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Duckmaster9000
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12 Oct 2023, 10:00 am

My head works in a rather different way that other people. I look at problems at an other way. When I read something I simply cannot understand it whereas others (who clearly don't know language as much as me) can.They can remember things clearly whereas I cannot. I am a good student. I have scored good marks. Still I believe I should be working way less than I actually should. I lack the ability to GENERALIZE. It is extremely difficult for me to GENERALIZE like others. I have to analyze everything like a math equation to get it right. I am wasting me life.


If you had a similar academic experience, please share it with me. Also please tell me the strategies or techniques that you used to study better or get the ability to generalize. ! !! !!



Double Retired
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12 Oct 2023, 10:35 am

Personally, I found it best to avoid areas where memorization was needed...I tried to focus on things where understanding was needed.

History and geography were not good topics for me.

Parts of mathematics were good, parts were bad. For instance, calculus and statistics required memorizing too many formulas but probability did not (it generally just required finding creative ways to count stuff).

Computer Science was WONDERFUL!


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BillyTree
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12 Oct 2023, 3:46 pm

My strenghts are understanding and logic. My weakness is a bad working memory and that I can't remember any facts unless I see them as relevant. Pointless information is lost on me. For a long time I thought it was due to my "bad memory", that I had to prioritize to remember the essential facts and ignore the rest. When someone tells me a long story filled with irrelevant details I lose interest, waiting for the person to get to the point. This made my suspect I also had ADHD besides ASD. But that was not the case.


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Double Retired
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12 Oct 2023, 4:49 pm

My ability to remember facts is also very selective. In general I can't, except in a few specific subject areas.

When my psychologist gave me my diagnosis one of the first things I did was to observe that my understanding was that Autistics have good memories and I have a bad one. She smiled and noted that only a few Autistics have photographic memories and that it is more common for them to have good memories in subject areas that interest them. An excellent description of my memory.

Now when I ask medical providers to give me stuff in writing I explain that I'm Autistic and I only have a good memory for things that interest me and I don't get to choose what interests me.


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Ben Dee
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13 Oct 2023, 12:53 am

I also have a very selective memory but I do find that I'm able to answer questions correctly a lot of the time, obviously depending on the subject, even if I don't actually *know* the answer. As Double and Billy said above, I'm also very good at logic and gaining understanding without memorising facts. My partner when she has a question will often ask me before google just because I can frequently just pull the answer out off of the top of my head, and that's something it seems a lot of autistic people can relate to.

With that in mind, I've found you can "game the system" somewhat. Rather than remembering the way something is, teach yourself *why* it is that way. Whenever it crosses your mind that you don't understand how a thing works, google it or read a book on it. Look at it this way, you don't memorise the answer to every mathematical combination and yet you still know 10 x 10,000,000 is 100,000,000. You've probably never counted that high, but you know it anyway. Learn the rules rather than memorising the answers. I can't remember birthdays, but I know my sister's is the first day of a school year (Where I live) so I know it's september 1st. I can't remember my parents birthdays but I know they're in October 2 days apart so I just get gifts in advance and visit them both at the same time.



autisticelders
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13 Oct 2023, 7:07 am

you may find out that you have some sort of sensory processing disorders!

I learned at age 68 that I had only 25th percentile visual processing and 35th percentile audio processing. I struggled all through school because teaching until middle grades was all audio-visual .

I constantly misunderstood and was in trouble for "not paying attention". When I got to the middle grades, I learned that I could read and understand everything I missed in the classroom. I read chapters assigned and was always from then on to perform on tests, etc.

I failed miserably at math because I can not visualize a thing in my mind. I can not do math in my head, I have to write it down so I can see it on paper. Reading is the only form of input I can actually get and retain info from! Sort of the opposite of what you describe, I think!

I learned all of this about my ability to learn and how I learn at age 68 and going forward from my very late autism diagnosis. I wonder if knowing earlier would have made a difference in school. (and at work later too!)

If you struggle with reading, try reading aloud so you hear the words, or use books on tape, or get permission to tape/video tape classes.
Check with supportive office at your school to see if you can find accommodations that work for you. You might need a study partner, a tutor, visual aids, or other things.
If you already know how you learn best and process information best, you are on to finding tools that work for you. There are loads of ways we can help ourselves once we understand our neurology.


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ToughDiamond
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13 Oct 2023, 7:47 pm

My memory skills are all over the place. I can't remember stuff I'm not interested in, and what I'm interested in has a mind of its own. Often I can remember reams of stuff if I'm interested in it. When I'm feeling down I'm barely interested in anything. Sometimes I lose my thread halfway through a sentence, even though I usually confine myself to talking about things I'm interested in. Often when I write my diary at the end of the day, I have trouble remembering what I did. I'm always jotting down little notes and using other mnemonic tricks - I guess that's to shore up my short-term memory. Strangely, I did a "working memory" test (short-term memory with the handicap of having to focus on other things before trying to recall the original thing), and on my 3rd attempt at the test, I scored very high, but my first attempt had been lousy. I just somehow "got in the zone" better for the third attempt.

I can memorise a lot of things fairly well if I make a concerted effort, but info doesn't sink in very well if I don't. I was hopeless at geography, history and to some extent French and Latin when I was at secondary school, and couldn't see how anybody could memorize the tons of data the teachers of those subjects expected us to learn. These days I can do a lot better with history, probably because I'm free to learn the bits of it that I'm interested in. They started doing Nuffield courses at school eventually. Those were designed to test the ability to think rather than rote memory. I thought that was a great idea but they never offered it to me. Still, I passed a lot of exams after shutting myself away and learning it all from the text books. Also I can't remember stuff that doesn't make sense to me, and as I often can't get the meaning from the context, a lot of NT stuff is horribly unclear to me because it assumes I can.

But I don't see rote memory as being much to do with intelligence, except that without memory there's nothing retained that can be thought about unless it's all written down for reference. That's why I prefer chess to card games. With card games you often have to remember which cards have been played. With chess, you can just look at the board any time you like and you'll see where the pieces are.

I don't like the concept of IQ. I feel that specific aptitudes are much more objective and useful. Autistic aptitudes may be rather different from the aptitudes that IQ test designers deem worthy of including in their tests. I probably excel at some subjects but they tend to be rather off the beaten track. I'm easily distracted by background noise and company, and can think much more easily when I'm alone in a quiet space.