Author Topic: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder  (Read 21344 times)

kmb501

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Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« on: February 18, 2015, 09:37:11 AM »
How should I cope with these problems on a budget? I really don't make enough money to see a psychologist. Trying to cope with it on my own, even though it seems like a small problem, often yields mixed results. People sometimes misjudge my actions because of my problem.

totoro

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2015, 09:46:29 AM »
Google and see if there is a support group in your area.  I know attending might trigger the social anxiety but it is worth a shot.  There may be other ASD services available in your area.  Your doctor might have leads.

AllieVaulter

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 09:59:31 AM »
Sometimes employers provide employees with free counseling services.  You could check with HR and see if you have access to any counseling/psychologist services. 

You might also check with your community center to see if there's any groups you can get involved with.  I'm not an expert or anything, but I think a lot of times practice and exposure can help.  It gives you a framework of familiarity and experience in similar situations. 

Another approach might be to schedule a visit or two with a psychologist and let them know that you don't have much of a budget, so you are looking for activities that you can do on your own.  Maybe you can set up some sort of schedule where you track your progress and keep a journal and only come in to see the psychologist once every six months or so to check in and get feedback. 

I would encourage you to continue working on growing in this area.  If only so that you can develop a good network of friends.  If you FIRE, you might not be forced to interact with people on a regular basis, but people need friends.  They help make our lives a better place.  IMO, the purpose of FIRE is not to avoid the world, it's to enjoy your life. 

Lyssa

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 10:12:48 AM »
Born today my child self would probably be diagnosed as 'on the spectrum' as well. For me learning by doing (largely) did the trick over the years. Learn to small-talk a bit like you would learn a foreign language. If its a problem for you make an effort to practise unimportant phone calls to be better prepared for important ones (it used to be a mystery to me when it was my turn to speak...).

I never had anxiety but I supposed controlled exposure to situations triggering such anxiety without high stakes might help as well. Maybe somebody else can offer guidance backed with more experience?

I don't second the advise to completely shun social contacts even after FI. It might be tempting but your hard earned skills would decline fast. MMMs concept of voluntary discomfort applies here. You may not be comfortable installing heating in a crawl space but you'll feel great sitting on your couch afterwards. All by yourself, with enough of your favourite foods in the fridge to repeat the same menu five times in a row and with enough of your favourite books and dvds for some serious binge reading/viewing. :-)

Practise your outer/social personality while giving your inner introvert enough room to breathe and relax.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 12:29:48 PM by Lyssa »

frugaldrummer

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 11:10:36 AM »
1) Read this book I recommended:  http://www.amazon.com/Helping-Child-Who-Doesnt-Fit/dp/1561450251/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424280798&sr=8-1&keywords=helping+the+child+that+doesn%27t+fit+in      The exercises in it will help you with reading social cues.

2) Check out this free webinar from two guys with Asperger's, I haven't looked at their stuff but might be a good resource:  http://www.onlinemeetingnow.com/register/?id=icgwjemxu0

3) Ask your doctor about prescribing a low-dose beta blocker for stressful situations (used for stage fright)

4) Find or start an Asperger's support group (try looking on Meetup.com?  or find an online group?)

5) Try a gluten-free dairy-free diet and vitamin D 5,000 IU/d

6) Exercise daily

7) Again, try Toastmasters - designed tp help people with fear of public speaking, would also help you make friends

8) Try yoga, meditation or tai chi - they all calm the brain. 

frugaldrummer

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2015, 11:17:34 AM »
Quote
Which leaves group (3) -- people like you. Sounds great, except people like you lack the skills necessary to have a friendship, so the only thing you'll be able to do is commiserate on how miserable life is, probably making both of you even worse off than if you had never entered into the "friendship".



So given that that is the landscape for "friends", you have two choices:

1. Chase some platonic ideal of "friendship" for your entire life, while being perpetually betrayed and disappointed; or

2. Accept that you will never have friends and make the best of it.

BTW, I ABSOLUTELY disagree with this poster!  My adult son has Asperger's and he has several good friends.  People with Asperger's are totally capable of having and being good friends.  They have some extra social challenges, but they can be overcome.  And other people on the spectrum can make excellent friends because they understand you.  My son's best friend in college and room mate for 3 years had much worse Asperger's than my son, and they got along great.  They shared similar interests, tolerated each other's quirks, and had a great time together.

What you have going for you is an AWARENESS of what the problems are.  Once my son received his diagnosis as an adult, it really helped him to start to understand what was going on in his social interactions, and he can work consciously to overcome and discuss with us some of the issues that arise.  You too can educate yourself and start to practice things that will improve your social interactions. 

Also, do consider the one poster's recommendation about seeing if vocational rehab in your area has help to offer you.

begood

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2015, 12:17:06 PM »

So given that that is the landscape for "friends", you have two choices:

1. Chase some platonic ideal of "friendship" for your entire life, while being perpetually betrayed and disappointed; or

2. Accept that you will never have friends and make the best of it.

It sounds like you've met some pretty terrible people, Cathy.

I hope the OP will continue to be open to new experiences and new people. Isolation might only entrench the difficulties they're facing.


Lyssa

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2015, 12:28:00 PM »
Chasing "friends" and "happiness" can just lead to more unhappiness in the long run, so you'll want to consider carefully whether that is actually what you want to do.

If you have the kind of social issues I'm contemplating from the OP, the "friends" you encounter will fall into three groups:

1. People who want to get something from you,

2. People who feel sorry for you, and

3. People with similar issues as yourself.


The people in group (1) will seem like great friends so long as you're giving them what they want, which might be money, but much more commonly is a service such as advising them on their business prospects, or helping them with their projects. So long as you're providing value to them, they'll ignore your shortcomings, and perhaps even defend you against other people. But you'll find it's impossible to keep providing value forever. Eventually their business will be successful, their project will be complete, or they'll just find somebody else to provide the value they need. These "friendships" always end in some form of betrayal, where the person eventually determines that they can extract more value by sacrificing you rather than continuing to extract value from you.


The people in group (2) are "charity-minded" types who derive personal enjoyment from helping other people. They'll notice you lack the ability to participate in society normally and they'll make it their personal goal to "help you". At first, this seems great, but eventually you'll notice that the relationship is based on pity rather than fondness. It is a very awkward feeling. You want to be treated as an equal, not an object to feel sorry for. People like this will eventually get bored and move to their next project, so these relationships are always fleeting; they might only last a few weeks or in extreme cases several years, but the person will eventually disappear and you'll be left wondering why you dealt with them when they clearly never liked you, but just saw you as a project that made them feel good.


Which leaves group (3) -- people like you. Sounds great, except people like you lack the skills necessary to have a friendship, so the only thing you'll be able to do is commiserate on how miserable life is, probably making both of you even worse off than if you had never entered into the "friendship".



