Ascribing Autistic Features to Neurotypicals

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Conner42
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13 Sep 2018, 8:32 pm

Full disclosure, I don't know if I have Aspergers or autism. I've hung around here, I've done some research, it seems likely that I have it, but I really don't want to say for sure until I get an actual diagnosis. I know there are some people who diagnose themselves with Aspergers to excuse bad behavior, so I don't want to be a part of that problem. I'm working on this. My situation to find a doctor who can help me with this is difficult so it might take some time before I can finally get an answer.

With that said, I keep thinking about it a lot and I'm not entirely sure what makes people with Aspergers different from Neurotypicals. I like to think of there something uniquely fundamental about Aspergers which has caused them to labeled differently than Neurotypicals and the best I can think of is that people with Aspergers tend to think for themselves a lot more while Neurotypicals are more susceptible to group thinking, but even using this to differentiate people can be problematic because I can think of neurotypicals who still think for themselves and I think everyone at some point in their life has had an opinion just because the group they felt close to had this particular kind of opinion.

This isn't to say that I think everyone "is a little autistic." I looked that up and I know how wrong that is. I read a person's blog saying that if everyone had a small form of autism, the world would be a different place. An example he gave is that social taboos would be different like the sound of chairs scraping against the floor(honestly, when he mentioned, I have no idea why this isn't a social taboo. In my perfect society, we would either feed the people who produce this horrible sound to lions or, more practically, make chairs or floors that would produce minimal screeching noises just from moving the chair).

Also, this might show that I don't understand Aspergers completely. So, if you see something that you don't agree with or know is blatantly wrong, I welcome your comments.

I like how Dan Harmon put it though. Aspergers is basically a label they give to someone just for being different. Because almost anything else I've seen about Aspergers is generalizations that can be applied to almost anyone, regardless of them having autism or not. Such as:

1. Lack of Empathy

This one gets discussed a lot in the forums here because there doesn't really seem to be a clear definition of what empathy is. This is Wiktionary's definition.

1. Identification with or understanding of the thoughts, feelings, or emotional state of another person.
2. Capacity to understand another person's point of view or the result of such understanding.

If neurotypicals were empathetic, I think they would be able to understand(or even at least try to) my point of view and I guarantee that almost everyone on this forum feels misunderstood too.

But, getting away from the autism spectrum, neurotypicals are quite fond of demonizing a group of people. They can be sexist, racist, homophobic...but even disregarding that, in my country(The US), people take glee in this kind of practice especially within politics. Liberals and Conservatives love to make each other seem like complete idiots for believing the way they do(even though there are a lot of factors that contribute to their understanding of a situation...people like to skip that part though)

We also have unempathetic things people say to each other all the time. "Why are people so offended easily these days?" "Stop being so sensitive" are among the common sayings to trivialize people's problems in life.

2. Obsessive interests

People who obsess over train engines are weird. My best knows pretty much everything there is to know about trains and he even noticed they used a train in a movie that didn't exist in that time period. His brother mentioned that he was probably the only person in the cinema to notice this detail. Why would anyone obsess over a stupid detail like that?

People who obsess over celebrities, celebrity gossip, relationships, and sports statistics? That's completely normal though. There is nothing obsessive about arguing over the statistics over a game about how well you can throw a ball. There's nothing wrong about being obsessed with knowing who's married to whom, which celebrity did whatever taboo thing, pretending like any of this actually matters....

Yeah, nothing wrong with those people. That's not obsessive at all -_-

3. Strong moral guidelines/Black and White Thinking

This is the part that confuses me because I've yet to meet anyone who didn't have a moral guideline they don't follow. Well, okay...there are double standards that exist, people believe there's an exception to every rule, blah blah blah

But the most I can think about is that Neurotypicals have a strong adherence to the unwritten rules. If this weren't true, I'm pretty sure shows like Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm wouldn't exist.

If you don't follow the group, the rules that they have, or do something that looks like it doesn't benefit their group, prepared to get punished through alienation. You can be weird, you can be different...as long as it's in an acceptable way. As long as it's in a way we like, you can act however you want.

And, from what I talked about in point number 2, they have a strong "If you're not with us, you're against" kind of mentality which is...you know...black and white thinking.

Oh, but people with Aspergers are more obsessed with following the rules than Neurotypicals. They don't tend to understand the subtlety and nuances of different rules -_-

Conclusion

I really don't understand. As far as I can tell, people like me have made their own observations and react accordingly to what they think is right regardless of what the rest of the people think is right or wrong. I don't get how this is a bad thing. Also, I'm always willing to listen to different points of view as well. I understand different complex situations. I understand there isn't an easy answer to everything. But I also think people could stand to think a little differently as well in order to improve our situation.

