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Silver_Meteor
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05 Aug 2007, 3:51 am

So what happens when an Aspie becomes socially adept enough that he/she is indistinguishable from NTs? Can you evolve into an NT on the outside but still be an Aspie on the inside? Here's the big question, do you think these people have some kind of a moral obligation to help the Aspie community?



edal
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05 Aug 2007, 4:37 am

Sunday morning with not much happening so I thought I would start with a hard one :roll:

So what happens when an Aspie becomes socially adept enough that he/she is indistinguishable from NTs?

This might happen but I have yet to see it. I've been fighting AS for thirty years and there are still times where my AS behavior makes me stand out like a sore thumb. I've grown to accept that AS is something which I will be stuck with for the rest of my life so I might as well get used to it.

Can you evolve into an NT on the outside but still be an Aspie on the inside?

No, because the aspie inside will always try to govern your behavior and outlook on life. I don't believe people like this exist.

Here's the big question, do you think these people have some kind of a moral obligation to help the Aspie community?

If they existed, yes. With thirty years experience of fighting AS I try to help other AS sufferers as much as I can. Time, distance, and the limitations of the Internet sometimes get in the way. Why do I do this? I don't want someone else to experience what I went through.

Ed Almos



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05 Aug 2007, 4:49 am

Quote:
So what happens when an Aspie becomes socially adept enough that he/she is indistinguishable from NTs?


I don't think it is possible to for an Apie to become indistinguishable from an NT. I think that NTs will always see an Aspie's behavior are weird, and take him/her to be an eccentric, or 'artistic' as they sometimes call it when one behaves weird but they don't wnat to put a negative label on the person, or think he/she is a workaholic cause spends many more hoursworking on a project that anyone else, etc. etc.

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Can you evolve into an NT on the outside but still be an Aspie on the inside?


Nope! I am 45 years old and didn't know I had AS until recently and I never evolved to become an NT! I 'played' an NT, I 'acted' as an NT, I 'put on' my NT mask and tried to function in a world that did not make sense.
Because most AS have high to very high intelligence we find ways to create a 'persona' (an outer layer) that seems normal or what we perceive as normal by studying the behavior of the people around us (mostly NTs) and then take parts and bits from that behavior, sew it together and make a 'costume' we can wear to fit in.

You can call AS the chameleons of the Neurotypical world. The higher the IQ the better the ability to change the outer layer to disquise and fit it. The lower the IQ, the more the NT world seems chaotic and the less the ability to cope.

Star


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Asparval
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05 Aug 2007, 5:32 am

Silver_Meteor wrote:
So what happens when an Aspie becomes socially adept enough that he/she is indistinguishable from NTs? Can you evolve into an NT on the outside but still be an Aspie on the inside? Here's the big question, do you think these people have some kind of a moral obligation to help the Aspie community?


If someone truly becomes socially adept then, logically, you would have to say they had discovered a cure and were no longer AS.

To be truly socially adept and to be diagnosed as having Asperger syndrome are two mutually exclusive things (you can't have both)



Louise
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05 Aug 2007, 7:23 am

Asparval wrote:
If someone truly becomes socially adept then, logically, you would have to say they had discovered a cure and were no longer AS.


Nah. It might be theoretically possible to 'manually' learn how to get on in social situations, enough so that one can pull off an impression of adeptness. This would require pretty good communication skills and probably a lot of energy, though, as well as a fairly good ability to be observant and the ability to learn to 'translate' facial features, or at least to figure out likely meanings of sentences according to context. This would be more of a learning to get by despite the condition, rather than curing it, as the term 'cure' implies the condition (basic difference in how the brain works) rather than the symptoms (difference in ability to get on in a social situation) have gone away.

However, in some cases the aspie might be physically prevented from doing this, such as in cases of face blindess, a complete impairment in hearing or creating variances of voice tone (I have something close to this, but can do both a bit with concentration), or such severe mental difference that they can't actually work out from context the intended meaning of a social communication. (My dad has this, and struggles greatly with understanding irony, sarcasm, and complex implications from phrases.)

It probably depends quite a bit on the individual aspie's abilities, but as said in my first paragraph, I think it's probably at least theoretically possible for some. However the degree to which they can help others could be limited, especially if the other in question has any of the issues mentioned in my second paragraph.


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Asparval
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05 Aug 2007, 7:32 am

Louise wrote:
Asparval wrote:
If someone truly becomes socially adept then, logically, you would have to say they had discovered a cure and were no longer AS.


Nah. It might be theoretically possible to 'manually' learn how to get on in social situations, enough so that one can pull off an impression of adeptness.


Then they are not truly adept.



