Page 1 of 1 [ 14 posts ] 

Horus
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,302
Location: A rock in the milky way

27 Mar 2010, 4:17 am

I recently re-applied for services from OVR and I finally get to see a neurologist. I just received an authorization notice and billing invoice from my VR case worker. I am REALLY hoping the neurologist can tell me SOMETHING about the origins and severity of my learning/memory problems. The only thing all the NEUROPSYCHOLOGISTS have been able to tell me (based on many common psychometric tests like WAIS, Halstead-Reitan, WMS, The Category test, etc...) is that my overall cognitive abilities are anywhere between the high average-very superior range (depending on the particular neuropsych eval and i've had five in my life) and that I generally fit the pattern of individuals with Nonverbal learning disabilities.

Neither of these factors can explain why I function at a level you would normally expect from a mildy mentally retarded person in just about every area of life.


Thus....I am all-but 100% convinced I have profound neurological impairments, infinitely worse than NVLD alone, which simply don't show up on the "radar screen" of all the standard neuropsychological tests. I have been wanting to see a neurologist for a long time now, but it's beyond my financial means. Since I didn't mention any pre-existing neurological/mental disorders....there's no way my insurance would cover it either.


Other than maybe an EEG....I have no idea what other tests i'll undergo at this appointment. I am hoping the neurologist deems a SPECT scan and/or fMRI necessary. It's anybody's guess as to whether either will indicate any impairments, but only a postmortem examination of my brain would be a better option at this point. If only there was something I could do about that tricky death part. :wink:

Considering how expensive scans like SPECT are....i'm not sure OVR would be willing to cover the cost no matter how necessary the neurologist thinks they are.


Anyway....in spite of the utter misery and nothingness of my life thanks entirely to this preposterous brain I was given....i'm greatly looking forward to this appointment. If nothing else....it would be nice to know SOMETHING substantial about my brain aside from the vague and wildly incongruous claims made by the psychologists with their block-designing, number-crunching nonsense that has amounted to little more than twilight-groping in my case.


Anyone have any experience with neurologists? Any advice you can offer me would be greatly appreciated. :)



pensieve
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Nov 2008
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Posts: 8,204
Location: Sydney, Australia

27 Mar 2010, 4:26 am

No sorry I don't. I was kinda questioning myself about having lack of self help skills but seem to be of average intelligence. I was preterm (preemie) and my mum never went into labor, so I have my situation down to an underdeveloped brain.
I'm kind of grateful that I don't have mental retardation but actually lived from my experience in the womb. I had Rh disease.
Anyway, hope you find what you're looking for.


_________________
My band photography blog - http://lostthroughthelens.wordpress.com/
My personal blog - http://helptheywantmetosocialise.wordpress.com/


Horus
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,302
Location: A rock in the milky way

27 Mar 2010, 5:45 am

pensieve wrote:
No sorry I don't. I was kinda questioning myself about having lack of self help skills but seem to be of average intelligence. I was preterm (preemie) and my mum never went into labor, so I have my situation down to an underdeveloped brain.
I'm kind of grateful that I don't have mental retardation but actually lived from my experience in the womb. I had Rh disease.
Anyway, hope you find what you're looking for.



Thank you Pensieve :)


Like i've already said....i'm of high-average to very superior intelligence SOLELY based on the results of all my IQ tests.

Herein lies the entire crux of the matter. My lack of abilities, talents, skills, etc.... in the real world call my "high-average to very superior" IQ scores into question. I was not a preemie, I wasn't hypoxic, I never had a TBI, etc...so the causes of my own impairments are anyone's guess.

I suppose I *ought* to consider myself grateful for the fact that i'm not mentally retarded. Quite frankly....I wish to god my mother would've aborted me and i'm afraid I can't apologize for such a wish.

At least mentally retarded people have the luxury of blissful ignorance often enough. I, on the other hand, am hyper-aware of my own limitations and I KNEW there was something wrong with my brain long before ANYONE else did....including my own parents.

