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Nomic
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28 Oct 2006, 12:23 am

KBABZ wrote:
I started this topic because I felt like there wasn't any one comprehensive guide to Asperger's on the site (minus the helpful Assesments in the Writing and Poetry section). I want it to be contributed to by ANY member on the site (a bit like Wikipedia), because the ones who know it best are the ones who've got it :wink:. It should cover every aspect of Asperger's, from the breif history it has, to things like obsessions and social interations to the implications it has and well known people with Asperger's. It should also act as an introductory source for those who want a checklist for seeing whether or not they're likely to have Asperger's, or as an NT's guide to it, as the title suggests (NT's are welcome to contribute, as long as it's appropriate!) Who knows, maybe this topic will get stickied for later use (I'd like that :) ).


I don't understand why its important to have an "NT's Guide to Asperger's" on a forum for Aspie's. When I went to the largest bookstore in my city, the one that fills an entire city block and three floors, each with vaulted ceilings, there was a book shelf from floor to ceiling full of books for NT parents to understand their child with AS. I found exactly ONE book for adults with AS in a section for "phsychology/general dissorders" right next to, "personality dissorders". I find it rather offensive actually; both the book and the lack of information for Aspies. If I were diagnosed with AS, I would dread handing my wife this information and saying, "look, this is me". It's not me. If all these issues were "fixed", I would still be me. This list of challenges in coping with an NT world is hardly me and would be largly irrelevant in an AS world.

Consider that in this forum at least, you are not the 1 in 1,000 unusual individual with the problem in how to cope. You are the norm. NT's are the exception. They have a problem in coping with your normal world. It seems to me an Aspie is not "mind blind" to another Aspie. NTs might just as well be considered "reallity blind" from an AS perspective. How do you want to define yourself? With a laundry list of problems? Certainly as an Aspie you find problems fascinating and they are important to you. Indeed these impact your life in an NT world and are good material for discussion. But do these problems define your identity? If so, could you work on improving those skills and changing and still be an Aspie? I'm challenging people here to rethink this. What makes you special in positive terms? What are the characteristics that make you different from NT's that you would never want to let go of? If they were indeed to change, you might not really be you anymore.

BTW, wouldn't it be more usefull for an AS forum to have an "Aspie guide to neurotypical?" stated not in an NT perspective, but from an objective AS perspective with examples? I'm certain there are Aspei's here who have had considerable experience and time to think about NT's and how they think. It might be interesting to write that down to help other Aspie's who haven't figured them out sufficiently yet. This could help them to get an understanding of how differently NT's think. I certainly haven't found any books on the subject. If you have, please let me know.



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28 Oct 2006, 3:22 am

Those are all excellent statements, Nomic. I agree with you, if you just stereotype things everything becomes repeditive and less interesting, and everyone is different in their own unique way. I'm different from One-Winged-Angel because I have an obsession with drawing whereas he has an obsession with Sephiroth. I am also most likey taller than him (I've been known for my tallness), and I have grey-blue eyes and have dark brown hair and light skin and am of Dutch decent and live in New Zealand and all these other things that seperate him from me from you from Cockney Rebel from alex from Starbuline from Aspie_Chav from me from everybody else in the world.

We are all different, and I like that we are that way, it's just that we all share these certain traits and characteristics (although most often not every one of them and certainly not at the same intensity for all of us). I felt it would help for some aimless reason. The only real reason was probably for new users or people to get an actual acurrate list of our traits, so that they could use it to test themselves or other with an informal diagnosis. I know from experience that having a reason as to why you are the way you are helps releive some mental pressure.

Anyway, the idea of The Aspie's Guide to NT's has lingered in the back of my mind for a while during the past week. I reckon it's a good idea, and it'd be so large it'd probably need it's own forum!



Nomic
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29 Oct 2006, 10:10 pm

KBABZ wrote:
I agree with you, if you just stereotype things everything becomes repeditive and less interesting, and everyone is different in their own unique way. I'm different from One-Winged-Angel because I have an obsession with drawing whereas he has an obsession with Sephiroth. I am also most likey taller than him (I've been known for my tallness), and I have grey-blue eyes and have dark brown hair and light skin and am of Dutch decent and live in New Zealand and all these other things that seperate him from me from you from Cockney Rebel from alex from Starbuline from Aspie_Chav from me from everybody else in the world.

