Heather Kuzmich does NOT have Asperger's (misdiangosed)

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Heather Kuzmich was wrongly diagnosed Asperger
agree with psychologist 15%  15%  [ 23 ]
disagree with psychologist 85%  85%  [ 127 ]
Total votes : 150

tangerine12
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30 May 2010, 7:06 pm

Do you think Heather Kuzmich have Asperger's? Do you think she might be misdiagnosed?

Is she too social and high functioning to disqualify for AS?

An clinical psych thought so. This person wrote that not only does Heather Kuzmich not have diagnosis, but that s/he uses clips to show how Heather is an example of someone who is wrongly diagnosed as AS. This individual goes so far as to show in professional presentations to other health care workers how Heather does not have AS based on her superiorer understanding of nonverbals and use of social language and is even putting together a DVD to show clinicians how NOT to diagnosis someone with Asperger's using Heather as an example of wrong diagnosis.
And DSM-V in all its wisdom wants to eliminate Asperger's, probably funded by big pharma.


I'm reading televisionwithoutpity and one "expert wrote"
http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com ... 556&st=345


Quote:
nanasez
The thing that frustrates me is that Heather isn't Asperger's at all. As a psychologist, my specialty is assessment and differential diagnosis. I trained under someone who specializes in Asperger's. I've worked with many of his Asperger's patients. I'm very adept at identifying Asperger's Syndrome. In fact, I was testing a teen for clearance to get his pilot's license, and during the session some very subtle things had me suspecting Asperger's. I sent for his records, which included neuropsychological testing that he'd had as a young child, and that report documented perfectly a textbook case of Asperger's. His current psychiatrist, however, had him misdiagnosed as OCD.

Anyway, Heather is in no way Asperger's. Asperger's Syndrome is the "fad" diagnosis of the day, taking its place beside ADHD and Bipolar Disorder. People with little to no training in psychological diagnosis and assessment (i.e. teachers, general practitioners, even many psychiatrists) are quick to be swayed by the pop-psychology watered down interpretation of Asperger's that is perpetuated by "Aspie" web sites and people who like to claim the diagnosis because they think "high functioning" (as in high functioning autism) means superior intelligence and cognitively gifted. Heather's case (which isn't Heather's fault at all - she's not the one who misdiagnosed her) just perpetuates the misunderstanding of another psychological condition.

Because she doesn't have Asperger's. I know all about the continuum. I work with people all along the continuum. Even on the "mild" end of the continuum for Aperger's (which may or may not be considered a form of autism, depending on the school of thought one accepts), the signs are pretty unmistakable. The problem is that the diagnosis has gotten so watered down that "introversion" is pretty much getting diagnosed as Asperger's (as that bogus "test" demonstrates).

There are so many things that Heather does that no one with Aperger's, even on the mild end, would be able to do. There's a lack of the kinds of socially inappropriate behaviors that Asperger's people demonstrate. There's the ease with which she understands and uses nonverbals - definitely not Asperger's. Just something as simple as making eye contact remains something that an Apserger's person has to do consciously. It's a social rule that they're taught to use, and for them it's like someone learning to drive a car - only the various behaviors never become automatic. There'd be no understanding and use of something like an eyeroll. Or the way she automatically reacted on a recent show when someone was insulted and she gasped and covered her mouth with her hand. There's the focus on eyes in her art. An Asperger's person wouldn't be noticing and understanding emotional expression in eyes, and would never talk about "dead eyes." People with Asperger's are very concrete. Ask what "two heads are better than one" means and you'll be told that someone with two brains could think twice as much. "Dead eyes" to someone with Asperger's would mean someone went blind because their eyes died. Then the whole idea of living in a new situation, with a ton of strangers, outside of one's routine (which gets somewhat ritualistic with an Asperger's person) would be a huge trigger for anxiety and complete panic-like meltdowns for someone with Asperger's.

