Are autistic people consistently as confident about their abilities as non autistic people?

My default mode is to think I'm useless and worthless. That's punctuated by brief periods of fear driven hubris. Doing well at anything is far more often than not reduced to 'I only did well because it was easy'.  The belief being that tons of people could do equally well, or better.

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  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    I think autistic people can have reasons to loose confidence especially those who grew up in a time when there was less awareness.

    There isn't really enough adult support.

    There are pleaty of reasons for no-autisitic people to lack confidence too, but for different reasons.
  • Teach51Teach51 Citizen
    edited July 16
    I have a question which I hope is not out of place or intrusive:

    How does being a late diagnosed person with ASD effect your sense of self? 
    You would have had different responses than NT's all your childhood, sensory issues, perhaps communication difficulties that are connected to ASD. It had to be frustrating, and bewildering, confusing. Misunderstood.This must have a profound effect on a person's sense of self, everything seems different to what those around you are experiencing and you have no idea why. How could someone undiagnosed ever feel that they fit in without guidance and support?

    I asked my aspie  friend  how his parents never had him diagnosed as a child, he struggles so much to communicate and understand emotions, cannot cope with stress, had meltdowns,  how could his parents miss that? My own son has severe ADHD and was diagnosed and given close guidance and assistance from age 5 onwards. 

    A child who has been diagnosed with ASD is given tools and the necessary ongoing support and hopefully is more equipped to deal with life and ASD. Perhaps even sustain a positive self image despite having to cope with autism and co- morbidities.
    My autistic grandson is in a Rudolf Steiner school and is fine with not yet reading and writing at 8 yrs because he is in a loving non- competitive environment.
     I believe the early undiagnosed formative years for autistics may seriously contribute to a sense of failure and lack of confidence when trying to fit in to an NT scale of measure.
  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    Teach51 said:
    I have a question which I hope is not out of place or intrusive:

    How does being a late diagnosed person with ASD effect your sense of self? 
    You would have had different responses than NT's all your childhood, sensory issues, perhaps communication difficulties that are connected to ASD. It had to be frustrating, and bewildering, confusing. Misunderstood.This must have a profound effect on a person's sense of self, everything seems different to what those around you are experiencing and you have no idea why. How could someone undiagnosed ever feel that they fit in without guidance and support?

    I asked my aspie  friend  how his parents never had him diagnosed as a child, he struggles so much to communicate and understand emotions, cannot cope with stress, had meltdowns,  how could his parents miss that? My own son has severe ADHD and was diagnosed and given close guidance and assistance from age 5 onwards. 

    A child who has been diagnosed with ASD is given tools and the necessary ongoing support and hopefully is more equipped to deal with life and ASD. Perhaps even sustain a positive self image despite having to cope with autism and co- morbidities.
    My autistic grandson is in a Rudolf Steiner school and is fine with not yet reading and writing at 8 yrs because he is in a loving non- competitive eenvironment.
     I believe the early undiagnosed formative years for autistics may seriously contribute to a sense of failure and lack of confidence when trying to fit in to an NT scale of measure.

    (Teach your state of growth is really showing in your posts, this one is particularly astute.)
    I know this is for Firemonkey, but I relate to it, so will answer it also
    How does being a late diagnosed person with ASD effect your sense of self?

    For me it meant that who I was depended on what other people decided I was, or should be.
    Never reality, or as I was, always someone other than my natural self. This was and continues to be detrimental.
    As I moved through sensitive developmental stages, particularly significant are the early years, where I learned only what messages I was exposed to, again in mid to late teeage years, another crucial period for emotional and personality development, I learned only what I was exposed to.

    I grew up in an abusive environment, different forms of it, the messages I recieved about who I was, were quite harmful. If I had not been exposed to this abuse, I might have never stopped to consider all the less extreme experiences that were culmutatively harmful to my sense of self. Part of the recovery I seek has meant that I need to delve past the extermes and continue on to these layers of subtle messages from experiences, addressing them gently and with kindness. Everyone has these layers, we all have this in common.

    How could someone undiagnosed ever feel that they fit in without guidance and support?
    The guidance would have needed to be, to paraphrase something Tem said here once, the environment fits in around the person...
    I knew this, but I had never truly connected with the idea of it until I read her words.
  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    My default mode is to think I'm useless and worthless. That's punctuated by brief periods of fear driven hubris. Doing well at anything is far more often than not reduced to 'I only did well because it was easy'.  The belief being that tons of people could do equally well, or better.
    I dont have much to add to Teach's response, but I will include this link, as I think in general that the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy approach has benefits particularly for late diagnosed ASD folk.


    When we’re worried or dissatisfied, most of us will do anything not to feel these feelings. Instead, we avoid them, search for something to distract or soothe ourselves, or try to problem-solve our way out of them.