We are all different, and I like that we are that way, it's just that we all share these certain traits and characteristics (although most often not every one of them and certainly not at the same intensity for all of us). I felt it would help for some aimless reason. The only real reason was probably for new users or people to get an actual acurrate list of our traits, so that they could use it to test themselves or other with an informal diagnosis. I know from experience that having a reason as to why you are the way you are helps releive some mental pressure.

Anyway, the idea of The Aspie's Guide to NT's has lingered in the back of my mind for a while during the past week. I reckon it's a good idea, and it'd be so large it'd probably need it's own forum!


Hmm, maybe I should work on not comming across quite so negative. I'm not sure how your statement "if you just stereotype things everyting becomes repeditive and less interesting" relates to my criticism. I don't think I said this. Although I might agree, I also see that it's important to create abstractions. For a great example of this, consider the TCP/IP protocol -- this is the foundation of the Internet and how all the computers are able to communicate. It is constructed with several layers of abstraction; all of the details are there, but it is organized in a way that makes it much easier to reason about. This enables people to consider far more complex systems than if it wasn't constructed with layers of abstractions.

For a really good book, which is free and on the Internet, check out "Design and Validation of Computer Protocols" by Gerard J. Holzmann, available at http://www.freetechbooks/about192.html. At least read the first chapter; it has a great bit of history about communication protocols that initiated with fire signals, and covers British Railway accident due to a failure in the protocol used to controle when trains are allowed to enter a tunnel. It leads into a great discussion about protocols and provides examples of building them in layers of abstractions. It's unfortunate that nobody seems to teach how to create layers of abstractions in usefull ways.

Another great book (although not a technical book) to read is "The Craft of Research" by Booth, Colomb and Williams, available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Research-Chicago- ... 0226065685. I think anyone with an intense desire to learn about a specific topic and would like to write to others about what they have learned should read this book... often. If you teach, you might want to read this book as well. It provides a great explanation about choosing a thesis and what information to include. This avoids the common "brain dump" and pick out what is important to for thesis in order to communicate successfully.



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30 Oct 2006, 12:00 am

:? I, in a similar way to you, have no idea how this relates, except with how the information should come across.



Nomic
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30 Oct 2006, 11:32 pm

KBABZ wrote:
:? I, in a similar way to you, have no idea how this relates, except with how the information should come across.

Yes, but that's okay. I hope I haven't derailed you as I think this is an important topic to work on. My main point was to avoid doing what all the other books have already done; list the symptoms of AS. What I'm trying to do is suggest a spin on this project that makes it interesting and unique; tell the story from an Aspie perspective, not an NT perspective. This may take a while to think over and try a few times befor getting the hang of it. But that's okay. As I recall, Aspie's are tenatious.



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31 Oct 2006, 1:08 am

I'll try and stay away from that 'repeat the books' thing. In a way, it could be handy for a quick summary of the books (I don't want to read 500 pages for this information!).

Nomic wrote:
tell the story from an Aspie perspective, not an NT perspective.


Well, that's kinda what I intended to do here in the first place! As I said, I wanted this to be contributed to by Aspie's, because we're the ones who know it best! We have all the inside information, and can tell the story from our point of veiw. It's called the NT's guide to Aspies, but it's written by Aspie's!



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31 Oct 2006, 1:29 am

KBABZ, thanks for starting this post,

I agree liking order is common, but so I think is personal disorganisation.

As for animals, I like my dogs because they are always glad to see me. You can yell at them and they still like you the same. But people?


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31 Oct 2006, 2:28 am

BazzaMcKenzie wrote:
KBABZ, thanks for starting this post


Thanks! I have a certain level of disorganisation too. My day isn't planned out like 'I'll do this at 11:43, and then this at 1:21', but it's more like 'Okay, I want to do this today. I'll start out with this and see how it goes'

I like many animals. Usually the small to cat-sized ones, and especially insects. I like they way they crawl over you, and it feel nice and subtle.

Is there anything else I could add?



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31 Oct 2006, 8:50 pm

More famous people with Aspergers:
Michelangelo, Isaac Newton, H. C. Andersen, Arne Garborg, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Albert Einstein, Glenn Gould, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg and Bill Gates.



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13 Nov 2006, 2:10 am

Had to copy-paste it, the 9999 minute time limit is up. Sorry about the break, if anyone was interested in this!