I was presenting at a psych hospital last week and merely mentioned Heather from ANTM, and it immediately triggered a discussion among clinicians experienced with Asperger's about how grossly misdiagnosed she is.

If took every kid in our Asperger's group, or every Asperger's indvidual in our practice, and filmed them all for 24/7 for a week, there'd not be any scenes (outside of sleeping) where viewers would see "normal."

But more than that, they can't "edit in" abilities that a person with Asperger's absolutely would not demonstrate. It's not just the absence of signs of Asperger's, it's also the presence of abilities that are at odds with an Asperger's diagnosis. Heather has natural affect. Heather understands non-verbals and effortlessly uses them. Heather has normal voice tone and modulation. Heather has normal vocal inflection. Heather understands emotion, can read it in others, and responds to it appropriately. Heather demonstrates ease of empathy.

Asperger's is a "hot" fad diagnosis. In the past few years, we see more and more people being given the diagnosis mistakenly. The number of referrals I get for differential diagnosis from some clinician who doesn't understand Asperger's has increased by at least 400%. One of my most recent cases was a girl who went to a psychiatrist who is a horrible diagnostician. On the basis of a few 15 minute interactions with her, he told her therapist that she was Asperger's. Why? Because she's always reading a book, and she doesn't look up from her books to make eye contact when he talks to her. That's it. The mother jumped on the diagnosis like a frog on a fly, and cannot be disabused of the notion that her daughter is Asperger's. So now she's got this inaccurate notion of Asperger's, and is out there dessiminating her misunderstanding of the disorder, thanks to a doctor who makes these snap diagnoses all the time without bothering to really study any research or professional literature. We're getting this all the time now, kids referred by general practitioners, educators, parents who read some web site or a pop psychology book, psychiatrists who haven't read more than some drug company pamphlet given out at a free lunch, etc. This is the way ADHD got so overdiagnosed, then bipolar disorder. Now, it's Asperger's.

All facets of human behavior and fucntioning occur on a continuum. Some people are more one way than others. Difference isn't a disorder. Heather is functioning normally. She's on the show, making friends, living with the other girls, winning competitions, etc. Without impairment, there is no disorder. We're actually putting together a DVD of Heather's scenes in our clinic so that we can use it to demonstrate a case of Asperger's misdiagnosis and do some diagnostic education.



I can do everything Heather can do that Nan.. says no person with AS can do, so should I not be diagnosed as AS?
There's a psych who says Einstein does not have AS since AS folks do not have a sense of humor. Maybe I should sue my psych for giving me the wrong diagnosis then discriminating against me for this wrong diagnosis.

Obviously I think Asperger should be kept at least as a subtype or severity designation in DSM-V



DemonAbyss10
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30 May 2010, 7:14 pm

tangerine12 wrote:
Do you think Heather Kuzmich have Asperger's? Do you think she might be misdiagnosed?

Is she too social and high functioning to disqualify for AS?

An clinical psych thought so. This person wrote that not only does Heather Kuzmich not have diagnosis, but that s/he uses clips to show how Heather is an example of someone who is wrongly diagnosed as AS. This individual goes so far as to show in professional presentations to other health care workers how Heather does not have AS based on her superiorer understanding of nonverbals and use of social language and is even putting together a DVD to show clinicians how NOT to diagnosis someone with Asperger's using Heather as an example of wrong diagnosis.
And DSM-V in all its wisdom wants to eliminate Asperger's, probably funded by big pharma.


I'm reading televisionwithoutpity and one "expert wrote"
http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com ... 556&st=345


Quote:
nanasez
The thing that frustrates me is that Heather isn't Asperger's at all. As a psychologist, my specialty is assessment and differential diagnosis. I trained under someone who specializes in Asperger's. I've worked with many of his Asperger's patients. I'm very adept at identifying Asperger's Syndrome. In fact, I was testing a teen for clearance to get his pilot's license, and during the session some very subtle things had me suspecting Asperger's. I sent for his records, which included neuropsychological testing that he'd had as a young child, and that report documented perfectly a textbook case of Asperger's. His current psychiatrist, however, had him misdiagnosed as OCD.

