So, What is it We're Missing? (NTs, feel free to join in)

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blazingstar
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24 Nov 2018, 6:10 pm

Probably many people will disagree with this, but my experience isn't that auties are missing something, it is the NTs that are missing something. They seem oblivious to many of the things going on around them and when I probe and discuss with NTs about what they are thinking about, it seems the general answer is "nothing." NTs don't even seem to understand the question.

Now, I am not trying to get down on all NTs, but just answering the OPs question from my own experiences.


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RubyWings91
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24 Nov 2018, 11:45 pm

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
Thank you for your detailed reply, Ruby. I can relate to almost all of what you're saying, except for the meltdowns. I'm more of the withdrawn type.

Interestingly, you talk about things you might miss due to being overwhelemed by your autistic sensory processing. What I'm trying to ask in this thread, best I can, is what is NT processing like? Oftentimes, we talk about the things that overwhelm us as Aspies, and view NTs as people who don't have these problems, therefore, have the greater ability to socialize. I think, in fact, NTs perceive the whole world differently from us. It isn't simply lack of our problems, I think they have their own sensory perceptions which are never really clarified to us and we don't even take into consideration.

For instance:
RubyWings91 wrote:
On top of that, there's the fact that I can only read cues because I learned them, rather than their being instinctive (and who knows, maybe that problem has something to do with the sensory issues and processing speed too).


Again, you're looking at it from the autistic perspective. You had to learn the cues, you have slower processing speeds. You know what it FEELS like to be autistic, and may assume NTs simply don't have this baggage. While they don't have the baggage, I think it goes a step further. I think they have an entire processing experience different from ours. Even if we could magically get rid of our autistic problems and learn socialization, I think NTs feel things differently than us in ways we can't even begin to imagine. It's hard to explain.


Thanks for lettting me know what you thought about my view. I'm glad that you liked it.

I have no doubt about your idea that NTs percieve the world differently from us. I actually brought up some of my points because I've learned through several media that discuss some of those differences (I particularly recall a couple videos on TED Talks but I'm pretty sure there were other sources as well. After a while, where the infromation comes from is lost).

One of the things that I've seen mentioned is that NTs are usually not as picture oriented in their thoughts as people with AS. For example, when trying to summon the image of a frog, someone with AS may picture a specific frog they've seen while an NT might come up with a generic image of the animal in their mind.

I also understand that they tend to see a generalized picture before they see individual characteristics within it, opposite of what I described for myself above.

I also suspect NTs also carry baggage that we don't. There are many problems I have that most people can easily solve but I've also noticed that there are many things which I find easy to deal with that they do not. We're already aware that our level of focus (when engaged) is higher than the average person but that they can remain focused on things that they might not find interesting for longer than we can.

I know, that this is once again mostly from the Autistic perspective. Unfortunately, this is all that I really have to bring to the table as it is the only experience that I really have to work from. I wish I could figure out exactly how to see things from the NT perspective but the problem is, my only experience is as someone with Autism. I think in order to get the view your asking for, we might need NTs to join this conversation and several others.



IstominFan
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25 Nov 2018, 10:16 am

Quite honestly, I'm missing the proper brain wiring necessary to make all the goals I want to achieve into reality. If there were a non-surgical or non-pharmaceutical way to do it, I would take it. I'm doing okay, but I want to be more than okay. I hate mediocrity.

If I were completely well, I would:

Travel beyond my own town to go to events I'd like to attend
Have the skills it takes to pass interviews and get a full time job or at least be considered for an interview in the first place
Find out what it would be like to navigate the world of love and dating and someday get married
Be able to handle a household without having anxiety attacks over it

In short, to finally catch up to the point where it would be "okay" to indulge in my "little autistic girl things" now and then without feeling as though I'm regressing. (As in, "Oh, she's watching Istomin again. She's doing an autistic thing. Bad! If I'm in the normal world at least 95 percent of the time, a little autistic indulgence wouldn't be so bad.)

