What if we have BETTER social skills than other people?

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Joe90
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18 Jul 2021, 7:12 pm

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Nobody, autistic or otherwise, can learn social skills without other people.


This. If you brought an NT child up from birth and locked them in a small room with no windows and you never interacted with them, then they were set free on their 10th birthday, they would be more socially clueless than a lot of autistic 10-year-olds.

But if the same child was brought up normally, in a loving and social environment, and they were born to be an NT, then they would naturally develop social skills as they grow. Nobody is born with social skills like they are born with ears. Social skills have to be learnt, and taught. It's just easier for NTs to grasp and develop social skills than it is for autistics and some other developmental disorders.


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Harry Haller
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18 Jul 2021, 7:20 pm

Joe90 wrote:
It's just easier for NTs to grasp and develop social skills than it is for autistics and some other developmental disorders.


Agree.
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nwoo2021
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18 Jul 2021, 7:22 pm

Joe90 wrote:
But if the same child was brought up normally, in a loving and social environment, and they were born to be an NT, then they would naturally develop social skills as they grow.


Yes, but they wouldn't have to be NT. That's the whole point.



nwoo2021
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18 Jul 2021, 7:27 pm

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It would be awkward if we had to consciously through thought regulate blood pressure; but what is being proposed with this robust hypothesis is that those who had to consciously, through thought, regulate blood pressure, would do a better job of it


I don't get it.



Harry Haller
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18 Jul 2021, 9:12 pm

nwoo2021 wrote:
I don't get it.


Yer Honest. Rare and so respect.
Being honest here, I do a terrible job communicating.

I was trying to illustrate by analogy how what the brain can do automatically, is hard (if not impossible) to do consciously through thought.

I do like the complexity of the theory.

If the idea is that autists have a superior understanding of social dynamics, I think you are correct. The autist must consciously dissect human behavior, so understands it deeply. Makes for a very keen perception, also.

If the idea is that autists have a superior performance socially -- well, real-world evidence appears to not support this.

But it's a lovely theory. Lotta stuff there.
Heck, if I'd worked this hard to come up with it I'd be disinclined towards alternate perspectives, and discount any evidence not supportive of it. So yeah, I'd want to just hang onto it. Why not. Plus it is organizing of the whole. No harm.
----------------------------

Here's a fun experiment anyone can do at home without blowing up the kitchen:
Place your dominant hand one foot in front of your face.
Now, looking at the hand, wave it left and right in a two-foot arc, back-and-forth like a metronome, at about one cycle per second (so that it completes a trip back-and-forth to the start position in about one second).
Now consciously with thought try to look at your hand and keep it in sharp focus. Do your best. Concentrate. (Simulates action by conscious thought)

Now, keep your hand still, and wag your head in a "no" movement at the same rate. Keep the hand in focus. (Simulates action by automatic)
The hand this time will easily be in sharp focus, because of the automatic stabilization the brain provides, with the centers of balance connected to the centers of eye movement. The brain detects movement and so automatically compensates for that movement with tiny eye corrections, keeping the target in focus.

Kinda neat, eh?
Ain't the brain great?



cyclist_Netherlands
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19 Jul 2021, 12:15 am

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What if we have BETTER social skills than other people?

There is no real "we" as far as I am concerned.

We are all to different from each other, because we are part of a spectrum.

I have learned social skills both automatically and by cautiously observing and thinking.
Unfortunately I suck at storing and recalling social skills that I have learned by observing and thinking.
So, despite knowing better, I have often made the same social mistakes multiple times.

Last weekend I had a family weekend and this was a clear demonstration of my poor social skills. I have hardly spoken with anyone. I was the least interesting person of the entire group, being quiet most of the time.


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Technic1
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19 Jul 2021, 3:46 am

Animals confirm that we do have better social skills than NTs

Have you seen the way they hurt animals?



cyclist_Netherlands
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19 Jul 2021, 6:29 am

Technic1 wrote:
Animals confirm that we do have better social skills than NTs
Have you seen the way they hurt animals?

This is not evidence at all.

I know examples of people with autism who have hurt animals.

I know an autistic woman who has thrown one of her cats off her very high balcony. She was just crazy enough to do such a thing.

And again: there is no "us" and there is no "they". Stop thinking that autism is somehow a quarantee for better people, because it is not.


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Fnord
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19 Jul 2021, 8:40 am

nwoo2021 wrote:
What if we have BETTER social skills than other people?
"Better" in what context?

More friends?  Happier relationships?  Greater popularity?  Higher employment?

Do not make me laugh.


:roll:


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Joe90
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19 Jul 2021, 5:43 pm

Sometimes I feel like I have better social skills than my NT boyfriend in some ways.

Like the other morning he was telling me about a dream he had the night before, and then the subject got changed (by both of us) and after talking for a while and the conversation finished, he went back to talking about his dream by saying something like "...so we were in this house and..." I could have been confused and said "what? Who?" but I could tell by a subtle tone in his voice that he was continuing to tell me his dream that he was telling me before the subject got changed (this was about 15 minutes later). But I know that if that was the other way around, he'd been confused and ask what I was talking about. In fact he often gets confused.