Anyway, Heather is in no way Asperger's. Asperger's Syndrome is the "fad" diagnosis of the day, taking its place beside ADHD and Bipolar Disorder. People with little to no training in psychological diagnosis and assessment (i.e. teachers, general practitioners, even many psychiatrists) are quick to be swayed by the pop-psychology watered down interpretation of Asperger's that is perpetuated by "Aspie" web sites and people who like to claim the diagnosis because they think "high functioning" (as in high functioning autism) means superior intelligence and cognitively gifted. Heather's case (which isn't Heather's fault at all - she's not the one who misdiagnosed her) just perpetuates the misunderstanding of another psychological condition.

Because she doesn't have Asperger's. I know all about the continuum. I work with people all along the continuum. Even on the "mild" end of the continuum for Aperger's (which may or may not be considered a form of autism, depending on the school of thought one accepts), the signs are pretty unmistakable. The problem is that the diagnosis has gotten so watered down that "introversion" is pretty much getting diagnosed as Asperger's (as that bogus "test" demonstrates).

There are so many things that Heather does that no one with Aperger's, even on the mild end, would be able to do. There's a lack of the kinds of socially inappropriate behaviors that Asperger's people demonstrate. There's the ease with which she understands and uses nonverbals - definitely not Asperger's. Just something as simple as making eye contact remains something that an Apserger's person has to do consciously. It's a social rule that they're taught to use, and for them it's like someone learning to drive a car - only the various behaviors never become automatic. There'd be no understanding and use of something like an eyeroll. Or the way she automatically reacted on a recent show when someone was insulted and she gasped and covered her mouth with her hand. There's the focus on eyes in her art. An Asperger's person wouldn't be noticing and understanding emotional expression in eyes, and would never talk about "dead eyes." People with Asperger's are very concrete. Ask what "two heads are better than one" means and you'll be told that someone with two brains could think twice as much. "Dead eyes" to someone with Asperger's would mean someone went blind because their eyes died. Then the whole idea of living in a new situation, with a ton of strangers, outside of one's routine (which gets somewhat ritualistic with an Asperger's person) would be a huge trigger for anxiety and complete panic-like meltdowns for someone with Asperger's.

I was presenting at a psych hospital last week and merely mentioned Heather from ANTM, and it immediately triggered a discussion among clinicians experienced with Asperger's about how grossly misdiagnosed she is.

If took every kid in our Asperger's group, or every Asperger's indvidual in our practice, and filmed them all for 24/7 for a week, there'd not be any scenes (outside of sleeping) where viewers would see "normal."

But more than that, they can't "edit in" abilities that a person with Asperger's absolutely would not demonstrate. It's not just the absence of signs of Asperger's, it's also the presence of abilities that are at odds with an Asperger's diagnosis. Heather has natural affect. Heather understands non-verbals and effortlessly uses them. Heather has normal voice tone and modulation. Heather has normal vocal inflection. Heather understands emotion, can read it in others, and responds to it appropriately. Heather demonstrates ease of empathy.

Asperger's is a "hot" fad diagnosis. In the past few years, we see more and more people being given the diagnosis mistakenly. The number of referrals I get for differential diagnosis from some clinician who doesn't understand Asperger's has increased by at least 400%. One of my most recent cases was a girl who went to a psychiatrist who is a horrible diagnostician. On the basis of a few 15 minute interactions with her, he told her therapist that she was Asperger's. Why? Because she's always reading a book, and she doesn't look up from her books to make eye contact when he talks to her. That's it. The mother jumped on the diagnosis like a frog on a fly, and cannot be disabused of the notion that her daughter is Asperger's. So now she's got this inaccurate notion of Asperger's, and is out there dessiminating her misunderstanding of the disorder, thanks to a doctor who makes these snap diagnoses all the time without bothering to really study any research or professional literature. We're getting this all the time now, kids referred by general practitioners, educators, parents who read some web site or a pop psychology book, psychiatrists who haven't read more than some drug company pamphlet given out at a free lunch, etc. This is the way ADHD got so overdiagnosed, then bipolar disorder. Now, it's Asperger's.

