Page 1 of 2 [ 25 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

RomanceAnonimo
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 80
Location: Lancaster, CA, USA

07 Feb 2011, 10:47 am

I've been pondering the various traits of Asperger's and after reading tons of material, including Tony Attwood's book The Complete Guide to Apserger's Syndrome, and haven't found adequate data regarding the actual internal thought process.

I know there are a lot of terms to describe the general way those with Asperger's think or respond in various situations. A lot of commentary on taking things literally, being focused strongly on a topic, and some descriptions of focus on detail, but it seems the general information out there pertains largely to children and coping/therapy for children and doesn't touch the consideration of the practicality of some of our 'abilities' beyond 'a special interest may lead to a sucessful career option'.

What I was wondering, are there any resources out there anyone knows of that describes the differences of thought process between people with Asperger's and NT's?

Something I have realized, and this may be a personal attribute rather than an Asperger attribute for all I know, is that I think very rapidly. I am often finding myself thinking in what I can only describe as fast forward. Combine this with focus on detail and the need to constantly seek information on a given topic or topics of interest, and I often have a large volume of thought. It certainly pertains to the idea of systemizing, but it seems like there is more to describe the phenomena.

Many times at work (I work in IT) I encounter an issue and often before my colleagues have even begun to think of ramificaitons of the situation, I am discussing solutions and other causational circumstances that may tie in. This happens in all facets of life/thought. Many times it is a good thing, being able to consider many things and see a solution rapidly, but sometimes if there is no real solution (normally relating to 'personal' circumstances, disputes etc) the thoughts can just go on and on very rapidly until there is some distraction or I catch myself and 'whoa the horses'.

Does anyone else experience very rapid thought? I can say without a doubt that the vast majority of NT people I know do not think (perhaps ponder is a better word) rapidly, if at all! Thank you for sharing your thoughts :D



leejosepho
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,011
Location: 200 miles south of Little Rock

07 Feb 2011, 12:30 pm

RomanceAnonimo wrote:
What I was wondering, are there any resources out there anyone knows of that describes the differences of thought process between people with Asperger's and NT's?

These kinds of posts here on WP constitute the bulk of all I have ever found:

>> I think very rapidly ... fast forward ... with focus on detail and the need to constantly seek information ...
>> I often have a large volume of thought ...
>> I [often] encounter an issue [and am ahead of others in] discussing solutions and other causational circumstances ...
>> sometimes if there is no real solution ... the thoughts can just go on and on very rapidly until [something ends them] ...
>> I can say without a doubt that the vast majority of [other] people I know do not think [or ponder] rapidly, if at all!

My mind never stops, and I am grateful for every bit of all that even though madness lies just beyond keeping it occupied.


_________________
I began looking for someone like me when I was five ...
My search ended at 59 ... right here on WrongPlanet.
==================================


Dantac
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,672
Location: Florida

07 Feb 2011, 4:35 pm

RomanceAnonimo wrote:
Many times at work (I work in IT) I encounter an issue and often before my colleagues have even begun to think of ramificaitons of the situation, I am discussing solutions and other causational circumstances that may tie in. This happens in all facets of life/thought. Many times it is a good thing, being able to consider many things and see a solution rapidly, but sometimes if there is no real solution (normally relating to 'personal' circumstances, disputes etc) the thoughts can just go on and on very rapidly until there is some distraction or I catch myself and 'whoa the horses'....

Does anyone else experience very rapid thought? I can say without a doubt that the vast majority of NT people I know do not think (perhaps ponder is a better word) rapidly, if at all! Thank you for sharing your thoughts :D


This part is 100% me as well :) .

Its also a reason why I suck at any conversation... what I want to say flashes by so fast I guess my speech centers are left behind going 'wutwhazthat?' and by then the rest of my brain has gone tangent on other issues.

Sort of like marvin the paranoid android (lol).

Image



psychobabbler
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 9 Nov 2009
Gender: Female
Posts: 27

09 Feb 2011, 12:37 pm

Try "Wait, What Do You Mean?" Asperger's Tell and Show. Has Aspie quotes about processing spoken language and more. Discussion of mirror neurons and social learning.



