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pezar
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27 Oct 2009, 1:57 pm

Before everybody gets angry, I wanted to say that this isn't about vaccines. It's about whether the autie brain behaves like a damaged NT brain, and therefore NTs view us as being damaged goods. I was thinking that some aspects of the autism spectrum, like communication problems, executive dysfunction, coordination problems, and mental health issues like psychosis can be manifested in NTs whose brains are damaged in car accidents (or war), or who take certain street drugs as a teen when their brains are still developing. For example, I believe Britney Spears is NOT schizophrenic, but acts that way because she was on street drugs from the age of 15 or so, which ruined her brain and gave her symptoms similar to schizophrenia. And schizophrenia is related to autism.

So we have auties who seem to be brain damaged, and people are trying to "fix" the damage. You can't fix a brain once it's been damaged, generally. Once somebody figures that out, the next step is rejection-"you act weird, so I'm not dealing with it/you" and pushing the person away. The innate tendency of all lifeforms to reject damaged members of the species, since they can't be of assistance to the group, is active here. Aspies can't get a date, thus pitching us out of the gene pool. A NT woman is wired to look for a mate who is a protector and a provider. If a man doesn't measure up, she rejects him. A brain damaged man can't protect and provide.

Aspies keep getting banned from forums for this reason. I'm considering leaving a forum where many of the members are former military (that survivalist forum where I keep getting called whiny and weak). The military mindset is an exaggerated version of the natural evolutionary mindset. We succeed or fail as a group. The wounded must be removed lest they drag down our chances of survival. The weak are potential trouble sources, since they threaten cohesion. This is buried DEEP in the human brain. Society is built to reject aspies, since we are walking wounded and must be jettisoned lest we threaten group survival.



rdos
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27 Oct 2009, 2:04 pm

NO, absolutely not. It is NTs that cannot accept human diversity.

Besides, the "communication" problems goes both ways. In fact, NTs are far more disabled with Aspie communication than Aspies are at NT communication. At least many Aspies eventually learn to "speak NT", but I've not yet seen any NTs that "speak Aspie". They are so profundly disabled at learning to "speak Aspie" that they cannot even see the signs of somebody using unusual facial expressions, but rather see "grimacing" and tics.



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27 Oct 2009, 2:08 pm

rdos wrote:
It is NTs that cannot accept human diversity.


The exact same thing can be concluded from people on the spectrum. There is as much bullying and discrimination exhibited on this forum between members as there are between neuro-typicals and people on the spectrum out in the "real world".



M_p_furo
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27 Oct 2009, 2:50 pm

WritersBlock wrote:
rdos wrote:
It is NTs that cannot accept human diversity.


The exact same thing can be concluded from people on the spectrum. There is as much bullying and discrimination exhibited on this forum between members as there are between neuro-typicals and people on the spectrum out in the "real world".


I wonder why people feel they can make sweeping statements about a certain group of people, but then become offended when that group of people makes sweeping statements about them? I'm not trying to be rude, I just really don't understand. It just seems illogical. Why do something that you don't like to be done to you?

pezar wrote:
The innate tendency of all lifeforms to reject damaged members of the species, since they can't be of assistance to the group, is active here. Aspies can't get a date, thus pitching us out of the gene pool.


I wouldn't say it's rejecting someone who is "damaged"....it's more like there is a tendency for people to reject those who are "different".

I'm a firm believer that people on the spectrum are not damaged but just unique. I am not a specialist so I have no way to back my theory.



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27 Oct 2009, 2:59 pm

M_p_furo wrote:
I wouldn't say it's rejecting someone who is "damaged"....it's more like there is a tendency for people to reject those who are "different".


I don't know...I think the rejection of "difference" derives from that evolutionary discomfort towards "damaged" individuals. It makes me think of the uncanny valley phenomenon, if anyone gets what I'm driving at.

Uh, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

It's not that we're actually damaged goods, but that our atypical behavior triggers a primitive revulsion in normally wired people. Not due to them being mean or anything but because humans are programmed to avoid disease and things that may be indicative of it.

I do think however autistic symptoms can definitely be caused by brain damage.


