Developmental Delays & More....

I have had developmental delays, especially as a child. I'm still delayed in a lot of areas, although I don't think that my current delays would necessary be described as "developmental". Probably more as social. 

Things that "normal" children seemed to do naturally, were very hard for me to understand. I couldn't figure out how to do some of the simplest things. And it's not as if I didn't try, or wasn't taught, I just couldn't. I didn't learn how to do the most mundane of things until I was far above the age that that I should have been doing them. I didn't know how to brush my hair until I was twelve years old and nearing the seventh grade. I would take the brush, put it to my hair.. then be lost as to what to do next. When I finally realized that I had to move the brush down in order for it to work, I would try, only to get the brush stuck in my hair, not knowing what to do to get it out. I have no idea how or why, but I finally just started doing it with virtually no problem at all.

Fourteen was a big year for me, developmental-wise. I finally figured out how to tie my shoes. Before that, no matter what I did, same as the hair brushing, I just couldn't do it. It just made no sense to me at all. I also figured out how to buckle my sandles and, although it's not developmental, I finally learned how to borrow (as in subtraction-- a friends nine-year old sister taught me how to do it...).

Although it might not be considered a developmental delay (I'm not sure, but I don't think it is), I was still playing with Barbies at sixteen years old. I was always very childlike in some ways, while much more mature than my peers in other ways. At eighteen, I still played with Lego's. They were the last toy for me to go. I became embarrassed of the fact that I was still playing with dolls and Barbie's when I was about twelve, but I still continued playing with them. I can't tell you why I was still playing with them at sixteen, though, other than that I was still much more of a child than others my age.

Since hitting adulthood, I am still incredibly delayed in a lot of areas, though those areas are are most likely to be considered social rather than developmental. I've had incredible social phobia/anxiety since birth, basically, am pretty socially inept, and don't do well in social situations at all. I often misunderstand what people are saying to me, and they seem to misunderstand what I'm saying to them. I recently started college less than one month ago (a BIG plus for me, although it's been incredibly difficult so far), and have realized this even more-so. I'm unable to understand a lot that the professors expect of me, especially concerning due dates, assignments formats.... I'm also incredibly sensitive. To lights, noises, the feeling of rough fabric or material, certain smells, people's remarks, etc. Because of my intense fear of social situations, I have never done any of the things "normal" people have done. I recently turned 27 years old and I have never had a job, been in a relationship, been on a date, or even been kissed. I'm only sharing these things, which are way beyond humiliating to me, because I've shared them in numerous other stories on EP and haven't had too many negative reactions to them, of which I'm immensely grateful for. 

I have always had irratic mood patterns, have always become very irritable and frustrated when things don't go my way, and as the result of a debilitatingly suicidal depression, I was diagnosed as having Bipolar 1 disorder in September of 2007. I was put on mood stabilizers which have helped greatly in controlling my moods and depression. However, over the past few months, the more I have learned and thought back on my life, taking everything in, I realize that my social issues, mood disturbances, developmental delays, sensitivity to so many things... could all be due to the fact that I have either PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Delay- Not Otherwise Specified), or Asperger's Syndrome, or HFA (High Functioning Autism). Asperger's Syndrome fits much more, I think, other than the other two. However, one of the criteria for Asperger's Syndrome is that the person NOT have developmental delays. Whereas in PDD-NOS or HFA, developmental delays are included in the diagnostic criteria. I have many more traits in common with Asperger's/HFA/PDD-NOS than I've mentoned.I'm leaving a lot of things out, as I don't want this to turn into a novel, but I have included most of the most important details. 

I want to tell my psychiatrist of this, but I'm afraid he'll not believe me and think I'm a hypochondriac. I'm afraid to tell anyone, really, although I've told my mom (though she doesn't really get it as the result of a stroke she had in '01). All this really started, not a few months ago, but about a year and a half ago. I saw a documentary on a guy who has Asperger's Syndrome on PBS, and I saw so much of myself in him.. more-so than pretty much anyone, ever. Then, around this time last year, at a group therapy session, one of the therapists asked me if I had ever been diagnosed with Asperger's because I seemed as if I could have it. I thought about it all that time, but it wasn't til I got a computer back in the summer that I began researching it and realized she may be right. I want to get a proper testing and diagnosing, though I don't have health insurance, or money to pay for it and I've heard it's incredibly expensive. I'd just like to know, for myself, if it's really true. It would make everything in my life make sense. The developmental delays, along with everything else.

lyricalongings lyricalongings
31-35, F
2 Responses Feb 16, 2009

I think I have some of the same problems you do. I played with Barbies in High School and I'm still too young for my age. I am 30 now. You are really doing alot to overcome your problems. You should apply for SSI then you would have health insurance.

You want to get better, this is the biggest thing, the most important thing. Despite your social anxieties you are going to college, which will lead to better job opportunities, and any good job will have health insurance. <br />
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That being said, you are on the right path to long term solutions. You've been very strong in overcoming the obstacles within you, and trying to get past them. I don't even know you, and I'm proud of you.<br />
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Your therapist is there for you to be honest, to let things out. If you are afraid he will label you as a hypochondriac then tell him so, but let him know everything else as well. Otherwise you are making him try to put a puzzle together without all the pieces, a waste of both money and time. <br />
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Remember that you have hired him, and you can easily have any other therapist you like if he tries to pin things on you that you don't think fits.<br />
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I see a lot of you in myself, and I want you to know, that as long as you are trying, things will get better. I promise that things get better. <br />
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Think of how far you have already gotten, don't let yourself forget how much power you have in yourself to keep going. Keep reaching out, keep trying, keep improving your education, eventually the right stuff will happen, even if there are pitfalls along the way.<br />
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There are lots of support groups out there, for people with all sorts of problems, once you've got a label for what you have, type that label and the name of your city into your browsers search engine. <br />
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Find a support group, they will have specific answers on how you can improve your life, what jobs are best, all sorts of resources, found by people who've already been through what you've been through. <br />
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Anyway, good luck, and happy journeys. :)