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twinsmummy20
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11 Apr 2011, 9:06 am

I was just reading an article that was saying how being autistic doesnt end ones life early but lack of fear can cause them to do things that NT people wouldnt do. I didnt realize this was part of autism/aspergers. Is anyone else like that here?

I ask because that is one of the huge things with my son. He has no fear. The ones he does have are irrational. He will pick up knives, jump from a 2nd story window I truely believe if given the chance, run in the middle of the parking lot, street, right in front of a car. I have other kids, and he is nothing like them. They know. He doesnt care. HE would repeatedly touch hot stoves, pots, pans ect even after being burned, having me yell at him, spanked whatever I had to do to stop him from hurting himself. No physical repercussion from either hurting himself or otherwise would ever deter him from doing dangerous things. Sometimes I think he cant feel so he has no fear. He has fallen down stairs and not cried. Got blood drawn and not flinched. Is this what causes no fear?



ZeroGravitas
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11 Apr 2011, 9:23 am

There may be something to it. I find it very hard to fear animals, and my reflexes don't seem to really express fear very well (for instance, I've been mugged before without realizing it.)

I don't know if you'd call it a lack of fear, though. Maybe a more accurate way of describing it would be that only in hindsight does one see that one was feeling fear. Or, at the time, the fear just doesn't seem to be that significant. At the same time, some other fear or worry may be very strongly felt and acted on. This inconsistency is rather interesting.


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twinsmummy20
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11 Apr 2011, 9:28 am

ZeroGravitas wrote:
There may be something to it. I find it very hard to fear animals, and my reflexes don't seem to really express fear very well (for instance, I've been mugged before without realizing it.)

I don't know if you'd call it a lack of fear, though. Maybe a more accurate way of describing it would be that only in hindsight does one see that one was feeling fear. Or, at the time, the fear just doesn't seem to be that significant. At the same time, some other fear or worry may be very strongly felt and acted on. This inconsistency is rather interesting.



That is what is so interesting with my son. He doesnt fear things that can really hurt him. However, he is PETRIFIED of me taking my BABY across a foot bridge. He will walk across it. But had a melt down when I let my 2 year old walk. It had solid sturdy railings and he couldnt fall off, but he had a melt down screaming at me to carry my 2 year old (he is 4). He is afraid of my 2 year old walking but not himself. This has happened on a few bridges we have been on. He also fears being left. I have a stroller that he can stand or sit on the back of so he can get off and on it. If I move the stroller a half inch he comes running and screaming like I was going to leave him. He screams dont leave me! I feel bad but I dont understand why an intense fear of things that are nonissues, but will run in front of a car (and he would)



KBerg
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11 Apr 2011, 10:15 am

Oh, I can feel fear. It just doesn't seem to trigger on things that are instinctive to other people. Animals, standing too close on cliffs or heights.. doesn't really connect on that instinctive danger level to me as acutely... with animals I am aware, but I'm not at all afraid... similarly a few people who were quite dangerous to others didn't trigger anything - but I think those, they weren't dangerous to me because I didn't have that negative social reaction other people had towards them and it totally threw them off. But I've been absolutely terrified for my life. However that's usually involved people, social situations or unexpected changes or demands.

I have a reduced pain reaction, so the intense pain other people are terrified of feels easier to deal with for me than an uncomfortable sensory experience. The sensation of hot air rushing when opening an oven bothers me even more than a burn I might get taking the item out of the oven. Both hurt, but in 10 mins the burn will be forgotten but the hot air sensation is still with me. In my case physical pain doesn't really bother me as much as it does other people, but anxiety enhances the effects of negative social feedback from getting social stuff wrong and also makes it hard to deal with changes. Looking at my leg and seeing that oh, that fall was pretty bad and that's quite a bit of blood... well that's something I know how to handle, there's not really many options when it comes to physical injury - unlike other people's reactions. The leg's dealable, people... less so.



wavefreak58
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11 Apr 2011, 11:08 am

I wonder if it is a lack of fear or a lack of awareness of what is dangerous. If perception and processing is atypical, then assembling the mental prototypes of what should generate fear will also be atypical.


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XLCR
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11 Apr 2011, 11:16 am

I don't know how many times in my life I've been told, "did you know you were bleeding?" Clumsiness and a lack of pain is very familiar here. As far as fear goes, I worry myself sick about things that may not even happen, but when I'm actually in a life-threatening situation I'm completely calm, like it's happening to someone else. I have found this to be a positive survival trait, I believe it has saved my life at least once.



twinsmummy20
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11 Apr 2011, 12:07 pm

XLCR wrote:
I don't know how many times in my life I've been told, "did you know you were bleeding?" Clumsiness and a lack of pain is very familiar here. As far as fear goes, I worry myself sick about things that may not even happen, but when I'm actually in a life-threatening situation I'm completely calm, like it's happening to someone else. I have found this to be a positive survival trait, I believe it has saved my life at least once.


My husband constantly gets hurt and doesnt know what he did. He gets bruises EVERYWHERE and has no clue where they came from. He is very clumsy.



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11 Apr 2011, 12:52 pm

I also have a lack of fear when it comes to animals. I went up and pet a pit bull when I was out with my friends last Wednesday, just to make a point that the dog was harmless and they couldn't believe it.


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StuartN
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11 Apr 2011, 2:38 pm

twinsmummy20 wrote:
I was just reading an article that was saying how being autistic doesnt end ones life early but lack of fear can cause them to do things that NT people wouldnt do. I didnt realize this was part of autism/aspergers. Is anyone else like that here?


Some descriptions that I have read mention "a lack of imagination", and specifically the danger associated with an inability to imagine the consequences of an action. I can not relate to the description, but my link worker has talked about "a lack of social imagination" and the inability to predict the social reactions to an action - this I do have, from the laughable mistake to the dangerous annoyance. Both can look similar to impulsiveness.

Another common issue is an inability to generalise - the hot plate burns, but having learned that, it is not obvious that the hot plate in somebody else's house, or a restaurant, or a barbecue, also burns.