Saturday, August 02, 2008

Trying to go on my mission

Hi. I haven't wrote in this blog for a month now. I could have written two weeks ago, however was too busy or getting distracted doing other things. I have three blogs now. One is for me to read, the other is my commentary about the scriptures which I have closed because I wrote some very personal, spiritual experiences, and this one. I been pretty much spending my time reading the commentaries about 1 Nephi. Plus, I have adding comments and quotes from the commentaries that I have already wrote for 1 Nephi Chapters 1-12. Right now, I'm almost done with chapter 9 because I want to write something in it.

I've been doing OK in this time of my life. Spring was a happy time for me because my classes were easy, I was going to Institute (a place where I take religious classes) Monday through Thursday, and I wasn't working. When that was going on, I knew it was a very happy time for me because normally classes are hard and I couldn't go to Institute practically everyday. Plus, I got know and love my Institute teacher, Brother Adams, because I was the pretty much the only one in his class.

These past few summer months has been really hard on me because something really bad happened to me. I was sexually abused and molested by my Uncle. I decided to put this on my regular blog because sexual abuse is really hush, hush in our society. What happened between him and me doesn't really upset me. What upsets me is that now I have to go through more loops to go on my mission. I've talked about going on my mission on this blog last year and how they said "no". I've been talking to people since spring about going on my mission because Brother Adams suggested that I should. I've been talking about it for at for 4 months now. I started talking about it to Brother Adams around the first or second week of April. August will be my fifth month.

I took my time about it in the Spring because I was busy and didn't want to pester President Pitcher. I waited for a month to call me back (I think) about talking to Brother Cabbage. He never did, so I called him back. Everything was looking very good and wonderful because it looked like that I'd be starting my papers for my mission. I talked to Brother Cabbage who's a counselor. He said that he didn't see any problems. Then Uncle Rich had to screw it up for me. I went back to see him again to talk about what had happened. I never would have thought by telling him this, he thought I was too trusting and my social level was at a young teenager's. I knew that wasn't true. I only trusted Uncle Rich because he's my only uncle who's active in the LDS church.

The decision has been bouncing around the people who I've been talking to. At first, it was Brother Cabbage and the Bishop. So, I wanted to talk to Brother Cabbage telling him how I disagreed with him. I called him four times and even sent him an email about it. He never responded back. At this time, I was getting frustrated because I wanted to fix these problems. Now last week, four people got together and decided that I should see a psychiatrist (Dr. Ashby) because they wanted a second opinion. I was thankful for that because I thought he would be neutral about the whole thing. Now, I'm not so sure because after talking to him this week, he warned me about how the church didn't like sending who have Asperger's syndrome because of the hardships. I was a little surprised that he said Asperger's syndrome because I only told them I have High Functioning Autism. However, I've read that HFA (High Functioning Autism) is pretty much the same thing as Asperger's only that HFA has a language delay.

I've been really researching about Asperger's and HFA throughout the year. I know how they think and react to certain situations. I've been listening to people who know me and what they think too. I think that I'm not effected by my autism anymore. OK, maybe a little, but not to the extent that I'm uncomfortable socially. I met a person a guy who had Asperger's. He went on a mission, but he had to fight it by writing to someone in the first presidency. Nicole, a friend of mine, has Asperger's too. I knew she was different but she wasn't socially impaired.

I took two quizzes online to see if I had Asperger's or not. The first one is from Newsweek. I think this is pretty reliable because it's from the researchers at Cambridge's University Autism Research Center. I scored a 14 which is the average for normal people. Women tend to score 15 and men 17. The average is 11-22. They say most people with Asperger's and HFA tend to score about 35. The very high range is 32 to 50 with 50 being the highest score. I found this quiz from reading another blog about Asperger's called Life with Aspergers. He said in one of his posts where I found the quizzes, "I'm always pushing the RDOS aspie quiz because I think that it's the most accurate one out there." I trust this quiz too because of all the thought put into it and plus all the questions. This quiz said I was very likely normal or neurotypical. My autistic score was 41 out of 200 and my neurotypical score was 165 out of 200.

From taking these quizzes, reading lots about it, and listening to myself and others who know me, I don't think I have autism anymore. Now, I just have to really talk to Dr. Ashby about it and hopefully he won't see a problem. I just hope that he has had experience with HFA and Asperger's. However, I heard that there's one doctor in Washington who really knows how to diagnose Asperger's and I think he's in Seattle. I would have seen Dr. Ashby next week; however, I'm going to Priest Lake with my family all next week. So, I have to see him in two weeks. This is taking forever.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lizzie,

I'd like to invite you to join this listserv. You'll find a lot of others on the "spectrum" here:

HFA, Asperger's and parents of both.

supergroup7 said...

Lizzie, as a mom of an autistic child, I can tell you that the studies on autism are just starting. The "specialists" are still learning about this behavior, and aren't 100 percent sure how it works.

One thing that I have noticed from your writings on your blogs over the years is that you are a very open person. Many times your are more open than an average person about your thoughts and experiences. This has caused you problems in the past from people getting upset that you told the truth on a public blog. Yet, you also show that you are concerned about privacy by keeping some things personal.

The fact that you were able to state that you were sexually abused by your Uncle, and then within a few sentences say that this doesn't upset you sends up some warning signs in my mind that you might need to heal emotionally in some ways. That kind of betrayal, and abuse usually leaves horrible scars on a person.

I'm sorry to hear that you are having problems with your Church community. From what I understand, the LDS Church works towards having strong society. It could be that the autistic man was able to go on mission because he was a man. I'm not too sure about your Church's teaching but I believe that there are different roles, and expectations for men, and women in your Church.

If you have enough money, maybe you might want to get a second opinion on whether or not you are autistic. You might want to go to a different psychiatrist, and ask him to assess you. Do not go in asking him "Do I have autism?" which suggests a possible "label", but rather just explain that you would like to know if you exhibit any "out of the norm" behavior. Let him decide if he sees autism in you.