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The Grand Inquisitor
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18 May 2019, 12:47 am

Claradoon wrote:
I don't think it's a disability; I think it's a minority.
But society is such that we are not included.

I think for autistic people to not be disadvantaged at all in society, it would have to be set up in such a way that level of social competence doesn't matter, in the same way that for blind people not to be disadvantaged in society, everybody would need to wear blindfolds 24/7.



Mona Pereth
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18 May 2019, 4:03 am

breaks0 wrote:
Antax: The US government (at least most of it) considers it a disability and you can (in some places at least) get services govt support and other things b/c of it which is all that really matters to me.

Here in the U.S.A. at least, those government services aren't available to just anyone diagnosed with autism, especially as an adult. Only those with documented sufficient lifelong problems with "adaptive functioning" are eligible.

I'm not eligible for either SSI or NY State's OPWDD services, for example, because, although I recently received an ASD diagnosis and was told there's no question that I qualify for that diagnosis, I score too high on a test of "adaptive functioning." I wouldn't have expected to be eligible for these benefits anyway, because, although I am under-employed, I HAVE managed to hold down jobs for good long periods of time.

breaks0 wrote:
And yes I agree I at least would prefer to have an NT brain.

Of course, whether you like the idea or not, such a brain transplant ain't happening. And the search for a "cure," whether you like the idea or not, has turned out to be a bottomless rabbit hole. It appears that ASD isn't just one condition but a heterogeneous category of MANY distinct though similarly-manifesting neurological conditions, with many different genetic causes, including unpredictable new mutations as well as inherited genes.

That being the case, we are best off accepting ourselves and working together (hopefully with help from some autistic-friendly NT's) to build a world where we can put to good use whatever strengths and talents we may have.


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Mona Pereth
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18 May 2019, 5:07 am

The Grand Inquisitor wrote:
Claradoon wrote:
I don't think it's a disability; I think it's a minority.
But society is such that we are not included.

I think for autistic people to not be disadvantaged at all in society, it would have to be set up in such a way that level of social competence doesn't matter, in the same way that for blind people not to be disadvantaged in society, everybody would need to wear blindfolds 24/7.


No, we just need a society in which "social competence" matters LESS than it does now, and our abilities matter more.

We need a society in which the specific KINDS of "social skills" that matter most are ones we can learn relatively easily, rather than (as is currently the case in too many work environments) the kinds that are intrinsically hardest for many of us.

For example, I think many of us, without too much difficulty, can learn the purely verbal aspects of assertiveness and active listening. On the other hand, the difficulties many of us have with eye contact and body language would cease to be a problem in a work environment where it was understood and accepted that different people have different body language and that people shouldn't jump to conclusions about the meaning of another person's body language without first getting to know the person very well.


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- In longterm relationship with boyfriend who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2001.
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- My "Getting to know each other" thread: Hello from NYC.


Antrax
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18 May 2019, 10:08 pm

breaks0 wrote:
Antax: The US government (at least most of it) considers it a disability and you can (in some places at least) get services govt support and other things b/c of it which is all that really matters to me. And yes I agree I at least would prefer to have an NT brain.


I'm on the high-functioning end of the spectrum and don't need government support in order to live an independent life, but I do feel as if autism is holding me back in my life. Maybe I'm in that post-diagnosis depression, but I'm having a hard time seeing the autism is awesome mentality some seem to have.


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Mona Pereth
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18 May 2019, 11:34 pm

Antrax wrote:
but I do feel as if autism is holding me back in my life. Maybe I'm in that post-diagnosis depression, but I'm having a hard time seeing the autism is awesome mentality some seem to have.

Autism can be "awesome" only in an autistic-friendly social context. In such a context, here are some aspects of autism that are, or can be, "awesome":

1) A tendency to be honest and forthright. We not only tend to be unusually honest and forthright ourselves, but we need other people to be honest and forthright with us.

2) If you happen to have special interests, a joy in learning that most other people don't seem to experience.

3) Various abilities that some (though not all) autistic people have, and that are more likely to be found among autistic people than among NT's.

Googling "good side of autism" brings up a bunch of results including this page and this page. (Of course, not every autistic person has the traits mentioned on these pages.)

As I said, though, to reap the benefits of whatever positive traits we may have, we need an autistic-friendly social context -- which the autism community needs to do a lot more work on building.


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- Finally diagnosed with ASD in May 2019, after having suspected it for over ten years, and after having deeply explored the autism community for over one year while waiting for and obtaining diagnosis.
- In longterm relationship with boyfriend who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2001.
- Long history of participation in various oddball subcultures.
- My "Getting to know each other" thread: Hello from NYC.


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19 May 2019, 6:01 am

It's still up in the air as to whether I'm on the spectrum. Having said that: I've never worked. I have no friends. If it wasn't for the support I'm getting it's quite likely I'd end up in a group home. I'm quite articulate ,but apart from being ok at managing my finances my practical ability is poor. I would say I have a disability.