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05 Aug 2007, 7:52 am

Well, Answers.com says 'adept' can mean "A highly skilled person; an expert". If my theoretical aspie was to get so good at social interaction that everyone thought they were expert at it - then aren't they then so good that they are an expert? Even if not naturally or instinctively adept, I suspect one might eventually do all the better for having to have learned such a thing in a conscious and contemplative way.


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Asparval
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05 Aug 2007, 8:12 am

Louise wrote:
Well, Answers.com says 'adept' can mean "A highly skilled person; an expert". If my theoretical aspie was to get so good at social interaction that everyone thought they were expert at it - then aren't they then so good that they are an expert? Even if not naturally or instinctively adept, I suspect one might eventually do all the better for having to have learned such a thing in a conscious and contemplative way.


But your suggestion was that they were able to give an impression of adeptness.

I still think that if someone is truly adept at social interaction they can't claim to have a qualitative impairement in social communication and social understanding (which is required by the diagnostic criteria).

It's like saying that someone is diagnosed as being paralised from the waist down but they can hop, skip and jump :D



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05 Aug 2007, 8:53 am

Hmm, good analogy. I hope I covered that a bit in the second paragraph of my first post, though. I'm just thinking that one could be aspie in that they're different to other people, but still manage to learn how to get on socially, either well enough that they either are, or appear to be, adept. (The difference being that NTs pick it up naturally while an aspie might have to learn it a lot more consciously.

And sorry, I wasn't very clear about what I meant by either 'adept' or 'appearing to be adept' - I should have thought more about that, as your post made me question which term exactly I should have used.. Essentially I think that an aspie might first learn to appear adept, and then with enough practice, might be able to get along socially so well that they could be argued to be quite adept at it. Maybe over a long period of time and a difficult learning process, though. And that would be the difference (socially speaking) between whether the aspie is an aspie or NT in this instance or regarding this symptom - he's had to learn over a hard process rather than being instinctively and automatically adept. Kind of like a deaf person is still deaf even if they can understand what someone is saying through lipreading - an aspie is still an aspie even if he can get along socially through more of a fast thought process ('what did so-and-so likely mean by that sentence? was it a joke? I think the context of us being friends implies that it was') than an instinctive knowledge of, for example, whether someone is joking or not.


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05 Aug 2007, 9:02 am

Star wrote:
Quote:
Can you evolve into an NT on the outside but still be an Aspie on the inside?


Nope! I am 45 years old and didn't know I had AS until recently and I never evolved to become an NT! I 'played' an NT, I 'acted' as an NT, I 'put on' my NT mask and tried to function in a world that did not make sense.
Because most AS have high to very high intelligence we find ways to create a 'persona' (an outer layer) that seems normal or what we perceive as normal by studying the behavior of the people around us (mostly NTs) and then take parts and bits from that behavior, sew it together and make a 'costume' we can wear to fit in.

You can call AS the chameleons of the Neurotypical world. The higher the IQ the better the ability to change the outer layer to disquise and fit it. The lower the IQ, the more the NT world seems chaotic and the less the ability to cope.

Star


Actually, my IQ is pretty high. Every test I have ever had, including several professional ones, was high. And HECK, I have heard lately that most NTs have an IQ of about 85!

I HAVE disguised things, and fit in somewhat. I am certainly coping. I haven't used a coping saw in a while though! :cry: Sorry, couldn't resist! :lol: The NT world STILL seems chaotic though, because it IS!

You have people going to college just to get a piece of paper, and some figure they should just go to "paper mills", and get the paper. Some "TEACHERS" have done this so they get more money! And they GET IN TROUBLE!! !! UNREAL! They should just SHUT THE WHOLE "EDUCATION" SYSTEM DOWN! Why? Because they find out because of , ironically, the paper trail!

They ALSO misquote things such as MLKs quote. He never said there shouldn't be discrimination. QUITE THE CONTRARY!

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

I could pick quotes from the Bible and constitution that are also so often mis-quoted because the just and ethical quote doesn't fit them.

Anyway, that MLK quote is nice, just, and I wish people would honor it. These days, however, they do anything BUT honor it! Character is out the window, and they often DO judge by the color of ones skin. BTW I am white, and not saying I get any privileges because of it.

People use prophylactics such as latex gloves in preparing food, and will prepare food after cleaning up dirty areas, etc... They will even lick their fingers to handle money, etc... All this with the same pair of gloves, and not even a rinse. They act like the gloves are merely a uniform, or to protect THEM.

As for social in the workplace, people will do the wierdest things. I have gotten to where I have to question EVERYTHING! EVEN if a person asks me how I am, etc.... Some seemingly innocuous statement, request, etc... may be used to hang you in some way, or get them to a better position. It seems nobody cares about this, even after finding they have paid the jerk a lot for doing NOTHING!