So given that that is the landscape for "friends", you have two choices:

1. Chase some platonic ideal of "friendship" for your entire life, while being perpetually betrayed and disappointed; or

2. Accept that you will never have friends and make the best of it.


I respectfully submit that (2) is the far better way to conduct your life. Holding onto a conception of the impossible leads you to feel inadequate relative to other people and makes you think you are "missing something" in life. If, however, you accept that that world is just not part of your reality, you can focus on the things that really matter, like reaching financial independence, and subsequently retirement, after which you can escape from the misery of the outside world.

Even if your 'three kinds of people' assumption were true what exactly makes you think that people with ASD or anxiety issues can't be friends? What skills are they lacking? Smalltalk and parties? Well, that's precisely what they are not looking for in their social contacts anyways... No the OP in all likelihood is never going to be the popular one and is never going to have 500plus facebook friends (or shall I say 'friends'?). But every D&D group and every other closely knit circle of nerds there ever was is proofing you wrong.

Also, anyone without ASD and anxiety thinking that he has more than 10 friends who would really be there if push came to shove is in for a big disappointment should it ever come to this.

Louisville

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2015, 12:33:14 PM »
The biggest and most important piece of advice anyone will ever give you:
Ignore Cathy.
What a bunch of nonsense. We have no way of knowing how "autistic" (a suspect term in itself) the OP is. And even if the OP is VERY autistic, it's still terrible advice.

Kai_30

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2015, 04:23:15 PM »
I'm not sure how helpful it would be to your issues, but MoodGym might be worth a shot:  https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome.  Basically a free self-directed online program that can help you learn coping strategies for anxiety and depression.

I second everyone who recommends trying to get yourself out there, to go to situations where you might be a little uncomfortable, because it can be good practice.  But don't be too hard on yourself-- give yourself some time to relax and recharge too. 

I also thought Susan Cain's Quiet was a good read, to learn about how our culture is really set up to prize extraversion.

And finally, if this is really interfering with your life, I think it would be worth it to pursue therapy when you have the means to do so.  The rest of the advice is good too, but I don't think anything can replace the help of a good therapist.  So I'd try to make that a priority if your financial circumstances change.

BPA

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2015, 04:55:17 PM »
Does the school board you work for have a counseling plan of any sort?  Mine does and we can get 8 sessions for "free."  My boyfriend is a substitute teacher and he qualified for them too, so it's not just permanent contract teachers here.  You could probably find out if your employer has this service on their website or on the union website.

Good luck.  You seem to be very genuinely trying to problem solve, but it's not easy for sure.

I have to say that it's very brave to substitute teach while experiencing social anxiety, so remember that if you can face a class full of kids, you have a lot more moxy than a lot of people. 

And I have to echo that I know a lot of people on the spectrum who have good friendships. 

Emilyngh

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2015, 04:58:48 PM »
Assuming you have reasonable copays for a general practitioner, make an appointment and talk to them about these issues.   They can prescribe anxiety medications.

mozar

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2015, 05:50:26 PM »
Southern Alabama free clinic:

http://alabamafreeclinic.org/

kmb501

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2015, 09:41:29 PM »
Southern Alabama free clinic:

http://alabamafreeclinic.org/

I checked this site; there was no mention of mental health services.

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2015, 10:02:51 PM »
Southern Alabama free clinic:

http://alabamafreeclinic.org/

I checked this site; there was no mention of mental health services.

In the community partners section of the website it does list a partnership with the Alabama Department of Mental Health. It's possible that the clinic or that government department may have a way you can get access to low or no-cost mental health services. It's definitely helpful to see a therapist on a regular basis, they have tools and methods of helping with anxiety disorder as well as autism spectrum disorder.

Annamal

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2015, 10:11:54 PM »
How should I cope with these problems on a budget? I really don't make enough money to see a psychologist. Trying to cope with it on my own, even though it seems like a small problem, often yields mixed results. People sometimes misjudge my actions because of my problem.

I can't really comment on the social anxiety (other than to agree that toast-masters is a good way to get used to speaking in public).

Do you have hobbies or interests that could put you in a group situation where topics of conversation are slightly easier to come by?

Is there media that resonated with you in terms of explaining unwritten social rules?

Prepube

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2015, 12:13:01 AM »
If your conditions are causing problems on the job, then you may be eligible for help (i.e., free services) from your state's division of vocational rehabilitation.  They can pay for any services that might help you obtain or retain a job, including psych services and psychiatric help for medicine checks.  All states have these services.  I can look them up for you if you tell me your state and a general area you live in.  Large states are divided by zip codes and you can easily find the nearest office by providing your zip on their websites.  If you have no job, then head over to the federal building where the SSA office is and get some help from them in filling out the paperwork.  Don't let them tell you they cant help... all states are required to provide help and community outreach.

Once a client of vocational rehabilitation, shop around for the best therapists, then request that DVR help with or cover the whole cost of the supportive need for help while you are in school.  if you pm me i can try and find right office                                   

PhysicsCat

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2015, 05:00:05 AM »
I find that benadryl (once you get used to the drowse) helps take the edge off. Its also super cheap. Other than that you got to be comfortable with yourself (never ending struggle).

Mutton Chop

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2015, 07:35:22 AM »
Mental health services should be including in all health insurance policies moving forward, including Medicaid.  Depending on your plan you will have a Co-Payment for each session.

kmb501

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2015, 08:11:27 AM »
Mental health services should be including in all health insurance policies moving forward, including Medicaid.  Depending on your plan you will have a Co-Payment for each session.

I live in a state that did not expand Medicaid, so I am not eligible.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2015, 11:21:42 AM »
Damn Cathy, I don't even know what to say to that post.  No.  Just no to everything in that.

kmb501: Not sure where you are on either spectrum, but I'm on both a bit as well.  First, don't beat yourself up over it.  Not everyone has to be a social butterfly.  Our current state of identifying everything as a disorder just makes people feel like there's something wrong with them.  Think of it more like having things you'd like to improve about yourself.  Everyone has them.

I second doing group activities.  Take whatever interests you already have, or might like to pick up, and find a way to make it a social activity.  Don't worry about talking to everyone and being outgoing.  I take martial arts (off and on) and am really quiet.  Same currently with sailing lessons.  Sometimes I'll show up and not converse with a single person except the teacher.  But after a while you just naturally find a person or two you click with a bit and you'll open up to each other.  Let it be natural, but you do have to get out there and give yourself the opportunity to have it happen.  If you feel awkward after you leave, try to ignore that and not let it stop you from going back.  To me that's the hard part.

sheepstache

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2015, 11:27:42 AM »

Also, anyone without ASD and anxiety thinking that he has more than 10 friends who would really be there if push came to shove is in for a big disappointment should it ever come to this.

Ha ha, nice.

I'm not sure how helpful it would be to your issues, but MoodGym might be worth a shot:  https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome.

That looks cool!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2015, 11:46:43 AM »
I've not been diagnosed with anything, but I would describe myself as extremely introverted and naturally socially retarded.

