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quivara
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14 Feb 2014, 2:42 pm

KW33n and the rest of you, I too relate to much of what you said. Perhaps, "conditionally high-functioning" might be more appropriate. I can kind of fake the social scene for brief periods, but the whirl of such commitments drains me to as you have said. However, NT intoverts complain of the same thing, they just seem to tolerate more and be more involved than I want to be or can be. Also, there are overlapping issues such as giftedness and HSP which play roles as to functioning too.

I have done top corporate legal and business work, so I'd guess that would be high. But, as I can't read others so well (hidden intentions, lying, ToM), I can get into bad situations too easily. Sensory issues get to me if I'm too stressed. So, constant high-functioning is the problem. But, aren't there different realms along the spectrum/range? For, e.g., I couldn't do dear "Kingdom of Rats" work well, nor he mine, yet for our levels we each might be considered "high-functioning". Seem the whole situation needs to be better addressed by professionals. Jensen's article is great on this and we need more of such.

Oh, thought of another thing I tried which is excellent for helping socially. A woman named Liel Lowndes, a professional conversationalist, did a tape series years ago called "Conversational Confidence" She provided tons of clues on how to maneuver the social minefields. She did not address AS people but she was hired to coach Mensa groups (genius IQs) b/c many of them have some of the same problems. She gives wonderful examples and top advice - voice tone, inflection, a soft warm smile (not fake), brief eye contact, use of similar words/phrases, topics, etc. Just wish I could remember it all instead of freezeing in certain instances. You may be able to get her work via a library and probably on-line.

Don't loose courage or hope. Best!



Tomas73
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14 Feb 2014, 3:06 pm

While that may be desirable for some, I think many of us have had enough of trying to be something we are not. So, I for one, would rather promote tolerance for difference, by allowing it to be seen, rather than to disguise aspie ways. This may well mean sacrificing some job opportunities, but I don't want to work for people who are narrow minded anyway.



Eureka13
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14 Feb 2014, 3:44 pm

http://www.asknz.net/uploads/2/9/3/7/29 ... ectrum.pdf

Thank you so much, Jensen, for posting that.

This was the part that really rang a bell for me:

Quote:
Asperger’s syndrome is also thought to be commonly missed among the gifted, though
research on this is only preliminary (39). A common example is the low-achieving gifted
child, whose poor performance is blamed on “attitude” or taken to be a simpler learning
disability, while their other Asperger’s signs are mistakenly attributed to their giftedness
(13 p 364-5, 39). To distinguish whether such a child is gifted, has Asperger’s, or both,
requires some expertise in Asperger’s, though some distinguishing clues have been
outlined (39). It is vital that those who do have Asperger’s are identified, as they may
need a very different approach if they are to realise their potential.
As for the female expression of autism spectrum conditions, the scant literature about
this suggests that they present differently and may be under-diagnosed (8, 13 pp12-16,
40, 41). Although girls have been said to have a better long-term prognosis than boys
and be “more able to learn how to socialize and to camouflage their difficulties at an
early age” (1 p 152), women on the spectrum point out that the challenge they face is
compounded by society’s higher expectations of intuitive social abilities in women than
men, so that they still fall far short of the expected norms for their gender. The recent
anthology “Women from another planet?” (42) explores and illustrates these and other
issues faced by females on the spectrum. In females, the diagnosis of Asperger’s may
be overlooked because of low professional awareness, misinterpretation of behaviours,
and their often different presentation: For instance, their special interests may differ from
those typical of Asperger’s males, may be less obvious and less likely to be imposed on
others. The full extent of their social difficulties may only show up when interacting with
their female peers: For example they may talk eloquently with the clinician, relate well
with parents, tag along with the boys, yet be incapable of the typical chatter and other
social bonding processes of their girl / woman peers (as recounted, for example, in 43 &
44). One autistic woman (45) reports that her behaviour as a child was interpreted as
“unladylike rather than socially inept”, and her perceptual problems as “hysteria". Certain
developmental trajectories (common among but not confined to females on the
spectrum) increase the likelihood of their autism being overlooked: For example, as
awareness grows that they are somehow breaching the mysterious codes of social life,
girls with Asperger’s may stop being so obviously inappropriate but instead become
silent, anxiously careful, or adopt others’ behaviours or personas (for instance 11 pp 2-3
& 261-3, 46 p22), so achieving a quasi-normality, though at the risk of remaining forever
undiagnosed, marginalized, and still inwardly puzzled about the complexities of social
life.