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27 Oct 2009, 3:13 pm

Aurore wrote:
M_p_furo wrote:
I wouldn't say it's rejecting someone who is "damaged"....it's more like there is a tendency for people to reject those who are "different".


I don't know...I think the rejection of "difference" derives from that evolutionary discomfort towards "damaged" individuals. It makes me think of the uncanny valley phenomenon, if anyone gets what I'm driving at.

Uh, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

It's not that we're actually damaged goods, but that our atypical behavior triggers a primitive revulsion in normally wired people. Not due to them being mean or anything but because humans are programmed to avoid disease and things that may be indicative of it.

I do think however autistic symptoms can definitely be caused by brain damage.


You have a very good point. :)

I never thought of it from the perspective of the Uncanny Valley...which I'm very interested in....but that's a really interesting way of looking at it.



CMaximus
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27 Oct 2009, 3:16 pm

I've wondered if autism could be considered brain damage, and decided that it's a question that's subjective to the person's ability to function... that's all I'm gonna say.



pat2rome
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27 Oct 2009, 3:18 pm

No. I can do calculus in my head, and I can mentally "drive" through the route from my house to Georgia Tech (over 60 miles). This is something the average brain cannot do. Damage, by definition, would be impaired ability, not increased.


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rdos
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27 Oct 2009, 4:08 pm

WritersBlock wrote:
rdos wrote:
It is NTs that cannot accept human diversity.


The exact same thing can be concluded from people on the spectrum. There is as much bullying and discrimination exhibited on this forum between members as there are between neuro-typicals and people on the spectrum out in the "real world".


Possible, but at least we do not normally define NTs as brain-damaged because they behave differently.



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27 Oct 2009, 4:09 pm

Aurore wrote:
M_p_furo wrote:
I wouldn't say it's rejecting someone who is "damaged"....it's more like there is a tendency for people to reject those who are "different".


I don't know...I think the rejection of "difference" derives from that evolutionary discomfort towards "damaged" individuals. It makes me think of the uncanny valley phenomenon, if anyone gets what I'm driving at.

Uh, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

It's not that we're actually damaged goods, but that our atypical behavior triggers a primitive revulsion in normally wired people. Not due to them being mean or anything but because humans are programmed to avoid disease and things that may be indicative of it.

I do think however autistic symptoms can definitely be caused by brain damage.


I've heard of this and I've heard that it applies to monkeys too. They are apparently freaked out by extremely lifelike monkey dolls. The wiki article theorizes that Uncanny Valley Phenomenon is hardwired to avoid disease. But that seems odd given that it's only triggered when a simulation is nearly but not quite perfect. A person with obvious birth defects or obvious illness doesn't set it off. It gets set off by "nearly right but not quite and I can't quite put my finger on it". Monkeys freak out. Humans make myths and horror movies about demon possession, alien possession and return from the dead where the common theme of horror is triggered by how the person seems to be themselves yet it's as though they are inhabited by something "other". Like you said, to the woe of Aspes, this probably gets triggered subconsciously by atypical behaviour. Nobody thinks, "the way that guy doesn't move his face makes me think of somebody who is being controlled by a demon, alien, or heritable mental illness". Instead they think, "go away!!"



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27 Oct 2009, 4:10 pm

rdos wrote:
WritersBlock wrote:
rdos wrote:
It is NTs that cannot accept human diversity.


The exact same thing can be concluded from people on the spectrum. There is as much bullying and discrimination exhibited on this forum between members as there are between neuro-typicals and people on the spectrum out in the "real world".


Possible, but at least we do not normally define NTs as brain-damaged because they behave differently.


Another assumption.



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27 Oct 2009, 4:18 pm

pat2rome wrote:
No. I can do calculus in my head, and I can mentally "drive" through the route from my house to Georgia Tech (over 60 miles). This is something the average brain cannot do. Damage, by definition, would be impaired ability, not increased.
Not quite. Savant abilities sometimes pop up after head injuries, for example; and many people with brain injuries develop other skills to a high level to compensate. Brain damage and high ability can co-exist.

However: Autism is not brain damage because autism is how the brain is from the beginning, due mostly to genetics. A similar example would be Down syndrome, which is also genetic, and also results in a different brain; Down syndrome is also not brain damage.

