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05 May 2021, 2:51 pm

Leahcar wrote:
But any time I could for some reason do something to an average level, I was showered with praise like I was gifted at it. It was patronising and part of why I am a perfectionist now.


Yeah. I think that's part of what really horks me off about so much autism 'news' from NT sources. There's so much which is just "Autistic person manages to do completely normal average everyday thing; let's make out like it's a big deal because we can't expect autistic people to REALLY be able to do normal things like a normal person."

Then there's all the "Kid missing in woods is an autistic kid missing in the woods" articles. Them being autistic isn't really the issue there. It's not going to make them more visible to searchers. They're probably not going to tame the woodland creatures and ride out of there on a badger. Why bring it up?



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05 May 2021, 5:55 pm

I was the brightest tool in the box when I was at my first school. There were two of us who always finished our written work before the rest of them, so they gave us something they called "work books" full of more advanced problems to keep us from getting bored while we waited for everybody else to catch up. We were so reknowned for our our performance that some bigwig visited the school to take a look at us. I got awarded the "Top Boy" prize just before I left for the next school. The whole thing was effortless. So I suppose I was seen as gifted.

After that I gradually fell lower and lower. I managed to get fairly good qualifications in the end, but it became a struggle to keep up, and there were times when they thought me a complete duffer.

I've often wondered why I did so well in the early years (and why it eventually got so tough). Dad taught me how to read and count before I went to school, so that must have given me a very useful head start. And the school's environment was accidentally aspie-friendly - very well-ordered and quiet, small-ish class sizes, teachers who spoke slowly, clearly and literally. For some reason they gave us the same class teacher right the way through the 3 years I was there. And my brain had always worked very well when it came to using logic and reason. But as we kids got older, I suppose the expectations of our having neurotypical adult minds increased, and my hitherto latent weaknesses were exposed. I think class came into it as well. Suddenly I was transplanted into a grammar school which had previously been an exclusive place for children of the elite, and I guess many of the older teachers resented the arrival of the Great Unwashed, and discriminated against us. And my parents were powerless to help me with the work, as it was way above anything they'd ever learned themselves. It's a marvel I didn't drown.



CrabbyHermit
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06 May 2021, 6:47 am

No.



firemonkey
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06 May 2021, 7:56 am

At the time I was in school (1961-1975)- no. There were no such things as 2e . A comparable child nowadays would be in the moderately to highly gifted category.


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autisticelders
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07 May 2021, 4:45 am

yes, absolutely brilliant at many subjects, a miserable failure in everyday life. at least now I know why.



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07 May 2021, 11:39 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
I've often wondered why I did so well in the early years (and why it eventually got so tough). ... It's a marvel I didn't drown.


ToughDiamond, I relate to this very much and myself have been unable to articulate what happened. Thank you for the insight. I almost "drowned" as school progressed (hints in high school, full on in college). My 20s and 30s were awful. I am so glad I made it through!! ! Much better now.

I want to understand this progression better b/c my ASD-like daughter is doing well by diagnostic standards (she's 9), but I anticipate the "fall" (probably starting emotionally by 12 and academically in HS or later). So despite evaluations (the best I got was an unofficial BAP and she's much more than that), there's very little help for us now, although they say early intervention matters. #NotLikingTheMedicalEstablishment -- It's good that I am a self-aware ASD person with tricks and tips to pass along (my mom is ASD-like also, but not aware at the time she was parenting).



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07 May 2021, 12:36 pm

"The fall" is fairly common. My own grades had a steady decline because I didn't have to study early on, and so I never learned to focus on things that didn't interest me. This isn't all bad. It let me fill my head with more of what I would need, but some more discipline and general compatibility in groups would have helped.



ToughDiamond
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07 May 2021, 1:26 pm

SharonB wrote:
I almost "drowned" as school progressed (hints in high school, full on in college). My 20s and 30s were awful. I am so glad I made it through!! ! Much better now.

I suppose being diagnosed must help - though I myself wasn't at the time, so I had no idea what was wrong.



