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

jayroo79
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30 May 2010, 8:06 pm

Ok, I think I get it. You just want an answer of yes.

Well, my answer here is no.
The "expert" needs to deal with Heather directly and then go from there with whatever agenda they plan to push.



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30 May 2010, 8:11 pm

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
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.


Yes. I was on a game show and I got a VHS of my episode and I look totally normal to me. But I was only in the studio on one day and in front of the camera for about 30 minutes and the backstage crew coached me on everything I would be doing and we three contestants were even taken to the sound set before filming and shown where we would stand, rehearsed how we would introduce ourselves, shown where we would walk to and told what cue would indicate that we should walk, etc. Then the show edited out anything that had too much emotion, too much drama, any kind of insult, etc. because they wanted a feel-good, slick product that would make us all look good and make people feel good about watching it.

By contrast, being on a reality show or a show like ANTM involves weeks and weeks of living in front of a camera that is catching your every nuance 24/7, everywhere you are except on the toilet. I've seen that they even can film you in the shower on those shows. You can never get away from the camera -- they are catching *everything*. I can hold it together for an hour or even a day and look totally normal because I can have a week of down-time afterwards to recover from it. But every moment of every day for more than a month? Even NTs can't hold on to a facade for that long and that's what those kinds of shows count on because when they go to edit it, they will look for the "funny" stuff and the dramatic stuff. They love to include the fights -- the more knock-down drag-out the better -- and the mistakes and the people saying dumb things and so forth because their audience *wants* to see the drama and the "excitement" of things.

I watched an interview with a woman who was on the show "Rock of Love" where she was depicted as being constantly, completely, embarassingly drunk. She said (and some other girls from the show corroborated) that, yes, she did do all the things that were shown on the program but she was carefully edited to *only* show bad things because the producers had decided that it would be really funny to show a character who was 100% bad. And, yes, it did work out to make the show more interesting, but it wasn't a fully realistic view of who that woman is.

The producers of ANTM could have gone either way with Heather and there's no way that we can know. They could have chosen all the footage that made her look most awkward, most clueless, most anti-social (like sitting out alone on the patio while everyone else hung out together inside or getting totally lost in China (I think it was China)) or they could have chosen all the footage that made her look most competent. It depends on their agenda. Did they think viewers would most enjoy seeing Heather's disability? Or did they think that viewers would most enjoy seeing her be competent in the face of disability? So chances are, either Heather's far more disabled than we saw or she's far less disabled than what we saw. It just depends on the producers' agenda and no one, to my knowledge, has revealed that.

But, yeah, I guarantee that if she had a meltdown during that time, it's on film somewhere. Even if she went to the toilet to have it, I've seen clips on shows like that where they just show the bathroom door closed and you can hear screaming or crying behind it. But if the producers wanted to show a really competent person, they would not have included that in the program. We will never know how she REALLY behaved during the time that she was on that show, but I can guarantee that the camera crew caught the "real Heather" on film because no one can hold on to a false persona 24/7 for a month or longer.

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


Probably that he's not autistic either. And again, I am not going to judge. I know that *I* couldn't do what Ari does. I couldn't even come close to doing what he does. But that only means that he's stronger than me. It doesn't say anything to me about his diagnosis.


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tangerine12
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30 May 2010, 8:12 pm

jayroo79 wrote:
Ok, I think I get it. You just want an answer of yes.

Well, my answer here is no.
The "expert" needs to deal with Heather directly and then go from there with whatever agenda they plan to push.


I don't necessarily want an answer of yes or no, only whether the reasoning is sound:

would a person with Asperger's for example:

"understands and uses nonverbals

and if Heather does show this on ANTM,

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."



dyingofpoetry
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30 May 2010, 8:15 pm

Troll meter is flashing
Troll meter is flashing
Troll meter is flashing

Detects troll with agenda of disproving AS is real disorder unless we are tied to a chair in a dark room, drooling.

I am not sorry, but I have accomplished a LOT in my life and I ask for no help from anyone AND I identify as autistic.

Jesus, Mohammed, and the Buddha could come down and tell me that I do not have an autistic spectrum disorder and I would tell them that they are wrong.

I have had many successes and I am proud. So has Heather, so had Temple and thousands of others of us. I won't be put down by anyone.

Finished feeding trolls.


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Last edited by dyingofpoetry on 30 May 2010, 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bicentennialman
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30 May 2010, 8:25 pm

I think it's unwise to try to diagnose someone you have never spoken to personally, based just on how they appear on TV.

