Aspergers and the genius/nerd stereotype

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Roo95
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08 Aug 2017, 1:45 am

Hello, these 2 stereotypes seem to be the main ones applied to aspies and people with HFA. In movies and TV, characters with AS and HFA are always shown as extremely intelligent in subjects like maths, science and IT, and generally doing very good in school and ending up with various degrees, ending up working for NASA or something. My hobbies and interests of English history and metal detecting may seem nerdy to most NT people but it goes no further than that. I feel like I'm in the small percentage of aspies that do not fit these stereotypes at all. Im absolutely terrible with maths, science and computers, never did well at all in school. When I wasn't having my destructive meltdowns, I was making life hell for teachers because I didn't understand what they were saying and was to easily distracted so I misbehaved, played pranks on teachers, stopped other kids from doing their work, starting fights with other students all the time, trashing classrooms, causing trouble with my friend and getting excluded all the time. I was generally a very badly behaved, angry, verbally abusive kid right up until I left school. Left with no grade higher than a single B, all the others Cs D's & Fs. The only thing I can say is my spelling has always been the best in my year since I started school. I don't come across as intelligent or nerdy, I never spoke with the stereotypical sophisticated dialect. I would compare myself to Craig Nichols of the vines, I appear pretty dumb and possibly drugged up. Despite this, I am extremely intelligent when it comes to general knowledge and English history and I am more intelligent than my friends who call me dumb. Still far from a genius though. Is there anyone else like me?



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08 Aug 2017, 2:27 am

Most of us are not genious. The defininition of High Functioning autism and Aspergers is not genius but average to above average intellegence.

Functioning labels are misleading because person can be very intellegent but severly autistic. Often autistics are severly effected in certain areas and highly skilled in others. Often too much is often expected of high functioning and too little from low functioning autistics.


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08 Aug 2017, 3:23 am

I don't have the nerd stereotype, and I'm not intelligent (well, just around average).

I don't dress like a nerd, I dress comfortably but trendy. Blending in is important to me.

I suck at maths, science and IT too. Those were my weakest subjects at school. I hated science the most, and IT was boring, and maths I found hard.
My maths skills are absolutely poor. I hardly ever use maths in my daily life. My social skills are better than my maths!
I am always giving my computer complicated viruses because I fail to understand the technical upkeep of it. I don't do online banking because of this.

I had an anxiety disorder and suffered with extreme shyness through school, so I wasn't a "bad" student. But I still struggled academically. I wasn't ahead of the other kids in the class, and I needed help with my work. English was my best subject.
But I didn't get higher than a C in my final exams, in any subject.

I had attention deficit all through school, which went rather unnoticed for some reason.

But anyway, I've never been a stereotypical Aspie.


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08 Aug 2017, 4:27 am

Roo95 wrote:
Hello, these 2 stereotypes seem to be the main ones applied to aspies and people with HFA. In movies and TV, characters with AS and HFA are always shown as extremely intelligent in subjects like maths, science and IT, and generally doing very good in school and ending up with various degrees, ending up working for NASA or something. My hobbies and interests of English history and metal detecting may seem nerdy to most NT people but it goes no further than that. I feel like I'm in the small percentage of aspies that do not fit these stereotypes at all. Im absolutely terrible with maths, science and computers, never did well at all in school. When I wasn't having my destructive meltdowns, I was making life hell for teachers because I didn't understand what they were saying and was to easily distracted so I misbehaved, played pranks on teachers, stopped other kids from doing their work, starting fights with other students all the time, trashing classrooms, causing trouble with my friend and getting excluded all the time. I was generally a very badly behaved, angry, verbally abusive kid right up until I left school. Left with no grade higher than a single B, all the others Cs D's & Fs. The only thing I can say is my spelling has always been the best in my year since I started school. I don't come across as intelligent or nerdy, I never spoke with the stereotypical sophisticated dialect. I would compare myself to Craig Nichols of the vines, I appear pretty dumb and possibly drugged up. Despite this, I am extremely intelligent when it comes to general knowledge and English history and I am more intelligent than my friends who call me dumb. Still far from a genius though. Is there anyone else like me?


No.
None of us are like you.

We are all highly paid IT specialists, or are highly paid rocket scientists.

Every member of WP is either just like Sheldon Leonard, or is just like Bill Gates. And we are all rolling in money, and rolling in high status caused by our prodigious nerdity!

