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IronSails
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15 Jul 2005, 8:26 pm

So I read Simon Baron-Cohen's male brain female brain book yesturday. Interesting concept but I did have some problems with a few of his Ideas.

He writes quite abit about executive dysfunction and suggests that low IQ might be a marker for executive dysfunction. I have ADD(read executive dysfuntion) and I average in the 120s on IQ tests, so I really couldn't understand this idea.

On pg 176 Cohen writes, Executive Disfunction has been found in individuals who are said to have "high-functioning autism" (HFA) but this term can be very misleading. HFA is used to describe any individual with autism whose IQ is higher than 70, since this is the accepted point at which one is able to diagnose general learning difficulties(mental retardation) and average intelligence.

something about this just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, maybe I'm just being oversensitve.---->which leads me to my next problem.


What about sensory intergration?! !?

He hardly mentions sensory problems at all, I thought that ASD always included sensory difficulties. I know it's one of my root problems.


His entire empathic mind vs. systematic mind theory overlooks the ability of many aspies to instantly be aware if someone they care about is upset. If my wife is upset I swear I can feel it in the air. It overwelms whatever mood I was in.

I did enjoy the book and I'll reread it this weekend. These thoughts just came to mind as I read.



I took the tests in the back of the book. I scored 31 of 36 on the eye reading test which surprised me. On the Empathy Quotient test I scored 24 of 80 (AS average is 20), On the Systemizing Quotient I scored 40 of 80 (AS average is 40-50) and on the autisic spectrum quotient is scored 36 of 50(AS average is 35)

of course they aren't diagnostic tests but I found them interesting.



Jetson
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15 Jul 2005, 9:19 pm

IronSails wrote:
He hardly mentions sensory problems at all, I thought that ASD always included sensory difficulties. I know it's one of my root problems.

I think I recall reading that 2/3 to 3/4 of all people with ASDs also have sensory integration difficulties. It's hard to tell if those figures mean anything, though, as perhaps the other 1/4 to 1/3 also have a sensory perception error but it's too mild to be diagnosed or so consistent that the person isn't aware of the paradigm difference.

I would fall into the first group. My sensory "problems" are all sound-related and aren't really problems at all:
1) In a moderately noisy environment I will have audio hallucinations - usually I imagine I am hearing a cell-phone ring tune or the house phone ringing, but occasionally I also hear music. It's always at a barely discernible level, as if muffled or far away.
2) I have one specific synthesia experience that's repeatable but harmless - when I'm on the verge of falling asleep, certain sounds will trigger a visual sensation that's quite jolting (far moreso than the sound itself).
3) When listening to music, I tend to "deconstruct" the sound into its components and listen to individual instruments or sound effects rather than perceiving the music as a whole. After repeated listenings, I retain enough detail to reassemble the parts and "play" the music in my head with remarkable fidelity. Sadly, when it comes to voices I capture the tone and timbre but not the words....


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IronSails
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15 Jul 2005, 10:06 pm

Jetson wrote:

3) When listening to music, I tend to "deconstruct" the sound into its components and listen to individual instruments or sound effects rather than perceiving the music as a whole. After repeated listenings, I retain enough detail to reassemble the parts and "play" the music in my head with remarkable fidelity. Sadly, when it comes to voices I capture the tone and timbre but not the words....


I'm the exact same way! takes me 3 or 4 exposures before I can really appreciate a song.



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16 Jul 2005, 1:08 am

I haven't done much studying on Baren-Cohen's hypotheses and research, so grain of salt here. But I have not been much impressed by him in general and find him a little crazy in fact. He is a well known researcher but I don't know how well respected he is.


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16 Jul 2005, 1:56 am

Jetson wrote:
3) When listening to music, I tend to "deconstruct" the sound into its components and listen to individual instruments or sound effects rather than perceiving the music as a whole. After repeated listenings, I retain enough detail to reassemble the parts and "play" the music in my head with remarkable fidelity. Sadly, when it comes to voices I capture the tone and timbre but not the words....


Me three!


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nirrti_1
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16 Jul 2005, 2:31 am

IronSails wrote:
Jetson wrote:

3) When listening to music, I tend to "deconstruct" the sound into its components and listen to individual instruments or sound effects rather than perceiving the music as a whole. After repeated listenings, I retain enough detail to reassemble the parts and "play" the music in my head with remarkable fidelity. Sadly, when it comes to voices I capture the tone and timbre but not the words....


I'm the exact same way! takes me 3 or 4 exposures before I can really appreciate a song.


I've been able to do this all my life. I remember one time when I was two years old, there was this song I loved, the melody more than the words, and I could remember it as if I were listening to it. I started to forget the exact musical structure and started crying. My aunt asked me "What's wrong?" and I couldn't find the words to explain it so I just kept silent. I still hate it when I forget exactly how a song I really like goes.



danlo
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16 Jul 2005, 3:34 am

I agree, low IQ isn't necessarily a marker for ED. I don't think Scoots would agree either. I'm at least average IQ'd and I have ED. I do think it is one of those things that differentiates LFA from HFA. Not just IQ.
Also, certainly, his empathic mind vs. systematic mind theory rings false to me. Why can't one be both empathic and systematic? I've always been quite open, empathically, to my family. Because they're inside my layers of shielding, they're the few that are capable of hurting me emotionally. I hang onto them like a bad smell, heh.



larsenjw92286
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16 Jul 2005, 8:32 am

That makes sense because (no offense at all,) people like that do things sometimes that are not necessarily good. They grow out of some, but not all things.


