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Pattern Thinkers. Is my mind strange also for an Aspie?

To me, the gestalt is the entire picture, including the details while a pattern is picking up on one particular thing, a series of ideas or a specific bit of information about several in a series or just one particular concept or item. I can arrive at the gestalt by examing all the details together, listing them and reaching a conclusion. This, to me, is the nature of gestalt while seeing one or two details only detracts from it.

**Nightsun wrote:**

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I agree that this thinking is gestalt, especially compared to the linear approach often described in AS. If it is both gestalt and abstract, I suppose it is a moot point as to which term describes it better. Or at least, the question requires additional thought on my part.

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Your comments re art are interesting. Although I never studied art history, I am strongly drawn to art, and discern and appreciate artistic merit. When I lived in Europe and visited galleries, I was frequently asked if I was a dealer. In another life, surely I could be a successful dealer of fine art. By the way, my creative talents are extremely limited.

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I agree completely. I also find mundane math boring. In high school I took a course in trigonometry and was almost bored to tears. It was the most disagreeable course I ever took. I believe that I would be equally bored with engineering, even though many AS are apparently in this field. Since I went to school before the computer age, I am unsure whether programming would be equally tedious.

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It is quite possible that this type of brain adapts better. I think, though, that my success in life was a direct result of my intellectual gifts (along with a supportive upbringing and some luck). I have signicant social deficits and sensory issues, but when you bring unique intellectual firepower, you are wanted at the table.

Tollorin

Veteran

Joined: 14 Jun 2009

Age: 38

Gender: Male

Posts: 3,173

Location: Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada

I've got a theory. Normally autism is detrimental to most abstral thinkings and prevent them from developing. But with some individuals their natural abstraction is strong enough to overcome this and manifest to their full strengh. Some abstraction abilities will always stay out of reach to us though. Because, I think their many form of abstractions. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong.)

Paul Dirac, today see has had been asperger, is reported to have say "The aim of science is to make difficult things understandable in a simpler way; the aim of poetry is to state simple things in an incomprehensible way. The two are incompatible." My guess is that is natural abilities in mathematic and physic had been strong enough for overcoming is "autist" limitations for the abstraction in those domains. But not strong enough for verbal abstraction and what report to poetry.

Maybe, Nightsun that your daugther do inded had inherited your brain and the abstract thinking coming from your "insane intelligence". If that the case she not anything like most specialists ever seen. But such a intelligence can certainly help her in getting over her difficulties.

But, ironically enough, I have always had trouble with mental math. I wonder if that has something to do with abstract thought...adding and subtracting three or four digit numbers in my head. That has been my number one weakness. That's the particular abstraction I have issues performing, not so much metaphors and symbolic language, irony, saracasm, stuff like that.

Mental math leaves my mind jumbled. I can't keep the rows of numbers straight in my head long enough to add them all together and come up with an accurate answer, unless the digits all end in zeros.

Mental math leaves my mind jumbled. I can't keep the rows of numbers straight in my head long enough to add them all together and come up with an accurate answer, unless the digits all end in zeros.

Mental arithmetic has more to do with working memory and concentration than abstract thinking. I know I excell at abstract thinking but I'm not great with mental arithmetic.

I've read that mental arithmetic is the cornerstone of abstract thinking and if you are great at it, you are an abstract thinker. I have never been great at it, which is why I wonder if I am good at abstract thought. Whenever I try to borrow from a number or add to one in my head, I lose track of what the answer is. It's all abstract, I have nothing in front of me. I can do it when the problem is on paper and I can see what's going on but when it's in my head, when it's *abstract*, I forget the answer if I have to add to one of the digits on the top row. Well, that's how I interpret abstract thinking...being able to do that kind of thing...and it's always been a big source of headaches and frustration. When I was a kid, I would feel really tense whenever I did math, even tho I could do some of it on paper relatively well. Math, to me, has always been somewhat abstract...

I'm a theoretical thinker, an INTP type personality. I'm always much more interested in asking "why" and coming up with theories than in memorizing facts or trivia. I also have a strongly intuitive thinking style as opposed to a rote procedural style. Procedural thinkers tend to be able to work through a specific problem quicker than I can but by the same token they can't apply their understanding in as general a way as I can. I've never fit the AS stereotype of having a superior memory or being drawn to trivia. I think my memory is sub-par and trivia bores me.

*abstract*, I forget the answer if I have to add to one of the digits on the top row. Well, that's how I interpret abstract thinking...being able to do that kind of thing...and it's always been a big source of headaches and frustration. When I was a kid, I would feel really tense whenever I did math, even tho I could do some of it on paper relatively well. Math, to me, has always been somewhat abstract...

Mental arithmetic doesn't have to be abstract. All that's required is memorization of multiplication tables and being able to keep track of digits in your head. It's all strictly procedural. The difficulty with keeping track of what happens when you borrow or carry has to do with working memory. There are ways to get around the problem though if you can visualize the problem in a different way. Basically the digits aren't very meaningful to you so it takes much more effort to keep track of them. Therefore it might be easier to picture something like pea pods containing ten peas each for the tens place and single peas for the ones place. If you add all the single peas together and you get more than ten, then ten of them automatically group together becoming another pod.

