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AuntyCC
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24 Aug 2009, 12:44 pm

As I understand it, poor working memory is common in AS people. Tony Attwood says in his Complete Guide to Aspergers Syndrome that the working memory in Aspergers people is like a cup, whereas for typical people it is like a bucket.

I think there was a discussion here on Wrong Planet recently about working memory, in which someone likened it to the RAM in a computer, and said that you couldn't expand it.

Well, this is one of my biggest problems, constantly losing stuff, takes me ages to get out of the house because I cannot remember where the thing is that I had in my hand a moment ago.

BUT to me, it does not feel like there is anything small about my working memory. It feels like I have too many programmes running in the background, to use the computer analogy. Or using the bucket analogy, it feels like I've got a bucket but it's full of all sorts of stuff that is causing the bucket to overflow and the stuff that flows out tends to be my housekeys, my wallet, my rail ticket etc.

So I asked some mums on a mums forum how they remember stuff. Almost all of them said their memory was great before they had a baby. Since they had a baby they were constantly losing and forgetting things and they really seem no better than me. eg in some cases they put on make-up, did their hair, put on outdoor shoes but forgot to change out of their pajamas and went out the front door still wearing them.

I feel like if I could press pause on my special subjects, or switch them off for a while, then I would have more working memory and at times in my life I have been able to do this. Another way of looking at it is when I am working on a special subject, I have a vast working memory that exhausts other people - definitely not rote memory.

Interested to hear other views and especially how to switch off special subjects. Problem seems to be if I switch them off I can't switch them on again that's why I keep them running.



CMaximus
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24 Aug 2009, 1:04 pm

I hate to say this, but my current understanding of AS is that the brain isn't 'optimized' to process the myriad of necessary concurrent tasks the human brain has evolved to deal with. Again, the speciallist-brain thing. Our 'resources' are prone to being impractically 'diverted.' Then we get to play catch-up... :(



bluerose
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24 Aug 2009, 4:00 pm

It's like that for me too. I also have a lot of self-doubt about my memory which is kind of messing me up even at school. Oftentimes I will remember something right but still doubt it because I'm so sure that I have a bad memory. But as I understand the deficiency is only in short-term. I am a good multitasker though. I just forget lots of petty little things like where I happened to put my hairbrush and then I spend a really long time looking for it:D But it's not really a problem, I definately wouldn't give up my special interests to fix it.



sartresue
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24 Aug 2009, 4:12 pm

CMaximus wrote:
I hate to say this, but my current understanding of AS is that the brain isn't 'optimized' to process the myriad of necessary concurrent tasks the human brain has evolved to deal with. Again, the speciallist-brain thing. Our 'resources' are prone to being impractically 'diverted.' Then we get to play catch-up... :(


Apt analysis topic

That is my computer. it is aspie, too!! ! :P :P :P


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buryuntime
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24 Aug 2009, 4:54 pm

i have terrible working memory, I think that is what this is. I can't read a clock sometimes. I'll read one hand and then try to figure out the other one while trying to remember the first one and by then it's already changed. I just can't work it out in my head and hold the previous hand in my head at the same time. I think this is also why I have a hard time in math, I just don't remember and can't process it in my head...



dadsgotas
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24 Aug 2009, 5:39 pm

I'm hyper-organised. One of my first obsessions was with time, and I carry a lot of stuff in my pockets, each thing always in a specific pocket. Despite all this effort, I occasionally forget something or create a mess, and it makes me hate myself. I know where everything I own is, and if I can't find something - because someone's interfered with it - it upsets me.

If you always keep things in the same places, you don't have to remember a whole series of places where you left them: you only have to remember where you keep them.



Butterflair
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24 Aug 2009, 5:46 pm

As an NT, my memory isn't very good now either. I find that I have to work around this. Since you know that you can't remember things, plan ways to help yourself. Example, put a bowl or tray by the door or in your kitchen and drop your keys and cellphone items when you come inside. Make lists of things you think of that need to be done or that you need to remember. Keep the list in one place where you can find it. Use sticky notes to write things down or make reminders and stick them where it will be helpful. You can also email yourself reminders.

There is a website called rememberthemilk.com. You can set up reminders there and them emailed to you or sent to your cell phone. Hope some of this helps. Just don't beat yourself up about it, it happens to all of us. :)


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