First time in history!! !! The NT/AS open hotline ! !! !! !

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MathGirl
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25 Dec 2012, 4:18 am

I would like to hear from an NT's point of view on this only, please. I just have no idea where else to ask this kind of thing. Thanks.

Say there is a person in your class who is very outgoing, speaks out a lot, but cannot keep a conversation with you because she takes everything you say very literally. She does not seem to be able to connect with anyone but likes to participate, always sits at the front of the class, and tries to answer any question asked by the teacher correctly. She also seems very direct and voices her opinions blatantly, whether agreeing or disagreeing with her classmates. Whenever you try to talk to her, she talks about class material, but nothing else. How would you perceive this person? Would you feel comfortable having this person in your study group?

The reason I am asking this question this way is because I behave this way in class and so does my best friend. I am curious as to how this would perceived among people my age. I've been intimidated to join study groups, etc. because I have gotten a sense of people excluding me and saying stuff like "now I'm smarter than you, haha" behind my back. I want to gauge as to how to explain to these people that I am not trying to be a know-it-all and that this is how I communicate. If I don't participate, I instantly start disengaging from the discussion. I feel very comfortable in structured situations like that and become very talkative because I can only comprehend conversations when they're literal and classroom discussions are pretty literal. I'm thinking some really bad thoughts but perhaps things aren't as bad as I think they are. But, during our next tutorial discussion, I would like to somehow convey that it is not my intention to come off this way. However, at this point, I do not yet want to directly disclose my diagnosis in class (it's risky), but I rather would like to describe some of my specific characteristics indirectly in a conversational manner.

Can you help me think of some strategies in terms of breaking through, considering that reading body language and implied meanings is almost impossible for me in a social situation? I just don't want to be barred from attending any study groups, etc, because after all, they could always tell me the wrong date & location and set me up, which would be a disaster if I bring my worker along. I have this paranoia because there seemed to be almost a conspiracy against a TA with Asperger's I had in my first year, and this class consists of similarly cliqueish girls.


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LearningTime
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25 Dec 2012, 8:02 am

@mathgirl - just added bits of that to my thoughts document. i'm NT technically. just quickly, about the idea of it being negative thoughts - yes i'd say it's negative particularly because of the 'haha i'm smarter than you'. that's negative because only disgusting human-like rats think like that. sadly i'm learning most things 'NT' that are told it's essential to do are actually animalistic, primitive type things. eg they say you NEED to hang around people your whole life always yet being around people isn't a need it's a joy when done right and they choose to ignore the reality that the only mentallly hard stuff that happens to you in life is also from people. to me the concept that quite frankly lesser minds are trying to authorise what one should do is wrong. for instance, office politics - that would be one reason not to be around people but because office politics results in the people who do it having power they can claim that it's healthy to have the skills involved in office politics etc. also i think it's possible you're with a very NT very groupthink, little tribe of a class so watch out they really could be that bad and at school age i think people were way more dispensed in anxious emotions (which my latest theory is another reason for people's NEED for company ie misery loves company).

so yes this is a negative area of thought however thinking is never 'negative' if you ask me. positive thinking is also a tad bit stupid in the way it's thrown around. all thoughts are fine when you realise the only thing that's truly good or bad is what's directly in your stream of consciosness ie your senses. your actual in the now experience. so it's only ever as bad as your experience with say the bad people. the way i remembere that is by remembering even if wasn't thinking any negative thoughts i wouldn't automatically be euphoric and in a really excited state i'd just be in an ok, normal regular state... btw though if it gets too bad (btw i idon't get how you're 21 but talking about high school) i'd leave school - do anything to preserve your mental state. and perhaps one can only learn this the hard way but people can be very bad in the subtelest of ways. put it this way since growing to age 20 (i'm male) i think i've given more thought to emotions. become less artistic/creative but trying to get that back. whereas younger it was the opposite. oh and i dislike indirectness - it's actually quite a disgusting trait when taken to extremes; far worse than the extreme's of directness. extreme indirectness = pathological liar. extreme directness = most honest person you will ever meet. stuff like that. like i say it's another real case of wrong planet.... wtf is this world based so much on lying. 'nother negative thing, i watched this ted talk - the big secret quote 'i'm not telling you not to lie... *'of course not' face* of course not...'...