Mathematics is commonly thought of as abstract thinking because it requires you to juggle numbers in your head and come up with answers. Memory only takes you so far. I was good at memorizing times tables but the more abstract math became, the worse I was at it. Fractions, percentages and decimals were a bit more complicated and I struggled with these ideas more than I did simple adding, subtracting and multiplication. Of course, times tables were easiest for me because I had them memorized to twelves but there is abstract reasoning involved in math that doesn't rely so much on memory. You cannot always see true representations of numbers when doing math...seven apples plus ten apples equals seventeen apples and you aren't always allowed to count on your fingers. In mental math, you take the symbols, 7 + 10 = 17 and leave the apples out of it which is the basis of abstract thinking. That's very elementary...it gets much more complicated. I value the calculator but people tend to frown on the excessive use of them.

Taking the apples out of it is an abstraction but the

*process*of adding two numbers symbolically is just a process of following steps. You don't have to understand

*why*the symbolic representation works to be able to use it, you just have to follow the steps. I know that I do mental arithmetic in my head the exact same way I do it on paper, I literally picture the numbers in my head the way they would appear on paper. I can't do mental arithmetic at all if I'm standing in a check-out line with a screaming child behind me though. Too much going on at once and the picture vanishes from my head. NT's seem to be better at shutting out distractions than I am.

Mind math is more likely a logical/language skill than a generalization/pattern thinking. I'm around average in mind-math only because I've exerciced a lot. It has nothing to do with generalization or thinking in structure actually aritmetic and analysis are very procedural/logical and you can see it because you can easly make a simple code for a computer to do sums/products, etc.. while is really difficult to have a pattern spoiting program and at today is basically impossible to have one able to reproduce "scientific insight" or the kind of generalization needed to build a symbolic approach to quantum physics.

As for my "great brain" is true that I have (at least from tests) a very above average intelligence but actually there are many intellectual frame where I score average or below average. I'm actually unable to draw a simple face and it tokes me around 2 years to remember the 20-30 names of co-workers. I'm an average programmer (and I code-write a lot, due to necessity), I always failed at lyrics memory.

I think that it could be possible (probably less likely, but still possible) to have a below average iq or around average iq and having a "pattern/generalization" mind and is expecially about it that I said: "is important to develop strategy based on "mind kind" " instead of behavioural "function" ". Actually if someone "labeled" with LFA or classic autism think that he/she is more likely to have this kind of mind, I really like his/her contribution.

_________________

Planes are tested by how well they fly, not by comparing them to birds.

I

*hated*the Butterfly Effect. (The movie, not the concept.) I couldn't help but notice alternative paths the guy could have taken, and at the end of the movie I was completely stressed out at how he couldn't do anything right.

With life in general, I often can't understand how people miss connections that are so blindingly obvious for me.

**Tollorin wrote**

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I don't think this true at all. There is no one single type of autistic mind or way of thinking, just stereotypes. Some autists are gifted in music (perfect pitch), some are extremely creative, and some of us are gifted in abstract reasoning (math, physics etc.). Perhaps autistic talents are exceptionally concentrated. My artistic and musical abilities are FAR below average.

**…Ana… wrote**

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**marshall wrote**

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Pattern abstract thinkers like me don't do mental math at all like this. I see various combinations and multiples (patterns) that result in the answer. To take a simple example from grade school, if a teacher asked 12 x 18, in less that a split second I could see from various combined multiples that the answer is 216. Some of the combinations I would see: (10 x 18 = 180) + (2 x 18 = 36), (12 x 20 = 240) - (2 x 12 = 24), (9 x 12 = 108) x 2, and so forth.

As Ana said, advanced abstract thinking is far more complicated than mental math.

**Nightsun wrote**

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I agree that arithmetic and computation done the traditional way are concrete and logical rather than abstract. (Also mind-numbingly boring for me) However, it seems to me that mental math has an abstract element. From my experience, highly literary people have no ability for it. I have been able to to math in my head since I was young without ever having attempted to exercise or improve.

**marshall wrote**

**Quote:**

Pattern abstract thinkers like me don't do mental math at all like this. I see various combinations and multiples (patterns) that result in the answer. To take a simple example from grade school, if a teacher asked 12 x 18, in less that a split second I could see from various combined multiples that the answer is 216. Some of the combinations I would see: (10 x 18 = 180) + (2 x 18 = 36), (12 x 20 = 240) - (2 x 12 = 24), (9 x 12 = 108) x 2, and so forth.

As Ana said, advanced abstract thinking is far more complicated than mental math.

Come to think of it I lied. I do math the way you describe for most multiplications. Which way is easier all depends on the problem at hand. I tend to avoid mental arithmetic altogether when I can though because I can type numbers into my calculator/phone faster than I can think of the answer. Maybe I'm just lazy.

I know what more advanced abstract thinking is. I happen to love abstract math where challenging proofs are involved. Much more exciting and fun than mental arithmetic.

I do mental math in the exact shape described by wildgrape. I'm not very good in "usual mental math" but my mother (probably on the spectrum herself) made me learn the "grocerer calculation" as she used to call it.

Basically I've a "basic" and easy table and I find the results in an approximation way. For istance if I need to do 29*29 my mind do the following:

29*30 = (29*100)/2 + (29*10)/2

_________________

Planes are tested by how well they fly, not by comparing them to birds.

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