The Diagnostic "Elephant in the Room"

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underwater
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30 Oct 2015, 6:16 am

Phemto wrote:
When you look at the experimental protocol of the original paper that discovered this "deficit," it's clear that what they were really testing was familiarity with colloquial idioms. Now take a bunch of kids with impoverished social interactions (for whatever reason) and how do you think they would do with knowing "what the kids say these days." The researchers didn't know the difference between what they thought they were testing and what they were really testing.


Yes, this is one of the things that bugs me a lot. Obviously, a lot of the people here have no problem with metaphor, particularly the ones that have a head for languages. I have a hard time speaking and writing *without* using metaphors. I use them a lot because I very often cannot remember the word or expression I am looking for, and then I "see" something similar in my mind's eye and use that instead. I am the exact opposite of one of the diagnostic criteria, yet a lot of others fit me very well.

I think it's a good idea to look for positive aspects of AS - it's another way of cornering an elusive beast.

If you want to solve a difficult problem, turning the question upside down is a well-known technique.



EnTiTyZ
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30 Oct 2015, 6:45 am

To use metaphor requires abstract reasoning, IQ on a sliding scale the higher you are on that scale the more likely you are to grasp and use metaphor, Intelligence is just about simplifying things or seeing things in a more creative way logical order, pattern linking detail etc.... Paranoia is created by seeing way too much information in something chaotic the brain likes order so will see patterns that are not real and try to make logical sense of them even if it's illogical, I think that's what the idea behind the Rorschach test was for but in the end that's just abstract, nobody will see the same image or think the same way, even if they think they do everybody has brain that is uniquely wired because of external stimuli independent of each other my green won't be your shade of green you see etc we just say it is to agree and have common ground.

Don't forget inside out :)

Phemto
Not just impoverished social interaction but also emotional warmth, i was brought up in such an environment I'm not talking refrigerator mother i was taken care of but not on an emotional level, as my mother had her own mental health problems, it was once thought to be the cause of autism, but I'm sure other people on the spectrum had the exact opposite environment, i know my daughter does, i did have the innate ability to self teach many subjects which counteracted many deficits, I try to be loving to my kids while teaching them the importance of learning as i think balance of these two are important but that's just my opinion, i too can be very blunt, i just say what i think and see but i never do it with malice or intent to hurt anyone, sometimes because of miscommunication peoples definition of words can be different to mine, or used in the wrong context Dependant on upbringing and understanding of words even i get things wrong the worlds not perfect sadly neither should it be.

The edits are because of spell checking and addition incase i left any thought out I'm not the best speller :nerdy:



Last edited by EnTiTyZ on 30 Oct 2015, 7:37 am, edited 3 times in total.

Hyperborean
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30 Oct 2015, 7:20 am

B19 wrote:
My list!

Great enthusiasm for knowledge and understanding of specialist topics
Talent for innovative solutions overlooked by mainstream thinkers
Great focusing ability for detail
Tendency to egalitarianism over hierarchy
Creative originality in diverse fields (science, art, invention, engineering)
Capable of very careful work with high standard of accuracy
Does best work without needing team time and input
Often gifted visual thinkers


This is much the same as my list. You could add:

Highly empathetic and intuitive - although this manifests itself differently from NTs.
Ability to focus on the aim of a project and not be too subjective.


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ASPartOfMe
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30 Oct 2015, 8:27 am

I think it is a overdone but Tony Attwoods positive criteria is a good starting point
http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/index.php/component/content/article?id=79:the-discovery-of-aspie-criteria


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jbw
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30 Oct 2015, 9:21 am

B19 wrote:
My list!

Great enthusiasm for knowledge and understanding of specialist topics
Talent for innovative solutions overlooked by mainstream thinkers
Great focusing ability for detail
Tendency to egalitarianism over hierarchy
Creative originality in diverse fields (science, art, invention, engineering)
Capable of very careful work with high standard of accuracy
Does best work without needing team time and input
Often gifted visual thinkers

No, that's my list!

