Moderate Functioning Autistic, but with very high IQ.

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SteelMaiden
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01 Feb 2015, 4:17 pm

I am a moderate functioning autistic according to a neurologist and a psychiatrist.

I have communication difficulties, am only part time verbal.
I have violent (towards others and self) meltdowns on a daily basis.
I don't socialise much at all, and only with one person who has AS (although I text and email others sometimes and I use forums).
My social skills and interpersonal skills are pretty much nonexistent. I never make eye contact.
I have a pretty much constant "poker face", no expression.
I stim almost constantly.
I get frequent support worker visits, I live alone but in a house my dad owns. I can't live totally independently because I can't handle any paperwork etc alone, and I have great difficulty handling house matters.
I can't drive and may never be able to.
I can't go shopping / use banks, post offices, doctor appointments etc without considerable support, and even then get severe meltdowns. I do most things online.
I rely on benefits and dad for money as I am declared unfit to work due to autism and mental illness.
I'm also dyspraxic and loads of other neurological stuff.

But I have an IQ of 160.

I need full time support 1:1 at uni and I have a government-funded free taxi to and from uni (public transport and impossibility).

However I thought MFAs have below average IQ.

I have a very high academic record from school (went to a specialist gifted primary school who catered very well for my autism, and had an assistant at secondary school). Mental illness messed up uni a bit but I'm part time and doing well now.

I have a savant skill in certain areas of mathematics and I have a photographic memory.

I want to know, how can I be highly intelligent and academically capable, yet struggle to tie my shoelaces and can't fill in a direct debit form on my own?

NB: I am not as verbose in real life as I am in this post. I believe my wordy posts and high skill in typing things like essays are a compromise for my difficulty in spoken communication.


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animalcrackers
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01 Feb 2015, 5:07 pm

SteelMaiden wrote:
[b]I want to know, how can I be highly intelligent and academically capable, yet struggle to tie my shoelaces and can't fill in a direct debit form on my own?


Because intelligence is not one thing -- it is many, many, many things.

Because ability in one area doesn't guarantee ability in another.

Tying your shoes, filling out a direct debit form, and doing academic work require different sets of skills/abilities. (There is overlap between the skill-sets, but they aren't identical.) You don't have all the abilities/skills needed for successfully tying shoes or filling out direct debit forms, but you do have the ones needed for academic work.


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darkphantomx1
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01 Feb 2015, 5:22 pm

You know I know a dude that is kind of similar to you. He can't speak at all except for a few single words like yes / no and hi billy. But he's a very intelligent guy but you wouldn't know it. Of course not having access to language really handicaps you.

Anyways, there are many different types of intelligences. Many of these, no IQ test can measure. Some people have artistic/creative intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence, and yes even social skills intelligence. Most people with some form of Autism such as you and me have limited social skills intelligence. A part of this is because people with Autism have some degree of impairment in their theory of mind which is the ability to put ourselves in someone elses shoes. Ever say something rude and not realize that other people would think its rude? It's because of an impaired theory of mind. Something all Aspies struggle with to a certain degree.

However, a lot of people with Autism have troubles with executive functioning skills. They allow us to set goals, organize, and complete tasks. For example, cleaning your room, paying your bills, doing your homework all require executive function skills. It's no wonder many people with Autism even those with high functioning Autism, it may take them longer than expected to reach independence. It's because their executive function is delayed.


Rarely will you go to a site where it lists impaired executive functioning and theory of mind in Aspergers symptoms. But they're a part of Aspergers and definitly a part of other autism disorders. The so called "experts" know nothing.



olympiadis
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02 Feb 2015, 1:21 am

When areas or resources of the brain are unable to perform certain tasks, then it frees up resources to do the things that it can do well, and thus savant abilities.

I would like to talk to people with IQ of 160 and higher because I believe that they could be able to solve certain types of problems that I have been unable to.



Aniihya
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02 Feb 2015, 2:49 am

Steelmaiden, i can feel your pain. However you got lucky to even get that kind of support. Everyone (my parents, my teachers, doctor, etc.) reacted wrong and pressured me to excel because I scored an 162 +/- 5 however my emotional quotient was scored at a five (I don't think they evaluated it right.

But I don't have a very fulfilling life at the moment. I am unemployed, in a country where no one knows me (I couldn't take it anymore in my home country because social anxiety was so bad), I am struggling to get access to uni and I prefer to not talk to people. I will write to them instead.



iammaz
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02 Feb 2015, 5:48 am

The IQ test is silly and essentially meaningless.
Sorry you're struggling.
I survive with routine and ritual to get me through most of the 'simple' mundane parts of life. Basically, trying to work out a way around any limitations I may have even if it takes a lot of effort, is a step in the right direction.



tetris
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02 Feb 2015, 6:56 am

There is different types of intelligence. I am terrible at subjects like English, languages, politics but I am very good at science, maths, history, geography. I can read but my reading comphrehension is not great at all, I'm not great at writing or speaking either. If sentences or questions are too complicated or use even slightly fancy words I don't get them. I can however drive very well, if all goes to plan. I am also very very good at sports, even though I am ridiculously clumsy the rest of the time, not quite sure how that works but it does.
Anyways, the point I'm getting at is people can always do something's but not others and I don't just mean autistic people, it's just how it works.



corroonb
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02 Feb 2015, 9:26 am

You seem quite articulate in written communication so it's not really surprising that you are intelligent. You have to accept that you are neurologically different from most other people and this difference is distinct from your level of intelligence. One can understand how to tie shoelaces or make eye contact in a theoretical sense but have some or great difficulty learning the movements necessary to perform these actions.

