Differences between giftedness and Asperger

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alexptrans
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23 Jun 2010, 1:28 pm

I found an interesting link discussing the differences between giftedness and Asperger:

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And here's a link to the book they're citing:

Book

I wonder what you guys think, and whether it's true that some gifted people are misdiagnosed as aspies.



CockneyRebel
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23 Jun 2010, 1:32 pm

That's a very good article. It describes a lot of truths.


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Dots
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23 Jun 2010, 2:06 pm

That's interesting. I was tested and labeled a "gifted child" when I was in Grade 2 or 3. My special interests aren't that "weird", I don't think. And I derive joy from them and like to share them. I have had one sided conversations like the article suggests, but musical theatre has a subculture that I've shared with.

And the article says that gifted children will see and be aware that they're different, while AS children will not.

It makes me wonder if I'm AS or just gifted. Gifted wouldn't explain the sensory stuff or the stimming. Also, I'm an adult, not a child, so I've had time to adapt, I guess.


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MommyJones
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23 Jun 2010, 2:35 pm

I can't get to this article at work, but it has been suggested that my son is not AS, but gifted. He is very aware that he is different. Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to get home and check it out.



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23 Jun 2010, 5:10 pm

I dislike the rather back and white view. It's like, we note people with similar traits, we give them a label, and we assume the label represents a thing. But maybe it doesn't. Maybe Asperger's and gifted aren't really two different things, but overlapping sections of a single multidimensional continuum.

And it's unfortunate that one is labeled as a disorder, and the other as something good, and yet, people with each have their plusses and their challenges.

I don't know if I would have qualified for a diagnosis of either autism or Asperger's (as they are diagnosed in the present) when I was young. But, if not, to say I was "just" gifted because of lacking certain autistic traits is to ignore the social difficulties, and the aloneness, and the things I just was not able to do, the inability to understand others, the inability to fit in. If using labels, gifted ain't the right one. Intelligence may be a gift, but not those other things sure weren't.

And that's why many prefer the term Asperger's syndrome to Asperger's disorder. Because it's not just a disorder. It's got it's other side too. And the word syndrome lets those be part of the picture.


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23 Jun 2010, 5:17 pm

AS and giftedness are two different things. One can have AS and be gifted as well. I do see Savantism and AS mixed up a lot. A Savant is someone with general impairment but with very specific areas they excel. They have a big point spread in IQ subsets, but a Savant pattern is distinct from an AS pattern. Someday genetic testing may be able to provide more difinitive answers in individuals where it's unclear.

I can't see the link, maybe it's been removed or disabled? I'll try to google it later.

My two sons with AS are also gifted and highly gifted. My youngest son has profound gifts and has been alternately diagnosed as PDD-NOS and not in the spectrum and but not NT. Some people can be hard to figure out.



Mysty
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23 Jun 2010, 5:45 pm

Kiley wrote:
I can't see the link, maybe it's been removed or disabled? I'll try to google it later.


The words "Link" and "Book" (on lines by themselves) are each links.


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23 Jun 2010, 6:19 pm

Mysty wrote:
I dislike the rather back and white view. It's like, we note people with similar traits, we give them a label, and we assume the label represents a thing. But maybe it doesn't. Maybe Asperger's and gifted aren't really two different things, but overlapping sections of a single multidimensional continuum..


Well said.



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23 Jun 2010, 6:54 pm

This, from Lorna Wing, from the paper that defines what AS is today:

Quote:
Asperger (1979) pointed out that the capacity to withdraw into an inner world of one's own special interests is available in a greater or lesser measure to all human beings. He emphasised that this ability has to be present to marked extent in those who are creative artists or scientists. The difference between someone with Asperger syndrome and the normal person who has a complex inner world is that the latter does take part appropriately in two-way social interaction at times, while the former does not. Also, the normal person, however elaborate his inner world, is influenced by his social experiences, whereas the person with Asperger syndrome seems cut off from the effects of outside contacts.



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23 Jun 2010, 9:46 pm

Mysty wrote:
I dislike the rather back and white view. It's like, we note people with similar traits, we give them a label, and we assume the label represents a thing. But maybe it doesn't. Maybe Asperger's and gifted aren't really two different things, but overlapping sections of a single multidimensional continuum.

And it's unfortunate that one is labeled as a disorder, and the other as something good, and yet, people with each have their plusses and their challenges.

I don't know if I would have qualified for a diagnosis of either autism or Asperger's (as they are diagnosed in the present) when I was young. But, if not, to say I was "just" gifted because of lacking certain autistic traits is to ignore the social difficulties, and the aloneness, and the things I just was not able to do, the inability to understand others, the inability to fit in. If using labels, gifted ain't the right one. Intelligence may be a gift, but not those other things sure weren't.

And that's why many prefer the term Asperger's syndrome to Asperger's disorder. Because it's not just a disorder. It's got it's other side too. And the word syndrome lets those be part of the picture.


I agree that there is more overlap than that author wants to admit. There's a whole subset of children who will fit his stereotypical "aspergers" description at a young age (3-5 years) yet fit more with the stereotypical "gifted" description at a slightly later age.



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24 Jun 2010, 1:52 am

Here's an interesting page from the book that they talk about in the article; it lists several features that are said to be more characteristic of giftedness and "incompatible" with Asperger's. I'm not sure I'd agree, however, that all of these features would completely rule out an Asperger's diagnosis. Just as an example, not all aspies are necessarily clumsy.


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24 Jun 2010, 1:58 am

alexptrans wrote:
I wonder what you guys think, and whether it's true that some gifted people are misdiagnosed as aspies.


IMO giftedness could lend someone a steeper learning curve in re developing coping strategies, thus obscuring things. this is not an answer, i realize, but a provocation of further questions.

later in life, a gifted person will likely have accomplishments indicative of their strengths though where someone with AS will have a scattered pattern of abilities, or have severely fallen off the charts in terms of their potential reaching fruition. both might have problems relating to peers in adolescence for different reasons.

Dots wrote:
And the article says that gifted children will see and be aware that they're different, while AS children will not.


AS children know they are different.

also read in a post recently that giftedness was included as a trait indicative of a genetic indicator of autism, lying in the broader autism phenotype. i have read lists of traits in gifted children that sound much like mild AS. not sure what to make of this.


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Danielismyname
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24 Jun 2010, 1:59 am

That list is about right.



buryuntime
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24 Jun 2010, 2:34 am

Quote:
AS children know they are different.

It's a different kind of sense of different. They might sense that they are different than their peers, but will probably not know why.



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24 Jun 2010, 1:18 pm

buryuntime wrote:
Quote:
AS children know they are different.

It's a different kind of sense of different. They might sense that they are different than their peers, but will probably not know why.


I agree. I knew I was different, but not in a socially-cosmetic way. In terms of just everyday processing of things, I think aspies are atleast unconsciously aware of their difference.



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24 Jun 2010, 1:42 pm

buryuntime wrote:
Quote:
AS children know they are different.

It's a different kind of sense of different. They might sense that they are different than their peers, but will probably not know why.

Or they will know they are different but they just won't makes as big a deal about it as their parents and peers do. AS children won't put that much significance on their behaviors/interests differing from the norm until they experience social rejection and/or bullying due to it. At a young age it's these "external agents" that cause the problem. Most AS kids would be happy were it not for the hurtful meddling of adults and peers. Only at a later age does not relating to peers become an issue in-and-of itself.