HOW TO KNOW THAT YOU’RE NOT AUTISTIC
If you’re the kind of person who easily gets anxious about the imminence of events and conditions that can possibly happen to you, it might be better to start looking into things at a different perspective. Say, for instance, you come to worry that you might be autistic, searching for credible sources in the papers and the internet that will help you make a self-diagnosis is a natural response. However, choosing to go for self-diagnosis might not be the best thing to do because there are many cases of people who also experience and exhibit autism-specific symptoms but are not really autistic. Because a diagnosis of autism can oftentimes become life-changing for most people, it is very important to know for sure whether the symptoms you are experiencing are really indicative of autism spectrum disorder or are just misunderstood patterns of traits and behaviours that are suggestive of other health conditions.
You might have come to the point where you’ve consulted a self-diagnosing checklist you found in a certain website about autism. Although ticking two boxes or more in the list is already reason enough to worry, concluding that you’re autistic at this point is still inappropriate. That’s because there are still more criteria to consider aside from the basic list of possible symptoms. This includes the impact of such symptoms to your quality of life, where the level of impairment must be enough to cause great lifestyle challenges. But how can you measure the degree of impairment if you don’t have the expert knowledge or tools to do so? If the reason for your self-diagnosis is financial limitations or time constraints, seeing a medical professional to discuss your problem might be near to impossible. In situations such as this where looking at autism symptom checklists is not entirely helpful, going for the reverse approach might work for you. In this manner of finding out the truth, you’re going to assert whether you have the traits specific to that of a neurotypical individual or simply a non-autistic person. Here are the most helpful procedures in the reverse diagnosis of autism that can free you from the worries.
Check for Symptoms of Conditions Misunderstood as Autism
There are dozens of symptoms that often lead to an autism misdiagnosis. Although such symptoms are also exhibited by autistic individuals, you must find a way to detect this overlap and determine other related disorders or health conditions that they are also manifested. If you think these symptoms are more specific in nature rather than encompassing a broader condition, it may be logical to say that they are not indicative of autism but of other disorders. Some of these include:
- Schizophrenia – Commonly characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia, this mental disorder can also lead one to become socially withdrawn, emotionally unstable and intellectually limited but the scope of the psychological challenges may be very different from autism.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Similar to autism, people with OCD can develop very narrow and overly focused interests as well as a repetitive behaviour but unlike autistic individuals, those with OCD can manage social interactions and establish communication.
- Avoidant Personality Disorder – Social anxiety is highly evident in persons with this disorder, where they feel very sensitive to rejection and ridicule while becoming very aware of their situation, in contrast to people with autism who find it hard to read social cues and empathize with others’ feelings.
- Selective Mutism – If you find yourself being able to speak in most social engagements but also can’t do the same in specific situations, you may be suffering from selective mutism and not autism.
- Intellectual Challenges and Other Developmental Disorders – Being a relatively slow learner and facing challenges with speech and reasoning are not absolute indications of autism, but may instead be symptoms of very specific mental and physical disabilities.
- Dyspraxia – This motor disorder is caused by issues with brain and physical coordination, which makes it hard for the person to maintain balance and posture, making them appear clumsy as what is also seen in most autistic individuals.
Knowing Traits Specific to Neurotypical/Allistic/Nypical Individuals
Like autistic people, those who are not in the Autism Spectrum Disorder also manifest specific traits or behaviours that are not shown in autistic people.
Desires to Start Small Talks or Chats. If you want to connect with people by initiating small talks or inconsequential conversations that are most likely maintained by random topics, then it is one major sign that you’re not autistic. The thought of starting social interactions despite not knowing the specific context to talk about shows confidence in your language skills and social awareness.
No Aversion to Touching. Neurotypical people don’t have major issues when it comes to situations involving different kinds of physical contact. If you can hug someone or let someone hug you without feeling awkward or anxious, there’s a great chance that you’re not autistic. Because sensory oversensitivity is one of the many symptoms of autism, reciprocating a handshake, fist bump or a kiss on the cheek may tell that you’re a neurotypical person.
Being Not Direct to the Point. If you feel more comfortable giving vague answers to somebody’s question to avoid offending them, you’re more neurotypical than autistic in a sense. Contrary to the autistic trait of answering questions or asserting statements that are direct to the point without regard to the feeling or reaction of the people they are talking to, neurotypical individuals would choose to beat around the bush rather than go for a direct remark because they can easily empathize the emotional response of their peers.
Now that you know how to determine whether you’re a neurotypical or an autistic in both approaches, it would help to remember that this write-up and similar others are just guides to help you reach more reasonable conclusions about your own condition. Consulting a professional is still the best thing to do to reach the most credible diagnosis or explanation about your condition.