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

Poirot
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16 Apr 2009, 11:31 pm

JeffJ wrote:
Frankly I see it both ways. On one hand, Jesus Christ I wish I could communicate with actual peers. I wish I could hook up with women and go on dates without having to make an elaborate plan. that would be swell. Imagine, being able to intuitively understand what other people are thinking or feeling, almost automatically. Knowing when to shut up or when to keep talking. knowing the subtle bodily signals that mean different things. Knowing how to deal with emotional social situations without feeling like an outsider. How could that aspect of aspergers possibly be enjoyable?

On the other hand, I am gifted with high intelligence and the ability to reason and plot my way through life. It will no doubt get more difficult, but Im up for the challenge. I feel mentally able to deal with it and it has given me a very realistic outlook on things. My intense preoccupation with certain subjects has gained me a lot of knowledge, some of which can be quite useful. It makes me feel great about my abilities and the fact that Im not just walking around like a blind sheep sucking in every dose of BS that society wants to feed me. I feel liberated in a way.

So my answer, is all of the above. It is both Gods great gift that I am able to function on this level and a great curse that I have so much trouble communicating this gift to others.


As much as I would like to press the button for 'curse,' I can't. One of the greatest things I agree with this quote is that I do have a gift and am able to see beyond what normal people percieve in media and in society in general. and even though the disadvantages are strong I feel that I am a bit blessed to have gained social experience to understand certain certain cues.

That said, in all that is holy do I feel lonely with AS. I am going through a terrifically hard time going leaving law school and entering into a masters degree and I feel alone without being able to hang out with my friends as much as I used to do in a city that is not my hometown. To make matters worse, I don't have the social ability to communicate as much as my family does (all NTs) and feel like an island even when around them when they come into town. Also add the salt to the wound that I have an affection for one of those friends and cannot, even if I could try, I cannot express those feeling because I care for her to not drag her into this rut and because I have the social capabilities of a hydrant when I talk to her. My disadvantages with AS have hampered me from getting out of my depression and limited me from being able to communicate to any of said people to the point that I am pouring my soul out to a group of people who I've never met in an internet forum.

So yes there are advantages that balance it out but, good lord, I'm losing faith in it not being a curse.



LeeAnderson
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16 Apr 2009, 11:33 pm

Giftorcurse wrote:
Hi. My name's Connor and I just joined the site a few minutes ago. And I have Asperger's.

Believe it or not, I signed up for no apparent reason. Maybe I felt sorry for insulting the people on the chat room. As of late, I have a fairly negative outlook on my Asperger's and life in general. My resource teacher and parents tell me I'm a genius and that my Asperger's is a gift. Gift? More like a curse God inflicted on me for kicks.


It's a gift. Enough said.



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17 Apr 2009, 12:36 am

Most things are both gifts and curses I've found.

I have no friends or anything in person (social disconnect), but this is offset by my ability to immerse myself in an interest, and find happiness with said interest (it only takes a book to make me happier than a pig in mud as long as said book is in relation to what I'm interested in).

I have no talents or anything (apart from a good memory for facts), nothing to sell, failed school, don't work in proper employment, can't drive, socially isolated, dependant on my mother for many things (the government too), constantly anxious, and etcetera, all due to my ASD. But this lack of "making it" is offset by my ability to appreciate the simple things, and find joy in the same simple things.



Callista
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17 Apr 2009, 12:58 am

ruveyn wrote:
It is no more a curse or gift than hair color, skin color, eye shape. It is a genetic trait. We all have genetic traits. They are the hand we are dealt.
This.


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tweety_fan
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17 Apr 2009, 1:13 am

I can't help but feel sometimes that AS is something that god inflicted on me as a curse.


but then if there is no variety in humanity how could it evolve?



ed
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17 Apr 2009, 6:47 am

I feel I am the result of a bet between God and the Devil. The Devil challenged God, telling him that he (God) could give me perfect genes, but the Devil could change just a few of them and negate all the good.

(The Devil won the bet) :lol:


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17 Apr 2009, 9:37 am

JadedMantis wrote:
Dussel wrote:
Prosser wrote:
I'd say curse. NT's have strenghts but don't have to put up with AS disadvantages.


