Theres probably no such thing as neurotypical

Page 1 of 2 [ 25 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

SeaMonkey
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 11 May 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 71

26 Jun 2010, 5:52 pm

People who get labelled autistic may just have a neurochemical makeup that happens to make them outwardly different while people labelled neurotypical have only invisible differences. People still to this day ignorantly assume that apart from a few exceptions (i.e. downsyndrome, autism, schizophrenia) that we all have the same brain wiring and neurochemical makeup but all neuroscientists know that this couldn't be further from the truth. I think this misconception causes a lot of the problems in the world today because it prevents people from comprehending the fact that your neurochemistry might make one thing easy for you while the neurochemistry of another person causes them to struggle with it and vice versa. I've been thinking about this a lot over the past 2 years. If we saw the world through the eyes of someone else it might look like a very different place but up until then we may not have even suspected that they see the world differently.



Willard
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,647

26 Jun 2010, 6:24 pm

SeaMonkey wrote:
People who get labelled autistic may just have a neurochemical makeup that happens to make them outwardly different while people labelled neurotypical have only invisible differences. People still to this day ignorantly assume that apart from a few exceptions (i.e. downsyndrome, autism, schizophrenia) that we all have the same brain wiring and neurochemical makeup but all neuroscientists know that this couldn't be further from the truth. I think this misconception causes a lot of the problems in the world today because it prevents people from comprehending the fact that your neurochemistry might make one thing easy for you while the neurochemistry of another person causes them to struggle with it and vice versa. I've been thinking about this a lot over the past 2 years. If we saw the world through the eyes of someone else it might look like a very different place but up until then we may not have even suspected that they see the world differently.



Nobody gets 'labeled' neurotypical, SM. Its not a diagnosis, just a term used to differentiate the Autistic (or anyone with a psyche disorder or alternative condition, really), from the general populace. Some of us are trying to trend away from the use of the term NT and just say Non-Autistic, since technically, its more accurate and less emotionally loaded.

However, your remarks about how people see the world are absolutely correct. The way in which our neurochemistry wires us has everything to do with the eyes with which we see and experience our world as well as how we react to what we (think) we're seeing and experiencing. It is the reason why those who do not see the world through Autistic goggles have such a hard time relating to our experiences - life does not happen to them in the same way it happens to us.

This is where the whole 'neurotypical' concept comes in - the world is experienced in pretty much the same way for the majority of those without Autism. They have a whole set of signals and methods of communication that are invisible to someone looking at the world through Autistic goggles. Because we cannot see everything that they see, we more frequently trip, slip and fall on our faces while they roll their eyes at each other and signal "What's that dork's problem?" behind our backs.

But the fact that we live our entire lives with those funhouse goggles on, also affects the way we learn to walk, talk and navigate through the world. We look different to them because we are different - just as a blind person might have to feel their way through a room, we have our own methods of getting around in spite of our handicap, and it forms and shapes who we are and how we think. Everything about us is molded and refined by our attempts to cope in a world made for brains wired just a little bit differently than ours, that's how so many of us end up with the same stims and behaviors, even though we've never met and many of us never knew we even had AS until middle age.

But I agree with your basic contention. Being different does not make us (or our potential to contribute) less valuable as individuals. It is crucial that we get past the social stigma that Autistic = Stupid. I like to point out that those with Dyslexia also have a glitch in their neuro-wiring, but nobody automatically assumes they're stupid because of it. Unfortunately, there are Multimillion Dollar Corporations out there right now pushing the idea that those with Autism are horrible freaks that burden their families with mountains of debt and social humiliation, and they claim they're trying to help us. Its a steep mountain to climb.



SeaMonkey
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 11 May 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 71

26 Jun 2010, 7:06 pm

The disabilities are only in social areas which does cause problems since there aren't many alternatives to living in society but I'm fairly certain it is a blessing in disguise. Take a good look at the state of the world today. If the majority of humans could think freely and deeply would the world be in such a sorry state? People on the autism spectrum are the ones that catalyze technological advancements which irreversibly alter the lives of every human for the better. I've been thinking a lot about this and I think I may understand why people with mild autism happen to be good inventors. The ability to create algorithms on the fly which allow us to think outside the box. A few months ago I discovered that the majority of people word out every single thought they have and when I was asking people how they think about things they have no words for I found out that they don't think deeply about things which there are no words for. For example if this world is actually like a livestock pen and we are being herded by hyperdimensional entities outside our range of conscious perception how would they even begin to map out the invisible fences. When I talk about things like this to neurotypical people they are usually highly interested but seem to have trouble thinking about it themselves they just refer to things heard or read about. Theres a thread stickied on this forum with a link to a documentary about autism and in it theres a Mohawk shaman who states "autism is your ticket to becoming a shaman". A shamans an explorer of whats outside the box and it seems people with autism have an inclination to stray from the herd and wander outside the box.



