Gifted people are similar to autistics?

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Callista
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03 Feb 2012, 9:36 am

I think gifted non-autisticsa and autistics are alike in two ways: One, they are different from the average, and so are, in a way, neurodiverse, and share the experience of being different. And two, they have talents that are as good as or better than an autistic person's special interests or splinter skills; and so they share the experience of being very skilled in some areas. Of course a gifted person will be more globally skilled--able to do just about anything, rather than the autistic person's specific talents. But the similarities are still enough that the two groups can see eye-to-eye.

There's a big cultural gap, though. If you're autistic, you're disabled and society subconsciously puts you in an "inferior" category. If you're gifted, the opposite happens and you're thought of as "superior". If either person internalizes that idea--if the autistic person thinks of himself as inferior or assumes others think of him that way; or if the gifted person has grown prideful and considers himself to be better than others; then it will be very difficult for the two people to communicate effectively despite the similarities that should really draw them together.

And then, of course, you have the gifted autistics: People who have a globally high level of ability, and splinter skills that go higher, and weaknesses that go much lower. They have the problems and advantages of both groups.


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03 Feb 2012, 10:44 am

I was classed as gifted at school, but only found out I'm Asperger's quite recently. For me, one experience sums up the difference between gifted NT and Aspie.

When I was in junior school (aged about 8-11) the local authority organised activities each year for 'gifted children'. There were various opportunities for group work and socialising, but even within this group I was the one who always ended up working alone and talking to the adults.



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03 Feb 2012, 10:48 am

Phonic wrote:
I got my IQ test results today and has I've noticed something: Why are the characteristics of gifted people so similar to those of autistics?


As per thread, and something I'd like to add: The uneven skills that are evident in Autism are present in ADHD via cognitive testings( WAIS). There is probably more similarity between these two groups vs. a solid Gifted NT. It is common to see IQ subtest scatter in both ADHD and Autism. You dont see this large scatter with Gifted NT's.

One controlled study in particular study shows an (non autistic) ADHD group as having near 2 standard deviations difference (30 points) in one subtest vs. average folk on test. ( Implicating a coding problem as learning new information.)

You can look at Mensa and they have a niche for these( ADHD members) as well. Some anecdotes from the ADHD Gifted at Mensa show very high to very low 'life performance skills' in the same person, e.g poor math skills.



Last edited by Mdyar on 07 Feb 2012, 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

Joe90
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03 Feb 2012, 1:09 pm

In my last two years of school I took music class because I could play the piano. There was only a few people in my music group but all of them were gifted (except me). And they all had a niceness to their personalities. Nobody smoked or took drugs or bunked lessons or swore, the girls didn't wear any make-up or had their hair styled, and they were very mature for their age. And a couple of the boys were quite extroverted but were still really nice. They loved hanging about in the library at lunchtimes and studying for art and music, which was what they enjoyed doing. And nobody were liable to bully or laugh at others or muck about.

I'm not saying all NTs are nasty except gifted ones, because that isn't true. But a lot of NT teenagers at school were very closed-minded and judgemental and acted so bitchy and cared more about having friends than they did their work, whereas the gifted teenagers were more open-minded, caring, mature, and cared about their work and what grades they got. They sat still in class when the teacher was talking and the teacher never shouted at them once. They hung about with eachother and went into the library and sat around the table and read books, or went into the music department to practise their music. One of the girls had chronic depression, and all she did every lunchtime was paint really beautiful pictures and got A's and A+'s for it.

Sadly, I had the chance to hang out with them but I felt I wasn't clever enough, and funnily enough I got more included in types of girls who had very low IQs and were in the bottom set for everything and needed extra help with their work. I did too. Some of them smoked, other played on their mobiles throughout most lessons, and other bunked lessons and hung about in the toilets. One or two even got pregnant by older aged men and left school before they were 16 to have their baby.

I wish I had stuck with the others from my music class. But a lot of teenagers are immature and they seem to think that hanging out with mature gifted kids will break the school social rules. But now as an adult, if I had that chance again, I would take it, because everybody learns once they get into adulthood that you should go with people who are right for you.


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03 Feb 2012, 1:30 pm

artrat wrote:
Gifted NTs are usually better at socializing than aspies.
They don't have sensory issues or obsessive interests.