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green0star
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19 May 2019, 7:28 am

I guess its only a disability if someone lets it be one but then again depending on one's functioning ability it can be quiet difficult. I know people who have fairly ok functioning lvls but their parents make functionality difficult for them due to varying fears and anxieties including my own parents who are like this.



Antrax
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19 May 2019, 11:36 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Autism can be "awesome" only in an autistic-friendly social context. In such a context, here are some aspects of autism that are, or can be, "awesome":

1) A tendency to be honest and forthright. We not only tend to be unusually honest and forthright ourselves, but we need other people to be honest and forthright with us.



Compulsive honesty tends to cause problems more than it is actually beneficial. Example, I just came back from a week long vacation during which one day I went for a walk along a beach I had never been to before with my grandmother. My grandmother asked me what I thought of the beach to which I responded honestly: "I found the beach to be neither remarkable nor unremarkable." Which is to say it was a fairly average beach. My grandmother became quite upset which it took me 20 minutes to parse out that what she had been asking was not what I thought of the beach, but whether I enjoyed our walk that day. Had I been more socially adept I may have answered dishonestly that "I thought it was a lovely beach" and avoided upsetting my grandmother.

Mona Pereth wrote:

2) If you happen to have special interests, a joy in learning that most other people don't seem to experience.



The flip side is that you have interests that no one in the real world outside the internet cares about.

Mona Pereth wrote:

3) Various abilities that some (though not all) autistic people have, and that are more likely to be found among autistic people than among NT's.

Googling "good side of autism" brings up a bunch of results including this page and this page. (Of course, not every autistic person has the traits mentioned on these pages.)

As I said, though, to reap the benefits of whatever positive traits we may have, we need an autistic-friendly social context -- which the autism community needs to do a lot more work on building.


I'm aware there are positive aspects of autism, but to me at least the deficits (anxiety, executive functioning difficulties, social difficulties) outweigh the positives. Also asking the NT world to bend to autistics is an impossible task. It's like asking all people who can walk to roll around in wheelchairs instead.

I'm pretty bitter and angry right now for reasons having to do with my life, so that may be coloring my perspective here.


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TazCrystal
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19 May 2019, 2:33 pm

I don't really know how I view it. I remember my parents told me that I had autism and they explained that it didn't make me disabled. They told me that it made certain things hard for me. They told me that it didn't make me "special needs". They used to get annoyed with my younger sister for saying I was "special needs". I sort of felt confused the whole time they were explaining it



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19 May 2019, 9:18 pm

Antrax wrote:
I'm aware there are positive aspects of autism, but to me at least the deficits (anxiety, executive functioning difficulties, social difficulties) outweigh the positives. Also asking the NT world to bend to autistics is an impossible task. It's like asking all people who can walk to roll around in wheelchairs instead.

A major difference is that, if there were no more people in wheelchairs, it wouldn't negatively affect the world. I think the loss of autustic people would be a disaster for humanity.


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breaks0
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20 May 2019, 12:07 am

Antrax wrote:
breaks0 wrote:
Antax: The US government (at least most of it) considers it a disability and you can (in some places at least) get services govt support and other things b/c of it which is all that really matters to me. And yes I agree I at least would prefer to have an NT brain.


I'm on the high-functioning end of the spectrum and don't need government support in order to live an independent life, but I do feel as if autism is holding me back in my life. Maybe I'm in that post-diagnosis depression, but I'm having a hard time seeing the autism is awesome mentality some seem to have.

Agreed. I'm also HFA and I'm mainly on govt assistance because the city and hopefully soon SSA don't think I can hold down a job. But if you can work more power to you.



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20 May 2019, 5:58 pm

Yes because if it weren't, then you wouldn't be autistic.


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21 May 2019, 8:20 am

Antrax wrote:
I'm sure this has been done before, but well the community changes over time so I'm asking the current members.

For me the answer is yes. There may be some benefits to autism, but on balance they are outweighed by the deficits.


It is a social disability.
And most of us have: Executive functioning disorder.
This makes life quite frustrating/tedious at times.

But there are a lot of benefits too.


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21 May 2019, 1:16 pm

Yes, but what Ive realized in this case is that with deficit there is other strength.

Using a somewhat different perspective, Ray Charles was blind but his senses were heightened.

The thing that is near physical disability is various common issues, gut, back, anorexia and comorbids.

The thing that is physical is (for me) balance issues, reflexes and slow wits.

But during my childhood, willpower, channeling anger for the positive or simply lack of socializing has given me more of an 3rd person view of others and sometimes, even myself, without as much bias as possible.

All these for me can and has changed, reaching out, getting a second opinion, taking risks and making plans.

Working out and eating healthy can help from the ground up, especially if you get stuck in your own head.

Like I said, second opinion and I suppose adding your own voice, but its choosing the right time to speak, coherently and not too formal, fitting more like.



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21 May 2019, 1:27 pm

Yes and i don't think being disabled is the end of the world.