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QFT
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16 Aug 2019, 2:27 pm

I heard a lot about aspies in NT shell being told "I don't believe you you have Asperger you look normal". But I would like to present an opposite situation: deep down inside I have the same needs NT-s do, but nobody believes me since my aspie shell is way too obvious.

Maybe it boils down to the fact that other aspies learned social skills (well, "masking it" is a social skill too) yet they have "invisible" things like sensory issues, dislike of changes, etc. But in my case I am the opposite: my social skills suck and I never learned to mask anything not even tried, but I "don't" have autistic symptoms in other areas: no sensory issues what so ever, I regard change as something positive rather than negative, and so forth.

I do, however, have obsessions: I keep obsessing why people don't treat me as normal and overanalyze ins and outs of their philosophies that would make them act this way (see any of my long posts). But this problem would solve itself if only people were to match me up with some friends and a date and guide me through the process and so forth; or better yet, just treat me like you would treat the NT (the only "help" I need is to recover my NT status when I screw up). I just feel like if it were to happen for few years straight I would become a lot more normal.

I do realize that the fact that I "deal" with rejection by obsessing about it as opposed to doing any number of things NTs tend to do (and obsession isn't one of them) is indicative of my Asperger. But did it ever occur to you that my underlying feelings (frustration, rejection, etc) are the exact same feelings NT-s have, I just express them differently? I even remember being surprised to hear how a couple of NT-s didn't even know my obsession had anything to do with being emotionally hurt. But wait a second, if I wasn't emotionally hurt, what would be driving me??

In any case, since my Asperger doesn't affect my actual needs but it only effects the way I express them, thats why I made that title of the post that I did. And since the question is how do I express long-term rejection, this would be non-issue if that rejection thing was taken out of the way. So yes Asperger makes me deal with frustration in a significantly different way than NT-s. But if I am not frustrated in the first place, then what does it matter how I deal with frustration? And yes, things come up, but if the "only" issue between me and others was how I handle conflicts that come up "once in a while" I don't think they would ostracize me on this sole basis. But people don't see that this is my problem since I was never taken into a situation where I feel accepted, so people have no clue that in such a case I would be able to reciprocate it a lot better than they think.

I know a lot of people here would strongly disagree with me on this one but its just how I feel. Like here is something that I find the most frustrating. Like I watch two girls talking to each other and I feel like I wish I could "be" one of them, like I can relate to what they express and all that and I wish they could see that I am one more person just like them -- but it never crosses their mind, in fact they probably don't even think I am a human being thanks to my aspie shell.



Edna3362
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16 Aug 2019, 2:52 pm

It's plausible to be an NT and yet 'looks' and expresses like an aspie.
Heck, it's also plausible to be an NT, and yet has needs, wants, and circumstances similar to an autistic.

An autistic with wants and needs of an NT or contrary to how autistics would or could -- that's also plausible.


Basically, you're saying that you're an NT that looks and acts like an aspie...
What, are you some stereotypical, socially awkward and physically clumsy nerd with odd interests? :lol: And you just want a body language, preferences and social aptitude that says you're NT?

Well, ok... Except, I dunno how to solve your case. You know what you want.
You seem to take a look of your inner workings, but implementing any solutions involves more than just intellectual ideas.
Or maybe you are missing certain terms, that may or may not be exclusive/more common to aspergers.


I see nothing wrong here, and you're not trying to deceive anyone.

There are, socially motivated autistics here who thinks and feels the same way -- that they are 'internally' and their 'personality' is NT, that whatever part of autism is a condition they just had to manage or would rather not have it in the first place because that's not how they would've like to express and represent themselves. :lol: But are, actually, autistic and not just in 'some' ways. They may able to relate to you better.


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QFT
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16 Aug 2019, 3:04 pm

I didn't mean to say I am an NT, I guess I just wanted to use an exaggeration as a communication tool. Obviously I have social skills problems so that would make me an aspie "in this regard". Yet I am an NT in "all those other regards". So if people were to take me as 100% NT when I am actually 50/50, then my exaggerated complaint would be "an aspie in NT shell" but if people take me as 100% aspie when I am 50/50, then my exaggerated complaint would be "an NT in aspie shell". Both are exaggerations if I am 50/50, but they are good ways to illustrate a point. And by the way I didn't mean exactly 50/50, I didn't count; I am just using random numbers to illustrate the concept.

And by the way, contrary to popular belief, I don't think there is a sharp line between autistic and NT anyway. Most aspies today would have been considered NT back in the 60-s and, conversely, the NT-s today that are on introverted side "might" have a touch of Asperger -- its called "shaddow symptoms". So there is no line like that. And when people draw that line and label you that is really frustrating.

To answer your question about clumsiness, yes I am clumsy. Thats part of my aspie shell I guess. And the other part of my shell is that my voice is monotone. So all the physical stuff makes me look/sound like an aspie yet all my needs allign with an NT.

Now, speaking of monotone voice, thats not how I picture myself. In fact when I hear two girls talking I picture myself being one of them and having their voice too (which can't be the case since -- apart from it being monotone, its also male rather than female -- but it doesn't stop me from picturing myself having female voice with normal intonation like they have), and I picture myself having their hair style (although actually is much shorter than theirs) etc. So I guess the way I picture myself doesn't match with the way I actually look.

And I guess I am not the only autistic that does it: I read Donna Williams' books and from early childhood she pictured herself as "just like Carol" -- even though Carol was older -- and, therefore, taller, than her. And then when she became an adult she described how she was surprised to learn that she was short because, up till that point, she was never picturing herself as any particular height. That seems quite similar to me. When I happen to look at hte mirror and notice my hair is messy I am like "wow I can't believe my hair is that way no wonder people don't talk to me" but most of the time I simply don't look at the mirror. And as far as my actual face, I picture myself with female face when I see females talk and I picture myself with male face when I talk to my male professor (but not my face -- most likely his face).

But in any case, one way in which I "am" different from Donna Williams is that Donna Williams never pictured herself as an NT, but I do. And thats not just some fairy tale in my mind, thats like a real need. Because you see, what stops Donna Williams from picturing herself as an NT is that her internal needs are different -- she has sensory issues, lots of them, and her likes/dislikes are different from NT-s. But on the other hand, in my case, I actually want the same thing NT-s want, and thats why I tend to picture myself as if I was an NT.



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16 Aug 2019, 8:16 pm

QFT wrote:
I heard a lot about aspies in NT shell being told "I don't believe you you have Asperger you look normal". But I would like to present an opposite situation: deep down inside I have the same needs NT-s do, but nobody believes me since my aspie shell is way too obvious.

It seems to me that most autistic people have at least most of the same underlying emotional needs as NTs. For example, as far as I can tell, most of us want to have at least one or two good friends, and most of us want to have a romantic relationship, although many of us may differ from NTs (and from each other) as to how we want to go about making emotional connections with other people.

QFT wrote:
Maybe it boils down to the fact that other aspies learned social skills (well, "masking it" is a social skill too) yet they have "invisible" things like sensory issues, dislike of changes, etc. But in my case I am the opposite: my social skills suck and I never learned to mask anything not even tried, but I "don't" have autistic symptoms in other areas: no sensory issues what so ever, I regard change as something positive rather than negative, and so forth.

Very few autistic people have all of the autistic traits.

Anyhow, some categories of traits you didn't mention: (1)How good are you at multi-tasking, relative to most people? (2) Do you have any difficulties with eye contact during a conversation? (3) Do you have any unusual body language that you're aware of? (4) Can you easily handle unfocused chit chat with more than one person at a time, in a group social setting? (5) Have you ever had an opportunity to have anyone (e.g. a therapist) give you feedback on the above issues?

QFT wrote:
I do, however, have obsessions:

And, on the positive side, you also have at least one special interest, namely your love of physics.

