Is Asperger just a learning disability?

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QFT
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10 Oct 2022, 3:05 am

I made several posts where I described various persionality issues that allienated other people. Most people on WP didn't sympathize and were blaming me instead. I was really surprised because from my point of view all of it is part of Asperger. Perhaps my version of Asperger is different from other people's, but isn't Asperger case by case different anyway?

But something occurred to me just now. Could it be that I was thinking of Asperger as having multiple components, which would include both attitude and disability and everything in-between, while for people on WP it is just a disability component? If a student with learning disability purposely fails tests out of spite, you won't blame it on disability. So if you think that Asperger is just a disability, then blaming bad attitude on Asperger would be just as silly. All aspies would be sincerely putting their best possible effort socially 24/7 and just failing (much like a disabled student would). I guess I just didn't see Asperger that way. And then all those men in Love and Dating forum aren't pissed at women but instead they are all making their best effort to be as appealing as possible 24/7 and keep failing despite it?

I guess I just didn't see it that way. I always thought of social interaction as a combination of things. Yes, disability is one component. But then anger issues is the other. And there is interplay between them. Disability causes anger issues. And then anger issues cause additional disability (such as my past gf from last summer decided to break up with me because I punched someone a year ago, and I can't undo what I did a year before I ever met her -- feels like a disability doesn't it). When it comes to academics, then learning disability has just one component. When it comes to Asperger, then it has multiple components (including the components of various personality disorders, too). At least thats how I used to see it. But do others disagree?

Also I heard aspies have meltdowns. But maybe I misunderstand this too? In my case, a meltdown is when I get angry due to the situation that arizes as a consequence of bad social skills. But I heard on occasion that for other aspies a meltdown is something triggered by either sensory or informational overload, which has nothing to do with anger. In this case, I can't relate to the meltdowns that you are speaking of. As far as sensory issues, I don't have them to begin with. As far as informational overload, no it wont cause any meltdowns: I was informationally overloaded all the time in my math classes, this didn't cause any meltdowns. Or, for that matter, if I am informationally overloaded while watching a movie (I often have trouble following the storyline if multiple characters are involved) I won't have any meltdowns either. My meltdowns are all the result of anger. And anger has nothing to do with informational overload. There is nothing complicated about "the women are uncomfortable because I am dressed like a bum". But this one issue tends to cause meltdowns, very much so. So are you saying I am different from aspies?

Yet at the same time you can't say that I have personality disorder misdiagnosed as Asperger. For one thing, my problems date back to early childhood, which would point to Asperger. As far as anger/attitude issues, then its different story: they trace to when I was 22, which does indeed seem more like personality disorder timeline. So maybe its Asperger that "caused" subsequent personality disorders? But then wouldn't the same be true for other aspies? There is a reason why various conditions have a closure that they aren't diagnosed if the person has Asperger: because those traits can arize in the context of Asperger. Which brings me back to the point of this thread: maybe Asperger is not "just" a disability, after all?



r00tb33r
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10 Oct 2022, 4:34 am

It's a last name.

And no.


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10 Oct 2022, 5:43 am

Are you officially diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome or with Autism Spectrum Disorder? The reason I asked is that from reading your post, it sounds like you don't actually know and understand what Asperger's and Autism are. I am not criticizing you at all, I am just observing that by what you are saying, it makes me feel like you have no understanding of Autism at all. It also sounds like you do not experience the symptoms that are looked for in a diagnosis. I am not a diagnostician and it is neither possible nor is it ethical to diagnose you here but just from reading your post, I, personally, do not think that you are on the Spectrum. Of course, I don't know you so I could very well be wrong, but from first impressions from reading your post, I would not guess that you were Autistic.

But to answer the question in your title, Asperger's is not a learning disability. People who are Aspergian or Autistic can often have learning disabilities as well but they are completely separate diagnoses from the Asperger's/Autism. Asperger's and Autism themselves are not learning disabilities. They are developmental disabilities and the effects of Autistic/Aspergian brain development are pervasive. They affect every part of our lives and can cause extreme impairment in many areas of our lives.


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QFT
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10 Oct 2022, 5:53 am

Yes, I was officially diagnosed.

And by learning disability I am not referring to school but I am referring to "the same concept". As in, if you take learning disability and replace the academic subject with social subject, is this what Asperger would be like?



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10 Oct 2022, 6:38 am

I certainly don't see ASD as a personality disorder. But it might well mess up your happiness enough to give you personality problems.