I can process very large amounts of sensory information but I find it very hard to filter out information when I want to focus on one thing in particular. In some situations I am very articulate and in others I can barely construct a sentence due to overload. This inevitably leads to me feeling stupid when I compare myself to other people who can hold conversations in circumstances where I cannot. I am learning to accept myself and my strengths and weaknesses. You have a very challenging life and you can be proud of how you have dealt with your difficulties. Do not compare yourself to other people especially those who are neurotypical. It's not fair to you or to them.



SteelMaiden
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02 Feb 2015, 11:44 am

Thanks everyone. I found out about the Theory of Multiple Intelligences after reading your replies.


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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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02 Feb 2015, 6:41 pm

And in addition, I think the academic environment is in some ways an artificial environment.

I think pre-studying is the coin of the realm, and embracing that it's about evaluation, not about learning. At least not on their schedule, my own schedule I can learn.

PS I also have a lot of trouble with the paperwork involved in banks, health insurance, cell phones, my own U.S. form due each year (which I am behind on!), etc.



Graelwyn
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02 Feb 2015, 11:09 pm

I can relate, to a degree. I do not believe I am as severe as you, but I have support workers, I live alone but I struggle to organise myself into any sort of healthy routine, such as bill paying, cleaning, making appointments etc. I have meltdowns involving violence towards myself when little things go wrong or when I think too much on my failings, I spend most of my time alone and although I can talk in small groups, I find it very difficult to initiate conversation and hate people approaching me or talking to me whom I do not know.

I have a similar IQ as yourself. I can analyse criminal profiling, psychology and areas of special interest, I can write fluently and with ease yet such basic life skills seem to elude me. It is very tough going.


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EzraS
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03 Feb 2015, 1:21 am

I think we all have savant traits that defy all of our other classic autism impairments and special needs. One of your might just be IQ tests. I do okay on them with a 122 last test. But I'm way behind academically. For the rest I'm a pretty standard level 2.

Have to add that you and I are very much alike the way you describe your autism, plus I also have dyspraxia.



heavenlyabyss
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03 Feb 2015, 1:39 am

Perhaps it is possible that you are not autistic. Perhaps you are gifted in a way that makes it impossible for anyone else to understand you. And perhaps it is possible they are labelling you as ill out of an unconscious feeling of envy.

Sometimes very smart people are put down because others unconsciously feel inferior and direct their negative energy at you (knowingly or unknowingly). Sometimes this negative energy results in shame which can result in shutting down or shutting people out.

Trust me, most people are not actually very emotionally intelligent. Just browse some random website and look through all the comments. 90% of them are emotional cripples who constantly and relentlessly cast their feelings of shame onto others. They are easily provoked and hide behind very craftily designed defense mechanisms.

Everybody does this. Everybody is rude to others without realizing it. It's human nature.

Sometimes the real problem that people face is something rather superficial like a monotone voice or a childlike innocence that society attacks. There is a subconscious impulse in every single one of us to harbor complex feelings of hostility toward those who are different and simultaneously shame about those feelings. Sometimes these feelings are idiosyncratic rooted in past experiences that the person doesn't consciously want to hold but holds anyway at a subconscious level.

My point is, none of this actually matters as long as you focus on being the best person that you can be. The good people will respect you for who you are and also of course for your intellectual abilities.

edit: and notice I just used the word "good" when in fact, everyone has evil buried deep within their hearts. It's just one of those things. You can't be perfect all the time. I just labeled someone bad for being a human being.



SteelMaiden
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03 Feb 2015, 12:35 pm

I am really good at noticing small details, patterns and connections that other people don't see. When I solve a maths problem, I "see" shapes and colours that connect and merge, thus solving the problem very fast. I may have synaesthesia. When I am relaxed and focussed (which nowadays is rare as I'm going through a meds change which is disrupting my brain in several ways) I can learn information just by looking at it. So maybe my savant skill is that area (when I was officially tested for IQ during my autism diagnosis, I remember solving the problems using my shapaes and colours, and number repetition forwards and backwards was seriously easy as I can memorise a 16 digit number in around 10 seconds).

I would love to be able to use these skills in a job one day. But I am uncertain as to what will happen after my BSc Pharmacology degree finishes.

I think my brain is heavily weighted towards intellectual / problem solving / logical solving skills (bar mental illness), and really under weighted in life skills / social skills / independence.

I would really like to stop having meltdowns though.


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The_Walrus
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03 Feb 2015, 3:28 pm

SteelMaiden wrote:

However I thought MFAs have below average IQ.

Perhaps the average person with MFA has a below average IQ.

If you've met one autistic person...