I'm worried that this sort of thinking creates a "no-win scenario" for those diagnosed with Asperger's. If we want others to believe we have our own struggles, we have to resign ourselves to the idea that we will "never be able to ________" live independently, interact normally, be happily married, etc.-- whatever others choose to put on their list of things that Aspies supposedly can't do.

If we learn to do the "impossible" by perseverance and practice, too often the response is "You can't really have Asperger's-- if you did, you wouldn't have been able to _________. Why are you acting like that's so tiring for you?"

I _am_ concerned about the possibility that people are being misdiagnosed. I don't want people to be misled about something so important. I sometimes question my own diagnosis. But I think that the person quoted in this thread is being much too simplistic if she thinks you can diagnose someone by just watching them on TV.



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30 May 2010, 9:22 pm

bicentennialman wrote:
I think it's unwise to try to diagnose someone you have never spoken to personally, based just on how they appear on TV.

I'm worried that this sort of thinking creates a "no-win scenario" for those diagnosed with Asperger's. If we want others to believe we have our own struggles, we have to resign ourselves to the idea that we will "never be able to ________" live independently, interact normally, be happily married, etc.-- whatever others choose to put on their list of things that Aspies supposedly can't do.

If we learn to do the "impossible" by perseverance and practice, too often the response is "You can't really have Asperger's-- if you did, you wouldn't have been able to _________. Why are you acting like that's so tiring for you?"

I _am_ concerned about the possibility that people are being misdiagnosed. I don't want people to be misled about something so important. I sometimes question my own diagnosis. But I think that the person quoted in this thread is being much too simplistic if she thinks you can diagnose someone by just watching them on TV.



strictly speaking, the person is ruling out AS on the grounds that

Quote:
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. 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.


AS, according to the author, does NOT have Asperger's b/c she is shown to function at a level far beyond any AS, and does not meet DSM-IV criteria (and obviously not DSM-V where AS will be eliminated)


I do think the claims he puts forwards sounds persuasive, and as I have seen Cycle 9 of ANTM, I believe it is factually supportable with video tape evidence.

re: "I _am_ concerned about the possibility that people are being misdiagnosed"
How do you feel about the author's stated intent to create a training DVD to show how AS is MISDIAGNOSED using Heather as evidence?



dyingofpoetry
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30 May 2010, 9:52 pm

Quote:
re: "I _am_ concerned about the possibility that people are being misdiagnosed"
How do you feel about the author's stated intent to create a training DVD to show how AS is MISDIAGNOSED using Heather as evidence?


How about we follow you around with a camera to create a training DVD to show what a troll looks like?


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Last edited by dyingofpoetry on 30 May 2010, 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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30 May 2010, 10:03 pm

tangerine12 wrote:
I do think the claims he puts forwards sounds persuasive, and as I have seen Cycle 9 of ANTM, I believe it is factually supportable with video tape evidence.

re: "I _am_ concerned about the possibility that people are being misdiagnosed"
How do you feel about the author's stated intent to create a training DVD to show how AS is MISDIAGNOSED using Heather as evidence?


But we don't know that from the show because the people making the show will and do edit it they way they want to. For all we know she did have a meltdown but the did not want to show it. Unless the person who is putting the claim forward has seen video beyound what was just shown on TV then ever thing that is said is BS.

Me I'm also not going to say one way or another based just on footage from the TV show that has mass edits and does not show us ever thing. We don't know ever thing that she went through for the month or two that they were filming it.



tangerine12
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30 May 2010, 10:07 pm

Cryforthemoon wrote:
tangerine12 wrote:
I do think the claims he puts forwards sounds persuasive, and as I have seen Cycle 9 of ANTM, I believe it is factually supportable with video tape evidence.

re: "I _am_ concerned about the possibility that people are being misdiagnosed"
How do you feel about the author's stated intent to create a training DVD to show how AS is MISDIAGNOSED using Heather as evidence?


But we don't know that from the show because the people making the show will and do edit it they way they want to. For all we know she did have a meltdown but the did not want to show it. Unless the person who is putting the claim forward has seen video beyound what was just shown on TV then ever thing that is said is BS.

Me I'm also not going to say one way or another based just on footage from the TV show that has mass edits and does not show us ever thing. We don't know ever thing that she went through for the month or two that they were filming it.


regardless of editting, are these statements accurate about AS?

Is true that AS "There are so many things 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."

A person with AS demonstrates socially inappropriate behavior.
A person with AS does not show ease in understanding and use nonverbals.