QFT wrote:
I keep obsessing why people don't treat me as normal and overanalyze ins and outs of their philosophies that would make them act this way (see any of my long posts). But this problem would solve itself if only people were to match me up with some friends and a date and guide me through the process and so forth; or better yet, just treat me like you would treat the NT (the only "help" I need is to recover my NT status when I screw up). I just feel like if it were to happen for few years straight I would become a lot more normal.

In other words, you need people to be more assertive with you. Most of us, perhaps all of us, need this.

QFT wrote:
I do realize that the fact that I "deal" with rejection by obsessing about it as opposed to doing any number of things NTs tend to do (and obsession isn't one of them) is indicative of my Asperger. But did it ever occur to you that my underlying feelings (frustration, rejection, etc) are the exact same feelings NT-s have, I just express them differently? I even remember being surprised to hear how a couple of NT-s didn't even know my obsession had anything to do with being emotionally hurt. But wait a second, if I wasn't emotionally hurt, what would be driving me??

In any case, since my Asperger doesn't affect my actual needs but it only effects the way I express them, thats why I made that title of the post that I did. And since the question is how do I express long-term rejection, this would be non-issue if that rejection thing was taken out of the way. So yes Asperger makes me deal with frustration in a significantly different way than NT-s. But if I am not frustrated in the first place, then what does it matter how I deal with frustration? And yes, things come up, but if the "only" issue between me and others was how I handle conflicts that come up "once in a while" I don't think they would ostracize me on this sole basis. But people don't see that this is my problem since I was never taken into a situation where I feel accepted, so people have no clue that in such a case I would be able to reciprocate it a lot better than they think.

I know a lot of people here would strongly disagree with me on this one but its just how I feel. Like here is something that I find the most frustrating. Like I watch two girls talking to each other and I feel like I wish I could "be" one of them, like I can relate to what they express and all that and I wish they could see that I am one more person just like them -- but it never crosses their mind, in fact they probably don't even think I am a human being thanks to my aspie shell.

Even with a lot of feedback from sympathetic NTs, you would still be, at the very least, a much more intellectually-oriented person than the vast majority of people -- which, in my opinion, is a good thing, not a bad thing -- but it does make relating to the average person more difficult than it would otherwise be. I would hazard a guess that you might also have some other, more subtle issues that might be an intrinsic barrier to social interaction with NTs, or that might at least make social interaction more stressful for you than it is for NTs.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 16 Aug 2019, 9:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Mona Pereth
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16 Aug 2019, 8:34 pm

QFT wrote:
And by the way, contrary to popular belief, I don't think there is a sharp line between autistic and NT anyway. Most aspies today would have been considered NT back in the 60-s and, conversely, the NT-s today that are on introverted side "might" have a touch of Asperger -- its called "shaddow symptoms".

That's certainly true. The line between autistic and non-autistic is fuzzy, subjective, arbitrary, and varies with each edition of the DSM.


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QFT
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17 Aug 2019, 7:16 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
QFT wrote:
I heard a lot about aspies in NT shell being told "I don't believe you you have Asperger you look normal". But I would like to present an opposite situation: deep down inside I have the same needs NT-s do, but nobody believes me since my aspie shell is way too obvious.

It seems to me that most autistic people have at least most of the same underlying emotional needs as NTs. For example, as far as I can tell, most of us want to have at least one or two good friends, and most of us want to have a romantic relationship, although many of us may differ from NTs (and from each other) as to how we want to go about making emotional connections with other people.


Well, apparently having "one or two friends and a romantic relationship" doesn't come anywhere close to meeting my emotional needs. The evidence for it is that I am not "only" upset about being single at the present -- I am also upset at throwing away the best years of my life -- which clearly refers to the past. But wait a second, I had three long term relationships in the past (one lasted 8 months and the other two lasted two years each) and I also had few more short term ones on top of it. So why don't those relationships make me feel any better about the past? Probably because those girls didn't have me fully participate in activities involving their circle of friends, assuming I didn't need it, but I do.

More to the point, I don't think some of what I heard about autistics lifestyle is compatible with meeting some of the emotional needs I am thinking of. For example, I heard how some NT-s complain about their autistic significant others wanting only to stay at home all day and oppose to be taken to social activities. Well, I can't imagine how one can be happy -- with or without a partner -- if one is stuck doing the same routine over and over. As a matter of fact, that is one of the main reasons why I stopped liking my second long term ex: our relationship became too much of a routine. Yet I read that people with Asperger like routine. So if they "like" routine (which I clearly don't) then this implies they are lacking emotional needs that I do have (such as the need to find new ways of being excited about life).

And then also comes the question about autistics that don't want to be touched. Yes I said I am against sex before marriage, but I very much do want to be touched in non-sexual ways. In fact thats the other thing I miss: nobody touched me for the past several years. But those autistics that are against physical contact, they won't be able to relate to this one either.

Mona Pereth wrote:
Very few autistic people have all of the autistic traits.


I realize this. But are you talking about few bigger categories or several smaller ones? For example, maybe they don't have every single sensory issue on the list but most of them have "some" sensory issues -- while I don't have any? And perhaps there are different degrees on not liking changes but you can say that most of them like routine more than most NT-s -- but you can't say this about me.

In any case, if it was that common for autistics not to have any sensory issues and not to like any routines, then how come some of the girls that rejected me did so under the assumption that I share those traits and didn't believe me when I said that I don't? And how come the girls that did date me avoided introducing me to their friends on this basis?

I guess you might simply point out the fact that right now, as single, I have a routine and back when I was dating I didn't initiate anything outside of our routine. But the reasons for this have nothing to do with Asperger. I just tried to "break my routine" a couple of months ago by buying myself a train ticket to some random town and booking hotel there for a few days. But then I had a huge credit card bill I couldn't pay off (my mom had to help me with that one). And, back when I was dating, I LOVED when my ex-s were to take me out to places -- but I was too shy to initiate it myself. And, conversely, I HATED my ex-s for "depriving" me of random things I would do on my own -- even though they didn't deprive me of anything: I was the one who felt like I couldn't express an initiative.

But the point is: not having enough money to travel and not having enough courage to express initiative is not the same thing as actually preferring the routine. On the outside it looks the same, but it isn't. Yet, the fact that on the outside it looks the same is the exact reason why NT-s act as if it is the same and it is me over-analyzing things and "not seeing forest for the trees" (which, of course, are the other symptoms of Asperger) that make me not see it. But judge for yourself. Don't you remember some NT-s that face problems of shyness and lack of money -- yet you won't say those NT-s are all about routine? So why can't I make that same exact point about myself then? So maybe its HOW I communicate that makes it appear different: for example I just spent two paragraphs explaining this instead of sumarizing it in a couple of short sentences. But thats my communication style -- which I already admitted IS very much aspie-like -- but my aspie communication style doesn't negate my actual needs that are very much NT, which is the exact point I was trying to make.

Mona Pereth wrote:
Anyhow, some categories of traits you didn't mention: (1)How good are you at multi-tasking, relative to most people?


I would have said I am bad at multi-tasking, but when I compare it to how bad my mom thinks I am, it makes me want to say I am good at it, just to point out how wrong my mom is. My mom thinks that, even when I do one single task, I wouldn't be able to sequence it properly since sequencing a task is a type of multitasking too -- and she is wrong I guess its besides the point since I go to school a couple of states away from her, but when I visit her it is super frustrating. For example, during my last visit she asked me to make a bed for myself and she said "first take off the blanket, then put on the bed sheet, then put the blanket back on" so I actually confronted her "what makes you think I won't realize to do those three steps? Of course I am not thinking about those steps when I am sitting at the table studying, but don't you think they would occur to me WHEN I am making a bed, without any need of pre-planning it" but she evaded the confrontation by saying "oh I just wasn't thinking about it" and I was like "yes you did: you went out of your way to tell me those steps" and she was like "I just didn't express myself properly" and I was like "it has nothing to do with not expressing yourself properly, you clearly tried really hard to outline those steps to me" and then she would tell me that I give her headache by starting this argument. Anyway, you get the jist of it.