(sarcasm)



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08 Aug 2017, 4:38 am

I don't fit the stereotype either, not completely. I was an A-student academically but not in math or the sciences. My teachers actually were perplexed at the uneven ability profile. I was a "dunce" in math but very good with everything else, and I was on the creative side -- writing, art, music -- rather than the mathematical whizzkid. The world tends to think only the amazing mathematics and science person is a genius, but they overlook the kid who is painting, writing or making music beyond their peers. And I became a starving artist. :(



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08 Aug 2017, 6:38 am

I have a Master's Degree, but mine is in English, not math or a technical subject. I am terrible with technology and use the computer just to type or browse the Internet.



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08 Aug 2017, 8:43 am

Don't worry- I'm the opposite of that stereotype. I'm dumb and I suck at math. I do, however, have quite a good memory :D . At least there's that!


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08 Aug 2017, 9:30 am

That's the thing, though: they're stereotypes. There might be some truth to them, but they are by no means a representation of the entire Aspie population. Heck, probably not even the majority.

I for one don't consider myself a genius. At all. I have, however, been told that I'm a great (song)writer.


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08 Aug 2017, 10:02 am

Chiming in to balance out all the posts from non-STEM'ies. I'm probably a posterboy for the stereotype. I'm a Software Architect specializing in AI and machine learning. Now our posts look more like a cross section of the NT population. Go figure.



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08 Aug 2017, 10:07 am

Rocket science is actually really easy. You apply enough thrust to the back end of something and it goes forward... like a rocket, in fact. The hard bit is working out the details and steering the thing.
In that sense I'm a great rocket scientist... I'm a genius at the ideas but I'm a bit stoopid when it comes to the details.
In any case, I'm more into arts subjects and have a degree in English Literature. I'm endlessly fascinated by high energy physics... just don't ask me to do any of those fancy equations.


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08 Aug 2017, 11:28 am

Roo95 wrote:
Hello, these 2 stereotypes seem to be the main ones applied to aspies and people with HFA. In movies and TV, characters with AS and HFA are always shown as extremely intelligent in subjects like maths, science and IT, and generally doing very good in school and ending up with various degrees, ending up working for NASA or something. My hobbies and interests of English history and metal detecting may seem nerdy to most NT people but it goes no further than that. I feel like I'm in the small percentage of aspies that do not fit these stereotypes at all. Im absolutely terrible with maths, science and computers, never did well at all in school. When I wasn't having my destructive meltdowns, I was making life hell for teachers because I didn't understand what they were saying and was to easily distracted so I misbehaved, played pranks on teachers, stopped other kids from doing their work, starting fights with other students all the time, trashing classrooms, causing trouble with my friend and getting excluded all the time. I was generally a very badly behaved, angry, verbally abusive kid right up until I left school. Left with no grade higher than a single B, all the others Cs D's & Fs. The only thing I can say is my spelling has always been the best in my year since I started school. I don't come across as intelligent or nerdy, I never spoke with the stereotypical sophisticated dialect. I would compare myself to Craig Nichols of the vines, I appear pretty dumb and possibly drugged up. Despite this, I am extremely intelligent when it comes to general knowledge and English history and I am more intelligent than my friends who call me dumb. Still far from a genius though. Is there anyone else like me?


I was good at math and science and stuff like that. I'd ace tests, and one of my teachers were the first to start saying, "Hey, you're abnormally smart, you might be one of those aspie kids."

I just got obsessive about math and science. I would get a 100% in tests but I also caught 100% of the pokemon in the first 5 games (up to gold and silver) :oops: I wasn't a genius pokemon master (even though I called myself this). It wasn't like I'd just open textbooks, look at the questions in the back and see the answers in my head.

I liked working through formula though, so I'd work through textbooks for fun. So if I saw a question at some random point, odds were that I'd already worked out the pattern so I could figure it out on my own once i had enough information, but it wasn't like answers just popping up in the air like how they do it on Sherlock and stuff. People thought I had a photographic memory and legit called me Einstein, but I never actually felt smart, and I've never had some kind of big, miraculous new thought about anything or inventing anything like Facebook.

I've tried my hand at computer science and programming, because after I found out about this stereotype, I was like, "whoa, what if this is the cool upside? I might really be a genius!! ! 8)" Ha. I don't know what I was expecting to happen. Maybe for the *aspie magic* to kick in and for me to start coding in days, with magical solutions popping up in the air. I did it for maybe a week and then I just let it go, because it was getting to that point where the obsession was trying to get into gear but I just went *yawn, we've been here before tho...*. I was already 18 by the time we got a computer though. If I'd been like one of those children these days with online programming classes on the net, I might have gone down that path instead, shrug.