btw i truly believe anyone can increase their social everything by increasing the amount of sensation they take in. it's like my own positive psychology theory i'm developing/experiencing. so you can increase this by generally thinking more imaginatively and mentally experiencing rather than systemising/logic/words. ie convert your logical thoughts into 'what is it' and mentally picture it sense it etc. this will honestly put you in the present and you're suddenly paying attention to your senses a lot more. and then when you look at people you naturally pay attention to everything; so you focus on their face and the see all their micro eye movements etc. as for telling them.... f**k it sounds like you're dealing with a tribe... the young turks on youtube; about the case of the lesbian being set up for a different prom, thought that was disgusting. so in terms of telling them or not/how to that's just whatever you think's going to mitigate the threat from them (the worst of them the most NT). because the most NT is the most animalistic, social brained probably has deep rooted sense of superiority. oh and if they start shouting (animalistic thing to do) then watch out for that. also NTness is a scale so i consider myself not autistic in anyway just someone who does independently think (extreme logic but also now i've realised learning (in the right way) leads to the best constant natural high - evolution rewards us using our best weapon right - our imagination) which is what all people should be able to do; however it's not taught in schools how to do it.



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25 Dec 2012, 1:25 pm

@LearningTime - Despite being NT, you are clearly very intelligent. I'm almost 100% sure that the "smarter than you" comment was directed at me, because even though the girl was talking to her friend before, she said it after a significant pause from talking with her friend, and right after I raised my hand and threw out an idea (and right before she raised her hand and threw out another idea). I guess by negative, I meant catastrophizing. Yes, I get sensory overload very easily because there is a lot of information coming at me every second of my existence. I can see people's body language, etc. and even imitate it, but the meaning of it eludes me because my perception is highly fragmented and disconnected. I only start getting a glimpse of the full picture of some situations after hours of pondering and processing, something I can't afford to do time-wise, being a busy student who also has a part-time job and lots of housekeeping crap to keep up with. That's why I protect myself from sensory overload as much as possible - I want to avoid stimming too much and after-school burnout. And I'm not in high school, I'm actually in my third year of university, I'm just referring to it as school. I agree with a lot of your points on society and people. NTs are very interesting to me - they are dynamic and vibrant; I can watch the popular and outgoing ones for hours. I've always wished I could at least get along with them, without their groupthink barriers getting in the way. I have no trouble with imagination. I am actually pretty good at this aspect of therapy called extension, where you work with the child one-on-one, watch what they take interest in, and then build upon it to produce interactive play. It's global group dynamics that have always eluded me. And there's nothing wrong with that; I see it as a cultural difference. I just want to find out exactly how to advocate for myself with this kind of "tribal" people so that we could all just get along. Something concrete, like a social story, would be helpful.


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DenvrDave
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26 Dec 2012, 12:30 pm

MathGirl wrote:
Can you help me think of some strategies in terms of breaking through, considering that reading body language and implied meanings is almost impossible for me in a social situation? I just don't want to be barred from attending any study groups, etc, because after all, they could always tell me the wrong date & location and set me up, which would be a disaster if I bring my worker along. I have this paranoia because there seemed to be almost a conspiracy against a TA with Asperger's I had in my first year, and this class consists of similarly cliqueish girls.


Hi MathGirl,

I've been thinking a lot about your question, and I can offer a lot of perspective and one or two possible strategies. In any given group of college-age people such as a study group there will be a variety of maturity levels from immature to mature, and there will also be a variety of tolerance levels from intolerant to tolerant. Unfortunately, IMHO, the less mature and intolerant people tend to be the insecurest and loudest. I think it is difficult for anyone regardless of neurotype to break into a well-established group at that age level. When I was in college I was shy and found it very difficult to break in, and eventually gave up and started to perceive myself as a loner...which was ok. In time however, I began to make friendships on a one-on-one basis with other loners, and ironically found myself in small groups. For me, the key to happiness was accepting myself for who I am (was) and not caring that I couldn't enter a well-established clique. Being a loner was ok.

One thing, in your post you didn't mention why you want to break in.

So, assuming you really want to break into a study group as opposed to starting your own, possible strategies are: First, try not to think that all the people in the study group have similar levels of maturity and tolerance. There will probably be at least one or two who would be comfortable having you in the group, and would probably even thrive on the experience, but the challenge is identifying them because they will probably be quieter and older than the rest. Second, maybe you could try approaching a group member one-on-one who seems to you to be most mature and tolerant. I realize this may be very difficult. But if you could first establish a friendly relationship with one person in the study group, then that person could introduce you and "vouch" for you which could be a positive way to break in. Lastly, remember that you have a lot to offer a study group...perhaps you could practice a mini introduction to yourself along the lines of..."Hi, my name is _____, and I'm really good at ______ (calculus, organizing, etc.)." Or something like that. For myself, I would have been thrilled if someone approached me in college and offered to help study calculus.