As for social elsewhere, that is even harder to understand. Talk about chaotic. Even NTs don't understand some of it. If they did, they could make a BUNDLE.

As for AS symptoms that had to change? *****WHY***** should I have to stop what I am doing, or even look at a person and hurt what I am doing, that THEY may be paying me for, just so they can "know" I am listening to them? HECK, on friday I had a conversation with a guy behind me. I never looked at him once. The proper NT model would have been to stop, get a room somewhere, and whiteboard it. Who knows? Maybe we should have diagramed the sentences! BTW, don't think I'm kidding! The diagram part is a slight exaggeration, but the rest isn't. And sarcasm is really bad. I have developed a lot of bad habits, etc... purely to fit in, and have lost touch with much of myself. Some things I just WON'T do though.



samtoo
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05 Aug 2007, 10:51 am

Asparval wrote:
Silver_Meteor wrote:
So what happens when an Aspie becomes socially adept enough that he/she is indistinguishable from NTs? Can you evolve into an NT on the outside but still be an Aspie on the inside? Here's the big question, do you think these people have some kind of a moral obligation to help the Aspie community?


If someone truly becomes socially adept then, logically, you would have to say they had discovered a cure and were no longer AS.

To be truly socially adept and to be diagnosed as having Asperger syndrome are two mutually exclusive things (you can't have both)


That makes some sense... I have times when I do really well and no flaws, and me in full throttle... but I just can't keep it up as the days go by...


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05 Aug 2007, 11:10 am

I pass as NT. Uh, I think I pass, until I become better known and a friend, and then the friends say in friendly tones, "You're weird." They either like my weirdness, or they can accept it because they are accepting people. Which I suppose comes of running in science-fiction, parents of handicapped, and church circles. Some even help me by letting me know when I am talking too loud, or out of turn, or by introducing themselves every time I meet them.
They don't know how many decades I spent practicing looking into people's eyes despite the discomfort until now I can do it with ease. Or how often I have to ask my husband what happened during a social event. Or the sensory issues I deal with (why do you wear such baggy clothes?) Or how much fun but also exhausting spending time with others is. (At a women's retreat once I left a meeting early to go to my room and read and write quietly and eventually every woman in the retreat came to my room to ask if I was ok.)



Last edited by lelia on 05 Aug 2007, 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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05 Aug 2007, 11:12 am

Silver_Meteor wrote:
So what happens when an Aspie becomes socially adept enough that he/she is indistinguishable from NTs? Can you evolve into an NT on the outside but still be an Aspie on the inside? Here's the big question, do you think these people have some kind of a moral obligation to help the Aspie community?

I'm not there yet, but I'm close. It helps that I was never very impaired in the first place, not enough to get diagnosised as a child. I can "pass" but I'll always appear eccentirc at the very least. I'm smarter and more educated than most people with lots of letters after their name, but I don't think I'd be very successful at the more administrative jobs that they have. Yes, I feel some kind of moral obligation to help the aspie community, but I feel some kind of moral obligation to help everyone. Lots of people have helped me.


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05 Aug 2007, 11:33 am

"Here's the big question, do you think these people have some kind of a moral obligation to help the Aspie community?"

Worded like that, I'd say there is no obligation. Who would enforce it? And who defines the aspie community? What is a community but a group of individuals? And what kind of help? Financial? Political? Medical? Granted, aspies are a minority, but it's still a wide enough group as to be so varied that no one ideaology could define it. What of those who are libertarian? You can't tell them socialized medicine will work. What of those who think it's a gift? You couldn't offer them a cure. What of those who are Christian? Are they obliged to help the ones who are atheist? And vice versa?

Actually, the question is, does one have the right NOT to help the community? By what standard? By whose criteria? By whose morals? What if they don't?



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05 Aug 2007, 11:41 am

Here's my "two cents" or thoughts on this.

So what happens when an Aspie becomes socially adept enough that he/she is indistinguishable from NTs?

This could be possible, depending on the individual Aspie and their experiences. I don't think, however, that an Aspie can be totally indistinguishable from NT's. Many people who know me on a certain basis would never think that I'm an Aspie or someone odd until they know me better and my history.


Can you evolve into an NT on the outside but still be an Aspie on the inside?

I guess if you play the "NT" role well and learn how to adapt then this shouldn't be impossible. The only thing is even if you can play the "NT" role well, you're still an Aspie and many Aspie traits (major or minor) will still pop out. Again, it depends on the particular individual Aspie.


Here's the big question, do you think these people have some kind of a moral obligation to help the Aspie community?

I think these people should consider helping out other Aspies.