RedHanrahan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Sep 2007
Age: 54
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,204
Location: Aotearoa/New Zealand

09 Feb 2011, 5:50 pm

''Something I have realized, and this may be a personal attribute rather than an Asperger attribute for all I know, is that I think very rapidly. I am often finding myself thinking in what I can only describe as fast forward. Combine this with focus on detail and the need to constantly seek information on a given topic or topics of interest, and I often have a large volume of thought. It certainly pertains to the idea of systemizing, but it seems like there is more to describe the phenomena''

I found this part entirely pertinent with regards myself.

I have a very similar thinking process and a tendency to 'obsess' about current lines of query/enquiry. This has led to the acruing but also garbling of loads of information over time which makes recall and reiteration sometimes unreliable/difficult in social situations as my brain runs faster and more chaotically around my mental resources than my limited verbal/social skills allow. It is frustrating and I usually come across as an overly obsessive/pasionate idiot. I am great at condensing the thoughts into excellent 'stairwell' comebacks and explanations - one has to laugh really.

Something that I have noticed though is that the alteration to my 'abstract' database remains constant as I gather more information - by this I mean I may forget the detail but retain the impression it makes on my understanding/assumptions with regard whatever matter it may be that I am contemplating.

I have an interest in Social evolution, anthropology, ethical/philosophical thought, history and similar related things all of which are not exactly that scientific in the 'hard' science sense and I would consider more in the area of 'visionary/contemplative' thinking and the thought processes involved are more tolerant of these inaccuracies for the most part - or it least in context of myself and my objectives/needs.

I found Tony Attwoods book great with regard understanding myself as an asoial being but understanding the deeper subtleties of my mental processes are still a puzzle however, although the liberation from expecting myself to be like everyone else has been refreshing since diagnosis and exploration of my ASD.

Thanks for bringing up this subject as it has got me thinking.
Just a few observations.

peace j


_________________
Just because we can does not mean we should.

What vision is left? And is anyone asking?

Have a great day!


KBerg
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 400

09 Feb 2011, 6:20 pm

My problem with very rapid thoughts is sometimes my brain will get so far ahead of itself it loses itself. It doesn't happen very often, usually with math problem or puzzles. But I see a problem, the solution comes so quickly, but if anything prevents me from saying or writing down the answer straight away I just lose it and have to take the NT way around it. When it happens it's too fast for me to walk through each step and explain why it's the right answer.

More commonly I end up waiting for other people to catch up, but I just can't stop thinking while I do. So while I've gone from thinking about how to solve a problem, to no wait, that way puts us in the wrong spot, but what if we try, no that blocks us off up north, so the only solution is this. I can suggest this solution, explain why it works, and then while I'm waiting for everyone else to run the mental 'wait why doesn't this other way work?' course my brain takes the scenic mental+google tour from "hm, which 5.1 headset is good" to "I wonder what else Razer has" to "Huh, that looks like an interesting band" to "pigeon's a funny word. Pigeon!" to "Am I hungry? Should I be hungry?" to "I haven't watched the Princess Bride in too long, I should watch it". At this point someone says something about executing our plan like I suggested and I'm still thinking about Andre The Giant and am wondering what the heck we're doing again?

I've gotten better about not mentioning where my mental speed-tour had taken me to. It takes way too long to explain. These days I avoid saying things in reply unless I'm sure the other person is either keeping up, or has the patience to hear where I'm coming from. Also "sorry, lost my train of thought there for a moment and spaced out" works better than trying to explain how you went from discussing philosophy to thinking about/mentioning Loony Toons.



graywyvern
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Aug 2010
Age: 62
Gender: Male
Posts: 651
Location: texas

10 Feb 2011, 12:11 pm

One thing i've noticed is that a lot of people constantly subvocalize & are only aware of (or describe) this part as their "thinking". (This leads, BTW, to the curious phenomenon of philosophers--& others who ought to know better--denying that there can be any thought [in humans] without language. To which i simply reply: what part of riding a bicycle is you talking about it?)

