new study says autistic kids can create imaginary friends

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chaka
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02 May 2018, 3:15 pm

Lack of imagination or imaginative play is considered in the criteria when diagnosing Autism. It was one of the questions I was asked about in my interview and it is specifically tested in the ADOS test. You receive negative marks if you can create an impromptu story. So if autistic children can have equally imaginative minds, what does this mean? Maybe more changes in the next DSM?

sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180502120002.htm



Arganger
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02 May 2018, 3:49 pm

It is silly from my experience for them to think autistic children don't have imaginations, or lesser ones.

My imagination was so vivid I couldn't always tell as a kid if it was real or not, same with dreams. I had imaginary friends too. Most autistic people I meant personally also had good imaginations as well, with some exceptions.

What did they think of autistic savants in art?


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02 May 2018, 4:07 pm

I don't know how I got qualified for an Asperger's diagnosis as a child then because I had a very big imagination. I could create 'stories' out of anything. One time, when I was about 7, my mum had to drop me off at her childless friend's house while she had an emergancy appointment. Because the appointment was unexpected, I didn't have anything with me to amuse myself with, so my mum's friend said I could play with her fridge magnets. I had a lot of fun with them, and each one was unique. I made up lots of imaginative games with them, like putting them in an order to make a story. I heard that this sort of activity is included as one of the autism diagnostic tools, and that most autistic/Aspie children fail this because they cannot create a story out of the objects that are put in front of them. But whenever there weren't any toys available, I could make up all sorts of imaginary games from objects that aren't toys. I even gave a set of pens personalities and made them socially interact, like they were dolls.
BUT I only did that if there were no toys to play with. Otherwise, I much preferred to play with toys, which was also imaginative too.


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IstominFan
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02 May 2018, 4:52 pm

I used to create imaginary characters all the time. I used to write stories about people from whatever country I was interested in at the time.



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02 May 2018, 5:04 pm

I looked up the diagnostic criteria for autism, and the only thing it says about imagination is in criterion A3: "Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to absence of interest in peers." So trouble with imaginative play isn't required, it's just one of the ways that symptom can manifest. Also, note that it says difficulties in sharing imaginative play, not in imagination in general.



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02 May 2018, 6:31 pm

I think it's known that females on the spectrum tend to be more imaginative. Tony Atwood's The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome is the first time I ever read this, and I do think it is true for a certain subset of female Aspies. (Not saying male Aspies can't be imaginative, it just seems to be more common in females.) I always have been incredibly imaginative, and I find the ADOS task of making up a story with objects easy. I would have thought so as a child, too. I lived inside my head for most of my childhood, play-acting with my Barbie dolls and imaginative friends and such. I still have imaginative characters that I play-act as when bored.

The way the AS came into play with me was that I much preferred solitary imaginative play. Once in a while, I would have a friend over to play Barbies with me, and it was not as enjoyable because I could not control the storylines. Plus, a lot of my fun in playing Barbies was dressing them all and lining them up and lining up their accessories. But like Joe90, I could (and still can) make personalities for practically anything, which has always made me wonder if I lean towards having a mild form of the ordinal personality type of synesthesia.



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02 May 2018, 9:11 pm

Arganger wrote:
It is silly from my experience for them to think autistic children don't have imaginations, or lesser ones.



Agreed. I feel like I say this a lot, but I'll just keep saying it. People get confused about the difference between learning and thinking. It seems pretty common that autistics learn concretely, which can mean we have a hard time with role playing or coming up with answers on the fly, or asking abstract questions. It also seems pretty common that autistics think all kinds of everything inside our heads and are very imaginative. The idea that we have no imagination must come from drs who are analyzing kids reactions when put in a role playing situation or something similar, not actually asking the kids what's going on inside.



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02 May 2018, 9:58 pm

starcats wrote:
...not actually asking the kids what's going on inside.

They didn't ask them for this research, either...
Quote:
The research described in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders by Dr Davis and her three co-authors is based on evidence gathered from 215 questionnaires completed by approximately equal numbers of parents of children with typical development (TD) and of children diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

This seems to be rife in autism research. The behavioural observations may be accurate, but when making hypotheses about the motivations for the behaviour, researchers often seem to forget that their "empathy" is based on empathising with other non-autistic people. They seem very certain that there is an "empathy gap" which autistic people experience when dealing with the non-autistic world. If this is true, then the gap is just as wide whichever side of it you are on, leaving them with little basis for assuming a motivation for the behaviour - yet they fail to recognise this, or simply appeal to their psychological training (where autistic subjects are outliers.)

If the research subjects themselves are not able to explain their motivations for whatever reason, there are plenty of adults out here who have lived through such a childhood and would gladly share what they experienced when they were growing up.


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02 May 2018, 10:22 pm

Children creating imaginary friends is news???? Children have created imaginary friends for aeons, and AS children are children too.

I particularly liked it when my imaginary friend came on long train journeys with me, my nanny and my favourite doll. This required three seats to accommodate us. Nanny was really supportive, and gently requested newcomers not to sit on my friend's seat, as it was occupied already. They all happily complied and sat somewhere else :)))



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03 May 2018, 8:56 am

I've never had an imaginary friend.

I must be really cuckoo :P



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03 May 2018, 10:51 am

And here's another ground-breaking news flash: Water is wet! :P



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03 May 2018, 11:12 am

f**k that's hot


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03 May 2018, 11:13 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3VCBY_lHDc


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03 May 2018, 11:16 am

Arganger wrote:
It is silly from my experience for them to think autistic children don't have imaginations, or lesser ones.

My imagination was so vivid I couldn't always tell as a kid if it was real or not, same with dreams. I had imaginary friends too. Most autistic people I meant personally also had good imaginations as well, with some exceptions.

What did they think of autistic savants in art?


I think these experts are smoking to much chronic.



Arganger
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03 May 2018, 11:49 am

cubedemon6073 wrote:
Arganger wrote:
It is silly from my experience for them to think autistic children don't have imaginations, or lesser ones.

My imagination was so vivid I couldn't always tell as a kid if it was real or not, same with dreams. I had imaginary friends too. Most autistic people I meant personally also had good imaginations as well, with some exceptions.

What did they think of autistic savants in art?


I think these experts are smoking to much chronic.


I don't understand that remark.