Who_Am_I
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Aug 2005
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 12,630
Location: My body is in Brisbane and my mind is in the gutter. :D

26 Jun 2010, 10:23 pm

Quote:
The disabilities are only in social areas


Not true.


_________________
Music Theory 101: Cadences.
Authentic cadence: V-I
Plagal cadence: IV-I
Deceptive cadence: V- ANYTHING BUT I ! !! !
Beethoven cadence: V-I-V-I-V-V-V-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I
-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I! I! I! I I I


Asp-Z
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Dec 2009
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,018

27 Jun 2010, 10:08 am

Actual NTs (people with no neurological conditions at all) are in the minority, but they do exist.

Remember, neurotypical describes a person with no neurological disorders, it dosen't mean the person or their perception or anything is identical to over NTs, because every person is still an individual.



Janissy
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 5 May 2009
Age: 54
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,450
Location: x

27 Jun 2010, 10:31 am

Asp-Z wrote:
Actual NTs (people with no neurological conditions at all) are in the minority, but they do exist.

Remember, neurotypical describes a person with no neurological disorders, it dosen't mean the person or their perception or anything is identical to over NTs, because every person is still an individual.


That's what it means in this and several other threads. But there are also several threads where it specifically means "person not on the autism spectrum". For instance, the threads that ask, "why do NT's like socializing?" would make no sense if NT was taken to mean "person with no neurological condition". That would presume that people with ADHD, Williams Syndrome, Downs Syndrome, bipolar disorder and a whole slew of other things don't like to socilaize, which is wrong.

There is currently a semantic problem in that NT is sometimes used to mean "person with no neurological condition" but when talking about a difference specific to autism it is used to mean "person without autism". This semantic problem is so great that many threads are devoted to sorting it out but still it isn't sorted out. When asking, "why do NT's do/like X?" people need to stop and think about whether they mean "why do people not on the autistic spectrum do/like X?" or if they are intending to be inclusive of everybody with a neurological condition.

This dual use of NT is annoying.



Asp-Z
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Dec 2009
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,018

27 Jun 2010, 10:32 am

Janissy wrote:
Asp-Z wrote:
Actual NTs (people with no neurological conditions at all) are in the minority, but they do exist.

Remember, neurotypical describes a person with no neurological disorders, it dosen't mean the person or their perception or anything is identical to over NTs, because every person is still an individual.


That's what it means in this and several other threads. But there are also several threads where it specifically means "person not on the autism spectrum". For instance, the threads that ask, "why do NT's like socializing?" would make no sense if NT was taken to mean "person with no neurological condition". That would presume that people with ADHD, Williams Syndrome, Downs Syndrome, bipolar disorder and a whole slew of other things don't like to socilaize, which is wrong.

There is currently a semantic problem in that NT is sometimes used to mean "person with no neurological condition" but when talking about a difference specific to autism it is used to mean "person without autism". This semantic problem is so great that many threads are devoted to sorting it out but still it isn't sorted out. When asking, "why do NT's do/like X?" people need to stop and think about whether they mean "why do people not on the autistic spectrum do/like X?" or if they are intending to be inclusive of everybody with a neurological condition.

This dual use of NT is annoying.


When talking about someone without autism, "NA" or "Non-Autistic" should be used instead. Makes much more sense, and we're meant to be the logical ones after all! :P



Wuffles
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 5 Apr 2010
Age: 41
Gender: Female
Posts: 354

27 Jun 2010, 10:39 am

I've often wanted to examine the autism spectrum through the eyes of Foucault ("Madness and Civilization"). Normal is one extreme of a spectrum imo. Very few people are perfectly normal, it's a question of degree. (My brother is completely and utterly normal and well balanced, it's terrifying.)



SeaMonkey
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 11 May 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 71

27 Jun 2010, 11:09 am

Who_Am_I wrote:
Quote:
The disabilities are only in social areas


Not true.


High functioning autistic people I'm talking about. When I say social areas I mean areas that require socializing so that often includes work and a wide range of other things too.



