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HopeGrows
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26 Apr 2010, 10:03 pm

ToadOfSteel wrote:
Hmm... maybe you're right in that it can affect aspies, but I dont think it's a core part of AS. Now that I think about it I did have some problems with all the executive function while I was an adolescent (I would have to be told many times to do something), but it's improved as I've gotten older (as it would with an NT, just slightly delayed). Executive function can be improved with the right therapy and a little maturity (maturity helps everyone in this matter regardless of AS status), and some physical therapy can improve motor control (also video games, ironically enough, helped with my motor control more than anything else).

The core component of AS is the social stuff. Aspies can learn to "fake it", but the social disconnect is the primary factor. I wouldn't call it dysfunction, since I can communicate with other aspies just as naturally as a pair of NT's can communicate with each other. It's as if there's two separate "body languages", and being able to cross the language barrier is very difficult (and even once you do cross it, you still have your native "language" as the one you innately know). That's what the core of AS is, and what is common amongst aspies (and the rest of the autistic spectrum).

I don't really ascribe to the idea that such things are purely deficit in aspies. The NT world just considers them deficits because they are things that the NT mind is expected to innately learn early on with no outside influence necessary. Things like executive function can be taught to aspies, but it needs to be taught early, as well as explicitly, in order to take effect.Same applies to motor control. But you're not going to "train" the AS out of an aspie just as you couldn't "train" the spanish out of a native spanish speaker.


But Toad, the links I included say that Executive Function issues are a core part of AS (trust me, I have no expertise in Asperger's - I'm an absolute student). But the folks who authored those articles have the expertise....I don't have any reason not to believe them.

And while I absolutely accept that each Aspie is very, very different in terms of symptoms, intervention, treatment, personality, etc., from my perspective - as an ex-gf/fiance who is NT - the biggest issue in my relationships was not the social stuff. Now that could just be about the Aspies I was involved with - I totally see that. The biggest issues I had were around maturity, emotional development, lack of emotional resilience, and communication. Lumped in there were significant Executive Function issues. I can remember thinking that at times I did feel like I was dealing with someone in middle school - but unfortunately, I felt that out of frustration - which did absolutely no good. If I had known that in some ways I was dealing with men who were emotionally kinda like teenagers, my response would have been very different.

I'd read and heard that the biggest issues were social cues, bluntness, awkwardness, etc. I'm not saying those aren't significant issues. But from a relationship perspective, those issues were inconsequential - I had already drunk the kool-aid, ya know? I didn't care about those things. Unfortunately, there were deeper issues lurking beneath the surface that had a much greater impact on the relationships than any amount of awkwardness could have. I do believe those issues can be managed successfully....but you have to be aware of them in order to deal with them. And I think they're much more difficult to navigate successfully than the social issues. But that's just me.....


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HopeGrows
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26 Apr 2010, 10:07 pm

Bugzee wrote:
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What I didn't know about was a concept called "Executive Function" - defined as: "Executive Function is one of the Frontal Lobe's duties. It involves planning and carrying out series' of complex actions, like conceiving, designing and carrying out the construction of a building, or starting and running a business, managing a stock portfolio" - it even encompasses things like planning a dinner party. An example of the impact of Executive Function was provided by an Aspie recently in this forum: "I can barely muster enough executive ability to carry myself from day to day. If you ask me to be responsible for you, too, there's going to be a burnout and a meltdown sooner or later. Remember the mature, responsible adult part of the Aspergian brain stops developing in adolescence. That's a key component of the disorder. When it comes to those aspects of daily life, you're effectively dealing with a 10-12 year old boy."


I am sure that this does affect Aspies, I think its a bit of an exaggeration to say that you are "effectively dealing with a 10-12 year old boy." Nothing in my readings of AS has ever said that, and the links you provided don't even say that. And though Executive Function may be a facet of Asperger's. there isn't really much in the academic writings that suggest it is a core part of the disability.


@Bugzee - That statement isn't mine. It's quoted - and attributed - to an Aspie who recently published it in this forum.