Things that have helped me:

1. Find someone you can ask about specific situations. I somehow managed to find an awesome husband. He often tells me after we have been somewhere that I should or shouldn't have said something that I did or didn't. I still have to take every case one by one, but I try to make him explain the rule why that is. For example: Never say anything nasty about anyone's children unless someone else you are with said it first and it seemed OK. Someone at work's child had a baby recently and I couldn't give a crap about the fact that it's still alive and capable of having its photo taken. However, I dutifully say how sweet it looks and how happy she must be. I'm not sure why she must be so happy (it's not like she had the baby and she has plenty of grandchildren already) but it's what everyone else does. Anyway, to cut a long story short, it may take some time but if you can find ANYONE who can explain things to you, it will help a lot.

2. Make your own list of rules. This will involve a lot of trial and error. Some of mine:
- No one is ever asking for your honest opinion about how they look. Even if they say they are.
- Always tell people that what they are doing already is the right thing to do.
- If you are talking for longer than three minutes without letting anyone else talk, you need to shut up for three minutes per person in the conversation.

3. Watch high school films and sitcoms. Sitcoms are especially good if they have a laugh track because you know that when everyone's laughing, someone did something wrong. It also gives you cultural capital with other people.

4. I share almost no interests with my colleagues and most people my own age. Mostly you can get by on:
CW: Did you watch [TV SHOW] last night?
Me: No, was it any good?

CW: Have you read [BOOK]?
Me: No, I heard it wasn't as good as the last one in the series, though.

CW: Have you seen [FILM]?
Me: No. What's it about?

They will then tell you all about it and you can say: "That's interesting" "I didn't know that" "How funny" "I wonder what will happen next week"

5. Don't go to parties. I try sometimes and hate it again every time. Six people in a purely social setting or twelve in a focused setting is my maximum.

6. Go to interest-focused events. I get on better when I am doing something with people, not just "being social". Taking classes or going to free lectures is great because you always have something non-confrontational to talk about. E.g. I went to a bicycle maintenance class (mustache points!) and I swear I was the chattiest one there even though I hate talking to strangers because I just said: "That's a nice bike" "Do you cycle a lot?" or "Did it take you long to cycle here?" to everyone I had to talk to and then they started talking about their bike. I hate 'going for a drink' with someone, but an acquaintance has invited me 'for a drink' to ask my advice on a project they are working on. I know I will enjoy this because there is no ambiguity in what I am supposed to do.

7.Read fiction. Modern fiction is best, but anything will help. It gives you an insight into other people's minds - I always have problems remembering that other people don't think the same way I do. I'm a particular fan of detective stories, because I enjoy the puzzle and because there's always a lot of discussion about motivation.

8. With people I know better, I do tend to say things like "Do you want the short answer or the long answer?" when asked about something I am really interested in, and if they say the long answer then that's what they're going to get! I also say "Please let me know if I've told you enough", and I really mean that people should tell me if they are bored, but they mostly don't. I suppose they are being polite, but maybe they are just fascinated! I wouldn't do this with a stranger, though.

9. Don't worry too much about having lots of friends. I moved somewhere new nearly six months ago and I have two friends here. That is fine by me! They are excellent friends, and my husband has lots more friends so I can have non-committal social interaction through him if I need it.

capitalguy

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2015, 12:16:03 PM »
90% of the time when I read a post that is unbelievably out of touch with reality I look at the poster name and see "Cathy". At this point I'm forced to believe that this person is trolling the forum. Ignoring her stupidest post and just focusing on the first one:

"The good news is that you're already 28 and thus potentially already financially independent or at least close to retirement."

Yes, we're obviously all working towards financial independence here but in what universe can you assume that a 28 year old is financially independent or at least close to retirement?

Are you actually serious when you post? Or are you trolling?

Silverwood

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2015, 12:29:54 PM »
So I know everyone disagrees with Cathy but I was didn't think her answer was wrong.

"The people in group (1) will seem like great friends so long as you're giving them what they want, which might be money, but much more commonly is a service such as advising them on their business prospects, or helping them with their projects. So long as you're providing value to them, they'll ignore your shortcomings, and perhaps even defend you against other people. But you'll find it's impossible to keep providing value forever. Eventually their business will be successful, their project will be complete, or they'll just find somebody else to provide the value they need. These "friendships" always end in some form of betrayal, where the person eventually determines that they can extract more value by sacrificing you rather than continuing to extract value from you."

I had a friend like this. She was always copying everything I did and it did end badly.  Ive also had a few coworkers like this.

justajane

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2015, 12:32:19 PM »
No, I don't think Cathy is trolling, but I do think she is bizarre.

Sometimes I think Dostoyevsky modeled his underground man after her.

People of all stripes can make friends and find a social niche. Those on the spectrum are not doomed to live alone and have no friends. That's ridiculous.

Regarding the use of Benadryl, I wouldn't recommend that. Aside from the danger of self-medicating in general, it's looking more and more like long term use of Benadry could cause dementia in old age.

Good luck, OP in finding some low cost help.


capitalguy

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2015, 12:37:28 PM »
So I know everyone disagrees with Cathy but I was didn't think her answer was wrong.

"The people in group (1) will seem like great friends so long as you're giving them what they want, which might be money, but much more commonly is a service such as advising them on their business prospects, or helping them with their projects. So long as you're providing value to them, they'll ignore your shortcomings, and perhaps even defend you against other people. But you'll find it's impossible to keep providing value forever. Eventually their business will be successful, their project will be complete, or they'll just find somebody else to provide the value they need. These "friendships" always end in some form of betrayal, where the person eventually determines that they can extract more value by sacrificing you rather than continuing to extract value from you."

I had a friend like this. She was always copying everything I did and it did end badly.  Ive also had a few coworkers like this.

I'm sure people like that exist, but she seems to be defining the entire concept of friendship by these groups. I've been reading some of her old posts and she's is the most out of touch, cynical person in the universe.

She seems to assume that when each human being turns 30 there is no reason that they shouldn't already have multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars saved up. She also has determined that she will never have a relationship (too much of a liability) and it's clear what her view is on friendship (friends are not worth it). She also lives off of 2 to 3 transactions per month. She is clearly very good with money, but sounds like she lives a terrible lonely existence. Like someone who took the "mustachian" concept way, way too far. But whatever!

Nancy

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2015, 12:44:02 PM »
There are quite a few books on tactics to help cope with social anxiety disorder: mindfulness/meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc. Perhaps you could check a few out of the library and see which one fits best with your personality. Perhaps check out a forum or online community for people with social anxiety. Best of luck to you!

Silverwood

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2015, 12:52:13 PM »
So I know everyone disagrees with Cathy but I was didn't think her answer was wrong.

"The people in group (1) will seem like great friends so long as you're giving them what they want, which might be money, but much more commonly is a service such as advising them on their business prospects, or helping them with their projects. So long as you're providing value to them, they'll ignore your shortcomings, and perhaps even defend you against other people. But you'll find it's impossible to keep providing value forever. Eventually their business will be successful, their project will be complete, or they'll just find somebody else to provide the value they need. These "friendships" always end in some form of betrayal, where the person eventually determines that they can extract more value by sacrificing you rather than continuing to extract value from you."