This post was inspired by a discussion I had with a friend where every point I tried to make, I swear, he would always hear me say the opposite thing. There was an incident with our company where a guy whose English wasn't very good was trying to give a speech with a positive message but it turned out to be kind of racist. The company said that because his English wasn't as high as it should be, people missed the positive message he was trying to say. But when I was talking to my friend about it, I thought I made it clear that he could have had perfect English and his message wouldn't be misunderstood by anyone and it still would have been a racist thing to say(I don't want to give the details of the speech mostly because this is not what the forum is about. I want to talk more about misunderstandings during discussions and not about racism).

But every time I tried to make a point, he thought I was trying to defend the company and what the speaker was trying to say and calling me naive because it didn't seem like I understood the situation. I was trying to say that I think what happened shouldn't have happened but there are also some details that maybe he wasn't taking into consideration either. This is me defending racism apparently.

This happens to me a lot during discussions as well and I wouldn't be surprised if this has happened to people on this forum as well.

What do you guys think?

(Also, thank you for reading. I didn't intend for this to be as long as it is, but this s**t really pisses me off, so I had more to talk about than I realized)



ASPartOfMe
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14 Sep 2018, 2:31 am

Everybody is not autistic but most if not everybody has one or several autistic traits. If you have most of the traits and a number of these traits to a greater degree than most you are likely autistic.


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Conner42
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14 Sep 2018, 3:30 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Everybody is not autistic but most if not everybody has one or several autistic traits. If you have most of the traits and a number of these traits to a greater degree than most you are likely autistic.
I see.

I pointed out that I know not everyone is autistic but it also makes no sense to me that words like "stubborn" or "black and white thinking" get thrown around as if it were a part of a mental disorder when this can describe so many people without any kind of neurodiversity.

Also, it was probably my mistake to use these as defining traits for people with Aspergers. I know there are a lot of other symptoms that neurotypicals don't experience(I'm really sensitive to certain noises and I've only just kind of learned recently that people can usually tolerate the kind of noises I can't bear). But when they start describing the personality of people with Aspergers, that's when it gets confusing for me.

I think I started this thread because I'm trying to understand it more.



ASPartOfMe
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14 Sep 2018, 8:05 am

When people throw around medical terminology what happens is that the words get misused. It is not that the popular usage is completly wrong what tends to happen is that certain traits are exagerated and only part of the condition is well known.

It is called Aspergers SYNDROME for a reason. According to the Mirriam-Webster dictionary a syndrome is defined as “group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality or condition”


What is Asperger's Syndrome? by Dr. Tony Attwood

Dr. Attwood has written a well received book “The Complete Guide To Asperger Syndrome”


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“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


Conner42
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14 Sep 2018, 11:20 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
When people throw around medical terminology what happens is that the words get misused. It is not that the popular usage is completly wrong what tends to happen is that certain traits are exagerated and only part of the condition is well known.

It is called Aspergers SYNDROME for a reason. According to the Mirriam-Webster dictionary a syndrome is defined as “group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality or condition”


What is Asperger's Syndrome? by Dr. Tony Attwood

Dr. Attwood has written a well received book “The Complete Guide To Asperger Syndrome”
Thanks for the link. I think the language used is more precise and clear than I've read in other posts about it. I think I'll need to read the book.

I may or may not lock this thread depending on how many people reply and what they might say because the more I think about it, I think I engaged in some wrong ways of thinking or approaching this topic. It wasn't my intent to ask "isn't everybody a little autistic?" because that's incredibly wrong on a lot of levels and it trivializes the problems that people with actual autism face on a regular basis, but maybe I kind of did that anyway because I just chose the symptoms that can describe a lot of people regardless of autism without recognizing that it's still more complicated than that.

On the other hand, I am thankful for the comments I've gotten so far and I did learn a couple of things helps me put the issue into perspective, which was the intent of this post in the first place.



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15 Sep 2018, 4:24 am

Conner42 wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
When people throw around medical terminology what happens is that the words get misused. It is not that the popular usage is completly wrong what tends to happen is that certain traits are exagerated and only part of the condition is well known.

It is called Aspergers SYNDROME for a reason. According to the Mirriam-Webster dictionary a syndrome is defined as “group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality or condition”


What is Asperger's Syndrome? by Dr. Tony Attwood

Dr. Attwood has written a well received book “The Complete Guide To Asperger Syndrome”
Thanks for the link. I think the language used is more precise and clear than I've read in other posts about it. I think I'll need to read the book.

I may or may not lock this thread depending on how many people reply and what they might say because the more I think about it, I think I engaged in some wrong ways of thinking or approaching this topic. It wasn't my intent to ask "isn't everybody a little autistic?" because that's incredibly wrong on a lot of levels and it trivializes the problems that people with actual autism face on a regular basis, but maybe I kind of did that anyway because I just chose the symptoms that can describe a lot of people regardless of autism without recognizing that it's still more complicated than that.

On the other hand, I am thankful for the comments I've gotten so far and I did learn a couple of things helps me put the issue into perspective, which was the intent of this post in the first place.

You are welcome.


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Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity.

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman