Too creative/interested in people for ASD?

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gina_is
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30 Jul 2009, 6:51 pm

Edit: I don't mean to offend by implying either of these traits are exclusive to an ASD diagnosis. I'm just curious about *specific* examples.

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28 year old female. Was diagnosed as ADHD as a child, medicated briefly (the medication made me aggressive!) then pretty much untreated throughout my life, beyond a brief period of therapy as a depressed teen. Recently, my therapist suggested I be assessed for Aspergers, after speaking with me for several sessions. However, I'm conflicted.

Reasons why I might be (only going to name the most obvious signs, though I have read many more that definitely sound like me...):

Life-long social awkwardness/isolation. I don't really feel anxious around people and I try to be nice to them, but I am always left in the dust, socially speaking. I've never been promoted in a job, despite being a good and reliable worker. It follows me around, no matter what I try to escape it.

Need for logic/specifics. I get so annoyed/anxious if somebody says something like, 'oh I'll be there sometimes between 1 and 3.' Grrr, so then I'll just sit there the entire time waiting for them, too anxious to do anything else. Also, logic informs almost all of my decisions and it annoys me when I have to wade through other's emotions to get them to the same place. Though I have become progressively more patient.

Low emotion/empathy. I am not quick, empathy wise. I hardly know I've done something wrong until after the conversation's over. I'm not completely blind, though. It's just far easier done from a distance, rather than in conversation. Emotion-wise, I feel frustration, annoyance, and overwhelm-nance? Overwhelmstration? I dunno. I hardly ever cry except for frustration.

Tics. I make weird little squeaky noises, push on different parts of my face and shake my hand/arm. My mother tells me I used to sniff my fingers.

Overload. I get 'overloaded' moments. Everything seems too bright, too bold, too in my face. Sounds seem threatening. This happens a lot when I'm in a big, bright, busy store. Fluorescent lights really bother me, too.

Obsessive interests. But who doesn't have these?

Dreaminess/own-wordly. Self-explanatory. But again, who isn't like this from time to time?

Why I might not be (again, only naming the most obvious signs):

Interest in humans. I watch them. I think they are fascinating, even if I'm not keen on spending much time with them. It's how I've learned to play at normalcy (even though I still suck at socializing and a lot of everyday care crap, like cleaning and remembering bills and changing my clothes...). I even love a few. I have a live-in boyfriend and though my logical thinking irritates him, and his emotional thinking me, we do well. I remember doing constant social experiments on my younger siblings -- setting up elaborate pranks to scare them, then grilling them afterwards : how did tyou feel when this happened? what did you think at this point? I am still a social experimenter, very much so. My whole life feels like an experiment, sometimes.

My creativeness. I am very creative, always have been. I drew for hours and hours, as a child. Especially horses and monsters. Now, I still doodle and it's often cute animals and people. I draw representational things, usually. Not much like the obsessive maze-drawing you might imagine in somebody with ASD. I also write, and well. I am not meaning to brag, and you don't need to believe me. But I've been published. I've moved people to tears. I write and I do it well, often coming up with beautiful and memorable images and ideas. I can even write characters fairly well, which I believe I do by summoning my past experiences. Oddly, I usually don't feel emotionally connected to my own work. Sometimes, but rarely. I also have never had that 'crying out of beauty' thing that most artists seem to experience. But there is no doubt that my writing displays a lot of creativity and abstraction.

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So, thoughts? Have you heard of any individuals on the ASD spectrum with high creativity/interest in humans? Especially interested in writers. Please though -- no speculated cases. Not that I don't believe Emily Dickinson might have been an aspie, but I don't think there's any way to positively verify claims like that, until we clone her and raise her in an exact simulation of 1800's Amherst. :P (And there's another non-'classic' aspie trait -- I love humor!)