I had a friend like this. She was always copying everything I did and it did end badly.  Ive also had a few coworkers like this.

I'm sure people like that exist, but she seems to be defining the entire concept of friendship by these groups. I've been reading some of her old posts and she's is the most out of touch, cynical person in the universe.

She seems to assume that when each human being turns 30 there is no reason that they shouldn't already have multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars saved up. She also has determined that she will never have a relationship (too much of a liability) and it's clear what her view is on friendship (friends are not worth it). She also lives off of 2 to 3 transactions per month. She is clearly very good with money, but sounds like she lives a terrible lonely existence. Like someone who took the "mustachian" concept way, way too far. But whatever!

Ohh ok.  That's a little different then.

BPA

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2015, 01:20:09 PM »
I've not been diagnosed with anything, but I would describe myself as extremely introverted and naturally socially retarded.

Things that have helped me:

1. Find someone you can ask about specific situations. I somehow managed to find an awesome husband. He often tells me after we have been somewhere that I should or shouldn't have said something that I did or didn't. I still have to take every case one by one, but I try to make him explain the rule why that is. For example: Never say anything nasty about anyone's children unless someone else you are with said it first and it seemed OK. Someone at work's child had a baby recently and I couldn't give a crap about the fact that it's still alive and capable of having its photo taken. However, I dutifully say how sweet it looks and how happy she must be. I'm not sure why she must be so happy (it's not like she had the baby and she has plenty of grandchildren already) but it's what everyone else does. Anyway, to cut a long story short, it may take some time but if you can find ANYONE who can explain things to you, it will help a lot.

2. Make your own list of rules. This will involve a lot of trial and error. Some of mine:
- No one is ever asking for your honest opinion about how they look. Even if they say they are.
- Always tell people that what they are doing already is the right thing to do.
- If you are talking for longer than three minutes without letting anyone else talk, you need to shut up for three minutes per person in the conversation.

3. Watch high school films and sitcoms. Sitcoms are especially good if they have a laugh track because you know that when everyone's laughing, someone did something wrong. It also gives you cultural capital with other people.

4. I share almost no interests with my colleagues and most people my own age. Mostly you can get by on:
CW: Did you watch [TV SHOW] last night?
Me: No, was it any good?

CW: Have you read [BOOK]?
Me: No, I heard it wasn't as good as the last one in the series, though.

CW: Have you seen [FILM]?
Me: No. What's it about?

They will then tell you all about it and you can say: "That's interesting" "I didn't know that" "How funny" "I wonder what will happen next week"

5. Don't go to parties. I try sometimes and hate it again every time. Six people in a purely social setting or twelve in a focused setting is my maximum.

6. Go to interest-focused events. I get on better when I am doing something with people, not just "being social". Taking classes or going to free lectures is great because you always have something non-confrontational to talk about. E.g. I went to a bicycle maintenance class (mustache points!) and I swear I was the chattiest one there even though I hate talking to strangers because I just said: "That's a nice bike" "Do you cycle a lot?" or "Did it take you long to cycle here?" to everyone I had to talk to and then they started talking about their bike. I hate 'going for a drink' with someone, but an acquaintance has invited me 'for a drink' to ask my advice on a project they are working on. I know I will enjoy this because there is no ambiguity in what I am supposed to do.

7.Read fiction. Modern fiction is best, but anything will help. It gives you an insight into other people's minds - I always have problems remembering that other people don't think the same way I do. I'm a particular fan of detective stories, because I enjoy the puzzle and because there's always a lot of discussion about motivation.

8. With people I know better, I do tend to say things like "Do you want the short answer or the long answer?" when asked about something I am really interested in, and if they say the long answer then that's what they're going to get! I also say "Please let me know if I've told you enough", and I really mean that people should tell me if they are bored, but they mostly don't. I suppose they are being polite, but maybe they are just fascinated! I wouldn't do this with a stranger, though.

9. Don't worry too much about having lots of friends. I moved somewhere new nearly six months ago and I have two friends here. That is fine by me! They are excellent friends, and my husband has lots more friends so I can have non-committal social interaction through him if I need it.

What a great post!  You clearly know yourself well and problem solve well.   

garion

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2015, 01:28:42 PM »
Talk therapy can be somewhat costly (even with insurance, it's at least a $20 copay), but medication is usually cheap. If you actually need/could benefit from medication, the benefits would probably outweigh the costs.

I'd also recommend finding an inexpensive counselor to see occasionally, or at least for an evaluation. You can find one that's in network on your insurance if you have it, otherwise there are some that are sliding scale.

You mention that you don't earn enough to afford treatment. Are your social issues holding you back from earning more money in any way? If so, you can think of treatment as an investment in your future earning potential. Not to mention your quality of life...

shelivesthedream

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2015, 02:12:49 PM »
Even in such a big post, I forgot something!

I don't have a high need for routine, but I do get very stressed if I don't know what's going to happen.  If I'm going somewhere, I want to know exactly where it is, who is going to be there, what time I will arrive and leave, what is on the menu and what is going to happen. I can actually adapt very quickly if I am adequately briefed beforehand. It means I only have to think about what I'm saying and doing, not about all the other things that are going on. If it weren't a bit crazy, I would love to request photos of places before I go and of people before I meet them, but hey, you can't have everything. It does stress me out when something is planned one way and happens another (like something happening to make me late or the thing I chose from their online menu not being available at a restaurant) but at least I am only stressing about that one thing and not everything!

@BPA: thank you! But it took me YEARS to figure it out. I'm 24 and I've only started to wrap my head round it all in the past two or three years. For example, I kept reading that people with Aspergers liked routine and thought "That's not like me, I don't like doing the same thing every day and hate external constraints on my time". But eventually (after about five years of thinking that!) I realised that I *do* like things to be predictable, which is similar to liking routine. Socially I still struggle with the 'why', but I feel like I am getting there with the 'what'. It is work, though, and I still say really blunt things when I am tired. (E.g. Friend: Hey, do you want to go for a drink? Me: No. *hangs up phone* Husband: You can't just say no. Me:But I answered the question he asked! Gah! Im going to bed!)

Sorry all, that unexpectedly turned into another long post! I hope the OP is finding this helpful!

kmb501

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2015, 03:03:32 PM »
Even in such a big post, I forgot something!

I don't have a high need for routine, but I do get very stressed if I don't know what's going to happen.  If I'm going somewhere, I want to know exactly where it is, who is going to be there, what time I will arrive and leave, what is on the menu and what is going to happen. I can actually adapt very quickly if I am adequately briefed beforehand. It means I only have to think about what I'm saying and doing, not about all the other things that are going on. If it weren't a bit crazy, I would love to request photos of places before I go and of people before I meet them, but hey, you can't have everything. It does stress me out when something is planned one way and happens another (like something happening to make me late or the thing I chose from their online menu not being available at a restaurant) but at least I am only stressing about that one thing and not everything!