I don't see ASD as just a learning disability either. It may well mess with your learning abilities - in my case I'm slow to learn and I had big problems learning at school and college - but we're normally capable of learning if the conditions match our thinking style, and it's often the case that when we have learned a thing, we've learned it more thoroughly than other people generally do.

ASD gives people a mixed bag of problems, including issues with dealing with other people and sensory issues. It may also give us a few "super powers."



QFT
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10 Oct 2022, 6:49 am

As I said, I didn't mean learning at school. I meant learning social things.

Me personally, I never had learning disabilities at school. So thats the last thing I am thinking of.

But when an aspie struggles socially, is it the same concept as someone struggling with learning disabilities?



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10 Oct 2022, 6:58 am

QFT wrote:
Yes, I was officially diagnosed.

And by learning disability I am not referring to school but I am referring to "the same concept". As in, if you take learning disability and replace the academic subject with social subject, is this what Asperger would be like?


I think you're on to something



ToughDiamond
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10 Oct 2022, 8:53 am

QFT wrote:
As I said, I didn't mean learning at school. I meant learning social things.

Me personally, I never had learning disabilities at school. So thats the last thing I am thinking of.

But when an aspie struggles socially, is it the same concept as someone struggling with learning disabilities?

Hmmm........are they the same thing or not? I suppose the main difference between school learning and social learning is that school learning usually has a bigger element of instruction, i.e. teaching. Maybe one of the biggest problems with social learning (for Aspies) is all these unwritten social rules that nobody explains properly because NTs pick it up intuitively.

But there's a lot of overlap between school learning and social learning. They're both about taking new ideas and information on board. The best teachers make the students find things out for themselves, and for social learning it's by no means impossible to get advice. My first step was to find out for myself about sociology, which helped to some extent, though it didn't show me everything I need to know by any means. To this day I feel very much in need of guidance about how to deal with ASD and how to relate better to people etc., but none of the guides I've looked into (humans or books) have seemed like they'd be very helpful. Generally I find them unclear, irrelevent to my specific problems, or just incompetent. They've given me the occasional insight that's been mildly helpful, but at this rate I'll die of old age before I really feel I've mastered it all.



rse92
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10 Oct 2022, 9:17 am

QFT wrote:
As I said, I didn't mean learning at school. I meant learning social things.

Me personally, I never had learning disabilities at school. So thats the last thing I am thinking of.

But when an aspie struggles socially, is it the same concept as someone struggling with learning disabilities?


No.



QFT
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10 Oct 2022, 9:31 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
QFT wrote:
As I said, I didn't mean learning at school. I meant learning social things.

Me personally, I never had learning disabilities at school. So thats the last thing I am thinking of.

But when an aspie struggles socially, is it the same concept as someone struggling with learning disabilities?

Hmmm........are they the same thing or not? I suppose the main difference between school learning and social learning is that school learning usually has a bigger element of instruction, i.e. teaching. Maybe one of the biggest problems with social learning (for Aspies) is all these unwritten social rules that nobody explains properly because NTs pick it up intuitively.

But there's a lot of overlap between school learning and social learning. They're both about taking new ideas and information on board. The best teachers make the students find things out for themselves, and for social learning it's by no means impossible to get advice.


What you are describing is true. And this is probably the reason why aspies are good at school while bad socially.

However, one similarity between what you are describing and learning disability is that you are still focusing on learning aspect, rather than emotional aspect. Sure, it is a different kind of learning. In particular, learning unwritten rules rather than learning the written ones. But it is still learning. And things like "bad attitude" are not a factor (at least you haven't mentioned it).

However, from my perspective, there is another factor that separates social learning from school learning. In school, if you fail on one assignment, it won't make teacher grade you tougher on the next one. Yes, it would make it harder to get a good grade overall, once the teacher averages all grades. But if you put a single goal of doing well on that second assignment, then yes you can do well: doesn't matter how you did on the previous one. Well, socially thats not the case. Socially if you mess up once, people will have bad attitude towards you, making it harder for you to do well next time.

Now, my response to the situation that occurs socially and NOT academically is anger. And then I take out that anger on other people. So that is where "disability" ends and "personality" begins.

To sum it up, we both agree that disability is a component of Asperger. And that disability is different from teh one in school in a sense that in school it is a disability of learning what you are explicitly taught while socially it is disability of reading between the lines. However, the part I mentioned that you didn't is that at school you don't get bitter while socially you do. And that is the part that is not just "disability".

In other words, we both agree that disability (with the modifications of the concept you described) is a part of it. But the question is: is it the only part of it, or are there other parts (such as bitterness, defence mechanisms, and so forth)?