All facets of human behavior and fucntioning occur on a continuum. Some people are more one way than others. Difference isn't a disorder. Heather is functioning normally. She's on the show, making friends, living with the other girls, winning competitions, etc. Without impairment, there is no disorder. We're actually putting together a DVD of Heather's scenes in our clinic so that we can use it to demonstrate a case of Asperger's misdiagnosis and do some diagnostic education.



I can do everything Heather can do that Nan.. says no person with AS can do, so should I not be diagnosed as AS?
There's a psych who says Einstein does not have AS since AS folks do not have a sense of humor. Maybe I should sue my psych for giving me the wrong diagnosis then discriminating against me for this wrong diagnosis.

Obviously I think Asperger should be kept at least as a subtype or severity designation in DSM-V


that psych is only using the more severe definition of it as the only acceptable form for diagnosis. Thats just simply how I view it. It kinda reminds me of that whole Aspiechu thing. the person who it makes fun of was this guy who said there is only sever autism, everything else is normal, or something like that.


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30 May 2010, 7:14 pm

I didn't vote because I just don't know, but I remember being really in awe of Heather when I watched those episodes with her in them because I couldn't go live with a bunch of strangers like that in a super-competitive atmosphere with random fights periodically breaking out and no way to get some alone time away from everyone else *and* away from the camera crew (at one point, Heather sits out on the patio alone eating oranges but it was obvious that everyone inside was loudly gossipping about her and the camera crew were out on the patio, too, filming everything Heather did.) I would have super melt-downs from hell in an environment like that and then I would be so embarassed I'd want to die because they'd all be caught on camera and I am so embarassed of my meltdowns.

So I was in awe of how Heather had a cubicle office job (which I know from experience I can't handle) AND was able to go be on a television show that is a stressful 24-7 fishbowl environment and still hold it all together with so much class.

It didn't make me think she didn't have asperger's, it just made me think that she's a much stronger person than I am.


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30 May 2010, 7:17 pm

If you go by ever thing she did on a reality show yeah sure you can say she does not have aspergers. But at the same time reality shows are not really based in reality. They edit them and show you only what they want to show you.



tangerine12
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30 May 2010, 7:20 pm

DemonAbyss10 wrote:

that psych is only using the more severe definition of it as the only acceptable form for diagnosis. Thats just simply how I view it. It kinda reminds me of that whole Aspiechu thing. the person who it makes fun of was this guy who said there is only sever autism, everything else is normal, or something like that.


if Heather was misdiagnsed as AS for this so called more severe definition, then how is removing Asperger's and replacing it with autism result in better diagnosis for DSM-V?

Is this psych's professional judgment sound?



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30 May 2010, 7:28 pm

I don't trust anything coming from the website TVWoP. That said, I couldn't do what she did and go on a show and have people following all the time, I'd totally freak out. Perhaps she is just stronger than most.



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30 May 2010, 7:30 pm

Wait, so a "professional" who has only seen her in edited video clips from a reality show is calling her diagnosis bogus? That's a clear violation of professional ethics! Why would you take the word of someone like that?



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30 May 2010, 7:34 pm

I must say that Asperger's is not a fad. It's a real disorder.


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30 May 2010, 7:39 pm

Cuterebra wrote:
Wait, so a "professional" who has only seen her in edited video clips from a reality show is calling her diagnosis bogus? That's a clear violation of professional ethics! Why would you take the word of someone like that?


Why do people still listen to Jenny McCarthy? Why do people still listen to Andrew I lied Wakefield still?

