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27 Oct 2009, 8:30 pm

Does anyone see this in lot of people? How does it make you feel about yourself?

I see inflexibility, rigidness, lack of theory of mind, lack of empathy and common sense, invading personal space, not understanding other people's intentions or their motives, troubles understanding point of views and putting themselves in their shoes, expecting you to know what they are thinking, and of course stimming.

Yep this all makes me feel normal and there is nothing wrong with me and I always think sarcastically "And they say we (insert aspie trait here they are doing)."

Sometimes I feel I am the normal one and the rest are autistic. I started a thread about that once here asking if anyone ever feels they switched places with people and I only got one reply.



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27 Oct 2009, 8:46 pm

Yes, every individual embodies one or more autistic traits. The noticeable symptoms of AS are not unusual things, just exaggerations of 'normal'.



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27 Oct 2009, 9:17 pm

I am too new to all of this to venture any kind of sensible opinion on your question, but I do hear a bit of what you seem to be seeing. My wife is noticing the "peace" I am finding here as I learn more about myself as likely having either AS or HFA, but now she has begun wondering even about herself ... and a mutual friend I talk with about all of this believes she also has AS, and she has commented that "everybody" she knows seems to display some kind of autistic symptom. However, I know many people who definitely do not -- obstinate and "inflexible thinking" are not synonymous, for example -- so I say we should not begin using broad brushes.


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27 Oct 2009, 9:27 pm

Oh, yes, autism is definitely an extreme version of typical traits. The genetics for autism, I think, must be scattered around the population pretty much uniformly, so that only when they concentrate in one person does autism actually appear.

The line between those typical people with their minor autistic traits, and an actually autistic person, is the "significant impairment" line that determines whether or not you diagnose. There are people rather close to that line, and some rather far away.

Making this sort of thing generally known has both benefits and drawbacks. On the one hand, NTs learn that we are not actually that much unlike them, and may find common ground to connect with us; on the other hand, it may just lead them to minimize our very real differences and end up either ignoring them and becoming uncomfortable, or assuming that we are exactly like them and simply not trying hard enough.


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27 Oct 2009, 9:44 pm

Callista wrote:
Making this sort of thing generally known has both benefits and drawbacks. On the one hand, NTs learn that we are not actually that much unlike them, and may find common ground to connect with us; on the other hand, it may just lead them to minimize our very real differences and end up either ignoring them and becoming uncomfortable, or assuming that we are exactly like them and simply not trying hard enough.


Just curious, why should they try??



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27 Oct 2009, 10:52 pm

One of my neurologists made this remark to me a couple years back, saying that I was "an extreme version of normal".

This view seems to be popular these days, but I wonder if it will pass the test of time. For instance:

- Are we all a little schizophrenic?
- Do we all have a bit of an eating disorder?
- Do we all have seizures from time to time?

Just to pick three common disorders that have been around for a long time and yet still are misunderstood and misrepresented regularly.

I don't know NTs who have the kinds of sensory issues or savant-like abilities I and many other Aspies have. I don't mind the idea that everyone has a touch of autism, but I'm not sure that view helps much, if at all.



27 Oct 2009, 11:03 pm

Aoi wrote:
One of my neurologists made this remark to me a couple years back, saying that I was "an extreme version of normal".

This view seems to be popular these days, but I wonder if it will pass the test of time. For instance:

- Are we all a little schizophrenic?
- Do we all have a bit of an eating disorder?
- Do we all have seizures from time to time?

Just to pick three common disorders that have been around for a long time and yet still are misunderstood and misrepresented regularly.

I don't know NTs who have the kinds of sensory issues or savant-like abilities I and many other Aspies have. I don't mind the idea that everyone has a touch of autism, but I'm not sure that view helps much, if at all.



Why?


I get the schizophrenic part. Everyone gets the wrong assumptions or the wrong impressions about what someone did to them. Not everyone remembers things clearly so they might think someone said something to them when they didn't.


How does everyone have an eating disorder?

How do we all have seizures? Explain those two. I have not had one since 6th grade and that was the only time I ever had them until I was taken off my medication.


Aren't the "NTs" sensory issues not standing our stims or annoying sounds? I have even seen "NTs" not liking to be touched either. Kids didn't like me hugging them growing up or touching them or smelling them. There's their sensory issues.



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27 Oct 2009, 11:34 pm

Aoi wrote:
One of my neurologists made this remark to me a couple years back, saying that I was "an extreme version of normal".

This view seems to be popular these days, but I wonder if it will pass the test of time. For instance:

- Are we all a little schizophrenic?
- Do we all have a bit of an eating disorder?
- Do we all have seizures from time to time?

Just to pick three common disorders that have been around for a long time and yet still are misunderstood and misrepresented regularly.

I don't know NTs who have the kinds of sensory issues or savant-like abilities I and many other Aspies have. I don't mind the idea that everyone has a touch of autism, but I'm not sure that view helps much, if at all.


