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NeantHumain
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01 Sep 2005, 7:48 pm

hecate wrote:
most of the books that i've read about autism say that people with ASDs do not have a sense of humour. but lots of people who post on here are very witty and comically gifted. so just because someone doesn't fit the stereotype of AS it doesn't mean that their difficulties are any less real.

and i have a confession to make: most of the time i can understand implied meanings! there, i said it! call the aspie-police- there is an intruder on the premises!

Ah, so you're the NT! Actually, you're hardly the only one here. I was once naïve; I believed all the members here were somewhere on the autistic spectrum or at the very least had some related developmental disorder or comorbid psychiatric disorder. A few fine folks on an IRC channel who I had orginally believed were just assholes convinced me that Asperger's syndrome was a fad disease that people pretended to have for reasons unknown to me. They further elaborated that I was among these poseurs, but I know that is untrue. They are right, though, because I have noticed a suspicious amount of NT-like behavior on WrongPlanet.net since they told me this. It even seems that the ratio of NT to ASD is growing every day! I do believe the number of active NT posters here will soon eclipse the number of genuine aspies! I am concerned; I hope my fellow aspies are, too.



hecate
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01 Sep 2005, 8:10 pm

NeantHumain wrote:
Ah, so you're the NT!


NOT gulity!



eamonn
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01 Sep 2005, 8:27 pm

IRC channel. Is that the chatroom?

EDIT> Scratch that. I just checked and it is the wp chatroom for non-windows users.



azalynn
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01 Sep 2005, 9:40 pm

I definitely do not think that everyone who "really" has AS will have the same interests or personality traits, etc. When I first encountered the literature on AS and autism, I kept going through phases where I would mentally say, "Yes, that's me!" and other phases where I would start second-guessing that assessment. I've basically stopped second-guessing at this point since AS fits me better than any other description, my doctor agrees, and I know I am absolutely NOT an NT. However, I do have the ability to, for instance, figure out sarcasm sometimes -- though I do it contextually rather than by any sense of a person's tone or body language. That is, if someone says, "That's great!" when they drop a glass I would think that was sarcasm because most people don't like it when they drop things and break them. Being able to figure out sarcasm in this manner (sometimes) doesn't make me an NT. Not liking Star Trek and not having a "special skill" doesn't make you an NT either. AS isn't a total inability to do things NTs do -- it is just that we have more difficulty doing certain things instinctually. I didn't know there was any form of emotion conveyed in a person's posture or tone until I read about it in books, etc. However, now that I'm aware that people DO communicate nonverbally I can see things like changes in posture and figure it probably means something. I don't generally KNOW what it means, but I do notice it now.



spacemonkey
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01 Sep 2005, 11:29 pm

I worked very hard to create a persona for myself when I was younger, I had lots of friends, I would have appeared to many of you as a total NT. Mostly, I just kept telling myself that I was perfectly normal, and any thoughts I had that suggested otherwise were some sort of insecurity.

But, as I got older and more confident, I slowly started to dig into who I really was, and I reached a point where I just seemed unable to keep up the facade any longer. It didn't seem worth it and more importantly, I could no longer convince myself, so how was I to convince anyone else.

So my point is, I have a lot of NT type abilities, or had them, but they required concious effort, and as my social world became more complicated, the gaps ultimately made themselves known. Sometimes I try to call on those skills that I used to have, sometimes they work, but I know it is only a show I put on for people.

It is the way we must learn and work at these things that defines AS I think. A lot of people here have developed elaborate strategies, and these can work well and can become very integrated, but this is not neurotypical.



vetivert
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02 Sep 2005, 1:56 am

i absolutely agree with spacemonkey - that all sounds incredibly familiar to me.

i expect i pass as NT most of the time. but then, i had 40-odd years of "being" NT before i realised i have AS, and that's a lot of practise. i even turn off my computer, sometimes! (HERESY!!)

some days, it's just exhausting. some of it - "being" in social situations - is second nature to me, so it's easier than it might be - i'm used to it. unless i'm tired, stressed, emotional, etc., when it becomes far more of an effort. it's just as though i'm acting all the time. i happen to be a good actor, so it's more hard work than difficult.