I bet there are people who say she does not have ADHD. My freind has told me and I never knew he though this that ADD is not real. So why would people take the word of someone like that. Because most NT's can't believe that there are people like us out there. They also don't know that not ever one with ADD, ADHD, Austim and aspergers are the same.

You can take two different people with aspergers and the only thing that makes them the same is the word aspergers. But they are still different from even each other.

CockneyRebel wrote:
I must say that Asperger's is not a fad. It's a real disorder.


And those who do think we use it as a fad. All I have to say is do they think it's fun to have the Social, behavior and emtion problems that come with this? Because if they think it's fun. I welcome any one of them to live a day in my world. Just one day in my world.

There is nothing fun about it for me. All I can do is just live my life and work on the social part of it and try and work better with my emtions.

Which is also why I can't vote on this because I don't know Heather and seeing her on a TV reality show that has mass edits does not help me get to know her either.



Last edited by Cryforthemoon on 30 May 2010, 7:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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30 May 2010, 7:44 pm

Gee, why don't all doctors just make a diagnosis based on viewing a few videos? They could do away with all of that messy testing altogether.

I guess Temple Grandin doesn't have autism either; I mean she teaches university courses, gives lectures, etc.

Let's disregard everyone's diagnosis and we'll just sit back and watch videos instead.


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30 May 2010, 7:44 pm

jayroo79 wrote:
I don't trust anything coming from the website TVWoP. That said, I couldn't do what she did and go on a show and have people following all the time, I'd totally freak out. Perhaps she is just stronger than most.


Cuterebra wrote:
Wait, so a "professional" who has only seen her in edited video clips from a reality show is calling her diagnosis bogus? That's a clear violation of professional ethics! Why would you take the word of someone like that?


CockneyRebel wrote:
I must say that Asperger's is not a fad. It's a real disorder.


dyingofpoetry wrote:
Gee, why don't all doctors just make a diagnosis based on viewing a few videos? They could do away with all of that messy testing altogether.

I guess Temple Grandin doesn't have autism either; I mean she teaches university courses, gives lectures, etc.

Let's disregard everyone's diagnosis and we'll just sit back and watch videos instead.


Several self-identified Aspies also posted there since they were rooting for Heather.

This author makes claims, arguments, observations. Do you agree or disagree?


Quote:
Heather's case (which isn't Heather's fault at all - she's not the one who misdiagnosed her) just perpetuates the misunderstanding of another psychological condition.

There are so many things that Heather does that no one with Aperger's, even on the mild end, would be able to do. There's a lack of the kinds of socially inappropriate behaviors that Asperger's people demonstrate. There's the ease with which she understands and uses nonverbals - definitely not Asperger's. Just something as simple as making eye contact remains something that an Apserger's person has to do consciously. It's a social rule that they're taught to use, and for them it's like someone learning to drive a car - only the various behaviors never become automatic. There'd be no understanding and use of something like an eyeroll. Or the way she automatically reacted on a recent show when someone was insulted and she gasped and covered her mouth with her hand. There's the focus on eyes in her art. An Asperger's person wouldn't be noticing and understanding emotional expression in eyes, and would never talk about "dead eyes." People with Asperger's are very concrete. Ask what "two heads are better than one" means and you'll be told that someone with two brains could think twice as much. "Dead eyes" to someone with Asperger's would mean someone went blind because their eyes died. Then the whole idea of living in a new situation, with a ton of strangers, outside of one's routine (which gets somewhat ritualistic with an Asperger's person) would be a huge trigger for anxiety and complete panic-like meltdowns for someone with Asperger's.

I was presenting at a psych hospital last week and merely mentioned Heather from ANTM, and it immediately triggered a discussion among clinicians experienced with Asperger's about how grossly misdiagnosed she is.

If took every kid in our Asperger's group, or every Asperger's indvidual in our practice, and filmed them all for 24/7 for a week, there'd not be any scenes (outside of sleeping) where viewers would see "normal."