==History==
[Yet to be worked on and contributed to]

==Asperger's Terms==
:arrow: Aspie: Someone with Asperger's
:arrow: Autie: Someone with Autism
:arrow: NT: Neurotypical, generally means anyone who does not have Asperger's or is on the spectrum, but more specifically means anyone who is classed as neurotypical. In rants, NT means anyone Neurotypical who is lazy, inconsiderate, or just plain mean.
:arrow: Asperger's: Shorthand for Asperger's Syndrome. Preferably used because Asperger's is not a Syndrome, or at lease doesn't sound or feel like one, more of a Neurological re-wiring. The name has yet to be changed to suit this.
:arrow: AS: Abbreviation of Asperger's Syndrome.
:arrow: The Spectrum: The level and guide to how Aspie or Autie someone is. The higher someone is on the spectrum, the more 'normal' they behave. It's odd, I know. The high end is typically classed as hypersocialisation, the low end for low-functioning/severe autism, and the middle for Asperger's Syndrome and low-functioning autism.

==Asperger's Traits==
These are the main traits to look out for, and not all of them can be present in an Aspie.

:arrow: Obsessions or very narrow interest range; which can range from Double-Decker Buses to Sephiroth, and have varying times of longetivity, from a few days or weeks, but most often several months or even years. Some obsessions can last as short as a few seconds (such as finding a certain item in the newspaper) to an entire lifetime. During this time, it can be very difficult to keep off the obsession, and yet when it wears off, the obsessor is often left wondering how they could be so obsessed over something like that.
:arrow: Social Awkwardness; Things like eye contact, sarcasm and any other non-verbal social cues don't come naturally, and must most often be taught in order to be picked up, rather than just mentally picked up. Due to the narrow interest range, Small Talk (also known as chatting about anything) can be a difficulty.
:arrow: Trouble with Dexterity; hand, finger and general body movement appears to be either clunky, sloppy, lazy, or something similar. This often leads to clumsiness. Despite this, many people with Asperger's don't have this characteristic and are able to do things like climb trees and Rock Climb quite well.
:arrow: Mental Age Difference; Often those with Asperger's tend to act younger or older than their age, due to child-like behaviors or strong logic senses and judgment. Most often these two ways of behaving occur at different times, so one could act like a ten year old one moment, and be very wise and judgmental the next.
:arrow: Emotional Instability: More specifically, a lack of control over anger, starting with confusion, and leading on to anger, fits of rage, and then what is known as a 'meltdown'. Can be stopped earlier in the process.
:arrow: A liking of Order; Having things organized and spelt out makes those with Asperger's more calm, and less prone to getting angry. When these plans change, or any sort of change happens, for that matter, it's like throwing a wrench into the workings of an Aspie's mind.
:arrow: A lack of Empathy; Aspies can have a lack of sympathy around other and may appears selfish and incapable of relating to others. For example, if an Aspie's friend falls over and breaks his or her ankle, a person with Asperger's may not relate that his or her friends is in pain. They know that they have broken their ankle, but the seriousness of it all may not come through.
:arrow: A relation to animals; While not an accurate way of telling whether or not someone has AS, it is commonly found that Aspies can relate to animals more than to other people. The reason isn't clear, but it probably has something to do with the mistrust of other people due to abuse, but also just because Aspies can't relate to people very well, and animals aren't people, are they?
:arrow: Hypersensitivity; Those with Asperger's can be highly sensitive to their senses of light, touch, sound and smell. This can be positive and negative, so for example, an Aspie could like certain smells more than most, or can not stand being in a place with bright lights. This can be in varying likenesses as well, so a person with Asperger's could like bright lights, hate smelling a wide range of smells, like loud noises and dislike being touched. Another strange related factor (in the negative area) is that some Aspies dislike things such as Fluorescent lights and monitors on the 60 hertz refresh rate as it makes them feel nautious, and the cause is relatively unknown (as is a lot about AS).
:arrow: An odd sense of Space; People with Asperger's tend to have a different idea of a sense of space then most. For example, an Aspie would have a wider area of 'personal space' than an NT, and yet can sometimes inadvertently stray into another persons 'personal space' and not realize that this would be socially awkward for the other person.

