Autistic Tendencies vs. Autism

Autistic Tendencies

When I was 17 I spent 8 days in a youth psychiatric ward. I was diagnosed with depression, but my mother was given a paper that also said that I had autistic tendencies.

I had been to psychiatrists before I was 17, but none of them mentioned anything about autistic tendencies to my mother. So, that was the first we heard of it! Imagine the surprise. However, mom didn’t tell me about it until after I was at home again, and she didn’t ask the psychiatrist about it. She figured it meant I was autistic and she didn’t know much about autism.

But, while I know more about autism than my mother does, I haven’t ever come across autistic tendencies as a diagnosis before. Although, I haven’t done extensive research, either. :p

Still, I thought that I would ask if anyone on Xanga knew. Sorry to sound inept…


What’s the difference between Autistic Tendencies as a diagnosis, compared to Autism?


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0 thoughts on “Autistic Tendencies vs. Autism

  • July 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    New comment:  Just a suggestion..if the Dr. saw some tendencies, you might want to goto doctor that does autism diagnois to have it checked out or at least ask the doctor the treated you to explain further on his comments.  I am a special education teacher and a mother of a child with autism and I know the diagnois period took about 3 months….might have been to short of period to make diagnois.        

  • June 16, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Having tendencies is different from actually HAVING autism because to have a diagnosis of autism you have to meet very specific criteria on the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). Saying someone has tendencies just describes that they may show signs of meeting certain criteria, but not enough criteria to be diagnosed.

  • June 16, 2010 at 12:35 am

    how did your mom come to the conclusion that you had autistic tendencies if she hadn’t talked to any of your pschiatricts or know that much about autism?

    i would assume that your pschiatrict(s) would tell you if you have any autistic tendencies during your talk sessions. but i would ask them about it anyway so you’d be more clear. you can talk to your mom about what you learned.

  • June 15, 2010 at 11:20 am

    @raspberryjade@xanga – I think that was her response to the question; the difference between having autistic tendencies and having autism is that she’s not autistic.  That’s how I read it anyway. xP

  • June 15, 2010 at 4:06 am

    @raspberryjade@xanga – Thank you! I appreciate your clear and concise answer very much! 🙂 And, exactly, I never said I was Autistic, so I don’t know why telling me that I’m not Autistic was supposed to be helpful. :/

  • June 14, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    it’s like having “OCD tendencies”

    you don’t have the full blown disorder, but you show some characteristics that people with the disorder have.

    @P1AutismMom – and they never said they were.

  • June 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    “Autistic tendencies” isn’t a diagnosis, it’s just a note that says (in the psychiatrists’ professional opinion) you show some signs of autism. The testing for autism is pretty extensive, and it can also be costly as not all insurance carriers will cover it. If you think it’s worth looking into, go to a psychologist/psychiatrist and ask to be evaluated for autism. If you seem to be doing fine without a diagnosis- don’t worry about it, just go about your life as usual.  

  • June 9, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    It probably refers to being slightly socially inept with perhaps some self injurious behavior involved as well.  The way I see it is that autism really IS a spectrum – from very mild (and a lot of people not even knowing that they have any form of it) to very severe (think “Rain Man”, though the original Rain Man didn’t actually have autism).    If you have autistic tendencies, you probably fall into the extremely mild category.

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