But more than that, they can't "edit in" abilities that a person with Asperger's absolutely would not demonstrate. It's not just the absence of signs of Asperger's, it's also the presence of abilities that are at odds with an Asperger's diagnosis. Heather has natural affect. Heather understands non-verbals and effortlessly uses them. Heather has normal voice tone and modulation. Heather has normal vocal inflection. Heather understands emotion, can read it in others, and responds to it appropriately. Heather demonstrates ease of empathy.


. Heather is functioning normally. She's on the show, making friends, living with the other girls, winning competitions, etc. Without impairment, there is no disorder. We're actually putting together a DVD of Heather's scenes in our clinic so that we can use it to demonstrate a case of Asperger's misdiagnosis and do some diagnostic education.



Do you support this author's contention, and do you support using Heather Kuzmich video clips on ANTM as demonstration and education on WRONG MISDIAGNOSIS OF ASPERGER?


The video clips of Heather in ANTM show a level of competence far beyond that of any Aspie and therefore, she is normal, not AS.
If Heather has AS, she should not be able to do the things the ANTM shows

thanks



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30 May 2010, 7:51 pm

tangerine12 wrote:
Do you support this author's contention, and do you support using Heather Kuzmich video clips on ANTM as demonstration and education on WRONG MISDIAGNOSIS OF ASPERGER?


The video clips of Heather in ANTM show a level of competence far beyond that of any Aspie and therefore, she is normal, not AS.
If Heather has AS, she should not be able to do the things the ANTM shows

thanks


That's still a hard thing to vote on because we are voting on something about someone that we don't know in person and never meet. Do I agree or disagree I can't say on way or another. Sure that's not what you are looking for but that's the only answer I can give you. But if you really really and it one way then no I don't agree with him. But then again like I said that's really hard to do when we don't have much else go by here.



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30 May 2010, 7:52 pm

If this "professional" doesn't have access (and it doesn't sound like they do) to her medical records, personally interviewed her (and everything else done in her original assessment), then he/she has no way to make a diagnosis one way or the other. And if he's not monitoring her 24/7 he doesn't see what she looks like during her "down time." I'd bet most people look at least a bit different when they're on national TV than they do the rest of the time.

There was a YouTube video posted here last year of a support group meeting for people with AS, and most if not all of those there had the stoned/glassey-eyed/'obviously different' look to them. And they were very obviously socially 'weird.' A lot of people commented they were dx'ed but don't look that 'off' at all. Then I read that the support consisted of patients from one particular doctor. Coincidence, or a doctor with a certain view of what AS looks like and can't seperate that from the actual diagnostic criteria?

Quote:
Just something as simple as making eye contact remains something that an Apserger's person has to do consciously. It's a social rule that they're taught to use, and for them it's like someone learning to drive a car - only the various behaviors never become automatic.


"Taught to use" -- IOW, if they didn't learn it through ABA or something, they would never, ever figure it out. And also, "like learning to drive a car?" More like learning to stare into a 1000 watt spotlight without blinking, which is compeltely different that not doing it just because you're clueless. Real informed "pro," there.

Once again, the definiteness of psych diagnoses amounts to someone's personal opinion. This particular psych seems to want to see gross impairment, and complete clulessness.

I wonder what this professional would think of Ari Ne'eman networking intensely with people, including people in high places in Washington.



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30 May 2010, 7:52 pm

Hello,

We all know AS is a real disorder. On the other hand, it's not too difficult to at least make a false positive in someone's case. The simple fact is that some jerks, some geeks and some all-around awkward people may show some outward signs of AS.

On the other hand, an Aspie can work on controlling his/her problem behaviors and better understanding NTs and societal norms, so as to adjust as well as any NT.

For example, an Aspie acquaintance of mine, Annie Hussey (who in fact introduced me to WP), now gives presentations on AS. She says she was diagnosed as an Aspie, but she's learned so much now that if she were tested again today she may not get that diagnosis anymore.

