Autism/Aspergers: A Gift or God's Cruel Joke?

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Are Autism Spectrum Disorders gifts or curses?
Gift 56%  56%  [ 59 ]
Curse 44%  44%  [ 47 ]
Total votes : 106

AgentCROCODILE
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14 Apr 2009, 8:39 pm

Concenik wrote:
poll is somewhat limited by lack of a 'both' or 'neither' option imo


Yes. I wonder there should be a scale of 1 to 10 - and somewhat 0 being no problem and 10 being a super absolute pain in the ass. If you want both you can vote 4 or 5 or so.

Better to have a granular scale like that.

I voted "Curse" because it was a close match.



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14 Apr 2009, 8:54 pm

AS is the reason I'm good at math. I also can learn very quickly because of my visual mind, and I love it. To me, it's a gift.



AgentCROCODILE
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14 Apr 2009, 8:55 pm

MathGirl wrote:
AS is the reason I'm good at math. I also can learn very quickly because of my visual mind, and I love it. To me, it's a gift.


So I presume you have never had sensory overloads, panic attacks, rage attacks, or social mishaps etc?



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14 Apr 2009, 9:05 pm

MathGirl wrote:
AS is the reason I'm good at math. I also can learn very quickly because of my visual mind, and I love it. To me, it's a gift.


Lucky you. I can only do basic math, and that is hard enough to remember.
Still I don't believe my AS is a curse. I'm a good artist and have problems with organisational skills, sensory stuff, communication, socialising, coordination, and some self help skills. But I am a good artist and creative writer! :D
And I like seeing the world differently than NT's.



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14 Apr 2009, 9:33 pm

I see my AS as a gift. I can concentrate on my crafts and hobbies for hours. I also have a photographic memory. I can also spend an entire Saturday night at home, kicking back and doing some projects. :)


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EvoVari
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14 Apr 2009, 9:57 pm

AgentCROCODILE wrote:
It can be both a curse and a gift. It depends on the severity of your case.

If you are moderate plus (like me) then it is more of a curse.

If you are super mild then it may not be a curse.

Judging by your first post on this thread, you seem to find it really tough. Me to mate!


WRONG!! ! What makes you think AS is less of a curse if you are dx mild? Mild merely means you have adequate executive functioning, live independently.

AS is all about social impairment, difficulty processing people's intentions, understanding social ettiquete and seeing the world upside down. Humans are predominantly social animals and if you cannot fullfill this function life is not enjoyable. I'm not saying you must be the life of the party or be some 'Jock', just interact without drama and rejection.

I know many say they don't want to talk with people, interact socially, prefer a solitary existence and have a specific interest that occupies their life. You are as foreign and confusing to me as most NTs.

If I believed in God, then Yes, Aspergers is a 'CURSE' for most. As if we bare the sins of all others for some unknown reason. Since I don't believe, we simply got a raw deal and you have to try everything possible to make living enjoyable- just existing is not good enough. The shadow of depression will consume you and we all know what that place is like.

Get off your 'Backside' and try therapies/counselling with AS specialist professionals, learn new social and coping skills. High IQ means 'Squat' if you cannot socialise/interact with others.



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14 Apr 2009, 10:00 pm

Glad you are here, Connor, you'll find many friends.

Yours is a good question. I actually couldn't decide.

Most of my life has been pretty painful and I wanted to be "like them" and could not understand.

Now having found out the "why" and looking back - I would never want to be one of "them."


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Last edited by Jamin on 14 Apr 2009, 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Calvin
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14 Apr 2009, 10:01 pm

I would say it's neither a gift nor a curse.

Isn't Asperger the result of certain brain structures, neurological damage and/or brain lesions? It feels like a gift because I'm disconnected from other people. It's freeing when they're hysterical and I'm looking at them like I'm in a computer game; I'm calm and not feeling any of it. My friend is like this too and we both hate human beings. I'm implying we're not human. A DNA test would say we are, so we are.



