I wish there was treatment for poor social skills

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Joe90
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02 Oct 2012, 12:10 pm

I know people here are so adamant that there is no cure for AS, but I still wish there was something that can make our social skills come more natural to us without saying the wrong thing or appearing odd. And I'm not talking about illegal drugs to make me more confident, I'm talking about sensible medication that can make general social interaction less confusing/more natural and make me more able to make and keep friends.

I'm not talking about a cure, I'm just talking about something that will help. I mean, there's medication for Alzheimer's patients to help slow down the deterioration of the disease in the brain (although it doesn't STOP it, it still helps slow it down), and I know that because I have an elderly relative with diagnosed Alzheimer's. Also there's medication to help people with ADHD, and there's anti-depressants to help those who are depressed, and there's the pill to help women with unbearable periods, and so on. I'm on the pill myself, and I have far less pains and also it has caused no side effects. So I don't see why there can't be medication to help with social skills.

I do hate all my other AS symptoms too, but because I know there's no cure, I'm not asking to change all of that. I think I'd rather go on being overanxious, fearing loud noise, disliking change, having obsessions with bus-drivers, and having overactive emotions, but having much better social skills. Things would be so much better if my social skills were somehow semi-treated. I would have more chance of getting a job (especially in retail), I would enjoy vacations more (because going away with NTs always means ending up feeling obliged to make friends with other people because that's all NTs seem to do on vacations), and I would be able to attend social situations without sitting in the corner quietly like a mouse and worrying about being judged because of being so unusually quiet.

Does anyone agree?


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Kairi96
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02 Oct 2012, 12:24 pm

I wish there was something to help the negative symptoms of Asperger's; a "real" cure is more needed for people with LFA, but I think that for aspies something to help the negative symptoms would be ok... I mean, like something that can help you reading body language and facial expressions more easily, something that improves the motor coordination, or something to help the social anxiety issue a bit more, or symilar things. Shortly, something that helps to mitigate all the negative symptoms of AS.


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Stargazer43
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02 Oct 2012, 12:34 pm

There is treatment. There is therapy, which can help point out what you may be doing wrong socially and aim to teach you how to behave in a given circumstance. There is also medication that can help as well. Sure it may not be 100% effective, but with hard work it can make a huge difference. Of course just how much of a difference obviously depends on the individual and the severity of their issues socially. I will say that if I hadn't had both of those, I'd probably be much worse off nowadays than I currently am.

I've personally had a huge amount of progress but I still have a lot of problems socially. 10 years ago I couldn't even hold a conversation, with anyone. Nowadays I find I actually have a few friends (although no close ones) and am generally respected by my peers. But like with anything, it's always a work in progress!



League_Girl
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02 Oct 2012, 12:55 pm

Actually there is treatment for it. It's called social skills training. You would have to see a therapist for it who works with ASD folks if you can't work on them on your own.


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Last edited by League_Girl on 02 Oct 2012, 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kairi96
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02 Oct 2012, 1:07 pm

Stargazer43 wrote:
There is treatment. There is therapy, which can help point out what you may be doing wrong socially and aim to teach you how to behave in a given circumstance. There is also medication that can help as well. Sure it may not be 100% effective, but with hard work it can make a huge difference. Of course just how much of a difference obviously depends on the individual and the severity of their issues socially. I will say that if I hadn't had both of those, I'd probably be much worse off nowadays than I currently am.

I've personally had a huge amount of progress but I still have a lot of problems socially. 10 years ago I couldn't even hold a conversation, with anyone. Nowadays I find I actually have a few friends (although no close ones) and am generally respected by my peers. But like with anything, it's always a work in progress!


Well, I started having therapy only since I was 11, though I was diagnosed when I was 6(here in Italy they're very slow about these things), and I also take homeopatic medicines. And I'm doing my best to improve. And yes, I improved a lot. But the negative sympoms are still there, they cause me problems, and I would like it if it was something more "decisive".


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arielhawksquill
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02 Oct 2012, 1:20 pm

Are you currently medicated for your anxiety, Joe? It seems like that's the main thing that's holding you back.



lotuspuppy
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02 Oct 2012, 1:28 pm

Treatment exists. It's by no means perfect, but there's much more of it than existed ten years ago, and more will exist ten years from now.



emimeni
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02 Oct 2012, 1:33 pm

League_Girl wrote:
Actually there is treatment for it. It's called social skills training. You would have to see a therapist for it who works with ASD folks of you can't work on them on your own.


lotuspuppy wrote:
Treatment exists. It's by no means perfect, but there's much more of it than existed ten years ago, and more will exist ten years from now.


Actually, both of these people are right. Treatment for poor social skills exist. I received social skills training even before I was diagnosed as being autistic, and no one even questioned why I needed it beyond "She's developmentally delayed.". That tells you how common social ineptitude among disabled people, autistic or not, is.