Aspies can read Aspie minds ;-)



Ashariel
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30 Oct 2015, 10:17 am

I see myself in the lists outlined here as well - which explains why I was labeled 'gifted' as a child, and no one realized I was drowning in a world of sensory overload, to the point of suicidal hopelessness.

I've been trying to think how doctors or counselors could possibly have recognized my hidden symptoms in childhood, since I didn't understand them myself, and couldn't explain how I was feeling.

All I knew was that I constantly felt "sick" - which I now attribute to sensory overload causing dizziness, nausea, headaches, and exhaustion. But doctors found nothing medically wrong with me, and I was labeled a hypochondriac.

I'm not versed in psychological terms, but I thought 'positive' symptoms meant things that were observable (whether 'good' or 'bad' - which seems to be the terminology used for schizophrenia?) If that definition is true (and I could be wrong here) - I would say that other 'positive' symptoms of Asperger's could include complaints of physical illness or discomfort, strange dietary preferences, and feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, and suicidal.

If I'm wrong about the definition of 'positive symptoms', I apologize.



Phemto
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30 Oct 2015, 10:52 am

Ashariel wrote:
I see myself in the lists outlined here as well - which explains why I was labeled 'gifted' as a child, and no one realized I was drowning in a world of sensory overload, to the point of suicidal hopelessness.


I think you hit the nail no the head. Some Aspies get a gifted label and others get "special needs" and get shunted off into a program to prepare them for the food service industry. Fortunately, times have changed, one of the options available for my son is a "gift AND special needs" program. At least some schools have caught on that the two are orthogonal.

As for our use of "positive" symptoms. We're using it in the colloquial subjective sense, not the specialized physiological terminology. Thanks for clearing up the possible misunderstanding.



underwater
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30 Oct 2015, 2:52 pm

Phemto wrote:
Ashariel wrote:
I see myself in the lists outlined here as well - which explains why I was labeled 'gifted' as a child, and no one realized I was drowning in a world of sensory overload, to the point of suicidal hopelessness.


I think you hit the nail no the head. Some Aspies get a gifted label and others get "special needs" and get shunted off into a program to prepare them for the food service industry. Fortunately, times have changed, one of the options available for my son is a "gift AND special needs" program. At least some schools have caught on that the two are orthogonal.


God, YES!

I was always told I was so bloody clever.....and I knew I wasn't. I just read a lot, which meant I'd already had an introduction to most topics covered in primary school.

Once I ended up in a class with a bunch of "gifted" teenagers, life was not so easy. Executive function was my personal demon, and I struggled with maths. Maybe I was just lazy, who knows, but I just do not understand how I could breeze through highly structured tests and be almost unable to even start a big project. Procrastination doesn't even begin to describe the confusion.

I was a goody-goody, scared shitless of breaking rules, yet I clearly remember running away from school assembly because I could not bear the sound of 300 children singing together.



B19
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30 Oct 2015, 5:12 pm

When I grew up - which was a long time ago - if you were deemed gifted (as I was) then whatever challenges you had were negated by the gifted label, that was the sole lens applied, any challenges you had were seen as of little consequence (and citing them was seen as ingratitude or malingering) and if you were considered 'undergifted' than that too was the sole lens applied, the gifts you did have were treated as being of little consequence. (Talk about black and white attitudes..) You have to see this in the polluted context of eugenical thinking which was still an influential if understated factor even in the mid twentieth century. And it has never entirely gone away (it has tended to go underground rather than away). Even though I was seen as "one of the fortunate ones", even as a child I resented the way that giftedness (including mine) was used by some adults as a stick to psychologically beat up others who hadn't drawn the same ticket in the genetic lottery.

I didn't feel superior to the 'undergifted', I felt ashamed and guilty that they were treated harshly by the system in comparison to me, and developed a habit of defending underdogs from early childhood - even though some bullied me.. As a young child in school I had never heard the words "marginalisation" or "dehumanisation" or "othering" though I had an intuitive sense of what those attitudes and impacts were on people, and detested the kinds of discriminatory things schools did - giving the cleverest kids the best teachers, the less clever were taught by the poor teachers (on the assumption that this didn't matter, they would amount to 'nothing' anyway) - institutionalising the concept that they weren't worth investing in. To my Aspergers mind it made more sense to allot the best teachers to those who needed them, teachers gifted at drawing out and maximising the potential latent aptitudes and abilities.