I knew when I was about 7 or 8 years old. Aside from one girl who WAS mentally retarded...I was the only one in gym class who couldn't learn how to lace their sneakers.

So since everyone else save myself and the Down syndrome girl could do it....I started believing I was mentally retarded too.

Rh disease.....that's some sort of immune disorder correct?


In any case....my own situation seems SO unbelievable, confusing and paradoxical that I often wonder if all these neurological impairments I BELIEVE I have aren't just a product of my imagination.

At least I LIKE to believe they could just be a product of my imagination.

If so....then MAYBE I could do something to rid myself of these delusions. A hard-wired neurological impairment is a bit harder to deal with.

Obviously....this is why i'm eager to see the neurologist. After 40 years of this mysterious neurological nightmare, it would be nice to have SOME clear answers once and for all.

And maybe....just maybe....if I know precisely what the problem is then perhaps I can do something about it.

Exercises, diets, therapies, meds, black magick :twisted: , etc....whatever might help re-wire my supposedly "plastic" brain.



pensieve
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Nov 2008
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Posts: 8,204
Location: Sydney, Australia

27 Mar 2010, 6:46 am

Horus wrote:
Rh disease.....that's some sort of immune disorder correct?

It's when a mother's Rh negative blood builds antibodies in defense of Rh positive blood cells and attacks them. Untreated the baby is at risk for anemia, mental retardation, jaundice, and even death. The most that could be done in 1985 was a blood transfusion and c-section birth. Now there's a shot that women have if they have Rh negative blood.

I can understand how having a high IQ would make you feel like something wasn't right. My IQ is so very average it's uninteresting, though when I took the test I was under a lot of stress, but I doubt I could get a higher IQ than 100. My skills and academic intelligence seem to match that average IQ.


_________________
My band photography blog - http://lostthroughthelens.wordpress.com/
My personal blog - http://helptheywantmetosocialise.wordpress.com/


Tollorin
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,178
Location: Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada

27 Mar 2010, 9:56 am

Maybe it's executive dysfunctions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_functions.
It can make functionning diffictult even whilt a high intelligence..
I had difficulty to learn to lace my shoes too. :wink:



anbuend
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 5 Jul 2004
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,039

27 Mar 2010, 10:33 am

Ummmm... I know a lot of people with MR and not a single one of them is blissfully ignorant. That's a myth.

It's really not at all unusual for autistic people and people with related conditions to have adaptive functioningbelow our IQ. In fact above IQ 70 there is NO correlation between IQ and adaptive functioning for autistic people.

My IQ used to be higher than yours and my adaptive functioning is below even some people with severe MR. (And below just about everyone with moderate MR.) The fact is that for us, there is absolutely no correlation at all. The same way there is no correlation in cerebral palsy. It's simply not the same as IQ. (My IQ is low normal/borderline depending on who you ask now but my loss of IQ has nothing to do with my adaptive functioning.)

SPECT scans can't tell us much about the brain except for sometimes epilepsy. Some less than scrupulous doctors have made exaggerated claims about it (I know -- I saw one of the more famous ones, and the same one I saw told a man I know with AS that he must have abused drugs he had never taken). You want an fMRI if anything.

But don't hold too high expectations of a neurologist. Most of their exams will not tell you the subtle things you want to know. And the fact is that autism and related conditions can impair your functioning totally independent of IQ. I've read the studies. You don't need a doctor to tell you that. It's just known.

Also, if I were you I would work on increasing my happiness rather than basing it on your abilities. If I based my happiness on my abilities I would be way more miserable than you are but I am actually happy. It took understanding how I'd internalized a lot of disability prejudice and turned it on myself, but I got there after years of work. I don't mean to say it's easy, just to say it's possible (and far more possible than anything you are likely to find out giving you those skills you don't have). I used to wish I didn't exist either.