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14 Apr 2009, 10:20 pm

Hmmm... I suppose it's both and neither at the same time. It's a difficult question to answer, and falls akin to the glass half full / half empty idea.

There are good and bad parts. On the good side, we obviously have our ability to focus so extremely on the one thing we enjoy, in spite of the distractions. Yet, when we attempt to make social connections, we are completely lost. That would be the bad side.

But to consider it a curse may be taking it a bit far. We can do things no NT can, if for nothing else then they worry about what everyone else thinks. You eventually reach the point of not caring about what other people think, and when you do, it's nirvana. You don't look at an object and see only what is. You see what it was, and what it could be. To see the world around you as nothing more than a puzzle where all the pieces fit in different places may feel like a struggle now, but once you find your place, you can create the world you want.

That's what AS is, an Alchemists dream. To create something out of nothing, and better everyone for it. Don't worry if you do not find your place now, OP, you will eventually. Someday, it will all make sense. We just have to keep fighting for that day.


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14 Apr 2009, 10:53 pm

Hi there.

for me, my high-fuctioning autism / asperger's is a gift. Without it, I would not be the following:

Creative Writer
Computer Enthusiast
Artist
Musician
Linguist

I would not be any of those things if I was a NT.



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14 Apr 2009, 11:55 pm

i dont see it as a curse at all, im not saying its the best thing in the world, but i am saying that even a physic once told my mother i was meant to have autism, i dont see it nessacerly as a gift either. Its just something that is apart of me and that i have.


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enchantedsleeper
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15 Apr 2009, 4:35 am

You know that saying, "It's a blessing and a curse"? In my opinion that applies to everything. All blessings, all gifts have a flip side that can make them difficult to handle. I really hope that you can focus on the good and deal with the bad... don't kill yourself, whatever you do. Sounds like a stupid thing to say, but in my opinion there's always hope.


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15 Apr 2009, 4:40 am

Well, considering that AS is probably to at least some extent genetic and has a number of beneficial traits I say that it is a gift to our species.

How exactly those genes might combine in my life, sometimes to benefit but often to my personal detriment is irrelevant and I just have to deal with it. Its neither gift nor curse in the context of my personal life. Its simply the hardware that my consciousness resides in. I just have to adjust myself within the performance specs I have and do my best to live within its bounds.

Its not like the universe revolves around me. My body is simply one permutation of the subset of the gene sequences that make up homo sapiens and will be the foundation for whatever form will follow us.



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15 Apr 2009, 6:12 am

KenM wrote:
Curse because its the one thing from preventing me from having a relationship. No matter how much I try or work on myself, I always get rejected because I can't read people because I have AS. God can suck my dick.


Thought you said that "God gave me AS so I can filter out and not have to deal with the BS that most people have to put up with. So when I do find someone, it will be really good."

What happened to that philosophy?


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AnnePande
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15 Apr 2009, 6:20 am

I would say that it is a condition with both advantages / gifts (I voted for "gift") and difficulties (I don't want to use the word curse). It also contains things that are neither advantages nor difficulties as such. Just mere oddities. :wink:



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15 Apr 2009, 6:40 am

This poll has gone into an analysis of AS. So---I will analyze. I see my AS a gift, as I have previously mentioned. And my AS is not mild (more moderate)---but yet I am married, have two children, and have a job. So---here is my analysis in list form.

GIFTS FROM MY AS:

I can play whatever musical instrument I become obsessed with---without lessons, and within one week. I was a professional musician by the age of 16.

I am an excellent writer of essays, poetry, short stories, and I am currently working on a novel.

I graduated from high school fifth in my class, I graduated from college (both Bachelor's and Master's degrrees) with honors.

I have always liked to daydream.

I love my multiple intense interests---and I love collecting things I am obsessed with.

By the time I was in high school I had memorized the statistics of every roller coaster in North America.