We think of teenage suicide as a modern thing though it happened then too - I remember a girl in our class who just scraped in on the IQ test and was told how lucky she was to be included with us (shiver down spine) - our presumed elitism was held over her as a stick to make her try harder, and to accord superiority to the rest of us, and she was threatened with demotion if she didn't keep us with us. After failing an exam she committed suicide. This affected me deeply. It still does. I hate to see human potential of any kind ignorantly crushed, ignored, discounted to the point that people lose all faith in themselves and internalise the repulsive judgment that they are just 'a waste of space'. Teenage suicide rates continue to rise and you have to look at attitudes to them stemming from the adult world as a huge factor, rather than focusing just on depression as a cause arising from internal factors. (Oops, another detour)



underwater
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05 Nov 2015, 4:22 am

I am returning to this thread a bit later because it was a really positive and thoughtful one, and it made me think a bit.

Concerning your last post, B19, you are the same generation as my parents, but I see that you were brought up in a much rougher environment. The society I grew up in was egalitarian to the point of idiocy - which meant that life was very comfortable for the average achievers, and rough on the outliers. On the other hand we lived in stable communities with strong social bonds, which I think provided us with opportunities for inclusion that a lot of other people on this forum haven't had. One thing I've noticed is that people on this forum seldom use the words "we" and "us", but I do feel part of some groups to some extent.

The term "gifted" is something I learned as an adult. It would have been anathema when I grew up. We were supposed to be all the same. I was always told I was arrogant, and I had no idea what they meant. I honestly believed what I observed, which was that learning was not respected, but sports were very important. Because people acted as if school was not important, I had no idea that they were lying about it, so I didn't understand that having learning difficulties was hard for kids. All I could see was that these kids got lots of help and attention, while I was left to my own devices. I spent childhood reading novels in class. I felt as if I didn't exist.

The positive side to being ignored is that one becomes self-reliant and good at creative problem-solving. I have a certain belief in my ability to solve some problems in life because I have solved others in the past.

I agree with you that working with people's strengths is a key factor in overcoming other problems in life. From what I understand, the brain is a very plastic thing, which means that there are many possible ways of solving any given problem.



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05 Nov 2015, 5:19 am

Thank you, that was interesting to read.



Malus_Domestica
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07 Nov 2015, 4:34 am

underwater wrote:
I am returning to this thread a bit later because it was a really positive and thoughtful one, and it made me think a bit.

Concerning your last post, B19, you are the same generation as my parents, but I see that you were brought up in a much rougher environment. The society I grew up in was egalitarian to the point of idiocy - which meant that life was very comfortable for the average achievers, and rough on the outliers. On the other hand we lived in stable communities with strong social bonds, which I think provided us with opportunities for inclusion that a lot of other people on this forum haven't had. One thing I've noticed is that people on this forum seldom use the words "we" and "us", but I do feel part of some groups to some extent.

The term "gifted" is something I learned as an adult. It would have been anathema when I grew up. We were supposed to be all the same. I was always told I was arrogant, and I had no idea what they meant. I honestly believed what I observed, which was that learning was not respected, but sports were very important. Because people acted as if school was not important, I had no idea that they were lying about it, so I didn't understand that having learning difficulties was hard for kids. All I could see was that these kids got lots of help and attention, while I was left to my own devices. I spent childhood reading novels in class. I felt as if I didn't exist.

The positive side to being ignored is that one becomes self-reliant and good at creative problem-solving. I have a certain belief in my ability to solve some problems in life because I have solved others in the past.

I agree with you that working with people's strengths is a key factor in overcoming other problems in life. From what I understand, the brain is a very plastic thing, which means that there are many possible ways of solving any given problem.