As someone who is gifted, adult, AND female, it's no wonder I've been "invisible" for so many years. And it certainly explains why I have always had extreme difficulty making female friends (and avoiding alienating them if/when I do).



tarantella64
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14 Feb 2014, 4:16 pm

Tomas73 wrote:
While that may be desirable for some, I think many of us have had enough of trying to be something we are not. So, I for one, would rather promote tolerance for difference, by allowing it to be seen, rather than to disguise aspie ways. This may well mean sacrificing some job opportunities, but I don't want to work for people who are narrow minded anyway.


I agree.

I started out as a writer and knew I was unlikely to make much money ever, and that I'd be happy at most any turn to trade money for time. So early on -- without being terribly strategic or conscious about it -- I started building in stability with low overhead, so that I could always work part-time and live. One of the most important things I did was to find a very cheap condo flat in a small, tolerable town and buy it for $15K down. I kept it when I married and moved, and have been renting it out. If I'd wanted to, I could've had a property management company find tenants and take care of it for a small part of the rents. I'll own it outright in a few months, so I'll have good rental income, or, if everything goes to hell, I'll have a quiet, private, low-utilities-cost place to live that's mine, no worries. If things continue okay, then eventually the rents on the flat will cover my house mortgage, and again my cost of living will be negligible.

Not everyone will have that kind of money on hand, but in the span where you're doing well, salaried, that sort of thing, actually nailing down those essentials of life can save you tremendous trouble later. And if there's a foundation or some other private interest, they may be able to help with the purchase. When things get difficult, or when people are simply fried from the effort, they can retreat, be themselves, and be okay.

One thing that may be helpful, actually, is to take a tip from urban development, where some cities have ordinances that demand mixed-income housing. You can't build a neighborhood of all expensive houses or all cheap apartments, you have to have various kinds of housing in your subdivision. Perhaps businesses could be encouraged by similar local ordinances to reorganize some small percentage of jobs as work-at-home/remote jobs for those who work best as contractors and are not, for instance, up to the social demands of a f2f workplace, but can certainly get the job done if it's assigned with clear instructions and on a tolerable deadline basis.



Rocket123
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14 Feb 2014, 4:52 pm

Eureka13 wrote:
http://www.asknz.net/uploads/2/9/3/7/2937986/invisible_at_the_end_of_the_spectrum.pdf

Thank you so much, Jensen, for posting that.

This was the part that really rang a bell for me:


Eureka - You may find this article, listed in the reference, interesting: http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10167.aspx <click>



Eureka13
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14 Feb 2014, 5:24 pm

Rocket123 wrote:
Eureka13 wrote:
http://www.asknz.net/uploads/2/9/3/7/2937986/invisible_at_the_end_of_the_spectrum.pdf

Thank you so much, Jensen, for posting that.

This was the part that really rang a bell for me:


Eureka - You may find this article, listed in the reference, interesting: http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10167.aspx <click>


Wow, definitely.

One of the most interesting bits (and I'm going to have to go back and re-read the entire thing when I have more time) was talking about how sensory processing issues can cause anxiety, and discussion of some of the sensory integration methods. I used to get so wound up (I remember this as far back as first and second grades) and tense that the teacher would have to gently apply pressure to certain places on my neck, or I would get really sick and have to go home. I guess I'm lucky that I had such an accommodating teacher way back then (this would have been right around 1961-62). I never really "acted out" (as they call misbehaving these days); I would just get extremely withdrawn and anxious.



kirayng
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14 Feb 2014, 7:57 pm

I seem to be entirely fueled by caffeine, adrenaline and knocked out by marijuana and sheer exhaustion.... I live my life in a daze of revery, anxiously withstanding a fairly brutal sensory experience that I simultaneously crave and get overloaded by...