I don't say this to sound hateful to anyone. I just want to be considered a functional person with worth as a human being.



ezbzbfcg2
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25 Nov 2018, 11:02 am

blazingstar wrote:
Probably many people will disagree with this, but my experience isn't that auties are missing something, it is the NTs that are missing something. They seem oblivious to many of the things going on around them and when I probe and discuss with NTs about what they are thinking about, it seems the general answer is "nothing." NTs don't even seem to understand the question.

Now, I am not trying to get down on all NTs, but just answering the OPs question from my own experiences.


Well blazingstar, I've felt the same way at times. I sometimes ask why they don't seem to 'get it' the way I do, or think about things as much as I do or in the way that I do, so I can relate. Though I often wonder if thinking deeply tends to come more naturally to us, or if we have to b/c we have no other choice. Perhaps NTs have some other sensory processing mechanism/experience that we don't, therefore we don't "feel" the world the way they do and have to think about things even harder, longer, and in more depth than they do. Not just the ins-and-outs of socialization (though that's a big part of it) but perception of the world in general.

Plus, you often have to read between the lines with NTs. When they say, "Nothing," they may really be saying "I'm not thinking of anything socially relevant to this situation, therefore, I feel I have no need to share my current thoughts with you." Doesn't mean they're not necessarily thinking.



ezbzbfcg2
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25 Nov 2018, 11:09 am

Ruby, I find this the most interesting part:

RubyWings91 wrote:
One of the things that I've seen mentioned is that NTs are usually not as picture oriented in their thoughts as people with AS. For example, when trying to summon the image of a frog, someone with AS may picture a specific frog they've seen while an NT might come up with a generic image of the animal in their mind.

I also understand that they tend to see a generalized picture before they see individual characteristics within it, opposite of what I described for myself above.


This is a good example of processing. I don't know if this is true, but it sounds amazing if most people picture things the way you describe. I feel I'm more like you: I'd think of a frog from memory (one I've seen in real life).

But I'm not sure I understand the picture example though.

If asked to envision a frog sitting on a rock in a stream in the woods, what do you see first? What do you think they'd see first?



ezbzbfcg2
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25 Nov 2018, 11:22 am

IstominFan wrote:
Quite honestly, I'm missing the proper brain wiring necessary to make all the goals I want to achieve into reality. If there were a non-surgical or non-pharmaceutical way to do it, I would take it. I'm doing okay, but I want to be more than okay. I hate mediocrity.


I hear you, IstominFan. But I'd respond that while you're aware of the life experiences you're missing, if your brain could be rewired to NT mode, EVERYTHING might change. For better or worse, it's not a bad thing and I'm not knocking you for wanting to do it.

What I'm saying is that I think you, and many of us, have this fantasy where we imagine taking that magic pill. Suddenly socialization becomes much more natural and we're able to interact with people "normally" and accomplish all of the things we want to. But otherwise, we're exactly the same person.

I'm wondering if NTs are entirely different people in their whole perception of existence. Again, I apologize as I can't articulate it very well. If you took that pill, you might not even enjoy those 5% quirks anymore, and you might wonder what you ever saw in them in the first place. I'm not knocking your fantasy at all, I'm saying we often overlook this difference, something I don't think we even really understand. We'd like to be socially successful as we are; but I'm wondering if there are things going on around us that we're not aware of. Turning on the NT switch might be like a blind man getting sight for the first time. (I'm not talking about woo-woo, I'm talking about sensory processing we don't have and the NTs can't really articulate to us.) We know we have social and sensory deficits and they (normally) don't. But I'm thinking their whole processing is vastly different. I'm trying to get a glimpse of what it might be.

RubyWings91 brought up an interesting point about how (maybe) NTs envision and picture things in a way much more differently than we usually do.



RubyWings91
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25 Nov 2018, 1:20 pm

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
Ruby, I find this the most interesting part:

RubyWings91 wrote:
One of the things that I've seen mentioned is that NTs are usually not as picture oriented in their thoughts as people with AS. For example, when trying to summon the image of a frog, someone with AS may picture a specific frog they've seen while an NT might come up with a generic image of the animal in their mind.

