Differences between giftedness and Asperger

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EaglesSayMeow
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26 Jun 2010, 10:08 pm

I'm now getting very confused. It had appeared to me earlier that giftedness and aspergers/autism are for the most part unrelated, at least in that they can be found or not found in the same person, depending on the person.

However, this morning I finally got to look over report cards from kindergarten through fourth grade. Just as some background, I spent Kindergarten and 1st grade at my local public school, after that I was switched into an all-girls private school. I am relatively sure I'm an aspie, both from my own observations and those of a very close friend, who I'm familiar enough with to let my guard down, but I haven't tried to get a Dx yet..

Now, my parents always told me I was 'smart' but that was just some sort of abstract term to me, and at times a source of frustration, as it seems to me that my parents mostly overlooked my social issues, content with me not having any academic ones.

I'm now starting to wonder about my suspicions of being an aspie, after reading my Kindergarten and first grade report cards. I don't notice any notes about social skills in there, but the reports are pretty general. Besides, the tests that I found were in a one on one setting with an adult, where I could go on about subjects that interested me.

I remember from my own memory that I didn't have many friends after preschool, but I hadn't taught myself to act shy yet, so it's fully possible that I flew right under the radar.

Anyways, it would seem that around the age of five, I was smarter than I thought. I found a folder at my house that had some tests I took to get into private school, my sixth grade ERB test, and a Schools and Colleges Admissions Test (SCAT) I took to qualify for camp. (Remind me to ask why they chose such an unfortunate acronym for that test. Scat? Seriously? Animal droppings? Anyways...)

On the tests I took for private school (when I was five) I scored in the 95th percentile and above, except for the section on mazes where I was in the 37th percentile (Yeah, I have no clue what I did wrong there). I got in the low ninetieth percentiles on the SCAT in fourth grade, but the standard was sixth grade.

Now, I'm extremely confused. It would seem that at least back then, I was intelligent but had minimal social issues. Now, my biggest problem is social issues. :roll:

Yet another thing for me to sort out in my quest to figure out where I got messed up. (Probably private school, from what I remember)


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bee33
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26 Jun 2010, 10:33 pm

The article and the quotes from the book (that are in the article) sound like the words of an anxious parent desperately grasping at straws to prove to him/herself that his/her child is not autistic.

It seems fairly obvious to me that there are gifted people who don't have AS, but why put so much effort into cataloging all the possible differences? Is it so important to distinguish gifted NTs from the gifted people who do have AS? The whole tone of the article and book smacks of prejudice. (And many of the differences cited are not particularly accurate, since they insist that only people with the most obvious outward signs can have AS.)



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27 Jun 2010, 1:11 am

MrXxx wrote:
I get what you are both saying. It's just that what you've stated already seems to obvious to me, it doesn't seem worth thinking about.

Like birds and string. Yes, some birds use string to build their nests. Yes it may be that some species tend to use string more than others. You could look at which do, and which don't and talk about why there are differences between the two, but you aren't really comparing birds and string then. You're comparing different species of birds and how they use string.

Same thing with giftedness and Asperger's. The discussion isn't really about comparing the two, but comparing those with Asperger's who are gifted with those without who are gifted, and those with AS who are not gifted.

I guess, for me, the discussion is kind of moot. Aspeger's doesn't not preclude giftedness, and giftedness does not preclude Asperger's. Those seem to be fairly obvious truths that don't even make sense to debate.

So then why am I here?

Good point! :lol:

Sorry for the distraction. Carry on without me. 8)

I'm aware that I wasn't stating anything profoundly original. Just trying to clarify whether we're on the same page since I wasn't sure I understood your birds and string metaphor.



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27 Jun 2010, 4:42 am

It's easy enough to be both. But most Aspies are not gifted. What they do tend to have are specialist subjects and specific talents; and in those areas they are very, very good--as good as a gifted NT.

But even gifted Aspies have the jagged skill profile combined with the delays in various areas. Those things won't be present for a gifted NT.

Social isolation does not make Asperger's.There are a thousand reasons why you might be socially isolated; giftedness and AS are just two of many.

It is somewhat important to know which is which, because the gifted child with AS will need accommodations just like his non-gifted AS peers; and the non-gifted child with AS should not be put in classes for gifted children because his special interests/talents make him seem gifted, as the work outside those specific areas will be too hard and will frustrate him. Similarly, gifted kids without AS do not need and should not have a diagnosis; treating for something that isn't there will only take up time and effort that needn't have been spent.

G/T classes are generally made for NTs, in the first place, with the assumption that the people who attend them will be very good at pretty much everything. People who are very good at a few things and average at everything else, or even very good at most things and delayed in a few, may simply not fit into those classes very well, depending on their skills and the expectations placed on them.

Categorizing kids isn't nearly as important as evaluating each individual child and trying to figure out the best placement, though. Unusual arrangements can be made for unusual skill sets, like putting a child into a gifted class and pulling him out to a resource room in the case of simultaneous giftedness and impairment in different areas.

But schools have never been, and probably never will be, very good at teaching twice-exceptional kids. By their very nature, these kids have probably the most unique educational requirements of any, so that each one practically needs his own custom-designed curriculum. Schools are just not made to teach individual students like that.


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b9
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27 Jun 2010, 7:47 am

the difference between "giftedness" and "asperger" is a public relations (PR) problem concerning rifts between our DNA.

here is proof.
Image



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27 Jun 2010, 10:02 am

OddDuckNash99 wrote:
The book has the gall to say that you don't have AS (you are merely gifted) if you enjoy socializing with people who share your special interest.
-OddDuckNash99-


But, by what I read, it is not much clear if what the book says is that gifeds with AS don't socialize with people who share their special interest, or simple that it is much more umprobabel that a gifted AS find people interested in their special intersts (because special intersts of GFT/AS are more narrow than special interests of GFT/non-AS)



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27 Jun 2010, 10:40 am

Callista wrote:
It's easy enough to be both. But most Aspies are not gifted. What they do tend to have are specialist subjects and specific talents; and in those areas they are very, very good--as good as a gifted NT.

