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Thread: Autism/Aspergers Disorder

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    Neither myself of anyone in my family has aspergers or autism as far as I know. Some friends of ours happen to have an autistic son. He has improved coping and language skills as long as he stays away from dairy, gluten etc. Also high quality cod liver oil helps him in addition to his perscriptions. His little sisters love to play in his swing and he is surprisingly good about sharing it. It is not my story to tell but I wanted to mention food triggers and cod liver oil.
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  2. #12
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    My Sister has the Asperger Syndrome. But i don't see any Problem about it. It's nothing negative for our Family, nor for her or her Husband.
    I don't consider it a Disease, just a Character-Version.




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    Asperger's and I

    It is only recently that I have come to realize that my miserable childhood was almost surely atributable to inevitably unrecognised Asperger's Syndrome. "Inevitably" because none of the studies establishing the existence of Asperger's Syndrome had been published in the US in the 1930's and 1940's when I was a schoolboy.

    Yet, I can now see that I was a classic example. I was the "little professor", speaking in verbose, sesquipedalian convoluted sentences of which others usually lost the thread (though I NEVER did) before I reached the point.

    In sixth grade, at the age of 11, we took a vocabulary test which, by some arcane and incomprehensible means, determined the size of one's "word hoard". Mine was found to be an astonishing 41,000 words ! Today, this would have waved a red flag before the eyes of the school system's psychologists. Then, it was regarded as merely curious.

    Much of this vocabulary consisted of archaic and unusual words such as "eftsoons" which I employed regularly, probably for the first time in centuries. Far be it from me to say "Hello" when I might greet a person with "Greetings, salutations, and felicitations." Rarely, did I answer a question with a simple yes or no. Usually, I said either "Most assuredly" or "most assuredly not".

    Having been both sickly and socially inept to an almost incredible degree, I was bullied incessantly during recess sessions at school. Lacking physical prowess, I employed my staggering vocabulary as a defensive weapon. I bludgeoned my tormentors with words. Nothing gave me more pleasure than to insult a bully in language so incomprehensible that he was unaware of being insulted [though, of course, he usually inferred that what I was saying was not complimentary].

    It is this facility with language which has led to controversy over equating Asperger's Syndrome with high-performance autism. Most autists are verbally deficient. Also, as evaluated by the usual intelligence tests [concerning the validity of which I have serious reservations] most autists appear deficient in intelligence. "Aspies" , on the other hand, are often highly intelligent.

    When I was a schoolboy, our intelligence test scores were considered classified information, to be divulged neither to the student nor to his parents.
    Subsequent tests have revealed, for whatever little it may be worth, that my IQ is 180. It should have been clear, then, that, throughout elementary school, and, indeed until my senior year of high school, I was a consistent under-achiever. This seems to have been attributed solely to laziness.

    The physical awkwardness ascribed to those having Asperger's Syndrome certainly applied to me. While doing calisthenics in phys. ed. classes, I was always the one who was out of step. I enjoyed trying to play tennis, but was always being hit by the ball. Not that I couldn't see the ball but, that I couldn't react to its being where it was. This was true in volley-ball also. I never learned to ride a bicycle. I learned to swim at the age of 21, but hardly progressed beyond a desperate struggle to keep from drowning. I also never learned to dance, being hopelessly uncoordinated.

    Meanwhile,(back at the ranch) I was developing a unique but rather unenviable personality. I was a strange child and I tended to associate mainly with others as strange as myself. I had no clue as to how to start or maintain a friendship with a normal child. I became and have remained paranoid because I was and am unable to understand the motivations of others. Inevitably, this leads to mistrust and paranoia. That, of course, IS an autistic trait.

    Defensively, I became arrogant and sarcastic. I once remarked, quite sincerely, that I was undisturbed by peer pressure because I did not acknowledge having any peers. Both because of my paranoia and because of my inability to fathom the motivations of others, I have never been able to bring myself to have a truly intimate relationship with anyone. I have been, as one might infer, a lifelong bachelor. I DARE NOT confide in anyone who might use my confidences against me. This is, obviously, no basis for a marriage.

