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Maggiedoll
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15 Aug 2009, 10:37 pm

I keep seeing people refer to the problem of being stigmatized by an AS diagnosis. I'm not completely sure that I understand this. I was never diagnosed with anything until I was older, and then it was only diagnoses that didn't make any sense anyways.. but that never stopped me from being stigmatized. Me being me, or me being an aspie (even without an AS label) stigmatized me. I was the stigma. It's not like there was some way to pretend to be normal.
My entire life, I was the outcast. My name was a curse word to the other kids, they wrinkled their noses when they saw me, looked at me and said "eew." There wasn't a kid in school who didn't know who I was.

How can an AS label be a stigma when AS itself is the stigma? No label was ever required to produce that. Just being me was enough.



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15 Aug 2009, 11:32 pm

Children, sadly, can be fickle.



Marsian
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16 Aug 2009, 12:02 am

Adults are just as bad...

I've had several jobs where people have called me weird to my face, told me that I'm immature, told me that I don't always make eye-contact, said that my facial expressions are weird and made incorrect allegations regarding my sexuality.

It doesn't help one way or the other. If you're intelligent but 'weird' people just think it's acceptable to tell you so.
At least having a label for it means that you have a weapon against them when they discriminate.
If I'd known that I had AS before I would have taken grievances out against people I work with specifically for discrimination.

In the UK, a lot of people don't even know what AS is so there's not really a stigma but having a label doesn't help anyone to understand because they can only understand what you explain to them anyway.

At the moment, I just don't tell anyone and then just apologise each and every time that I put my foot in it. :roll:



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16 Aug 2009, 3:03 am

I have exactly the same problems, Marsian. And it doesn't help when I try to explain things.

I'm not sure what I resent more - the label, or the misconceptions that come with it. Although at least the diagnosis, and the label (and attached stigma), means I can get some degree of support.

But when I was younger... yep, Maggiedoll has hit the nail on the head.

:(


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DaWalker
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16 Aug 2009, 4:54 am

Well I seem to be to in the right place because you guys are batting a thousand here.
Maggie, you doll, thank you for the topic.

Younger, I was called some childish things, mocked and used for entertainment purposes. During my twenties and early thirties, all the above continued, but at a more subdued level, yet childish just the same. Once I started seeing the quacks, councilors, and mental health professionals of all flavors, a sense of awareness began to sink in. At first, it was more than I could handle, so there was a little obstinacy on my part, but it was a fear of how I would be treated. However, quite the opposite was explained too me, meaning that if I don’t know, understand and accept who and what I am, nobody else can or will.

My fear of getting something that I knew did not deserve, was telling me I would be loosing something that I already had. Truth is, I had many things backwards, and many things I did not even know to exist. It took quite a while for it to sink in, that I need to learn what other people know about me, think about me and believe about me.

I have never required a dunce cap, I have one built in, nor a letter on my forehead, and just because I cannot see it, does not mean everyone else can’t. That being said, I have never ran around exclaiming any diagnosis, conditions or limitations that I have regarding AS. The simple fact is, that Others are able to accept these only after I have accepted them myself.

I no longer play the victim of my condition, it’s a gift, and when unwrapped it can reveal all kinds of really cool stuff about me and the world around me. Until I explored this gift, I carried it as if it where a ball and chain, while blaming everyone else for not helping me drag it around.

Most people without AS, focus on it's limitations, including some health professionals.
It's more convenient and comfortable to focus on autistic weaknesses, rather than their own.
If they choose that direction of acceptance, that does not mean I have to agree, nor let them.



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16 Aug 2009, 5:18 am

DaWalker... you've just described part of how I feel.

Nobody ever tells me how wonderful this is. It's all about limitations and adjustments.

I need a better awareness of who I am and what I can do. All I know is what I can't do, and one special ability.

I wish I knew how to get that, or who to talk to.


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DaWalker
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16 Aug 2009, 6:34 am

^ There really are good people out there who are interested in helping you instead of their paycheck. These type of people are there for you, not themselves. There are some who work with us because they earnestly want to, not because they have to. It's pretty easy to identify someone enthusiastic about something,if they are not enthusiastic about you...find someone who is. Then their are the text book prototype theory guinea pig pick-a-number / next please type. While this type of setting may be accurate for their stats, they wonder why we are uncomfortable...so much for stats.