I guess part of the reason she does this is that I forget to tie my shoes, tuck in my shirt, etc. But you see, not tying my shoes and not tucking my shirt is not the same as forgetting to take off the blanket before I put the bed sheet on. If I don't tuck in my shirt then I don't see that it isn't tucked in, and even if I did see it, it wouldn't be "physically" stopping me from getting out of the house. But if I were to put on the bed sheet while forgetting to take off the blanket, then yes it would pose a physical barrier: I would have to put my bed sheet on top of the blanket, so how is it supposed to look like?

Well, to give my mom a credit, there is a good chance that not tucking in my shirt and not tying my shoes is part of the reason why girls don't approach me. So since I am the one who complains about it, I should be thankful for my mom for trying to teach me to look more presentable. But that doesn't change the point: not looking presentable isn't the same thing as not being able to sequence tasks. I can figure out all the LOGICAL steps just fine -- I simply don't LOOK presentable when I do them -- but how I look is a different topic. Yes I care about how I look since I want girls to approach me. But I want my mom to see a line between those two categories, which she doesn't.

But anyway, I guess when you asked about multitasking you weren't thinking of sequencing tasks, you were thinking about actually doing two separate tasks: like working on two separate projects at the same time. And in this case yes I have difficulties. I mean in order to put project A aside and do project B, I need to get to a reasonable stopping point in Project A so that I don't forget my thoughts -- and if Project A is super difficult then there is no such stopping point. But this kind of issue is different from the kind of issue my mom has. In my case I would keep staring at the book I am reading or calculations I am doing and then, at the very last moment, just put it in the backpack and jump out of the house. In my mom's case, she isn't "doing" anything in particular, she just runs around putting this little thing into her back and that little thing and I don't get why can't she just pick.up.her.bag.and.go Now, we BOTH end up coming late, but as you see the dynamics of it is different. And it is particularly frustrating when she gets ME to stop doing the calculations or reading a book (since we are presumably late) only to have me wait for her for half an hour to get out of the house. Sometimes I suspect that *she* might have issues sequencing tasks and then she projects those issues on me.

But I guess I deflected again. So going back to what you asked me. Yes its hard to work on two research projects at the same time -- but at the same time I have no problem taking like 5 classes at the same time. That is because classes aren't taking as much of my focus as research projects do. In case of a homework I can always say "even if I don't finish all problems, I can still get an A or A- or at least a B, so why don't I do homework for a different class and then come back to it later". But in case of research it isn't the same since in this case I have a vested interest in what I am doing that has nothing to do with grades -- which usually isn't the case when it comes to a homework.

The other thing is that each time I have time management issues, I compensate for them by staying up at night. Incidentally, yesterday I came to an orientation session (no I am not a new student its going to be my fourth year, but they recommend those sessions to everyone) so one of the things they asked was about strategies to manage the time. I didn't give any answers since I would have been a horrible example if I did, so I just sat there quiet. But the three or four students that did give an answer, they all talked about setting up a schedule for themselves. And I was thinking in my head "wow, they sound more autistic than I am: I never have any schedule". I guess to be fair there were like two or three times -- several years ago -- when I "tried" making a schedule for myself, but I wasn't able to stick to that schedule beyond a week or two, so I just gave up. Well, that doesn't sound very autistic either, since I heard that autistics are really good at schedules.

And, last but not least, part of what contributes to time management issues is staying on the internet when I shouldn't. Like look at me right now, typing all those paragraphs when I should be sleeping. But that part is due to being lonely. So maybe if I had friends I would be able to let go of internet and my time management would improve.

Mona Pereth wrote:
(2) Do you have any difficulties with eye contact during a conversation?


Even if I do, they aren't the same as other autistics have. I read some autistics saying that they feel literal pain when they look someone in the eyes so they have to think of strategies of looking at the face without looking at the eyes so that they can avoid that pain. But in my case the issue isn't pain but its more along the lines of my not paying attention. Like in case of my mom, I find it super frustrating how she would repeat the same thing over and over instead of just saying it once. Part of the reason she does it is because I don't make eye contact which makes it seem like I am not paying attention. But guess what: maybe its true that I am not paying attention. Well, the reason I am not paying attention is that she talks about a really annoying stuff like I mentioned earlier, plus why pay attention if she is going to repeat it another 10 or 20 times? But the point is: "not having an eye contact due to not paying attention" is an NT thing as opposed to an aspie thing. Aspies are the ones who don't have eye contact because it is painful to them, and this clearly doesn't apply to me.

The situation where my mom actually called me out on not making eye contact is when she reminds me to say hello to people. Well, it is really difficult for her to get me to say hello on the first place -- since I don't like being a robot repeating what I was told to say -- but when/if I end up reluctantly saying hello, then I don't make an eye contact and my mom calls me out on it. But you see, its not the only thing she would call me out on. The other thing she would point out is that my voice is normally really loud (too loud in fact) but when I say hello then it gets really quiet so that nobody besides me hears me. Well, the reason why its quiet is, like I said, I don't like mechanically repeating stuff after her. So maybe the reason I don't make eye contact in those situations is exactly the same.

And yet another example of my lack of eye contact is this. Back in 2001 I just started my first graduate school and I was going to be a TA. Due to my having thick Russian accent they put me together with "foreign TAs" and had one of those teachers watch me teach. As it happened, a boyfriend of her daughter had Asperger and HE was the one who apparently had trouble looking people in the eyes, not me. What happened in my case is that when I was writing on the board I wouldn't look at the class since obviously I have to look at the board when I write. Obviously there are ways to look at the board and look at the class too: standing sideways is one way, turning the head back and forth is another way, and so forth. But in order to think of those ways I need to care about the class on the first place -- but I didn't care about the class that much, to me it was just one of my "duties" to get out of the way -- so I would just face the class with my back as I write on the board without thinking much of it. But that teacher didn't get that this was the reason, she thought that I find it painful to make eye contact since I told her I have Asperger. So she kept asking me "can you HONESTLY tell me, do you find it painful to look at the class" and I would be like "no its not painful, not to the slightest, and yes I am honest" but apparently she didn't believe me since she kept asking this question over and over.

Now, in the case with teaching, I do agree that my Asperger plays a role -- just very different role from what she thought it was. In particular, I am quite sure that I am by far not the only one who finds teaching boring -- but others know they have to take it seriously since they are being paid for it. In my case I just assumed that teaching is what I will always have regardless of whether I would take it seriously or not -- and I was wrong since I ended up losing teaching which lead to a situation where my mom had to send me money . Now, if I didn't have Asperger, I would have been communicating with other students on a regular basis, and then I would have heard some stories about other students that lost their teaching, and that would have motivated me to take teaching more seriously. The BYPRODUCT of taking teaching more seriously would have been looking at the class once I was called out on it. But notice that its a byproduct. So there is no direct connection between Asperger and eye contact, the connection is indirect.

The other indirect connection is that I took her question too literally: she asked me "do you feel uncomfortable" so I was like "okay her concern is my comfort level, so if I tell her I am comfortable then problem is solved". If I was an NT I would have read between the lines that "despite what it sounds like, the comfort is not the main issue; the issue is her trying to get me to do my job (which includes looking at the class) and she is simply being kind and considerate in her attempts -- so I better start doing my job and look at the class". I guess I "vaguely" knew she wanted me to look at the class but it was like the 100-th issue on the list of my concerns -- and that is where Asperger comes in. Now, when she was subsequently asking this same question, it was also my inability to read between the lines as well. If I knew that she was trying to "get me to do something" then OF COURSE she kept asking the same thing over and over: I kept "not doing" what she was "trying to get me to do" -- so instead of telling me off for not listening to her she "gave me a benefit of the doubt" by looking for "alternative" explanations of my behavior. But again I didn't get it, since I was genuinely puzzled why was she asking me the same question despite the fact that I already answered it. But you see, none of those things have to do with finidng eye contact painful, its inability to read between the lines -- which is part of Asperger too, but a very different part.

