aren't retarded people the opposite of autistic people?

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felinesaresuperior
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04 Aug 2011, 11:45 am

and don't you just love them? i think retarded people are sweet and mellow with a sunny side to them. they're honest and kind and bond with animals.
i wonder if other autistic people like retarded people, too, and feel more comfortable around them and feel some kind of bonding with them, like i do. and do you think they're the opposite of us? we're tempermental, they're docile. we have a higher intelligence level and they have a lower one. we're hyper and prone to frustration, they're calm. we're suspicious and they're trusting, (too damn trusting for their own good, sometimes. there are all kind of sickos out there). we get bored quickly, they're content in doing boring chores. we're unfriendly to strangers, they're super friendly and open.



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04 Aug 2011, 11:59 am

I can't say I exactly agree with Autism being opposite of other forms or retardation or disability, but I would say that the speed of development is out of sync in Autism. For instance, I have very vivid memories of frustration in being unable to get information and answers before I was able to speak. I guess my mind advanced too early in a quest for learning, while my ability to communicate remained normal or perhaps a bit late. I guess that's the only "advancement" if we call that the opposite of a retardation. It wasn't necessarily a good thing though. Other forms of development were very VERY late, or have never come about. While I can communicate better than most in writing, and perfectly well verbally, I am completely stumped when it comes to body language. If you don't speak or write what you want or what you feel, I will not have any idea whether you're happy, angry, sad, or want me to help you somehow. That's definitely a retardation or a disability in human society.

Physically, I was all out-of-sync as well, with development. Although I walked early, I was very clumsy with gross motor skills, and completely flunked at things like catching a ball, and was unable to ride a bicycle until someone explained to me the laws of inertia and the other physics which cause a bicycle to stay upright. My mind would not let me just get on and try, but once I understood that science, I got right on and rode a bicycle and within a few months, I was riding motorcycles and loved it. Never fell, while other kids "learned by falling", which made no sense to me if there was a scientific way to learn in stead. Kind of weird, isn't it! Oh, and based on all I've read here, and on my own life experience, an Autistic usually cannot keep rhythm or dance worth a darn. Fine motor skills were definitely early, and are the best anyone could want. Things like changing watch batteries, repairing glasses frames, or reaching into a blind place to start a nut & bolt with one hand, etc., are a breeze for me.

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04 Aug 2011, 12:40 pm

Do not recognize myself at all in your description, if anything we are very much alike. All the qualities you named can also be found in autistic people. Yeah i like them a lot since they have this communication style that is so real. As opposed to normal functioning people who have a layer of bullshit on top of everything they do.

I dont know, lately i have been starting to think i should not use the word ''we'' because i don't feel like a full aspie. And therefore i should not try to be a spokesperson for a group of people. I am on the edge of the spectrum and my view of autism is a very positive one, this is based on my own experiences and with the aspies i have met in person. I feel like i have the best of both worlds. This seems so different to the general opinion that people have about their diagnosis.



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04 Aug 2011, 1:24 pm

Retarded people are just like autistic people. When you have met one retarded person, you have met one retarded person. Some are nice and really cool to be around and others can be really mean. It depend upon the person. Yesterday, I was in an art studio for developmentally disabled (retarded) artists, and some of their work was pretty darned good. The art is not worth much because it is actually pretty.


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04 Aug 2011, 3:36 pm

I know a young man with a mind of a 2-year-old. But then, I wouldn't even say it's the mind of a 2-year-old, because 2-year-olds are different to him. When he's been in a temper, he's done things like tip huge objects over like a wardrobe but he does it without showing angry or harsh emotions (but the carers know that he is angry), whereas a 2-year-old wouldn't do it like that. Then once when we took him out for a meal, he suddenly started repeatively saying, ''I wanna go home I wanna go home I wanna go home I wanna go home.....'' and so on. He must have said it about 300 times in a low monotone voice. Even a 2-year-old wouldn't do that. But I'm not sure if an Autistic person would do this or not.

There is a difference between retarded people and Autistic people, but the differences are so hard to classify, even though there are obvious differences. But I wouldn't say they are opposite. I don't even think there are any logical ''opposites'' in neurology. OK, sometimes I exaggerate and say, ''my confident NT cousin is the complete opposite from me!'' OK, maybe it looks true in a way, but I never really consider any neurology to be ''the complete opposite''. Neurology is a very complicated thing, because everybody is different.