Words of encouragement: hang in there. As you get older you will find more mature and accepting people. I found graduate school to be a breath of fresh air in terms of being surrounded by mature, open-minded people who actually celebrated diversity and alternative ways of thinking.

I hope this helps :D

-DD



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08 Jan 2013, 10:01 am

DenvrDave, thanks for your response! I was going to send you a PM about something but then retracted it. I've already talked about this situation with a professional I am acquainted with, so no need to ask you anymore about what I was going to ask you. :)


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greentigress
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11 Jan 2013, 2:25 am

I was diagnosed last year
my mum says iv magnified my aspie Ness and have stopped trying
that at least because when I had my schizophrenia diagnosis I did not stop trying
I hated that diagnosis and couldn't accept myself with it
I did everything I could not to be schizophrenic
now I accept myself as an sz aspie I've what? magnified all the traits
is it so ugly?

so, I'm reeling Still after this conversation yesterday
she also said I need to be more self contained which is probably a fair point, and that I was dripping
this is difficult to hear
I feel like I'm so wrong
don't even know what I'm asking or what mum was actually going on about
she hasn't given me any examples[quote][/quote]



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11 Jan 2013, 3:16 am

greentigress wrote:
I was diagnosed last year
my mum says iv magnified my aspie Ness and have stopped trying
that at least because when I had my schizophrenia diagnosis I did not stop trying
I hated that diagnosis and couldn't accept myself with it
I did everything I could not to be schizophrenic
now I accept myself as an sz aspie I've what? magnified all the traits
is it so ugly?

so, I'm reeling Still after this conversation yesterday
she also said I need to be more self contained which is probably a fair point, and that I was dripping
this is difficult to hear
I feel like I'm so wrong
don't even know what I'm asking or what mum was actually going on about
she hasn't given me any examples
Quote:


Ask her what made her say that?

People dont say this things for no reason and she probably wants to have a long talk about it with you otherwise she wouldnt have brought it up



Burandii
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12 Jan 2013, 7:50 pm

For those who have AS...
Have you ever wanted to be NT? And have you ever experienced a day where everything seemed to go your way socially? And do you seem prone to bullying...? I have a friend who has Aspergers and she likes the things NT people like (hot guys, TV shows like Dr. Who, making friends, Harvest Moon, Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, other video games, sleepovers) and has a kind heart and is morally sound (occasionally she doesn't like it when I joke about really evil things :twisted: ), but I wonder if she ever wanted to be NT. She seems to want more friends, but I'm not sure if she'd want to swap AS for NT in order to have more friends. I should ask her, but it'd be weird to talk about at this current time... And she was bullied when she was younger, but so was I.



TEO
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12 Jan 2013, 9:56 pm

Burandii wrote:
For those who have AS...
Have you ever wanted to be NT? And have you ever experienced a day where everything seemed to go your way socially? And do you seem prone to bullying...? I have a friend who has Aspergers and she likes the things NT people like (hot guys, TV shows like Dr. Who, making friends, Harvest Moon, Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, other video games, sleepovers) and has a kind heart and is morally sound (occasionally she doesn't like it when I joke about really evil things :twisted: ), but I wonder if she ever wanted to be NT. She seems to want more friends, but I'm not sure if she'd want to swap AS for NT in order to have more friends. I should ask her, but it'd be weird to talk about at this current time... And she was bullied when she was younger, but so was I.


My first ever post here... been a long-time lurker but now I'm at a stage in my life where, I don't know, I need to try to conquer myself... maybe I'll explain more in time.

Burandii; always. Always always. I've never been officially diagnosed with Asperger's but a few years ago I spent several months visiting a psychiatrist (I'm English, so it was a big deal! :) ) who told me that I exhibited all the hallmarks. I went away and did my own research and wondered how on earth I'd never had any of this stuff explained to me.

I can't stand the smell of people's perfume ('powdery' perfume makes me sick). I jump when the phone rings, I laugh when people cry, I've had two friends in my entire life and I pushed them away. I struggle to be in rooms with other people, I resist doing things and am aware of it without knowing how to fight it. I've never understood what I'm actually meant to be doing, I seem emotionally impervious and then something collapses me. Now I know I'm not NT I want to be NT more than anything.

I've had great days, I've had great times. I love food, music (strictly on my own volume terms ;) ), I have a beautiful partner and I've managed to blag my way into a well-paid job. Asperger's isn't always a barrier to attaining things but it can be, in my experience, a barrier to maintaining them.

I'd like to have friends, I'd like to just swirl into some bar and join a group of laughing, chatting people. Strangely I can go up onto the stage and play/sing to people for hours, but I can't talk to them about it one-to-one afterwards.