Last edited by tangerine12 on 30 May 2010, 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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30 May 2010, 10:08 pm

tangerine12 wrote:
How do you feel about the author's stated intent to create a training DVD to show how AS is MISDIAGNOSED using Heather as evidence?


Does she have Ms Kuzmich's permission to use her image in such videos? If not, then to do so is unethical, and possibly illegal. Either Ms. Kuzmich's lawyer or the show's producers should issue a cease and desist letter. Using these videos may also be an infringement of copyright, although it might be covered under educational use. Someone better versed than I in television copyright will have to answer that.

And, for the record, I have to agree with the other respondants here. The doctor does not present convincing evidence since her entire "diagnosis" is based upon a series of videos edited for the entertainment of television audiences, not on actual personal interviews and testing with the person she is supposedly diagnosing. She has no information about what kind of behavioral therapy Ms Kuzmich may have undergone, nor what kind of early intervention may have occurred, nor does she make allowances for the individual's ability to learn new behaviors. To question another professional's diagnosis on such a basis is a questionable practice at best. Why you seem to feel that simply repeating the woman's poorly supported argument over and over ad nauseum will make everyone come around to her perspective is a mystery to me.

Maybe I need to sign off. I'm grouchy tonight.



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30 May 2010, 10:09 pm

tangerine12 wrote:
Cryforthemoon wrote:
tangerine12 wrote:
I do think the claims he puts forwards sounds persuasive, and as I have seen Cycle 9 of ANTM, I believe it is factually supportable with video tape evidence.

re: "I _am_ concerned about the possibility that people are being misdiagnosed"
How do you feel about the author's stated intent to create a training DVD to show how AS is MISDIAGNOSED using Heather as evidence?


But we don't know that from the show because the people making the show will and do edit it they way they want to. For all we know she did have a meltdown but the did not want to show it. Unless the person who is putting the claim forward has seen video beyound what was just shown on TV then ever thing that is said is BS.

Me I'm also not going to say one way or another based just on footage from the TV show that has mass edits and does not show us ever thing. We don't know ever thing that she went through for the month or two that they were filming it.


regardless of editting, are these statements accurate about AS?

Is true that AS "There are so many things 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."

A person with AS demonstrates socially inappropriate behavior.
A person with AS does not easily understand and use nonverbals.


I'm using a non-verbal right now. I wish you could see it.


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30 May 2010, 10:17 pm

pschristmas wrote:
tangerine12 wrote:
How do you feel about the author's stated intent to create a training DVD to show how AS is MISDIAGNOSED using Heather as evidence?


Does she have Ms Kuzmich's permission to use her image in such videos? If not, then to do so is unethical, and possibly illegal. Either Ms. Kuzmich's lawyer or the show's producers should issue a cease and desist letter. Using these videos may also be an infringement of copyright, although it might be covered under educational use. Someone better versed than I in television copyright will have to answer that.

And, for the record, I have to agree with the other respondants here. The doctor does not present convincing evidence since her entire "diagnosis" is based upon a series of videos edited for the entertainment of television audiences, not on actual personal interviews and testing with the person she is supposedly diagnosing. She has no information about what kind of behavioral therapy Ms Kuzmich may have undergone, nor what kind of early intervention may have occurred, nor does she make allowances for the individual's ability to learn new behaviors. To question another professional's diagnosis on such a basis is a questionable practice at best. Why you seem to feel that simply repeating the woman's poorly supported argument over and over ad nauseum will make everyone come around to her perspective is a mystery to me.

Maybe I need to sign off. I'm grouchy tonight.


I have no idea but she states it is for educational purposes.


regardless of editting, are these statements accurate about AS?
Would a person with AS have the capability to grow beyond " person with AS does not show ease in understanding and use nonverbals"?

Does the author make factually true statements about AS?



Last edited by tangerine12 on 30 May 2010, 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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30 May 2010, 10:21 pm

tangerine12 wrote:
Cryforthemoon wrote:
tangerine12 wrote:
I do think the claims he puts forwards sounds persuasive, and as I have seen Cycle 9 of ANTM, I believe it is factually supportable with video tape evidence.

re: "I _am_ concerned about the possibility that people are being misdiagnosed"
How do you feel about the author's stated intent to create a training DVD to show how AS is MISDIAGNOSED using Heather as evidence?


But we don't know that from the show because the people making the show will and do edit it they way they want to. For all we know she did have a meltdown but the did not want to show it. Unless the person who is putting the claim forward has seen video beyound what was just shown on TV then ever thing that is said is BS.