    It is said that Aspies tend to indulge in long-winded tedious monologues of little or no interest to their listeners. As an adult, I have tried to avoid that sort of thing.[Though, that may well be why I became a college professor.]
    However, the tendency does appear in my posts in various fora. I don't suppose that there are very many others who give a damn WHO invented the telescope, for example.

    This post is a classic example. Will it ever end ? Yea, verily, despair not, the end approacheth albeit with glacial tardity.

    I read recently an article about an autistic anthropologist (almost an oxymoron) in which she mentioned that she tends to think visually more often than verbally. The arrogant ignorant shrink who wrote the article claimed that this is the way animals think. Indeed, sir ? Doubtless you have shared the mental experiences of animals by means of telepathy ? Arrogant popinjay ! NOBODY knows how animals think.

    The ability to think non-verbally is a GIFT, not a primitive trait ! Nikola Tesla, the great Serbian engineer, inventor, scientist and futurist possessed this ability to an exceptional degree. He could visualise an invention, test it, modify it, test the modified version, etc. without ever having built it. I am a bit tetchy about this matter because I possess the same ability, though not to as extreme a degree, as Tesla did, and have found it to be enormously useful.

    I suspect that most of us Aspies, lonely and maladjusted though we be, tend to regard ourselves as superior to the general population. Perhaps this is a defensive delusion, but I think not.

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    I am somewhat watchful of the 'cures' for people Autism/ASD.

    I believe that restricted diets are good for all people, but that perhaps Aspies, and suchlike are move sensitive to disturbing or rajasic/tamasic foodstuffs.

    For instance, I dislike chocolate and cannabis. These disturb right-left brain co-ordination, which people with ASDs characteristically have a problem with this.

    I try to keep a sattvic diet.

    I would not seek to cure myself of anything other than my own personal discomfort.

    I have always rejected the idea that I need to change to fit society, as much as the idea that society might need to change to accommodate me. Such ideas are, I feel, leftist in origin, and are an attack on the individual.

    However, ASD people are at a disadvantage, and this is something for ourselves to understand.

    We often take what people say far too seriously, and we do normal practical logical rational things which upset other people.

    I currently share a flat with my GF and two other people. I have just moved in.

    I went into the bathroom and washed absolutely everything. I live with rat-packers, they have a bit of a problem. I will not stand for this at all. I could have knitted a new scarf from the pubic hair on that bathroom floor!

    I threw away empty bottles, washed all the soap residue from around all the various lotion and potion containers. I cleaned the whole place from top to bottom and threw away anything which was out of date, like the condoms I found.

    I rearranged the bathroom to optimum efficiency.

    This will not well received, I got no thanks for doing this, and my flatmate was disappointed that I had gone through his personal things. This is an area in which I am quite ruthless. I dislike mess and.... SMELLS. ASD people are often hypersensitive to odours.

    I am not willing to change this. Not when I am actually right, and ASD people are very often right - too right. I gain little satisfaction from 'getting on' with people, so why would I want to change anyway, for people who would probably not see me as a potential friend anyway.

    If I can 'get away' with expressing myself, I will.

    I just have to bash on through. Growing up, I was told that I should be kind and never lie, and I took this far too seriously.

    Neurotypical people, almost unanimously, lie, cheat and steal as a way of life. Where ASD people fall down, is that we take moral codes far too seriously. We are too honest, too kind and too forgiving, as as a result we are always disappointed.

    We are insenstive and we are too sensitive. It is a tough lesson.

    www.aspiesforfreedom.com is a good resource for ASD people.

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    As always there is a book I want to mention. The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon. The authors son and the autistic & aspie social groups that she met through him informed much of this nearfuture scifi novel. Fortis_in_Arduis's post reminded me of it. The seriousness with that autistics and aspies take many things is impressive. I really enjoied it and it and the first person internal POV was powerful. It felt real in the interactions and motivations. I have known a lot of geeks and some could undoubtably fall in the aspie/autistic spectrum. There were several points that reminded me of people I know.