Anyway, I'm sure you can find what you look for if you try hard enough to find it, because eventually it will find you. The fact that you are here is a good start, lot's of people with lots of experience, and they listen, more important, they actually care. So find someone in geographical / age / sex / DX bracket and go from there. Not to mention the zillions of archived post. Most importantly, with people in general, look for the similarities, differences are excuses.



Maggiedoll
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16 Aug 2009, 11:30 am

DaWalker wrote:
I have never required a dunce cap, I have one built in, nor a letter on my forehead, and just because I cannot see it, does not mean everyone else can’t. That being said, I have never ran around exclaiming any diagnosis, conditions or limitations that I have regarding AS. The simple fact is, that Others are able to accept these only after I have accepted them myself.

I'm confused about what you mean when you say that others are able to accept "these." (what does "these" refer to? diagnosis? limitations?) :oops: I can't figure out which noun the pronoun is referring to.

DaWalker wrote:
I no longer play the victim of my condition, it’s a gift, and when unwrapped it can reveal all kinds of really cool stuff about me and the world around me. Until I explored this gift, I carried it as if it where a ball and chain, while blaming everyone else for not helping me drag it around.

Most people without AS, focus on it's limitations, including some health professionals.
It's more convenient and comfortable to focus on autistic weaknesses, rather than their own.
If they choose that direction of acceptance, that does not mean I have to agree, nor let them.

Isn't it the job of health care professionals to deal with the limitations? The limitations and problems are what you go to them to address. I guess they need to examine the strengths in order to help you use the strengths to overcome the weaknesses, but if there weren't weaknesses and limitations, seeing a healthcare professional for the situation would be silly. The problems created by the condition are the reason you see them.
A vocational counselor would need to focus on the balance of strengths and weaknesses to help you find a meaningful and do-able job, but the main reason for seeing a healthcare or mental health professional is for the problems.

Of course, if you don't address the correct issues, it's useless. Yes, I have some trauma issues relating to being treated like crap in the past. However, attempting to deal with those issues with a therapist who just wants to deal with the issues of what happened in the past and refuses to help me examine my behavior, the things that I do that cause people to see me as an easy target, or cause them to think I'm lying when I'm not, all the same things will just happen over and over again. Just because I don't deserve to be treated that way doesn't mean that there aren't things about me that cause me to be treated poorly. Therapists seem to have this habit of acting as though anybody who thinks that they may have done something to provoke poor treatment must think they're at fault, and then embark on this whole crusade to convince them that they don't deserve to be treated poorly. What does it matter whether or not I deserve to be tormented if I can't recognize the behaviors that give others a signal that they can treat me that way? It's NOT all about how I feel about those situations; I need to be able to analyze things that have happened and find ways to make them happen less. A therapist who wants to talk all about how I feel about the situations but, when I attempt to figure out why those situations happen, asks me why I care is not going to help me. If I listen to such a therapist, I'll end up compounding my anger problems and still have no way of improving my communication and how I relate to other people.
For an NT who has trauma issues because of something that was pure circumstance, maybe helping them to not feel responsible, and instead feel angry and the people who hurt them, might be a good thing. But for me, it'll just cause me to get hurt again and again.
There needs to be diagnosis in order to get the right kind of help. The traits of AS are extremely stigmatizing. Having those traits but no recognition of what the problem actually is frequently ends up landing somebody with a personality disorder diagnosis. That's far more stigmatizing.



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16 Aug 2009, 2:22 pm

DaWalker wrote:
I have never required a dunce cap, I have one built in, nor a letter on my forehead, and just because I cannot see it, does not mean everyone else can’t. That being said, I have never ran around exclaiming any diagnosis, conditions or limitations that I have regarding AS. The simple fact is, that Others are able to accept these only after I have accepted them myself.
Maggiedoll wrote:
I'm confused about what you mean when you say that others are able to accept "these." (what does "these" refer to? diagnosis? limitations?) :oops: I can't figure out which noun the pronoun is referring to.