Gifteds frequently have problem to socialise from being "differents", and they do have obsessive interests (More changing and more varided that those of autistics though) as well as sensory issue having to do with their sensivities. (However, while the autistics got a complex mix of hypo- and hypersensivities, gifteds got a more balanced mix of hypersensivities.)



Last edited by Tollorin on 03 Feb 2012, 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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03 Feb 2012, 1:45 pm

whenever Ive had therapy, the therapist/counselor has said that I dont have aspergers and am just gifted, they say I feel different and alienated because I am cleverer and more intellectual than others, that I relate to emotions and experiences in an intellectual fashion rather than intuitively and with feelings like others. I think they think this because I dont 'look' like an aspie (have make up and wear dresses (not like temple grandin) and because they cant see in therapy that I have problems about sensory stuff and are clumsy.

I think the difference is striking between giftedness and aspergers when you look at the example of Bertrand Russel and Wittgenstein, when Wittgenstein went to uni he studied under Bertrand, and he drove him nuts by going on and on about his points/topics outside of lectures and not talking about anything else, where as Bertrand wanted to talk about other things in his spare time, make small talk (or talk about football and girls??). I found I am in Witters position and unable to get on with other people in uni's as I can only talk about 'serious' discussion type stuff not fun things or peoples lives, which they can all do, even people with doctorates can make small talk so it does not make sense to just dismiss me as 'too intellectual'.



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03 Feb 2012, 2:23 pm

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Gifteds frequently have problem to socialise from being "differents", and they do have obsessive interests (More changing and more varided that those of autistics though)


Frequently-changing obsessive interests are more a case of AS+ADD.

I'm sure there are non-Aspie gifted kids... but I'm equally sure that in most schools, "99%" of the gifted kids are also aspies... partly, because it's the aspie kids who stick out like a sore thumb and really make teachers think, "this kid is probably gifted". I honstly can't think of a single guy (not sure about the girls) from my own gifted classes who could have *possibly* been non-aspie.

In a very real sense, most gifted classes are kind of like special ed for socially-handicapped smart kids.


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03 Feb 2012, 2:38 pm

dr01dguy wrote:
Quote:
Gifteds frequently have problem to socialise from being "differents", and they do have obsessive interests (More changing and more varided that those of autistics though)


Frequently-changing obsessive interests are more a case of AS+ADD.

I'm sure there are non-Aspie gifted kids... but I'm equally sure that in most schools, "99%" of the gifted kids are also aspies... partly, because it's the aspie kids who stick out like a sore thumb and really make teachers think, "this kid is probably gifted". I honstly can't think of a single guy (not sure about the girls) from my own gifted classes who could have *possibly* been non-aspie.

In a very real sense, most gifted classes are kind of like special ed for socially-handicapped smart kids.

What do changing interests have to do with ADD? And on what do you base the idea that every kids in your gifted class was aspie? If that was the case then the selection has pretty bad. Don't forget that they are similar conditions, you may wrongly "diagnosing" a entire gifted class if you don't know for what to really look.



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03 Feb 2012, 2:44 pm

Tollorin wrote:
dr01dguy wrote:
Quote:
Gifteds frequently have problem to socialise from being "differents", and they do have obsessive interests (More changing and more varided that those of autistics though)


Frequently-changing obsessive interests are more a case of AS+ADD.

I'm sure there are non-Aspie gifted kids... but I'm equally sure that in most schools, "99%" of the gifted kids are also aspies... partly, because it's the aspie kids who stick out like a sore thumb and really make teachers think, "this kid is probably gifted". I honstly can't think of a single guy (not sure about the girls) from my own gifted classes who could have *possibly* been non-aspie.

In a very real sense, most gifted classes are kind of like special ed for socially-handicapped smart kids.

What do changing interests have to do with ADD? And on what do you base the idea that every kids in your gifted class was aspie? If that was the case then the selection has pretty bad. Don't forget that they are similar conditions, you may wrongly "diagnosing" a entire gifted class if you don't know for what to really look.


I think so too, there seems to be a denial here that some NTs do share traits with Aspies.