I guess to be fair there ARE situations where I find eye contact difficult -- but those are due to specific social settings as opposed to simply finding it difficult by default. For example, my current thesis advisor gets really upset when I make sloppy mistakes in my calculations. Now, when he tries to point out to me how ridiculous my mistake is, I might actually see that "if you take it literally" then what I said is in fact ridiculous -- well, except that I am not taking it literally, unlike him -- but its still funny how silly it sounds IF taken literally (exactly like he just pointed out). So that makes me want to laugh -- but I know I can't laugh since HE isn't finding it funny, in fact he is angry about it. But the fact that I know I shouldn't laugh makes me want to laugh even more, so I am not able to hold back my smile and he actually called me out on it. In any case, in those situations I avoid eye contact with him since I feel awkward. In fact, I turn my head away from him in hopes he won't see my smile.

Another situation when feeling awkward caused me to avoid eye contact happened yesterday. So we had an orientation session, and majority of the items there are for new students, while there are some that are for old students too. So I was told to come only to the latter but not to the former. But I decided to come to all of them just to be able to say that I did it and also to possibly interact with new students. So when I was at the activities I wasn't supposed to be at, I would avoid eye contact with people since I kept thinking they would ask me what am I doing there. Which is kind of silly now that I think about it: how would the first year students know that its my fourth year anyway? But I guess I realize it now, but I didn't realize it yesterday.

Another situation happens at the bus stop. So its a student bus and there is that bench where all students wait for the bus. So I feel too awkward to actually sit at that bench: why would I be sitting next to a student whom I don't even know? So while most students are sitting, I am standing, and facing them with my back. Actually, this is one of the things I been thinking about as something I should change. Maybe if I were to actually sit on the bench this would make students feel more welcome to strike a conversation with me. But I feel too awkward to get myself to do it. But you see this feels more like social anxiety thing than Asperger thing in a sense that with Asperger you specifically avoid eye contact; but in my case I was being too shy to interact with them in general, and eye contact was simply a consequence to that, as opposed to an issue of itself.

The point is: in the situations where i feel welcome, comfortable and engaged I do make eye contact -- and in every single example of "not" making eye contact I just gave, one or more of those three items was absent.

Maybe the reason why NT-s won't take that explanation seriously is that if in many different situations for many different reasons I end up doing the same thing then it seems like those reasons are just excuses. But let me give you ONE underlying reason why I do the same thing. In particular, an NT might also have a long list of reasons not to make an eye contact, but since they know that making an eye contact is "the thing to do", they make one anyway -- whether they want to or not. But in my case I am being more genuine and I only make one when I "actually" feel like it -- as opposed to any kind of social norm. But once again, this has nothing to do with eye contact being painful. Rather it has to do with an aspie being more honest and genuine than NT.

Mona Pereth wrote:
(3) Do you have any unusual body language that you're aware of?


I have a habbit of either folding my hands on my chest, or bending my hands, or clenching the fists, or having my hands in my pockets (checking if I have keys, wallet, cell phone) etc.

Mona Pereth wrote:
(4) Can you easily handle unfocused chit chat with more than one person at a time, in a group social setting?


No. But that is a really good example of my problems with social skills standing in a way of fulfilling my emotional needs.

Mona Pereth wrote:
(5) Have you ever had an opportunity to have anyone (e.g. a therapist) give you feedback on the above issues?


I gave some examples of people telling me about eye contact thing.

People also told me my voice is too loud and that I also speak too fast. Few years ago I had a therapist who asked me to practice speaking quiet and slowly and I found that my tongue would get physically tired after speaking that way for even a minute. But when I speak loud and fast I can go on and on without tongue feeling tired at all. So I guess it might be something physical I don't know.

The other thing I was told about is that I go on and on about myself and appear uninterested in others. From my perspective, if others were to help me "solve" my problems -- like "producing" friends and girlfriend for me -- I wouldn't be going on and on about myself any more and will listen to others. But others don't get it. On a flip side, I talked to a girl on a dating site few months ago and she actually complimented me as being the only one genually interested in her -- which I found strange since I was writing pages and pages about myself and just two or three paragraphs about her. But then again, when I threw a tantrum and said "I don't care what you appreciate" then she took those words literally and decided I actually don't care which caused everything to fall apart. But in any case, going back to what she said at first: since she went out of her way to compliment me on the exact thing that others think I don't do, then maybe the issue is how I communicate as opposed to whether I actually care or not.

Other things I was told I was doing is that I ask "direct questions" instead of asking "open ended questions". And thats the hard part since, on the one hand, I am told I show interest in others "too little" but then it becomes "too much" the moment I ask one of those direct questions.

The other thing I was told is that I don't smile. But remember that example with a professor where the issue is the opposite as in I smile when I shouldn't? So the issue is "not" really that I do or don't smile, but rather that I don't do it at the right time. When I shouldn't be smiling it makes me want to smile -- and when I should be smiling then I can't produce a smile other than a fake smile.

Mona Pereth wrote:
QFT wrote:
I do, however, have obsessions:

And, on the positive side, you also have at least one special interest, namely your love of physics.


But that "special interest" isn't any stronger than most people in the physics department. Yet they socialize with each other but not with me.

Mona Pereth wrote:
In other words, you need people to be more assertive with you. Most of us, perhaps all of us, need this.


Well, thats the part of Asperger that I always said I do have. But that doesn't negate the fact that there are those other parts that people falsely attribute to me, which I don't have.

Mona Pereth wrote:
Even with a lot of feedback from sympathetic NTs, you would still be, at the very least, a much more intellectually-oriented person than the vast majority of people


My mom wouldn't say that -- but then again SHE is the one far more intellectual than most people so she shouldn't be the criteria yet she treats herself as one. For example, she takes super long time at the museums, staring at each painting for I don't know how long, and she expects me to take just as much time as she does. She actually told me herself how nobody takes as long at museums as she does except for that one person she told me some stories about. Well, the obvious question is: so why do you then expect ME to spend so much time? And she never really answered that one to my satisfaction.

She gets mad at me when I don't recognize some of the artists she wants me to know. Like for example, she wanted me to go see a ballet by Eifman, I didn't know who that was, and she was upset since she told me about him multiple times. Now one thing she tells me is that since I am trying to fit in with intellectuals (that is, mathematicians and physicists) I should know those things since they all know them. Well I highly doubt that they know them. So do you find it ironic that you are the one telling me that I am too intellectual to most people, while my mom is telling me that I am not intellectual enough. Particularly since both you and her are talking about the same aspect of it: my inability to fit in -- and the two of you cite opposite reasons.

On a flip side of it, when she took me to see "war and peace" movie, I had lots of questions about that Napoleon war and she couldn't answer any of them. So I pointed out to her that if she thinks that knowing things is so important, why didn't she bother to learn history? Now, I am by far not a historian, I am a physicist, and I didn't have time to learn that much history either -- as evident from the fact that I wasn't able to answer my own questions. But I am not the one saying that knowledge of humanities is so important -- she is. And, in any case, IF I were to take a pick between art and history I would certainly pick history, yet she seems to pick art, and I don't get it. With history there are those logical questions that you should be asking, but with art I just don't see how remembering who Eifmann is or staring at a certain painting for 15 minutes would possibly answer any of my questions.

But in any case, leaving my mom aside and going back to talking about my peers: the situations with "two girls talking" I mentioned in the previous post were the ones where those two girls sound intellectual, at least based on their voice anyway. When I see girls being abnoxious and loud, then I "don't" think they have that many feelings. But when the girls look shy and intellectual thats when I feel like they do. So ironically its the opposite to what people think about me: they think I don't have feelings because I am too nerdy.