On the other hand, i'm aware of a great many things happening at once, at various speeds & intensities, & some close to my attentiveness, others farther removed, which i can change focus in order to gather or ignore, at will: & only the smallest portion has words attached. And even these words can seem at times solid, & real, as objects.

I'm not even sure "speed" is the best way to describe it. "Intuition"--in the Jungian sense--happens instantaneously. Other things, perceptions rather than relations, need to be further processed (what is this? how do i feel about it?) & i can defer this if i need to.

Another human in close proximity is causing a large number of changes in my mental environment. Typically i focus closely on their speech, but have to parse the words in preference to, say, the varying irregularity of the sounds. I'm real good at dealing with the words. Only catch is, they also evoke new words in me, a lot of them completely irrelevant, & still more that have to be weighed carefully before i can be sure they're appropriate.

Habit carries me through, in many situations. I say something that is like what i've said before, in response to something earlier that resembled this. But it still often happens that i'm not completely on-target--& correcting this in realtime, can lead to still greater misunderstandings.

My wish is that others would not react to a little irrelevance, or a downright nonsequitur, as being a comment about them.

This is probably not to be.


_________________
"I have always found that Angels have the vanity
to speak of themselves as the only wise; this they
do with a confident insolence sprouting from systematic
reasoning." --William Blake


Last edited by graywyvern on 10 Feb 2011, 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RomanceAnonimo
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 80
Location: Lancaster, CA, USA

10 Feb 2011, 1:47 pm

I appreciate the responses to my initial post. I can relate to each response, which is reassuring because as leejosepho put it, "...madness lies just beyond keeping it [the mind] occupied".

I think this conversation is particularly interesting because it really does well to directly correlate different 'symptoms' as the clinicians would describe them. While I have read descriptions of such associations, they often seem somewhat contrived, as demonstrated by the frequent usage of the term 'aloof' in many publications.

As Dantac described "Its also a reason why I suck at any conversation... what I want to say flashes by so fast I guess my speech centers are left behind going 'wutwhazthat?' and by then the rest of my brain has gone tangent on other issues". This doesn't fit into the description of being aloof, but rather running at a different pace than other conversation participants. While to an outside observer, the affect of such may be perceived as aloof, the designation doesn't accurately fit the circumstance, similar to the usage of the word 'retard' to describe anyone with a 'disability' as a blanket phrase, many 'disabled' are very brilliant. To further on what Dantac described, during conversations I find myself past various points sooner than others. This seems to coincide with "..by then the rest of my brain has gone tangent on other issues". I may reach a point in a conversation where I sense that there is a 'new frontier' to cover, where other participants may still be 'back there somewhere'. When prompted for a response, I may either respond with something from 'my playing field' rather than the one the others are stuck on, or be 'stumped' because I have nothing further to contribute on the (in my mind) completed topic and am consumed by furthering the thought process, rather than back tracking. This may be where the concept of behavior of Aspergians as 'controlling' may come from, instead of going with the flow, no matter how unproductive that flow may be, there may rather be a tendency to run through barriers and seek a more hasty progression.

I think this plays a lot into what RedHanrahan describes as "This has led to the acruing but also garbling of loads of information over time which makes recall and reiteration sometimes unreliable/difficult in social situations as my brain runs faster and more chaotically around my mental resources than my limited verbal/social skills allow". Where, its mostly clear internally, but organizing 'it' into a form that can be readily understood by others while covering all pertinent bases is profoundly difficult. This seems to be one location where arrives such terms as 'pedantic' to describe Aspergian speech, where if the progress of conversation is to lead to x, it is important to find commonality on a-w, which can certainly lead to long prosodic monologues. Responding to interruptions in the process for me results in 'garbling' for sure. I do too experience what you describe as abstraction of internal database, sort of the establishment of 'givens' where explanaiton is no longer needed. This becomes problematic when the same givens do not reside in others. I often tell people in conversation "its all very complicated, if you have a dozen hours to talk about it we can be on the same page". I probably sound like a jerk when saying this, but it is really true. KBerg seems to also captivate this circumstance in their post.

