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Joshandspot
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25 May 2009, 3:51 pm

Tony Attwood spoke something about how even if people with aspergers are really intrigued by a certain topic, even when they learn all the details about it, they never truly understand the bigger picture... for lack of a better word they have trouble "getting it". It took me awhile to come to terms with being different and having very particular interests but the idea of this kinda depresses me. The idea that we won't ever truly "get" aspects of life...do you find this to be true?



raisedbyignorance
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25 May 2009, 4:18 pm

Aren't certain "aspects of life" just opinionated anyway? There's no specific rule as to how to understand something since even NTs have their own individual point of views about it.



typ3
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25 May 2009, 4:26 pm

That sounds really arrogant of him.

Maybe he's confusing different perspectives as "not getting it".



Brusilov
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25 May 2009, 4:32 pm

Yeah, sometimes I feel like I can learn many details about something but I would have a hard time summarizing into a couple of sentences. When I was younger I wanted to be a History Teacher, but I think if I was to be a teacher today I would be unsuccessful. Even though I might know historical details inside and out, I would struggle with converting the information into a lesson plan that the average lay student could understand. I would also struggle with getting along with students and other teachers and managing a classroom. As a younger boy who liked history, I would memorize and learn tons of obscure facts and a litany of information, but if I had to write, say, an essay, I would have a hard time summarizing and putting in the concise information that they wanted. I didn't know how to play the system and thus I didn't "get it."

It sounds really vague and hard to explain, but I know exactly what you are getting at. I would be fascinated by the details of things I was interested and I would just adsorb tons of information on a topic. However, I would be unable to translate and apply information I had learned to real-life situations or class assignments. For example, when I was a freshman in Highschool, my teacher assigned me to write a small research paper on Martin Luther. I was very excited and I went home that night, and from sheer memory I poured forth 40 pages on Martin Luther(and only cited about 4 sources!) I wrote down everything from his boyhood life to the larger historical context, and I omitted no detail to the point where it virutally could have been published as a biography. I was excited when I took my paper in the next day and I was sure I would get an "A." However, my teacher looked at the work I had done which I was so proud of and said it was garbage. In the first place, I had put in way too much information to the point where I was just reciting stuff, and she thought that I had copied from a textbook word for word. I failed to cite sources for things that were common knowledge to me, like "Rome was sacked in 1527." So I was crushed and that teacher gave me a D. I was so excited to get to write and pour forth on my interests that I had missed the point of writing a carbon-copy highschool research paper and practice citing sources.

Basically what had happened was that I didn't "get it." and I did not give the teachers what they wanted. I was supposed to reference alot of material. The teachers did not expect a high-school kid to go "above-and-beyond" and know so much factual information about history. They did not think it possible(I was undiagnosed.) I was unable to turn in the paper in the format they wanted. Thus, even though I knew more than enough about Martin Luther, because I did not show it in the correct way or satisfy their obligation, I failed in their eyes. Those teachers wanted a simple, 4-page paper giving only a brief overview on his life, and they wanted to see something along the lines of what everyone else was going to turn in; a trite, concise essay.

"Getting it," is not so much doing something, but doing it in the socially-acceptable, mainstream way. AS people like myself have a hard time being legitimized in the eyes of others. Even though sometimes someone like me has some exceptional skill, we have a tough time being taken seriously enough to be regarded. It also feels like opportunities to display talent come few and far between.

"Getting it," requires having social skills and savvy necessary to function within and manipulate the system. "IT," is a mysterious, ubiquitious quality that people with AS DO NOT have. It is just that abilty to feel comfortable with oneself and "go with the flow." If you don't have IT, you have nothing and no chance ever to function socially.



KarmicPyxis
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25 May 2009, 5:40 pm

Well, I can't say that I know much about Tony Attwood other than what I read about him on the internet in the five or ten minutes that followed reading your post about him.

With the little that I've picked up about the guy, though, he seems pretty much "on," at least to the extent that what he describes as his experience and understanding "match" my own and the people around me.

That having been said--and obviously I was't "there," Josh, when you heard whatever you heard coming from Mr Attwood--I would think that he may have been saying not so much that AS folks can't/don't/won't "get it" when it comes to "big picture," just that they classically have so much difficulty getting what non-AS folks "get" in terms of a commonly perceived "big picture."

