Diff between AS and antisocial personality disorder?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, May 9, 2011.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Difference between Asperger's and antisocial personality disorder?

    easy child is insistent that she sees a lot of AntiSocial pers dis. in difficult child. I think it's totally Aspie. She says she's not discounting the AS aspects, but still sees AntiSoc Pers dis.

    I looked up the differences online and what's hard to tell is whether difficult child really feels remorse deeply or whether he says he does and does what he has to do in order to regain his privileges.

    One thing we've done is make sure that he does feel remorse by repeating what he has done wrong and taking away privileges until he cries. Kids can't develop a conscience unless they truly feel what they have to feel. I don't see people with-antisocial personality dis being like that.

    My ex-b-i-l has it (he's in prison now) and the only time I saw him exhibit tender emotions was when his daughter was born, and when my sister left him. Of course, he never apologized for a thing, and he was a victim the entire time. He was so manipulative he could wrap you around his little finger in 5 sec. flat. He was funny, entertaining, and very smart.

    I'm thinking that easy child is looking at the extremes in difficult child -- the times we've called the police, the times he has done things that don't mesh with what society tells us is right --and I'm looking at how he has learned to curb those behaviors, how he can feel emotion as opposed to being totally devoid of emotion, and how he is extremely immature. I don't see him being "hard" as much as "not getting it."

    I don't see difficult child totally getting into people's faces to aggravate them all the time, although he does love to do that to me. :sigh: Mostly, he'd rather be at home in his room, reading, or in easy child's room on her computer, or in the LR, playing PlayStation. He is not always violent, only when his routine is destroyed and his anxiety ramps up.

    But easy child is insistent and wants to make an appointment with-our therapist to talk about it ... with-o difficult child, of course.

    Anybody here with-kids who have a 100% diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder? ​
  2. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Sweetie, I think you ought to go forward with the diagnosis's you have on hand. easy child, while a caring sister, is in no way able to diagnosis her brother. If you have questions you need to check in with psychiatrist.

    by the way, wm has been called antisocial personality but it's never been noted on his list of diagnosis's. Nothing is set in stone & while our difficult children grow things can & will change when it comes to their diagnosis's.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Terry, your son is what? 12 or 13? That is too young for ASPD to be dxd. Maybe CD.

    Cory has ASPD traits but also some other personality disorders traits so we call him Personality Disorder not otherwise specified.

    Yes, I would worry about the remorse and conscience issue because you cannot force one or build one in. Cory has never been mean. He is manipulative as all get out. He can be empathetic but on the other hand he can be cunning. People are always saying what a great guy he is but then he is also a felon. He is getting better though. You said that thing about your brother and the birth of his baby. Cory adores his daughter and his niece and nephew. He also loves his brothers and of course, me and his dad. Funny thing was when he was young the cops always said he was so odd because they would be handcuffing him but he would be laughing with them and still liking them, when others would be cussing them. Cory would see the same cops out on the street and yell hi to them as if they were his best friends! He never held a grudge and he still doesnt.

    He firmly knows when he is wrong and when someone else does something to him so he gets that idea. He knows that he messed up when he stole from me so it wasnt my fault that I charged him but his.

    Thats why he isnt full blown ASPD. Also Cory has never been violent or used force to steal or hurt people.

    I would not worry so much about what your daughter says because she is going through what is normal for people who are studying medicine or psychology because they end up seeing or developing every disease they read about. However, I would keep an eye out for the symptoms of developing CD if it worries you. The school thing does worry me a bit.
  4. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    ASPD is one of the personality disorders wehave been warned about with our difficult child. Our current family therapist is insistent she has this. I see it come and go. Her remorse is mostly around her own "rear-end" when she is in trouble. But also some of this is typical teen issues as well. My little Aspie kids are totally different. They have such an innocent and clueless way about them, not a sophisticated manipulative way.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    No, aspie is totally different than antisocial. Kids who are aspie have social issues but not ASPD. My oldest son is aspie lite and you could have said he was fairly anti social because he was always in his room fixing computers or reading or playing on the computer or video games but its not that type of anti-social...lol. He just wasnt good with people...now he is...well pretty okay...he works in retail.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Aspies also show more concern for the people closest to them, so they may not seem to care about something happening to someone they don't know.
    ASPD, on the other hand, cares for no one but themselves (or perhaps I'm merging it with sociopath, or it is the same thing?) and can get good at pretending to care.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Your daughter is wrong. So many things that you have posted make it clear that he is aspie and not aspd. ASPD is not diagnosis'd until after age 18 because some of the symptoms/signs are things that can also be pretty much typical teen, or so several psychiatrists and tdocs have told me. When Wiz was 12 I was told that he would have the ASPD diagnosis by his 20th birthday. At the time he showed NO remorse or regret for all the torture he inflicted on Jessica (real torture - if he had been an adult he would have gotten a LONG prison sentence for this, possibly even life in prison!). He just was NOT able to be diagnosis'd because they were not sure he would be doing the same things at age 18 and older.