i was also "taught" - whether overtly or obliquely - certain social skills - how to speak and behave in social situations. for a start, things were a lot more formal and disciplined "in those days", which is a help, i believe. (gosh, i sound like a nonagenarian).

being a scientist, i worked out that things in my life which had always gone horribly wrong (i.e. relationships and some social stuff), and things i do all the time, for no other discernable reason (e.g. stimming, obsessing, ways of thinking), are very possibly due to AS. they fit the characteristics, certainly. as many others have described here, believing i have AS has meant an awful lot of my life has suddenly made complete sense, when i and everyone else could never work out what the hell was going on before.

perhaps i haven't got AS (although i doubt it) - one of the reasons i'd like a diagnosis is to confirm my "theory", as it were. then i'll just have to start again and try to make sense of things.

it feels great to "fnd a home" after 43 years, though.



DrizzleMan
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02 Sep 2005, 2:49 am

eamonn wrote:
DrizzleMan wrote:
Sorry, the phrase 'be yourself' is probably just a cliche. But the way I understand it is, don't compare yourself to others and don't think that every difference you find means there's something wrong with you.


Yes il try to but when im pretty useless at most things its hard not to judge myself unfavourably.


Another similar cliche is 'be true to yourself'. I'd guess it refers to the fact that people have aspects of themselves which they can learn to change, but they also have aspects they can't change. If an introvert tries to spend all day talking to people they'll start feeling grouchy/depressed/drained, but the same might happen to an extrovert who tries to go days without talking to anybody. So that's not something worth trying to change.

If you have behaviours that get in the way of your life and you can change them, good for you. But you may have to change them in a way that makes sense to you, which may not be what other people tell you. In the past if people told me to talk 'about the weather' I thought that was such a stupid idea, since anyone can see what the weather is like. Then I did some research on global warming - now if people mention the weather I take it as a chance to blab about my theories :twisted:

On a different note, the proportion of aspies is supposed to be about 1/300, right? The proportion of <i>introverts</i> is much higher, something like 25-45%. So obviously not all introverts are aspies. If introverts also have social difficulties, then obviously social difficulties alone does not an aspie make?



vetivert
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02 Sep 2005, 2:58 am

correct me if i'm wrong, but i understand introversion not to mean the same thing as "gregariousness".

in psychology, introversion/extraversion is to do with where your conscious referential point starts. in introverts, it starts with themselves and moves out. in extraverts, it starts outside and moves in.

for example, an introvert might start most thoughts with "I", and extravert, with "you, he, she, it, they" etc.

that's what i learned, anyway.



DrizzleMan
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02 Sep 2005, 3:08 am

I think there are multiple definitions. Jung/Myers Brigg seem to describe introversion as 'feeling energised when alone' or 'needing to be alone to recharge' and extroversion as the opposite. MB assumes that everyone is either one or the other. But another website I saw said introversion and extroversion were pathological extremes and most people are neither.

Did you mean you understand <i>extra</i>version not to mean the same thing as "gregariousness"? Sorry if my meaning wasn't clear. What words should I be using? :?



vetivert
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02 Sep 2005, 3:38 am

oooh, not sure i'd want to tell anyone what words to use drizzleman - sorry if that's how it came across.

i'm just a bit pedantic about definitions, and the ways in which some words are used differently in common currency than in "specialist" subjects - such as introversion, empathy, and all that sort of thing.

spot the aspie pedant, eh? :roll:

however - my post wasn't clear, and you're right to pick me up on it. redrafted, i SHOULD have said:

"...introversion is not about a lack of gregariousness".

does that make more sense?



adversarial
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02 Sep 2005, 5:11 am

If Introversion is not the opposite of Gregariousness then what is the opposite? Some people keep to themselves out of choice, others experiment with being 'social' and end up failing, so withdraw behind a secure shell of personal interests and marked indifference. This tends to reinforce itself to some extent because if you don't know people then nobody can express concern as such.



Jetson
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02 Sep 2005, 6:10 am

adversarial wrote:
If Introversion is not the opposite of Gregariousness then what is the opposite?

