How to approach aspies who haven't heard of aspergers

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Macallan
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15 Nov 2007, 4:04 am

bobert wrote:
Maybe the subtlest method would be to strike up a conversation with her. You could casually mention that the you are the developer of WP, and suggest she check it out. If she does, she may realize that she is an aspie and take it from there. I'm not sure how receptive people are to being diagnosed by unfamiliar classmates.

I think this method may be easiest for all concerned, if you really feel that you want to raise it with her. Even if she doesn't initially recognise herself, she may be interested to find out more, and you may make another friend :)

Off-topic - I love your avatar, Bobert :D Are they yours?

wsmac wrote:
Danielismyname wrote:
alex wrote:
How to approach aspies who haven't heard of aspergers?


Don't. If the individual in question isn't experiencing difficulty in the big three (social, vocational and academia), what's the point?

How can you be sure she has it? I doubt many people would like you to mention to them that they're possibly retarded socially, especially those who aren't. People with AS have trouble reading others to begin with, so you and your friend may easily be in error.


Here's a prime example... "retarded socially".

Where in the hell do you get the idea that someone with AS is retarded socially?

Yes, but to the majority of NTs who have heard of AS, that's what they think it is - being a weirdo, billy-no-mates, social retard. Just my experience, you understand.

If Alex's classmate hasn't considered herself to have AS, she may know nothing about it, other than popular misconceptions, and Alex could very well upset her for suggesting that she's AS. I think that if someone had told me I had AS before I was receptive to hearing it, I'd have gone into denial outwardly, and inwardly felt even more crap about myself than I did already due to knowing that there was something 'wrong' with me compared to anyone else.



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15 Nov 2007, 4:23 am

wsmac wrote:
If we can ever get past the idea that not looking someone directly in the eyes is OKAY! then guess what? Americans, Brits, and others just might be able to get along with the rest of the world as well because I know for a fact that there are other societies that DO NOT promote staring someone in eyes as appropriate behavior.


One can only dream..... :)


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mmaestro
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15 Nov 2007, 12:00 pm

Danielismyname wrote:
AS by its very definition is social retardation primarily, along with some narrow/focused interests; AD is similar, but there's a broader delay in cognitive function.

Hey, if you think you aren't impaired socially, why even bother with calling yourself AS?

*Applauds*
Exactly. Is it even possible to be AS without social impairment? I don't think so. Moreover, I think the assumption that if we could just persuade people to not look each other in the eye, we would be OK is a gross oversimplification. I'm more than capable of misunderstanding my wife (and she's the person I'd say I know better than anyone, ever in my life) from another room, just by misreading her tone and inflection in her voice, then eye contact while it's a factor, isn't the only one. Ditto reciprocal conversation, other body language... there's so much going on in social situations that many of us just don't see. What else do you want to call that if not retardation? Impairment? Incompetence? Blindness? Which ever way you cut it, it'll still not operating in the normal way, and so it means being "left behind," oftentimes permanently.
Danielismyname wrote:
Don't. If the individual in question isn't experiencing difficulty in the big three (social, vocational and academia), what's the point?

But this, I'm going to take issue with. I think it's difficult to know, sometimes, when difficulties will become apparent. If you'd looked at me when in an academic setting, I think I was doing pretty well. I had friends, I was doing OK in my coursework, it sure looked like I was going to succeed. I think academia can sometimes give a false sense of that to aspies. It's by its nature a fairly structured environment, we can concentrate on the things that interest us, and given the number of "oddballs" in academia, it's a lot easier to fit in. So it was with me. But then, when I got out into the wider, non-academic world, I didn't do so well. Time in college might well be exactly the right time to figure out how you're limited by AS, and how you're benefitting from it. I wish I'd left university armed with that sort of information. You can't know what'll be in her future, and I don't think it can ever be a bad thing to know more about yourself - it can help people succeed where otherwise they might fail.


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15 Nov 2007, 9:34 pm

I thought I'd come back here and say... sorry!... for my little tirade :oops: :wink:

It's my impulsive side going again... especially when I post late at night and haven't been sleeping much over several days.

It certainly is a dream of mine where we don't have to see someone who currently falls under the label of AS as 'retarded socially'.

I still think it's a shame we let the medical establishment and general society get away with pigeon-holing people who don't walk along the very narrowly defined line of 'normal'.