But then again maybe I am being hypocritical since I judge those girls as intellectual based on their voice -- yet my own voice is really loud and monotone, so I wouldn't like me based on this criteria. But then again it goes back to my picturing myself different than how I look like. I don't picture myself with my face and my voice: I picture myself with their face and their voice. Particularly since it would fit a lot more on how I feel on the inside, I feel intellectual, they sound intellectual, so I feel we are the same and I wish they could talk to me.

I guess its also possible they have the "opposite" issue than me: just like I am intellectual yet my voice doesn't sound that way, maybe they are "not" intellectual yet their voice sounds like they are. Thats always possible of course.

Mona Pereth wrote:
I would hazard a guess that you might also have some other, more subtle issues that might be an intrinsic barrier to social interaction with NTs, or that might at least make social interaction more stressful for you than it is for NTs.


I do have "more subtle issues", but the way they affect me is that they turn off NT-s and once NT-s are turned off then I react to it. So if NT-s could disregard those "more subtle issues" I would do just fine.

Incidentally, one thing NT-s told me is that I overanalyze things too much -- which they attribute to Asperger. But what I am trying to tell them is that the reason I overanalyze is that those "little" things are the exact things that turn them off. So if THEY get turn off by those things then OF COURSE I would overanalyze them in order to "fix" it. But they aren't getting it. They keep thinking "well obsessions are part of Asperger" instead of thinking "social skills are part of Asperger and obsessing is a way to compensate for it".



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17 Aug 2019, 5:51 pm

I've only read into your second paragraph...

How do you know you have no Autistic symptoms like sensory problems? Have you ever lived in an NT's body and experienced THEIR senses?

You're an Aspie. Some of your autistic symptoms may be less severe than other Autistics, but they may be there just the same. That's the nature of being a high-functioning Autistic. Your symptoms aren't as severe.

Maybe you DO have sensory issues, but you don't realize it because they're not so severe.

Let me ask you... Do you seem to get fatigued and stressed more easily than NTs, especially during or after a busy day?

Guess what that can be due to?


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17 Aug 2019, 8:15 pm

Sethno wrote:
How do you know you have no Autistic symptoms like sensory problems? Have you ever lived in an NT's body and experienced THEIR senses?


That would be a philosophical question that has nothing to do with Asperger: after all, I can ask the same question about two NT-s. For example, how do you know that it didn't happen that what one NT sees as up the other NT sees as down? Its possible that there is an NT that sees up as down and visa versa, but she never found it out since she used to call "down" up, always "falls" upwards towards the earth (thats up) etc. As long as her experiences are consistent, you can't really prove that they are in line with what others NT see since she never been in other NT-s bodies. So having or not having Asperger is irrelevant here, since this question can be asked about anyone and everyone, with or without Asperger.

As far as *verifiable* evidence goes, it occurs when two people talk to each other and disagree what is okay and what is not okay. For example, I told my mom that I can't stand the texture of burdock leaves, but my mom didn't understand why I dislike it, to her they are perfectly fine. I am really scared of dogs, even the little ones, but most other people are fine with them. And I don't like red apples while others like them. Also I convinced myself that I don't like pork and see food since they aren't kosher so they can't possibly taste good -- even though I don't actually know their taste. And similarly I don't like other people's saliva since back when I was little my mom told me that I shouldn't eat from other peoples plates since the other peoples saliva doesn't taste good. I also don't like the carrots that have splitting ends since I believe that means they are withered -- even though they aren't -- and therefore are gross.

Now, lets see how much of what I just listed would qualify as sensory issues. As far as other people's saliva and split carrots go, I can't taste either one. After all, when my mom gives me a dish or a carrot, I have to ASK HER whether the carrot had split ends or whether there is a saliva in the food. If I knew the taste of her saliva or a taste of split carrot, I wouldn't have to ask that question, I would just taste it and see. But I can't see it by tasting since I can't taste any difference -- so its psychological rather than sensory. As far as non-kosher food, same thing. I actually don't know the taste of either pork or see food, so how can I say its taste is gross if I don't know its taste? Again, doesn't sound like a sensory issue does it. As a matter of fact, I know I like the taste of Hebrew National Kosher hotdogs. I don't know the difference between kosher and non-kosher ones, yet I convince myself non-kosher are gross. So you get my point. As far as red apples, there are plenty of NT-s who don't like plenty of foods. If in my case the "only" food I dislike is red apples, that means that I am actually "less" picky than a lot of NT-s. As far as dogs, that isn't sensory, thats fear: I was bitten by the dog when I was little so thats where that fear comes from. And as far as burdocks, I asked some NT-s about them and I found that some of the NT-s agreed with me they dislike texture of burdocks while others didn't. So I don't see that I am that unusual. Yes I disagree with my mom on this one -- but not with majority of NT-s.

Now lets look at other autistics. So I read about a certain girl that couldn't stand florescent lights, to the point that it was really difficult for her to go into grocery store. She said she also disliked looking at the ocean. Then there are other autistics that dislike certain cloth texture. I also read about a certain event where they show movie to autistics and they kept lights on throughout the movie since apparently some autistics won't be able to stand it if the lights were turned off. Also some autistics say its painful for them to look into the other persons eyes -- well I don't find it painful. And there are autistics that say they don't like physical contact -- but I liked cuddling with my ex-s. So if I am self aware enough to bring up those OTHER issues I mentioned earlier -- yet I absolutely can't relate to the things I just listed here -- thats a good evidence that maybe I don't have those sensory issues.

However, one COULD make a case of my having "under-sensitivity" (as opposed to over-sensitivity): just 10 minutes ago one of the new roommates told me that the garbage in the general area smelled and had me throw it away, but I didn't even notice that smell until he brought it up. And its not the first time I had such conflict with the roommates. However, not all roommates had this issue: I remember some roommates that were even messier than me. That, plus right now I have three roommates. My first two roommates were just fine, and the last roommate that just moved in right now had an issue -- and in fact a lot of the mess that he noticed was created by the other roommate rather than me. So I guess I might be on "undersensitive side" but it certainly not anything extreme. If anything, it might be due to the fact that -- in light of lack of time -- I don't have a habbit of cleaning after myself, and so my senses get used to filtering that stuff out. Several years ago I couldn't tell that I am dirty if I don't take a shower. But now that I started taking a shower on a regular basis, I can "feel" more dirty so to speak if I skip showers. So this "change" in my perception indicates that its not a sensory thing I am born with but rather my senses adjust to the situation.

Sethno wrote:
Let me ask you... Do you seem to get fatigued and stressed more easily than NTs, especially during or after a busy day?

Guess what that can be due to?


Actually its due to lack of sleep -- and this one is obvious, because I am talking about things like sleeping for only four or five hours due to time management things. When I get enough sleep I don't notice being more fatigued than NT-s.



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17 Aug 2019, 10:35 pm

I am not sure I can help you. I am not sure I even know what the question is. But I will offer the following.

If Aspies are like ice cream cones, we come in many flavors.

Many of the Aspie sensitivities are readily observed in childhood. But as we age, we can learn to compensate. In some cases rather than being oversensitive, we can become under sensitive. For example I have developed a high pain tolerance from the physical torture that I received from my peer group in Junior High School. If you ever watch the movie "The Accountant" you might see an example of an individual learning compensation techniques. Anyways that is the reason why when you undergo an autistic spectrum evaluation, they normally request that a parent be present, because they remember how you were when you were very young.

I find it interesting your statement about how you imagine becoming someone (two girls talking). That is a special talent. It is the ability to develop multiple personas. I have that ability. The best I can figure in my case, it grew out of practicing ventriloquism as a young child. Other boys develop that ability by acting as a class clown in order to fit in with their peer group. Others develop that ability by telling stories (not reading stories, but making them up using their imagination, such as authors, playwrights, scriptwriters etc. It can provide you the ability to look at any problem from multiple perspectives, multiple angles. And that is why it is a good trait to have.

That trait also allows you to come closer to an NT. It is not masking but rather the ability to stand in someone else's shoes.