    I did not think I could handle knowing my adult son was a predator doing all manner of awful things to a woman as often as he wanted to. I am glad I did NOT do anything rash because this groupo f dire, awful predictions about his future were/are ALL WRONG. But this was told to me from professionals who had years of experience - NOT some college kid who isn't even able to practice.

    Whomever said that people who are studying go through this is totally correct. My profs called it "medication school syndrome" - where you think you or someone you know has whatever it is you are learning about. Some of the students in my class were truly hilarious with this. From one week to the next they had the most extreme diagnosis for themselves and their family and friends. It is a very normal thing to go through, but it does NOT mean your mother needs to take you to your bro's doctor to discuss it.

    the more you feed into this the longer it will last. Explain to her that you appreciate the concern, but this is something his doctor is taking care of. He has the best professionals that you can find and they are confident that he does not have ASPD. Then again, if she works herself up into a real tizzy you may want to take her to the therapist - to discuss why she is so certain that the docs are wrong.

    From all of the things you have posted about difficult child in the past, he reads as ASPIE or at least strong aspie traits. There is very little that says ASPD - esp because there are no police reports, skipped school, etc.....

    (((((hugs))))) It is never easy when the armchair tdocs, aka our family/friends who have read an article/seen a movie/talked with a friend/whatever, decide our difficult children ahve problems because X or Y and that we should be doing A, B and C instead of what we are doing.

    I do tihnk easy child is likely highly worried if she thinks you are home alone or sleeping with a person with ASPD in the home.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, I'm fascinated by AntiSocial Personality Disorder (love to read and watch true crime too) and read Robert Hare's books. He is t he Grandfather of Antisocial Personality Disorder and it's nothing like Aspergers. Antisocials are charming and show LOTS of emotion. It's phony, of course, but how else can they woo Miss Rich Lady off her feet to swindle her out of her money? They know EXACTLY how people react...understand what they need to do to get people to do things t heir way. They are mostly very controlled and appear to be nice guys. Remember Ted Bundy? Typical psychopath (same thing/different name). He charmed everyone and loved to be center stage. They have NO CONSCIENCE at all...not just trouble showing remorse, they don't HAVE any remorse. Aspies feel and often show remorse.

    Remember, your daughter isn't a professional :)

  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Okay, well, that's pretty much what I figured. I'm going out of town tomorrow to help with-my dad so at least it will be on the back burner for a while.

    Yes, I do think easy child is going to come up with-many more dxes during her studies ... lol! Still, she is scared that she has "left us" home with-him while she is away at school.
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I wouldn't worry about thelabels. I think there are a lot of conditions which appear to overlap. Different experts define different things and sometimes there is a connection between them tat can go uinrecognised. For example, Hans Asperger defined a condition which was named after himself. This happened in Germany at about the same time Leo Kanner was describing autism. Neither really knew about the other's work and we only really learned about Asperger's Syndrome in the last 30 years or so. There is a lot of overlap between the two conditions as described, and the new DSM criteria are trying to resolve this overlap.

    Medicine is an inexact science. neuropsychologist medicine doubly so. An unqualified person is not really able to firmly say this or that; even on this site, we can suggest, we can say "It really feels like this," but we also follow with, "Let's check it out with an expert."

    As for the empathy training:

    What worries me about this method, is that whether this is antisocial personality disorder or Asperger's, either disorder can learn to mimic empathy and distress by your method. All you are doing is teaching him that once he shows the outward signs of distress, you will ease up on him. These kids learn FAST. It may not be the healthy lesson you believe it to be - because to him, it can look like you asserting control over him, bullying hjim, because you can. Might is right. It may not be the best lesson for him. Instead, let him feel these things naturally, as rthey occur. Use life's natural lessons, don't manufacture them.

    For example, difficult child 3 left his bike out in the rain. He was upset because he ended up with a rusty bike chain. He took his bike down to the local maintenance man who scolded him for his carelessness, then helped him work on his own bike to get it working again. It was a valuable lesson.

