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glider18
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12 May 2011, 6:11 am

I have been driving since 1980 when I turned 16.


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12 May 2011, 6:41 am

No, I don't drive yet, and I kind of feel guilty because one of my cousins has been able to drive since he could get his permit and he has more severe AS traits than I do.

One of the more severe reasons why I am getting diagnosed is so that I can get help overcoming my obsessive fear of driving.


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OJani
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12 May 2011, 6:54 am

Trencher93 wrote:
I drive - I don't necessarily like it, but I can do it. When you learn to drive, you get the advice to always be aware of what's going on and try to anticipate what other people will do. I've never been able to translate this into the real world. People do such unexpected and erratic things that I never feel safe when I'm driving. The actual driving is not as bad as trying to figure out what to do in any given situation when people act in such erratic ways.(...)

This.

I've always liked cars, still, it wasn't easy to learn driving at the age of 17. I can drive about average.

I'm passionate about some aspects of driving a car, I'm glad I can explain it better after realizing I may have AS. For example, passion with maximizing mileage, and it is far more than financial, switching to the most appropriate gear, using the optimal amount of throttle, as little and sparse brake as possible, high speed in curves etc. (Silly.)

More interesting is cycling in a city, aka commuting. People in cars usually don't realize how far more stressing it is, and how much more skill and attention it requires than driving. Stress is what kills me, and a whole lot of my anxiety associated with biking stems from it.



Twirlip
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12 May 2011, 7:26 am

I've never learned to drive, and never even wanted to. I hate and fear almost everything about cars, and feel guilty because I sometimes depend on other people to drive me places. I used to cycle everywhere (until my bicycle was stolen), and didn't noticeably lack skill, even in fast-moving heavy traffic. I always felt that the difference between an unprotected cyclist and a heavily armoured car driver was very symbolic of the difference between me and "normal" people. I used to dream a lot about bicycles, but never worked out what the symbolism was. I tend to think of cars as being like Daleks, aggressive mobile metal shells with mutated creatures inside them. (I've often wondered if that's where Terry Nation got the idea from.) It disturbs me how aggressive people get when they're behind a wheel. Cars also seem to have a womb-like effect, insulating people from reality. The casual general public acceptance of the huge road casualty figures has always horrified me. The machismo associated with driving cars bewilders and sickens me. I do like dodgems, though! And I'm not particularly hazed by noisy, bustling, brightly-lit fairgrounds, which doesn't seem very autistic of me. (I still have no idea whether I'm autistic, or, if I am autistic, whether my aversion to driving has anything to do with it.)


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willem
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12 May 2011, 9:42 am

swbluto wrote:
And one of them was that I could definitely drive. Actually, I'm pretty sure my driving is better than 70% of America (In terms of quickness, precision and agility), if only I weren't so cautious.
Does this mean I don't have autism? Or could it be that I could have autism but my high Performance IQ enables me to drive?


I drive very well now, driving is like thinking, quick, visual, nonverbal. But it did take me years to learn how to drive, because lessons as well as driving tests occurred in urban areas with lots of hectic traffic, and a stranger next to me in the vehicle while I much prefer to be alone. Once I did have my licence and could drive alone, though, within a few weeks I was completely comfortable in almost any traffic situation.

swbluto wrote:
For now, as to understanding my language abnormalities (And the subsequent impact on social interaction), I'm leaning towards the possibility of a language disorder, maybe schizotypy in origin. I wonder what the similarities and differences between autism and language disorders are?


I recently learned there's a thing called "splitting" which most nonautistic people do in their minds. They experience some distance between themselves and their sensory experiences, putting their current experiences in the past and the verbal commentary in their minds in the present. So they feel intimately connected to their language and sort of detached from their sensory experiences.
For me it's the other way around. I am that which experiences what I experience, intimately connected to what I see/hear/feel, and any words I imagine or utter are rather cold, analytical things I'm not closely connected to at all. Bits and pieces that can't describe my thoughts well because they don't convey the environment in which my thoughts occur. It's like eating soup with a fork. Do you recognize this?


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Twirlip
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12 May 2011, 10:32 am

willem wrote:
swbluto wrote:
For now, as to understanding my language abnormalities (And the subsequent impact on social interaction), I'm leaning towards the possibility of a language disorder, maybe schizotypy in origin. I wonder what the similarities and differences between autism and language disorders are?


I recently learned there's a thing called "splitting" which most nonautistic people do in their minds. They experience some distance between themselves and their sensory experiences, putting their current experiences in the past and the verbal commentary in their minds in the present. So they feel intimately connected to their language and sort of detached from their sensory experiences.
For me it's the other way around. I am that which experiences what I experience, intimately connected to what I see/hear/feel, and any words I imagine or utter are rather cold, analytical things I'm not closely connected to at all. Bits and pieces that can't describe my thoughts well because they don't convey the environment in which my thoughts occur. It's like eating soup with a fork. Do you recognize this?

Yes.

However, during the last three decades, I have slowly taught myself to be less afraid of language, less hostile to it, less contemptuous of it, and more trusting of it, to the point where I now do feel that the language-using part of my mind is a real, living, valuable part of me, no longer totally disconnected, as it once almost was, from feeling, experiencing, and imagining, on the one hand, and from thought on the other (thought, for me, having once been almost entirely non-verbal, and associated with mathematics and with intuitions and images of a dreamlike quality). It still has to be said, though, that my use of language is infernally awkward, betraying its very deliberate, conscious, intentional origins.

On the matter of "splitting":

I have been struck by how utterly insane are the views of Susan Blackmore on consciousness and the self. She says not only things to the effect that the self is an illusion, but even that the stream of consciousness is an illusion. To me that is utter nonsense. Yet she is no fool, she bases her theories on empirical evidence, and people take her views seriously.