Also some skills can be taught. I can speak very well. I do not speak in a monotone voice. I am an excellent speaker. This was a result of two years of special class during grade school where I was taken from my classroom for an hour three times per week with other special students and recited tongue twisters. Strange approach but I is very difficult to recite tongue twisters fast and correctly.


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17 Aug 2019, 11:54 pm

QFT wrote:
In fact thats the other thing I miss: nobody touched me for the past several years. But those autistics that are against physical contact, they won't be able to relate to this one either.

No I think I know what you mean and I'm not good with physical touch. I thought being married would be really hard for me, but actually it's been really freeing. I've realised that a big part of that is that the boundaries are clearer and my husband is able to understand my needs and limits.


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AQ: 42 (Scores in the 33-50 range indicate significant Austistic traits)
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RDOS: Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 159 of 200
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You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


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18 Aug 2019, 12:08 pm

jimmy m wrote:
I am not sure I can help you. I am not sure I even know what the question is.

But I will offer the following.

If Aspies are like ice cream cones, we come in many flavors.


Well, if society understood that different aspies are different, then they would be getting to know me as an individual, but apparently they don't understand it, which is why they make assumptions about me which aren't true and the way those assumptions hurt me is I get ostracized as a result.

Its funny that with your "ice cream" analogy you attempted to say how different aspies are different yet, *accidentally*, that choice of analogy just confirmed my point. You see, when you eat ice cream, the fact that its ice cream is the main thing, while the question whether it happened to be strawbery or chocolate or vanilla is secondary. I mean, you first decide you want an ice cream -- and then you decide which flavor. Well, the fact that people think that number 1 thing about my life is that I am an aspie and everything else about me is secondary -- well, maybe thats the reason why they don't treat me as a human being. I mean, you don't see people acting like the main thing about such and such person is that they have a diabetes or high blood pressure; but they do that with Asperger.

jimmy m wrote:
Many of the Aspie sensitivities are readily observed in childhood. But as we age, we can learn to compensate.


Thats what my mom would say: she says when I was little I didn't like when people would touch me. Like one example she gave me is we came to visit one of her friends, he picked me up and started throwing me up and down and I started to hysterically cry. But one thing she forgot about is that we had a neighbor who did the exact same thing and I liked it. So maybe it wasn't sensory, maybe it was just the fact that I didn't know him.

And this brings me to a general point. With adults, you can ask them why they do certain things; with kids you can't. So you just make assumptions. And how do you know that those assumptions are correct? If I look at the things I did as a kid that I can *remember*, I can go item by item to show how my mom's interpretation of them was wrong. If you look at the things I don't remember, then of course I can't do that -- but I can make pretty good guesses of what alternative explanations might have been (such as the guess above). One thing I know is that I remember some of the "biggies" that I had -- for example, I remember being scared to sleep in the dark because of nightmares involving closet and curtains. Yet, I don't remember having any sensory issues. So that should tell you something.

Speaking of the crying thing, what about the fact that all infants cry. Sure, I cried a lot more than most other infants, but lets not forget that other infants cry too. Now, your logic is the following. If someone cried as an infant, they had sensory issues; thus, they still have those issues as an adult, they just suppress them. If that logic is correct, it would imply TWO things:

a) Everybody (which includes both NT-s and aspies) have sensory issues

b) Aspies have more sensory issues than NT-s

So why is it you are willing to say "b" yet you are unwilling to say "a"? You have to be consistent. Either you think that childhood is something to judge by (in which case both "a" and "b" would be correct) or you say it isn't (in which case both "a" and "b" will be wrong); you can't just pick and choose.

As far as how I can go with "both a and b are wrong" possibility, here is how. We all know that children are growing in height. So is it correct to say "they are still short, they are just compensating for it by continuously stretching themselves in order to look taller"? No of course not! So maybe the fact that a child used to cry a lot but doesn't cry any more is analogous to this.

I guess the faulty logic goes as follows. If a child achieved some milestone at the same time other kids do, then it is genuine growth, but if they achieved them much later, then this is a compensation. But why can't anyone consider a possibility that maybe a child simply matured at a different rate? Like in my case, I developed more slowly both physically *and* emotionally. Due to the physical side of this, I used to be one of the shortest kids in the class. Right now I am a medium height as an adult (and no its not "compensation", LOL). By the same token, maybe I cried more than other kids because I was younger than my age and younger children cry more. Well, being younger than my age *as an adult* would no longer imply that, since young adults don't cry more than older adults. To complicate things, I admit that on emotional side I am still a child -- for example I might throw tantrums when I don't get my way. But that would be more along the lines of "uneven development" -- and even though I am a child psychologically, I am an adult when it comes to sensory things seeing that I don't have any sensory issues.

The other issue I have with my mom judging me by my childhood is when she assumes I either have or don't have certain skills. Like I remember, 20 years ago, my mom suggested I do the "undergraduate research" but then when she saw it was all lab oriented she went back on it because when I was a little kid I wasn't good at making things with my hands. But what she doesn't take into account is that maybe I was simply bored with whatever I was asked to do and thats why I didn't put in any effort. I guess the counterpoint to that statement would be that other kids my age might have also been bored, yet they still did better than me. But I can respond to that by saying that the "interest versus boredom" factor might affect aspie kids more than NT kids, since NT kids have that instinct of finding interesting whatever other kids find interesting: a pop culture would be a perfect example of an adult version of that phenomenon. Now, an adult would have good performance on tasks regardless of their level of interest, since they know they "should" be doing them, for whatever reason. But in case of the child (both aspie and NT) the level of interest is very much a factor. So if there is a reason why an aspie child would have less interest than an NT child, that would explain why aspie child would perform worse.

By the way, as far as what actually happened with the lab, the tables sort of turned. Even though I disagreed with my mom's reason not to go to the lab, I had my own reason not to: my dream has always been to invent a new theory and be famous -- and that is something I can do as a theorist and not as an experimentalist. Now, nobody was telling me that if I were to take a lab project I would have to commit to being an experimentalist: plenty of students took the lab project and then went on to become theorists. But I guess I was thinking that it wouldn't be the most efficient use of my time to get sidetracked in this way. This, plus I was taking too many courses (something my mom was against but I did that anyway) so this didn't leave any time for me to do anything on the side -- either experiment *or* theory. But as you see this has nothing to do with the reason my mom gave me not to go to do the lab. Apart from that, my mom actually forgot about herself being against lab for "any" reason what so ever (well its been 20 years) so my mom's current memory is that she wanted me to do that lab thing and I didn't want to because I was taking too many courses and she thinks it was a mistake because she feels like if I did *any* kind of research (whether it be theory or lab or whatever) it would have given me a research experience and then I would be better off now as a theorist. Well I still disagree with her that lab experience would have helped me as a theorist, but I guess its a moot point, I can't go back in time anyway.

One thing I am thinking of is that -- back at the time when my mom didn't think I should do the lab -- she also disagreed with me on my choice of graduate school too: I wanted to do Ph.D. in Physics, and she wanted me to do Ph.D. in Math. The reason for this is because, as a little kid, I was bad with hands, thus I would presumably be bad with physics, yet I was good with numbers, thus I would presumably be good with math. This is nonesense, because the theoretical physics has nothing to do with working with hands. But I guess it goes together with my mom's other idea that lab would have helped: I guess she doesn't understand just how far theoretical physics is from experimental physics -- which I guess is a misconception a lot of people would have that aren't in the field. In any case, what ended up happening is that I went for theoretical physics for my first Ph.D. then I did some postdocs and then, due to inability to find a job, I decided to go back to school and do second Ph.D. in Math. So I guess my mom's thinking might be something along the lines of "I told you you aren't good in physics, which is also why I didn't want you to do the lab; but since you insisted on doing physics anyway, maybe you should have done that lab in order to get better".

