder.  This relaxation exercise will help you get started.  Link to relaxation and guided imagery video’s  Remember there is a reason why you love this person.  Hanging on to that fact will help you to stay in the relationship.  Enjoy!

 

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dtoomey2015

I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist.

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