Graywyvern, you really touch on a very important observation I think, in that a lot of the 'throught process' isn't always driven by literal internal speech. I have tried to explain this to some people and it usually always leaves them befuddled. I think this observation is more accurate than describing the circumstance as 'thinking in fast forward' because it isn't always verbal thoughts that are happening more rapidly, but often throughts that are happening without words, very rapidly if not often instantaneous. Almost like a psychological programming language so to speak, like binary or hexidecimal, where 'blips' or 'impluses' can relate to larger sets of information. I explain it as 'geometric thinking process' but again not very often do people understand just what the heck I am trying to express. I relate it to the concepts of speed reading (how the brain can recognize words and sentences without having to pronounce them, that such is a limitation of our sense driven communications but internally we can go without the labor of standard communication process) and yet people don't catch on. It seems a strong majority of NT people literally process all thought by internal speech-to-self. It will be interesting to see further discussion on this array of topics!



starygrrl
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2009
Age: 42
Gender: Female
Posts: 795

10 Feb 2011, 4:23 pm

Much of what you are saying I relate to. But this is a big part of the reason I have a hard time relating to people without significant expertise. The reason why is while some peoples thought processes go A to B, my thought processes represent a complex taxonomy that see relations that they might not fully be aware of. I don't do this necessarily with database design (that be my boyfriend), I do it with organizational systems, economics, regulatory systems, policy, philosophy and history (these are all related). I think what you are saying is fairly common for those who are intellectually gifted. These concepts are not easy to explain to people without a certian degree of previous knowledge. Largely because these concepts are above most peoples heads and to even scratch the surface a person often needs a certian level of experience and education. I think the difference is we retain a bit more, but are often set back in terms of adjusting our language to different audiences and to be able to project what the people we are communicating the language too.

The way I like to put this is most people don't like lawyers and lawyers come off as egostical is because they often speak in a language and terminology most people do not quite grasp when they encounter them. There is no way to dumb down certian things lawyers talk about. To them it comes off as rude and arrogant, or lying. Techies and Doctors are the same way though, people are dismissive or don't like it because there is not the same level of understanding in place.

The thing is this is doubly difficult for us because we have a hard time gauging when there is a lack of understanding by the parties involved. We have the capabilities to process this information, but when it gets to communicating it down we run into potential issues. Some of us do better than others, but it is still a struggle to a certian degree.



FuelXC
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2011
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 13

11 Feb 2011, 3:00 am

The rapid thoughts seems very typical. I have found that when trying to explain how I arrived at a solution very hard. Saying "I think rapidly" just seems to generate the response "Yeah, i know what you mean" when they really don't understand. I have started saying it think like a pinball bouncing between bumpers. That only ever seems to get the response confirming what I mean.

I say more like a pinball then rapid because it doesn't seem like I complete the thought, rather, I hit the thought and bounce right on to the next never going through it. It isn't to say that I can't complete a thought rather I discard the ones that I don't feel will come to fruition or provide the best result. I am a computer programmer and I find myself being asked how I came up with a solution and not being able to explain it as the "bumpers" merely got me moving in the right direction. So explaining why I did or did not do something a particular way isn't always easy.

It becomes frustrating for those who ask how as (I have been told) I seem to be holding back in order to make myself more valuable then others. Which is not the case, but I can't explain how I arrive at things as I honestly don't remember/know. Kinda like when I get asked what I talked about. I can't remember, stuff. I can remember main points but that is it.

I am interested to know how others are able to think through a problem the NT way. I just can't, it isn't how I work. I have never bothered to try. Anytime my NT colleagues explain I find my mind wandering to the end in a different/faster way and then explaining it back so as to end the conversation.



Dogman
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 12 Feb 2011
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 1

13 Feb 2011, 10:55 am

I tend to think too rapidly also. Acually it has gotten better in the last years. when I was younger (now 56) my main problem was (still is) an extremely associative mind, thinking about a topic would trigger myriads of paths and associations. Years of training to actually force my self to think more linearly. I find it interesting that the first poster also works in IT, I have the definite feeling that work in IT (programming and such) has actually helped in my case, I have an artistic formation and strong interests in science, programming is a recent thing. Same as I feel playing the piano (by ear , purely for fun) has helped greatly with eye-hand coordination and to be less of a klutz... I am always suprised at how linearly NTs think. Wonder if the first poster, if he does any programming, has noticed an effect on his thinking processes.