I also understand that they tend to see a generalized picture before they see individual characteristics within it, opposite of what I described for myself above.


This is a good example of processing. I don't know if this is true, but it sounds amazing if most people picture things the way you describe. I feel I'm more like you: I'd think of a frog from memory (one I've seen in real life).

But I'm not sure I understand the picture example though.

If asked to envision a frog sitting on a rock in a stream in the woods, what do you see first? What do you think they'd see first?


I'll be honest. I picture stuff like a pickerel frog that leaped out on slab of slate in the woods once while I was walking by or an exhibit I've seen that imitates this scene that had a set of dart frogs. From my understanding, this description might drum up the image of a green frog sitting on a gray stone with trees in the background for NTs...some stylized image that acts as a generalization, rather than a real example.



IstominFan
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25 Nov 2018, 1:27 pm

I wouldn't want to change the basic person I am, but I don't ever want to stop learning, growing and changing. My life is much better than it was just six years ago.



RubyWings91
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25 Nov 2018, 3:32 pm

IstominFan wrote:
I wouldn't want to change the basic person I am, but I don't ever want to stop learning, growing and changing. My life is much better than it was just six years ago.


I agree that I wouldn't want to change either. To me, there is a major difference between understanding our differences and wanting to change them.

I think it is important to understand what the differences between us and everyone else are for multiple reasons, anyway. It helps us understand what we need to work on in order to have better interactions with the rest of the community, by understanding what causes the gaps in our communication, we can better bridge it. I think it is also important for other people to know the differences so that they can better accept us for who we are. It's not the whole solution but it is a major part.



ezbzbfcg2
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27 Nov 2018, 2:08 pm

Does anyone here like ice cream? Think of how good it feels to take a bite of your favorite flavor. (Or any other tasty food, it doesn't matter.)

Now, imagine someone had no taste buds whatsoever. Eating for them is mechanical. How do you describe the joys of taste buds to them and why it feels so good to eat something delicious?

I think we experience things mechanically. Both social stuff, and maybe other stuff we're not aware of. I think NTs "taste" things we can't even imagine, and they can't imagine what it's like not to "taste." I'm not talking end result, which is obvious (i.e. social shortcomings)...I'm talking actual feeling.

I'm starting to think that things like love and friendship may be experienced by them ten-fold. We think we know, we think we understand, but we may not experience it a fraction of the way they do. And NTs themselves don't realize how numbed our feelings are. (We ourselves don't realize.) It's like going from a B/W television to color seems so amazing, but maybe NTs are experiencing the world in HD.

Most people here on this thread (all Aspies as far as I can tell) have mainly discussed their own feelings and sensations. Understandable to an extent, and I hear all of you, but I don't think you understand the premise.



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27 Nov 2018, 4:07 pm

I'm not autistic, but I am a highly sensitive person.

Quote:
It is found in 15 to 20% of the population–too many to be a disorder, but not enough to be well understood by the majority of those around you.


https://hsperson.com/

http://hsperson.com/research/

So I somewhat identify with autistic individuals who have sensory sensitivities. I don't know how similar what I experience is to those with autism, but people have related to my posts in the past so there seems to be some common ground. Personally, I think if I were to request a diagnosis then I wouldn't qualify because I don't think my issues affect me enough for them to be considered something which requires a label.

Although it leads to some confused looks now and then, I generally get by and have fairly effective coping techniques.

Personally, when it comes to whether on not my brain pulls up a generic image or a memory, it greatly depends on what it is that I'm thinking about. For instance, if you told me to picture a prison then my mind would go straight to remembering what this medieval prison that I saw on a school trip looked like. This is because that place had quite an impact on me, it sticks in my brain as sharply as the weapons hung on the walls. 8O

However, if it's a dancer then I picture a silhouette of a ballerina before I think of all the memories I have of dancing. Usually I picture something generic for a split-second and then my brain fetches a load of visual memories, connecting them with the generic footage. The generic footage works like a load screen before everything else shows up. So I guess I kind of see both.


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