Last edited by gina_is on 30 Jul 2009, 7:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

pschristmas
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30 Jul 2009, 6:58 pm

There are a large number of very creative people on this board. Check out the Art, Writing and Music forum. Having AS doesn't mean a person lacks creativity.



gina_is
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30 Jul 2009, 7:03 pm

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that. I'm just referring to what I've read. Muted creativity/lack of interest in people comes up a lot.



pensieve
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30 Jul 2009, 7:19 pm

Hi I'm Shanti, an autist that draws, writes fantasy fiction and is a well known photographer.

The logic thinking, social awkwardness, sensory overload mean you could have AS. Even the fascination in people. It could one of your special interests, I had something similar - I used to dress the part for the different music scenes; I'm a great mimicker of people. Now I prefer to dress how I like.


I mostly draw my fantasy characters. I'm trying to come up with original creatures, inspired by Philip Pullman of course. I've been practicing how to draw people too.

I'm writing two books at once; one is a sort of autobiography about my younger years as an artist, my struggles as a band photographer on the spectrum and my recent interest in fantasy/ scifi writing.
I've been drawing since I could hold a pencil/ crayon/ pen and used to draw on walls, chairs, tables, concrete, trees - whatever i could find if I ran out of paper. I won an art award when I was 10 and had my work displayed in the school. In my out of school art classes I was told I had a natural talent for art, and when I was in an IT course we had to do some art and that art teacher said I should quit IT an start doing my art courses.

I'm an active band photographer in the Australian music scene. I made friends with bands, despite hardly having friends in my own town. I've had my photos displayed in exhibitions, on websites, given as prizes and even on shoeboxes.

I'm inspired by Philip Pullman, J.K Rowling, C.S Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, Ian Irvine etc to write my own fantasy book about a 12 year old boy (obvious Aspie) who goes from being quiet and picked on to the hero of the story.

So yes, people with AS/autism can be creative as well.


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Last edited by pensieve on 30 Jul 2009, 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gina_is
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30 Jul 2009, 7:25 pm

pensieve wrote:
I had something similar - I used to dress the part for the different music scenes; I'm a great mimicker of people. Now I prefer to dress how I like.


Thanks! And actually, I 'dress up' sometimes, too. I used to do it in high school a lot. It's fun to do, sometimes.

But if I had my druthers, I'd probably wear the same clothes everyday...hahah. :)



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30 Jul 2009, 8:16 pm

gina_is wrote:
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that. I'm just referring to what I've read. Muted creativity/lack of interest in people comes up a lot.


And I didn't mean to sound abrupt, so I apologize if I did. It seems to be a common misconception, though, and I didn't want you to be confused by it, especially when we have so many very talented people right here. Do check out the Arts forum, though, especially the stickied threads where people display their work.



poopylungstuffing
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31 Jul 2009, 12:40 pm

I love people-watching...meeself....That is the most I get out of most people.



SteveeVader
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31 Jul 2009, 1:12 pm

Welcome to WP and it sounds like me and you are INCREDIBLY similar, i AM QUITWE SOCIAL LIKE BLACK AND WHITE SPEAING HAVE VERY FEW TICS SOMETIMES HAVE MELTDOWNS soz for caps but most of all I am very logical but I love art I am a comic book artist and will hopefully in september get in at my course at uni which is one of the best digital art schools in the UK ad people have said I am very talented in art and creative writing however I get far into the writing and I give up lol I prefer comics an screenplays

I am however not scared of people one bi I love people but if put in groups I instantly get a bit antsy and quiet but if it is a group I know I instaly roll with it

by the way are you dyslexic or dyspharxic or possably both because these two conditions may be what making you so creative as dyslexics are very good creative wise it is possable you may have PDD which is what I am being montored for however I have had aspie friends who have been just like me and you in fact he was an actor and was clearly high functioning cus if me and u are aspie lol we are clearly high functioning as it sounds like yu to have a good grip over your autism

btw I am dyslexic and dysphraxic lol I eagerly await your reply hehe



ChangelingGirl
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31 Jul 2009, 3:45 pm

I am very interested in humans, too. I actually at one point majored in applied psychology and even thought about pursuing a degree in social work (I wouldn't be accepted due to failed communication skills). (I now take distance education classes in psychology again, but that's for enrichment purposes only.) I observe people a lot, and try to draw conclusions based on that.