For example a conversation could go like this:-

BF: That new couple that moved in next door seem nice
Me: Yes, they are friendly, I saw them in the supermarket this morning
BF: Really? Did they speak?
Me: Yeah, they said hello. They were filling their cart with baby items, so maybe they might be--
BF (interrupts): Who?
Me: The new couple next door
BF: Oh yes

The way he says "who?" means "who the hell are you talking about? There's no obvious names or clues of who you could be talking about".

I'm very sensitive to tone of voice and I'm good at knowing what someone is feeling or thinking by their tone of voice, in other words, the way they say things.


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Hollywood_Guy
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20 Jul 2021, 5:12 pm

Well...we may tend to have better skills about rules.

But I admit that it would be pretty funny if the average Aspie or Autistic had more children per couple (for non-single ASD people) than the general NT population and NT's were to become more rare or eventually extincted. Not that I endorse that, but it's funny to think about.



Jensen
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23 Jul 2021, 1:19 am

A neuro-psychologist told me, that the brain center, that provides NTs with immediate understanding of more or less clear or hidden social cues is less active in an autistic brain.... so there IS a biological difference.
Sometimes, though, the non-autistics can be pretty stiff in their demand for socially precise "reading" and not very susceptible to logic and verbalizations, I find.
Well, I might just have met the inflexible ones. I also know marvellosly understanding, verbally gifted and flexible non-autistics.


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nwoo2021
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24 Jul 2021, 2:56 am

Jensen wrote:
the brain center, that provides NTs with immediate understanding of more or less clear or hidden social cues is less active in an autistic brain

I'd like to see some research on this.



Joe90
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24 Jul 2021, 7:04 am

I just feel that if everybody was like me this world would be a much better place to be in.

I don't mean "like me" in a "I'm superior to everyone" way, but I just mean with the personality traits I have like people-pleasing, selflessness, kindness, 100% trustworthy, etc.


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Edna3362
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24 Jul 2021, 4:20 pm

If sociality and social skills is measured by social accomplishments... It's hilarious.

It's no different from measuring sexuality with how many times and to whom someone did the deed.


But if it's all measured by achievements... :lol: :lol: :lol: Do you wanna play that game??

"Hey! You're XYZ Group! You have more (insert higher social status/wealth/health/etc.. desirable stat here!) in average! That's not faaaaiiiirrrrrr!! !" :roll:

nwoo2021 wrote:
The human brain is divided into two halves. The left hemisphere is concerned with symbolic thinking, the right is more holistic. Most people are stronger on one side or the other. Some people, however, are strong on both sides, meaning that they can learn faster, observe in more detail, are more attuned to their senses, and can use their imagination to come up with bold new ideas. People with this strength are called “autistic”. Yet as powerful as their brains are, they somehow can’t communicate with other people.

Autistic people “don't fit in”. They don't understand social rules; they’re awkward, weird, “freaks”, etc… So does that mean that autism causes poor social skills?

Indeed, people with autism—like me—struggle to fit in with and understand their peers’ culture and tastes. We often believe—and are told by others—that this means our social skills are weaker due to our brain condition. However, this is in fact a reflection of a society weak at passing on cultural and social norms!

To learn social norms, we must have a social group to learn from. This starts in childhood and affects how we behave in our adult lives. And often, children learn social skills primarily by socializing with other children. This is known as “peer orientation”. A lot of us find this nothing unusual— but it’s actually a very new thing, a 20th-century invention. Before then, it was strictly adults who children learned their culture from. As explained by doctors Gabor Maté and Gordon Neufeld:

Quote:
Culture, until recently, was always handed down vertically, from generation to generation. For millennia, wrote Joseph Campbell, “the youth have been educated and the aged rendered wise” through the study, experience and understanding of traditional cultural forms. Adults played a critical role in the transmission of culture, taking what they received from their own parents and passing it down to their children. However, the culture our children are being introduced to is much less likely to be the culture of their parents than that of their peers. Children are generating their own culture, very distinct from that of their parents and, in some ways, also very alien. Instead of culture being passed down vertically, it is being transmitted horizontally within the younger generation.

Essential to any culture are its customs, its music, its dress, its celebrations, its stories. The music children listen to bears very little resemblance to the music of their grandparents. The way they look is dictated by the way other children look rather than by the parents’ cultural heritage. Their birthday parties and rites of passage are influenced by the practices of other children around them, not by the customs of their parents before them. If all that seems normal to us, it’s only due to our own peer orientation.


And this is everything an autistic child does not need.

A child’s peers are often obsessed with what they find “cool”. If an autistic child tries to fit in to this peer group, they will tend to go off-topic, paying attention to things no one else notices. Other kids don’t have time for that. They’re not patient. They won’t take the time to explain the rules to their autistic peers, because a child is not meant to be a teacher. If one child doesn't get it, no use including them. So the autistic child now thinks they don't fit in and that's a problem.