The significant difference between brain damage and non-typical neurology is that "damage" is something--an injury, an illness--that occurs after the brain has finished most or all of its development; that is, after birth, and especially after age two or three. Autism starts before that (though it's not nearly as easy to detect early on), and almost certainly comes into being directed by the person's genetic makeup. Therefore, it's incorrect to call it "brain damage".


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27 Oct 2009, 4:29 pm

Callista wrote:
pat2rome wrote:
No. I can do calculus in my head, and I can mentally "drive" through the route from my house to Georgia Tech (over 60 miles). This is something the average brain cannot do. Damage, by definition, would be impaired ability, not increased.
Not quite. Savant abilities sometimes pop up after head injuries, for example; and many people with brain injuries develop other skills to a high level to compensate. Brain damage and high ability can co-exist.

".


I've heard that too. I read Daniel Tammant's autobiography "The Mind's Blue Sky". He is autistic and has savant math skill, yes. But he says that his savant math skill didn't happen until after a series of pretty serious childhood seizures. There are also people (with no autistic features) who acquire synesthesia or other new abilities after strokes, seizures and traumatic brain injury. It's weird and hardly understood. It might be that when one part of the brain gets cut off from other parts by damage, it starts "spinning its wheels" and continues doing what it was doing unmodified by the input from other parts of the brain that it used to get. Or maybe a brain that is trying to heal after trauma grows neuronal connections that aren't quite like the previous configuration, leading to novel things like synesthesia.



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27 Oct 2009, 4:45 pm

I think if it was truly about people being damaged or not, then nerds and gifted kids (and different races, etc), and other atypical but not damaged people wouldn't get seen as deficient. People will always come up with one justification or another to back up their made-up ethos (as if it were handed down by god; the absolute truth). If it doesn't fit their norm, then it's 'damage,' 'disease,' etc no matter what the actual reality is. I think it's more of a sociological issue than true or not.



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27 Oct 2009, 4:50 pm

Yes, quite so. People definitely do re-wire their brains (research "plasticity) after an injury. TBI cases are fascinating that way, because although nerve tissue is the most reluctant to repair, it nevertheless does--though it tends to do so in ways that don't copy the old arrangement, but work around it instead. The effect is subtle and slow in adults, but can be amazing in young children (the somewhat sensational stories of children who actually had hemispherectomies testify to that), who may be able to actually re-assign some other area of their brain to what the missing or damaged part used to do. This is why they want to do early intervention in autistic children; before about age five, plasticity is significant, and they hope to be able to re-wire the autistic brain into something less autistic.

IMO, and from everything I've read, autism is too fundamental to a person for that to happen; you may end up with someone who is less noticeably autistic, but you could do so at the cost of the learning experiences that all young children should have. Problematic. EI should only be done if the goal is to encourage development--not to encourage NORMAL development.

I do think that autism is just as much in the way we develop as in the way we are conceived. The genetics are there; but a zygote isn't autistic yet--not until the brain starts forming and the first few neurons start to transmit their first hesitant action potentials can you properly call a person autistic (though of course it's impossible to tell that he is actually autistic until the atypical development has progressed past birth and into the first few years). It may be that autism is difficult to detect because autistic development superficially resembles neurotypical development for the prenatal and neonatal periods... Many people do say that their children were different from the beginning (my baby book has the usual "non cuddly, calmed by rocking" description), but that the differences were within the range of the typical and weren't noticed to be significant until they actually exceeded what you'd expect from a typical child.

Thus... pervasive developmental disorder.


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ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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27 Oct 2009, 4:51 pm

I still think it's "intuition", related to Theory of Mind Phenomena. By a certain age, kids can tell when another kid isn't normal and pick on them. Adults can tell when someone is off, too. There's this strange rhythm they learn to decode early, subconsciously, and if someone is out of step, it gives them a feeling followed by a thought, or maybe, just a feeling of superiority so they are disrespectful of the person. Their brains are excellent at detecting when someone is out of step.

This reminds me of mother animals who can tell when one of their young isn't thriving, so, they abandon it. How do they know something's the matter? It seems like they always know and they aren't the only ones. Humans are the same way.