caution and curiousity in children on the spectrum

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soloha
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12 Oct 2017, 10:51 pm

I've read kids on the Spectrum can seem to lack curiosity. I've also read they also lack caution, though I think it's meant to express the lack understanding of risk and danger.

Those two things don't seem to go together. I would think if a child was very curious that might make them less cautious and, if they lacked curiosity, that lack of desire to explore the world might make them seem overly cautious?

Would "overly cautious" be atypical behavior for child on the Spectrum? Would never wanting to climbing out of the crib on their own be lack of curiosity?

Anyone have any knowledge in this area?



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12 Oct 2017, 10:57 pm

I wonder where you read that. Certainly wasn't true for me, I was curious about the physics of the natural world long before I knew physics existed as a discipline. However I think some kids are, some aren't. As the saying always goes, meet one Aspie and you have met one Aspie. AS children aren't made by cookie cutters.



soloha
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12 Oct 2017, 11:29 pm

It was in regards to physically exploring the world around them, not about information. I was searching "Autism curiosity". I found a fair number of things referring to lack of curiosity, but none about being extra curious to balance it out... which was curious to me :) Because I have always considered myself very curious. But this may only apply to my chosen topics. I note you mention physics specifically (my FAVORITE science, by the way) and not a general curiosity. As a young child did you run around actively physically checking things out, or were you more cautious and "observing"? Your thoughts on a child not ever leaving their crib? I tried to search on this to but could only find information about parents have trouble keeping kids *in* the crib.



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12 Oct 2017, 11:34 pm

I was a very focused and thoughtful in observation, always trying to formulate theories to explain phenomena around me (still do!). Can't say what age this started for me because I can't remember when I wasn't curious.

Running around wasn't my style at all - I would lay on the grass, or hide in the forest, or gaze into rockpools, or look at the sky, and try to figure it all out.

You have triggered a long forgotten memory in me... as a young child I was studying a globe of the world and decided that the various continents must have drifted apart at some stage. I thought this was my own personal discovery for a few years lol. Then I discovered it had been discovered...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_drift



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13 Oct 2017, 12:25 am

I remember it was stated in the DSM-IV for As was that they don't lack curiosity in childhood environment so I don't see the reason why an autistic child wouldn't be curious with their environment. I know I was very curious. I have seen myself in videos trying to touch stuff and studying things like our rocking chair and rocking it back and forth and looking in the air vents while walking by them. Plus I wandered off. I also took things apart.


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13 Oct 2017, 1:00 am

I'm very curious and lack caution. It's like walking around town I would become very curious about something I'm looking at and step right out into moving traffic.

However there are things I'm not curious about like celebrity stuff people are into and I couldn't care less about. So wile I am very curious about a lot of things, there's also a lot of things I'm completely disinterested in.


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xatrix26
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13 Oct 2017, 5:31 am

EzraS wrote:
I'm very curious and lack caution. It's like walking around town I would become very curious about something I'm looking at and step right out into moving traffic.

However there are things I'm not curious about like celebrity stuff people are into and I couldn't care less about. So wile I am very curious about a lot of things, there's also a lot of things I'm completely disinterested in.


I would have to completely agree with ErzaS whom I've quoted above, I have an insatiable curiosity about the world but caution is quite lacking with me. Dangerous situations seem to elude me constantly whether they are physical or social dangers. Because of this I tend to hurt myself quite a bit but hey at least my curiosity is satisfied!

And if there is something I am dis-interested in there is no possible way I'll ever become interested in it. It's part of the Aspie and ASD rigid thinking format that we all seem to follow.


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Last edited by xatrix26 on 13 Oct 2017, 8:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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13 Oct 2017, 7:22 am

soloha wrote:
I've read kids on the Spectrum can seem to lack curiosity. I've also read they also lack caution, though I think it's meant to express the lack understanding of risk and danger.

Those two things don't seem to go together. I would think if a child was very curious that might make them less cautious and, if they lacked curiosity, that lack of desire to explore the world might make them seem overly cautious?

Would "overly cautious" be atypical behavior for child on the Spectrum? Would never wanting to climbing out of the crib on their own be lack of curiosity?

