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Child of the Universe
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04 Mar 2019, 1:03 pm

There is so much information online and in psychology about how autistic people think, because they are the minority, so they are studied more. I find that I am very good at relating to and analyzing fellow autistic people, and they make up most of my close friends. However, I get very very confused when I have to try to relate to a neurotypical. This is obviously not going to help me in life. I need to understand how neurotypicals think, even if I can't relate to it, in order to function in a neurotypical society. Can anyone offer a profile of the mental characteristics of a neurotypical? How to understand or relate to them? Often they seem to complicated and hard to understand or relate to on a deep level, and usually we only become surface level friends, but I want that to change.


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04 Mar 2019, 1:24 pm

You know that statement, "When you've seen one autistic, you've seen one autistic." Just change that to "neurotypical." Why would you expect one description to fit all neurotypicals if you reject the idea that all autistics think alike?



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04 Mar 2019, 1:36 pm

Neurotypicals run the gamut of philosophical positions, just like autistic people run the gamut of philosophical positions.

On this Site, I've seen virtually every philosophical position that could possibly be taken by a human being.

Perhaps, one can say that neurotypical people feel "social nuance" is more important than how autistic people view it.



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04 Mar 2019, 3:17 pm

I think the usey facial and body language clues when interacting with each other as warning signals.

Sort of like a "wet paint" sign that is supposed to prevent you from sitting on a newly painted park bench.
Only helps if you can read.

If you see warning signs you can change topic or just stop talking about an uncomfortable subject.
I've done the latter. Just stop talking and nobody seems to mind.



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04 Mar 2019, 3:49 pm

Neurotypicals have emotions, fears, dreams, talents, etc, just like us.

Neurotypicals aren't socially-driven robots that desire to socialise every waking minute of their life, and they don't have zero interest in facts or animals or hobbies. Also they like things other than sports. I work with mostly guys, and I don't think I've ever heard them talking about sports.

However, a lot of neurotypicals are good at detecting what's 'normal' in a person's behaviour and mannerisms, and what isn't. And if they discover somebody doesn't quite reach their standards, they will judge, either by staring if they don't know you, or criticising if they are emotionally close enough to you, or they may avoid you. OK some neurotypicals will like you despite your quirks, but those are neurotypicals that are more open-minded and have better affective empathy skills, and understand that not everyone can be the same.

But the closed-minded types expect everybody to be the same. I believe there are more closed-minded types around, but there are still a big number of open-minded types too.


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04 Mar 2019, 4:47 pm

Hmm ... good question ...

A Neurotypical Might:

• Respond to their name by 12 months of age
• Point at objects to show interest (point at an airplane flying over) by 14 months
• Play "pretend" games (i.e., pretend to "feed" a doll) by 18 months
• Make eye contact and want to socialize
• Have little or no trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
• Develop basic speech and language skills by 2 to 3 years
• Repeat words or phrases when requested
• Give related answers to questions
• Rarely, if ever, get upset by minor changes
• Have a variety of interests, and to varying degrees
• Be taught to express themselves through mime or motion
• Have predictable reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel

All I did was take the opposite of the "Signs & Symptoms" of autism as posted by the Centers for Disease Control. This isn't an all-or-nothing list, but the more 'symptoms' and individual has, the more likely that he or she is a neurotypical.

It seems about right. Comments?



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04 Mar 2019, 8:10 pm

Of course NTs have been profiled and studied.

Just read any introductory psychology textbook. Any basic psych textbook is about the psychology of non abnormal folks. Therefore would be by default a profile of "neurotypical psychology".



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05 Mar 2019, 2:04 pm

I don't think there is a cookie-cutter profile of an NT person.


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Fnord
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05 Mar 2019, 2:11 pm

CockneyRebel wrote:
I don't think there is a cookie-cutter profile of an NT person.
Probably not. Neuro-Whatsis-Ness seems to lie along a spectrum, or even on a matrix (of how many dimensions?). There do seem to be some general tendencies ... adaptability ... sociability ... high tolerance to sensory stimulation ... et cetera ...