_________________
"In my world it's a place of patterns and feel. In my world it's a haven for what is real. It's my world, nobody can steal it, but people like me, we live in the shadows." -Donna Williams


CockneyRebel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Posts: 103,259
Location: Canada in person, Germany in spirit

27 Mar 2010, 11:04 am

That's very good news. I hope that all goes well, for you.:)


_________________
The Plump, Little Schlager

Kanye West 2024

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=26&start=645


Horus
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,302
Location: A rock in the milky way

27 Mar 2010, 5:16 pm

Tollorin wrote:
Maybe it's executive dysfunctions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_functions.
It can make functionning diffictult even whilt a high intelligence..
I had difficulty to learn to lace my shoes too. :wink:



There is little doubt I have substantial problems with executive functioning. I'm just not sure if this tells the whole story in my case or even part of it. After all....many Aspies/NLD-ers have issues with executive functioning and i'm pretty sure that plenty have more severe problems with EF than I do. But so long as they have at least an average IQ, most seem to function (academically, vocationally, etc....) far better than I ever have in spite of EF issues.


"The concept is used by psychologists and neuroscientists to describe a loosely defined collection of brain processes which are responsible for planning, cognitive flexibility, abstract thinking, rule acquisition, initiating appropriate actions and inhibiting inappropriate actions, and selecting relevant sensory information".


I do have serious issues with planning, I don't know about cognitive flexibility. As far as abstract thinking is concerned, it depends on how we're defining abstract thinking. Ditto for "rule acquisition, initiating appropriate actions and inhibiting inappropriate actions and selecting relevant sensory information". Quite frankly, I really don't know how all these terms translate in the world beyond the IQ neuropsychological tests. That is....I don't know what all this is supposed to tell me in terms of what i'll be good at and what i'll struggle with in the real world. The following is from the most recent neuropsych eval I had three years ago:


"Results of the WAIS-III revealed a Verbal IQ of 155 (Very Superior Range), a Performance IQ of 111 (High Average Range), and a Full Scale IQ of 143 (Very Superior Range). These results suggest that Horus clearly has the ability to understand, process, and convey information in the verbal modality. His strengths are in the areas of word knowledge, abstract thinking, immediate memory, fund of information, and comprehension of social norms. His relative weakness, although still in the high average range, was in arithmetic. There was no evidence of an attentional or concentration problem. Comparison of his verbal and nonverbal IQ's revealed a 44 point difference in favor of his verbal performance, which is approximately 3 standard deviations and found in only a small percentage of the population. On the nonverbal subtests, Horus performed in the high average in distinguishing essential from non-essential details and visual-motor speed. However, he scored average in non-verbal social skills, and in the impaired range on spatial relations, perceptual analysis and non-verbal reasoning. Results of the Wechsler Memory Scale-III revealed similar findings to the intellectual measures in terms of high average memory for verbal information and low average scores in non-verbal memory. Results of the Neuropsychological Screening Battery revealed an impairment index of 2.05 which exceeds the cutoff 1.55 and places this patient in the mildly impaired range of neuropsychological functioning. On the Reitan-Indiana Aphasia Screening test, the patient did not reveal perseveration, dysarthria, alcaluculia, and apraxia and/or aphasia. However, other neuropsychlogical tests revealed moderate impairment in following instructions and executive frontal lobe functions such as changing cognitive set, organization, planning and anticipation of consequences".

Formulation

"Clinical history and neuropsychological test results are consistent with extremely strong verbal skills with very limited functioning in non-verbal tasks, social skills, organization, planning, and general executive functioning. The patient related that he was "diagnosed" with a non-verbal learning disability. There is literature that reports consistent findings in terms of poor social skills, limited motoric coordination, difficulties with executive functioning, poor visual memory, and deficits in social judgment. Although not a formal psychiatric diagnosis, findings do reveal that there is consistent pattern with this patient that has appeared to interfere with his functioning both at school and as an adult. Patients with similar profiles appear to perform significantly better with structure, clear expectations of performance, and clear guidelines for behavior".


