Grand Unified Theory of Autism-Social and language problems

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Mdyar
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29 Oct 2011, 11:40 pm

Verdandi wrote:

Theory of mind does not need to cause a deficit in nonverbal communication, although the ability to exercise theory of mind can certainly be lacking without the ability to perceive and/or interpret the input.


This idea of body language and ToM impairment as inextricably linked ( "as central") is my idea, (I did not read this).

Now to falsify it one would have to come up with an autistic individual(s) who can read/intuit body language on an NT level.

The acid test: Is there an autistic individual that you are aware of in any way, that can do this?

The Asperger criteria 299.80 allows a diagnoses without: I (A)

(I) Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
(A) marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction.

I made a query about this some time ago and my thought was could such an individual exist without this " I(A)" impairment.

Evidently this exception allows this, but miss btbnnyr at one time presented some contrary facts against my notion. It seemed reasonable.

Bottom line: Is this exception *designed* into this, or is it something else?

Thoughts?



Last edited by Mdyar on 30 Oct 2011, 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

btbnnyr
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29 Oct 2011, 11:42 pm

It's all a matter of numbers. There are so many more NTs, who all positively reinforce each other's NT ToM second-in and second-out, until it is very difficult for NTs, including scientists, to conceive that there are other kinds of minds with other thoughts and feelings in response to the same sensory stimuli, e.g. a non-verbal cue. These other thoughts and feelings are not recognized as such, because they just don't fit the extremely reinforced and locked-down pattern that started developing in childhood and has continued into adulthood without any need to adapt to a different pattern. Also, when the other thoughts and feelings are described in language, the language used may not fit the NT pattern of language either, so the thoughts and feelings indicative of a different kind of mentalizing may not be recognized as such even when they are communicated explicitly.



swbluto
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29 Oct 2011, 11:44 pm

OK, I've read the responses, and it seems my interpretation of ToM and "the line separating other" might be peculiar to my particular situation and "my ToM", so it might have a bit of "NT" bias, and/or possibly schizophrenic bias (Which would make it pretty strange, understandably.). In other words, it's mainly just a hypothesis that seemed like it could be true in MY SITUATION but MY SITUATION might not be autistic or only partially so. Furthermore, since it's a hypothesis... it could be wrong. ::gasp::



btbnnyr
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29 Oct 2011, 11:48 pm

Mdyar wrote:
Now to falsify it one would have to come up with an autistic individual(s) who can read/intuit body language on an NT level.

The acid test: Is there an autistic individual that you are aware of in any way, that can do this?


Yes, we should test how well autistics read the body language of NTs, how well NTs read the body languge of autistics, how well NTs read each other's body language, and how well autistics read each other's body language.

I think we would find that NTs have even more severe deficits reading autistic body language than autistics do reading NT body language, and in this case, NTs would fit that DSM criterion even more than autistics would fit the criterion in the opposite case. This is because autistics are surrounded by NTs and have had to adapt to NTs much more than the other way around.



btbnnyr
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30 Oct 2011, 12:14 am

Here's an example of a social "norm" for autistics. I had an autistic friend, and whenever we went out to eat, we would always sit on the same side of the table. For us, there was no need to sit face-to-face, because there is no benefit to doing so. There is no information to be communicated that way. Anything that needs to be communicated can be said. There is a lot of benefit from sitting side-by-side, because we get to look at the physical world from the same perspective this way. We are not obsessed with each other, and there is very little mentalizing about each other in our conversations, so we don't have to pay the price of sitting face-to-face, locked into each other's faces at the expense of observing the physical world, when we can look at the world the same way instead.

Autistics do not think and feel AT each other in the way that NTs do. The non-verbal cues of autistics are not as much about communicating these thoughts and feelings AT each other TO each other. In my interruption examples, the cues all have to do with one person's internal state of mind while writing on the computer without mentalizing about other people. The eye contact example is really an exception. I rarely make non-verbal cues at people to convey info like what I want them to do. I would just tell them what I wanted them to do. The GTFO eye contact usually happens after the interruption with stimming. Interruption without stimming leads directly to the spoken "GTFO". GTFO eye contact is really my NT adaptation to get people to go away without having to tell them to go away. Not very effective when it's interpreted when it's interpreted through a different ToM though. What would happen if an autistic person found me staring into their eyes? They would probably feel really uncomfortable with the eye contact and GTFO.



Mdyar
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30 Oct 2011, 12:28 am

Say with my attentional problems, I can say if the world were full of ADD folks I would not have a problem. I could understand their drifting mental set and, though chaotic and disorganized as they are, it would be easier if those other folks were in the minority.

But I see a deviation in the way my mind processess information from a 'mean' and see it for what it does and the cost: An inability to fully interface a fast paced world on its own level.

It all depends on how you look at it.



Last edited by Mdyar on 30 Oct 2011, 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

btbnnyr
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30 Oct 2011, 12:50 am

But do you really feel the need to interface with the world at such a fast pace at the mean level?