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04 Aug 2011, 3:59 pm

Many people diagnosed with autism are also diagnosed with mental retardation. You can try to make the categories mutually exclusive by saying that in the case of an autism diagnosis, the IQ test results were wrong (and given the difference between WISC results and Raven results, they quite possibly are). But if that is the case, how do you know that all the other people who are diagnosed with mental retardation but not autism aren't also covertly smart in their own way?



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04 Aug 2011, 4:04 pm

I don't see why autistic people and retarded people would be opposites. Some people are both, actually, so unless they're some kind of walking oxymoron, I kinda doubt that the two things are opposites.

I think we have a lot in common with cognitively disabled people. We have some of the same cognitive issues--like, taking longer to learn things like taking care of ourselves; or needing to be reminded; organization issues... Both groups need special ed at least some of the time (not everybody, but a big portion of both groups), and both groups aren't quite part of mainstream society.

The whole weird-brain thing is something we have in common. People who have MR-only aren't socially delayed beyond their global delay, in general; but that global delay can mean social skills equivalent to an autistic person without MR.

Usually, because of how IQ tests are used to test mostly academic talent, people with MR will be more delayed in school than in the rest of their lives. So, they'll be more likely to have socializing as an area of strength. But it's really not hard-and-fast. Some suck at socializing just as much as an autistic person might. Some are introverts and prefer their own company. Some have talents in other areas that don't involve socializing.

Oh, and people with cognitive impairments are more likely to have savant skills, just like autistic people. So there's another thing we might have in common--extreme specialization.

The whole "Retarded people are happy sunny extroverts" thing has always kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I don't see why they should be any happier or sunnier than anybody else. I mean, some are; but then, so are some NTs. They can be nasty and annoying bullies, too. You just can't make predictions about a whole group like that. People are too diverse; it doesn't work.


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04 Aug 2011, 4:25 pm

I do see some of my detriments as retardation. And, although I don't know anyone who was officially diagnosed with mental retardation, I knew a couple of people in my life who might have it to a certain degree. I would say they were all mild cases, and all of them were kind people, to whom I could easily relate. Sometimes this strange dichotomy of intelligence left me wondering about the underlying causes, but I could never come up with anything close to an acceptable explanation. Maybe there are autistic traits present in those people too.


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04 Aug 2011, 5:29 pm

You can't tell particularly, in the mild range. Those people mostly show up on tests, once they start school and are still lagging behind their classmates; and they don't tend to have any congenital disorders--they're just on the low end of the bell curve. We didn't even used to diagnose them at all until IQ testing came out and they called them "morons" (which used to be a medical term rather than an insult). They're the people who will grow up to live on their own, possibly marry, probably be self-supporting. They need about as much support as the average non-developmentally-delayed autistic.

I used to work at Goodwill (for those of you who don't know, they do supported employment for developmentally delayed people) and my DD coworkers were just as competent as anyone. Most likely they were in the mild range. The sheltered workshops and such you'll probably see more moderate-range MR, because people in that range generally need a little more support with everyday things.

There's one thing that kind of annoys me about MR diagnosis, and that's the emphasis they put on IQ scores. In educational environments, IQ is relevant because it tests a lot of academic skills; but in daily life, it's not as relevant. Since most of their lives will be spent out of school, not in it, I'd want to look at their adaptive skills more than anything else in order to do the mild/moderate/severe/profound categories. That way they'd be more predictive of the level of support they'd need--Occasional support? Someone to check in every week? Daily visits? 24-hour live-in help?

I've said it about a million times--but I really think a diagnosis is only as useful as the amount of help it gives professionals in guiding treatment/support/therapy. That's why I think they ought to use the IQ as a benchmark for education only (placement modified by future school performance), and use support levels for diagnostic categories instead.


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04 Aug 2011, 6:25 pm

Callista wrote:
I've said it about a million times--but I really think a diagnosis is only as useful as the amount of help it gives professionals in guiding treatment/support/therapy. That's why I think they ought to use the IQ as a benchmark for education only (placement modified by future school performance), and use support levels for diagnostic categories instead.


That's a great idea. The IQ test was only ever meant to funnel some kids into Special Ed, after all. In childhood, the parents do all the living support. Once out of school the relevent thing is how much support you need for daily life. Sheltered workshop? Vocational training? Assisted living? No assisted living but disability payments? Somebody to help with bills once a month? Somebody to help with grocery shopping once a week? Somebody to help you eat every day? IQ tests get used as a proxy predictor for those needs but actually assessing those literal needs would be more efficient rather than fumbling around with guesses like "well, somebody with a 120 IQ must not need any help paying bills but somebody with a 65 IQ does so that's how we'll assign". Proxy guessing is unreliable.