Anyone have any knowledge in this area?
That's from someone else's perspective versus your perspective from my perspective both of those things are true. I lack the fundamental understanding of danger but also am extremely curious. They look for one size fits all situations where there is none. Like ezras said it's more of a distinct patern of caring and not caring. Like I may care about psychology but not care about some psychological problems... (as much) The thing is that it's a pattern of disinterest and interest. It's not a fundamental lack of cursiosity or danger. Being to curious can lead to a lack of sense of danger though. EzraS seems to be able to communicate what he feels better than I do. but he seems to have the basis of the idea. it's more of being curious about something but that leading to danger but people thinking you lack that curiosity because you aren't curious about everything but are curious about somethings. Oh boy am I overthinking this :?


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13 Oct 2017, 9:27 am

I was pretty curious, and often frustrated in my explorations. I was very cautious about getting into trouble, and pretty reliable around known hazards, but the first time I saw a dust devil, around age 6, I'd have gotten right inside if I'd been able to, but backed off when getting pelted with pebbles. It was an odd attraction, since I also had a recurring nightmare of being stuck inside a washing machine as the lump on spin cycle.



soloha
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13 Oct 2017, 9:30 am

Pieplup wrote:
That's from someone else's perspective versus your perspective from my perspective both of those things are true. I lack the fundamental understanding of danger but also am extremely curious. They look for one size fits all situations where there is none. Like ezras said it's more of a distinct patern of caring and not caring. Like I may care about psychology but not care about some psychological problems... (as much) The thing is that it's a pattern of disinterest and interest. It's not a fundamental lack of cursiosity or danger. Being to curious can lead to a lack of sense of danger though. EzraS seems to be able to communicate what he feels better than I do. but he seems to have the basis of the idea. it's more of being curious about something but that leading to danger but people thinking you lack that curiosity because you aren't curious about everything but are curious about somethings. Oh boy am I overthinking this :?

No, I don't think you are overthinking it. The thought that it was a matter of interest vs. disinterest occurred to me but I wasn't sure how to express it. I tried to touch on it with my statement about considering myself very curious but perhaps it was only in relation to my interests. Part of the diagnostic criteria in the DSM-V is "Highly restricted ... interests". If your interests are highly restricted that means there is a big chunk of stuff that is uninteresting. Not being interested in "most" things would probably look like lack of curiosity.

I appreciate all of the thoughtful replies. I am still curious about the crib thing though. Why might a child have no desire to leave the crib? All I can find online is parents worried about keeping them IN.



soloha
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13 Oct 2017, 9:34 am

Dear_one wrote:
I was pretty curious, and often frustrated in my explorations. I was very cautious about getting into trouble, and pretty reliable around known hazards, but the first time I saw a dust devil, around age 6, I'd have gotten right inside if I'd been able to, but backed off when getting pelted with pebbles. It was an odd attraction, since I also had a recurring nightmare of being stuck inside a washing machine as the lump on spin cycle.

This made me laugh for some reason. That sounds like a good memory. I remember almost nothing from before I was 17. I'm always wondering what kind of kid I was. I know I didn't like killing ants and I got stung once rescuing a drowning bee from a swimming pool. But I digress ...



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13 Oct 2017, 9:45 am

I remember the first time I crawled off a blanket on the lawn and hit dew.



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14 Oct 2017, 12:26 pm

soloha wrote:
I've read kids on the Spectrum can seem to lack curiosity. I've also read they also lack caution, though I think it's meant to express the lack understanding of risk and danger.

Those two things don't seem to go together.


bad writing at its finest :wink:

I'm guessing that what the probably NT author is trying to say to NT parents is that an autistic kids behave in unexpected ways in terms of the caution to curiosity scale.

As a kid I was curious and cautious. I was terrified of public restrooms and going over bridges as a kid. I'd call that fairly cautious. I also would go right up to guard dogs on chains in yards and make friends with them unless I was told not to.


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14 Oct 2017, 4:18 pm

I was somewhat curious but I never lacked caution. I had more understanding of possible dangers than most of my NT peers. I wasn't a wimp but I feared real injury and getting lost. I never wandered off as apparently some autistic children do


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15 Oct 2017, 6:34 am

I was the kid who was often sitting alone in the library flipping pages of a book. I read books on spies. On animals. On Greek and Roman history. On the human body. On different countries. I read books on about every part of the children’s library.

I’d say cautiousness is what makes me curious often. I’m afraid of the unknown and that includes unknown things that could be good. Even more than something bad that is actually known. So I better make something known to feel less scared.

Whenever I was anxious, I researched on whatever I was afraid of. Monsters under the bed? Read about monsters. Anxiety? Research about how anxiety works and how to stop it. School? Watch videos on habits. The right amount of fear keeps me thinking.

Though, when it isn’t the right amount, it’s a much different story. . .