@BPA: thank you! But it took me YEARS to figure it out. I'm 24 and I've only started to wrap my head round it all in the past two or three years. For example, I kept reading that people with Aspergers liked routine and thought "That's not like me, I don't like doing the same thing every day and hate external constraints on my time". But eventually (after about five years of thinking that!) I realised that I *do* like things to be predictable, which is similar to liking routine. Socially I still struggle with the 'why', but I feel like I am getting there with the 'what'. It is work, though, and I still say really blunt things when I am tired. (E.g. Friend: Hey, do you want to go for a drink? Me: No. *hangs up phone* Husband: You can't just say no. Me:But I answered the question he asked! Gah! Im going to bed!)

Sorry all, that unexpectedly turned into another long post! I hope the OP is finding this helpful!

It sounds like you and I have a lot in common. Can we be friends?

I wondered about the Asperger's thing myself. I really only have trouble when I'm around unfamiliar people and am expected to try to connect with several people at a time. I get a certain exhilaration from it, though, and I sometimes, only sometimes, put myself into unfamiliar, even spontaneous, situations just to see what will happen. I like being able to pretend to be the outgoing friendly girl, but I usually give up the act pretty quickly when I run out of "script." Then, I either make it up as I go along and ignore the inner wincing, or I pretend to lose interest and withdraw into a "safe" position, like sitting down with a book or looking at my phone.  I'm the worst at dances and big parties, because when I start to feel uncomfortable, I retreat, no matter how engaging or fun the situation may be. I just have to get away from all of the stimulation. It depresses me for some reason. Unfortunately, my reactions and need to avoid people sometimes leave them with a bad impression of me. I've learned to fight it a little, but I always look for the same chair, the same conversation, the same people, etc. I too like the environment to be very predictable, if I have to do it for long.

Substitute teaching has tested me to the limit, though. I'm in an environment with 120 different people each day, many of whom are not thrilled to see me and think I'm a mean old lady (I'm only 28, but I dress in a way that makes me look a lot older; I've always had an issue with dressing appropriately.) The kids usually pick up that there is something "wrong" with me. I've even heard this opinion voiced, and I do always feel extremely awkward. I also don't think very fast, so coming up with witty comments and reactions to what the kids say is pretty difficult, and in a situation where my appearance is already giving bad vibes, being able to talk and prove myself "normal" would be an advantage. 

Since I like scripts so much, maybe I should start writing down some of what they say and coming up with situation specific comebacks for next time. I have trouble connecting with the kids, though. A few teachers have given me little tips, though, like, "always be upfront about who you are to the kids. Tell them your occupation, your degrees, hobbies, etc." Maybe I should start trying some kind of ice breaker with them? I'm just afraid that if I don't make them think I'm a former drill sergeant, they will try to take advantage of me.  One thing those painful situations do elicit is a little more preparation on my part. I certainly don't want to make the same mistake twice.

Those kids are brutal. For instance, a high school sophomore said to me something like, "Ooh! If you were my wife, I wouldn't know what to do with you." I just put my head down and tried not to make eye contact. I wanted the kid to sit back down and start his work, but he was being quite a nuisance. Instead, maybe I should have said something like, "the feeling's mutual; if you were my son, I would not know what to do with you. Be grateful you aren't. Now, sit down before I call the principal." I have trouble thinking of things to say when I'm stressed, though.

This same young man too out his phone and started recording me. I tried to scowl at him to put it down, but he reacted as if I smiled and said something like, "Ooh! She thinks she looks good. You don't look good, lady!" The class was laughing, but I really didn't know what to do. At this point, everyone was out of order, and my mind wasn't focusing on who might have started it. In fact, it wasn't really registering at the time that perhaps the class was out of order because of this young man's actions. All I saw was chaos. To me, they all deserved to be written up.

Man, those kids know how to eat me alive. I wish they could taste the world through my eyes. Then, maybe they would have a little compassion. 



« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 04:04:13 PM by kmb501 »

Annamal

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2015, 03:18:07 PM »
Even in such a big post, I forgot something!

I don't have a high need for routine, but I do get very stressed if I don't know what's going to happen.  If I'm going somewhere, I want to know exactly where it is, who is going to be there, what time I will arrive and leave, what is on the menu and what is going to happen. I can actually adapt very quickly if I am adequately briefed beforehand. It means I only have to think about what I'm saying and doing, not about all the other things that are going on. If it weren't a bit crazy, I would love to request photos of places before I go and of people before I meet them, but hey, you can't have everything. It does stress me out when something is planned one way and happens another (like something happening to make me late or the thing I chose from their online menu not being available at a restaurant) but at least I am only stressing about that one thing and not everything!

@BPA: thank you! But it took me YEARS to figure it out. I'm 24 and I've only started to wrap my head round it all in the past two or three years. For example, I kept reading that people with Aspergers liked routine and thought "That's not like me, I don't like doing the same thing every day and hate external constraints on my time". But eventually (after about five years of thinking that!) I realised that I *do* like things to be predictable, which is similar to liking routine. Socially I still struggle with the 'why', but I feel like I am getting there with the 'what'. It is work, though, and I still say really blunt things when I am tired. (E.g. Friend: Hey, do you want to go for a drink? Me: No. *hangs up phone* Husband: You can't just say no. Me:But I answered the question he asked! Gah! Im going to bed!)

Sorry all, that unexpectedly turned into another long post! I hope the OP is finding this helpful!

A lot of your original post and this one feel very familiar to me (at 34). My partner is also very good at pointing out when there's an unwritten rule that I've missed or where I've assumed people  know something which they have no logical reason to know (he calls this kind of assumed knowledge "the antiquities wing of the Cairo museum" after a particularly notable Parker scene in the TV program Leverage).

I also consume (and consumed) a lot of stuff aimed at children or young adults because it tends to be a little more explicit about why people do the things they do. The one big trap I fell into though was the artificial divides that a lot of media tries to impose on people (i.e. geeks vs jocks vs cheerleaders). I had to let go a lot of those preconceived notions.

I don't necessarily need routine but I do need coping strategies (i.e. if this thing happens then I can respond in this way). I find that I stress out a lot less about things going off-script these days but I have no idea why that is.

Thank you for articulating this stuff so clearly!

BPA

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2015, 05:08:52 PM »
KMB:  I'm so sorry those kids were so mean.  :(  I agree that if they would give you a chance, they could learn enough.  You are clearly a good and open-minded person.  But teenagers can be brutal.  If they can get an advantage, many of them will take it. 

I know this is off topic, but have you considered becoming a librarian?  You said you have an English degree, and a library setting might be more suited to you. You could still work with young people, but outside the dynamics of a classroom.  My boyfriend is both an English teacher and a librarian. 


Annamal

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2015, 05:30:05 PM »
Even in such a big post, I forgot something!

I don't have a high need for routine, but I do get very stressed if I don't know what's going to happen.  If I'm going somewhere, I want to know exactly where it is, who is going to be there, what time I will arrive and leave, what is on the menu and what is going to happen. I can actually adapt very quickly if I am adequately briefed beforehand. It means I only have to think about what I'm saying and doing, not about all the other things that are going on. If it weren't a bit crazy, I would love to request photos of places before I go and of people before I meet them, but hey, you can't have everything. It does stress me out when something is planned one way and happens another (like something happening to make me late or the thing I chose from their online menu not being available at a restaurant) but at least I am only stressing about that one thing and not everything!