The past five years or so, my obsession has been on psychoanalysis, creative writing, fim and becoming something of an amateur mythologist... which basically means that I spend a lot of time on it and know more than people expect me to know on certain topics... And still, random people hear me talking about something and start thinking I'm super smart when I want to say, "Oh no, I just don't have a life so this consumes my every waking hour. I still have trouble with my homophones! I'm trying to find out what's wrong with me."

Math and science are VERY SIMPLE things to understand in comparison. I think practice will make anyone perfect. I haven't done mathematics in years, and even though I still remember the wild glee :oops: I had at the prospect of calculus, :heart: , I seriously doubt I can just pick up the chalk and start where I left off. I'm thinking about going back to uni and doing comp sci this time around though because it still seems like "The easiest thing to do." I say this and people think I'm showing off but I'm like "AI is probably the only field that meshes with my current obsession of how the mind works and grinding code seems like a non-issue." Not in an "I'm so smart way", just an "I'd be bored by everything else and flake-out one semester in" way. I did medical science the first time around, because I foolishly thought that medical science was "scientific" when it's more about grinding "people" than anything else. 8O :skull:

To the people who put up posts about being dumb, or bad at computers and technical stuff, are you actually interested in it? Is it like you hit a brick wall when it comes to it, or it that science just doesn't hold your interest at all? Because this is me and geography. I still don't know how time and date lines work, but I'm not dumb. Geography class just happened to be my "Stare at the grass to rest my eyes" free period. ADHD kicks in when my interest isn't hooked in.

I think that the hyper-rational/hyper-literal/loner-with-minimal-interests subset of us are just really good at not getting frustrated by "grinding" which is probably the main requirement for being good at science and math and nerdy things like RPG video-games that need 90 hours of dungeon crawling. I function in two modes: obsessive grinder and ADHD drifter, but I'm only adrift when I'm out of something to go obsessive compulsive about. I think the whole "English vs Math" thing might just come down to grinder vs gazer rather than any actual aptitude or "genius" talent.

Society just adds prestige to certain fields more than it does to others, but I don't think this society ranking really correlates well to actual intelligence or talent. It's the most disappointing thing watching somebody do brain surgery and thinking, "Well... this isn't as intellectually riveting as you've made it out to be... There's not going to be a QED moment at the end of this, I don't think. There is zero reason for me to be here." But he's gonna get paid for that while the artists starve. You can train anybody to use a scalpel...

I want to train a machine to use a paintbrush. If I do that, get to a point where I understand machines and "how art works" that well, I'll start calling myself a nerd genius. (That's how bad I am at creative stuff, where "let's learn to programme a robot that will draw for us" is a more practical goal than "let's learn to draw.")

But in the meanwhile, ARE there any actual math/science geniuses here? Like "I didn't put in the time but I got the results anyway"/ "I've never been stumped"/"I solve them in my head"/"eidetic memory"/ "I just see the answers" geniuses here?

Are they real, even? Or do they just exist in movies as I've started to think.



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08 Aug 2017, 11:31 am

I'm of slightly above-average intelligence.

I'm not especially good at math, though I'm okay at it.

I'm pretty good in English-related subjects.

All in all, I'm a pretty average Joe in many ways, despite my Spectrum status.



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08 Aug 2017, 11:43 am

I work as programmer and are (slightly?) above average at maths, but really no genius... At school, I was best at foreign languages and German classes (i.e. text interpretation, grammar and stuff like that). I'm so bad at visual-spatial thinking that it feels like a disability that makes life harder sometimes.



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08 Aug 2017, 11:46 am

I'm pretty bad in the visual-spatial stuff, too.

This is sort of the "Aspie" stereotype LOL



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08 Aug 2017, 12:08 pm

I never flourished academically and left school with grades that couldn't get me into even the poorest of universities.

I cannot write.

I am scientifically challenged (I was the worst student in my class).

I am neither good at IT nor do I find it interesting.

I was always one of the naughty students at school, and never paid attention to my teachers or my somewhat neglectful parents.

If I were to estimate my IQ, I would say it's no higher than 85.

In many respects, the fact that I can speak is a disadvantage as much more is expected of me than I am possibly capable of.


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08 Aug 2017, 1:10 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I'm pretty bad in the visual-spatial stuff, too.

This is sort of the "Aspie" stereotype LOL


Really? I had the impression that many aspies are really good at tasks like rotating objects and stuff. Also, there seem to be many aspies that study physics. I had always trouble understanding physics or at least some parts of it (formulas are fine)... the worst is anything with gear wheels. Also took me years to understand electricity a little bit... people always told me I should imagine water flowing, but I couldn't even do that :D

I also suck at computer games because I have no sense of orientation and cannot estimate distances. Many aspies seem to be really good at computer games.