Question if you can be Autistic and still have social skills

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FranzOren
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04 Sep 2020, 2:02 pm

Thank you!

I agree.

It makes a lot of sense.



magz
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04 Sep 2020, 3:10 pm

The whole "masking ASD" topic is about developing strategies to learn social skills when you lack natural social sense. Mimicry (copying behaviors of a socially successful person), proxy (relying on help from a more socially adept friend or family member), pattern analysys and acting - they are probably the most common strategies.


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FranzOren
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04 Sep 2020, 3:16 pm

Thank you!

I understood.



FranzOren
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05 Sep 2020, 12:17 am

nca14 wrote:
Now I think that I am generally "requring substantial support" despite high IQ and well-developed speech and language, maybe not only due to (something which was diagnosed as) Asperger's, but also due to other mental disorders (like OCD), getting psychotropic drugs (which can make driving a car impossible) and environmental factors (dysfunctional family, living in small locality). I am rather not as bad to be considered as "requiring very substantial support" because I can ride in public transport without any assistance (like family) and go to the doctor or buy medictaions without help of other person, but I am disabled in occupational area, have no friends, have never had a partner, girlfriend (despite craving of nature), I even have not driven a car at all despite being almost 29 years old.

I did not have problems with lying, telling lies as a child (which is not good, because lying is a sin), I rather also had no problems in pretend play or understanding intentions even as a child, young child, but I was "weird" socially, I was uninterested in making friends and being non-romantically loved (for example by parents). I did not think about looking at eyes and maybe even or faces, people when talking as a child or young adolescent (when I did not know so much about mental disorders). My mother complained that my facial expressions are "stupid" quite often. I received diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome in 2008 in specialistic center despite my good theory of mind in comparison to many other people with that diagnosis. I may be more like someone with schizoid disorder than someone with classic ASD.

Diagnosis of ASD according to DSM-V requires deficits in social skills. I suppose that there can be other sorts of autism than "conventional", "bookish" like Kanner's syndrome...

In draft(?) versions of ICD-11 classification there was a proposition of developmental disorder named "social reciprocity disorder". Maybe it was mostly about deficit of interest in socialization, not about poor social skills (at least those clearly associated with theory of mind, like lying, understanding intentions, pretend play)? For me schizoid or schizotypal, schizophrenic disorders with disorders in social motivation or reciprocity since childhood might be considered sorts of autism if they're persistent.




Exactly!

That is what I am talking about



FranzOren
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05 Sep 2020, 1:05 am

I think if you at least meet these criteria, you might have Autism, but you still developed social skills in time.


Here are the symptoms that looks like a very mild form of Autism:


1. Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, ranging, for example, from
abnormal social approach and failure of normal back-and-forth
conversation; to reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect; to failure
to initiate or respond to social interactions.

2. Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech
(e.g., simple motor stereotypes, lining up toys or flipping objects,
idiosyncratic phrases).

3. Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized
patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior (e.g., extreme distress at small
changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals,
need to take the same route or eat the same food every day).

4. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus
(e.g., strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects,
excessively circumscribed or perseverative interests).

5. Hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory
aspects of the environment (e.g. apparent indifference to pain/temperature,
adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or
touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement).



FranzOren
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05 Sep 2020, 1:13 am

You can have history of developmentally delayed social-emotional reciprocity, but you developed social skills just fine.


I think most with milder form Autism just have developmentally delayed social-emotional reciprocity, but their social skills was developed at appropriate developmental stage.


Most with mild and moderate form of Autism have social communication impairments.


And most with severe Autism have history of severe delays in social skills and bizarre interests or behaviors.


Most with profound forms of Autism or any profound developmental disorders may include, intellectual disability (an IQ of 69 or below).

Symptoms may include impaired social communications or interactions, bizarre behavior, and lack of social or emotional reciprocity. Sleep problems, aggressiveness, and self-injurious behavior are also possible frequent occurrences.

[10] LFA is not a recognized diagnosis in the DSM-5 or ICD-10.



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08 Sep 2020, 6:37 pm

rowan_nichol wrote:
I think it possible to be on the spectrum and have social skills, but the way those skills are obtained may be different to the way the typically developed population acquires those skills.

A metaphor from my background as an electrician.

There are electricians who can install cable or trunking and its neatness makes it a work of art.
For some of those electricians that only came about after long and difficult college apprenticeship, patient explanations and being shown time and again by tutors or experienced sparks, while others seem to have the knack from the outset and the work of art cabling seems to happen without any obvious effort.

Likewise, there are electricians at inspector level who seem to understand the tests and the reasons for them, and how to use the instruments from the outset, the much feared 2391 course looked no more than knowledge being shaken down and a few uncertainties corrected. Others have to sweat and study and cram to get the 2391, perhaps having to take advantage of the scheme in my professional body where failing the course results in them inviting you back for another with just the cost of resitting the exam, because they sea it as their job to ensure you can reach the highest you can.

Social skills should be no different. Some people just have that natural knack, just like the spark under whose hands the cables go into place as if by magic or tease out any hidden defect and ensure an installation is safe. Others, and I am in that latter category, had to learn them, keep a collection of useful standard opening phrases, strategies to keep things like conversation moving, eventually learning to keep away from too involved or risky a social situation if tired or upset.

I suspect that while one can be both on the spectrum and skilled socially, those skills are ones which are hard learned rather than coming naturally


This is the single greatest metaphor I've ever seen about the subject.