    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) takes a different tack — it’s all about cultivating the psychological flexibility so we can live with what’s unpleasant and not let it run our lives. “Changing our relationship to our thoughts and emotions, rather than trying to change their content, is the key to healing and realizing our true potential,” says Steven C. Hayes, psychology professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the originator and pioneering researcher of ACT....

     ....I did this exercise as soon as I woke up one morning I was writing this book, and here were my thoughts:

    It’s time to get up. No, it isn’t; it’s only 6:00. That’s seven hours of sleep. I need eight — that’s the goal. I feel fat. Well, birthday cake, duh. I have to eat cake on my son’s birthday. Maybe, but not such a big piece. I bet I’m up to 196 lbs. Shoot … by the time I run the Halloween candy/Turkey Day gauntlet I’ll be back over 200. But maybe not. Maybe more like 193. Maybe exercise more. Anything would be “more.” I’ve gotta focus. I have a chapter to write. I’m falling behind … and I’m getting fat again. Noticing the voices and letting them run might be a good start to the chapter. Better to go back to sleep. But maybe it could work. It was sweet of Jacque to suggest it. She’s up early. Maybe it’s her cold. Maybe I should get out of bed and see if she is OK. It’s only 6:15. I need my eight hours. It’s close now to seven and a half hours. Still not eight.

    Not only are these thoughts remarkably circuitous, but most of them are about rules and punishment. Many of them are also contradictions of prior thoughts. This kind of mental to-and-fro is probably familiar to you.





  • I've had the feeling of 'marching to the beat of a different drummer' from as long ago as I can remember. I was not raised in an abusive environment compared to quite a few people. From about the age of 8 I can remember  my parents arguing a lot . It was often openly said that I was a reason for them doing so.At about the age of 9 my mother told me that I'd never be as good as my father. My mother repeatedly described  me as an 'awkward baby/toddler/ child/teenager etc'.

    In terms of being independent  I was (very) young for my age. That became a major  issue on starting A levels, and the realisation that the aim of doing them was to get a university place. Not wanting to disappoint my parents  vs knowing I'd not be able to cope with the  non-academic side of university life lead to me being in a constant state of 'high anxiety'.

    Even accounting for the fact I was quite asocial I had little to no idea how to act with other children etc.
  • BenderBender Citizen
    Teach51 said:

    I asked my aspie  friend  how his parents never had him diagnosed as a child, he struggles so much to communicate and understand emotions, cannot cope with stress, had meltdowns,  how could his parents miss that? My own son has severe ADHD and was diagnosed and given close guidance and assistance from age 5 onwards. 

    How old is your friend? People who are 40+ often grew up with parents who had very limited (if any) understanding of autism or developmental/learning disabilities and basically no resources and support available for either themselves or their children (and special education existed only for children with low IQ). I've been told so often that the parents were fully aware something is "off" right from the start but had basically no alternative options available (except for classic autism) and no internet/parents groups so they couldn't educate themselves. The stigma attached to mental conditions was also much worse and they were afraid of how a diagnosis will affect their child's future.

    From what I've seen, left on their own, parents either used denial as a coping mechanism, resorted to force and punishment to make the kids "normal", and a select few actually tried to find out of the box solutions for helping their children learn and integrate better. You can mostly tell with ease which method has been used by the specific struggles autistic adults have.

    It's slowly getting better, I had so much more resources and information with my kids.

  • Teach51Teach51 Citizen
    edited July 16
    Bender said:
    Teach51 said:

    I asked my aspie  friend  how his parents never had him diagnosed as a child, he struggles so much to communicate and understand emotions, cannot cope with stress, had meltdowns,  how could his parents miss that? My own son has severe ADHD and was diagnosed and given close guidance and assistance from age 5 onwards. 

    How old is your friend? People who are 40+ often grew up with parents who had very limited (if any) understanding of autism or developmental/learning disabilities and basically no resources and support available for either themselves or their children (and special education existed only for children with low IQ). I've been told so often that the parents were fully aware something is "off" right from the start but had basically no alternative options available (except for classic autism) and no internet/parents groups so they couldn't educate themselves. The stigma attached to mental conditions was also much worse and they were afraid of how a diagnosis will affect their child's future.

    From what I've seen, left on their own, parents either used denial as a coping mechanism, resorted to force and punishment to make the kids "normal", and a select few actually tried to find out of the box solutions for helping their children learn and integrate better. You can mostly tell with ease which method has been used by the specific struggles autistic adults have.

    It's slowly getting better, I had so much more resources and information with my kids.

    My friend/lover is 38, that's why it's surprising. Good, loving functional family too luckily. He was diagnosed with ADHD and OCD I believe but not ASD.
    back in the eighties the consensus was that gifted children (he is gifted intellectually) are slower to develop emotionally and at 18 he joined the IDF and went to war and I suppose under such circumstances he was unable to mask any more.
  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    I don't really have that much confidence, though I have fortunately always very stubborn. I probably wouldn't have achieved the things I have and be functioning as well as I am if I wasn't really stubborn and refused to give up on the goals I set for myself.
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