You bring up a lot of good questions Nick. Let me try to provide some ideas to consider.
Your questions at some level become one of nature vs. nuture: genetics (AS) vs. raising (CEN). If you have been diagnosed with AS, whether or not CEN was there, AS will be there. It is part of who you are. The challenge is figuring out how to rub off the rough edges that the outside world experiences so you can be perceived as more “normal” and fit in.
If you haven’t been diagnosed with AS/ASD, and think you may be wired that way, I would strongly recommend you get tested by a professional. I did, at 55. For me it was one of the best decisions of my life, because it helped me better understand all the denseness, “blind spots”, miscommunications, and derision I have had happen over the years that didn’t make sense. A whole new set of puzzle pieces of Me started getting filled in and for the first time started making sense.
If you are diagnosed with AS/ASD, I would also strongly recommend that instead of the CEN course that you find a professional therapist who has AS/ASD experience. You need to see that person regularly and use your ongoing life experiences as educational/teaching moments. Those professionals exist but are not always easy to find. There are a lot more to support children than adults. I found one, and he has been incredibly helpful. It’s kind of like cracking a code, a code he already knows and sees even though I may not, and at times really don’t (at all). My therapist takes the time to help me understand what is going on in language I can understand, and then encourages me to change. It’s not always successful, but there is progress, and others can see it.
Dr. Roberson would be an excellent choice, but unfortunately I live too far away so I had to find someone else.
Even with the delay in response I hope this perspective helps you in your journey. May I encourage you to not give up, not give in, and keep trying to figure these communication things out. Take care.