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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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06 Nov 2011, 12:09 pm

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"restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
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" . . . stereotyped and repetitive motor manners (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements) . . . "
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http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/hcp-dsm.html


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This official definition primarily focuses on lack of ping-ponging back and forth social skills and interests, almost as if we are not very satisfying people for the professional to interview. The above is the only time stimming is mentioned, as if it were an aside, as if it's a minor issue.

And sensory issues are not mentioned at all. Wow.

Actually, I tend to think stimming is a good indicator. That is, if a person stims, I'd say maybe there's a 60 or 70% chance that he or she is on the spectrum (I might be mistaken about this). At the same time, I don't think stimming is all that big a deal. For example, I will sometimes do intellectual work and take breaks where a squeeze or twist a soft T-shirt as I imagine football or basketball. Not such a big deal. It's all a time and place issue.

Now, sensory issues on the other hand, obviously, for some of our fellow citizens on the spectrum, sensory issues can be a very big deal.

And so, yes, while good-hearted professionals can help out, as can good-hearted nonprofessionals, building a culture where the rights and welfare of persons on the autism spectrum are better respected, I think will primarily be achieved through self-advocacy and through political and social activism.



Callista
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06 Nov 2011, 2:28 pm

Stimming... mm. Yeah, somewhat, but remember lots of us suppress it, or are taught to as kids.

People with intellectual disability, movement disorders, schizophrenia, ADHD, and sensory integration disorder also stim. And so do NT preschoolers.


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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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06 Nov 2011, 5:49 pm

So do poker players! If ever get a chance, stand 50 feet away from the poker room at the Venetian. It sounds like thousands of insects happily walking along, because so many poker players are fiddling with their chips!

The fact that I stim is one of the big things that convinced me that I was on the Asperger's / Autism Spectrum. I describe myself as Asperger's--Self-diagnosed.

Don't you think there's kind of a classic autism way to stim, and that if you saw someone stimming in this way, you'd be pretty sure they were on the spectrum? Or, maybe not. Again, I might be mistaken about this.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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06 Nov 2011, 5:50 pm

The fact that DSM IV currently does not include sensory issues, that just blows me out of the water.



Ai_Ling
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06 Nov 2011, 6:37 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
The fact that DSM IV currently does not include sensory issues, that just blows me out of the water.


The DSM5 does, I thought the sensory issues inclusion was a very good revision to the DSM. I dont get why they put looking at parts of objects as a symptom. Theres nothing clinically about liking to look at parts of objects?



League_Girl
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06 Nov 2011, 7:48 pm

I don't get how looking at parts of objects is an impairment, same as fiddling with them.



Callista
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07 Nov 2011, 11:43 am

League_Girl wrote:
I don't get how looking at parts of objects is an impairment, same as fiddling with them.
It isn't, by itself; it's a symptom of being a very detail-oriented person to the point of having a hard time managing more than one thing at a time. That leads to the "preoccupation with parts of objects" that the DSM-IV talks about. I agree that it's not particularly well-explained, and doesn't really help psychologists trying to evaluate anyone who isn't currently a small child.


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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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08 Nov 2011, 9:57 pm

Callista wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
I don't get how looking at parts of objects is an impairment, same as fiddling with them.
It isn't, by itself; it's a symptom of being a very detail-oriented person to the point of having a hard time managing more than one thing at a time. That leads to the "preoccupation with parts of objects" that the DSM-IV talks about. I agree that it's not particularly well-explained, and doesn't really help psychologists trying to evaluate anyone who isn't currently a small child.

Okay, as part of a whole, trying to determine if I'm detailed-oriented or not, sure.

But am I less of a human being? And whether I'm detailed-oriented or whether I'm not, I don't think I'm less of a human being!

And I think this is a perfect example of an aspect of autism that is a difference, not a disabilty. Maybe some other aspects are in fact disabilities, but this one is just a difference. Sometimes it will play to strength and sometimes it won't. It's all a matter of time and place. Engagement, not conformity. All that good stuff.