Symptoms of an Aspie

This is a general list of symptoms; by no means is it a complete list of symptoms.

I made this a while back. It probably sucks, but meh, I wanted something I could refer back to without having to link to multiple websites, so I made my own list of symptoms based on my own knowledge.

Cognitive & Motor Skill Impairments

  • We learn best visually.
  • We may think in patterns and/or puzzles, and we may also look for patterns in, well, everything.
  • We may be into numbers/good with numbers.
  • We may require precise calculating and perfection (e.g. using “you’re” for “you are” and not “your” for “you are”), and we might feel the need to correct those who don’t.
  • We do not do well with imaginative play.
  • We have problems with coordination.
  • We have difficulties with organization — planning, scheduling, completing, etc.
  • We have problem-solving issues.
  • We stick to a routine, and we have difficulty solving things out of our routine, e.g. boiling a pot of noodles and having the pot’s handle on the right side when we’re used to it being on the left side. Our routines are like rules.
  • We’re incapable of determining what you’re feeling and thinking in social situations and relationships, thus we need you to tell us verbally (theory of mind).
  • We may not do well in situations where someone is crying.
  • We may come across as “lazy” and “unmotivated”.

Communication

  • We may not make eye contact.
  • We may not understand personal space.
  • We are easily distracted.
  • We may have facial tics.
  • Our facial expressions may be inappropriate or nonexistent to the current situation or conversation.
  • We may make weird or inappropriate gestures in conversations; we may also point.
  • We have difficulty understanding figurative language, such as jokes and sarcasm.

Language

  • We may not always know the exact definitions to the words we’re using, even though they may seem correct.
  • We may have trouble using the appropriate language for a given situation.
  • We may create our own words or use words weirdly.
  • We may have ‘word scripts’ we repeat like rituals in social situations.
  • We interpret things literally.
  • We don’t always understand verbal speech or meanings of words in conversations, which leads to confusion and/or difficulty in responding.

Sensory Input Issues

  • Our senses will be heightened — sounds, sights, touches, smells, and tastes — so we may respond and react to these things differently.
  • We may not want to be touched.
  • We may dislike foods because of their taste, smell and/or texture. We may also have sensitivities to foods.
  • We may not want to be touched.
  • We may avoid escalators, elevators, etc.
  • We may suffer from sensory overload.
  • We may be under-sensitive to certain sensory input.
  • We may be over-sensitive to light.

Social Interaction

  • We may want to socialize with others, but we don’t know how to interact.
  • We may not understand other’s emotions/relate to you. We don’t understand when/if we’re boring/upsetting you.
  • We may not comprehend social cues, such as body language, facial expressions, and gestures.
  • We may talk too loudly, too softly, or in a monotone. We may also speak without expressions and/or emotions.
  • We may talk AT you rather than TO you.
  • We may go on and on about our special interests (AKA “obsessions”, “hobbies”, etc.).
  • We will only discuss certain topics, sometimes preferably our hobbies.
  • We may respond inappropriately, e.g. laugh at something sad or not funny at all.
  • We may have trouble pretending/putting ourselves in other’s shoes.
  • We may not pick up on unwritten social rules, or the way one is supposed to act in social situations, that neurotypicals pick up involuntarily and perceive as obvious.
  • We may display selective mutism. We may also be nonverbal – just because someone doesn’t say anything doesn’t mean they have nothing to say, but may instead mean they literally cannot say it.
  • We may not understand small talk, grow bored with small talk, and/or be unable to form small talk.
  • We may not initiate contact.
  • We may have trouble with relationships.
  • We may have one-sided conversations, or you may have one-sided conversations with us.
  • We may have a difficulty making friends.
  • We may come across as arrogant, rude, heartless and/or insensitive.

Unusual Behavior & Uncategorized Symptoms

  • We may get upset if our schedules are interrupted.
  • We are interested in a small range of things and cannot attach ourselves to other interests. (For example, I cannot for-the-life-of-me attach myself to the sciences.)
  • We may stim, e.g. rock, flap our hands, sit weirdly, play with our fingers, make weird sounds, etc.
  • We may dress differently.
  • We may have difficulties focusing on things we’re uninterested in.
  • You may catch us staring.
  • We may participate in repetitive behaviors.
  • We may spend hours researching our hobbies/special interests/etc.
  • We may be unable to drive, or we may avoid driving.
  • We may forget about you for long periods of time because we get wrapped up in our hobbies.
  • We may value our hobbies more.

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Comments on this post

Sara’s gravatar

Wow. This is a very interesting and extensive list. I think it will helpful if I encounter someone who has some of these characteristics.

Whereas, I might normally pass them off as odd or different, given what you listed here, I will hopefully think twice about that. Certainly, it is good to educate more people about what it is like to be an Aspie.

Kya’s gravatar

That is a really good idea to create this and be able to come back to it.

There are many things that are similar to what I have, or linked with types of Schizophrenia. Kind of wish having a routine could be part of it. Just something to work on. 🙂