Other cultures do not seem to have issues with some members who participate in their own way.
There seems to be a lack of acceptance for the wide variety of personalities in human beings in Western society (the one I am most familiar with).

While I agree that being able to 'look someone in the eyes' can have it's benefits in communication... someone who doesn't feel comfortable with it should not automatically be labeled socially retarded.

Someone who likes to spend more time with a computer or their pet dog than other humans shouldn't be labeled socially retarded.

The whole term just makes me mad.

There are many ways to socially integrate oneself... being the life of the party, or even going to parties, does not mean a person is a social gem.

Again I can see I'm just rambling on more than anything else.

I do not see someone who fits under the umbrella of AS or ADD/HD or anything else as being broken and 'not normal'.
I see them as being different, just as I am different from other people but similar in some regards.

We can pick out things about so-called 'socially normal' individuals throughout history that seem to me like bad ways to socialize.
Hell, even Sister Teresa did things that made people question her at times.

I quit... and this thread's a better place for it! :D


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MysteryFan3
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15 Nov 2007, 9:46 pm

There are a couple of women on another forum where I post who have made a little hobby out of spotting spectrum-mates in stores and malls and approaching them. Since you're talking about a woman, is there an AS woman who could bring up the subject?


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15 Nov 2007, 10:08 pm

I've met people who I suspected may have been on the spectrum, I just tried not to focus on it. There really isn't anything you can do. When and if she feels she needs to seek why she is different, she will, and it still doesn't change anything.

It's not socially accepted to walk up to someone and diagnose them something. For all you know she may be seeking help, or she may have something completely different. By telling her she has AS you're simply confirming that she is different, and it could hurt her deeply.



CompSciMan
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15 Nov 2007, 10:47 pm

How do you know this girl is an "aspie'??? Do you know intimate details about the innerworkings of her mind??? I would ask myself these questions before I start diagnosing her!

1. Let's say she's a social misfit...that does NOT mean she AS!
2. Let's say she also dresses funny and seems to get embarassed by contact with others....that does NOT mean she has AS!
3. Let's say she's also very eccentric...that does NOT mean she has AS!
4. I could go on and on...

I don't mean to single you out, but there are alot of people who mistake someone who is socially challenged for someone who has AS. I suspect less than 1/2 of the people on this site have AS!! !

Just my 2 cents..... You very well could be right, but how do you know?



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16 Nov 2007, 10:50 am

wsmac wrote:
It certainly is a dream of mine where we don't have to see someone who currently falls under the label of AS as 'retarded socially'.

Well, let's define "retard":
Quote:
check: slow the growth or development of;
be delayed

Our social skills develop more slowly, and never reach the same level as NTs. We don't see social cues that are obvious to others, the subtle interplay of facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, etc. Our social skills are retarded, because they are behind those of normal people. You may not like the term, but your dislike of it doesn't change its accuracy.
wsmac wrote:
I still think it's a shame we let the medical establishment and general society get away with pigeon-holing people who don't walk along the very narrowly defined line of 'normal'.

What else are we going to call it? It's a lack of capacity for social skills, it's not developing those skills at the same rate as NTs. If someone has dyspraxia, am I going to simply say that they have a different way of seeing numbers, or will I be honest and say that they have difficulties compared to the norm in working with numbers? At one point, you just have to accept that a handicap in social situations is part and parcel of having AS. If you're not going to try and learn about what the condition means for you, what's the point in accepting you have it at all?
wsmac wrote:
Other cultures do not seem to have issues with some members who participate in their own way.
There seems to be a lack of acceptance for the wide variety of personalities in human beings in Western society (the one I am most familiar with).

You know, there are plenty of societies who'll leave the odd or challenged in the wilds to die. I think you've got some rose-tinted glasses if you think the above statement is accurate.
wsmac wrote:
While I agree that being able to 'look someone in the eyes' can have it's benefits in communication... someone who doesn't feel comfortable with it should not automatically be labeled socially retarded.

Only if you refuse to accept that important social skills are important social skills. Should someone who is unable to run, jump etc. not be called unathletic? If you can't do something that is normal for others to do, you're by definition retarded in that area.
Quote:
The whole term just makes me mad.

And methinks this is the crux of the problem. You're angry about it. I'm really not sure why? Sometimes we need to learn to accept our own limitations.


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