Sorry.... I am not a very well read (or well spoken) person, but yes, "these" are referring to "those". :lol: What I am trying to say here is that if a guy is on crutches who obviously just got a cast on his leg, is walking down the center of an isle exaggerating his movements and obviously has no concern for others through his actions, I am going to treat him differently than if he is acting as if he is getting his cast cut off tomorrow, same is true with my actions that I'm not aware of, (proverbial run-on sentence with some conjunction of function, but hey, I never listened to the words, I just liked the tune...obviously) :lol: Point being, he has accepted his condition, and has some hope, and it shows. Same thing goes for me when I get pissed because I can't be like most the other people, while it is true that I Am Not like them, but by being pissed off about it separates me even more, thereby lessening any chances of invitation to join the group.

Resentful posture, attitude and beliefs, truly speak louder than any words. My problem is my ability to accurately recognize and successfully control these things. The only way I seem to learn how, is through experience, to some this experience doesn't seem to be required, but with some things I have to learn the hard way, but I can learn nevertheless. I was completely amazed when it was pointed out how I react to and around others, I told him "well maybe a little, but you don't have to make it look that bad". he had the balls to say to me in a caring way, "It is, and always was, but we can work on that". :?

DaWalker wrote:
I no longer play the victim of my condition, it’s a gift, and when unwrapped it can reveal all kinds of really cool stuff about me and the world around me. Until I explored this gift, I carried it as if it where a ball and chain, while blaming everyone else for not helping me drag it around.
Most people without AS, focus on it's limitations, including some health professionals.
It's more convenient and comfortable to focus on autistic weaknesses, rather than their own.
If they choose that direction of acceptance, that does not mean I have to agree, nor let them.
Maggiedoll wrote:
Isn't it the job of health care professionals to deal with the limitations? The limitations and problems are what you go to them to address.


Sure it's their Job to deal with it, and to deal with me....but the other twenty two hours, it's My Job.

Maggiedoll wrote:
The traits of AS are extremely stigmatizing. Having those traits but no recognition of what the problem actually is frequently ends up landing somebody with a personality disorder diagnosis. That's far more stigmatizing.

Being diagnosed with AS does not have to be a social death sentence, it's an explanation. In my case, it explained why by nature, I can successfully figure out a logical solution with confidence too many things, three times as fast as most. However, where people are concerned it takes three times as long to react, and even then, I'm not sure my chosen solution will be successful. Point is, to most aspies, people and their actions are not logical. The things people do and their motives for doing them are baffling, certainly doesn't make since to me. I probably appear the same way to them, but if they are being judgmental of me, that's their choice, if they are sentencing me, that's my choice.

I refuse to believe the concept of being human, but oh, he has aspergers,
Truth is, I am a human and an aspie too.
The bigger the target the easier the hit, I can not take their guns,
but with hope, I can deplete there ammo.
Bottom line is this, while aspergers may explain me, it does not define me.
Same is inversely correct, I am not the definition of aspergers.
No more than I am the definition of good english :lol:



Maggiedoll
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16 Aug 2009, 5:45 pm

DaWalker wrote:
Sorry.... I am not a very well read (or well spoken) person, but yes, "these" are referring to "those".:lol:

"Not well spoken".. so says the person quoted in my sig..
Yanno how I know all those parts of speach? :lol: Mad Libs. :oops:

DaWalker wrote:
What I am trying to say here is that if a guy is on crutches who obviously just got a cast on his leg, is walking down the center of an isle exaggerating his movements and obviously has no concern for others through his actions, I am going to treat him differently than if he is acting as if he is getting his cast cut off tomorrow, same is true with my actions that I'm not aware of, (proverbial run-on sentence with some conjunction of function, but hey, I never listened to the words, I just liked the tune...obviously) :lol: Point being, he has accepted his condition, and has some hope, and it shows. Same thing goes for me when I get pissed because I can't be like most the other people, while it is true that I Am Not like them, but by being pissed off about it separates me even more, thereby lessening any chances of invitation to join the group.

Resentful posture, attitude and beliefs, truly speak louder than any words. My problem is my ability to accurately recognize and successfully control these things. The only way I seem to learn how, is through experience, to some this experience doesn't seem to be required, but with some things I have to learn the hard way, but I can learn nevertheless. I was completely amazed when it was pointed out how I react to and around others, I told him "well maybe a little, but you don't have to make it look that bad". he had the balls to say to me in a caring way, "It is, and always was, but we can work on that". :?