I noticed that when I talk about my own bitterness, most people on WP aren't sympathetic and call me as*hole. That makes me wonder whether most people on WP are "Only" dealing with the disability aspect of it, and "Thats" why they can't sympathize?

Then other aspects of Asperger are things like self focus and so forth. Even though I know its inappropriate to talk exclusively about myself, I still do that. Now, if Asperger was purely a learning disability, then an aspie who found out they shouldn't constantly talk about themselves, wouldn't do that any more. So is this also something that separates me from other aspies?

ToughDiamond wrote:
My first step was to find out for myself about sociology, which helped to some extent, though it didn't show me everything I need to know by any means. To this day I feel very much in need of guidance about how to deal with ASD and how to relate better to people etc., but none of the guides I've looked into (humans or books) have seemed like they'd be very helpful. Generally I find them unclear, irrelevent to my specific problems, or just incompetent. They've given me the occasional insight that's been mildly helpful, but at this rate I'll die of old age before I really feel I've mastered it all.


Yeah, I was also thinking of studying sociology, although I never got hands on any sociology books. I usually just google the questions I have on the internet, such as "why don't people approach me". But that is not really sociology. Maybe I should get sociology book one day.

One thing that comes closest to studying sociology is when I was reading about roosters in Russian prisons. By roosters they mean victims of prison rape. But one doesn't have to be raped in order to be declared a rooster. They can turn someone into a rooster by making them eat with another rooster, or hold a bread while sitting on a toilet, etc. Basically, roosters have low social status and are untouchables. They eat at a separate table, specifically designed for roosters. They sleep separately: either at the room specifically designated for roosters, or if they are in the regular room then, instead, they are separated in other ways: such as sleeping under the bed instead of on the bed, or by the toilet. Nobody can touch the rooster or else they become a rooster themselves. Also nobody can take any possession from the rooster, since anything the rooster touched is defiled and so whoever touches it will also become a rooster. The rooster is a lifelong status, and when someone walks into a new cell, he has to declare that he is a rooster, so that people don't get defiled by interacting with him.

In any case, the reason I like studying the topic of roosters in Russian prisons is because it is similar sociological concept to the way aspies get ostracized in America, as free people. Except that in Russian prisons its formal, but in American free society its not. So in Russian prisons they don't talk to a rooster in order not to become a rooster themselves. So maybe for the same reason in America they don't talk to someone with low social status: in order not to have low social status themselves. But in America nobody will formally say thats the case, but in Russian prisons they will. And so Russian prison is a good material to study informal rules by means of formal ones.

Or here is another example. In Russian prisons, the rape perpetrator doesn't become a rooster, only a rape victim does (well, if rape was unjustified, they can rape the perpetrator and then the latter would become a rooster, but still: he became a rooster after he was raped, not after he was raping himself). And in America, in free society, there is also "blame the victim" mentality as well. But, unlike Russian prison, its not spelled out.

One clear example of it is when the cop rapes the prisoner, and videotapes the rape. The cop then would blackmail the prisoner: the prisoner has to pay the cop money so that the cop doesn't publicize that video. But wait a second. I thought the cop was the one who committed the crime? So it should be the prisoner who would want the video publicized, not the cop? But actually the prisoner is the one who *doesn't* want it pubicized -- so that he doesn't become a rooster. While the cop doesn't mind publicizing it (after all prison rape isn't getting punished, not even in America). So if a victim pays the perpetrator not to publicize the crime, that clearly reveals blame the victim mentality.

And then in America, when they ostracized aspies for having low social status, it is blame the victim too, isn't it. Just a lot less clear. Thats why Russian prison is a good way to illustrate what is going on in America with a lot less ambiguity.

And finally the rape victim is considered gay but not perpetrator. How is it locially possible? I thought gay is the one who enjoys sex with men and perpetrator is the one who apparently wanted it? Well I guess they attribute to the victim the desire he didn't have. In America, in free society, the same thing happens. When woman rejects me she tells me I don't like her, but actually she is the one who doesn't like me, yet she acts as if its me (despite the fact that I beg her to come back). If I just talk about the examples from America I would be told "you are just dwelling on details". But in case of Russian prison its a lot more clear.

For some reason nobody can relate to what I just said. In fact even my mom can't relate either. When I talk to my mom about roosters in Russian prisons, she first tells me that it is not a topic to be discussed in polite society. Then when I explain to her the above analogy, she just doesn't see it. And on occasion when I push the subject too much, she asks me if any of my bullies back in Russia raped me. The answer is no, but she doesn't seem to believe me because, from her point of view, there won't be any other reason to dwell on it. But for me there is a really good reason to dwell on it: Russian prisons is the only example where those informal rules are clearly spelled out. And no, I was never raped.