Sorry it's a rambling post - it was a long time coming! :D



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13 Jan 2013, 11:59 am

MONKEY wrote:
Oooh this looks fun.
A question to NTs:
do you notice even the mildest of aspies, do they seem not right to you even if they're really subtle???


I am in my late '40s. I am inattentive ADHD (only diagnosed in 2011). I was reunited last year with a beloved childhood friend after several decades apart. I only found out upon our reconnection that he is Autistic. He always knew, it was something he did not share with me as kids. All I knew is that we BOTH were different, kind of two of us different against the world. I may not be the best NT to answer this as I've already been told by one Aspie's mother that I have my own spectral tendencies. LOL!! !! My friend and I grew up both and each with our own issues of relating to people, making friends and a great deal of self doubt. We each thought the other was a good friend, but neither he or I ever knew how much we really liked each other. During puberty, the differences in our respective neurological states along with deep self doubts caused me to believe he did not like me at all. We lost so many years as friends.

I now know this was never the case. I have had a rare gift for he and I are now even closer than ever as friends. As adults, we are feeling our way, being open, clear and honest about many things. We are now as friends learning about each other to better understand, communicate and be even closer friends as we always wanted to be.

My nephew was diagnosed Autistic before age two. He is very charismatic, engaging, loving. Yes, my family observed he was different. Loved spinning things, delay in speech. We just thought he was different. Hell, my two siblings and I are "different" in our own right. Now that I've learned a little about autism, I see differences with my nephew. But I'm glad for that, in that I can recognize and learn about my nephew and to be a better Aunt for him.


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Burandii
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13 Jan 2013, 1:10 pm

@TEO - Thanks for your reply! :) I have occasionally lurked this forum, but decided that yesterday was when I'd first make an account and post something. I am glad you are having such an awesome life, whether you be NT or As :D! And I guess maintaining things for someone with AS would be a difficult task because of the constant demands and changes of people :o.



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13 Jan 2013, 6:06 pm

Burandii wrote:
For those who have AS...
Have you ever wanted to be NT? And have you ever experienced a day where everything seemed to go your way socially? And do you seem prone to bullying...? I have a friend who has Aspergers and she likes the things NT people like (hot guys, TV shows like Dr. Who, making friends, Harvest Moon, Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, other video games, sleepovers) and has a kind heart and is morally sound (occasionally she doesn't like it when I joke about really evil things :twisted: ), but I wonder if she ever wanted to be NT. She seems to want more friends, but I'm not sure if she'd want to swap AS for NT in order to have more friends. I should ask her, but it'd be weird to talk about at this current time... And she was bullied when she was younger, but so was I.
I know this has been answered, but I really want to pitch in on this just because I think my attitude toward wanting to be NT is quite distinct.

Personally, I don't want to be NT because I know that I will never be NT. It actually really bothers me sometimes to see how desensitized NTs are to things that I am hyperaware of, like textures or light. However, if I were to become NT, I don't think it would be a bad experience, it just wouldn't be me. Sometimes, in order to fulfill some need that probably comes from a past desire to be more socially adept, I live vicariously through observing NTs socialize with each other or describe their perceptions of the world around them. I also enjoy studying NTs, like any other culture I have ever been fascinated with. However, any such vicarious experience is a temporary thing for me, a sort of an escape. I used to think that copying NTs in everything would finally get me some friends. I have a huge craving for companionship and that's why I tried to fit in. But once I found lots of friends on the spectrum, I have had less and less of that desire to be someone I'm not. I think this is where this desire to be NT comes from in a lot of people with ASD, especially the more extroverted ones - we want a lot of friends, we see other NTs being able to do it, so we try to emulate them in hopes of getting that as well. When one already has their own social circle, trying to assimilate into anything else becomes redundant.


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zemanski
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17 Jan 2013, 12:12 pm

I used to want to be NT and enjoy the things everyone else seemed to. Mostly I used to want to be able to control my life like they seemed to be able to - keeping the house in order, organising holidays and trips, enjoying nights out and shopping trips, having loads of friends, keeping my hair tidy..... - but I didn't have any concept of how to do it.

Since understanding myself better I know I'm good at some things and not so good at others - the list above is one I still despair over from time to time but I am very good at my job, and I'm not a bad mother. And, as I near 50 I have realised finally that I have friends, lots of them,I just don't do them in groups, they don't ask me to those sort of things - parties and pubs, etc. Occasionally I get invited to a meal but even that is difficult - the group who invite me are old colleagues and I love them to bits - we were a team teaching group in the late 90s and very close - but the longer I am out of that setting the harder i find it to be comfortable with the group as it has changed over time and i still only relate to my original team and maybe a couple of others. And that realisation, that I am comfortable socially at long last, has made a huge difference to my feeling of self-worth.