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08 Mar 2019, 1:31 pm

Child of the Universe wrote:
There is so much information online and in psychology about how autistic people think, because they are the minority, so they are studied more. I find that I am very good at relating to and analyzing fellow autistic people, and they make up most of my close friends. However, I get very very confused when I have to try to relate to a neurotypical. This is obviously not going to help me in life. I need to understand how neurotypicals think, even if I can't relate to it, in order to function in a neurotypical society. Can anyone offer a profile of the mental characteristics of a neurotypical? How to understand or relate to them? Often they seem to complicated and hard to understand or relate to on a deep level, and usually we only become surface level friends, but I want that to change.


To the Op, great question! For me it will never change that I would want to spend more time with some (so-called) neurotypicals than with certain others. Actually it would depend to some degree upon what I got out of it, such as if so and so has a car and would drive me around, but I do have neurotypical friends and enjoy their company, too. I say "so-called" neurotypical, because, as has been pointed out, and thanks, no neurotypical is really typical.


Fnord wrote:
CockneyRebel wrote:
I don't think there is a cookie-cutter profile of an NT person.
Probably not. Neuro-Whatsis-Ness seems to lie along a spectrum, or even on a matrix (of how many dimensions?). There do seem to be some general tendencies ... adaptability ... sociability ... high tolerance to sensory stimulation ... et cetera ...


To Fnord, this question is something I have made observations and thought about a very lot, especially in the last year. Yes, the tendencies you mention are imo very much on the mark, but there is a reason why, and I think, and am basically convinced it has to do with the balance (or imbalance) between two particular neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin. It is very fascinating, and the good part is that is is pretty easy to understand. (ie--and a gleeful ha ha, the "fascinating" part would be more toward dopamine, and the "easy to understand" part, at least when the understanding sets in, would relate more to seratonin.

Below are two quotes from google which should make it very easy to understand, and, once any of us do, will probably change our brain state, at least for a little while: In the Healthline article I link to, if you scroll down to the section "What about other mental health conditions," it should all come clear. Another point worth mentioning in regard to this is that an increase in dopamine leads to a decrease in serotonin. Okay, Peace out, and I hope people thank me for this by continuing to do hard core inquiry (punctuated by occasional delightful wit and humor) on these forums. Peace out.

"What does dopamine regulate?

Dopamine is one of the brain's neurotransmitters—a chemical that
ferries information between neurons. Dopamine helps regulate movement, attention, learning, and emotional responses. It also enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them."


"What does a lack of serotonin cause?Low serotonin levels
are often attributed to anxiety, depression, panic attacks, insomnia,
obesity, fibromyalgia, eating disorders, chronic pain, migraines, and
alcohol abuse. Negative thoughts, low self-esteem, obsessive thoughts and behaviors, PMS, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome are also symptoms of low serotonin."

https://www.healthline.com/health/dopamine-vs-serotonin



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08 Mar 2019, 3:03 pm

What make you think that dopamine and serotonin have anything to do with the degree of neuro-whatsis-ness?

Remember, correlation does not imply causation.



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08 Mar 2019, 5:53 pm

Right. Thanks. Good clarification. Just from observation there IS a lot of correlation, but did I imply that lack of serotonin or dopamine imbalance causes autism or even that the difference I'm pointing to is entirely genetic? If so, did not mean that. I do think this points to some kind of observable difference in functioning between autistics and neurotypicals (very generally speaking) that could yield insight into what the op was asking about.



Child of the Universe
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11 Mar 2019, 10:45 am

I think all of the replies have made interesting points. I agree with Fnord's points and also littlebee, although I'd like to see more evidence for the serotonin/autism link. I find it interesting because have been on SSRI's in the past and still am to some degree and it has not improved many symptoms of my autism at all really, it has just alleviated my depression and anxiety for the most part. My sensory issues definitely remain and are unaffected by the serotonin, same with my social skills (which have drastically improved but mostly due to hard work to mask rather than the medication, which stayed the same before and after improving masking).


