untruths about Autistics that many Autistics embrace as true

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vickygleitz
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29 May 2014, 11:05 am

This one drives me crazy. The belief that being independently minded prevents cooperation among Autistics. Most of the greatest leaders in the world were/are independent individuals who recognized the need/ability for cooperation.



btbnnyr
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29 May 2014, 11:15 am

I think that autistic people can cooperate with each other and non-autistic people, but not in neurotypical way.

I have to cooperate with others in research, but being autistic, less able to sync with others, less social cognition, less motivated/good at communicating, less language-based thinking, different ways of thinking in detail, means that most of my successful cooperations have certain pattern of me running the show and others following me, while I am bad collaborator/communicator when others are running the show and I suck at following them. I found that in most cooperative activities, the relationship can't be equal, so someone has to lead more, and others have to follow more, otherwise nothing gets done.


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Adamantium
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29 May 2014, 11:35 am

So I find that I don't do well in groups of any kind.

I think it takes a bit of work to pay attention to people and I can really only do that one person at a time. I can sort of do it with two people beyond that things get difficult quickly.

I have done fine collaborating with one or two other people at work where we review stuff together and then go off and do more on our own.

In larger groups, I tend to be silent unless I am speaking to one other person in the group. This does make participation in certain kinds of cooperative activity difficult.



daydreamer84
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29 May 2014, 11:39 am

Adamantium wrote:
So I find that I don't do well in groups of any kind.


Me neither.

* A girl I know from my old ASD support group is good as a leader in groups though and has described her experience , which is similar to that of btbnnyr .



vickygleitz
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29 May 2014, 1:12 pm

Another lie we seem to be believing is that our minds were structured to find logical reasons we can't, than to use them to figure out and act on how we can. [and to acton it]



skibum
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29 May 2014, 1:43 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
I think that autistic people can cooperate with each other and non-autistic people, but not in neurotypical way.

I have to cooperate with others in research, but being autistic, less able to sync with others, less social cognition, less motivated/good at communicating, less language-based thinking, different ways of thinking in detail, means that most of my successful cooperations have certain pattern of me running the show and others following me, while I am bad collaborator/communicator when others are running the show and I suck at following them. I found that in most cooperative activities, the relationship can't be equal, so someone has to lead more, and others have to follow more, otherwise nothing gets done.
I can really relate to this. I can work effectively with others but not how they always work with each other.


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29 May 2014, 1:45 pm

vickygleitz wrote:
Another lie we seem to be believing is that our minds were structured to find logical reasons we can't, than to use them to figure out and act on how we can. [and to acton it]
Sorry, I don't understand what this means. Can you explain it in a different way?


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kraftiekortie
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29 May 2014, 1:50 pm

I think she means that it is a myth that autistic people seek to find reasons why one CANNOT perform any action, then use the reasons one CANNOT perform the action to assist one in actually PERFORMING the action in an optimal way.



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29 May 2014, 1:53 pm

That we have superpowers, mainly supreme intelligence... I wish this were true. We already come off as aliens to people, why can't I be a son of Krypton?


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vickygleitz
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29 May 2014, 2:28 pm

So many of us believe that we are '"less than", and that the only way we can be "slightly more than less than" is by adopting as many behaviors contrary to our neurological wiring as possible.



btbnnyr
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29 May 2014, 2:35 pm

I collaborate best with people who don't discuss a lot, but put idears into action quickly.


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29 May 2014, 2:36 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I think she means that it is a myth that autistic people seek to find reasons why one CANNOT perform any action, then use the reasons one CANNOT perform the action to assist one in actually PERFORMING the action in an optimal way.
Oh, thanks.


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29 May 2014, 10:46 pm

I can work within a group when:
- a process is defined that defines how the work will be performed
- the roles and responsibilities are clearly spelled out

That way, I know what I am responsible for doing (and what others are responsible for doing). When the above does not exist, I become highly anxious and am unable to function (as it feels like pure chaos).



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30 May 2014, 4:30 am

In my experience it is not that autistics are incapable of collaborating, it is rather that certain modes of collaboration pose challenges in terms of sensory processing and resulting levels of stress.

From my perspective, I dislike the following modes of collaboration:

1. Unstructured meetings and debates without a facilitator. Many NTs also don't enjoy such meetings, but I don't think they get stressed out by such meetings. Even if a meeting has a clear objective, the round-about way in which consensus is developed, and the decoding of small talk and non verbal communication can be very exhausting.

2. Phone calls and video conferences, for similar reasons as above. On the phone an additional hurdle is that many people tend to expect the other person to promptly reply to questions or comments, which makes it difficult to think through a a particular line of reasoning before responding. If I respond too quickly, the wording may be poor, resulting in potential confusion or misunderstanding. If I think through the response, the other person may interrupt my thoughts with a comment, taking the conversation down a different avenue before I even can say a word.

3. Hands on physical teamwork and especially team sports. As a child I've never been able to participate in any useful way in a team sport setting.

In contrast, the following modes of collaboration are very autistic friendly:

1. Structured workshops with an agenda, a facilitator, and a white board as an additional visual tool. I'm fairly experienced in the facilitator role, and prefer workshops with 5 people or less. I think white boards are excellent tools that take away attention from eye contact, and therefore allow for optimal contribution by autistics.

2. Instant messaging, remote screen sharing, and email. The resulting interaction is somewhat asynchronous, and not quite as fast paced as a phone call or video conference. Additionally, the communication is visual and in writing, which eliminates the decoding of non verbal communication, and significantly reduces the risk of serious misunderstandings.

3. Hands on collaboration and face to face discussion in a team of two. If the nature of the collaborative task is unstructured, then a team of two is the least mentally draining option, as needed making use of a white board as above. I would add that this mode works best if I am familiar with the other person, especially if the other person is also autistic. In case the collaboration parter is unfamiliar or neurotypical, then the teamwork involves a higher level of stress.

Can anyone relate to this experience?

Are there other forms of collaboration that work well for you?



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27 Mar 2015, 5:46 pm

vickygleitz wrote:
This one drives me crazy. The belief that being independently minded prevents cooperation among Autistics. Most of the greatest leaders in the world were/are independent individuals who recognized the need/ability for cooperation.


But is the individuality of "most of the greatest leaders in the world" relevant to the individuality of autistics? Is there only one type of individuality? Are there multiple types that are similar enough for this implied comparison to be meaningful :?:


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