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ToadOfSteel
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26 Apr 2010, 10:43 pm

HopeGrows wrote:
But Toad, the links I included say that Executive Function issues are a core part of AS (trust me, I have no expertise in Asperger's - I'm an absolute student). But the folks who authored those articles have the expertise....I don't have any reason not to believe them.
I'm just speaking from my experience. You're speaking from yours, which is a valid point. But unless those papers were authored by people that have lived the aspie experience, either by being an aspie or being very close to one, I don't trust their value judgements. The descriptions are okay, but to say we're "dysfunctional" because we dont think the same way you do is just wrong...

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And while I absolutely accept that each Aspie is very, very different in terms of symptoms, intervention, treatment, personality, etc., from my perspective - as an ex-gf/fiance who is NT - the biggest issue in my relationships was not the social stuff. Now that could just be about the Aspies I was involved with - I totally see that. The biggest issues I had were around maturity, emotional development, lack of emotional resilience, and communication. Lumped in there were significant Executive Function issues. I can remember thinking that at times I did feel like I was dealing with someone in middle school - but unfortunately, I felt that out of frustration - which did absolutely no good. If I had known that in some ways I was dealing with men who were emotionally kinda like teenagers, my response would have been very different.
Then I guess we've got different experiences. I won't go so far as to say that my situation applies to every aspie (just as I expect you to not think yours does either), but I was able to get over the executive function issue and the motor control issue, but the social issue is the one that is just unfixable in me, which is why i see it as the core issue.

Quote:
I'd read and heard that the biggest issues were social cues, bluntness, awkwardness, etc. I'm not saying those aren't significant issues. But from a relationship perspective, those issues were inconsequential - I had already drunk the kool-aid, ya know? I didn't care about those things. Unfortunately, there were deeper issues lurking beneath the surface that had a much greater impact on the relationships than any amount of awkwardness could have. I do believe those issues can be managed successfully....but you have to be aware of them in order to deal with them. And I think they're much more difficult to navigate successfully than the social issues. But that's just me.....
I believe that such issues can be managed as well, but if you're sufficiently awkward as i am, you're never going to be able to get a relationship off the ground, rendering everything else moot...



HopeGrows
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26 Apr 2010, 11:05 pm

ToadOfSteel wrote:
HopeGrows wrote:
But Toad, the links I included say that Executive Function issues are a core part of AS (trust me, I have no expertise in Asperger's - I'm an absolute student). But the folks who authored those articles have the expertise....I don't have any reason not to believe them.
I'm just speaking from my experience. You're speaking from yours, which is a valid point. But unless those papers were authored by people that have lived the aspie experience, either by being an aspie or being very close to one, I don't trust their value judgements. The descriptions are okay, but to say we're "dysfunctional" because we dont think the same way you do is just wrong...


But I didn't say that, Toad - I didn't say Aspies are "dysfunctional" if they don't think like me. What's up?

The links I posted are written by people with advanced degrees in Psychology. They treat Aspies, so I imagine they've had pretty good "real life" exposure to Aspies.


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therange
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26 Apr 2010, 11:33 pm

I have to agree with Hope here. That executive function thing is me to the T. The only social things I exhibit is poor motor skills (When I was in second grade, I couldn't climb up the stairs properly or ride a bike in between cones) and brutal honesty at inappropriate times.

As far as planning adult things, I'm like a permanent 12 year old. Also as far as understanding why some things happen. My ex was like a mentor to me, would always (willingly) explain things left and right, about relationships and just socializiing and life in general.

Also, if I had to plan something or carry out something for work (Toad, I'm not trying to rile you up, don't worry, but there's a difference between planning a school project and planning something for work by yourself or implementing job functions by yourself without being told a million times what to do) I wouldn't be able to.

It's almost like dealing with a 12 year old that's just more mature than the other people and loves women and retro pop culture. In fact, I looked like a teen with scary facial hair until about the age of 25. That football pic I've posted up, that was taken when I was 24, and was also an angle pic.

The thing is, with the help of other patient people, I'm learning to get through a process better. Unfortunately, at a job site, they aren't as patient as a friend or family member. And I don't want to be "that weird guy" at work. It's a no win situation. If you're upfront about your aspergers, people whisper and say "He has something." If you don't, they just think you're some kind of Forrest Gump like idiot for not being able to handle things in real time.



