All over the place I see the use of abbreviation autie or aspie. For those unaware autie is a short for autistic, someone with an autism diagnosis. Aspie is short for Aspergers, someone with an Aspergers diagnosis. Autism and Aspergers used to be categorised separately though part of the autistic spectrum. Now it is much more about Aspergers being a subcategory and really the distinction isn’t made too much.
Though for me I’m not sure which one to identify to. Do I have autism or Aspergers? That’s a question I ask myself often. I am about to refer to NAS information so anything I talk about I’ve read about there so there is continuity.
“Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.” This definition really covers all the autistic spectrum conditions.
Bit more in depth
So we have our base understanding. A couple more things to state autistics have:
difficulty in social communication,
social interaction and
Also may have learning needs, i.e. ADHD, dyslexia, etc. and
Sensory sensitivity, either hyper or hypo
So now quick look at how Aspergers differs from autism.
Instead of restricted repetitive behaviours they list social imagination in reference to Aspergers. Also have fewer difficulties with speech and are often above or average intelligence.
Okay so now the distinction has been made I’m going to explain why I’m confused about where I would fall in terms of ‘label’.
As loyal followers will know (❤️ you all) I don’t have like an official diagnosis but I’m not self diagnosed (I know I say it a lot it’s just for clarification). Anyway, I was round two years old when my mother noticed that I wasn’t developing typical. I’d stopped speaking and completely wouldn’t respond to anyone, except my brother, and I went through assessments, observations, etc. It was clear from them I was but it was back in the early 90s and the disability act had just changed, autism was in its infancy. So I got a language disorder diagnosis a referral to an autism specialist clinic but it was to disruptive and a no go for an autistic person to go to a series of appointments during school time disrupting routine. Anyway so clearly I had language delay and speech issues all pointing to an autism diagnosis. I also had clear repetitive behaviours that I had to do in order to function.
So let’s speed up decades and I have average intelligence, no diagnosed learning disabilities I could speculate that I have certain conditions but really I wouldn’t want to be using other conditions flippantly so I will not, I don’t believe in doing that because I hate when people use autism flippantly. My speech is better though I get tongue-tied often and not quite stutter but similar to that. I feel that I have repetitive behaviours that dictate how I navigate the world, certain things that take it to a new level. For example I get anxious if things are not in even numbers, like food, I genuinely will feel really weird if I’ve eaten an odd number and bothers me to an obsessive point, again I’m not trying to use obsessively flippantly.
So am I autie or aspie?
Well I realise I shouldn’t be bothered about which one I am but my literal organising brain can’t help but want to categorise and place a label onto myself. It’s how I understand things I need to organise and categorise otherwise I’m anxious. So I think I’m an autie. My reasoning is that I hit the criteria when I was younger for autism it was noticeable at an early age, as opposed to Aspergers which is usually later, speech difficulties. If I had finished the official diagnosis route when I was younger I’m sure it would have been autism. Though now as an adult if I sought out a piece of paper diagnosis I think my diagnosis would be Aspergers.
I identify as an autie mainly, well really I would just say autistic. I mean it probably doesn’t matter and sometimes I think I’ve used aspie but I prefer autie. I feel it better describes me.
I hope no offence is caused in this post. It is just my opinion and obsession with categorising and everything having an order.
Thanks for reading. Hope you liked it. Peace out!