Some of my friends are NT, some are ASC and some are people I view as inbetweeners - NT people whose lives have included living with or caring for someone on the spectrum, a parent or sibling usually. Because I normally deal with friends one to one I have good comfortable relationships with these people and among my best friends are the inbetweeners because they, more than any other group, seem to put some effort into how they interact with me and try to meet me halfway when I slip up socially or go off on one of my monologues, they are way more tolerant of my foibles than either the more unaware NT group or the AS group.

The other thing about my huge group of friends is that it doesn't exist as a group at all - they are strong individual relationships built up over many years, a couple from university, a handful of colleagues from my numerous jobs, some of my ex-pupils and students, a couple of parents who chatted to me at the school gates, some of my old team from when I stood in a local election....

I don't need more than one or two people at a time to be happy in my friendships and the friends that stay with me are the ones who can pick up a thread (usually mine) as if they only saw me yesterday when it can be months or even years between communication.

I'm happy now with who I am and with my friends - I like some of my ASC traits a lot and i like my view of the world, I accept that I will never be NT and will always struggle with some things but not being what people expect me to be doesn't make me want to be that any more. I was looking for an easier life when I didn't understand my AS, now i know my life is good even though it isn't always easy.

That sounds very trite - like we'll all grow up and be happy with our lives - I don't mean it that way, but I do know I'm very fortunate to have good friends, a job I love with colleagues who understand and support me, and a great family and it took many years to come to understand those things were the important ones - grooming and parties I can live without

Tomorrow I'll probably forget I was feeling so good about my life today anyway!



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17 Jan 2013, 7:00 pm

MathGirl wrote:
Burandii wrote:
For those who have AS...
Have you ever wanted to be NT? And have you ever experienced a day where everything seemed to go your way socially? And do you seem prone to bullying...? I have a friend who has Aspergers and she likes the things NT people like (hot guys, TV shows like Dr. Who, making friends, Harvest Moon, Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, other video games, sleepovers) and has a kind heart and is morally sound (occasionally she doesn't like it when I joke about really evil things :twisted: ), but I wonder if she ever wanted to be NT. She seems to want more friends, but I'm not sure if she'd want to swap AS for NT in order to have more friends. I should ask her, but it'd be weird to talk about at this current time... And she was bullied when she was younger, but so was I.
I know this has been answered, but I really want to pitch in on this just because I think my attitude toward wanting to be NT is quite distinct.


Every day. It's not that I don't enjoy some of the positive aspects of my brain, but I really want to be the best version of myself. I think that version is NT. I feel like I have missed out on a lot of important parts of the human experience. So yeah. If there was a pill that could make me NT I would take it -- even if it shaved 15 years off my life.



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17 Jan 2013, 10:26 pm

Burandii wrote:
For those who have AS...
Have you ever wanted to be NT? And have you ever experienced a day where everything seemed to go your way socially? And do you seem prone to bullying...? I have a friend who has Aspergers and she likes the things NT people like (hot guys, TV shows like Dr. Who, making friends, Harvest Moon, Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, other video games, sleepovers) and has a kind heart and is morally sound (occasionally she doesn't like it when I joke about really evil things :twisted: ), but I wonder if she ever wanted to be NT. She seems to want more friends, but I'm not sure if she'd want to swap AS for NT in order to have more friends. I should ask her, but it'd be weird to talk about at this current time... And she was bullied when she was younger, but so was I.


Never. To me, the idea of being 'normal' in any way sounds boring - and I hate the idea of boredom over all else. I embraced and more than embraced my strangeness long before I figured out I was an aspie, same as my pride in being a geek. More friends is no lure - my friends are few, but close, and are as delighted in my strangeness as I am. They regularly say that at least around me they'll never get bored.

For everything going my way socially....that depends on what you mean. I rarely have too much trouble with my friends, simply because they accept me as I am. In the wider world, there are many many times when I thought everything went right, only to find out days, weeks, or even years later that I irritated everyone beyond belief - probably because I particularly tend to mistake irritation for amusement and vice versa.

By prone to bullying, do you mean prone to bully or prone to be bullied? In high school I was once told that some people considered me a verbal bully because I tended to ride right over them in conversation. As for being bullied, well, there's one advantage to being an aspie girl - female bullies generally use tone and facial expression to get their meanness across, and while my Mom says I was bullied constantly, it all went right over my head at the time, and I was happily oblivious.



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27 Jan 2013, 10:30 pm

MathGirl wrote:
DenvrDave, thanks for your response!


Most welcome :D