So both this test and several others i've had indicate a significant problem with executive functioning.

On another neuropsych test I had in 2001, I scored within the impaired range (<1st%) on the "Category Test". The CT is a test of executive functioning.

Here's some info about the Category Test:



Category Test
A total of 208 pictures consisting of geometric figures are presented. For each picture, individuals are asked to decide whether they are reminded of the number 1, 2, 3, or 4. They press a key that corresponds to their number of choice. If they chose correctly, a chime sounds. If they chose incorrectly, a buzzer sounds. The pictures are presented in seven subtests.

The key to this test is that one principle, or common characteristic, underlies each subtest. The numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 represent the possible principles. If individuals are able to recognize the correct principle in one picture, they will respond correctly for the remaining pictures in that subtest. The next subtest may have the same or a different underlying principle, and individuals must again try to determine that principle using the feedback of the chime and buzzer. The last subtest contains two underlying principles. The test takes approximately one hour to complete, but individuals with severe brain damage may take as long as two hours.

The Category Test is considered the battery's most effective test for detecting brain damage, but does not help determine where the problem is occurring in the brain. The test evaluates abstraction ability, or the ability to draw specific conclusions from general information. Related abilities are solving complex and unique problems, and learning from experience. Children's versions consist of 80 items and five subtests for young children, and 168 items and 6 subtests for older children.

Scoring involves recording the number of errors. Based on traditional scoring using cutoff values (cutoff scores are scores that indicate the borderline between normal and impaired functioning), scores above 41 are considered indicative of brain impairment for ages 15 to 45. For ages 46 and older, scores above 46 indicate impairment. Reitan has suggested a cutoff of 50 or 51 errors. Recommended cutoffs also vary depending on age and education level.



Read more: Halstead-Reitan Battery - children, functioning, adults, examples, person, people, used, brain, personality, score, Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Results http://www.minddisorders.com/Flu-Inv/Ha ... z0jPqvAXEo


http://www.minddisorders.com/Flu-Inv/Ha ... ttery.html



Also.....I have always claimed I have profound problems with my memory. Particularily long-term memory and more specifically, semantic, procedural, episodic memory.


The following is from Oxford Univesity Press and it's very telling considering both my "impaired" performance on the Category Test and said memory complaints. According to this article, memory complaints are pretty common for those who perform poorly on the Category Test. It's a huge article and I couldn't C & P the relevant parts, so just check out pages 12-13.

http://books.google.com/books?id=oHLy5H ... le&f=false



Tollorin
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,178
Location: Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada

27 Mar 2010, 11:04 pm

I don't know about executive functions been linked to abstract thinking. I see it more been linked to intelligence. Abstract thinking is a manifestation of intelligence.



Mosaicofminds
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 17 Mar 2010
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Posts: 319
Location: USA

28 Mar 2010, 12:34 am

Horus, congratulations on getting to see a neurologist. I hope you'll get the answers you need.

I am concerned, though, about whether the neurologist will actually have the answers. I am a research assistant in a lab that uses EEG and fMRI, which is somewhat similar to SPECT. EEG gives you a picture of a person's brainwaves, while fMRI, like SPECT, shows you pictures of which areas are particularly active in the brain. Different individuals do show highly different brainwave patterns and fMRI activation for exactly the stimuli. But researchers completely ignore that. In order to get enough trials to say something about the group level, they average across individuals. It's hard even to interpret group-level effects, particularly for EEG. There are also issues with fMRI, particularly when ersatz statistics comes into play (consider the recent Scientific American article where people did an fMRI of a dead salmon and found "activation"). If even the researchers don't look at differences on the individual level and don't know what they mean, I am concerned about whether a neurologist would be able to do it. I hope I am wrong about this. Memory is one of the better understood functions, so maybe they'll find something. Executive function and working memory are still incredibly controversial, both in terms of how they function and in terms of their neuroanatomical basis, so I would be very surprised if the neurologist could pinpoint an abnormally-activating brain region and tell you exactly what it means. :(

One thing I've often read is that what matters is not the absolute level of your worst abilities, but the gap between your worst abilities and your best ones. Having an average performance IQ does not mean you will be average at perceptual tasks. I would think this is particularly true if you're able to use your verbal ability to compensate to some degree on perceptual tasks. Your "real" perceptual ability could be lower than the test reflects.