It does not mean she's been "cured"; it means that she's been able to "pass" as an NT. But she's still an Aspie, in terms of how her brain actually functions.

Ten+ years ago, I was a social basket case. I've learned, painfully, how NT individuals and NT society function, and how my behaviors were being perceived. I've learned enough that I now coach fellow Aspies in how to get along (and also coach friends, family members, co-workers, etc., of Aspies). Does that make me no longer an Aspie? Have I been "cured"? Heck no.

What do you think?


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30 May 2010, 7:59 pm

tangerine12 wrote:
jayroo79 wrote:
I don't trust anything coming from the website TVWoP. That said, I couldn't do what she did and go on a show and have people following all the time, I'd totally freak out. Perhaps she is just stronger than most.


Cuterebra wrote:
Wait, so a "professional" who has only seen her in edited video clips from a reality show is calling her diagnosis bogus? That's a clear violation of professional ethics! Why would you take the word of someone like that?


CockneyRebel wrote:
I must say that Asperger's is not a fad. It's a real disorder.


dyingofpoetry wrote:
Gee, why don't all doctors just make a diagnosis based on viewing a few videos? They could do away with all of that messy testing altogether.

I guess Temple Grandin doesn't have autism either; I mean she teaches university courses, gives lectures, etc.

Let's disregard everyone's diagnosis and we'll just sit back and watch videos instead.


Several self-identified Aspies also posted there since they were rooting for Heather.

This author makes claims, arguments, observations. Do you agree or disagree?


Quote:
Heather's case (which isn't Heather's fault at all - she's not the one who misdiagnosed her) just perpetuates the misunderstanding of another psychological condition.

There are so many things that Heather does that no one with Aperger's, even on the mild end, would be able to do. There's a lack of the kinds of socially inappropriate behaviors that Asperger's people demonstrate. There's the ease with which she understands and uses nonverbals - definitely not Asperger's. Just something as simple as making eye contact remains something that an Apserger's person has to do consciously. It's a social rule that they're taught to use, and for them it's like someone learning to drive a car - only the various behaviors never become automatic. There'd be no understanding and use of something like an eyeroll. Or the way she automatically reacted on a recent show when someone was insulted and she gasped and covered her mouth with her hand. There's the focus on eyes in her art. An Asperger's person wouldn't be noticing and understanding emotional expression in eyes, and would never talk about "dead eyes." People with Asperger's are very concrete. Ask what "two heads are better than one" means and you'll be told that someone with two brains could think twice as much. "Dead eyes" to someone with Asperger's would mean someone went blind because their eyes died. Then the whole idea of living in a new situation, with a ton of strangers, outside of one's routine (which gets somewhat ritualistic with an Asperger's person) would be a huge trigger for anxiety and complete panic-like meltdowns for someone with Asperger's.

I was presenting at a psych hospital last week and merely mentioned Heather from ANTM, and it immediately triggered a discussion among clinicians experienced with Asperger's about how grossly misdiagnosed she is.

If took every kid in our Asperger's group, or every Asperger's indvidual in our practice, and filmed them all for 24/7 for a week, there'd not be any scenes (outside of sleeping) where viewers would see "normal."

But more than that, they can't "edit in" abilities that a person with Asperger's absolutely would not demonstrate. It's not just the absence of signs of Asperger's, it's also the presence of abilities that are at odds with an Asperger's diagnosis. Heather has natural affect. Heather understands non-verbals and effortlessly uses them. Heather has normal voice tone and modulation. Heather has normal vocal inflection. Heather understands emotion, can read it in others, and responds to it appropriately. Heather demonstrates ease of empathy.


. Heather is functioning normally. She's on the show, making friends, living with the other girls, winning competitions, etc. Without impairment, there is no disorder. We're actually putting together a DVD of Heather's scenes in our clinic so that we can use it to demonstrate a case of Asperger's misdiagnosis and do some diagnostic education.



