By Samantha Craft of Everyday Asperger’s, March 2012
Albert Einstein is believed by some to have had Asperger’s syndrome
This is a non-official checklist created by an adult female with Asperger’s Syndrome who has a son with Asperger’s Syndrome. Samantha Craft holds a Masters Degree in Education. Samantha Craft does not hold a doctorate in Psychiatry or Psychology. She has a life-credential as a result of being a female with Asperger’s Syndrome and being a parent of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome. She has created this list in an effort to assist mental health professionals in recognizing Asperger’s Syndrome in females.
Suggested Use: Check off all areas that strongly apply to the person. If each area has 75%-80% of the statements checked, or more, then you may want to consider that the female may have Asperger’s Syndrome.
Section A: Deep Thinkers
1. A deep thinker
2. A prolific writer drawn to poetry
3. Highly intelligent
4. Sees things at multiple levels including thinking processes.
5. Analyzes existence, the meaning of life, and everything continually.
6. Serious and matter-of-fact in nature.
7. Doesn’t take things for granted.
8. Doesn’t simplify.
9. Everything is complex.
10. Often gets lost in own thoughts and “checks out.” (blank stare)
Section B: Innocent
3. Experiences trouble with lying.
4. Finds it difficult to understand manipulation and disloyalty.
5. Finds it difficult to understand vindictive behavior and retaliation.
6. Easily fooled and conned.
7. Feelings of confusion and being overwhelmed
8. Feelings of being misplaced and/or from another planet
9. Feelings of isolation
10. Abused or taken advantage of as a child but didn’t think to tell anyone.
Section C: Escape and Friendship
1. Survives overwhelming emotions and senses by escaping in thought or action.
2. Escapes regularly through fixations, obsessions, and over-interest in subjects.
3. Escapes routinely through imagination, fantasy, and daydreaming.
4. Escapes through mental processing.
5. Escapes through the rhythm of words.
6. Philosophizes continually.
7. Had imaginary friends in youth.
8. Imitates people on television or in movies.
9. Treated friends as “pawns” in youth, e.g., friends were “students,” “consumers,” “soldiers.”
10. Makes friends with older or younger females.
11. Imitates friends or peers in style, dress, and manner.
12. Obsessively collects and organizes objects.
13. Mastered imitation.
14. Escapes by playing the same music over and over.
15. Escapes through a relationship (imagined or real).
16. Numbers bring ease.
17. Escapes through counting, categorizing, organizing, rearranging.
18. Escapes into other rooms at parties.
19. Cannot relax or rest without many thoughts.
20. Everything has a purpose.
Section D: Comorbid Attributes
1. OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
2. Sensory Issues (sight, sound, texture, smells, taste)
3. Generalized Anxiety
4. Sense of pending danger or doom
5. Feelings of polar extremes (depressed/over-joyed; inconsiderate/over-sensitive)
6. Poor muscle tone, double-jointed, and/or lack in coordination
7. Eating disorders, food obsessions, and/or worry about what is eaten.
8. Irritable bowel and/or intestinal issues
9. Chronic fatigue and/or immune challenges
10. Misdiagnosed or diagnosed with other mental illness and/or labeled hypochondriac.
11. Questions place in the world.
12. Often drops small objects
13. Wonders who she is and what is expected of her.
14. Searches for right and wrong.
15. Since puberty, has had bouts of depression.
16. Flicks/rubs fingernails, flaps hands, rubs hands together, tucks hands under or between legs, keeps closed fists, and/or clears throat often.
Section E: Social Interaction
1. Friends have ended friendship suddenly and without person understanding why.
2. Tendency to over-share.
3. Spills intimate details to strangers.
4. Raised hand too much in class or didn’t participate in class.
5. Little impulse control with speaking when younger.
6. Monopolizes conversation at times.
7. Bring subject back to self.
8. Comes across at times as narcissistic and controlling. (Is not narcissistic.)
9. Shares in order to reach out.
10. Sounds eager and over-zealous at times.
11. Holds a lot of thoughts, ideas, and feelings inside.
12. Feels as if she is attempting to communicate “correctly.”
13. Obsesses about the potentiality of a relationship with someone, particularly a love interest.
14. Confused by the rules of accurate eye contact, tone of voice, proximity of body, stance, and posture in conversation.