The NT-receptors for emotional messages leave also the vast majority of NTs open to all kind of manipulation: Starting with "false friends" (I saw this often enough with) till to mass manipulation (a Tupper-ware-party works here on the same mechanisms like religious services or Hitler's propaganda machine). I saw this immunity always as positive.


I agree and sometimes wonder if its not this immunity that has some wanting to "cure" this condition.
They would happily have the other aspects about us if they could just add this vulnerability so we react "appropriately" to the media inputs.


I don't that we are important enough - but this immunity has its shortcomings too: My relation to a NT is not simple, I miss a lot of the messages he send me and he find my way of communication using written notices (including date and time of the day) and e-mails (even we are sitting in the kitchen together a the same table) for utterly strange.



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17 Apr 2009, 12:25 pm

Aspergers/autism is what you make it. For me it is a gift as I use a lot of it's symptoms to complete certain tasks.


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17 Apr 2009, 7:32 pm

Hello, giftorcurse:

I just participated in a Bible study on characters from the
New Testament, so my Christian/biblical understanding of
Autism/AS is inspired by this passage:

Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned;
he was born blind so that God's works might be revealed
in him."


--John 9:3, New Revised Standard Version

I draw the analogy from that passage to my experience
with Autism/Asperger Syndrome/Autism Spectrum Disorder;
and I find that breaking free of the whole idea of
AS as gift/AS as curse gives me reason for hope.

My understanding of the role that my AS plays in the
working world is that I should try to re-frame my
"autistic" traits; these traits are meant to complement the
traits that NTs bring to the working world.

NTs=Neurologically Typicals, a facetious term used
especially by persons with Asperger Syndrome to describe
persons who do not have it.

For example, my personal obsession with details and preference for
focusing on one task complement the broad view and multitasking
that university professors usually bring to their work.



ryan93
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17 Apr 2009, 7:50 pm

I have little social skills, but to be honest I think the whole "intense and random interests" bit is a real blessing :) If I had a choice I'm not so sure I'd pick NT, it would make life easier being NT but I probably am going to have a more interesting life than them :D



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02 May 2009, 3:09 pm

Calvin wrote:
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.


Profoundly NO. Refer to PM.


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WardenWolf
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02 May 2009, 3:17 pm

There is no "both" option. To me, it is both a blessing and a curse. I get to be very good at certain things, but I tend to annoy would-be friends and just do very poorly socially.



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02 May 2009, 3:21 pm

Douglas_MacNeill wrote:
Hello, giftorcurse:

I just participated in a Bible study on characters from the
New Testament, so my Christian/biblical understanding of
Autism/AS is inspired by this passage:

Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned;
he was born blind so that God's works might be revealed
in him."


--John 9:3, New Revised Standard Version

I draw the analogy from that passage to my experience
with Autism/Asperger Syndrome/Autism Spectrum Disorder;
and I find that breaking free of the whole idea of
AS as gift/AS as curse gives me reason for hope.

My understanding of the role that my AS plays in the
working world is that I should try to re-frame my
"autistic" traits; these traits are meant to complement the
traits that NTs bring to the working world.

NTs=Neurologically Typicals, a facetious term used
especially by persons with Asperger Syndrome to describe
persons who do not have it.

For example, my personal obsession with details and preference for
focusing on one task complement the broad view and multitasking
that university professors usually bring to their work.


That's interesting - I like that your post is thoughtful and insightful.

I'm with PhoenixWolf (and others) on this too.....I wouldn't be without my Autism, but it's hard too. A bittersweet gift?


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SpongeBobRocksMao
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03 May 2009, 6:05 am

I voted gift, although really I see it as "both." As there's bad sides like the difficulty in socialising etc., but it also has done good things.


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Sora
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03 May 2009, 6:09 am

LabPet wrote:
A bittersweet gift?


I got to remember this! I feel that's a brilliant way of saying it.


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raisedbyignorance
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09 May 2009, 7:08 pm

It's really hard to see the "gift" in it but that is just me. I'm sure that many with AS are very fortunate to embrace their intellectual gifts or to use their AS to go places in life.

But given I've been more forced to adapt into NT society without people who dont even know what the hell AS is...it's quite a curse to me.