My old best friend was gifted, and actually very well rounded BUT she did have some Aspie traits.

Is she an Aspie? No, she doesn't have impaired TOM, she's not a literal thinker, and although she's introverted, she can be charming with little effort.

This doesn't mean she's exactly like most NTs, she had "quirks", but I think saying anyone who is gifted, quirky, and introverts is an Aspie is really misguided.


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dr01dguy
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03 Feb 2012, 2:56 pm

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I think so too, there seems to be a denial here that some NTs do share traits with Aspies.


Ok, fine. At what point do introverted, socially-handicapped gifted kids with ADHD-PI & perseverative special interests become sufficiently "aspie" to call "aspie"? Because that literally describes *every single guy* who was in my gifted classes between first & eighth grade.


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03 Feb 2012, 3:18 pm

dr01dguy wrote:
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I think so too, there seems to be a denial here that some NTs do share traits with Aspies.


Ok, fine. At what point do introverted, socially-handicapped gifted kids with ADHD-PI & perseverative special interests become sufficiently "aspie" to call "aspie"? Because that literally describes *every single guy* who was in my gifted classes between first & eighth grade.


"Significant impairment" as per DSM. If there are traits present, but are able to get on in life without 'significant,' then it could be the Broader Autism Phenotypes.

I've often sensed/wondered/thought that creative scientists would fill that niche. The local interests are suspiciously narrow/ circumscribed and intense.



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03 Feb 2012, 3:34 pm

EXPECIALLY wrote:
You do see VERY NT, well rounded gifted and genius people but it's rare, I got obsessed with MBTI for awhile and the majority of geniuses were INTJ/INTP which is also the dominating Aspie type.


Off topic but I keep thinking how funny this is. In Keirsey's temperament sorter, INTJ and INTP (along with ENTJ and ENTP) are considered "NT" which is the rational temperament. Every time I see "NT" I think of the Keirsey rational temperament, more than I think of "neurotypical".



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03 Feb 2012, 3:40 pm

Tollorin wrote:
What do changing interests have to do with ADD?


I don't know about other people with ADD/ADHD, but I get bored very easily. I can be obsessed with something for awhile, but suddenly, one day I will just feel like it's time to move on to something else.



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03 Feb 2012, 3:57 pm

dr01dguy wrote:
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I think so too, there seems to be a denial here that some NTs do share traits with Aspies.


Ok, fine. At what point do introverted, socially-handicapped gifted kids with ADHD-PI & perseverative special interests become sufficiently "aspie" to call "aspie"? Because that literally describes *every single guy* who was in my gifted classes between first & eighth grade.


I don't know if you're saying you were in a special ed class or a gifted class.

If it was special ed, then it's more likely they may have been Aspies.

But, the entire reason the DX exists is because AS is a disorder....the NT spectrum also exists.

When they meet the diagnostic criteria is that point, IMO. I think many with ADHD are on the BAP.


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03 Feb 2012, 4:00 pm

Another reason I think it's important to make the distinction is because I've known many Aspie like NTs(myself included), but it isn't fair to label yourself with something if you enjoy the privilege of being considered NT most of the time, IMO.

Many people who might be on the BAP are able to "turn on" the NT side quite easily, I've been shocked many times by how easy seems to be for some people who seem just as weird as me.

I can do the same thing, not quite as well as them but better than most people with ASD.


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dr01dguy
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03 Feb 2012, 4:21 pm

My point is that for all intents and purposes, when *I* was in gifted (1980s), it basically *was* "Special Ed for Supra Genius Kids" (all of whom also happened to have *major* social problems).

They didn't give IQ tests to the entire student body, then put the top 1% in Gifted... you were identified by a teacher as "likely to be gifted", tested, and rescued from the indignity of taking many classes with "normal" students if you passed. Under those conditions, it's unsurprising that all of the guys in my class were blatant aspies by any modern standard. Smart NT guys just fell through the cracks.

As far as being able to "pass for NT" is concerned, the key
question isn't whether or not they can do it, but "how long can they SUSTAIN the 'NT act', and what time threshold disqualifies them from Aspie status if they can say, "Yes, my life has some very real impairments compared to many less-intelligent kids, even if my life isn't completely dysfunctional?"


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