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babybird
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05 Aug 2022, 7:32 am

I loved this post on another thread when I read it. It really made me think.

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I think that open-mindedness is not correlated to AS, but to intelligence and genetic predisposition. It takes intelligence to entertain complex ideas. The predisposition is baked in because a successful tribe needed both xenophobes and variety seekers to strike a healthy balance between keeping out threats to the community and letting in traders and genetic variety.


Is the post saying here that as people with AS we are still more in tune with our ancestry and that therefore we are far more likely than other people to be more selective and more aware of who we let into our lives?



Twilightprincess
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05 Aug 2022, 7:40 am

I don’t think it’s saying that we are more in tune with our evolutionary past than other people. It’s more like tribes needed people with a variety of personality traits in order to survive, including those with typical ASD traits. They also needed team-player extroverts which are also, obviously, still around. Variety is the spice of life, but back in the day, it was crucial for survival.

All of this is a possibility. We can’t know if any of our ancient ancestors had ASD or not.


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babybird
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05 Aug 2022, 9:08 am

Do you think there could be a possibility that asd is a relatively new phenomenon?



kraftiekortie
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05 Aug 2022, 9:30 am

Autism has been around a long time; it's not a recent phenomenon. There are recorded cases of autistic-like people from back to at least the 18th century.

Many people who would be considered "autistic" today would probably not have been considered "autistic," or even disordered, in their day. They probably would have been considered "odd," "eccentric," "weird," and that ilk. Some of these folks might have evoked a negative impression; but others happened to have evoked a positive impression.

I would say that many present-day Aspergians would have been considered "eggheads" in the 1950s. They would have been considered awkward socially, might have been bullied, might have been rejected by the opposite sex. But they had special talents in the scientific realm, and many times would have garnered a sort of "grudging" respect.



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05 Aug 2022, 9:31 am

babybird wrote:
Do you think there could be a possibility that asd is a relatively new phenomenon?


It could be. I don’t know.


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babybird
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05 Aug 2022, 9:38 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Autism has been around a long time; it's not a recent phenomenon. There are recorded cases of autistic-like people from back to at least the 18th century.

Many people who would be considered "autistic" today would probably not have been considered "autistic," or even disordered, in their day. They probably would have been considered "odd," "eccentric," "weird," and that ilk. Some of these folks might have evoked a negative impression; but others happened to have evoked a positive impression.

I would say that many present-day Aspergians would have been considered "eggheads" in the 1950s. They would have been considered awkward socially, might have been bullied, might have been rejected by the opposite sex. But they had special talents in the scientific realm, and many times would have garnered a sort of "grudging" respect.


That's interesting. I'm wondering then that if aspergers and autism wasn't considered to be a disability 70 years ago then if we go even further back than that; would it have even been considered as a difference at all and if so then what has happened over the course of time to make it such a difference to the point that there is a clear division between the attitudes, interests and preferences of PW aspergers and none Aspie/autistics.



kraftiekortie
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05 Aug 2022, 9:46 am

I feel like some of those who considered autistic today, but wouldn’t have been in the old days, would have been scorned for many reasons. They might have been considered willfully disobedient, or lazy as children.

Others, though, would have been glorified for their special talents.

Others, still, might have evoked a shrug of the shoulder. Would have been considered the “oddball aunt,” or “eccentric uncle,” or the “village idiot.” This is similar to what was said about a baseball player a generation ago: whenever this baseball player, Manny Ramirez, would do an odd thing, other people would say that it's just "Manny being Manny."



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05 Aug 2022, 11:00 pm

I can be very selective about the friends that I choose.


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05 Aug 2022, 11:56 pm

babybird wrote:
That's interesting. I'm wondering then that if aspergers and autism wasn't considered to be a disability 70 years ago then if we go even further back than that; would it have even been considered as a difference at all and if so then what has happened over the course of time to make it such a difference to the point that there is a clear division between the attitudes, interests and preferences of PW aspergers and none Aspie/autistics.

I think it's more that society is much richer (and better informed) now, so there are far more resources available for people who need help.

My grandmother passed away last January. She was in her 90s. She used to say that if she were a student today, she'd be diagnosed with autism, but back when she was a child, they were in the middle of the Great Depression, they lost the family farm, and then the Dust Bowl hit. They were lucky if they had food on the table; there certainly weren't resources to help this kid who couldn't speak properly. Why bother giving it a name when you can't do anything about it?

When my brother got diagnosed, he was the first one at his school. But by then, a diagnosis meant something: accommodations. And my dad wasn't in the midst of losing the farm, so he had time to do things like get my brother assessed.



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05 Aug 2022, 11:59 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I feel like some of those who considered autistic today, but wouldn’t have been in the old days, would have been scorned for many reasons. They might have been considered willfully disobedient, or lazy as children.

It makes me sad to think about it, but I think you're right, and many of these children were treated quite awfully as a result.



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06 Aug 2022, 3:43 am

If I were 8 today, I probably would have got diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety disorder instead of ASD.


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06 Aug 2022, 4:42 am

babybird wrote:
I loved this post on another thread when I read it. It really made me think.

Quote:
I think that open-mindedness is not correlated to AS, but to intelligence and genetic predisposition. It takes intelligence to entertain complex ideas. The predisposition is baked in because a successful tribe needed both xenophobes and variety seekers to strike a healthy balance between keeping out threats to the community and letting in traders and genetic variety.


Is the post saying here that as people with AS we are still more in tune with our ancestry and that therefore we are far more likely than other people to be more selective and more aware of who we let into our lives?


The thinking is faulty. It is imagination--as well as instinct, and memory--which alerts you to threats. I see no real benefit in xenophobia. Being open-minded and recognizing people can do terrible things are not oppositional.



babybird
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06 Aug 2022, 11:13 am

Thank you.



kraftiekortie
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06 Aug 2022, 11:15 am

Xenophobia is never proper. Skepticism can be.



babybird
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06 Aug 2022, 11:26 am

History and literature is littered with xenophobia. You only have to look at how the vikings are depicted.



kraftiekortie
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06 Aug 2022, 11:28 am

Of course it is.

Within “primitive” societies, there is usually much xenophobia….sometimes to the point where the name of an ethnic group means “our people,” and the names of ethnic groups other than them have a derogatory meaning.