Bugzee
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26 Apr 2010, 11:39 pm

This thread is starting to get off topic and not really fair to the OP, if I may say. Though the discussion of the "Executive Function" is interesting, it has gotten to the point where it really has no bearng on the OP's original question. Maybe someone should start a thread in the Discussing Autism section about Executive Function there.



therange
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26 Apr 2010, 11:46 pm

You're new to the site. Sometimes this happens, and in this case, it's a good thing. The OP's topic, by her own admission, was a waste of time. She knows the guy likes him, she's just overthinking it. She doesn't need our help.



Loz
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27 Apr 2010, 6:02 pm

therange wrote:
You're new to the site. Sometimes this happens, and in this case, it's a good thing. The OP's topic, by her own admission, was a waste of time. She knows the guy likes him, she's just overthinking it. She doesn't need our help.


Actually I asked the question because I wanted a valid viewpoint to help me understand him better and not to anything that would invade his personal comfort zone. I apologise for trying to better myself, clearly this was not something I was supposed to do. I do not believe what I have asked is a waste of time as I am trying to understand Aspergers better rather than making any social blunders that would make him feel unsafe.

I found your post highly offensive seeing as you don't actually know me and I came here looking for some help to better understand rather than to watse your time.

I hope you don't treat everyone who comes looking for better understanding with such rude disreguard.

Thank youthough, to everyone who's helped enlighten me.



therange
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27 Apr 2010, 6:31 pm

Here's my advice, he sounds like a boy, not a man. If you like the shy type, that's your right, but don't expect much out of him. He will only come out of his shell if he chooses to, and most shy guys don't because they're too afraid.



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27 Apr 2010, 6:42 pm

Thank you for putting something constructive.



Bugzee
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27 Apr 2010, 6:58 pm

Loz wrote:
Thank you for putting something constructive.


After reading many of therange's opinions, my advice to you is to avoid anything he says.



therange
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27 Apr 2010, 7:19 pm

If you want to be coddled and told what you want to hear, yes, avoid my opinions. If you want the harsh truth (which most people don't, they just want to whine) then I'm your guy.



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27 Apr 2010, 7:38 pm

OP, in response to your post I provided some specific examples of things I wish I'd known earlier in my Aspie/NT relationships. After thinking about it a little longer, I think my best advice is to educate yourself about Asperger's using independent resources (rather than relying on your friend's input). You'll have to keep in mind that everything you read about symptoms won't apply to your guy, but I think your research will provide an objective perspective to help you understand his behavior. That understanding will not only help you relate to him better, but will also help you de-personalize the behaviors you may find upsetting and/or irritating. Good luck.


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ToadOfSteel
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27 Apr 2010, 8:29 pm

therange wrote:
If you want to be coddled and told what you want to hear, yes, avoid my opinions. If you want the harsh truth (which most people don't, they just want to whine) then I'm your guy.


Yes, there's coddling and then there's the truth. But then again, the truth need not be excessively harsh in all situations (yes, there are cases you have to be harsh, but it's not 100% of cases). For example, Sound provides advice and counsel that is just as good as yours, without being a prick about it (there's some harsh truth for you). Yes, it's up to each respective person you talk to to accept or reject your advice. But what you can control is your own reaction to their rejecting it. I'm not saying you have to stoop to coddling people, but neither should you be the world's biggest jerk either. Unless you want everyone rejecting your advice out of hand, regardless of its quality.



therange
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27 Apr 2010, 8:36 pm

The thing is, Toad, you know this from talking to me, I don't care what people think of me. Sound admittedly has more patience than me, but he's probably just as frustrated about the whining and repetitive posts.



Bugzee
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27 Apr 2010, 8:44 pm

therange wrote:
The thing is, Toad, you know this from talking to me, I don't care what people think of me. Sound admittedly has more patience than me, but he's probably just as frustrated about the whining and repetitive posts.


Now you have a point about the whiny and repetitive posts, but you where wrong about the OP intentions and had a rather harsh and prickish point to cross, that was unnecessary. There is a time to be strong in your opinions, and there are times to be sensitive.