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11 Mar 2019, 11:41 am

Other people have already said this, but you are talking about a deep, academic study of psychology.

You might also find it helpful to study one of my main interest areas, symbolic interactionism, which is a “dead” or little used area of sociology. It’s basically the study of face to face communication, like words, non verbal communication, situations, etc, and breaking down the meanings of each action into painfully small pieces to understand how the action might be intended and then understood by the people involved.

So for example if you ask someone a question and they answer with a shrug. You might want to read up in sociology AND psychology to deeply understand what might be going on. By the time you feel like you get it, you likely would no longer care, lol.



Child of the Universe
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11 Mar 2019, 11:43 am

SocOfAutism wrote:
Other people have already said this, but you are talking about a deep, academic study of psychology.

You might also find it helpful to study one of my main interest areas, symbolic interactionism, which is a “dead” or little used area of sociology. It’s basically the study of face to face communication, like words, non verbal communication, situations, etc, and breaking down the meanings of each action into painfully small pieces to understand how the action might be intended and then understood by the people involved.

So for example if you ask someone a question and they answer with a shrug. You might want to read up in sociology AND psychology to deeply understand what might be going on. By the time you feel like you get it, you likely would no longer care, lol.

I find that interesting as well. I will definitely do research. In fact, to spare me the research, if you want to infodump about it then go ahead lmao.


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13 Mar 2019, 2:41 pm

Child of the Universe wrote:
I think all of the replies have made interesting points. I agree with Fnord's points and also littlebee, although I'd like to see more evidence for the serotonin/autism link. I find it interesting because have been on SSRI's in the past and still am to some degree and it has not improved many symptoms of my autism at all really, it has just alleviated my depression and anxiety for the most part. My sensory issues definitely remain and are unaffected by the serotonin, same with my social skills (which have drastically improved but mostly due to hard work to mask rather than the medication, which stayed the same before and after improving masking).


I acknowledge I am looking at it from a specific angle and in order to do so, am possibly taking some kind of shortcut in data processing that is to some degree:-) ill-advised. Sorry bout dat but I am autistic/ Also, I acknowledge that I am mainly thinking of high functioning autistic, previously called aspergers, when I wrote that, though it could apply to any of us I think we all at certain times communicate by code to both others and ourselves in that one thing can on a subliminal or even a conscious level represent something else, and, if you have a poor to middling developed theory of mind (like me), you may tend to think/feel ther people get it when in actuality they may not. Hope this is not too convoluted.

In short I was talking about attachment theory and the way it might work differently for some people than for some others, and genetics can play into various attachment styles, but imo probably not as much as people think. Probably, rather the way a child is parented plays into and amplifies the way said person will tend to process data in a certain direction/style. I think a neurotypical person is on some level more likely to make a stable bond at the sacrifice of developing individuality. Not just think; have observed this again and again. Secondly, it is not just serotonin vs dopamine, or better put dopamine production vs serotonin production in the human body. From the serotonin 'end' of the stick there's more of a spectrum of various hormonal interactions, such as oxytocin (in that oxytocin and dopamine production also kind of work 'against' each other, whereas from the dopamine angle it is more clear-cut, so, in a sense, the way I was writing kind of used serotonin to symbolize the 'antithesis' of dopamine, and, again, "antithesis" is a symbol of a set. Dopamine is what people first feel when they are sexually attracted, among other things, such as the attraction to food or drugs and probably with a new special interest and/or new information or insight in regard to that, and in sexual attraction it is very powerful, thrilling and stimulating. If a person has a special interest they could experience this to, or maybe in a manic stage of a manic/depression cycle (speculating here, but probably onto something).

Hope this is not too convoluted. Just went to the dentist at 8:30 this morning.