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10 Oct 2022, 10:31 am

If being angry is the only thing that causes you your "meltdowns", then they probably aren't the same as what people here mean when they talk about theirs. They sound like regular anger issues to me.



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10 Oct 2022, 12:22 pm

QFT wrote:
Yes, I was officially diagnosed.

And by learning disability I am not referring to school but I am referring to "the same concept". As in, if you take learning disability and replace the academic subject with social subject, is this what Asperger would be like?
Oh Ok. It's good that you have the diagnosis. I hope you were not upset by my response earlier. It's just that the way you described everything confused me. But it seems like English might not be your native language so we might have to take time so that we understand each other clearly. But I am very happy to take that time and get to know and understand you.

I am trying to understand what you mean but the concept of learning disability. At first, I thought you meant learning disability like dyslexia and similar issues like that that actually have a diagnosis. Are you able to explain what you mean when you say concept of learning disability?


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10 Oct 2022, 6:01 pm

I think autism is not simply like some form of learning disability. In my opinion, it's not a particular form of "social learning disability".

It's not the same as NVLD and dyssemia in body languages, it's also not the same with caetexia, aphasias and SCD in nuisanced languages and situations, it's not the same as OCD and dyspraxia in behaviors and expressions -- in a sense that allistics can have them without being autistic.

It's more aligned with ADHD, GDD -- as these are also classed as developmental disorders -- sensory issues and occassionally with mental health and some personality disorders affecting interactions, behaviors, regulation and perceptions in general. These are more like resulting social difficulties than how learning disabilities work.
Yet there are still ways to separate autistics who also do from allistics with such conditions.

More like all of these are more like symptoms and traits that any autistics may or may not have born with or acquire in later life.

So I thought that more like an autistic may or may not have an individual set of their own "social learning disabilities" -- yet it's also different and can overlap with those autistics who only yet always have a constant and particular difficulty that are directly/indirectly cause social issues as opposed to something akin to a learning disability, all accounted both innate and their their circumstances without being allistic themselves.


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10 Oct 2022, 6:12 pm

It affects the sensory-nervous system so no it's nothing to do with learning.
You can't unlearn sensory processing disorders.



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10 Oct 2022, 6:39 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
It affects the sensory-nervous system so no it's nothing to do with learning.
You can't unlearn sensory processing disorders.


I don't have sensory issues in my case.

And from what I read there are others who also don't have them. Which is why they are not part of diagnostic criteria but rather a side symptoms.

In fact I read that people with classical autism have sensory issues more often than people with Asperger. So the fact that I don't have them, is consistent with Asperger diagnosis.



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10 Oct 2022, 6:57 pm

skibum wrote:
Oh Ok. It's good that you have the diagnosis. I hope you were not upset by my response earlier.


I am not sure why I would be. I know that some autistics get upset when they are told they are not autistic. I am not sure why. Even if you say something that is factually incorrect, I am not sure how it would villify someone. And in this case its not even factually incorrect because presence or lack of autism is not a fact, its interpretation: you can't do blood test on it, and seeing how autism is a spectrum its a grey area where you draw a line.

skibum wrote:
It's just that the way you described everything confused me. But it seems like English might not be your native language so we might have to take time so that we understand each other clearly.


Its true English is not my native language. My native language is Russian. I had misunderstnadings caused by English problems in other situations, yes. But as far as this specific situation goes, I am not sure where I had one. But seeing how often I had misunderstnadings elsewhere, I am not going to rule it out. So just let me know where you think misunderstanding occurred.

skibum wrote:
I am trying to understand what you mean but the concept of learning disability. At first, I thought you meant learning disability like dyslexia and similar issues like that that actually have a diagnosis. Are you able to explain what you mean when you say concept of learning disability?


I meant similar, not the same. Like take dyslexia on one hand and mathematical learning disability on the other hand. Clearly, they are not the same. But they are both learning disabilities. So I was thinking Asperger is yet another learning disability that is different from both of those, yet still about learning.

This is to be contrasted with personality disorders. Personality disorders are about attitude rather than learning, so they are clearly different.

Now, the way I thought of Asperger is an interplay between learning disabilities and personality disorders. So it can't be just one or just the other. It is the combination of both.

But when I saw how people on WP attack me for my personality disorder component, thats what made me think "maybe asperger is *only* learning disability, at least with most people on WP, and thats why they can't relate to my issues".