But in any case, what "actually" held me back with physics is that it had a lot of abstract concepts that are hard to visualize -- and that applies only to modern physics, not to classical physics. Obviously the lab is easy to visualize, so the lab has nothing to do with it. Now, most people don't visualize those abstract concepts any better than I do; they are simply "pretending" that they understand them simply because everyone else claims to understand them. But I couldn't do that -- thats why I started to write my own constructions that would "produce" those counterintuitive things in such a way that won't be counterintuitive any more, and this had me stuck for years. When I was asking the professors some of the questions I was stuck on, some of them were saying "you have to be a mathematician rather htan a physicist" (alluding to the fact that math is more logical) so that lead my mom to think she was right. But you see, right now in the math department my situation is the opposite: I want to connect the math that professors are doing to physics and this creates problems since they don't know that much physics. So the issue is "not" the wrong department, the issue is that I am not doing what I am asked to do. And that might also be the reason behind why I was bad at the lab as a child among many other my supposed differences.

The point I am trying to make with all this is that my mom's thinking was wrong. She thought that I was bad with my hands as a child, therefore I will always be bad with my hands, therefore I shouldn't do physics. What actually happened was that I am not good at doing what I am asked to do, I want to do my own thing. That implies two separate things: on the one hand I didn't put any effort into what I was asked to do as a child and, on the other hand, I didn't listen to people asking me not to get stuck on certain questions as an adult. So the common denominator has nothing to do with being bad with my hands. The common denominator has to do with not doing what I was told.

And this goes back to what I was talking about sensory issues. My mom remembers I was restless kid, like I would run away from the house and so forth. So who knows, maybe she thinks I was restless due to sensory issues. But I actually *remember* why I ran away from the house, and it had nothing to do with being restless. So the background story is this. My mom's marriage to my dad was rocky so sometimes she lived at my dad's appartment and other times she lived at her parents (my grandparents) appartment. Those two appartments were at the opposite sides of Moscow, so they were like 15 miles away from each other or something like that. When I was at my dads appartment, my grandma would stay there for few days to help taking care of me. I remember I liked my grandma better than my parents, like I would tell some "secrets" to her that I didn't want her to tell to anyone else, and I would get really upset when she would go back to her place and would try to persuade her not to go back. I also liked my grandparetns place better as well. And BOTH my dad AND my grandma (mom's mom) remember it. My dad told me how they would take me from my grandparents appartment to his, and shortly before approaching his apparetment I would start to scream how I want to go back to my grandparents appartment because "the buildings there are more beautiful" (and yes, this is very much consistent with what I remember: I remember liking the buildings at my grandparents place better). My grandma also told me that I kept wanting to go back to her place. And, furthermore, she told me how I would grab her hand and say "lets go see my grandpa" (meaning go back to his place) and then drag her along the streets in random directions which I was hoping would get us back.

Now, the point is that I trusted my grandma more than my parents. So if I was with my grandma, I would drag her along, but if I were with my parents, I would simply ran away by myself. And there was one time when my parents were going to take me from the kindergarden and then I just ran away and it took an hour for police to find me. When they found me and handed me back to my mom, she asked me why did I ran away, and I told her "I wanted to run away to see my grandpa". Now, the one who told me about it was my grandma, not my mom. On the other hand, my mom doesn't remember the reason I was running she just knows I was running. So that is really weird: I mean my mom was the one who told my grandma what I told her, yet she forgot the that very thing.

And its not just with the "seeing the grandpa" thing. Another example is that in Russia in the basements you can see all those water pipes and so forth and I was really fascinated about it (for similar reasons one would be fascinated with caves). So when I was with the grandma, I would drag her to go to the basement. Since she was a lot taller than me, she remembers how she would bump her head against water pipes as I would run and drag her along. But you see, if I was with my parents, I wouldn't be drugging them to the basement; I would just run away by myself. So again they didn't know it was about basement they just thought I wanted to run off. A year ago I told my mom how I actually grabbed my grandma's hand. But my mom wasn't getting it: she was thinking I ran and my grandma was just running after me -- and I was like "no no, I actually grabbed her hand -- she told me". But I guess I couldn't prove it to her since my grandma is no longer alive to ask.

By the way, in case of basements one thing I liked was those lamps and the way they illuminated it. But I wouldn't say its a sensory issue. I mean, NT-s also like "unusual" experiences. It "would have been" sensory if I told you that outside the basement the daylight was too bright so I wanted to get away from it. But thats not the case at all. I wanted to go to the basement regardless of whether it was daylight or night. I just liked basements. That wasn't self stimulation either. I mean, if someone were to get me a dim light to produce the same kind of illumination in my room, I won't care about it either. I only liked that illumination "in the context" of having all those water pipes and all those hallways. So my liking of basements was similar to liking of caves -- and since NT-s like caves too, I don't see it as sensory thing.

Anyway, another example of what my mom remembers is that I would spend hours writing numbers and she had no idea why I was doing it; when she eventually found a psychologist to ask, that psychologist told her that there was actually a mathematical pattern to it. Well, on my end of a line I remember why I was writing numbers. I don't know about the US, but at least in Russia there are those child games called "circus". So those games go as follows: two or more kids have some characters assigned to them, and they all start from square 1. Then you throw a dice and you move the number of squares that the dice tells you to move. And then if you hit a square where some animal would send you up you go up or if some animal would send you down you go down. And then whoever reaches the highest square first wins. In any case, I remember myself wanting to come up with my own version of that game, so that is where those numbers with mathematical patterns were coming from: I was numbering the squares I was going to use in that game. But since, like I said, my game was going to be radically different from the existing one, I was thinking of more and more complicated features, and was just confusing myself more and more, so I ended up not producing anything other than getting myself increasingly fixated. I actually "did" produce some of those games when I was like in a third grade -- but I am not talking about the third grade I am talking about the time when I was like 5. So since I was sitting there spending a lot of time on the supposed game -- with squares being numbered -- thats why my mom thought I was just writing numbers.

I guess maybe part of it has to do with "secrets". Remember how I mentioned I was "whispering secrets" to my grandma that I wouldn't trust my parents with? Maybe those secrets included the games I wanted to make or the places I wanted to run away to -- and that would explain why my parents thought I was running for no reason and writing numbers for no reason.

jimmy m wrote:
Anyways that is the reason why when you undergo an autistic spectrum evaluation, they normally request that a parent be present, because they remember how you were when you were very young.


But I just gave you some examples of how parents can mis-remember or mis-interpret things. More importantly, what about the possibility a person reaching the same milestones as everyone else, just at a slower rate? Then 30 year old will be like 20 year old, but that would no longer be bad.

By the way, if part of the "definition" of autism is "how were you as a child", could THAT be the reason why it is lifelong: nobody can change the past.

I guess the reason I am talking about this is that the phenomenon of a parent saying "you were autistic as a child so you are still autistic" and a potential partner saying "the first date didn't go well so we are not a match" is really part of the same underlying philosophy -- and that second example is what is holding me back now as an adult.

jimmy m wrote:
I find it interesting your statement about how you imagine becoming someone (two girls talking). That is a special talent. It is the ability to develop multiple personas. I have that ability. The best I can figure in my case, it grew out of practicing ventriloquism as a young child. Other boys develop that ability by acting as a class clown in order to fit in with their peer group. Others develop that ability by telling stories (not reading stories, but making them up using their imagination, such as authors, playwrights, scriptwriters etc. It can provide you the ability to look at any problem from multiple perspectives, multiple angles. And that is why it is a good trait to have.


The only part that is applicable to me is writing stories, I remember writing stories as a little kid. But, as with everything else, it wasn't something I was asked to do: it was something I just decided to do. And I remember assigning to myself both male and female names in those stories.