Me I'm also not going to say one way or another based just on footage from the TV show that has mass edits and does not show us ever thing. We don't know ever thing that she went through for the month or two that they were filming it.


regardless of editting, are these statements accurate about AS?

Is true that AS "There are so many things 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."

A person with AS demonstrates socially inappropriate behavior.
A person with AS does not show ease in understanding and use nonverbals.


I think so far ever one that has posted here does not argee with the person. But at the same time we can't vote one way or the other because we are selves only have this person and video from Heather being on a show that has edits and does not show us the whole picture.

So at the end of the day it would be like going and voting for between two different people for a senate seat and only knowing 5% of the stuff the stand for it's a really bad and poor idea.



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30 May 2010, 10:23 pm

Cryforthemoon wrote:
tangerine12 wrote:
Cryforthemoon wrote:
tangerine12 wrote:
I do think the claims he puts forwards sounds persuasive, and as I have seen Cycle 9 of ANTM, I believe it is factually supportable with video tape evidence.

re: "I _am_ concerned about the possibility that people are being misdiagnosed"
How do you feel about the author's stated intent to create a training DVD to show how AS is MISDIAGNOSED using Heather as evidence?


But we don't know that from the show because the people making the show will and do edit it they way they want to. For all we know she did have a meltdown but the did not want to show it. Unless the person who is putting the claim forward has seen video beyound what was just shown on TV then ever thing that is said is BS.

Me I'm also not going to say one way or another based just on footage from the TV show that has mass edits and does not show us ever thing. We don't know ever thing that she went through for the month or two that they were filming it.


regardless of editting, are these statements accurate about AS?

Is true that AS "There are so many things 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."

A person with AS demonstrates socially inappropriate behavior.
A person with AS does not show ease in understanding and use nonverbals.


I think so far ever one that has posted here does not argee with the person. But at the same time we can't vote one way or the other because we are selves only have this person and video from Heather being on a show that has edits and does not show us the whole picture.

So at the end of the day it would be like going and voting for between two different people for a senate seat and only knowing 5% of the stuff the stand for it's a really bad and poor idea.



The diagnostic criteria states

"(A) marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction"



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30 May 2010, 10:24 pm

tangerine12 wrote:
pschristmas wrote:
tangerine12 wrote:
How do you feel about the author's stated intent to create a training DVD to show how AS is MISDIAGNOSED using Heather as evidence?


Does she have Ms Kuzmich's permission to use her image in such videos? If not, then to do so is unethical, and possibly illegal. Either Ms. Kuzmich's lawyer or the show's producers should issue a cease and desist letter. Using these videos may also be an infringement of copyright, although it might be covered under educational use. Someone better versed than I in television copyright will have to answer that.

And, for the record, I have to agree with the other respondants here. The doctor does not present convincing evidence since her entire "diagnosis" is based upon a series of videos edited for the entertainment of television audiences, not on actual personal interviews and testing with the person she is supposedly diagnosing. She has no information about what kind of behavioral therapy Ms Kuzmich may have undergone, nor what kind of early intervention may have occurred, nor does she make allowances for the individual's ability to learn new behaviors. To question another professional's diagnosis on such a basis is a questionable practice at best. Why you seem to feel that simply repeating the woman's poorly supported argument over and over ad nauseum will make everyone come around to her perspective is a mystery to me.

Maybe I need to sign off. I'm grouchy tonight.


I have no idea but she states it is for educational purposes.


regardless of editting, are these statements accurate about AS?
Would a person with AS have the capability to grow beyond " person with AS does not show ease in understanding and use nonverbals"?


You are not asking doctors. Direct your questions to professionals who are qualified to make these judgments.


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Last edited by dyingofpoetry on 31 May 2010, 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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30 May 2010, 10:25 pm

tangerine12 wrote:
regardless of editting, are these statements accurate about AS?
Would a person with AS have the capability to grow beyond " person with AS does not show ease in understanding and use nonverbals"?

Does the author make factually true statements about AS?


I don't remember Heather understanding and responding properly to nonverbals, though I could easily have missed noticing it since I don't understand and respond well to a lot of nonverbals myself (though I've learned some of the obvious ones by rote.)

Could you give an example of Heather understanding and using nonverbals? All of that season of ANTM is available on YouTube so you could point us to a particular video for illustration and explain to us the nonverbals that Heather is understanding and using so we can go look at the video and know what we're looking for.

Because I don't remember Heather using or understanding nonverbals, but I probably need to have that pointed out to me before I'll be able to see it.


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