I have always loved house plans. I drew them as a child, and I draw them today.

And there are other things too if I think about it.


CHALLENGES FROM MY AS:

I have sensory issues with sound, light, and touch. In restaurants, for example, I have to sit away from bright lights like from sunlight coming in through the windows.

At family gatherings I often have to retreat to a quiet room because I cannot deal with the noise, etc.

I do not go to parties unless it is a family birthday party (and I also don't like these parties either).

I experience shutdowns somewhat often. I do have an occasional meltdown.

In school, I had one close friend. Then, in junior high when he began hanging out with other friends, I was a loner. I used to walk the playground at recess in strange bizarre patterns.

I usually do not get jokes.

I get lost in movies if things are not "spelled" out for me.

I have difficulty playing with my sons---I have undergone therapy for this.

I am unable to show my wife the support and love that she needs. I am inadequate in sharing with her my emotions about things---again, I have undergone therapy for this.

If it were not for a blind date being arranged for me with the woman that would become my wife, I would never have married---I would still be living with my parents. My first date was when I was a senior in high school.

My mother had to wash my hair until I was 25 years old (when I got married---then my wife had to wash my hair). It was too awkward for me to wash it (motor skills). I then learned how to do it.

I also could not select my clothes out of the closet because of being overwhelmed by the clothes in the closet. My mother would lay my clothes out for me---again until I was married, then my wife did it until I was able to do it. My mother had to shop for me. Today, I still have difficulty in shopping for clothes.

I have been a teacher for 21 years. The first 19 years were what some would describe as "hell." I was literally bullied and made fun of by many of my students. I would have lost my job had I not obtained a Master's Degree, and the Board of Education had to give me a continuing contract because they failed to act on my dismissal in the legal amount of time.

I never received a good evaluation from any principal until I switched from English to the gifted program (as recommended by the current principal). This switch of jobs cost me over $6000 in additional education. My wife had to help me pay for it.

I have OCD with my AS. I constantly check things over and over again to make sure doors are locked, fridge is closed, things are unplugged, etc. I also find myself counting things all the time.

I have stimmed so much that my fingers often bleed from the hand flapping and skin picking. I have popped my thumb so many times that something is wrong in the thumb joint.

I cannot do chit chat. When I do, it is so awkward that I usually stop mid-sentence and go quiet.

How many friends do I have today? 0. There are some who might say they are a friend, but let's look at it. There is one guy I used to play music with. I see/talk to him once a year. You call that a friend?

I speak to my closest neighbor once a month if I am lucky. The other neighbors? Once a year perhaps.

I am not effective at eye contact.

I am terrible at managing money.

I have short term memory issues like others with AS.

My handwriting has always been terrible.

Because of my intense interests---my house is filled with them. There are currently over 20 pinewood derby cars on our dining table, over a hundred magic illusions/tricks in the library, 300 HO scale models in the basement, 30 electric keyboards in my parents' basement along with a room full of halloween props for what was to be my own haunted house dark ride. Gee---looking around the house---I have stuff everywhere. I even have a roller coaster model I am working on in the classroom beside my teacher's desk. But these interests are fun---but they do clutter up things.

Self harm---I haven't in awhile. But yes, I used to practice self-harm complete with some blood.

When I was young I used to break my hair by stimming with it---twirling and pulling, etc.

Whenever we go anyplace I am not familiar with, I lose my sense of dirction and my wife has to tell me how to get out of the place. I can get turned around in shopping malls, etc.


I could go on and on---but I think you understand now. I am not perfect. I have challenges too.
Yes---glider18 has been to therapy because I needed it.


BUT---I choose to dwell on the good things. I choose to think of AS a gift. I have to look at the gifts AS has given me. I would not want to get rid of my AS. But yet, I have issues too.


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Last edited by glider18 on 15 Apr 2009, 7:25 am, edited 4 times in total.