The other thing I know about myself is that when I like a girl I imagine myself to "be" that girl. Thats why it is confusing to me why saying "I want to be a girl" would make most people assume I am gay. To me its the opposite. If I was gay, I would like guys -- and that would make me want to be a guy; but since I am straight, I like girls -- and that makes me want to be a girl. The first time it happened was back in the 7-th grade, I had a crush on two girls in my class (I still remember who they are) and I kept imagining that I "was" those girls. But back when I was writing stories as a little kid I didn't have any sexual attraction to either gender. So I would give myself either male or female or gender neutral names in my stories for other reasons.

jimmy m wrote:
Also some skills can be taught. I can speak very well. I do not speak in a monotone voice. I am an excellent speaker. This was a result of two years of special class during grade school where I was taken from my classroom for an hour three times per week with other special students and recited tongue twisters. Strange approach but I is very difficult to recite tongue twisters fast and correctly.


But it says you are 70. Were people doing all those things back in the past? Thats surprising.



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18 Aug 2019, 12:15 pm

plokijuh wrote:
QFT wrote:
In fact thats the other thing I miss: nobody touched me for the past several years. But those autistics that are against physical contact, they won't be able to relate to this one either.

No I think I know what you mean and I'm not good with physical touch. I thought being married would be really hard for me, but actually it's been really freeing. I've realised that a big part of that is that the boundaries are clearer and my husband is able to understand my needs and limits.


So is it that

a) You dislike a certain type of touch but its not an issue since your husband knows what to avoid

or

b) You are actually okay with the type of touch you thought you disliked. The reason you disliked it is because you didn't know how to fit it inside the social context -- which is a lot easier to do now that you are married

I guess in my case I would say its more along "b". In particular, I don't know when it is appropriate or when it is inappropriate to touch somebody, so I stay on the safe side and don't touch anybody at all, unless I am in a relationship.

As far as "a" goes, I remember the first ex was touching me in the ways I disliked but she really insisted on doing that. But this issue didn't come up in any of my other relationships. So I don't think I have problems with most kinds of touch -- only the kinds that my first ex liked to do.



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18 Aug 2019, 4:25 pm

QFT wrote:
jimmy m wrote:
Also some skills can be taught. I can speak very well. I do not speak in a monotone voice. I am an excellent speaker. This was a result of two years of special class during grade school where I was taken from my classroom for an hour three times per week with other special students and recited tongue twisters. Strange approach but I is very difficult to recite tongue twisters fast and correctly.


But it says you are 70. Were people doing all those things back in the past? Thats surprising.


Asperger's is not something new, it has been around for centuries. But it didn't have a name. When I went to school in the 1950's they were aware that some children were different and they tried to develop innovative programs to help solve those weaknesses. I actually think that some of these programs were more effective than those that exist today. But the problem is that they never had feedback. No one tracked the success and effectiveness of those early programs.


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18 Aug 2019, 5:49 pm

QFT wrote:
jimmy m wrote:
If Aspies are like ice cream cones, we come in many flavors.


Its funny that with your "ice cream" analogy you attempted to say how different aspies are different yet, *accidentally*, that choice of analogy just confirmed my point. You see, when you eat ice cream, the fact that its ice cream is the main thing, while the question whether it happened to be strawbery or chocolate or vanilla is secondary. I mean, you first decide you want an ice cream -- and then you decide which flavor.


That is actually not correct. When I think about ice cream, an exact image comes into my memory. It is a large cone filled with vanilla soft serve ice cream dipped in a coating of melted chocolate that quickly cools and hardens. I picture the entire thing at once. It is almost like I can taste it while the image comes to mind.


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18 Aug 2019, 6:09 pm

QFT wrote:
jimmy m wrote:
Anyways that is the reason why when you undergo an autistic spectrum evaluation, they normally request that a parent be present, because they remember how you were when you were very young.


But I just gave you some examples of how parents can mis-remember or mis-interpret things. More importantly, what about the possibility a person reaching the same milestones as everyone else, just at a slower rate? Then 30 year old will be like 20 year old, but that would no longer be bad.

By the way, if part of the "definition" of autism is "how were you as a child", could THAT be the reason why it is lifelong: nobody can change the past.

I guess the reason I am talking about this is that the phenomenon of a parent saying "you were autistic as a child so you are still autistic" and a potential partner saying "the first date didn't go well so we are not a match" is really part of the same underlying philosophy -- and that second example is what is holding me back now as an adult.


In general children do not retain their early memories. It is called childhood amnesia.

Childhood amnesia, also called infantile amnesia, is the inability of adults to retrieve episodic memories (memories of situations or events) before the age of two to four years, as well as the period before the age of ten of which adults retain fewer memories than might otherwise be expected given the passage of time. The development of a cognitive self is also thought by some to have an effect on encoding and storing early memories.

There are many questions that have some bearing on the determination, such as:
At what age did you begin to speak?
Once you learned to speak after several months did you progress to a phase called selective mutism and go silent?
When you began to speak did you begin by using complex difficult words?
Did you learn to walk before you learned to crawl?
What types of tics did you exhibit when you were young?

Asperger's is primarily a genetic condition. An Aspie brain has many more interconnects than an NT. We think differently. It is like we came from a Wrong Planet. But as an Aspie we can grow and learn to use our great strengths to overcome our great weaknesses. One of the attributes that we possess is to function outside the herd. We can become non-conformist.


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19 Aug 2019, 6:12 pm

jimmy m wrote:
In general children do not retain their early memories. It is called childhood amnesia.


I know that. But the point is that if me and my mom disagree pertaining to the memories I *do* retain, this implies a possibility that she misinterpreted me in case of memories I don't retain too -- except that I don't remember it to challenge her.

But, even more importantly, what is the point of basing my early childhood as a basis of judging my current skills instead of looking at me at the here and now. It is sort of like I look outside and see a good weather but I say "no, yesterday they said it will rain, so it must be raining, and the good weather is just a hallucination". I mean, thats what it feels like when my mom looks at the "theories" peratining to correlation between different ages instead of looking at facts.

jimmy m wrote:
At what age did you begin to speak?


At the normal age -- which is why I was diagnosed with Asperger as opposed to autism. I am not sure if it was a year or 9 months or what exact age, but I know it was somewhere in that range.

jimmy m wrote:
Once you learned to speak after several months did you progress to a phase called selective mutism and go silent?


I don't think so -- at least nobody ever mentioned it to me.

jimmy m wrote:
When you began to speak did you begin by using complex difficult words?


I have no idea.

jimmy m wrote:
Did you learn to walk before you learned to crawl?


I was told I kept trying to walk and kept failing. One thing my mom told me is that I was "hurrying up" to walk, but then she said that it was at a normal age, so then I asked her "so what do you mean I was hurrying up" and she said "what I meant is that you were developing slower than your age so even though it was normal age for you it was too early but you were trying anyway".

I am not sure about walking before crawling. Isn't crawling supposed to be easier?

jimmy m wrote:
What types of tics did you exhibit when you were young?


My mom mentioned I would touch the floor and touch my upper lip. Actually I remember why I did it -- and my mom had no idea about it. I was fascinated with that circle above the upper lip (I don't know how to call that circle but everyone has it) and I had a theory that when you eat something it amounts to touching it with that circle. So I was thinking to myself "I am eating the floor: I am touching it with my circle" -- and I did that by touching the floor with a finger and touching my circle with the finger. So obvoiusly it wasn't a tick -- but my mom probably thinks that it was since she has no idea about this whole thinking process behind it.

jimmy m wrote:
Asperger's is primarily a genetic condition.


Yeah, but you don't know what its genes are, so its just a theory. Its like saying being short is genetic -- which it might very well be since short parents often give birth to short offsprings -- but that doesn't mean that there are any identifiable genes for being short. And if someone was born short, to short parents, but then they became tall, you aren't going to say "well, genetically they have to be short so it must be a hallucination that I see them as tall". You are just looking at their actual height instead of looking at their early childhood history.

jimmy m wrote:
One of the attributes that we possess is to function outside the herd. We can become non-conformist.


That one very much DOES apply to me. But it seems like I am outside both aspie herd and NT herd -- which is why I don't like being labeled.