As for the creativity thing, I am not particularly artistic, but I never heard that being artistic is a contraindication for ASD. Some people may have impaired fantasy, and for example not be able to imagine (and draw) thigns that don't exist in the real world, but this isn't even a required criterion.



glider18
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31 Jul 2009, 6:47 pm

Hello Gina_is and welcome to the WrongPlanet. I am a diagnosed Aspie and have done a lot of research on Asperger's. I did not read your entire post, but I want to comment on one thing you said, and perhaps it might help you. Keep in mind though this truism---You've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism. No two of us are alike.

I want to comment on the trait you mentioned of interests. Now, you don't have to have special interests, but many of us Aspies do have them. I do. I want to explain what the difference is between Asperger's special intense interests and NT interests in the way that I understand it.

For me, special intense interests pretty much control my life. There is hardly a second that goes by that I am not absorbing in some way into them. When I was a child, roller coasters, and the trombone and the electronic organ, and house plans/architecture were my life. I turned down many social opportunities with classmates just so that I could remain at the organ---hours every day. I memorized without effort the statistics of every roller coaster in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. I was always doing something with these interests it seemed like. I am also heavily into house plans and motel architecture. As a child, my mother got me a motel furniture catalog just so I could plan out these motel plans. Rather than jump into my parents' swimming pool on those hot summer days, I remained inside drawing houses, studying house plans, and playing music. Oh, I did get in the pool some and play golf, but 90% of the time, I was in my interests. In school, and to this day as a teacher, I take information/drawings/etc. regarding my interests with me. Even over my teacher's desk last year, I had a roller coaster model I made out of balsa wood. I hope I am making my point here. These interests can be the core of your being. When my family would take me to Myrtle Beach, I couldn't wait to go to the Grand Strand Amusement Park so that I could ride the roller coaster then go to the administration office to talk to the park owner for hours on end. The park owner, William Parker, always talked to me. So you see, to many of us Aspies, interests are most of our life.


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Batz
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31 Jul 2009, 9:38 pm

Lack of creativity doesn't apply to ASD as the doctors just claim we don't have it because they saw some aspies not playing pretend with other children, but rather playing by themselves or doing other things where it's impossible to view into someone's mind. I remember one time making a pretend play game where I and three other boys were ninjas, each having their own colored gear and each having their own personality. The red one, my favorite, was the stupid one, and sometimes he'll attack his own men because, well... he was just that stupid, of course! It really took a lot of creativity to play that part since he's the comic relief. The other ninjas I don't really remember since I was six when I made the game.

As I grew older I made up made up a group of three pokemon wearing a gi where each pokemon hada color that was based off one of Link's three tunic from Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX. Each pokemon was a different type, and none evolved into the other. THey're like a group of pokemon you'll find like the Reggie____ pokemon, only they were way before the Reggie____ (like 1998 when I made them.)

Now I create stories that have an anime feel to them, but at the same time they have those Western and anime elements you'll see in most books in America. I guess I was influenced by both.

There are a few people who have ASD that are living today: Satoshi Tajiri (guy who created Pokemon), Stephen Spielberg, and others I can't think of, and trust me, they've been diagnosed as AS.

So you see, lack of creativity isn't a criteria for ASD; the researchers and organiztions like Autism Speaks (Hate them so much! :evil: ) just say those things to make us subhuman from everyone else just like they do with Down Syndrome and what they used to do (?) with ADHD.

That's all I have to say.



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01 Aug 2009, 2:01 am

Hey there :D
I don't know, those 2 reasons against might as well be reasons for, from what it sounds like!


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