With autism, that need to interface with the NT world at the mean level, let's say socially, is missing in some significant proportion of adults and a much more significant proportion of children.

I remember being happiest when I interfaced with the world completely on my own terms in childhood. I completely ignored people and interfaced with blocks. I described myself as a "happy bubbly child" to the headshrinkers who brought up ASD when I went to see them initially, but they dismissed it upon hearing my self-perception of my "happy bubbly childhood", which they interpreted to mean normal child normally playing and interacting. Months later, the topic of my childhood came up again, and I mentioned that my mother told me that I was an emotionless automaton, both now and as a child, and I saw the headshrinker's eyes bug out at these two conflicting perceptions of one person. The whole thing delayed my diagnosis, but it's funny in retrospect.



swbluto
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30 Oct 2011, 2:14 am

wavefreak58 wrote:
ediself wrote:
wavefreak58 wrote:
swbluto wrote:
I think I found a possible explanation that could explain many social and communication deficits in autism.


So you have solved the mysteries of autism where decades of research have failed?

Your awesomeness is beyond description.

Are you sure you're autistic? Narcissism seem a better fit.

I've been trying to read the rest of the thread but couldn't. I was too bothered by this post. I don't find any hints of NPD in the OP, and believe me when I say this, I've married one. No narcissist is going to reflect on himself, especially not long enough to find any flaws in himself, and/or try to find what is wrong with himself.
The way the OP gracefully accepts criticism , the total absence of camouflaged rage/mockery is also a good hint.
Don't stir people in the direction of questionning whether or not they are sociopaths, once an autistic person starts researching something like this, they run the risk of adopting the culture. And it's a bad one.


This thread is just part of a pattern. Maybe it isn't narcissism, but there are recurring themes and attitudes in swbluto's posts that never seem to progress towards some from of resolution. Endless ruminations are not useful. I can't help but wonder if the posts themselves are what are important to him. The content isn't the issue, it's the long threads with multiple responders. This is narcissistic, even if the theme is one of self reflection.

Genuine self reflection leads somewhere.

So maybe it isn't narcissism. But I can't escape the feeling that there is something more than perseveration on autism going on here.

Autism is a tough thing. It requires work to overcome it, even if only partially. I don't see any work. I only see endless discussion.


Lol, the purpose of this thread was trying to find an explanation to my particular ToM problems so that I could understand it and trying to relate it to autism in order to possibly help others understand it. Since it was a hypothesis, it might be wrong and the purpose of this thread is to discuss it.

Anyway, the pattern you're seeing seems to make me think you're thinking of....

Image

Right?

If so, you're right. Yes, like everyone, I seek attention and probably more than others around here. That doesn't mean that's my only purpose in my threads, though. I'm usually looking for signs and enhanced understanding so that I can get a better idea of what the central issues to my social difficulties might be -- the main purpose of this thread was to find an explanation to the language problems and social "weirdnesses" I noticed that I seem to have.



Verdandi
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30 Oct 2011, 3:20 am

Mdyar wrote:
Verdandi wrote:

Theory of mind does not need to cause a deficit in nonverbal communication, although the ability to exercise theory of mind can certainly be lacking without the ability to perceive and/or interpret the input.


This idea of body language and ToM impairment as inextricably linked ( "as central") is my idea, (I did not read this).

Now to falsify it one would have to come up with an autistic individual(s) who can read/intuit body language on an NT level.

The acid test: Is there an autistic individual that you are aware of in any way, that can do this?

The Asperger criteria 299.80 allows a diagnoses without: I (A)

(I) Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
(A) marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction.

I made a query about this some time ago and my thought was could such an individual could exist without this " I(A)" impairment.

Evidently this exception allows this, but miss btbnnyr at one time presented some contrary facts against my notion. It seemed reasonable.

Bottom line: Is this exception *designed* into this, or is it something else?

Thoughts?


Joe90 says she can read body language, but has severe anxiety around it. Assuming she's not misdiagnosed, that's one example right there. Others have talked about being able to read body language while watching other people interact. I know when watching television or movies, I am better able to read the people on the screen than I am when I interact with people in real life. Admittedly, I don't think I ever approach NT levels.

My point was more the reverse - that an inability to read social cues can be present but not necessarily be caused by lack of theory of mind. It'll still impact theory of mind, because if you can't read the information, you can't use it.



Last edited by Verdandi on 30 Oct 2011, 4:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

peterd
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30 Oct 2011, 3:53 am

Well, I can read body language, from a distance, given time. What I can't do is respond in real time as though I had NT ToM.

The idea that's common among autistics that Theory of Mind is a theory that can be thought through, and acquired by thinking about it, is entirely incorrect. It's usually not thought about by the NTs who have it, only by the autistics that don't.



League_Girl
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30 Oct 2011, 4:00 am

Verdandi wrote:
Mdyar wrote:
Verdandi wrote:

Theory of mind does not need to cause a deficit in nonverbal communication, although the ability to exercise theory of mind can certainly be lacking without the ability to perceive and/or interpret the input.


