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SeaMonkey
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09 Jun 2010, 8:42 am

I have a wide range of symptoms associated with autism but I have a lot of contradictory symptoms too. Autistic people are supposed to be good with the details but struggle with the big picture. I'm the other way around I can't learn anything unless I first setup the scaffolding so I can see the big picture then I'll start integrating the details. I can't integrate the details unless I can see how they connect to all the other details.

Autistic people are supposed to lack empathy but I'm the complete opposite I feel for every living thing on the face of the planet. Autistic people are supposed to like focussing on a single task and dislike changing tasks. I have ADHD and only function well when I'm multitasking. I have to take dexedrine to be able to hyperfocus. Autistic people are supposed to have "narrow" interests/obsessions. My obsession is knowledge itself so thats about as wide an obsession as it gets. These things would make one assume I'm not on the spectrum but then I have a host of other symptoms which make it impossible for me to have a 10 minute conversation with a psychiatrist without him suspecting I'm autistic. What about all of you do you fit nicely into the criteria of autism or have you lots of contradictions too?



StuartN
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09 Jun 2010, 9:54 am

SeaMonkey wrote:
Autistic people are supposed to lack empathy but I'm the complete opposite I feel for every living thing on the face of the planet.


You might be surprised if you took the Empathy Quotient test (http://eqsq.com/eq-sq-tests/) that is listed with other diagnostic and evaluative tests at http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt113459.html

I think I am a hugely caring person, but my EQ does not reflect that belief at all. The contradiction is in my understanding of "empathy" not being the same as others'.



Ambivalence
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09 Jun 2010, 10:01 am

SeaMonkey wrote:
Autistic people are supposed to lack empathy but I'm the complete opposite I feel for every living thing on the face of the planet.

I've seen that said fairly often here. I feel a strong empathy for life and the outdoors (...and spend most of my time hiding inside. :lol: )
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Autistic people are supposed to like focussing on a single task and dislike changing tasks. I have ADHD and only function well when I'm multitasking.

It's common to be diagnosed with an ASD and ADD/ADHD as well. I'm told I have ADD traits, and yet I do hyperfocus on things all the time. :?
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Autistic people are supposed to have "narrow" interests/obsessions.

I tend to get very into things for a short time and then drop them. I don't now follow the stereotypical aspie pattern of "obsess over something for a medium length period, then drop it and move to a new obsession", though as a child I suppose I did; there are however a couple of things that I've been obsessed with for most of my life (hence my user title and occasional avatar of the star(s) Mintaka.)


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09 Jun 2010, 10:04 am

I have a few contradictions. I also have ADHD(inattentive), which is actually common in people with ASDs, but for me that usually means that i can't set much of a daily routine for myself, even if i do like some predictability. And i was, for the most part, an extremely well-behaved child. I also like interacting with people to an extent.



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09 Jun 2010, 10:05 am

I'm not good at organisation. I hear that autistics are good at organising things.



Asp-Z
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09 Jun 2010, 10:21 am

SeaMonkey wrote:
I have a wide range of symptoms associated with autism but I have a lot of contradictory symptoms too. Autistic people are supposed to be good with the details but struggle with the big picture. I'm the other way around I can't learn anything unless I first setup the scaffolding so I can see the big picture then I'll start integrating the details. I can't integrate the details unless I can see how they connect to all the other details.

Autistic people are supposed to lack empathy but I'm the complete opposite I feel for every living thing on the face of the planet. Autistic people are supposed to like focussing on a single task and dislike changing tasks. I have ADHD and only function well when I'm multitasking. I have to take dexedrine to be able to hyperfocus. Autistic people are supposed to have "narrow" interests/obsessions. My obsession is knowledge itself so thats about as wide an obsession as it gets. These things would make one assume I'm not on the spectrum but then I have a host of other symptoms which make it impossible for me to have a 10 minute conversation with a psychiatrist without him suspecting I'm autistic. What about all of you do you fit nicely into the criteria of autism or have you lots of contradictions too?


Aspies often feel empathy but just have a hard time showing it. If you have ADHD that'll be the reason for the differences in focusing, and does not make you any less Aspie.

No one fits neatly into the spectrum, the different symptoms are visible at different levels (or some not at all) in different people, even NTs. Being an actual autistic is simply a case of having enough of those traits.



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09 Jun 2010, 10:51 am

jc6chan wrote:
I'm not good at organisation. I hear that autistics are good at organising things.


This also applies to me.


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09 Jun 2010, 1:14 pm

cyberscan wrote:
jc6chan wrote:
I'm not good at organisation. I hear that autistics are good at organising things.