@BPA: thank you! But it took me YEARS to figure it out. I'm 24 and I've only started to wrap my head round it all in the past two or three years. For example, I kept reading that people with Aspergers liked routine and thought "That's not like me, I don't like doing the same thing every day and hate external constraints on my time". But eventually (after about five years of thinking that!) I realised that I *do* like things to be predictable, which is similar to liking routine. Socially I still struggle with the 'why', but I feel like I am getting there with the 'what'. It is work, though, and I still say really blunt things when I am tired. (E.g. Friend: Hey, do you want to go for a drink? Me: No. *hangs up phone* Husband: You can't just say no. Me:But I answered the question he asked! Gah! Im going to bed!)

Sorry all, that unexpectedly turned into another long post! I hope the OP is finding this helpful!

It sounds like you and I have a lot in common. Can we be friends?

I wondered about the Asperger's thing myself. I really only have trouble when I'm around unfamiliar people and am expected to try to connect with several people at a time. I get a certain exhilaration from it, though, and I sometimes, only sometimes, put myself into unfamiliar, even spontaneous, situations just to see what will happen. I like being able to pretend to be the outgoing friendly girl, but I usually give up the act pretty quickly when I run out of "script." Then, I either make it up as I go along and ignore the inner wincing, or I pretend to lose interest and withdraw into a "safe" position, like sitting down with a book or looking at my phone.  I'm the worst at dances and big parties, because when I start to feel uncomfortable, I retreat, no matter how engaging or fun the situation may be. I just have to get away from all of the stimulation. It depresses me for some reason. Unfortunately, my reactions and need to avoid people sometimes leave them with a bad impression of me. I've learned to fight it a little, but I always look for the same chair, the same conversation, the same people, etc. I too like the environment to be very predictable, if I have to do it for long.

Substitute teaching has tested me to the limit, though. I'm in an environment with 120 different people each day, many of whom are not thrilled to see me and think I'm a mean old lady (I'm only 28, but I dress in a way that makes me look a lot older; I've always had an issue with dressing appropriately.) The kids usually pick up that there is something "wrong" with me. I've even heard this opinion voiced, and I do always feel extremely awkward. I also don't think very fast, so coming up with witty comments and reactions to what the kids say is pretty difficult, and in a situation where my appearance is already giving bad vibes, being able to talk and prove myself "normal" would be an advantage. 

Since I like scripts so much, maybe I should start writing down some of what they say and coming up with situation specific comebacks for next time. I have trouble connecting with the kids, though. A few teachers have given me little tips, though, like, "always be upfront about who you are to the kids. Tell them your occupation, your degrees, hobbies, etc." Maybe I should start trying some kind of ice breaker with them? I'm just afraid that if I don't make them think I'm a former drill sergeant, they will try to take advantage of me.  One thing those painful situations do elicit is a little more preparation on my part. I certainly don't want to make the same mistake twice.

Those kids are brutal. For instance, a high school sophomore said to me something like, "Ooh! If you were my wife, I wouldn't know what to do with you." I just put my head down and tried not to make eye contact. I wanted the kid to sit back down and start his work, but he was being quite a nuisance. Instead, maybe I should have said something like, "the feeling's mutual; if you were my son, I would not know what to do with you. Be grateful you aren't. Now, sit down before I call the principal." I have trouble thinking of things to say when I'm stressed, though.

This same young man too out his phone and started recording me. I tried to scowl at him to put it down, but he reacted as if I smiled and said something like, "Ooh! She thinks she looks good. You don't look good, lady!" The class was laughing, but I really didn't know what to do. At this point, everyone was out of order, and my mind wasn't focusing on who might have started it. In fact, it wasn't really registering at the time that perhaps the class was out of order because of this young man's actions. All I saw was chaos. To me, they all deserved to be written up.

Man, those kids know how to eat me alive. I wish they could taste the world through my eyes. Then, maybe they would have a little compassion.

Ouch! that sounds like some really unpleasant interaction with kids, I'm sorry that happened to you.

One thing I would note, I get the feeling classroom management is one of those things that a lot of teachers struggle with even if they are completely neurotypical, it might be worth posting an off topic thread on this board to ask for tactics for dealing with unruly classrooms, since I believe that there are a number of teachers who post on this board.

mozar

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2015, 05:48:03 PM »
KMB: I feel for you. I have 100% of the issues you stated here but less severe.
Kids (and adults) say dumb things all the time. Try reading some books on increasing self confidence. Then you won't be as concerned about dumb comments. The comment about you being his wife doesn't even make sense to me. I would probably laugh and move on.

Learning not to dwell on things is a tenant of cognitive behavioral therapy. Try reading Feeling Good by david burns.

I know its not my place to say, but I wonder if you really have Asbergers or are you really just surrounded by idiots.

henrysmom

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2015, 08:48:44 PM »
I have a lot of experience in this area as my son has autism, my brother (in his 50s) has Aspergers, I have a nephew with autism and work closely with two doctors who have Aspergers.  All of them have some degree of anxiety, but all of them have friends and good interactions with co-workers, etc.  There are plenty of books available on Amazon regarding social skills which are helpful and could help you see what areas you have the most difficulty with.  5-HTP has been very helpful for my son and isn't particularly expensive, it takes the edge off.  One of the doctors I work with has confided in me that she has difficulty with social "stuff" and this is particularly hard for women.  She finds it helpful to run social situations by me for input, and I don't mind doing it.  Is there any way you could take someone into your confidence (I know it's hard) and admit to them that you have trouble with anxiety and social cues and having them spend a little time with you and giving you honest feedback about conversation skills, entry and exit, body language etc?  I also would highly recommend finding some source for therapy in your area.  Is there a university counseling center with interns looking to do hours? Social support groups? 

I know how hard it can be, I see my son struggle, but he is making slow progress (he's still young, only 13).  But I want to tell you that there is hope.  My brother was very impaired by his Aspergers and anxiety growing up and into his 30s.  As he took chances and stepped out of his comfort zone (medication might be needed here as it was for him for awhile), it got easier for him.  In his 30s and 40s he started socializing tentatively with people at work and practice made perfect, well not perfect but better.  In his late 40s he actually started dating (mostly neurotypical women) and a few years ago met a wonderful woman who loved him, quirks and all.  They've been married several years and it's working great for them. Good luck.

Lyssa

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2015, 05:30:53 AM »
Even in such a big post, I forgot something!

I don't have a high need for routine, but I do get very stressed if I don't know what's going to happen.  If I'm going somewhere, I want to know exactly where it is, who is going to be there, what time I will arrive and leave, what is on the menu and what is going to happen. I can actually adapt very quickly if I am adequately briefed beforehand. It means I only have to think about what I'm saying and doing, not about all the other things that are going on. If it weren't a bit crazy, I would love to request photos of places before I go and of people before I meet them, but hey, you can't have everything. It does stress me out when something is planned one way and happens another (like something happening to make me late or the thing I chose from their online menu not being available at a restaurant) but at least I am only stressing about that one thing and not everything!