Does that make sense? I would be surprised if Mr Atwood genuinely believed/felt/said that AS folks are generally incapable of "getting" the big picture...though, disappointingly, non-AS folks really do have terrible trouble conceiving of the reality/fact that maybe, just MAYBE (!) there is no singularly correct "big picture" to even "get" to begin with...IE...it wouldn't be the first time that anyone, AS or non-AS, fell into the trap of absolutism.


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Joshandspot
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25 May 2009, 6:40 pm

wow that last post summed it up perfectly....and i definitely agree



EvoVari
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25 May 2009, 6:41 pm

Joshandspot wrote:
Tony Attwood spoke something about how even if people with aspergers are really intrigued by a certain topic, even when they learn all the details about it, they never truly understand the bigger picture... for lack of a better word they have trouble "getting it". It took me awhile to come to terms with being different and having very particular interests but the idea of this kinda depresses me. The idea that we won't ever truly "get" aspects of life...do you find this to be true?


Couldn't agree more with Tony's observation as pertaining to me, can't speak for others though. I have learning difficulties with imagination and abstract concepts, therfore this issue with not getting the 'big picture' may only relate to a certain percentage of people with AS.



TobyZ
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25 May 2009, 7:33 pm

I can't do what many NT's seem to do. Gloss over and grossly oversimplify complex issues. Such as space exploration, global economics, world history, human beings, and why a computer can have a million reasons to crash (and it isn't always just a virus!).



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25 May 2009, 8:22 pm

Saying we can never get the big picture is very arrogant. I have no problems getting the big picture, even though I may find the details intriguing. Among those "details" I analyze is how each part fits into the whole. Sometimes I get it better than NT's even. I had an idiot boss once (on a VERY short-lived job) that was berating me for spending too much time on a particular component of a project we were working on. What he didn't "get" was that this component was the lynchpin, and if it didn't work, nothing would work. This "detail" I was working on was going to doom the big picture. I was devoting time to it because it was obviously the largest point of trouble and the one component we could not do without. This was the same boss that also got mad at me for making a special trip to buy a key component that was needed immediately to prevent work stoppage. Let's see, which is more efficient use of time? Going and getting it myself, or sitting on my butt until someone makes a run tomorrow? That job lasted 3 weeks before I was fired (and at the end I didn't care). They never did get the darn thing working. Why was I not surprised?


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2ukenkerl
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25 May 2009, 8:28 pm

Joshandspot wrote:
Tony Attwood spoke something about how even if people with aspergers are really intrigued by a certain topic, even when they learn all the details about it, they never truly understand the bigger picture... for lack of a better word they have trouble "getting it". It took me awhile to come to terms with being different and having very particular interests but the idea of this kinda depresses me. The idea that we won't ever truly "get" aspects of life...do you find this to be true?


Maybe he is right. I mean in electronics I learned about/and made, PC boards, designed, prototyped, and built circuits of all sorts. I understand how electrical potential holds matter together. I even wrote a report on how ICs are created. OH YEAH, I studied that ALSO! I also understand many related chemical reactions, and the relation to light/heat/magnetism/matter. STILL, I couldn't make an electron from scratch if my life depended on it, can't see a proton, and don't fully understand all the possible ways they can interact.

Of course, there IS one MORONIC aspect of that assertion! **********NOBODY********* that is, or has been, on this planet knows that or can do it. Heck, they say energy can't be created or destroyed.

Oh yeah, I can ALSO program the 8086, 6502, 8080, vax, pdp 11, and a number of other processors in assembly. Yet I STILL don't know about the 1802, and many others. AGAIN, NOBODY knows all that. Oh well, I always end up being the answer guy, so I guess I can't be too bad!

I think some of attwoods statements are very biased and myopic!



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25 May 2009, 8:43 pm

Well, I disagree with Tony Attwood.

But then, maybe because I'm an Aspie with the rare Myers-Briggs personality of INTJ ?

"INTJs have a tremendous amount of ability to accomplish great things. They have insight into the Big Picture, and are driven to synthesize their concepts into solid plans of action. Their reasoning skills gives them the means to accomplish that. INTJs are most always highly competent people, and will not have a problem meeting their career or education goals. They have the capability to make great strides in these arenas. On a personal level, the INTJ who practices tolerances and puts effort into effectively communicating their insights to others has everything in his or her power to lead a rich and rewarding life."

Portrait of an INTJ

So yeah, we're all individuals. And that's the big picture ...

~~ the phoenix