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Almandite
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08 Jun 2009, 3:10 pm

Is Autism caused by our genetics, or is it the result of something that happened to us? Is it simply a different way of building the brain, or is it brain damage?

If it is brain damage, does Autistic Pride make any sense?

Convince me.



Ben_Shapiro
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08 Jun 2009, 4:00 pm

I don't believe it is brain damage, I am more inclined towards differences in the brain due to genetics.



fiddlerpianist
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08 Jun 2009, 4:16 pm

Almandite wrote:
Is Autism caused by our genetics, or is it the result of something that happened to us?

Possibly both. No one knows for sure.

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Is it simply a different way of building the brain, or is it brain damage?

That's a good question.


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08 Jun 2009, 4:20 pm

I am not diseased.


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Michjo
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08 Jun 2009, 4:38 pm

Quote:
Is Autism caused by our genetics

Yes, it can be.


Quote:
or is it the result of something that happened to us?

It can also be caused by environmental toxins and fetal infections.


Quote:
or is it brain damage?

It can also be caused by brain damage.


Quote:
If it is brain damage, does Autistic Pride make any sense?

We are human beings and deserve to be treated as such. A celebration of self ins't a bad thing in moderation.



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08 Jun 2009, 5:14 pm

I think it is a design that has been around for many hundreds of years, as the town fool, but in modern society the aspergian design, is more useful than ever before and society has room for specialists that does not have all the general survival skills, like socialising.


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Ambivalence
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08 Jun 2009, 6:06 pm

I'm not sure whether society can be said to design the "town fool" - to continue the analogy - , as such. More like it just finds them useful (and I don't credit the we-run-the-world-secretly or only-our-genius-drives-technology ideas, attractive as they are!). Design would imply some deliberate plan and control over the development... call it tolerating accident, maybe? A farmer might breed cows for size, but I don't think anyone has ever sat down and said "let's breed humans to make more town fools..." More likely "let's create less..." :?

Huh, reminds me: So come along, fool. A direct hit of the senses, you're disconnected. - Cat Power


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Aldebaran
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08 Jun 2009, 6:34 pm

What I mean, is that people with the autistic genes, has always been there, but they have been living at the edge of society as unimportant people, like the town fool. Now the characteristics that made autistic persons outcasts, have become useful abilities.

It is society, that has changed, and opened other possibilities, so that autistic people are finding useful places in the whole.


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Crassus
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08 Jun 2009, 6:47 pm

If England were still the land of my Arthurian ancestors, I might be the Court Jester providing cutting insights and keeping the king humble, while acting the fool and being an outsider. If America were still the land of my Native ancestors, I would be the hunter who kills the wolves and bison and brings back the meat and hangs with the village for a bit while they eat and then be back out on the hunt the moment I sensed new prey. This way of life is simply not sustainable for me anymore given the circumstances of the planet today. So I must find a more modern role for myself in this modern society. Knowledge has become my prey, but I don't know how to properly cook the meat of my harvest for society to not be made ill.



WoodenNickel
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08 Jun 2009, 7:33 pm

In my case, it is purely genetic.


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Rainbow-Squirrel
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08 Jun 2009, 8:07 pm

Completely genetic.



Irvy
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09 Jun 2009, 8:03 am

As far as I can gather, my senses are more heightened than those of my NT friends and relatives. I am able to focus with greater ease, to a greater extent, for a longer period of time. I am able to react to an event, not without emotions, but without them jumping to the fore and taking over. This means that I can get through a situation without "closing doors" by having an emotional outburst, and leave myself with a complete set of choices (rather than pushing myself in a corner and having to either eat my own words or stick by decisions made by anger).

I'm not seeing how any of this can be seen as any kind of mutation, deficiency or disease. If anything, I'm an improvement on my NT friends.



fiddlerpianist
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09 Jun 2009, 9:05 am

Irvy wrote:
As far as I can gather, my senses are more heightened than those of my NT friends and relatives. I am able to focus with greater ease, to a greater extent, for a longer period of time. I am able to react to an event, not without emotions, but without them jumping to the fore and taking over. This means that I can get through a situation without "closing doors" by having an emotional outburst, and leave myself with a complete set of choices (rather than pushing myself in a corner and having to either eat my own words or stick by decisions made by anger)

That describes me quite well. From this perspective, I suppose I'm very even keeled.

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I'm not seeing how any of this can be seen as any kind of mutation, deficiency or disease. If anything, I'm an improvement on my NT friends.

My guess is that, if you have some AS traits, you are conveniently ignoring some aspects of your personality for the sake of argument. I don't know you personally, but how well can you communicate and relate to others? How well do you accept criticism, and how constructive is the criticism that you offer? Does your presentation creep other people out, even a little?

These things may not be a full-blown "disability" but certainly are impairments, or can lead to a deficiency in being able to relate with the rest of the world.


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09 Jun 2009, 9:30 am

Well, why not be proud if it's brain damage? Why be proud if it's genetic?

Like 'uh, hey, I got genetic defects that will forever stay with me and that I can hand down to all my kids'. Great?

Brain damage isn't shameful.


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RoisinDubh
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09 Jun 2009, 9:35 am

Not to sound full of myself, but I have and always HAVE had a really hard time imagining how I could be brain damaged when I have an IQ in the top 1 or 2%. I realise not ALL Aspies have high IQ's, fantastic memories, and certain special talents like I do, but many of those I've met HAVE had these things....not exactly a 'disability' or 'damaged goods' if you ask me.

I vote for genetics.

(I also have loads of evidence from my own family that supports this theory)


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RoisinDubh
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09 Jun 2009, 9:37 am

RE: pride....while I AM a vocal Aspie supremacist, I find 'pride' in anything one can't control really hard to understand. I'm certainly not ashamed to have Asperger's, and think it's far more of a positive trait than a negative one, but to go on about 'Aspie pride' makes about as much sense as 'Irish pride', 'American pride', or 'gay pride' does. It's how you were born....it's not an accomplishment to be proud of.


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