This idea of body language and ToM impairment as inextricably linked ( "as central") is my idea, (I did not read this).

Now to falsify it one would have to come up with an autistic individual(s) who can read/intuit body language on an NT level.

The acid test: Is there an autistic individual that you are aware of in any way, that can do this?

The Asperger criteria 299.80 allows a diagnoses without: I (A)

(I) Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
(A) marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction.

I made a query about this some time ago and my thought was could such an individual could exist without this " I(A)" impairment.

Evidently this exception allows this, but miss btbnnyr at one time presented some contrary facts against my notion. It seemed reasonable.

Bottom line: Is this exception *designed* into this, or is it something else?

Thoughts?


Joe90 says she can read body language, but has severe anxiety around it. Assuming she's not misdiagnosed, that's one example right there. Others have talked about being able to read body language while watching other people interact. I know when watching television or movies, I am better able to read the people on the screen than I am when I interact with people in real life. Admittedly, I don't think I ever approach NT levels.

My point wasn't more the reverse - that an inability to read social cues can be present but not necessarily be caused by lack of theory of mind. It'll still impact theory of mind, because if you can't read the information, you can't use it.



I knew an aspie online who also could read body language but people couldn't read him.



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30 Oct 2011, 8:02 am

Mdyar wrote:
Verdandi wrote:

Theory of mind does not need to cause a deficit in nonverbal communication, although the ability to exercise theory of mind can certainly be lacking without the ability to perceive and/or interpret the input.


This idea of body language and ToM impairment as inextricably linked ( "as central") is my idea, (I did not read this).

Now to falsify it one would have to come up with an autistic individual(s) who can read/intuit body language on an NT level.

The acid test: Is there an autistic individual that you are aware of in any way, that can do this?


If by intuitive you mean:

outside of concious processing; not having to actively think about solving it but the answers just "come forth" as the result of immediate and fast subconscious processing, then: here!

That would be me now. Not sure this is what you had in mind though.

Simply excuse the distracting seconds of ADHD after which I have to relocate my focus back to my companion(s). You'd also have to excuse the impaired intuitive "affective empathy" though since it's very likely not part of my ASD anyway.

A lot of arguments point to that whatever it is that makes me have an ASD is basically a major (sensory) processing impairment. (It is responsible for my routines, my language deficits, my "sensory issues", for some of my different way of thinking, my non-verbal deficits...)

It puts me into a situation similar to that of a normal developing toddler - having acknowledged that non-verbal cues do exist it was and still is just a matter of paying attention to them because they end up "making sense" despite my opinion of the whole emotional human race business.

My impairment of sensory processing makes me aware of way too many details of non-verbal communication that I still end up misjudging the situation but that impairment doesn't mean I can't do that reading of non-verbal cues similar to those "normal" people who're better at becoming aware of non-verbal signals than the average normal person.

It's the so far apparently uncontrollable nature of my processing impairment that sort of "grants" me all levels of non-verbal mastery: beyond dreadful, average or an excellent basis for manipulation.

(Note: average normal people definitely are better at being able to do it 24/7 due to their much more stable ability to function that I don't have but most normal people are quite bad at figuring out who hates and who meant to express which message. Makes for some awkward moments, especially because some few, odd people hate to admit the autistic person has a better grasp of current social events than them. There are few exceptions of normal people who really have a striking awareness of what's going on around them before it becomes extremely obvious.)

But I'm not sure how many people with an ASD have what I have. I wish research had discovered all causes of what makes people fulfil criteria for an ASD. Perhaps then I'd be able to wrap my head around that strange concept of TOM for real.


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30 Oct 2011, 8:36 am

Going back to the original post, the incomplete or otherwise compromised distinction between self and others or environment is indeed a central issue in autism.

Unfortunately, people normally associate this kind of stuff with psychoanalysis, and therefore leave it out on the curb on trash day. But the reality of it has nothing to do with psychoanalysis and everything to do with our material brains.



Mdyar
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30 Oct 2011, 10:23 am

Poke wrote:
Going back to the original post, the incomplete or otherwise compromised distinction between self and others or environment is indeed a central issue in autism.

Unfortunately, people normally associate this kind of stuff with psychoanalysis, and therefore leave it out on the curb on trash day. But the reality of it has nothing to do with psychoanalysis and everything to do with our material brains.


OK, Sora is the prima facie case for complete ToM within the scope of autism. Interesting.

Poke: This is the reality of it. Whatever way you look at it, it is a significant deviation or a variant of behavior that extracts oneself, or causes a splitting off from the 'norm.'

This, likely with a set of behavioral patterns that include a lack in complete Theory of Mind.

Edit: It would be interesting to see if this intuitive reading of body language, would enable a higher order ToM, such as non-literalness.



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30 Oct 2011, 4:24 pm

Mdyar wrote:
OK, Sora is the prima facie case for complete ToM within the scope of autism. Interesting.


Compared to that possibility, actually I think it's more likely that TOM impairments in autistic children and adults do not exist in a specific, general form.


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