    I have often said that people on the spectrum DO have feelings, they do feel very keenly, in fact. Sometimes too keenly. But they don't always express it in ways we recognise.
    At church on Sunday, I had to run the service while a friend of mine was the appointed speaker for the day. He is a 60 year old man with a recent diagnosis of Asperger's. he has himself under very tight control, always, but I noticed he was more stressed than I had ever seen. I tried to talk to him to discuss basics - the readings, the music choice. I had a running sheet I had printed. But he was so stressed, he kept putting his hands up and out in front of him, warding off. Then he would raise his hands as if to cover his ears, then drop them. He finally said to me, "I'm not coping well this morning. Please don't try to talk to me right now." He later told me he had prepared his talk on the wrong set of readings, and only discovered his mistake late the night before, so he had stayed up late re-writing his talk. he did a good job, and afterwards was a lot more relaxed and we were able to talk. He knows we understand, so he was able to communicate with us. But I have never seen those gestures from him before, he is usually so controlled. I have never seen him cry or even show distress. He smiles, sometimes laughs. He's perhaps one of the most intelligent people I know. Remarkably well skilled socially, all things considered. But we do notice gaps sometimes, as I did on Sunday.

    People with Asperger's learn social skills by imitating what we do. So the best way to teach them is not to merely instruct, but to demonstrate what you want through your own behaviour towards them. Please do not punish him by taking stuff away in order to provoke a reaction. I think it is really a bad idea, long-term. However, if an opportunity arises for you to point out to him that someon is hurting because they have lost something precious, you can give him a hypothetical, or even demonstrate it as long as it is only a demonstration and not an actual punishment. For example: "You played with Judy's favourite doll and broke the doll's head open. Judy is really upset. I know you don't think dolls are important, and they aren't important, to you. But to Judy, that doll is VERY important. The most important possession she has. What would you think your most important or favourite possession would be? Now can you imagine how you would feel, if Judy had taken that possession of yours and accidentally dropped it down the drain? You would be very upset, and angry at Judy even if it was an accident. Well, as bad as you would feel, that is how Judy feels right now. Can you think of anything you could do, to stop her from hurting so much inside? What do you think we could do to help her?"
    The aim here - find a way to fix the doll, or make amends somehow. Help him really understand, through his imagination (yes, they can do it, especially if you can bring it back to his own fears and his own interests) how the other person feels, by relating it to how he would feel in a situation that is sufficiently relevant to him and his own interests.

    We have found this has worked best with our boys especially. it has also taught them more directly, to independently look for and apply empathy.

  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    What the testing psychiatrist told me about the upcoming DSM is that it looks like Asperger's is going to be done away with altogether and there will be just a more generalized "Autistic Disorder" instead that is supposed to cover everything. :hammer:
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    HaoZi, that is VERY interesting. And that goes along with what happened when my son was tested only last month. He didn't get a cute, feel-good diagnoses of high functioning autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified or Aspergers and I think part of that may be that since it's all spectrum stuff, the kids all need the same type of help, even if some are higher functioning than others (sort of like high and low functioning schizophrenics...they still have the same brain disorder). It also makes it much easier to get services. My son was simply diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified or Aspergers may have caused him trouble with adult services, which he really will still need. Thanks for bringing this up. I didn't know, but I'm not really surprised.
  13. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    I too find the topic of ASPD pretty fascinating. I gave it scarcely a thought until a year ago, when trying to understand my nephew difficult child drove me to read Hervey Cleckley's The Mask of Sanity and, even though the book is very dated (published in '41) and some of his diagnostic indicators have since been disproven or at least heavily qualified. (The notion that all ASPDs are charming and glib, for instance; several noted ASPD experts have observed that they "never met an ASPD sufferer that they didn't find very unlikable.") Still, Cleckley's multiple profiles of psychopaths, and the general profile that he drew from them, read like a veritable portrait of my nephew. And all of the diagnostic indicators clicked completely into place without any guesswork or ambiguity. Further reading in Robert Hare's work heavily confirmed my surmisal. I know that only an experienced clinician can make reliable diagnoses of this kind, but when *every* diagnostic indicator is a spot-on "direct hit," you can reasonably begin to wonder if you're not arriving at a decent facsimile, however amateur, of a solid diagnosis.

    Still, I won't play diagnostic expert here (except to note that I've done a TON of reading and study on the topic in the last year). I will note, however, that some posts seem to suggest that a difficult child knowing right from wrong indicates that a diagnosis of ASPD is not merited, and this is incorrect: ASPDs know right from wrong--they typically know it every bit as certainly as we "typicals" do--but simply don't care. At all. Also, not all ASPDs are violent, although many are. Nor is a difficult child cheerily submitting to being handcuffed, and affably greeting cops on the street whom he's met via being arrested, counter-indicative of ASPD. Quite the contrary, in fact: it presents like classic shamelessness and incapacity to learn from experience, in that the difficult child seems to show no natural shame or embarrassment in a circumstance when a "typical" would practically shrivel in mortification and distress.