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Rascal77s
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02 Oct 2012, 1:41 pm

There is a cure for poor social skills: money, lots of it. If you have a lot of it, expensive house, expensive car, expensive clothes, you can be as weird as you want and people will still flock to you.



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02 Oct 2012, 1:58 pm

Rascal, I couldn't agree more.

Regarding social skills, I'm not a fan of training unless it includes telling you the ugly truths that NTs won't talk about but they all learn intuitively and which govern all social interactions. And I don't think any course teaches those. If you don't know those, no social politeness will help you. In fact, polite and odd makes you look worse than natural and odd.

The ugly truths are those things NTs do to be accepted that none of them would be caught dead admitting to. Most social training presents to you a social world that is perfect, utopic and all-congenial and doesn't prepare you to fight dirty as most NTs do because that's the reality of the NT social world.


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02 Oct 2012, 2:39 pm

Although I do not believe it is possible - or ever will be possible - to cure the underlying neurological design we are born with, that does not mean there is nothing you can do. So many of us get hung up on the idea of a cure versus no cure that we forget there are intermediate possibilities.

I haven't tried it myself, but what I've seen of most social skills training seems ridiculous to me, since it is based on a fantasy of what NTs want to believe they are like, rather than what they are really like. That doesn't mean that you can't learn - on your own - to understand more, and function somewhat better. I can't exactly pass for NT, but I've at least reached the point where there are people who accept me for who I am.

How did I treat myself? At the time, I didn't even know that I was, but I read. A lot. Most of what I read was science fiction, or fantasy, or historical fiction - or just old books, from a world we no longer live in (Victorian England, for example). So I was on an equal footing with everyone else; I had to figure out the world in the story, and why the people behaved the way they did. And, by comparing cultures and time periods and learning to figure out imagined alien ways of thought, I learned a lot over time. It wasn't an instant fix, but I did learn. The point is, the writer's job is to mention the cues you're supposed to notice, to filter out the unnecessary details, so this is an ideal way for anyone swamped by too many sensory impressions to learn. I hope that helps. :) (And decent writers usually see through at least some of the pretenses, so they show the world the way it is - or at least more so than a social skills class, as far as I can tell.)


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Surfman
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02 Oct 2012, 2:45 pm

To strengthen and tone an organic thing like a muscle, you train it.

If you want big muscles, you tear the small ones and they get bigger

A job with people, or volunteering in a shelter or such, will expose you to social situations

Sitting at home on your computer all day..... watch the muscles wither and die



Joe90
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02 Oct 2012, 3:23 pm

Well this is the thing....I've done a lot with my life in the past 6 years since I have left school, but it seems I have got shyer as I've gotten older. I spend more time with people than I do sitting at my computer, and yes I may be OK having a descent conversation with one other person, and thankfully I don't interrupt or go on and on about myself or my obsessions. But that doesn't mean all of my social skills are complete. I struggle in other areas like joining in group conversations, although I do listen well.

I have had counselling and I've done CBT, and also I attend a social group, and I do voluntary work too (I've been doing that for over 4 years, in 2 different environments), but I still don't think my social skills have changed because of it. At my first voluntary job I started getting criticised because of one of my social quirks which apparently is ''looking over people's shoulders too much'', in other words talking to people who weren't talking to me (not strangers, just other people who I volunteered with). I think that has set me back a bit, which had made me afraid to join in group conversations. Now at the voluntary job I'm doing now I try not to speak too much so that I don't make the same mistakes again, but then I'm too shy and I've been there a year now and have just barely made friends with one of them and am able to strike up a conversation with her. I speak to some of the others in bits but people have pointed out that I'm very shy (which I don't take as criticism).

I did assume that a lot of answers here would be therapy, but it seems after all I've tried to help myself my brain is very stubborn and is giving me a hard time trying not to be so shy. I just wish there was some sort of treatment for social skills, to make me more naturally able to socialise like most people, not necessarily become extroverted, but just be confident enough to be able to speak up a bit more in a group, and to make friends and be part of the group and be wanted.


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emimeni
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02 Oct 2012, 3:36 pm

Joe90 wrote:
I did assume that a lot of answers here would be therapy, but it seems after all I've tried to help myself my brain is very stubborn and is giving me a hard time trying not to be so shy. I just wish there was some sort of treatment for social skills, to make me more naturally able to socialise like most people, not necessarily become extroverted, but just be confident enough to be able to speak up a bit more in a group, and to make friends and be part of the group and be wanted.


This paragraph jumped out at me. Wanting to be less shy, having friends, and feeling confident and like you're a part of the group and wanted is something NTs often want more of, too. It isn't like they're perfect, and we're not.


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cherrybanana
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02 Oct 2012, 3:53 pm

I had a bad time on the pill. The same with anti depressants.