Horus
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,302
Location: A rock in the milky way

28 Mar 2010, 12:47 am

Tollorin wrote:
I don't know about executive functions been linked to abstract thinking. I see it more been linked to intelligence. Abstract thinking is a manifestation of intelligence.



I think you're wrong here.


Just read the parts I bolded if you don't feel like slogging through the whole thing:



Executive Functioning Assessment in Psychoeducational Domains - Presentation Transcript
1.Assessment of Executive Functioning in Psychoeducational Domains CPA 2006 Michael Decaire, M.A. Clinical Measurement Consultant Harcourt Assessment / PsychCorp 1-866-335-8428 [email_address] http://www.harcourtassessment.ca http://psychoed.thedatabase.org (powerpoints)
2.Agenda
Executive Functioning an Introduction
EF in Schools
Assessment
3.Executive Functioning An Introduction
4.Definition
Executive Functioning as a defined term is a relatively recent development (a caution!)
A fluid definition!
Previously assessed primarily by neuropsychologists
Most recently it has moved to the domain of psychoeducational assessment as its contributions towards academic difficulty and the benefits of disorder specific remediation have become better known.
5.A Working Definition
Executive Functions are higher order cognitive skills associated with the ability to engage in independent, goal-directed behavior.
Draw on fundamental skills to generate higher levels of creative & abstract thought
May result in obvious behavior disorder or subtle problems with behavioral regulation
Also known as dysexecutive syndrome
6.A Working Definition
Due to the wide ranging complexity of executive functioning it is difficult to produce an accurate single statement to describe the construct or the disorder.
As a result it is frequently described by the nature of the dysfunction and the general symptom pattern
Impairments in executive functioning have been linked to dysfunction of the frontal lobes
7.Defining Executive Functions
There is certainly a debate regarding how we should exactly define executive functioning or executive functioning impairments
Fortunately the assessment of these domains seems to have transcended the bantering of theorists
Examining their work, however, does help us better understand what exactly is going on here
8.Defining Executive Functions
Martha Denkla warns us that we should avoid turning executive functions into the neuropsychologist’s “g”
Yet other theorists have jumped on this idea (Elkhonon Goldberg refers to executive functions as the “S”(for smart) Factor).
Paradoxically, both Denkla and Goldberg use the analogy of the Orchestra Conductor as a metaphor and support structure for executive processes at work.
9.EF as Conductor of the Brain’s Orchestra
The simple orchestra conductor analogy feeds into the ‘g’ style or “S” model approach of Goldberg
However, this is likely a real underestimation of the complexity of executive functions and falsely suggests we can look for a single score to represent executive capabilities
For practical everyday problem-solving in a more concrete manner, it is better to stick with a concept of a system of interrelated “semi-conductors” rather than posit a single conductor.
EF =Cognitive Ability
10.How about this? =Cognitive Ability EF EF EF EF
11.That’s Better! =Cognitive Ability EF EF EF EF EF EF EF EF EF EF
12.So what does EF entail? Spirit Mind Body Motor Emotion Cognition Self Determination Self Realization Self Generation Trans-Self Integration Infancy Late Adulthood Self-Regulation }
13.Good Executive Functioning
mental flexibility
set formation and maintenance
behavioral initiation/productivity
planning
self-monitoring
abstract reasoning/concept formation
Inhibition of impulsive/pre-potent responses
rule learning
14.Executive Functioning Deficits
Disinhibition - lacks behavioral control, impulsive
Perseveration - repeats non-functional behavior, inability to change behavior despite corrective feedback, difficulties learning from experience
Forgetfulness - off-task behaviors, mental errors, loses track of what they were doing
Inefficiency - takes more steps to complete task than necessary
Difficulty understanding consequences and cause-effect relationships
Frequently violate rules despite apparent knowledge of the rules
Apathetic - lacks motivation, does not set goals,
engages in behavior only when prodded
15.Executive Functioning Deficits
Difficulties accessing knowledge
Concrete thinking
Emotional lability
Poor frustration tolerance
Disorganized
Inconsistent performance on tasks
within ability range
Difficulties coping with change
Poor judgment