If I'm right in my assumptions, underwater and I grew up in the same sort of society. In my class there were also extra help for those who lagged behind in class, but I don't remember being given "extra challenges" when there were subjects that I clearly were ahead in. The general opinion was that no one should assume to be better than anyone else, and that we should share, wait for the others, be on the same level all the time. I ended up doing all my homework in class because I'd finished whatever task we were given already. My mum says I never had any homework at home, and I suppose she's right. It wasn't until I was in high school, around 17 years old, that I ever experienced being given extra difficult assignments in any subject because I aced it. The subject in question was "descriptive geometry" - don't know what it's called in English - which basically consisted of being given a written, technical explanation of some 3D object, working out in my head what it would look like, and then drawing it out in a specific diagram using math and geometry. Perfect for my brain - Temple Grandin compares her brain to "Google Images", I compare mine to "Google Sketchup".

The lists of positive traits above here could be mine also. I would add "autodidact", perhaps? (Did someone already mention this?) I have certainly taught myself a whole bunch of skills, many of these are computer related (Photoshop, Premiere, other "heavy" programs) though many are also highly practical.

(Sorry if this got a bit rambling and self-centered ...)


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Aspie Quiz: ND score: 123/200. NT score: 87/200.
AQ=34 (AQ-10=7) EQ=32 SQ=66 FQ=50 RAADS-R=128
Not professionally diagnosed.


Malus_Domestica
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07 Nov 2015, 4:39 am

Malus_Domestica wrote:
underwater wrote:
I am returning to this thread a bit later because it was a really positive and thoughtful one, and it made me think a bit.

Concerning your last post, B19, you are the same generation as my parents, but I see that you were brought up in a much rougher environment. The society I grew up in was egalitarian to the point of idiocy - which meant that life was very comfortable for the average achievers, and rough on the outliers. On the other hand we lived in stable communities with strong social bonds, which I think provided us with opportunities for inclusion that a lot of other people on this forum haven't had. One thing I've noticed is that people on this forum seldom use the words "we" and "us", but I do feel part of some groups to some extent.

The term "gifted" is something I learned as an adult. It would have been anathema when I grew up. We were supposed to be all the same. I was always told I was arrogant, and I had no idea what they meant. I honestly believed what I observed, which was that learning was not respected, but sports were very important. Because people acted as if school was not important, I had no idea that they were lying about it, so I didn't understand that having learning difficulties was hard for kids. All I could see was that these kids got lots of help and attention, while I was left to my own devices. I spent childhood reading novels in class. I felt as if I didn't exist.

The positive side to being ignored is that one becomes self-reliant and good at creative problem-solving. I have a certain belief in my ability to solve some problems in life because I have solved others in the past.

I agree with you that working with people's strengths is a key factor in overcoming other problems in life. From what I understand, the brain is a very plastic thing, which means that there are many possible ways of solving any given problem.



If I'm right in my assumptions, underwater and I grew up in the same sort of society. In my class there were also extra help for those who lagged behind in class, but I don't remember being given "extra challenges" when there were subjects that I clearly were ahead in. The general opinion was that no one should assume to be better than anyone else, and that we should share, wait for the others, be on the same level all the time. For example, I could read and write before starting school, but still had to go though the motions in first grade of learning the alphabet. I ended up doing all my homework in class because I'd finished whatever task we were given already. My mum says I never had any homework at home, and I suppose she's right. It wasn't until I was in high school, around 17 years old, that I ever experienced being given extra difficult assignments in any subject because I aced it. The subject in question was "descriptive geometry" - don't know what it's called in English - which basically consisted of being given a written, technical explanation of some 3D object, working out in my head what it would look like, and then drawing it out in a specific diagram using math and geometry. Perfect for my brain - Temple Grandin compares her brain to "Google Images", I compare mine to "Google Sketchup".

The lists of positive traits above here could be mine also. I would add "autodidact", perhaps? (Did someone already mention this?) I have certainly taught myself a whole bunch of skills, many of these are computer related (Photoshop, Premiere, other "heavy" programs) though many are also highly practical.

(Sorry if this got a bit rambling and self-centered ...)


_________________
Aspie Quiz: ND score: 123/200. NT score: 87/200.
AQ=34 (AQ-10=7) EQ=32 SQ=66 FQ=50 RAADS-R=128
Not professionally diagnosed.