I work as a line cook at a popular chain restaurant. Yes, I actually do. For the past year or so I was on prep, it was very boring but I was good at it. Anyway, I do around 32-40 hours a week, I am in a nonlegal marriage of 13 years and no one I know suspects I have Aspergers. They think I have just done too many drugs, am "burnt-out", etc. and just been generally weird all my life. Mostly I've kept sane by seeking and finding similarly minded people. If it weren't for my husband, a mild spectrum person himself, I don't think anyone else would understand me.

I don't consider myself high functioning, I believe I have constructed enough of a false version of reality to fool myself into thinking I'm Normal and all the choices I've made have lead me to being poor, etc. Incapable of keeping up with the Joneses I just hope they don't notice me. To other autistics though, the very fact that I work, live semi-independently, long-term romantic relationship (to another Aspie), drive a car, have fairly stable relationships with family, etc. makes me very high functioning. To the rest of society, I'm a low-functioning social idiot. :)



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14 Feb 2014, 8:24 pm

Jensen wrote:
This is about people at the very high end of the spectrum. A rather new field.

http://www.asknz.net/uploads/2/9/3/7/29 ... ectrum.pdf


Even though I am probably on the lower end of "high functioning" I really relate to what was written about. Nobody has known what to do with with me or where to fit me.

Quote:
hostess says, “please don't leave yet” and we are supposed to say, “yes I must, I have to get up early tomorrow” and then leave. If we do stay instead, then the hostess will resent us for being inconsiderate by keeping them up late; but if we say “‘yes, I’ll let you go to bed” then it would be an even worse breach
of code, which might result in an argument “no I really want you to stay” etc.

56 years old and I did not knew this. This is useful information .

While I liked the report and I can tell it was written by understanding people I could also tell it was written by allistics. All discussion are about social issues, nothing about sensory sensitivities, motor coordination and executive functioning issues etc.

As a pervasive condition creating a treatment for "High Functioning" people will be only partially effective at best. While my sensory sensitives are very mild, my executive functioning disorder(disorder that is the correct word as it pertains to me) are not mild at all.


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14 Feb 2014, 10:36 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Quote:
hostess says, “please don't leave yet” and we are supposed to say, “yes I must, I have to get up early tomorrow” and then leave. If we do stay instead, then the hostess will resent us for being inconsiderate by keeping them up late; but if we say “‘yes, I’ll let you go to bed” then it would be an even worse breach
of code, which might result in an argument “no I really want you to stay” etc.

56 years old and I did not knew this. This is useful information.


This one was a surprise to me as well. If I had guests over (which I rarely do) and they were planning to leave and I was ready for them to leave, the last thing I say is, “please don't leave yet”.

ASPartOfMe wrote:
While I liked the report and I can tell it was written by understanding people I could also tell it was written by allistics. All discussion are about social issues, nothing about sensory sensitivities, motor coordination and executive functioning issues etc.

As a pervasive condition creating a treatment for "High Functioning" people will be only partially effective at best. While my sensory sensitives are very mild, my executive functioning disorder(disorder that is the correct word as it pertains to me) are not mild at all.


What seems to impact me most is complex information processing. As long as we are sharing articles, one of my favorites is this one, describing
Autism as a disorder of Complex Information Processing <click>.



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14 Feb 2014, 11:38 pm

Rocket123 wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Quote:
hostess says, “please don't leave yet” and we are supposed to say, “yes I must, I have to get up early tomorrow” and then leave. If we do stay instead, then the hostess will resent us for being inconsiderate by keeping them up late; but if we say “‘yes, I’ll let you go to bed” then it would be an even worse breach
of code, which might result in an argument “no I really want you to stay” etc.

56 years old and I did not knew this. This is useful information.


This one was a surprise to me as well. If I had guests over (which I rarely do) and they were planning to leave and I was ready for them to leave, the last thing I say is, “please don't leave yet”.


sure, and most people would regard that as rude. Because if you don't make "don't go" noises, the implication is that you've been politely waiting for them to LEAVE and are deeply grateful that they're going, which makes them feel they've overstayed their welcome and embarrasses them deeply.

the usual formulation is, "oh, do you have to?" which is answered by, "yes, we really have to, we wish we could stay, but the [excuse]" -- in other words, the fiction is that you so enjoy each other, and the host is such a good host and the guest such a good guest that neither of you can bear to part. So there has to be some external thing forcing your leaving. The sitter, an early morning, etc. And your host will graciously relent and let you go. Then both sides can agree that it's a shame but you'll get together again soon, thanks for a wonderful evening.