http://www.slideshare.net/psychoed/exec ... al-domains



Horus
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,302
Location: A rock in the milky way

28 Mar 2010, 1:04 am

Mosaicofminds wrote:
Horus, congratulations on getting to see a neurologist. I hope you'll get the answers you need.

I am concerned, though, about whether the neurologist will actually have the answers. I am a research assistant in a lab that uses EEG and fMRI, which is somewhat similar to SPECT. EEG gives you a picture of a person's brainwaves, while fMRI, like SPECT, shows you pictures of which areas are particularly active in the brain. Different individuals do show highly different brainwave patterns and fMRI activation for exactly the stimuli. But researchers completely ignore that. In order to get enough trials to say something about the group level, they average across individuals. It's hard even to interpret group-level effects, particularly for EEG. There are also issues with fMRI, particularly when ersatz statistics comes into play (consider the recent Scientific American article where people did an fMRI of a dead salmon and found "activation"). If even the researchers don't look at differences on the individual level and don't know what they mean, I am concerned about whether a neurologist would be able to do it. I hope I am wrong about this. Memory is one of the better understood functions, so maybe they'll find something. Executive function and working memory are still incredibly controversial, both in terms of how they function and in terms of their neuroanatomical basis, so I would be very surprised if the neurologist could pinpoint an abnormally-activating brain region and tell you exactly what it means. :(

One thing I've often read is that what matters is not the absolute level of your worst abilities, but the gap between your worst abilities and your best ones. Having an average performance IQ does not mean you will be average at perceptual tasks. I would think this is particularly true if you're able to use your verbal ability to compensate to some degree on perceptual tasks. Your "real" perceptual ability could be lower than the test reflects.



Thank you!! ! :)

I am equally concerned, but I have nothing lose at this point and maybe, just maybe, some meaningful insight to gain. Especially considering what you said here about memory and that (long-term memory at least) is one of my biggest complaints. We'll see what happens and i'll keep you posted. I haven't even made the appt. yet, I just received the authorization notice and billing invoice from OVR on Friday. I'll make be making the appt. Monday and god knows when they'll schedule me in.



Horus
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,302
Location: A rock in the milky way

28 Mar 2010, 1:05 am

CockneyRebel wrote:
That's very good news. I hope that all goes well, for you.:)



Thank you!! ! :)



Horus
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,302
Location: A rock in the milky way

28 Mar 2010, 2:44 am

anbuend wrote:
Ummmm... I know a lot of people with MR and not a single one of them is blissfully ignorant. That's a myth.

It's really not at all unusual for autistic people and people with related conditions to have adaptive functioningbelow our IQ. In fact above IQ 70 there is NO correlation between IQ and adaptive functioning for autistic people.

My IQ used to be higher than yours and my adaptive functioning is below even some people with severe MR. (And below just about everyone with moderate MR.) The fact is that for us, there is absolutely no correlation at all. The same way there is no correlation in cerebral palsy. It's simply not the same as IQ. (My IQ is low normal/borderline depending on who you ask now but my loss of IQ has nothing to do with my adaptive functioning.)