According to the thesaurus, the opposite of gregarious is ungregarious. Doesn't help much. I think a better antonym would be "reserved" because I usually think of "gregarious" as meaning "flamboyantly extroverted", in which case someone uses the word gregarious for its quantitative connotation as opposed to its simple meaning. In that case, the opposite is not shyness but the understated extroversion of someone who is friendly and social but not attention-seeking.

vetivert wrote:
some days, it's just exhausting. some of it - "being" in social situations - is second nature to me, so it's easier than it might be - i'm used to it. unless i'm tired, stressed, emotional, etc., when it becomes far more of an effort. it's just as though i'm acting all the time. i happen to be a good actor, so it's more hard work than difficult.

I also had nearly 40 years of practise, during which I learned to fake a lot of social interaction. The part that really grinds me down is trying to appear empathetic even though most of the time I really don't care and would rather be looking after my own interests.


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vetivert
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02 Sep 2005, 6:30 am

Jetson wrote:
I also had nearly 40 years of practise, during which I learned to fake a lot of social interaction. The part that really grinds me down is trying to appear empathetic even though most of the time I really don't care and would rather be looking after my own interests.


yep. i do care, sometimes, but i usually use the word "interested" rather than "care", cos it feels more like that to me.

i have a suspicion that it's like that for many people, AS or NT, and i'm just being honest, though. ;)



hale_bopp
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02 Sep 2005, 6:45 am

But what is the norm for Aspies, mikibacsi1124?

Some aspies would absolutley HATE hanging out with me. All I want to do is go to massive shopping complexes and shop all day, try on clothes, and have a laugh at other people's expense.

I am crazy about shoes and jewellery.

I love socialising when I get the opportunity.

I have AS, no question. No question at all.

Quote:
most of the books that i've read about autism say that people with ASDs do not have a sense of humour


Seems like the otehr way round for me.. none of the NT's I work with seem to be able to take a joke.



Neuroman
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02 Sep 2005, 7:57 am

ARGH!

There are no "norms"
Norms are a social construct invented to reduce ambiguity about behavior. If you can categorize, you can predict, control, etc, behavior.

People have autistic patterns in various areas of functioning: social, sensory, etc.
It is a disorder if it interferes with functioning. You can have a full complement of autistic patten behavior and not get diagnosed. You can have one or two behaviors that are disturbing to NTs and get diagnosed in a flash. Hence all types of people on this site, including those who have identified one or two autistic traits and adopt the diagnosis, usually without the disadvantages.
I have a full complement of aspergers symptoms but haven't been diagnosed because I have a lot of folds in my brain and can imitate NT behavior. The whole thing is superficial: it takes a lot of energy, and when I am tired, it falls apart and people confirm their hypothesis that I am wierd. Luckily I haven't completely lost it so instead of institutionalized I am just really marginal. But I have to support myself, so this is how I live.

I like a lot of things that NTs like, and I engage in the behavior. I do believe a lot of it is highly illogical, and sometimes I say its stupid because I am frustrated and angry that this lack of logic is the expected behavior. I say that aspergers traits are better because I want to feel better about myself. You are right to say they are not better. They are just different. But for NTs different, in particular different that they don't understand, is bad. So I counter by saying my good is better.

O.K. Making less sense now.


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hecate
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02 Sep 2005, 9:02 am

azalynn wrote:
However, I do have the ability to, for instance, figure out sarcasm sometimes -- though I do it contextually rather than by any sense of a person's tone or body language. That is, if someone says, "That's great!" when they drop a glass I would think that was sarcasm because most people don't like it when they drop things and break them.


that's how i work out when someone is being sarcastic too.

but i've witnessed NTs misunderstand other NTs occasionally so i don't think people are expected to get it right EVERY time. my former boss, who is very socially-orientated, responded incorrectly one day. it was coming up to christmas and a man walked in to the shop and started chatting to my boss. the man said "have you noticed how christmas is becoming more and more about religion every year?" and my boss said "yes! i have noticed that." and the man replied "err, no... i was being ironic." what he meant was that christmas is becoming more about consumerism than christianity.

before i actually thought about what the words meant and applied them to their context i would've assumed that the man was being serious too. but i didn't admit that to my boss because it was usually me who made a fool of myself by interpreting something literally and it felt good for it to happen to someone else for a change!



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