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07 May 2021, 1:26 pm

Quote:
I want to understand this progression better b/c my ASD-like daughter is doing well by diagnostic standards (she's 9), but I anticipate the "fall" (probably starting emotionally by 12 and academically in HS or later). So despite evaluations (the best I got was an unofficial BAP and she's much more than that), there's very little help for us now, although they say early intervention matters. #NotLikingTheMedicalEstablishment -- It's good that I am a self-aware ASD person with tricks and tips to pass along (my mom is ASD-like also, but not aware at the time she was parenting).

It started going wrong for me when I was about 10 or 11 years old, though it was pretty gradual so it's hard to put an exact age on it. A change of school is of course likely to be a critical time. I know somebody who was doing well until university, when in spite of a diagnosis the wheels came off. It took an awful lot of pushing to get the university staff to do anything helpful at all, and really their attitude was the biggest problem. They had a nasty habit of resetting the situation every year, conveniently forgetting all about the interventions as if the disability had magically gone away. We could hardly believe they could be so negligent. But in the end it worked. And I'm sure not every educational establishment is as bad as that.



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07 May 2021, 1:54 pm

For me the wheels came of the wagon when I was 9.5. It was the term I developed mumps on the flight back to the UK, and spent the 1st few weeks in isolation . I went from outperforming someone who later got a scholarship to Lancing to being in the lower middle of the pack.It was a slow downhill slide , that accelerated fast after I did O levels. It was a s***storm of severe verbal bullying and there being no recognition of things like 2e.


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08 May 2021, 12:49 pm

Dear_one wrote:
...some more discipline and general compatibility in groups would have helped.

I can see that would be helpful. Just the basics. :wink:



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08 May 2021, 1:00 pm

SharonB wrote:
Dear_one wrote:
...some more discipline and general compatibility in groups would have helped.

I can see that would be helpful. Just the basics. :wink:


My basic error was assuming that better ideas, backed by logic, would be gratefully accepted. It turned out that I was confusing EQ with IQ - I assumed that people smart enough to have friends were also able to follow logic, and that they were just kidding about having trouble with math to avoid work.



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08 May 2021, 3:04 pm

I am in my 50s now. When I was in school I was what would now be called a 2e. In case someone doesn't know what that means it stands for "twice exceptional" and means gifted and special-ed as well in a not-so-gifted way. At age 8 or 9 I was examined by the State of New Jersey with something newly formed called a "Child Study Team." I have lost track of the paperwork but I recall being given a battery of test which I would now recognize as IQ and neurocognative tests. Among other things they showed me inkblots, asked me to recite many digit strings of numbers backwards, answer questions and (I think) make pictures out of red and white blocks. Some of the questions were vocabulary or other things that seemed more "academic" to me. Some of them were more psychological (like the inkblot tests). As I say I don't have the results but I seem to recall the upshot was that while I was "smart" or "Intelligent" my brain was "wired differently" than other peoples. I think the specific diagnosis was a fine-motor disability.

I have read some of the posts in this thread. I am trying to make sense of the British education experience in relationship to the education system in the USA.

In the USA a student goes to school typically from age 5 to age 13 and these years are called "Elementary School" or "Grade School" collectively and "First Grade" through "Eighth Grade" individually. Any school before that is given different names: age 4 would be "Kindergarten" and any school before Kindergarten would be called "Preschool" (or "Day care" if less academically focused).
Grades 7 and 8 (and also sometimes 6) are called "Middle School" or "Junior High School" (ages 12 and 13 and sometimes 11) and after "Eighth Grade" is 4 years (typically age 14 through 18) is called "High School". After high school is, perhaps, an 2 year Associates degree (or technical college) or a 4 year College or University. For an advanced degree more school is needed (Such as a MD, PhD, Master's Degree). The exact number age and number of years varies slightly - more for the University and higher degrees.

Someplace between age 12 and 16 (I really don't recall time or dates well - the school I was in at the time was a combined Jr High and High School and was a "Special" or "Alternative" private school for "Special" students - we were students who didn't fit well in other schools and in some cases students who actually got kicked out of other schools) I was also labeled "Dyslexic" or "Gifted Dyslexic" by a tutor. I started taking classes at small local college to supplement my High School's computer and math classes. In grade school I had a lot of trouble with spelling and memorizing multiplication tables.
I feel like I am repeating myself from other threads) and with things like historical dates and names of famous people and places. Which covers a lot of the subjects. Writing was slow and laborious but my vocabulary was strong and I usually remembered what I read (except for correct spelling and names of things I couldn't picture). My vocabulary was particularly strong. Things started to brighten up when I took Geometry which was almost trivial to me. I also taught myself to program a computer in Basic from books - which impressed people - home computers were a very new thing at the time. It occurred to me that the logic of Geometric Proofs and programming was (at least to me) almost the same. I was also good as solving mazes - and I sow connections there as well. Algebra was also easy - especially compared with multiplication tables.

