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Arroyo
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20 Jan 2010, 4:42 am

All,

In the light of recent theories and findings about Autism and "Asperger", and due to the fact that some people really don't fit in one of those groups, but for sure present significant threats of "autism", I think we are getting to know a new subgroup of the autistic spectrum.

Some characteristics, like mind blindness or lack of theory of mind, are central to the definition of Asperger. A new theory, about a "Intense World Syndrome"
(Look for "a-radical-new-autism-theory"), does describe some key autistic features, like elevated sensibility and self-awareness, but does not require mind blindness or lack of theory of mind. In fact, some characteristics associated with hypersensibility or overexcitability may go against that. If you read about
Dabrowski's Intellectual Overexcitability (this site does not trust me and does not allow me to post links!! !!), you notice some examples:
- Strategic thinking, instead of focus on details;
- Interest for change, experimentation and new discoveries, instead of need of routine and difficulty with changes;
Another thing not explicit, that I would add:
- Despite of introspectiveness and shyness, there can be intense interest for social contact.

From my own case, I can tell, I agree 100% with IWS, and 100% with all Dabrowski's Intellectual Overexcitabilities, I also present an autistic endocrinological pattern (Like low cortisol levels in the morning, and more response to the environment than to the biological clock), and I also present (maybe mild) social interaction problems, but I do not present the two key characteristics mentioned on the top, which are currently major criteria for AS.

Therefore I challenge if ASD and IWS are the same or one is a subgroup of the other, and if Asperger is a subgroup of IWS, or both are two distinct groups.



Last edited by Arroyo on 20 Jan 2010, 7:23 am, edited 4 times in total.

Arroyo
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20 Jan 2010, 5:28 am

Ah, I would expect around 10% of current Aspies to fall under that different subgroup. So maybe 90% may not recognize themselves on the above. Still, I think the differences are significant.



rabryst
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20 Jan 2010, 5:39 am

I had a look at the IWS theory and I don't agree that I would fall into it. I consider myself having "classic" AS, including mind-blindness, detailed focus on one area, need for routine and difficulty with change, and complete social disinterest.

However, I do believe DSM V's approach to tossing out explicit Asperger Syndrome, in place of the bigger Autistic Spectrum Disorder, where we all would fall somewhere, is logical.


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Arroyo
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20 Jan 2010, 5:51 am

Thanks rabryst!

That might indicate that ASD and IWS are not the same, so the article my be wrong when suggesting that autism is IWS. And that IWS would be a distinct group from Asperger.



Last edited by Arroyo on 20 Jan 2010, 6:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

rabryst
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20 Jan 2010, 5:58 am

What I think is the case, is that the spectrum is very wide, and features of AS and IWS may quite easily fall somewhere in the spectrum, so we're possibly both right :-)


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20 Jan 2010, 6:05 am

I looked up Dabrowski's Intellectual Overexcitability and see that this describes me well, except for the strong desire for social interaction.


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Arroyo
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20 Jan 2010, 6:09 am

Asperger's theories talk about a hypo-functioning amygdala, while IWS talks about an hyper-functioning amygdala. So both can be completelly different disorders, with some overlaping symptoms.

Question to people that match and that do not match IWS: are you gifted?



Last edited by Arroyo on 20 Jan 2010, 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

rabryst
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20 Jan 2010, 6:16 am

I don't like the word "gifted", because I've found I excel at anything that interests me, and fail at things that don't. For example, I was top of my class at college, because it was interesting (I didn't study), but at school I did very badly because I didn't care.

In the classic definition of gifted, I would qualify, but I reject the definition because I'm challenged by the simplest things like picking up a telephone and making a call.


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Arroyo
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20 Jan 2010, 6:28 am

That looks like social phobia. I have the same problem (to pick up the phone and call somebody) when I am depressed or in a bad mood, but I don't when I am in a good mood. It seems to be related to dopamine (or certain dopamine receptors) levels.
After I started to take antidepressants, that has mainly gone.
So, that might be a side effect of a depression, rather than an intellectual limitation.



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20 Jan 2010, 6:31 am

The IWS theory makes perfect sense to me. If I'm depressed enough, or overloaded enough to "blow the emotional fuse" I can end up emotionless, but it's not my natural state. Have always felt invaded by other people's emotions.

I don't see that IWS is necessarily being presented as being mutually exclusive to AS, though. But maybe that's your point? I think the idea is that the Theory of the lack of Theory of Mind and "mindblindness" are simply incorrect, and IWS is proposed as a replacement.

Lack of TOM is also an interpretation of observed behavior, not the behavior itself upon which a dx is made. My point is it's the behavior that is used to dx, the interpretation of it is secondary, and therefore non-essential to the definition of AS. So, it's a little confusing (to me) to try to understand, "if there's no lack of TOM or 'mindblindness,' then it's not AS, but IWS."


Here's a link an the The Daily Beast article, if that's the one you mean, since you can't post links yet...

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and- ... sm-theory/



Arroyo
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20 Jan 2010, 6:46 am

Thanks Apple,

Yes, that is the article. And yes, that is my point. I am wondering if it can be that there are people with AS, but not IWS, and people with IWS, that present some AS-like symptoms, with different causes and dynamics.



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20 Jan 2010, 9:08 am

These "new autism subgroup" seems Avoidant Personality Disorder or something similar.



wildgrape
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20 Jan 2010, 10:59 am

You are fundamentally misrepresenting/misunderstanding the Intense World Syndrome theory. With his IWS, Markram is proposing an (alternative?) theory regarding the neurological basis of autism, not a new sub-category of autism, or a separate and different syndrome. From the paper's introduction: "we propose here a unifying hypothesis of autism" . You can read the paper here if you have not already done so.

http://frontiersin.org/neuroscience/neu ... 2007/html/

Arroyo wrote:
…"Intense World Syndrome"… does not require mind blindness or lack of theory of mind.


This is inaccurate. The paper devotes a subsection to this subject. Please read it.



Arroyo
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20 Jan 2010, 2:16 pm

I am not misrepresenting/misunderstanding the theory. I am questioning it. Or do you believe everything you read without challenging it first? :wink:

As we saw above, there are clear AS's where the IWS theory seems to not work. The fact that the theory is so revolutionary makes me think if there are not two different things that are currently being assumed the same.



reginaterrae
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20 Jan 2010, 2:30 pm

I relate to IWS more than AS. I relate to AS a lot, and come out "definitely Aspie" on all those self-tests listed on the sticky thread on this forum, but I relate to IWS more.