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04 Aug 2011, 6:42 pm

Quote:
aren't retarded people the opposite of autism


No, they're separate traits. You can be non-autistic and retarded, autistic and retarded, autistic and not retarded or neither autistic nor retarded.

Quote:
and don't you just love them? i think retarded people are sweet and mellow with a sunny side to them. they're honest and kind and bond with animals.


Some are, some non-retarded people are too. I've also met cranky tempermental retarded people too. They all have their own personalities.

Quote:
i wonder if other autistic people like retarded people, too, and feel more comfortable around them and feel some kind of bonding with them, like i do. and do you think they're the opposite of us?


I bond somewhat with them as fellow disabled people. And because many retarded people, even if they're not autistic, have autistic traits such as stimming or sensory sensitivities.

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we're tempermental, they're docile


No, we're usually tempermental and they can be docile, tempermental or anywhere in between.

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we have a higher intelligence level and they have a lower one.


Autistics can have any IQ score, from under 20 to over 180. Two things - we tend to be more at the extremes, both retarded and gifted; and we tend to have more scatter between different skills. But as I said, there are retarded autistic people.

Quote:
we're hyper and prone to frustration, they're calm


Actually, I've met far more hyperactive retarded people than calm ones. There's a higher prevalence of ADHD among retarded people, somewhere around 50% or so. And many of those that aren't hyper aren't particularly calm either. I've only met a few that I'd call really calm (one of whom is also autistic).

Quote:
we're suspicious and they're trusting, (too damn trusting for their own good, sometimes. there are all kind of sickos out there)


Actually, autistic people are more often overly trusting than highly suspicious. And almost every highly suspcious autistic was an overly trusting autistic who got hurt by someone. Both autistics and retarded people tend to be more trusting simply because of poorer social skills, making us less able to conceive of how someone might manipulate the situation to their own gain.

Quote:
we get bored quickly, they're content in doing boring chores


Some retarded people get bored quickly. Lower intelligence tends to mean less need for intellectual stimulation, but that doesn't translate into less need for stimulation overall. Especially if they're retarded/ADHD. And many autistics like repetitive tasks, especially if they're related to an obsessive interest. After all, one of the early signs of autism is repetitive play such as lining up blocks endlessly. It's only when the repetitive task is imposed by others that they have problems.

Quote:
we're unfriendly to strangers, they're super friendly and open.


I'm super friendly and open, and I'm autistic and intellectually gifted. I tell random store clerks my research ideas, or that I'm autistic, or random thoughts of mine. I'm weird and often feel awkward, but I come across as pretty sociable. And I've met retarded people all over the spectrum of sociability, too. I've met shy people, unsociable people, moderately friendly people, super-friendly people, cliquish people, etc. IQ does not equal personality.



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04 Aug 2011, 6:59 pm

Heh, yeah. I'm very introverted, but I'm the absolute opposite of shy. I will cheerfully talk to perfect strangers about things most people wouldn't even discuss with their best friends. I don't know how to keep a secret and I'm long past being embarrassed about anything. I've got a mental list of questions not to ask and things not to say, each one originating from an innocent inquiry on my part that ended in offense. Sometimes, when I get to talking about special interests and using very long words to be precise about them, people think I'm a genius; other times, when I follow the meaningless patterns of conversations without worrying about actually transferring information, they'll assume I'm mentally retarded. I still prefer being alone and have no problem not seeing people for weeks at a time, but I'm not shy in public.


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04 Aug 2011, 7:16 pm

too many people think they are the same tho...



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04 Aug 2011, 8:48 pm

This topic seems somewhat patronizing.



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04 Aug 2011, 9:12 pm

I love them. I call them Sids after Sid from Flushed Away, because they're so sweet and huggable. :O)


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04 Aug 2011, 9:51 pm

I have worked with developmentally disabled people for all my teen years. I think I met only a few of them my entire life that meets that description, most are very autistic on speed-ish.

The only ones that meet your description are those with down's syndrome. They have got to be the happiest most lovabable and trusting people on the planet. But there are many other forms of developmental disabilities.
Did you know that autism is also a form of developmental disorder? We are not so much opposites as we are 2nd cousins to those with mental retardation.
Our opposites are probably sociopaths because a sociopath understands social rules and ways very well and can morph into whoever they want to be for personal gain. They know NT's social system and exploit it for their own benifit.
We can be only who we are, although we try to act NT, our true self shines through anyway. We are usually honest to a fault and are not really capable of manipulation on the level that sociopaths are by any chance. We dont understand the NT social system.
Ironicly, some of us get labeled as sociopaths for some reason unknown to me.


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