After a while, it occurred to me, with something of a shock, that perhaps for "normal" people the self and the stream of consciousness really are illusions, in a sense, because their existence is so caught up in the production and reception of linguistic and other social symbols, and generally in engagement in social rituals, whose very purpose sometimes seem to me to be to destroy awareness of the self, to extinguish consciousness itself.

It sounds like the silly idea of a budding adolescent philosopher (as in a comedy sketch in Lee and Herring's Fist of Fun), but perhaps normal people really are a bit like robots, without consciousness, just behaving machines ("meme machines", indeed, to use Blackmore's own term), and Blackmore is just being honest about it.

Similarly with postmodern philosophy, and Goffman's sociology, and God knows how many (to me) bizarrely incomprehensible systems of thought, in which people say things like "there is nothing except roles", or treat the world as if it were a giant text. Perhaps these bizarre theories carry as much intellectual clout as they do because they truly represent something of what it is like to be a "normal" person, and this is part of why "normal" people are so incomprehensible to me (although, mercifully, it is only part of what they are like, and they also partly experience the world in a similar way to me, even if they often seem to prefer to disown that side of themselves).

(Sorry, this is all rather spilling out as a clotted and unstructured rant, when it is really something to mull over more peacefully! The world seems crazy to me in so many ways, and I usually don't even try to express how crazy it all seems - I just feel helpless and hopeless.)


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Jeffrey228
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12 May 2011, 10:49 am

Well I may have the ablity to drive a car and such, but I feel that I am not going to drive due to the fact that Aspies and some related disorders can have some big issues with "Road Rage", not something I want to deal with.



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12 May 2011, 10:56 am

I can't drive due to health problems, it's just not safe.

If it wasn't for the health problems then I'd be able to drive despite the AS.

I think that I can see why AS may prevent some people from driving, I would imagine if I could drive I would have problems going on the motorway due to anxiety and unfamiliarity, I could imagine getting confused/frustrated easily behind the wheel, and I know I would struggle learning to drive because of multitasking.


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OJani
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12 May 2011, 1:26 pm

Jeffrey228 wrote:
Well I may have the ablity to drive a car and such, but I feel that I am not going to drive due to the fact that Aspies and some related disorders can have some big issues with "Road Rage", not something I want to deal with.

"Road Rage" - familiar to me. Very dangerous animal. You can hardly now where or when it strikes - out of you. Now I'm more concerned about it when cycling, urban stress induces it badly. Similar to having a meltdown.



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12 May 2011, 3:49 pm

A lot of people on the road shouldn't be driving. Although I've had a few close calls and I've made many mistakes, I don't think I'm one of them. Well, at least not any more than the average Joe. Really, driving is far too dangerous for any human.


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ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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12 May 2011, 4:28 pm

swbluto wrote:
Conspicuous and another member on another site said that they highly suspected my possession of autism from my language properties, but I was looking through the "What I can't do due to autism" thread and it seemed there were a few common actions that didn't apply to me.

And one of them was that I could definitely drive. Actually, I'm pretty sure my driving is better than 70% of America (In terms of quickness, precision and agility), if only I weren't so cautious.

Does this mean I don't have autism? Or could it be that I could have autism but my high Performance IQ enables me to drive?

Or is it possible that autistic "social communication deficits" and autistic "physical precision"/"gracefulness" are two separate domains of autism and there isn't a tight association between the two?
For now, as to understanding my language abnormalities (And the subsequent impact on social interaction), I'm leaning towards the possibility of a language disorder, maybe schizotypy in origin. I wonder what the similarities and differences between autism and language disorders are?


You know what, SW? My reflexes are super quick when I am driving! It is so weird, it's like I have this special ability with my kinetic memory or something and I can react really swiftly which explains why my driving record is so good. I never get into wrecks. I react to potential hazardous situations with such adeptness, I stop wrecks before they happen.
I might be so mild that it doesn't affect my driving because many with autism don't drive.



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12 May 2011, 8:02 pm

I do not and will not drive. I am scared to death to drive. I can't even get myself to ride my bike on a rode.


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WillMcC
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12 May 2011, 8:45 pm

There is no definite trait for the autism spectrum - not being able to drive is related to traits that some have but others do not.

I had few opportunities to learn to drive in high school/college, but I finally got my license a year ago (passed the test on the first try, though I had some trouble with three point turns) and am more confident behind the wheel than I use to be. I also drive more defensively than most - always signalling turns/lane changes, come to a complete stop at stop signs, don't speed, never talk on the phone etc.. Merging still makes me nervous, especially at night.
On a side note, I got my pilot's license last week (also passing that on the first try) - much more fun than driving and a lot less traffic up there


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Jeffrey228
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12 May 2011, 8:47 pm

OJani wrote:
Jeffrey228 wrote:
Well I may have the ablity to drive a car and such, but I feel that I am not going to drive due to the fact that Aspies and some related disorders can have some big issues with "Road Rage", not something I want to deal with.

"Road Rage" - familiar to me. Very dangerous animal. You can hardly now where or when it strikes - out of you. Now I'm more concerned about it when cycling, urban stress induces it badly. Similar to having a meltdown.


Well riding a bike is not much of an issue with me, but I feel that Aspies are not the only ones who are not treated, people with Bi-Polar and ADD have the worse of it in terms of road rage, and while drinking, that is a death wish.



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12 May 2011, 9:13 pm

I would daydream while driving most likely causing me to drive into another car or a pedestrian. When I use to ride a bike ai would collide with park cars all the time.


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