Ok, see, I just wasn't sure if you were saying what you were saying or if you were saying the opposite of what you were saying. Like how a lot of all those motivational speaker people go on and on about how a limitation is only a limitation if you believe it is.. So I wasn't sure if you meant accept it as in accept that you're limited in the way that they say you shouldn't do, or accept it as in accept what the problems are and do your best to work around them.

DaWalker wrote:
Sure it's their Job to deal with it, and to deal with me....but the other twenty two hours, it's My Job.

'Zactly. I just meant that you go to health professionals about the problems associated with it, not about the strengths associated with it. :? There are "life coaches" and stuff that I think focus more on positives than on negatives. Usually they don't have much in the way of credentials, but they're cheaper. :-P
Yanno what I've wondered about? How about hookers? I bet you could pay a hooker to talk to you and help you with social skills. They'd probably be pretty good at it. And if you think about it, I bet they're pretty used to dealing with aspies. A guy has to have pretty bad social skills to not be able to pick up a drunk girl in a bar. I think there should be a movement to rehabilitate prostitutes as ASD counselors. (I mean, no sex involved or anything.. Just for someone to talk to who is probably pretty good at knowing how to relate to people. I'm completely serious. I'm thinking bout starting a thread on the topic. It might have to go in the adult section, I'm not sure; the whole idea really has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with people who can read people, figure out what people want and how to react to them, and are good at dealing with people who stink at dealing with people. I really somebody should put together a program to train hookers as counselors for people with AS.. give them a way out of that life and help out some aspies, too!)


DaWalker wrote:
Being diagnosed with AS does not have to be a social death sentence, it's an explanation. In my case, it explained why by nature, I can successfully figure out a logical solution with confidence too many things, three times as fast as most. However, where people are concerned it takes three times as long to react, and even then, I'm not sure my chosen solution will be successful. Point is, to most aspies, people and their actions are not logical. The things people do and their motives for doing them are baffling, certainly doesn't make since to me. I probably appear the same way to them, but if they are being judgmental of me, that's their choice, if they are sentencing me, that's my choice.

Right.. and you can't give a death sentence to something that's non-existent to begin with. Social death sentence? You'd have to have a social life to kill in order to give your social life a death sentence.

DaWalker wrote:
I refuse to believe the concept of being human, but oh, he has aspergers,
Truth is, I am a human and an aspie too.
The bigger the target the easier the hit, I can not take their guns,
but with hope, I can deplete there ammo.
Bottom line is this, while aspergers may explain me, it does not define me.
Same is inversely correct, I am not the definition of aspergers.
No more than I am the definition of good english :lol:

I think most people just never considered me human anyways.



DaWalker
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16 Aug 2009, 9:25 pm

Maggiedoll wrote:
DaWalker wrote:
Sorry.... I am not a very well read (or well spoken) person, but yes, "these" are referring to "those".:lol:

"Not well spoken".. so says the person quoted in my sig..
Yanno how I know all those parts of speach? :lol: Mad Libs. :oops:

Well now see there, If I were well spoken I wouldn't have to be so deep, and we wouldn't have this understanding miss. You see, there aint nothing proper about the texas language, most who speak it are more commonly recognized as BS artists, opposed to chip off the block, if their is a difference. Perhaps I need a cure for being texan...hmm. :lol:
"Mad Libs" = Liberals who escaped from the guys in white with a net :lol:

Maggiedoll wrote:
Ok, see, I just wasn't sure if you were saying what you were saying or if you were saying the opposite of what you were saying. Like how a lot of all those motivational speaker people go on and on about how a limitation is only a limitation if you believe it is.. So I wasn't sure if you meant accept it as in accept that you're limited in the way that they say you shouldn't do, or accept it as in accept what the problems are and do your best to work around them.

DaWalkers Dictionary defines motivational speakers as; Used Car salesmen on steroids with an adderall chaser, who have their Own Motives. Yes, I admit to listening to more than one, and most of their material is based on a brief encounter, not a life long experience. Though there are some speakers who actually do live the life they spew about, and these have no other motive than demonstrating the advantages of altruism as a way of life. These guys focus on the heart, not the wallet. Enough about that stigmatic rant. :arrow:

Maggiedoll wrote:
DaWalker wrote:
Sure it's their Job to deal with it, and to deal with me....but the other twenty two hours, it's My Job.