15. Conversation can be exhausting.
16. Questions the actions and behaviors of self and others, continually.
17. Feels as if missing a conversation “gene” or thought-“filter”
18. Trained self in social interactions through readings and studying of other people.
19. Visualizes and practices how she will act around others.
20. Practices in mind what she will say to another before entering the room.
21. Difficulty filtering out background noise when talking to others.
22. Has a continuous dialogue in mind that tells her what to say and how to act when in a social situations.
23. Sense of humor sometimes seems quirky, odd, or different from others.
24. As a child, it was hard to know when it was her turn to talk.
25. She finds norms of conversation confusing.
Section F: Finds Refuge when Alone
1. Feels extreme relief when she doesn’t have to go anywhere, talk to anyone, answer calls, or leave the house.
2. One visitor at the home may be perceived as a threat.
3. Knowing logically a house visitor is not a threat, doesn’t relieve the anxiety.
4. Feelings of dread about upcoming events and appointments on the calendar.
5. Knowing she has to leave the house causes anxiety from the moment she wakes up.
6. All the steps involved in leaving the house are overwhelming and exhausting to think about.
7. She prepares herself mentally for outings, excursions, meetings, and appointments.
8. Question next steps and movements continually.
9. Telling self the “right” words and/or positive self-talk doesn’t often alleviate anxiety.
10. Knowing she is staying home all day brings great peace of mind.
11. Requires a large amount of down time or alone time.
12. Feels guilty after spending a lot of time on a special interest.
13. Uncomfortable in public locker rooms, bathrooms, and/or dressing rooms.
14. Dislikes being in a crowded mall, crowded gym, or crowded theater.
Section G: Sensitive
1. Sensitive to sounds, textures, temperature, and/or smells when trying to sleep.
2. Adjusts bedclothes, bedding, and/or environment in an attempt to find comfort.
3. Dreams are anxiety-ridden, vivid, complex, and/or precognitive in nature.
4. Highly intuitive to others’ feelings.
5. Takes criticism to heart.
6. Longs to be seen, heard, and understood.
7. Questions if she is a “normal” person.
8. Highly susceptible to outsiders’ viewpoints and opinions.
9. At times adapts her view of life or actions based on others’ opinions or words.
10. Recognizes own limitations in many areas daily.
11. Becomes hurt when others question or doubt her work.
12. Views many things as an extension of self.
13. Fears others opinions, criticism, and judgment.
14. Dislikes words and events that hurt animals and people.
15. Collects or rescues animals. (often in childhood)
16. Huge compassion for suffering.
17. Sensitive to substances. (environmental toxins, foods, alcohol, etc.)
18. Tries to help, offers unsolicited advice, or formalizes plans of action.
19. Questions life purpose and how to be a “better” person.
20. Seeks to understand abilities, skills, and/or gifts.
Section H: Sense of Self
1. Feels trapped between wanting to be herself and wanting to fit in.
2. Imitates others without realizing.
3. Suppresses true wishes.
4. Exhibits codependent behaviors.
5. Adapts self in order to avoid ridicule.
6. Rejects social norms and/or questions social norms.
7. Feelings of extreme isolation.
8. Feeling good about self takes a lot of effort and work.
9. Switches preferences based on environment and other people.
10. Switches behavior based on environment and other people.
11. Didn’t care about her hygiene, clothes, and appearance before teenage years and/or before someone else pointed these out to her.
12. “Freaks out” but doesn’t know why until later.
13. Young sounding voice
14. Trouble recognizing what she looks like and/or has occurrences of slight prosopagnosia (difficulty recognizing or remembering faces).
Section I: Confusion
1. Had a hard time learning others are not always honest.
2. Feelings seem confusing, illogical, and unpredictable. (self’s and others’)
3. Confuses appointment times, numbers, or dates.
4. Expects that by acting a certain way certain results can be achieved, but realizes in dealing with emotions, those results don’t always manifest.
5. Spoke frankly and literally in youth.
6. Jokes go over the head.
7. Confused when others ostracize, shun, belittle, trick, and betray.
8. Trouble identifying feelings unless they are extreme.
9. Trouble with emotions of hate and dislike.
10. Feels sorry for someone who has persecuted or hurt her.
11. Personal feelings of anger, outrage, deep love, fear, giddiness, and anticipation seem to be easier to identify than emotions of joy, satisfaction, calmness, and serenity.
12. Situations and conversations sometimes perceived as black or white.
13. The middle spectrum of outcomes, events, and emotions is sometimes overlooked or misunderstood. (All or nothing mentality)
14. A small fight might signal the end of a relationship or collapse of world.
15. A small compliment might boost her into a state of bliss.
Section J: Words and Patterns
1. Likes to know word origins.
2. Confused when there is more than one meaning to a word.
3. High interest in songs and song lyrics.
4. Notices patterns frequently.
5. Remembers things in visual pictures.
6. Remembers exact details about someone’s life.
7. Has a remarkable memory for certain details.
8. Writes or creates to relieve anxiety.
9. Has certain “feelings” or emotions towards words.
10. Words bring a sense of comfort and peace, akin to a friendship.
(Optional) Executive Functioning This area isn’t always as evident as other areas
1. Simple tasks can cause extreme hardship.
2. Learning to drive a car or rounding the corner in a hallway can be troublesome.
3. New places offer their own set of challenges.
4. Anything that requires a reasonable amount of steps, dexterity, or know-how can rouse a sense of panic.
5. The thought of repairing, fixing, or locating something can cause anxiety.
6. Mundane tasks are avoided.
7. Cleaning may seem insurmountable at times.
8. Many questions come to mind when setting about to do a task.
9. Might leave the house with mismatched socks, shirt buttoned incorrectly, and/or have dyslexia.
10. A trip to the grocery store can be overwhelming.
11. Trouble copying dance steps, aerobic moves, or direction in a sports gym class.
12. Has a hard time finding certain objects in the house, but remembers with exact clarity where other objects are.
This list was compiled after nine years of readings, research, and experience associated with Asperger’s Syndrome. More information can be found at http://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com © Everyday Aspergers, 2012 This non-official checklist can be printed for therapists, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, professors, teachers, and relatives, if Samantha Craft’s name and contact information remain on the print out.