untruths about Autistics that many Autistics embrace as true

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MrBear
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27 Mar 2015, 6:31 pm

I am fine with collaboration as long as people are also responsible and cooperative and nice. I can even be a leader, such as an admin for a large online group, as long as I don't have to be "the bad guy." I find that very difficult. I try hard to please everyone.



Fnord
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27 Mar 2015, 6:51 pm

One of the most baffling myths seems to be "I am an Aspie; therefore, I am doomed failure in every possible way".

It's as if having Asperger's Syndrome is an automatic life-long sentence of living off relatives and/or government assistance, low-wage jobs or no job at all, no social life, and little or no chance of ever experiencing romance.



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27 Mar 2015, 7:18 pm

This is actually me: I am fine with collaboration as long as people are also responsible and cooperative and nice. I can even be a leader, such as an admin for a large online group, as long as I don't have to be "the bad guy." I find that very difficult. I try hard to please everyone.



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27 Mar 2015, 7:19 pm

This is actually me (Not my friend, MrBear, who was last logged in on my computer): I am fine with collaboration as long as people are also responsible and cooperative and nice. I can even be a leader, such as an admin for a large online group, as long as I don't have to be "the bad guy." I find that very difficult. I try hard to please everyone.



MrBear
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27 Mar 2015, 7:23 pm

There really needs to be an option to delete and edit posts after somebody replies.



ASPartOfMe
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27 Mar 2015, 7:51 pm

I am an alien somehow mistakenly dropped here with no way back. Aspergers is sometimes called "Wrong Planet Syndrome"

Ultimate Dehumanizing myth.

I understand many do understand "Wrong planet" is a metaphor for the way it often FEELS like. But some believe it or seriously wonder if it's true.


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B19
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27 Mar 2015, 8:00 pm

[quote="Fnord"]One of the most baffling myths seems to be "I am an Aspie; therefore, I am doomed failure in every possible way".

Nothing saddens me more than seeing this expressed. "If I am not for myself, who will be?" (Hillel the Elder)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillel_the_Elder



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27 Mar 2015, 8:15 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
I understand many do understand "Wrong planet" is a metaphor for the way it often FEELS like. But some believe it or seriously wonder if it's true.


Do you mean to say that some people literally believe that they are or might be aliens from a planet other than Earth?


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nerdygirl
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27 Mar 2015, 10:52 pm

jbw wrote:
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?


I am like this.



ASPartOfMe
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28 Mar 2015, 12:23 am

starkid wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
I understand many do understand "Wrong planet" is a metaphor for the way it often FEELS like. But some believe it or seriously wonder if it's true.


Do you mean to say that some people literally believe that they are or might be aliens from a planet other than Earth?


Yes, that is exactly what I mean to say.

That belief is understandable because of the the way many Autistics have been treated have on a consistent basis their entire lives and the real differences in thinking and processing from the vast majority.


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28 Mar 2015, 5:41 am

Cooperation takes a lot of communication, which most of us struggle greatly at..


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04 Oct 2015, 7:44 pm

I think there's a damaging myth that confuses empathy with sympathy, and that we can't form a "theory of mind."

Empathy is "mind reading." It is the ability to pick up on face, body, and tone cues to infer another's internal emotional state.

Sympathy is the capacity to care about the other's internal state.

Aspies often lack empathy. We have trouble reading other people's internal states. That does not mean we lack the capacity of sympathy and compassion, once we are made aware of it. People (even aspies) often talk about our deficits in terms that make us sound more like psychopaths.



Jezebel
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04 Oct 2015, 10:54 pm

Phemto wrote:
I think there's a damaging myth that confuses empathy with sympathy, and that we can't form a "theory of mind."

Empathy is "mind reading." It is the ability to pick up on face, body, and tone cues to infer another's internal emotional state.

Sympathy is the capacity to care about the other's internal state.

Aspies often lack empathy. We have trouble reading other people's internal states. That does not mean we lack the capacity of sympathy and compassion, once we are made aware of it. People (even aspies) often talk about our deficits in terms that make us sound more like psychopaths.


Actually, the most common belief (based on research) is that there are two types of empathy: cognitive and affective. So it's actually a lot more complicated than just calling it "mind reading" that involves nonverbal cues. Cognitive empathy is often considered to be the same as TOM, which is the part of empathy that involves perspective-taking. Most of the time when people say that autistic people lack empathy, they're referring to cognitive empathy, not affective empathy, which is (somewhat) along the lines of what you're confusing with sympathy. The difference between someone with ASD and a psychopath/sociopath is basically reversed (i.e., the psychopath/sociopath lacks affective empathy, but has no problem with cognitive empathy).

As for TOM, Baron-Cohen's paper actually acknowledges that all of the ASD subjects didn't show the deficit; however, most did.


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05 Oct 2015, 1:14 am

It is an epidemic


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Phemto
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05 Oct 2015, 7:52 am

Jezebel wrote:
Phemto wrote:
I think there's a damaging myth that confuses empathy with sympathy, and that we can't form a "theory of mind."

Empathy is "mind reading." It is the ability to pick up on face, body, and tone cues to infer another's internal emotional state.

Sympathy is the capacity to care about the other's internal state.

Aspies often lack empathy. We have trouble reading other people's internal states. That does not mean we lack the capacity of sympathy and compassion, once we are made aware of it. People (even aspies) often talk about our deficits in terms that make us sound more like psychopaths.


Actually, the most common belief (based on research) is that there are two types of empathy: cognitive and affective. So it's actually a lot more complicated than just calling it "mind reading" that involves nonverbal cues. Cognitive empathy is often considered to be the same as TOM, which is the part of empathy that involves perspective-taking. Most of the time when people say that autistic people lack empathy, they're referring to cognitive empathy, not affective empathy, which is (somewhat) along the lines of what you're confusing with sympathy. The difference between someone with ASD and a psychopath/sociopath is basically reversed (i.e., the psychopath/sociopath lacks affective empathy, but has no problem with cognitive empathy).

As for TOM, Baron-Cohen's paper actually acknowledges that all of the ASD subjects didn't show the deficit; however, most did.


This is the worst possible nomenclature. Let's just call everything one word and claim no responsibility for misunderstandings. I'll chose to ignore it rather than expecting the world to learn my new-speak.

Psychopaths are among the most emotionally intelligent and persuasive people you'll ever meet. At a time when it was known that there was some psycho picking up and killing women in Florida, Ted Bundy was still able to convince women to get into a car with him and drive off alone. You don't do with without what you call affective empathy.

I'm highly skeptical of the current science around TOM. For one, there is almost no attempt to understand nature vs nurture. If you aspie lacks TOM, is it because they've have an inborn cognitive deficit, or is you something you need to learn? Obviously, you're going to have a hard time learning it without the appropriate inputs of what you call affective empathy. When I try to read the literature, I often don't actually see how the tests they use could really differentiate between the two, although I can see where NT's might thing they do because they lack the TOM of an aspie.