    I agree that you can't diagnosis ASPD before age 18 because some typical teen behaviors present similarly to *some* ASPD behaviors, but I've also heard a very experienced and well-regarded adolescent psychologist say, off the cuff at a private social conversation, that "CD is just what we call ASPD before the age of 18--they are behaviorally the same thing." Spoken in casual social circumstance, not the office, but he obviously felt it was true and asserted that many other adolescent psychologists felt the same way, however tacitly--one of those uncomfortable truths best not spoken too loud or in mixed company, lest it offend those parents for whom the topic of CD is a very raw nerve.

    Another diagnostic red herring among amateurs is the insistence that the MacDonald Triad behaviors--fire-starting, animal torture or killing, and bed-wetting, all in childhood years--be observed or recorded as a part of a diagnosis of ASPD. Not so: the MacDonald Triad behaviors are typical only in the most violently extreme ASPDs who are very likely to commit crimes of violence in adulthood, which is a fairly small subset of all ASPDs.

    Even the essential "shorthand" definition of ASPD has been formulated differently in different studies by different experts--i.e., it's not always encapsulated merely as "persons without conscience," although that is certainly a very central indicator. A very well researched New Yorker article in '98 borrowed this shorthand definition from a noted ASPD researcher: "the condition of moral emptiness." That too seems very centrally definitive to me from what I've observed of (what I'm certain is) psychopathy: simply the complete absence of the moral faculty. I.e., not merely uprooted or stunted or deadened or numbed, but never there at all. Just a hollow void where the moral faculty or moral inclinations should be. I think that might be a more useful definition than the standard "absence of conscience" for this simple reason: ASPDs can fake guilt and remorse. In fact, they invariably do when caught or when they want to wriggle out of punishment or consequences. But you can't fake the possession of a moral faculty if you don't have it--the absence of it practically shouts. My nephew often simulated the appearance of guilty feelings when it served his self-interest (not very convincingly), but it was ceaselessly apparent that he possessed no moral faculty at all--he knew right from wrong but he had absolutely no concern about it. It's hard to conceal *that*.

    A fascinating and troubling topic...
  14. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    Forgot to add this: ASPDs can and do cry and feel strong emotion in moments of high-pitched emotion or stress, just like the rest of us. An ASPD crying at the birth of his child doesn't invalidate his diagnosis of ASPD. See this article from Psychiatric Times, for instance: http://www.psychforums.com/antisocial-personality/topic43215.html.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    It certainly can get complicated. And I know that ASPD people do not have to have all of the traditional characteristics, such as lighting fires and torturing or killing animals.
    easy child saw a film at school where a young adult (say, 24 or so) ASPD was intereviewed, and said he'd never gotten into fires, and never tortured animals, and that he actually loved animals. But he'd kill a human any day. Just because he hated everyone.

    I see where she's coming from, but I agree with-most people here, that my difficult child is Aspie, with-some additional mood disorder. And just because he can be a jerk doesn't mean he's ASPD.

    In regard to the crying issue, I knew I'd get jumped on for that. I didn't explain it very well. We do not "make him cry" every time we discipline him. But I can tell right away when he is guilty of something--his ears turn bright red and he stares at the ground and doesn't talk. I've found that NOT berating him at times like that is the best way to proceed. Otherwise, he will just blow up, which I think any normal person would do when they're emotionally pushed into a corner.

    One thing I've noticed about my difficult child is a sort of dichotomy in regard to his surliness and rudeness toward me, and then he turns around and becomes totally dependent.
    For example, the other day he stayed after school for tutoring, and had baseball at 5:00 p.m. right behind his school. I had told him earlier that he was to stay at school and not come home, and I would meet him there.
    Well, he ignored me and got on the bus, then I texted him and he got off the bus, then he yelled at me because he wanted to go home, I told him it was a waste of time and would make us late for practice, I'd brought food in the car, etc.
    It turned out that I'd forgotten some of this baseball gear, so we went home anyway, and once he was there, he changed his clothes, ate the food I'd gotten him, got back into the car and walked onto the field with-no problem. His parting shot was, "You're not leavng are you?"
    I really wanted to leave and move to a South Sea island at that point, I was so fed up with-him. But all of a sudden, he was a little boy again and his tantrum was over, now that his routine was restored.
    I see that as being much more Aspie than anything else.
    I don't see that part, in particular, as "using me," but as being dependent.

    by the way, in regard to taking things away from him until he becomes compliant,(not necessarily apologetic--2 diff things) that is the fastest way to get him to respond, at least for now. And we don't take away just anything. It's the computer, video games and cell phone. The psychologist who did the initial testing and diagnosis for him warned us not to let him play repetetive and/or violent video games for more than 1-2 hrs a day because it creates excess (and useless) electrical activity in the frontal lobes, which takes away from deeper thought processing and executive functioning, something our regular therapist agrees with-wholeheartedly.

    So many things to cover here, so little time!