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15 Feb 2014, 11:03 am

Eureka13 wrote:


Thank you!


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kcizzle
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15 Feb 2014, 12:15 pm

I found a blog on a female AS experience last year after my son was diagnosed and realised she was maybe 80% me.
http://voices.yahoo.com/living-autism-f ... tml?cat=70

I was 'socialised' with very good manners. Rules for everything. But it is very draining and I choose not to engage as much now I'm older. It is interesting hearing the range of other people's experiences as there are definitely bits that resonate.



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15 Feb 2014, 1:11 pm

tarantella64 wrote:
Rocket123 wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Quote:
hostess says, “please don't leave yet” and we are supposed to say, “yes I must, I have to get up early tomorrow” and then leave. If we do stay instead, then the hostess will resent us for being inconsiderate by keeping them up late; but if we say “‘yes, I’ll let you go to bed” then it would be an even worse breach
of code, which might result in an argument “no I really want you to stay” etc.

56 years old and I did not knew this. This is useful information.


This one was a surprise to me as well. If I had guests over (which I rarely do) and they were planning to leave and I was ready for them to leave, the last thing I say is, “please don't leave yet”.


sure, and most people would regard that as rude. Because if you don't make "don't go" noises, the implication is that you've been politely waiting for them to LEAVE and are deeply grateful that they're going, which makes them feel they've overstayed their welcome and embarrasses them deeply.


Wow. That thought would have never crossed my mind, had you not mentioned it.

Generally, I don’t think about how something I say will make someone else feel (of course, I avoid being directly mean and/or rude). It seems so...umm...deceitful to say something you don’t really believe. Worse, to say something you really don’t want the other party to believe either. Consider what happens if, after the host says, “please don't leave yet”, the guests decide to stay (so as to not be rude). And, then, what? After staying another 30 minutes or so, the guests decide it’s time to go (once again). What does the host say next time? “Please don’t leave yet…Really”?

This process you are suggesting – of considering how the words you are about to say will be interpreted by others, before actually saying the words, seems a bit complex. I would have to think of all the possible ways that something I say could be interpreted. Then, I would have to think about all the different combinations that could occur (guests really want to leave, guests really want to stay). STOP. It’s simply much too hard to figure out the right thing to say, based upon how I expect the other party to interpret and react. Especially during a real-time, unstructured conversation. My executive functioning limitations just don’t allow me to process that type of information fast enough.

As such, for me, it seems simpler to be just truthful. If I wanted them to stay, I might say, “please don’t leave yet”. Otherwise, I say, “thanks for coming” and be done with it.



Mike_the_EE
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15 Feb 2014, 9:43 pm

Well, I guess that I'm reasonably high functioning. I have a degree, a job of almost 30 years that I'll be able to retire from, house, and car. Never married, nor likely ever to be. I don't do well in social situations at all. I avoid them whenever possible. The only reason that I go to any are because they are family related functions and I usually need to do something like take my parents there. I try to find a quiet corner and count down the nanoseconds until I can leave.


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kyh
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16 Feb 2014, 5:14 pm

I have quite similar experiences.

Few years of psychotherapy "fixed me" to the point that I was able to initiate relationships with women and eventually create a family (I have 1,5 year old doughter) and I'm also quite succesful professionally in art/music/technologi field, in which I still develop my career.

But I'm mostly unhappy and don't really get much satisfaction out of my achievements. It's very exhausting for me to live together with my girlfriend and daughter. It look like all my life is just waiting until around 11 PM every evening, at which time my girlfriend goes to sleep, and I finally have few hours for myself, in which I don't have to pretend anything, in fact I don't have to be a person at all, if you know what I mean. This is very desirable state for me, in which I can forget that I'm a person in relation to other people...