Do you support this author's contention, and do you support using Heather Kuzmich video clips on ANTM as demonstration and education on WRONG MISDIAGNOSIS OF ASPERGER?


The video clips of Heather in ANTM show a level of competence far beyond that of any Aspie and therefore, she is normal, not AS.
If Heather has AS, she should not be able to do the things the ANTM shows

thanks


Since you've quoted me I am assuming you want me to reply to this but it seems like you've just reiterated what you stated in the original post. Therefore I will simplify my answer for you.

I do not support the authors' contention, I do not support scientific study and research being based on video clips alone, I do not support using an individual and their captured likeness on television or any other form of media as a misdiagnosis of Aspergers.

That is not how one conducts research and I would love to know where this "expert" received their credentials and training. ASAP. Can they provide that info? If so can you post it here because I loathe TVWoP and will not be headed there to research and individual making such claims.



tangerine12
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30 May 2010, 8:04 pm

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
If this "professional" doesn't have access (and it doesn't sound like they do) to her medical records, personally interviewed her (and everything else done in her original assessment), then he/she has no way to make a diagnosis one way or the other. And if he's not monitoring her 24/7 he doesn't see what she looks like during her "down time." I'd bet most people look at least a bit different when they're on national TV than they do the rest of the time.

There was a YouTube video posted here last year of a support group meeting for people with AS, and most if not all of those there had the stoned/glassey-eyed/'obviously different' look to them. And they were very obviously socially 'weird.' A lot of people commented they were dx'ed but don't look that 'off' at all. Then I read that the support consisted of patients from one particular doctor. Coincidence, or a doctor with a certain view of what AS looks like and can't seperate that from the actual diagnostic criteria?

Quote:
Just something as simple as making eye contact remains something that an Apserger's person has to do consciously. It's a social rule that they're taught to use, and for them it's like someone learning to drive a car - only the various behaviors never become automatic.


"Taught to use" -- IOW, if they didn't learn it through ABA or something, they would never, ever figure it out. And also, "like learning to drive a car?" More like learning to stare into a 1000 watt spotlight without blinking, which is compeltely different that not doing it just because you're clueless. Real informed "pro," there.

Once again, the definiteness of psych diagnoses amounts to someone's personal opinion. This particular psych seems to want to see gross impairment, and complete clulessness.

I wonder what this professional would think of Ari Ne'eman networking intensely with people, including people in high places in Washington.


jayroo79 wrote:

Since you've quoted me I am assuming you want me to reply to this but it seems like you've just reiterated what you stated in the original post. Therefore I will simplify my answer for you.

I do not support the authors' contention, I do not support scientific study and research being based on video clips alone, I do not support using an individual and their captured likeness on television or any other form of media as a misdiagnosis of Aspergers.

That is not how one conducts research and I would love to know where this "expert" received their credentials and training. ASAP. Can they provide that info? If so can you post it here because I loathe TVWoP and will not be headed there to research and individual making such claims.


I've seen ANTM cycle 9.

If there are multiple video clips demonstrating that Heather "understands and uses nonverbals they can't "edit in" abilities that a person with Asperger's absolutely would not demonstrate. It's not just the absence of signs of Asperger's, it's also the presence of abilities that are at odds with an Asperger's diagnosis. Heather has natural affect. Heather understands non-verbals and effortlessly uses them. Heather has normal voice tone and modulation. Heather has normal vocal inflection. Heather understands emotion, can read it in others, and responds to it appropriately. Heather demonstrates ease of empathy. She's on the show, making friends, living with the other girls, winning competitions, etc. Without impairment, there is no disorder."


then isn't this prima facie evidence the diagnosis of AS is wrong?


1- are there video clips showing Heather demonstrating empathy, making friends, understands nonverbals?

2- is this compatible with a diagnosis of OZ burgers?