@BPA: thank you! But it took me YEARS to figure it out. I'm 24 and I've only started to wrap my head round it all in the past two or three years. For example, I kept reading that people with Aspergers liked routine and thought "That's not like me, I don't like doing the same thing every day and hate external constraints on my time". But eventually (after about five years of thinking that!) I realised that I *do* like things to be predictable, which is similar to liking routine. Socially I still struggle with the 'why', but I feel like I am getting there with the 'what'. It is work, though, and I still say really blunt things when I am tired. (E.g. Friend: Hey, do you want to go for a drink? Me: No. *hangs up phone* Husband: You can't just say no. Me:But I answered the question he asked! Gah! Im going to bed!)

Sorry all, that unexpectedly turned into another long post! I hope the OP is finding this helpful!

It sounds like you and I have a lot in common. Can we be friends?

I wondered about the Asperger's thing myself. I really only have trouble when I'm around unfamiliar people and am expected to try to connect with several people at a time. I get a certain exhilaration from it, though, and I sometimes, only sometimes, put myself into unfamiliar, even spontaneous, situations just to see what will happen. I like being able to pretend to be the outgoing friendly girl, but I usually give up the act pretty quickly when I run out of "script." Then, I either make it up as I go along and ignore the inner wincing, or I pretend to lose interest and withdraw into a "safe" position, like sitting down with a book or looking at my phone.  I'm the worst at dances and big parties, because when I start to feel uncomfortable, I retreat, no matter how engaging or fun the situation may be. I just have to get away from all of the stimulation. It depresses me for some reason. Unfortunately, my reactions and need to avoid people sometimes leave them with a bad impression of me. I've learned to fight it a little, but I always look for the same chair, the same conversation, the same people, etc. I too like the environment to be very predictable, if I have to do it for long.

Substitute teaching has tested me to the limit, though. I'm in an environment with 120 different people each day, many of whom are not thrilled to see me and think I'm a mean old lady (I'm only 28, but I dress in a way that makes me look a lot older; I've always had an issue with dressing appropriately.) The kids usually pick up that there is something "wrong" with me. I've even heard this opinion voiced, and I do always feel extremely awkward. I also don't think very fast, so coming up with witty comments and reactions to what the kids say is pretty difficult, and in a situation where my appearance is already giving bad vibes, being able to talk and prove myself "normal" would be an advantage. 

Since I like scripts so much, maybe I should start writing down some of what they say and coming up with situation specific comebacks for next time. I have trouble connecting with the kids, though. A few teachers have given me little tips, though, like, "always be upfront about who you are to the kids. Tell them your occupation, your degrees, hobbies, etc." Maybe I should start trying some kind of ice breaker with them? I'm just afraid that if I don't make them think I'm a former drill sergeant, they will try to take advantage of me.  One thing those painful situations do elicit is a little more preparation on my part. I certainly don't want to make the same mistake twice.

Those kids are brutal. For instance, a high school sophomore said to me something like, "Ooh! If you were my wife, I wouldn't know what to do with you." I just put my head down and tried not to make eye contact. I wanted the kid to sit back down and start his work, but he was being quite a nuisance. Instead, maybe I should have said something like, "the feeling's mutual; if you were my son, I would not know what to do with you. Be grateful you aren't. Now, sit down before I call the principal." I have trouble thinking of things to say when I'm stressed, though.

This same young man too out his phone and started recording me. I tried to scowl at him to put it down, but he reacted as if I smiled and said something like, "Ooh! She thinks she looks good. You don't look good, lady!" The class was laughing, but I really didn't know what to do. At this point, everyone was out of order, and my mind wasn't focusing on who might have started it. In fact, it wasn't really registering at the time that perhaps the class was out of order because of this young man's actions. All I saw was chaos. To me, they all deserved to be written up.

Man, those kids know how to eat me alive. I wish they could taste the world through my eyes. Then, maybe they would have a little compassion.

This sounds awful. It probably does show a lack of compassion on my part but try to care less about those kids. They are not defenseless little children but teenagers. A lot of teenagers have an awful personality. Some mature out of it, some do not. Don't try to be liked to much. Groups of teenagers pick up on this need easily. Care about the student's future but accept that you will not be their role-model or their friend. And thats ok. The first only happens in movies, the latter should not happen at all.

Practise some almost universally applicable answers like 'That's really none of your business'. I'm not a native speaker but in German it would work for comments re looks and wively qualities. Witty answers that get repeated and even funnier over time are really more relevant for movies than for real life. All you need to do is deliver a short quick oneliner that establishes your boundaries. Preferrably with an emotionless rather than an angry face. Avoid looking hurt at all costs. I would not tolerate being filmed. Other teachers are better equiped to say how to handle this without stepping over lines yourself.

Best of luck. Teachers need thick skins. Most of this is not at all about you or your social shortcomings.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 05:46:01 AM by Lyssa »

BPA

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #39 on: February 20, 2015, 06:01:39 AM »
I normally do not comment on threads to correct spelling, but I have seen many posts on this board that use the term "Asbergers" or other variations. The correct spelling is Asperger's Syndrome. Don't worry; you aren't alone in this misspelling. I've even seen it misspelled in judicial opinions (for one example, see Patton-Casse v. Casse, 2011 ONSC 6182, at para 14). So no worries about spelling it wrong, but it kind of makes me cringe, so I'm just pointing it out so we can all spell it correctly in the future.

Maybe it would be best if you worked on your tolerance of other people and their (in your mind) imperfections.  Your attitude, apparent superiority, and advice on this thread are cringe-worthy.




capitalguy

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2015, 06:28:44 AM »
I normally do not comment on threads to correct spelling, but I have seen many posts on this board that use the term "Asbergers" or other variations. The correct spelling is Asperger's Syndrome. Don't worry; you aren't alone in this misspelling. I've even seen it misspelled in judicial opinions (for one example, see Patton-Casse v. Casse, 2011 ONSC 6182, at para 14). So no worries about spelling it wrong, but it kind of makes me cringe, so I'm just pointing it out so we can all spell it correctly in the future.

Maybe it would be best if you worked on your tolerance of other people and their (in your mind) imperfections.  Your attitude, apparent superiority, and advice on this thread are cringe-worthy.

This and all threads.

kmb501

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #41 on: February 20, 2015, 07:29:36 AM »
I normally do not comment on threads to correct spelling, but I have seen many posts on this board that use the term "Asbergers" or other variations. The correct spelling is Asperger's Syndrome. Don't worry; you aren't alone in this misspelling. I've even seen it misspelled in judicial opinions (for one example, see Patton-Casse v. Casse, 2011 ONSC 6182, at para 14). So no worries about spelling it wrong, but it kind of makes me cringe, so I'm just pointing it out so we can all spell it correctly in the future.