Willard
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,647

27 Jun 2010, 11:33 am

SeaMonkey wrote:
The disabilities are only in social areas



Woah-Woah-Woah! This is not even close to the truth. The term PERVASIVE in Pervasive Developmental Disorder means it affects every aspect, and it does. The effects of Executive Dysfunction have very little to do with socializing, yet they can deeply affect every other major aspect of an Aspergian's life. AS is far from being 'just a social disorder'. That's only the tip of the ol' iceberg.



anbuend
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

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

27 Jun 2010, 11:56 am

SeaMonkey wrote:
The disabilities are only in social areas


Erm... wow. Actually social impairment is a side-effect, not a central aspect, of autistic differences in perception and cognition. Those differences cause other impairments too not just social ones. For instance:

* Trouble with using and/or comprehending language
* Impaired motor coordination
* Impaired motor planning (similar to apraxia, catatonia, or Parkinson's in some ways)
* Impairments in recognizing objects
* Impairments in the use of symbol or category
* Impairments in cognitive multitasking
* Trouble moving from pure sensation to comprehension of that sensation, including sensation most people would consider internal
* Sensory overload
* Shutdown
* Impaired emotional processing (alexithymia)
* Impaired life skills (eating, cooking, cleaning, toileting, driving, shopping, working, mobility, etc.)
* Delays in many different aspects of cognitive development (object permanence, etc.)
* Circadian rhythm impairments
* Impaired sense of time
* Involuntary movements
* Involuntary echolalia or echopraxia
* Trouble navigating, impaired sense of direction
* Trouble with abstract reasoning
* Overreliance on abstract reasoning to the point of having trouble with the concrete

And many other things, too many to list. In many cases autistic people tend towards extremes, such as the last example I gave where some autistic people have trouble with abstraction, others can do nothing but abstraction. And of course these abilities may shift around and coexist in the same person. In many instances impairment is the flipside of an ability and they are inseparable. But one thing these are not is entirely or even primarily social. Most autistic people have more than just social impairments and no autistic person as currently defined has entirely social traits.

Quote:
I'm fairly certain it is a blessing in disguise. Take a good look at the state of the world today. If the majority of humans could think freely and deeply would the world be in such a sorry state?


Many nonautistic (both NT and non-NT) people can think freely abd deeply. Many autistic people do neither. And when autistic people gather in groups we are just as prone to groupthink as anyone else. Just because we rarely get the kind of numbers and power nonautistic people get, doesn't mean we would do any better if we were in charge or the majority. From what I have seen we may even do worse, because the denial of this possibility makes it more likely to happen because in order to overcome groupthink and power's corrupting qualities a person must first recognize themselves as susceptible.

Quote:
People on the autism spectrum are the ones that catalyze technological advancements which irreversibly alter the lives of every human for the better.


We are not "the ones". We are just some of the ones. Autistic people hardly have a monopoly on science or technology. My autistic dad worked as a technician in physics research and he worked with people of all different neurotypes -- bipolar, autistic, neurotypical, etc.

Technological advancements are neutral. What makes them better, or worse, is how they are used. Human beings have a tendency to advance our technology faster than our ethics and that is hardly a purely good thing.

Quote:
A few months ago I discovered that the majority of people word out every single thought they have and when I was asking people how they think about things they have no words for I found out that they don't think deeply about things which there are no words for.


Actually the majority of people think in pictures.

Quote:
For example if this world is actually like a livestock pen and we are being herded by hyperdimensional entities outside our range of conscious perception how would they even begin to map out the invisible fences. When I talk about things like this to neurotypical people they are usually highly interested but seem to have trouble thinking about it themselves they just refer to things heard or read about.


That sort of thought sounds rather more abstractified than I'd be able to handle, and I'm autistic. I'm also not all that interested. To me the deepest thoughts are the ones that come from direct experience of the world unmitigated by abstraction or contemplation. Most people have a lot of trouble understanding what I mean by this, and many who get an inkling, fear it. But "most people" includes most autistic people as well, not just nonautistic people. And that even though it's connected to my variant of autism (although that's not the only way it can happen). It's not merely outside the box, it's as if the box (abstractions, even the most "concrete" ones) never existed.


_________________
"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


Who_Am_I
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Aug 2005
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 12,630
Location: My body is in Brisbane and my mind is in the gutter. :D

27 Jun 2010, 8:39 pm

SeaMonkey wrote:
Who_Am_I wrote:
Quote:
The disabilities are only in social areas


Not true.