At age 18, before completing my high school work, I started attending college classes in place of high school classes. This was a strange thing to to at that time and place. My mother negotiated the deal. They made me take one Calculus class with the college students - and I got an A - before they would let me take any more college classes. I had also taken one computer class at the same college the year before when I was 17. The college and high school struck a deal where I would get "simultaneous credit" for both HS and College. I started getting all A's and had a 4.0 GPA. I was on the Dean's list.

My fall happened, for me, when I went from the "small college" to the "big college". At the age that most kids completed high school I decided to transfer to a bigger, more competitive, college. I went from being a big fish in a small pond to being a small fish in a big pond.

I was commuting to the small college and had my parent's support. A LOT of support. My mother was my tutor and coach and executive secretary and typist. When I went away to live at the big college I lost most of that support. As someone else said, I didn't really know how to study or manage my own time. The only way I knew how to do long term projects was to leave them to the last minute and then put in an all-nighter. The number of all-nighters increased and the quality of my work went down. My senior year I was hospitalized 4 times for various health reasons. The lack of sleep was destroying my immune system and as the projects in senior year got bigger the ability to finish them - even with an all-nigher - started to diminish. Trying to compensate with caffeine stopped working. My required senior project was a complete mess that stretched out an extra year more than it should have. I eventually crawled out with a degree.

Fast forward to today. I now have a third diagnosis of ADHD - I doubt the trustworthiness of the original two diagnoses - and now am considering getting an ASD diagnosis. I got hurt a lot along the way. It still hurts sometimes - sometimes a lot.
It is a blessing . . . and a curse.

That is my story.
Sorry if all that was too much information.


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08 May 2021, 5:47 pm

Fenn wrote:
I am trying to make sense of the British education experience in relationship to the education system in the USA.

The age ranges and school labels have also changed over time, at least in the UK. Back in my school days (1956 onwards) there was the "Infants' School" (ages 5 to 7), the "Junior School" (ages 8 to 11), and the "Secondary School" (ages 12 to however long you stayed there, typically 18). University, if you qualified to go there and you went, would have started round about the age of 19. But it'll be different these days.

I ducked out of going to university. Everybody said I was mad to pass up such a great opportunity. But having experienced increasingly horrible problems in surviving to the end of the secondary school, my gut told me I'd be insane to continue. I would have tried if I could have got into the university in my home town, but the word on the street was that they preferred students to pull up their roots and apply somewhere far from home, and that they'd be unlikely to accept a local student unless they had very good grades, so that ruled me out. I suppose they were suspicious of anybody who didn't want to jump in at the deep end. Which sounds like ableism to me.



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08 May 2021, 7:37 pm

4-7: PNEU school Bangkok . They spotted I had some difficulties. Was tested at Gt Ormond street in London for the S word. Result was negative. Alternatives weren't explored

8-13: Glengorse prep school. Started well, but then went downhill academically.

13-18: Felsted public school. Was subjected to severe verbal bullying. Mediocre academic performance. Significantly underperformed. First psych admission was from there; at the start of what should've been the term I did A levels.


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Texasmoneyman300
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09 May 2021, 2:23 am

WildColonial wrote:
Here’s an interesting article about how being labeled as gifted can affect your life as an adult:

https://www.bustle.com/p/how-being-a-gi ... dult-32168

My NT brother and I were both labeled gifted, but he’s been able to translate it into his adult life more easily than I have. He’s had issues with depression and anxiety, but he mostly doesn’t have the emotional issues that I do. He’s been out of work a couple times but bounces back more easily from career setbacks than I do. Both of us have multiple passions and skills; his are music, theatre, and cars, while mine are writing, art, and animals. We both share an interest in cooking and are skilled at it. He’s a fantastic dad, and the prospect of full-time parenting scares me.

I’m interested to learn what your experiences have been.

yes i was a gifted kid.