AspieGenius
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 27 Feb 2011
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Posts: 20

28 Feb 2011, 6:44 pm

I get every word of what you are saying, and I find the term "thinking in fast forward" to be very accurate. My approach may be a bit different than yours, simply because my IQ is only slightly above average. I "feel" what the answer is. I do not ponder about it, it just comes to me, like an epiphany or flash of genius.

Look up the term "Bricolage", it might give you some inspirational insights :0)

And oh, I work in IT as well!

AspieGenius



manBrain
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 112

02 Mar 2011, 3:19 am

Hi.
ditto etc.

Look up "hyperconnectivity". This is basically mental hyper-association.

I find that my mental processes are so far out-of-sync with other people's that it is often difficult to translate from one into the other. The most effective form I have found so far is to draw a diagram of what they are talking about. Then I can add my own associations to that.

Another interesting thing I have noticed is that I can store information (or understanding of something) in different parts of my body. I am not sure how to explain this.



draelynn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Jan 2011
Age: 52
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,304
Location: SE Pennsylvania

06 Mar 2011, 8:39 pm

I think myself right out of other peoples conversations... process the current conversation and follow the associations right into a whole other topic. I also read fast - when given something to read I'm usually waiting quite awhile for other people to finish. I had been accused of skimming but, all the info is in there. People just think I took a speed reading course of something. No need to tell them its natural - because that looks like boasting!

I was put on Zoloft a long time ago and I only took one dose. It silenced my head. Like dead silent. I couldn't generate a thought if my life depended on it. I stopped the zombie pill same day. That scared the bejeezus out of me.



Nills
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 4 Sep 2010
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 12
Location: Southeast PA

14 Mar 2011, 3:36 am

RomanceAnonimo's descriptions are spot-on for me. Even when dealing with people in my field who are regarded as "the world's best" the pace is way too slow. If I'm really "on" I can sometimes apply the extra thought time to formulating what I'll say and how I'll say it for maximum benefit. Most of the time though, I end up coming off as aloof or controlling as others have mentioned.

Conversely when stressed or mentally drained, there are times when my entire mind and body pauses for 10-30 seconds. It doesn't matter what I'm doing at that time - everything stops. If I'm walking, I stop and stand still. If I'm doing something physical like cooking dinner with ingredients in my hands, my position just freezes. When it unpauses, I have to make a conscious effort to figure out what I was in the middle of doing. All I can say is I'm glad I'm usually sitting at a computer when it happens. :?



awkwardmom
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 7 Dec 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 9

17 Mar 2011, 12:51 pm

leejosepho wrote:
My mind never stops, and I am grateful for every bit of all that even though madness lies just beyond keeping it occupied.


This precisely defines my condition. I refer to it as "feeding the monster." If I don't take enough care in feeding it, then it begins to self-cannibalize. The content of what I feed it doesn't matter most of the time, but when it is significantly undernourished I am typically in for a major life change (grad school for the 2nd time!).

I do consider myself very high-functioning, but have major issues in *communicating*.... I know, that is all of us - but this underscores the issue with internal thought processes. If I know it (and it seems obvious to me) then why would I communicate it externally and be seen as foolishly stating the obvious? Additionally, I have come to know that in many situations (as everyone has mentioned) that the AS mind speed takes you so much further in the same chronological time than that of an NT. I'm not sure if this is advantageous for me in many cases as I have already thought through the possible outcomes of various solutions while NTs are still restating the original problem. By the time they catch up, I've already been staring out the window for a good 20 minutes. When I tune back in again to them, I hear the same ridiculous circular arguments and when I put an end to them with *reason and logic* - then I am instantly considered aloof and inflexible. I have had to learn that they actually enjoy going around in circles, hearing themselves talk, and they certainly prefer to be left to the process of group think versus arriving at the best possible solution in an efficient manner.

I think this goes for both professional and personal relationships - at least in my experience. My goal is to "wrap things up" so I can go back to my own thoughts, when everyone else wants to listen and be listened to.