But a lot of kids with autism don't understand that other children feel the same way. They also fear that they need to “fit in” to satisfy their social needs. and they do not want other children to see it either. But because they don’t have the strong sensory issues that autistic children have, they notice their awkwardness less, and that’s what gives off the impression that their social skills are better.

Autistic children are more awkward not because they feel and adapt to the social atmosphere less — they do it more easily. And if the social atmosphere is permeated by awkwardness, then awkward is what the autistic child will be.

We can see objective cases of people with autism demonstrating that they can be more socially attuned than others. As an autistic person, I have often found that I have a better sense of other people than those around me. I am less surprised by their behaviours and traits, owing to the close attention I pay to social situations.

Another person I know who has autism told me that he can sustain a friendship longer than other people he knows. Sometimes, he and his friends go a long while without talking to each other, and once this happens, they don’t contact him, either because they forget or because they think it feels awkward. Unlike them, he himself is always willing to be the first to initiate contact. Many people with autism also are extremely honest and reliable: having made a commitment to a friend, we would very rarely break that commitment, no matter how trivial another may see it. In a contemporary social environment where we have few moral obligations to others, this can seem overbearing or odd; but it actually demonstrates an ability and willingness to connect with others that goes far beyond the shallowness of many contemporary friendships.

If we lived in a society that was oriented towards relationships between adults and children, young people with autism would have stronger social supports within which to thrive. Rather than being forced to learn social skills exclusively within the shifting and awkward environments of their peers, they would have adults sharing with them structured social rules. And what’s more, their peers would have the exact same thing! Honesty and reliability are traits that are essential in intergenerational family environments—consistency and unconditional love is part of what makes a family community. Within this sense of security, an autistic child can develop healthy social relationships while still having their differences. A set of societal norms dictated by children cannot do the same. As Neufeld says, "The planets revolve around the sun, not each other."

Of course, many autistic adults are no better, and building community remains difficult. Again, we can attribute this to a lack of social structure, which we humans were really not prepared to deal with. Most of human evolution happened in the pre-industrial world, when our lives were more structured than they are now. A person could reasonably expect that they and their peers would have the same overall lifestyle from birth until death. And since people with autism tend to prefer having predictability, rules, and things making sense, more than other people do, this need for security was fulfilled meaning autism did not have the same stigma it has today. Once autistic people are on board with a shared “cultural narrative” and goals, their unusual moments of insight are helpful, not detrimental.

The archeologist Penny Spikins even suggests that autistic traits may have carried significant advantages as far back as the stone age. She suggests, for example, that “the incorporation of an autistic obsession with fairness and rules may have been key to providing highly systemised conventions to circumvent any tendencies to follow allegiances, or react emotionally to the unfamiliar and so may have been critical in promoting collaboration between different groups.”

Most people who have the privilege to receive the autism diagnosis live in industrialized societies, so the common image of autism is subject to a heavy bias.
So it’s really just current social norms (or lack thereof) that sees autism as a disability, or even as a thing at all: a collection of traits to be noticed, defined, and medicalized.

Autistic people are not failing to understand social rules. They are, on an instinctual level, trying to find social rules, and getting frustrated that there aren’t any.

If society works like this, I'd definitely have 'more' social skills. By more, I mean easier.

But I'll be still asocial whether or not I have more or less social skills, no matter how I've been well engaged by any. :lol:

There won't be a real change in me if I have any more or less social skills.



It's like living in a strange double life since childhood.

At school it's just random; I can be the loner, I can also be the social butterfly; it's fragmented and contradictory.
Might as well make me mad and kinda made me wish I was mute or something.

But at home with my childhood neighbor friends, they see all of me; far from fragmented, it was a whole.

There, I learnt more lessons, both social and emotional, few hours a day, whole day in some weekends, and lasts only for good span of 5+ years, with only around 6~ individuals.

Than over 7 hours a day and 5 times a week, over 16+ years worth of schooling with possibly thousands of individuals.


The most ironic thing is that school is supposedly more structured and orderly, on top of more people in it and yet not much involved in communication in there.

But not at home, no... There are more communications in there -- and even more connections.
There's nothing formal there, only something utterly natural.


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CockneyRebel
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25 Jul 2021, 1:10 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Quote:
Nobody, autistic or otherwise, can learn social skills without other people.


This. If you brought an NT child up from birth and locked them in a small room with no windows and you never interacted with them, then they were set free on their 10th birthday, they would be more socially clueless than a lot of autistic 10-year-olds.

But if the same child was brought up normally, in a loving and social environment, and they were born to be an NT, then they would naturally develop social skills as they grow. Nobody is born with social skills like they are born with ears. Social skills have to be learnt, and taught. It's just easier for NTs to grasp and develop social skills than it is for autistics and some other developmental disorders.


I agree and I like what Joe90 wrote. This makes perfect sense.


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