High functioning autistic people I'm talking about. When I say social areas I mean areas that require socializing so that often includes work and a wide range of other things too.


Still not true. I'm high-functioning and my disabilities go beyond the social.


_________________
Music Theory 101: Cadences.
Authentic cadence: V-I
Plagal cadence: IV-I
Deceptive cadence: V- ANYTHING BUT I ! !! !
Beethoven cadence: V-I-V-I-V-V-V-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I
-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I! I! I! I I I


NearlyaHuman
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 102

27 Jun 2010, 8:54 pm

anbuend wrote:
SeaMonkey wrote:
The disabilities are only in social areas


Erm... wow. Actually social impairment is a side-effect, not a central aspect, of autistic differences in perception and cognition. Those differences cause other impairments too not just social ones. For instance:

* Trouble with using and/or comprehending language
* Impaired motor coordination
* Impaired motor planning (similar to apraxia, catatonia, or Parkinson's in some ways)
* Impairments in recognizing objects
* Impairments in the use of symbol or category
* Impairments in cognitive multitasking
* Trouble moving from pure sensation to comprehension of that sensation, including sensation most people would consider internal
* Sensory overload
* Shutdown
* Impaired emotional processing (alexithymia)
* Impaired life skills (eating, cooking, cleaning, toileting, driving, shopping, working, mobility, etc.)
* Delays in many different aspects of cognitive development (object permanence, etc.)
* Circadian rhythm impairments
* Impaired sense of time
* Involuntary movements
* Involuntary echolalia or echopraxia
* Trouble navigating, impaired sense of direction
* Trouble with abstract reasoning
* Overreliance on abstract reasoning to the point of having trouble with the concrete

.

This is a good list. I hate it when people describe autism as simply a "social disorder".

This is true, in some way. There was a recent published study that revealed people with different personalities have corresponding features in the brain.
hmmm wont let me post link tho.

But usually, neurotypical doesn't mean "normal"- it means the basic wiring is how its supposed to be. Everyone has small variations.
And there are a number of hardwired social behaviours that often don't appear in autistic people, so there is a general "neurotypical behaviour".

It's just like you can't say somewhere there is a pure Indian, or pure American. Those terms mean something general.


_________________
-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
http://beingnearlyhuman.blogspot.com


anbuend
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

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

27 Jun 2010, 11:06 pm

SeaMonkey wrote:
Who_Am_I wrote:
Quote:
The disabilities are only in social areas


Not true.


High functioning autistic people I'm talking about. When I say social areas I mean areas that require socializing so that often includes work and a wide range of other things too.


Still not true.

When autistic people have trouble with work or other areas that happen to involve socializing, it's not always the social aspects that give all or even most of the trouble.

I lived in a very isolated way for awhile, with my only real social contact being phone and Internet, and I still had serious problems. I doubt my starvation during that time period was caused by social problems. In fact social contact during that period made my problems less of an issue because another person could help walk me through the steps. I'm far from unique in having this kind of problem.

Most autistic people have way more than just social stuff going on. In fact while I don't like the diagnostic criteria, all official criteria for all kinds of autism require more than just social traits. At minimum, they require social traits as well as repetitive behavior and narrow interests. Some others include language impairment, motor impairment, and other things. None of them are just social, and that's despite the fact that most of them are already overemphasizing the social (because that's the part of it that bothers doctors the most).

By your definitions, most autistic people, including most with the AS label, including most who post here, aren't "high functioning".


_________________
"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


conundrum
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 May 2010
Age: 41
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,922
Location: third rock from one of many suns

28 Jun 2010, 12:09 am

Wuffles wrote:
I've often wanted to examine the autism spectrum through the eyes of Foucault ("Madness and Civilization").


You might also want to try the works of Erving Goffman--he wrote a lot about the concept of stigma and how it comes to be applied to certain groups of people.

Wuffles wrote:
Normal is one extreme of a spectrum imo. Very few people are perfectly normal, it's a question of degree. (My brother is completely and utterly normal and well balanced, it's terrifying.)


:lol:

I've thought that (or something like it) since the sixth grade.


_________________
The existence of the leader who is wise
is barely known to those he leads.
He acts without unnecessary speech,
so that the people say,
'It happened of its own accord.' -Tao Te Ching, Verse 17


ToughDiamond
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,617

28 Jun 2010, 5:46 am

I don't know anybody who I'd call neurotypical.....I know a few who seem to do the multi-tasking and social things pretty easily, but they've all got their own head problems just like all the other people I know. To me they're just individuals.