==Overview==
:arrow: =Order and Organization=
Aspie's tend to like a sense of order and organization. Often they make mental plans of what they'd like to do during the day. Most often when things don't go according to this plan, things go haywire and the Aspie will feel hurt and betrayed, and will get angry and upset. [Needs expanding on by an expert in the subject]

:arrow: =Overload=
Too much sensory input can become overwhelming and reduce an Aspie to a wide-eyed mute, barely able to move or function. Even if there doesn't appear to be a lot going on, sometimes all it takes is one thing - certain types of noise, light, even people. It feels like there's an internal volume control that just got turned up, so all the sensory input coming in is a lot more intense than it would normally be. It's overwhelming - it takes up all of an Aspie's attention so they can't think clearly or focus on anything else, and talking, moving and concentrating becomes nearly impossible. Aspies are more prone to overload when they're tired or stressed, so even in the same surroundings, sometimes overload will kick in from the stimuli and sometimes it won't - it just depends on how well our nervous system can handle everything on that particular occasion. Because of the sensitivity to sensory information, an Aspie who dislikes being touched will lash out when touched by somebody, whereas someone who likes being touched will most likely find it relaxing (I don't know about that last one).

==Famous, or at least well known people with Asperger's or Autism, suspected or not==
~Sherlock Holmes
~Columbo (not sure where he comes from. A book, maybe?)
~Michelangelo
~Isaac Newton
~H. C. Andersen
~Arne Garborg
~Ludwig Wittgenstein
~Albert Einstein
~Glenn Gould
~Stanley Kubrick
~Steven Spielberg
~Bill Gates
~Possibly that guy who studied peas for 20 years and proved genetics (turns out his name is Gregor Medel)
~Maybe that cat lady who lives on the edge of town

Added The Spectrum to Asperger's Terms, and also added more to the list of those with or thought to have AS.

If anyone could do a brief history of AS, I'll be immensely grateful!


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In a way
And sadness turned to comfort
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Last edited by KBABZ on 14 Nov 2006, 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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13 Nov 2006, 3:16 pm

As far as historical aspies go: What about Nikola Tesla?



asperience
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13 Nov 2006, 4:30 pm

This is great. Having something I could print out on one or a few pages and hand out to people who are interested in Asperger's would great. I hope when this is finished it will be in a printable form (html, pdf, or actual wiki).

When I first started reading this thread I thought "well there already is a wiki on Asperger's so why reinvent the wheel", but the compact and jargonless nature of this document is coming across as a real win.



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13 Nov 2006, 11:07 pm

Thanks asperience! I hope this will be done sometime in the near future. If you have any areas to add on to, please feel free to post it up, and I'll edit my post to suit. The Printable version will probably not have an overview, I can imagine, because it's basically repeating the list of traits, except in more detail.


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I was sad when I found that she left
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That I could speak to her,
In a way
And sadness turned to comfort
We all go there


wedrifid
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14 Nov 2006, 2:15 am

I would use problems with "empathy" rather than "sympathy" in the description. While there is significant overlap between the usage of the words, 'empathy' tends to be used to describe the ability to put oneself in the psychological frame of reference of another and feel what they would be feeling or intuit what they would think. That is what the aspie problem tends to be, even though they can often be very sympathetic when they do actually understand the other person. Or think they do. This is a problem in relationships and also in the more ruthless uses of empathy. Manipulation and exploitation, both in perpetration and avoidance.



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14 Nov 2006, 8:08 am

KBABZ wrote:
We are all different, and I like that we are that way, it's just that we all share these certain traits and characteristics (although most often not every one of them and certainly not at the same intensity for all of us). I felt it would help for some aimless reason. The only real reason was probably for new users or people to get an actual acurrate list of our traits, so that they could use it to test themselves or other with an informal diagnosis. I know from experience that having a reason as to why you are the way you are helps releive some mental pressure.

Anyway, the idea of The Aspie's Guide to NT's has lingered in the back of my mind for a while during the past week. I reckon it's a good idea, and it'd be so large it'd probably need it's own forum!


Hey there - Just wanted to say thanks... I am an NT woman. And while I am one of those dreaded mental health professionals (a therapist) and have actually, as I think back on it, known several people with AS socially over the years, I feel fairly new to really learning deeply about AS. I really care very much for this aspie fellow and he pointed me here to do some learning... Just wanted all of you to know I found this post incredibly helpful. I appreciate the open sharing.