SPECT scans can't tell us much about the brain except for sometimes epilepsy. Some less than scrupulous doctors have made exaggerated claims about it (I know -- I saw one of the more famous ones, and the same one I saw told a man I know with AS that he must have abused drugs he had never taken). You want an fMRI if anything.

But don't hold too high expectations of a neurologist. Most of their exams will not tell you the subtle things you want to know. And the fact is that autism and related conditions can impair your functioning totally independent of IQ. I've read the studies. You don't need a doctor to tell you that. It's just known.

Also, if I were you I would work on increasing my happiness rather than basing it on your abilities. If I based my happiness on my abilities I would be way more miserable than you are but I am actually happy. It took understanding how I'd internalized a lot of disability prejudice and turned it on myself, but I got there after years of work. I don't mean to say it's easy, just to say it's possible (and far more possible than anything you are likely to find out giving you those skills you don't have). I used to wish I didn't exist either.


Sorry....the "blissful ignorance" comment was stupid...I realize it's a myth and I ought to know better. All I was TRYING to say is that many MR folks seem way happier than me in spite of their limitations.

I realize that people with ASD can have adaptive functions lower than our IQ scores. While my adaptive functions certainly aren't stellar, I WOULD be able to live independently (I have done so before) IF I had the financial means to do so. I don't have the financial means because I don't have any job skills. And I don't have any job skills because thus far, at least, I haven't been successful at aquiring any. In short....my learning/memory issues seem far more "impactful" (to use an apt non-word :wink: ) than my adaptive/life skills. The learning/memory issues are the fundamental problems here and again, according to ALL my neuropsych evals, they are not THAT serious. No more serious than those of most people with AS/NVLD. Certainly not serious enough to prevent me from comprehending and remembering much of what you'll find in college-level coursework. But again....this is SOLELY based on my neuropsych evals ALONE. ALL of my personal experiences in school, jobs and life would suggest otherwise.

I've heard many conflicting claims about SPECT scans but overall, I believe you're correct here. I think you MAY be referring to Dr. Daniel Amen. The man is essentially a SPECT scan guru and his "Change your Brain/Change your Life" gig on PBS has obviously got the public going hog-wild. I'm going to mention an fMRI to this neurologist, but I doubt even that will tell me anything useful. Still....i'm open to any form of brain-probing so long as it doesn't present a considerable risk to my health. I've really got nothing to lose at this juncture and I think the neuropsychologists have told me all they can tell me by now.

After all my own research and self-observations over the years...I just tend to believe I have some rather unique and profound issues with executive functions and/or memory. Needless to say.....I could be very wrong and even if i'm not....I have no idea in regards to the specific nature of these problems. Even neuroscientists don't claim to know everything about EF and memory...so it would be beyond silly for me to say much more about it. I can only hope the neurologist can offer me SOME meaningful insight and if he doesn't....oh well. I've spent forty years living with a neurological mystery anyway.

As far as "working on my happiness" is concerned...I really don't even know where to begin at this point. I derive no joy from anything within or without myself. I am glad you have been able to find happiness in spite of your own issues, but it just hasn't worked for me thus far. In my case....it doesn't seem to have anything to do with any internalization of the disability prejudices which exist in this sickest of all societies. If you've ever read anything by Noam Chomsky (his political writings....not his work in linguistics) then you can get a pretty good idea of my own views about our society. I just happen to be much more cynical and misanthropic than he is. That being said....I can't imagine i'd internalize any of the prevailing values or prejudices of our society since they are no less irrational, sociopathic, nihilistic, dehumanizing and toxic to ALL life on this earth than those which were present in the Third Reich.

Frankly....I can make no further comment about happiness. For reasons I honestly don't understand.....it seems as elusive to me as Astrophysics. I will never understand how people can derive such joy from the simple "non-intellectual" things in life. I am often astonished by the joy I see in some people who, from my perspective, have NOTHING to be joyful about.

Eh....what else can say?....my mind is maze of torment and confusion.