But even gifted Aspies have the jagged skill profile combined with the delays in various areas. Those things won't be present for a gifted NT.

Social isolation does not make Asperger's.There are a thousand reasons why you might be socially isolated; giftedness and AS are just two of many.

It is somewhat important to know which is which, because the gifted child with AS will need accommodations just like his non-gifted AS peers; and the non-gifted child with AS should not be put in classes for gifted children because his special interests/talents make him seem gifted, as the work outside those specific areas will be too hard and will frustrate him. Similarly, gifted kids without AS do not need and should not have a diagnosis; treating for something that isn't there will only take up time and effort that needn't have been spent.

G/T classes are generally made for NTs, in the first place, with the assumption that the people who attend them will be very good at pretty much everything. People who are very good at a few things and average at everything else, or even very good at most things and delayed in a few, may simply not fit into those classes very well, depending on their skills and the expectations placed on them.

Categorizing kids isn't nearly as important as evaluating each individual child and trying to figure out the best placement, though. Unusual arrangements can be made for unusual skill sets, like putting a child into a gifted class and pulling him out to a resource room in the case of simultaneous giftedness and impairment in different areas.

But schools have never been, and probably never will be, very good at teaching twice-exceptional kids. By their very nature, these kids have probably the most unique educational requirements of any, so that each one practically needs his own custom-designed curriculum. Schools are just not made to teach individual students like that.


You make some excellent points here. My own experience, and those of my son and older daughter (also gifted and though not AS, have ADHD) bear out your last paragraph. I have had to advocate for them aggressively both in public and private schools, and provide a lot of extra support that the schools did not/would not/could not provide. I also insisted on arrangements like you describe, like the advanced/gifted classes with resource help for the areas of impairment (ppl thought I was NUTS at times). I knew I would have to because of my own experiences with schools thinking I didn't need anything because I was "so bright". Fortunately my 17 year old son is going into his junior year at the top of his class and will be graduating HS early and starting college after next year, so it was enough.

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Robert312
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27 Jun 2010, 11:30 am

I didn't know that I was different. I felt it, but I thought everyone felt different. I wrote a poem where I said, "Deep down we are alone," and NTs related to it.

I am gifted but there seem to be limitations. After going through the course work to learn how to make web sites. I want it to stay the way I learned it and get frustrated when programs change. Like if you played a sport and one day you show up to practice and they changed the rules. You wanted to spend your life practicing and developing a skill.

Yet other people seem to eagerly anticipate upgrades and thrive.



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27 Jun 2010, 12:42 pm

b9 wrote:
the difference between "giftedness" and "asperger" is a public relations (PR) problem concerning rifts between our DNA.

here is proof.
Image


Thank you for including the image. Otherwise I would not have had the slightest idea what you were talking about.



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27 Jun 2010, 12:55 pm

Callista wrote:
But schools have never been, and probably never will be, very good at teaching twice-exceptional kids. By their very nature, these kids have probably the most unique educational requirements of any, so that each one practically needs his own custom-designed curriculum. Schools are just not made to teach individual students like that.


I agree. Schools are struggling just educating kids who fit within the parameters of a single program.



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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27 Jun 2010, 1:05 pm

Asperger's people can be gifted while not all gifted have Asperger's. The way you can tell is by how the child (since, ideally, autism should be diagnosed in childhood before the child develops a personality) interacts with other kids. Lack of reciprocity can mean many things, including arguing and refusing to get along with peers. A "gifted" child doesn't have problems forming relationships with peers, while an Asperger's child does.



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27 Jun 2010, 1:15 pm

For me the difference was that if you put me in with gifted kids, I still stuck out like a sore thumb. That and the fact that I only once attained "gifted" level on testing. The other two were one somewhat high but not gifted and the other on the edge of the borderline MR range. And those happened in a decreasing over time way. The only other people I know who had very high IQs at some point in childhood and borderline or lower ones in adulthood were autistic. (And yes I've known several.)


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27 Jun 2010, 1:18 pm

anbuend wrote:
For me the difference was that if you put me in with gifted kids, I still stuck out like a sore thumb. That and the fact that I only once attained "gifted" level on testing. The other two were one somewhat high but not gifted and the other on the edge of the borderline MR range. And those happened in a decreasing over time way. The only other people I know who had very high IQs at some point in childhood and borderline or lower ones in adulthood were autistic. (And yes I've known several.)


It's stories like this, as well as ones about people who go in the reverse direction on the test, that makes me wonder why they even bother with the test. What use is it?



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27 Jun 2010, 1:26 pm

I tested as gifted. I don't believe it. Gifted people can drive without having overloads, or communicate without coming across as a rabid angry wolverine even when they don't mean to because they are just trying to understand people.


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27 Jun 2010, 1:28 pm

I don't know. I have been given a lot of tests. Only three IQ tests but a lot of equally dubious or even more so. Like the Rorschach or however you spell it. That thing is beyond useless. Or the MMPI, WTF. The IQ tests were, the first one by the educational people, who ignored most of my weaker areas. The second was in a mental institution where large sections of the test were marked "patient was in restraints or sleeping" so they didn't even include parts of it. The third was in an SSI decertification or whatever the heck they call it. I don't consider any of them my "real IQ" because I don't think IQ has meaning.


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27 Jun 2010, 1:33 pm

Dots wrote:
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.


I too, had some second thoughts. But, my literal-mindedness and inability to guess what is on other people's minds leads me to think that I am a gifted Aspie.

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