I think there are far more "NT"s with 'savant' like skills than Autistics...they're called prodigies.

But that doesn't even really make sense using that word for "NT" or AS people, because the term 'savant' is short for 'idiot-savant' which refers to people with major impairments who, in spite of that, posses some sort of extraordinary skill.



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28 Oct 2009, 12:33 am

I don't see them.



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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28 Oct 2009, 12:50 am

I see traits associated with AS in the general population, but it could vary, depending on location. My theory is every place has it's own "culture" or, "way of being". Some places are just more empathetic than others. I don't believe where I live is a very empathetic place. Empathy isn't stressed or cultivated in our community, so you see it lacking a lot and I do mean A LOT. There are other places like this, I am sure. Lack of empathy is the most obvious of all the autistic traits to detect, if you want to call it an autistic trait. Some people do while others disagree.
If you live in a community that stresses bonding, communicating, and empathetic responses, most of the population will reflect that. It will be ingrained in the culture, autistic or not.



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28 Oct 2009, 5:10 am

Recently, the autistic trait of difficulty with communication was applied incorrectly and abstractly to a difficult situation with which I had been dealing, placing the blame for the situation on me somewhat. However, in the breath prior to that, the person had mentioned the pathological lack of communication among those involved in the system causing the difficulties. I had to point this out to them because they had failed to recall this previous comment. Disorder categories can be a dangerous thing when people use them to apply the associated traits broadly and incorrectly. This is not the first time someone has attributed the consequences of disorganisation and lack of communication within a system to my autism (and at one point misusing my label to obtain funding to cover up the true cause of dysfunction due to the system); before the label, they could not do this.



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28 Oct 2009, 5:41 am

hush6 wrote:
Callista wrote:
Making this sort of thing generally known has both benefits and drawbacks. On the one hand, NTs learn that we are not actually that much unlike them, and may find common ground to connect with us; on the other hand, it may just lead them to minimize our very real differences and end up either ignoring them and becoming uncomfortable, or assuming that we are exactly like them and simply not trying hard enough.


Just curious, why should they try??


One compelling reason is because they (or we, since I'm NT) are likely only one or two degrees of separation from somebody on the autism spectrum. The catch is that most people don't know it. They don't perceive autistic people as autistic. What they see instead is perfectly ordinary people acting downright bizarrely for some unknown reason. Were the actual traits of autism to become so widely known that many people would start recognizing them in others, I think that Callista is right and both of these things would happen to varying degrees with different people.



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28 Oct 2009, 5:47 am

Spokane_Girl wrote:
[


Aren't the "NTs" sensory issues not standing our stims or annoying sounds? I have even seen "NTs" not liking to be touched either. Kids didn't like me hugging them growing up or touching them or smelling them. There's their sensory issues.


I think what happens with NT sensory issues is that they are shared by so many people that they are not considered issues because nearly everybody has them. Instead of being issues, they become "how people are".

A couple examples of sensory things that will bother most people sensorily, regardless of their neurology.

Fingernails on a blackboard.

Bugs crawling on them

People don't consider hating those "issues" because nearly everybody does. It seems to only get the "issue" label when it's something that doesn't bother the majority, like the feeling of walking on sand or bright lights.



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28 Oct 2009, 7:16 am

This is false.



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28 Oct 2009, 7:20 am

hush6 wrote:
Yes, every individual embodies one or more autistic traits. The noticeable symptoms of AS are not unusual things, just exaggerations of 'normal'.


I think this a very important way of looking at AS---exaggerations---absolutely. And of course the combining of enough diagnostic criteria traits to render the diagnosis that are exaggerated when compared to NTs.

leejosepho wrote:
My wife is noticing the "peace" I am finding here as I learn more about myself as likely having either AS or HFA, but now she has begun wondering even about herself ...


Peace? I can relate to that. I am finding more peace in my life too after having been diagnosed with AS. And I think my wife can see that. My wife has also stated that she can see certain things about AS in herself---though not to the degree that I have them.


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28 Oct 2009, 7:29 am

Spokane_Girl wrote:
Does anyone see this in lot of people? How does it make you feel about yourself?

I see inflexibility, rigidness, lack of theory of mind, lack of empathy and common sense, invading personal space, not understanding other people's intentions or their motives, troubles understanding point of views and putting themselves in their shoes, expecting you to know what they are thinking, and of course stimming.

Yep this all makes me feel normal and there is nothing wrong with me and I always think sarcastically "And they say we (insert aspie trait here they are doing)."

Sometimes I feel I am the normal one and the rest are autistic. I started a thread about that once here asking if anyone ever feels they switched places with people and I only got one reply.


The difference between someone on the spectrum and someone who isn't can be hard to see until you realize that most people are just frikkin' rude and self-centered. A spectrumite who loves people and is tremendously empathetic may be years behind peers in knowing what to do about that, and still be isolated and unsocial as a result. An NT has the concept of interacting with others and the requisite social skills, but chooses not to use them, often for very calculated reasons.