As for me, I can honestly say that a natural talent for mimesis is the single greatest contributor to any positive socializing that I've ever been capable of, and indeed, a few people I've known [but not many] are surprised when I bring up my diagnosis. It's even been seen by a couple of folks I know as a paradigm of hope for their kids on the spectrum, but I'm always the first to point out that their education into the subject [and their kids themselves] as a parent is far more important than any insight which I might provide. I am usually pretty comfortable in most social situations [I am so utterly sick of hearing everyone talking about either politics or sex {or both}, though], but said comfort wasn't achieved without a LOT of emotional pain and suffering, so-called non-visible scars that keep me less inclined to even WANT to socialize with others anymore, regardless of how comfortable I might seem to most NT's. Sometimes, I engage in small talk with relative strangers to, sometimes I just can't [even if I want to]. It depends. I would definitely not consider myself "emotionally healthy", but this has just as much to do with lifelong isolation anxiety [there are far more reasons for my social isolation than just simply AS, it's not my choice any more than AS was] as it does with Asperger's itself.


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FranzOren
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08 Sep 2020, 6:40 pm

Thank you



Jiheisho
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08 Sep 2020, 7:17 pm

Autism is a deficit in social communication, not a deficit in social skills. Autistic people can learn social skills, but can still have problems with verbal and non-verbal communication. I know how to say please and thank you, but I don't have the cognitive empathy, the ability to read others, that would make me neurotypical.



FranzOren
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08 Sep 2020, 7:49 pm

I have empathy and intact social skills, even though I have Pervasive Developmental Disorder



FranzOren
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08 Sep 2020, 7:49 pm

I did develop social skills much later than usual



Jiheisho
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08 Sep 2020, 8:01 pm

FranzOren wrote:
I did develop social skills much later than usual


Social skills is a learnt response, but nothing to do with autism. NTs can be very rude simply because they have no social skills, but that is not autism. Social skills are also cultural: what works in one place does not work in another.

The social communication of autism is an intuitive ability in NTs: they do not learn it like they learn social skills. It is a cognitive response, not a cultural one. For autistics, we need to learn this social communication. Masking would be an example of learnt social communication. And for the most part, this deficit is universal: my autism is the same in the US as Japan (although the Japanese think my autism is just being American). Whereas, I can learn Japanese social skills like bowing, using polite language, etc.



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08 Sep 2020, 8:04 pm

FranzOren wrote:
I have empathy and intact social skills, even though I have Pervasive Developmental Disorder


There are different types of empathy. In autism, it deficit is in cognitive empathy, the ability to read others as we interact. Autistics have what is known as affective empathy, the ability to understand the pain or joy of someone's situation and condition.

Side note, a person that has good cognitive empathy and poor affective empathy is known as a psychopath.



FranzOren
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08 Sep 2020, 8:13 pm

Jiheisho wrote:
FranzOren wrote:
I have empathy and intact social skills, even though I have Pervasive Developmental Disorder


There are different types of empathy. In autism, it deficit is in cognitive empathy, the ability to read others as we interact. Autistics have what is known as affective empathy, the ability to understand the pain or joy of someone's situation and condition.

Side note, a person that has good cognitive empathy and poor affective empathy is known as a psychopath.





I have all kinds of empathy.


Aa an adult, I became very good at reading and understanding emotions, facial cues and body languages.


I developed some NT social skills much later than usual, even though I have PDD-NOS ( A form of Autism ).




It is common for individuals with PDD-NOS to have more intact social skills and a lower level of intellectual deficit than individuals with other PDDs.[2]

Characteristics of many individuals with PDD-NOS are:

* Communication difficulties (e.g., using and understanding language)[6]
* Difficulty with social behavior
* Difficulty with changes in routines or environments
* Uneven skill development (strengths in some areas and delays in others)
* Unusual play with toys and other objects
* Repetitive body movements or behavior patterns
* Preoccupation with fantasy, such as imaginary friends in childhood



https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Pervasive_de ... _specified



FranzOren
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08 Sep 2020, 8:22 pm

Jiheisho wrote:
FranzOren wrote:
I did develop social skills much later than usual


Social skills is a learnt response, but nothing to do with autism. NTs can be very rude simply because they have no social skills, but that is not autism. Social skills are also cultural: what works in one place does not work in another.

The social communication of autism is an intuitive ability in NTs: they do not learn it like they learn social skills. It is a cognitive response, not a cultural one. For autistics, we need to learn this social communication. Masking would be an example of learnt social communication. And for the most part, this deficit is universal: my autism is the same in the US as Japan (although the Japanese think my autism is just being American). Whereas, I can learn Japanese social skills like bowing, using polite language, etc.





It's not normal to lack social skills or struggles with socializing.



I am sure that it is possible to have some kind of rare form of Pervasive Developmental Disorder or even undiagnosed Atypical Autism




https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/even- ... irst-year/



Jiheisho
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08 Sep 2020, 8:22 pm

I am sorry, I did not mean to suggest you are not empathetic nor possess those skills or abilities. I was really talking in general terms.

Autism or PDD-NOS is not a complete lack on empathy, but a deficit that causes problems in "normal" communication. I also have all kinds of empathy--it is just some of it does not work as smoothly. I have also been able to learn and develop. There has been research that does show that those with autism do develop throughout their lives, which is one reason late diagnosis becomes difficult as people have learnt to cope with those around them.