Maybe it would be best if you worked on your tolerance of other people and their (in your mind) imperfections.  Your attitude, apparent superiority, and advice on this thread are cringe-worthy.

This and all threads.

The correct spelling was provided over and over; there was no need to correct a one-off mistake.

sheepstache

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2015, 08:50:33 AM »
Another thing to bear in mind to avoid confusion is that as a female you may get a much harsher reaction for poor social skills then men do because we have higher expectations for women's social skills and "niceness" based on stereotypes.

Witness the fact that we have lots of nutty / aspy / judge-y people on there but Cathy, with a female-sounding username, seems to bring out a lot more flat-out smackdowns.

capitalguy

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #43 on: February 20, 2015, 08:55:30 AM »
Another thing to bear in mind to avoid confusion is that as a female you may get a much harsher reaction for poor social skills then men do because we have higher expectations for women's social skills and "niceness" based on stereotypes.

Witness the fact that we have lots of nutty / aspy / judge-y people on there but Cathy, with a female-sounding username, seems to bring out a lot more flat-out smackdowns.

As I stated in my first post in the thread:
"90% of the time when I read a post that is unbelievably out of touch with reality I look at the poster name and see "Cathy"."

I never read usernames unless the post was so stupid that I wanted to see who wrote it. Seems strange and desperate to try to bring gender into a critique of a person based solely on the content of their posts.

Edit - desperate as in desperate to find a way to work gender stereotyping into a situation that doesn't warrant it

Guses

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2015, 09:30:44 AM »
I also think that I am a fringe Asbergerberer.

When I am in a social context, I simply put a facade and go through a list of topics/ pre planned conversations to get over the small talk. I also found ways to detract conversation to things that interest me more.

I also stopped trying to be a social butterfly. I am Asbergerberer and I learned to accept my Asbergerberism.

OP, it does get better. While you will be Asbergerberer for life, you can find ways to cope with it, accept it and, eventually flourish in the world.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #45 on: February 20, 2015, 09:32:06 AM »
Most of the really awful (IRL the person would be yelling, screaming, foaming at the mouth, shaking a fist or middle digit in the air) posts I have seen here (mostly but not all in Off Topic) belong to people whose names and posting content suggest the male gender.  "Cathy"'s posts are coming from a certain viewpoint, but the posts themselves are perfectly rational (sometimes maybe too rational, people seem to want more emotion).

Just a point to consider.

Back to the previously scheduled topic . . . .

Another thing to bear in mind to avoid confusion is that as a female you may get a much harsher reaction for poor social skills then men do because we have higher expectations for women's social skills and "niceness" based on stereotypes.

Witness the fact that we have lots of nutty / aspy / judge-y people on there but Cathy, with a female-sounding username, seems to bring out a lot more flat-out smackdowns.

As I stated in my first post in the thread:
"90% of the time when I read a post that is unbelievably out of touch with reality I look at the poster name and see "Cathy"."

I never read usernames unless the post was so stupid that I wanted to see who wrote it. Seems strange and desperate to try to bring gender into a critique of a person based solely on the content of their posts.

Edit - desperate as in desperate to find a way to work gender stereotyping into a situation that doesn't warrant it

sheepstache

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #46 on: February 20, 2015, 09:41:27 AM »
Another thing to bear in mind to avoid confusion is that as a female you may get a much harsher reaction for poor social skills then men do because we have higher expectations for women's social skills and "niceness" based on stereotypes.

Witness the fact that we have lots of nutty / aspy / judge-y people on there but Cathy, with a female-sounding username, seems to bring out a lot more flat-out smackdowns.

As I stated in my first post in the thread:
"90% of the time when I read a post that is unbelievably out of touch with reality I look at the poster name and see "Cathy"."

I never read usernames unless the post was so stupid that I wanted to see who wrote it. Seems strange and desperate to try to bring gender into a critique of a person based solely on the content of their posts.

Edit - desperate as in desperate to find a way to work gender stereotyping into a situation that doesn't warrant it

Gender-based reactions don't have to be conscious. I'm not suggesting that anyone deliberately chooses to find someone super awkward or cringeworthy based on their gender.  It's a bit like studies showing that if a boy child and a girl child are making noise at the same volume, the girl is more likely to be reprimanded. The theory is the parent feels it's natural for girls to be quieter, therefore the girl being as loud as a boy is more out of control and disobedient than the boy is.  (Likewise we might find a man too passive or obsequious for the same behavior we might accept in a woman.)

I see plenty of male or neuter usernames with posts that are superior or wacked out or tone deaf and people seem more likely to engage them in heated debate than jump on them for a personality flaw.

Obviously, this isn't a controlled environment; it might be mere coincidence and reactions to posts (such as my feeling that Cathy's are qualitatively similar to others) are highly subjective.

I thought it was funny to bring it up in the context of this particular thread but I do also see evidence of it in my field. Technicians or mechanical-skills types are generally given a pass for awkward behavior, particularly now that autism spectrum has become a popular concept, but I find this doesn't extend to females with the same inclinations.
I don't know that the OP is female, but with a couple other users who I assume are female chiming in I thought it was worth mentioning.

forummm

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #47 on: February 20, 2015, 10:04:09 AM »
I strongly recommend The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin for anyone. It helped me think about people on the autistic spectrum differently. I bought it used for a couple bucks.

Due to the recent implementation of mental health parity laws, your health insurance is likely to have significant coverages for mental health care. Professional help may be beneficial to you to help work through social anxiety.

Psychstache

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #48 on: February 20, 2015, 10:05:45 AM »
I normally do not comment on threads to correct spelling, but I have seen many posts on this board that use the term "Asbergers" or other variations. The correct spelling is Asperger's Syndrome. Don't worry; you aren't alone in this misspelling. I've even seen it misspelled in judicial opinions (for one example, see Patton-Casse v. Casse, 2011 ONSC 6182, at para 14). So no worries about spelling it wrong, but it kind of makes me cringe, so I'm just pointing it out so we can all spell it correctly in the future.

It kind of makes me cringe when people try to throw their intellect around and fail.

Technically, there is no correct spelling for Asperger's Syndrome, as it no longer exists diagnostically. The most recent revision of the DSM (The DSM V) has reclassified it and many others into a single umbrella classification, Autism Spectrum Disorder. This diagnosis is used to cover the range of previous terms that were characterized by deficits in social communication, highly fixed interests, rigid adherence to schedules, sensory sensitivities, etc.

Psychstache

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Re: Social anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder
« Reply #49 on: February 20, 2015, 10:07:53 AM »
I strongly recommend The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin for anyone. It helped me think about people on the autistic spectrum differently. I bought it used for a couple bucks.

Due to the recent implementation of mental health parity laws, your health insurance is likely to have significant coverages for mental health care. Professional help may be beneficial to you to help work through social anxiety.

+1

Her book, Thinking in Pictures, is also a great read. Also, the movie that was made from her story (starring Claire Danes), called Temple Grandin I believe, is a really interesting representation into how she perceives the world. I would highly recommend it for everyone, with or without a disability, to check it out.