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    I think that using diminutive terms like "Aspie" and "Autie" to refer to these conditions is ridiculous. The last thing anyone needs is to be infantalised and insulted by such ludicrous and condescending appelations.

    I am not exactly a sufferer of Asperger Syndrome, but as someone with a very mild form of CP I can give my own experience of this phenomenon. I didn't start tying my shoes until I was 8 years old until my uncle sat me down and showed me how to do it. It did not take much time at all before I could do it perfectly. A day or two at most. Even when I asked my mother angrily why I was not instructed much earlier she said " You couldn't do it, you were unable to do it." Which is the most infuriating load of tripe ever.

    The family due to my mother's neurosis will not contribute any funds to my purchasing a car, despite the fact that it is self-evident that I can drive. Now I will not "poor-soul" the issue as I realize many people must earn their own money to buy their own car, and so I am prepared to find a good job when I graduate to buy my own car, and then no one can say a damn thing about it.

    The problem is that when someone is diagnosed with a condition who acts a bit different from most others, they are wrapped up in a big bubble, judged, and then they are never given the benefit of the doubt no matter how much evidence to the contrary. People have already made up their mind, what can you do?

    First and foremost, all condescending and diminutive language should be aggressively stamped out. People should be allowed to do things for themselves, and if they ask for someone to demonstrate a particular point they should do so. Personally, I think if I had a larger male presence in my life I would have been MUCH better off. Men encourage you to take risks, where women want to wrap you in a bubble, thus effectively crippling you, and only serving to enhance a weakness. I mean no offense to the ladies, it's just I was raised by two aunts, a mother, and a grandmother who, through their coddling only helped to stunt my physical development... This is not to say that I am not partly responsible, but the influence of 4 overly protective females is a difficult barrier to transcend.

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    Aspies

    We persons with Asperger's Syndrome coined that term ourselves to avoid cumbersome circumlocutions such as the 4-word phrase above. Especially, we do not want to be called "Asperger's sufferers". Most of us feel that we're not really suffering and that we are certainly not inferior to people who are not "suffering" from Asperger's Syndrome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorm the Old View Post
    We persons with Asperger's Syndrome coined that term ourselves to avoid cumbersome circumlocutions such as the 4-word phrase above. Especially, we do not want to be called "Asperger's sufferers". Most of us feel that we're not really suffering and that we are certainly not inferior to people who are not "suffering" from Asperger's Syndrome.
    I know plenty of us who have this "disorder" and use the word Aspie or Autie. It's not ridiculous nor condescending. It is a slang word to cut out the more long-winded term for it.

    We're certainly not inferior - just different!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boche View Post
    My Sister has the Asperger Syndrome. But i don't see any Problem about it. It's nothing negative for our Family, nor for her or her Husband.
    I don't consider it a Disease, just a Character-Version.
    Boche
    I almost agree with this it is just a different character trait, however it does make it harder to get on with the person who suffers.

    My boyfriend has Aspergers and it can make things difficult. It is mainly because he will not pick up on emotional clues, tends to overreact to statements and expects there to be harm meant by comments, however how much of that is from the mental difference and how much is from the treatment that he received/s at the hands of others is difficult to tell. he does tend to repeat the same thing several times and it is very difficult sometimes to remember that although the behaviour can at times appear childish he isn't a child and shouldn't be treated like one.

    In general it makes things a lot harder for everbody around, however it also has good sides as he'll look at things in a totaly different way and therefore sometimes come up with a different and better way of sorting something.

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    Repeating oneself

    When I became a professional educator, it provided me with the perfect excuse for repeating myself. The educationists call it "reinforcement." I even mentioned it to my students. "You will notice that I often repeat myself. I try to say the same thing in several different ways in the hope that one of them will appeal to your particular mind-set and help you to grasp the idea."

    Actually, I wouldn't even have to vary the repetition for it to qualify as reinforcement. This came in very handy if I should forget that I'd already said that. I'm just repeating it to "reinforce" the student.

    BTW, I use the term "educationist" for an educational theorist who may never have taught a course in his/her life but thinks that he/she knows how it should be done.

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