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16 Jul 2005, 9:16 am

I have not read his book, so I probably should. However, just reading summaries of his ideas made me think he was full of crap. Perhaps I might find some reasonable nuggets of truth in there if I felt like bothering to read his concepts.



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16 Jul 2005, 1:14 pm

Jetson wrote:
When listening to music, I tend to "deconstruct" the sound into its components and listen to individual instruments or sound effects rather than perceiving the music as a whole. After repeated listenings, I retain enough detail to reassemble the parts and "play" the music in my head with remarkable fidelity. Sadly, when it comes to voices I capture the tone and timbre but not the words....


Same for me. For a while it was pretty annoying. A year or so ago, I've gotten into dancing to help improve my coordination. I found this ability useful for this. When I dance, I count the syllables in the lyrics. One syllable equals one beat, and one beat equals one step. This makes it very easy to do what NTs call "feeling the beat". I'm guessing they do it the same way, only they don't deconstruct the process like aspies do.

As for auditory hallucinations, I get them once in a while. Usually it's a cell phone ringing. This is one of the reasons why I hate cell phones. I almost always set mine on "1-beep" (known as "polite" in some carriers). This reduces the fueling factors for those hallucinations. I used to get similar ones as a kid, and they scared the **** out of me.



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16 Jul 2005, 1:37 pm

Along the line of possible auditory hallucinations, which I've honestly not thought too much about...

When the house is noisy at home, I sometimes think I hear my wife (and less often my son) calling for me, but when I find them they say they did not do it. As a kid, when the house was noisy I used to think I heard the phone ring...



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16 Jul 2005, 2:55 pm

Those forms of "hallucination" in the last post sound more like picking familiar patterns out of random sound, the same way people will see patterns on television static (at least on TV sets that let you see the static these days -- I like watching static and it's annoying when they don't let you turn off that blue thing).

There are a number of perceptual differences in autistic people, and only some of them look like being more sensitive than usual or having synesthesia. I think most will have at least some different ways of processing incoming information, even if those ways don't look like what's referred to as sensory integration dysfunction.


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Tekneek
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16 Jul 2005, 3:16 pm

anbuend wrote:
Those forms of "hallucination" in the last post sound more like picking familiar patterns out of random sound, the same way people will see patterns on television static (at least on TV sets that let you see the static these days -- I like watching static and it's annoying when they don't let you turn off that blue thing).


That is interesting. I never thought about it as any sort of 'problem' or that it could be anything at all, anyway. I have some other times where I think I am hearing music, or people talking, but as this happens in the middle of the night when no one is around...it is a little bit strange. I've never been too worried about it, because it is never anything I can clearly make out. The idea being that nothing is important enough to be worried about until it causes a detrimental effect to my everyday life.



cow21984
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16 Jul 2005, 3:49 pm

nirrti wrote:
IronSails wrote:
Jetson wrote:

3) When listening to music, I tend to "deconstruct" the sound into its components and listen to individual instruments or sound effects rather than perceiving the music as a whole. After repeated listenings, I retain enough detail to reassemble the parts and "play" the music in my head with remarkable fidelity. Sadly, when it comes to voices I capture the tone and timbre but not the words....


I'm the exact same way! takes me 3 or 4 exposures before I can really appreciate a song.


I've been able to do this all my life. I remember one time when I was two years old, there was this song I loved, the melody more than the words, and I could remember it as if I were listening to it. I started to forget the exact musical structure and started crying. My aunt asked me "What's wrong?" and I couldn't find the words to explain it so I just kept silent. I still hate it when I forget exactly how a song I really like goes.


hehe, me too. Often i'll listen to the same song for an hour or more if it happens to be particularly complicated and catchy.



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16 Jul 2005, 5:18 pm

I've never really thought of myself as having sensory integration problems. Fire alarms can be a little irritating, and so can other high-pitched screechy sounds, but they're generally not so annoying as to cause me to "shut down" or lose concentration considerably. When I go to bed, though, I like to have no light, no sound, and a comfortable temperature of about seventy degrees Fahrenheit. Before our basement was remodeled and we got a new TV, I used to be able to hear whether the TV in the basement was on even if the cable box was turned off when I was trying to fall asleep; I could also hear the buzz of one particular fluorescent light that rattled for some reason; fluorescent light itself does not bother me one bit.

I remember, as a kid, I noted to my mom that it was pretty strange that I felt itchy all the time. I deduced that the function of itchiness was to remove foreign debris and the continued sensation of itchiness was errant. I also disliked the fabric of a uniform shirt I used to have to wear.