'Zactly. I just meant that you go to health professionals about the problems associated with it, not about the strengths associated with it. :? There are "life coaches" and stuff that I think focus more on positives than on negatives. Usually they don't have much in the way of credentials, but they're cheaper. :-P

Yeah, and fellow aspies are even cheaper...and honest-er :lol:

Maggiedoll wrote:
Yanno what I've wondered about? How about hookers? I bet you could pay a hooker to talk to you and help you with social skills. They'd probably be pretty good at it. And if you think about it, I bet they're pretty used to dealing with aspies.

OMG, this is a great idea, though it should probably be in the "Off the Wall: Forum Games, Quizzes, Roleplaying, etc. section" ...since all the areas would apply. :P
Now let me get this right, the hooker lays on the couch (for familiar surroundings), while the guy is in the chair.
Now to avoid uncomfortable eye contact, she lays on her stomach.
Yeah, I can see all of the positive results in the end,
and it probably wouldn't last an hour either. :lmao:
Maggiedoll in Advance wrote:
^ MEN :x


Maggiedoll wrote:
A guy has to have pretty bad social skills to not be able to pick up a drunk girl in a bar.

Gee thanks :(

Maggiedoll wrote:
I think most people just never considered me human anyways.

You are a human, plus an aspie, they are only human.



Maggiedoll
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17 Aug 2009, 9:28 am

DaWalker wrote:
"Mad Libs" = Liberals who escaped from the guys in white with a net :lol:

:lmao:
Ok, was that just a joke, or was that to say that you don't know what actual Mad Libs are? The little books where it tells you to come up with the parts of speech and then plug it into a story. There are some online, too.

DaWalker wrote:
Yeah, and fellow aspies are even cheaper...and honest-er :lol:

Lol, true. The purpose of going to a professional is usually that there is some reason something can't be talked about and worked through with a friend.. or on WP. :-P

DaWalker wrote:
Maggiedoll in Advance wrote:
^ MEN :x

ROFL


DaWalker wrote:
Maggiedoll wrote:
A guy has to have pretty bad social skills to not be able to pick up a drunk girl in a bar.

Gee thanks :(

Well it's true, isn't it? I don't think I've ever seen an aspie claim to have good social skills..
It's much the same concept as with therapists, I guess. Someone would go to a professional to do something because they can't find someone who can or will do it for free.. or in exchange for some other service.. lol :P Of course, the exchange thing can be important. Part of the help of going to a friend to talk about something is helping each other. The therapist dynamic is fundamentally uneven.



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18 Aug 2009, 7:20 pm

Maggiedoll wrote:
I keep seeing people refer to the problem of being stigmatized by an AS diagnosis. I'm not completely sure that I understand this. I was never diagnosed with anything until I was older, and then it was only diagnoses that didn't make any sense anyways.. but that never stopped me from being stigmatized. Me being me, or me being an aspie (even without an AS label) stigmatized me. I was the stigma. It's not like there was some way to pretend to be normal.
My entire life, I was the outcast. My name was a curse word to the other kids, they wrinkled their noses when they saw me, looked at me and said "eew." There wasn't a kid in school who didn't know who I was.

How can an AS label be a stigma when AS itself is the stigma? No label was ever required to produce that. Just being me was enough.



I think it really depends on how people process and relate to the label. Some may find a label carries a strong mental/emotional weight and others may not.

Sometimes a label can be a comfort or a relief. Some people find it helpful to have a "diagnosis" or a word that can somehow give meaning to what they're been feeling. It can also somewhat lessen the notion that there is no one out there who can relate.

From the other perspective, a categorization might lend itself to preconceived notions. That may be unsettling for some. To go from thinking of oneself as eccentric or different to having a "diagnosis" can feel like a big step.



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18 Aug 2009, 7:30 pm

Marsian wrote:
At least having a label for it means that you have a weapon against them when they discriminate.


My sentiments exactly.


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18 Aug 2009, 7:48 pm

Maggiedoll, I've always felt the same way. I've carried dx's around for the past 15 years (most of them didn't fit) but it wasn't the dx that was the problem... it was just ME.