This also applies to me.


Ditto


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09 Jun 2010, 2:29 pm

About the empathy thing -- you might look up "intense world syndrome." It's an alternate theory that makes more sense in that and other ways.

http://personalitycafe.com/general-psyc ... heory.html

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A groundbreaking study suggests people with autism-spectrum disorders such as Asperger’s do not lack empathy—rather they feel others’ emotions too intensely to cope.

People with Asperger’s syndrome, a high functioning form of autism, are often stereotyped as distant loners or robotic geeks. But what if what looks like coldness to the outside world is in fact a response to being overwhelmed by emotion—an excess of empathy, not a lack of it?
This idea resonates with many people suffering from autism-spectrum disorders and their families. It also jibes with new thinking about the nature of autism called the “intense world” theory. As posited by Henry and Kamila Markram of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, suggests that the fundamental problem in autism-spectrum disorders is not a social deficiency, but rather an hypersensitivity to experience, which includes an overwhelming fear response.

“I can walk into a room and feel what everyone is feeling. The problem is that it all comes in faster than I can process it.”

“There are those who say autistic people don’t feel enough,” says Kamila Markram. “We’re saying exactly the opposite: They feel too much.” Virtually all people with ASD report various types of oversensitivity and intense fear. The Markrams argue that social difficulties of those with ASDs stem from trying to cope with a world where someone has turned the volume on all the senses and feelings up past 10. If hearing your parents’ voices while sitting in your crib felt like listening to Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music on acid, you, too, might prefer to curl in a corner and rock.



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09 Jun 2010, 3:23 pm

SeaMonkey wrote:
What about all of you do you fit nicely into the criteria of autism or have you lots of contradictions too?


Just look at my username. :lol:

My ability to focus waxes and wanes. Sometimes I have to force myself to begin a task and stay with it. Then, I'll be at it for the next 4-5 hours.

Noticing small details is also hit-or-miss. I usually hear small sounds that others might not (while I have difficulty understanding speech, especially in noisy environments).

My organizational skills have gotten better over time. Problem is, I'm the only one who understands my "system."

And the empathy thing is weird--I think that's why I start to feel overwhelmed in certain crowded places, like supermarkets. It's not just the fluorescent lights and blaring loudspeakers--it's all of the shoppers with their own trains of thought/emotion.

I'm not like that all the time, thankfully.

Apple_in_my_Eye, thanks for the link. I'm going to read more about "intense world syndrome."

Interestingly enough, in my Sensation and Perception Psych class I immediately thought that having autism meant an inability to filter things out. My professor said he simply wasn't sure.

Makes sense to me. If too much is going on of course you're going to shut down.


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09 Jun 2010, 4:41 pm

It's not really that you contradict what autism is, it's that descriptions of autistic people came about like this:

Kanner saw a bunch of people and grouped them together. He observed some things about them. Some of the observations were accurate. Some were more conclusions than true observations. Then he came to conclusions based on both types of observations. Many of his conclusions were false. (Note: Most of Kanner's patients would today have a high chance of being diagnosed as AS and all but maybe one or two fit at least one definition of high functioning. Several went on to college. There are many modern myths about who these people were.)

The next person came along and put more people into the category of autistic. These people included people who appeared like Kanners patients appeared, people who were like Kanners patients were, people who appeared like Kanners conclusions, and people who were like Kanners conclusions.

This has been going onin many iterations for generations. And since 1980 it's been happening to Asperger's patients and conclusions too. (His patients were roughly the same as Kanner's, but he drew different conclusions.)

This means that people who get called autistic are an incredibly diverse group of people and that virtually nobody matches the conclusions. And yet those who either match the conclusions, think they match the conclusions, pretend they match the conclusions, or may or may not match but other people can force fit them to the conclusions -- those people will get called more typical or more autistic. Even though they are neither.

So knowing all that I'm never surprised when people don't match the conclusions. The conclusions come from generations of faulty observations, faulty logic, and faulty science. And then no matter what the conclusions are, people who match them or who think they match them or can be said to match them by others, suddenly start getting diagnosed more. It's a disturbingly tangled thing and I wish more people noticed.


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10 Jun 2010, 4:58 am

I took the EQSQ test and my score for Empathy was 8 and for systemising it was 55. According to the site, I'm an extreme systemiser. I didn't think I was that extreme, really.

And just for good measure, I took the Myers-Briggs personality test thing and I got INTJ (I think I got a different result last time- I'm not sure, but I'm still a rational mastermind). I find that strange because this kind of minds tend to work in science and I'm kind of....artsy....